University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Mentored Clinical Internship in Psychological Science (PSYS 190; 3 credits, service learning approved)

Fall 2017/Spring 2018: Seminar, Mondays, 8:00-9:15 am plus 10 hours/weekly at site placement
Judith A. Christensen, Senior Lecturer

Sometimes, the best way to see psychological science “at work” is to experience a clinical internship placement where people of all ages who are challenged by mental health problems are served. The MENTORED CLINICAL INTERNSHIP (MCI) course offers students of psychological science opportunities to apply their academic learning experiences to a wide variety of clinical psychology-based professional placements where people of all ages experiencing mental health challenges are served. This course is designed to maximize your placement experience in several ways. First, every effort will be made to assist you in finding a placement that fits your interests and/or future goals. Second, the weekly seminar will offer an opportunity for all interns to share experiences, appreciate the importance of ethics and confidentiality in clinical psychological work, and offer advice about how to handle thought-provoking, sometimes perplexing placement situations. The seminar is a kind of “think tank”, a way to present situations, cases, and specific concerns in a safe and confidential environment, as you work your way through your placement experiences. Guest experts from around the state and as supplemental readings will provide a deeper understanding of broader clinical psychology professional options. Students can use their own placement experience, the experiences of fellow students, stimulating and challenging readings and the broader context offered by experts to think beyond their internship placements and make possible graduate school goals and post-graduation planning.

The Chittenden County area has a wide variety of programs serving various age groups and mental health challenges. The process of obtaining a “good fit” internship for both student and placement site is, in itself, an important learning opportunity. Students will be assisted in creating resumes and cover letters, strengthening interviewing skills, developing a mutually agreeable learning contract, and learning how to successfully orient to an unfamiliar and likely challenging placement site. The Mentored Clinical Internship is a designated service-learning course.

The seminar meets once a week for 75 minutes. Students are expected to spend 10 hours a week outside of class at their internship site. Assignments for the course include completion of a learning contract between student and site supervisor; participation in weekly discussions; reflection papers on weekly experiences and assigned readings; a presentation on the placement site, its mission, persons served; and student’s expectations and evaluation of the site; a research and/or intervention project designed for the placement site; and a final reflection paper on the student’s internship experience. Both you and your site supervisor will independently complete a mid-term and final evaluation of your performance at the site.

How Do You Enroll?

Junior and senior psychological science majors and minors who want to explore clinical practice opportunities related to psychology may seek enrollment. Preference is given to seniors and to students who commit to enroll for a full academic year (2 semesters). Contact Course Instructor Professor Judith Christensen by email ( to set up an appointment. Through a matching process, you will apply to community-based agencies with formal relationships to the Department of Psychological Science (see example list below). Once you have been interviewed and approved by the placement site, you will complete a MENTORED CLINICAL INTERNSHIP LEARNING CONTRACT FORM with your site supervisor. You will then submit the Contract to
Dr. Christensen for approval. Upon approval, you will be notified by email of the course override and given instructions to register.

Organizations in which students are currently enrolled are:

Baird School (Howard Center Department of Children Youth and Families)
Bellcate School (serving special needs students)
Boys & Girls Club of Burlington
Champlain Senior Center
Champlain Valley Head Start
Chittenden Regional Correctional Center (serving women)
Converse Home Memory Care Program
Howard Center Department of Children Youth and Families, Winooski Family Center
Howard Center Comprehensive Care Program (serving children)
Howard Center Adult Schizophrenia Programs
King Street Youth and Family Center
Lund Family Center
Rock Point School
Turning Point Substance Abuse Center
UVM Dept. of Psychiatry, Vermont Family Based Approach
UVM Dept. of Psychological Science, Connecting Cultures
UVM Living Well
UVM Living Well – Catamount Recovery
Vermont Cares
Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

Last modified March 30 2017 11:09 AM