Clinical Psychology Internship
(Accredited by the American Psychological Association)
Philosophy and Goals of the Internship
The Clinical Psychology Internship at Nassau University Medical Center was begun in 1968 and has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1971. Our internship is designed to provide advanced graduate students in clinical psychology with well-rounded, intensively supervised training in clinical psychology in both inpatient and outpatient settings. We are dedicated to providing quality psychological services to a demographically and diagnostically diverse patient population in a public medical center. We believe psychological practice must be based on the science of psychology. Therefore, we train interns to work as practitioners informed by research and scholarly work. Our goal is to train competent and effective generalist clinicians, who may also obtain specialty training during the year.
We encourage interns to think and work from divergent theoretical perspectives, and provide supervision from psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, family systems, and integrative orientations. Our interns have a core experience of intensively supervised psychotherapy and psychological assessment experiences in both inpatient and outpatient settings. We believe a strength of our program is that we teach the application of psychoanalytic principles to the treatment of severe psychopathology. We also teach the application of these principles in time-limited treatment with a diagnostically diverse patient population. Interns train in inpatient and outpatient settings, work with diverse patient populations, and use a variety of treatment modalities. The various modalities include outpatient individual and group psychotherapy; diagnostic interviewing and crisis intervention; milieu, group, and time-limited individual treatment on acute-care inpatient psychiatric units; and diagnostic assessment, psychological consultation, and psychotherapy in medical settings.
We believe optimal learning is achieved in an atmosphere of professionalism and respect, where interns are regarded first as professionals in training and secondly as service providers. Internship faculty sees their involvement with interns as a vital part of their professional identity, and this involvement contributes significantly to the cohesiveness of the Division of Psychology.
Program Goals and Objectives
Goal #1: Competence in Professional and Ethical Conduct
- The intern demonstrates good knowledge of ethical principles and consistently applies them appropriately, seeking consultation as needed.
- The intern seeks consultation or supervision as needed and uses it productively.
- The intern interacts professionally and appropriately with treatment teams, supervisors and peers.
- The intern establishes effective and productive professional relationships, with patients, with appropriate boundaries.
- The intern demonstrates responsible work habits, including completing paperwork in a conscientious, timely manner, and reliably keeping appointments.
- The intern takes on responsibility for key patient care tasks, independently ensuring tasks are completed promptly. The intern demonstrates the necessary self-direction, with regards to gathering clinical and research or scholarly information, to practice independently and competently as a professional psychologist.
- The intern demonstrates positive coping strategies to manage personal and professional stressors, to maintain professional functioning so quality patient care continues uninterrupted. The intern copes well with professional challenges such as new responsibilities or patient crises.
Goal #2: Competence in Individual and Cultural Diversity
- The intern maintains sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity of patients. The intern is committed to providing culturally sensitive patient care.
- The intern is aware of his or her own cultural/racial background and the impact it has on patients. The intern is committed to exploring his/her own background and belief system and how it affects his or her clinical work.
Goal #3: Competence in Theories and Methods of Psychological Assessment and Diagnosis
- The intern appropriately selects test to administer and is proficient as well as efficient in the administration of tests pertaining to his/her area of practice. Demonstrates proficiency in the administration of both intelligence and personality tests.
- The intern accurately scores and interprets test data in his/her area of practice, based on relevant norms.
- The intern writes a well-organized psychological assessment report, answering the referrals question clearly and concisely with specific recommendations.
- The intern demonstrates a thorough working knowledge of DSM multi-Axial classification. Uses historical information, interview data, and results of psychometric tests to diagnose accurately.
- In diagnostic intake interviewing, the intern effectively gathers relevant interview data, appropriately evaluating immediate concerns such as suicidality, homicidality, and any other safety issues.
- In diagnostic intake interviewing, the intern arrives at appropriate dispositions and recommendations, and effectively communicates these to the patient.
- The intern writes a well-organized intake report, clearly and concisely communicating relevant interview data, as well as disposition and recommendations.
Goal #4: Competence in Theories and Methods of Effective Therapeutic Interventions
- The intern formulates a therapeutically useful case conceptualization, including transference issues, resistances, and dysfunctional cognitions, drawing on both clinical material and knowledge of theory and research.
- The intern formulates appropriate treatment goals and objectives in collaboration with the patient.
- The intern makes well-timed, effective interventions, based on sound clinical judgment and appropriate application of theory and research. The intern works flexibly, responding to the specific treatment needs of each patient and, when clinically indicated, changing treatment approach with a patient.
- The intern in aware of his or her countertransference, and uses it effectively to understand and intervene with the patient.
- In group psychotherapy, the intern demonstrates an understanding of Group dynamics and an ability to intervene effectively in group process. Works effectively and productively with his or her co-therapist.
Goal #5: Competence in the Theories and Methods of Evaluation
- The intern demonstrates competency in program evaluation through the accumulation of knowledge of the some of the theories and methods of evaluation, and application of this knowledge in an evaluative project.
Goal #6: Competence in the Delivery of Mentorship and Supervision
- The intern is able to establish a good rapport with the peer supervisee. Demonstrates good knowledge of some theories of supervision and supervisory techniques and is able to apply this knowledge effectively and consistently, seeking consultation as needed.
About Nassau University Medical Center
Nassau University Medical Center is a not-for-profit facility located in East Meadow, Long Island, approximately 30 miles east of New York City. Governed by a 15-member board of directors, the Medical Center is part of a 1,200-bed health care system, composed of a 530-bed tertiary-care Level 1 Trauma Center and teaching hospital, a 589-bed skilled nursing facility, and seven community health centers. At the heart of the NUMC campus is the 19-story, 1,000,000-square-foot Dynamic Care Building, which opened in 1974. The hospital is much more than a deliverer of health care; it is Long Island’s largest teacher, too. The medical center, which is affiliated with the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, the Health Sciences Center of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, maintains a strong commitment to medical education and research. There are 14 residency training programs at the Medical Center. There are also training programs for other professions, such as nursing and social work.
The Medical Center staff is proud of the Center’s role as a community hospital. The mission of the Medical Center is to serve the needs of all Nassau County residents regardless of age, severity of injury or illness, method of payment, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.
Nassau University Medical Center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, and approved by the New York State Department of Health and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. It is a member of the Hospital Association of New York, the Nassau/Suffolk Hospital Council, the National Association of Public Hospitals, the American Association of Blood Banks, and the Council of Teaching Hospitals of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The A. Holly Patterson Geriatric Center is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations and approved by the New York State Department of Health.
Description of Facilities in the Hospital Utilized by the Internship
Interns’ experiences take place on the Nassau University Medical Center campus, which is composed of an acute-care teaching hospital with a broad array of inpatient and outpatient services.
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science is among the most active providers of comprehensive mental health services on Long Island. Inpatient psychiatric units include two open adult units consisting of a total of 87 beds, one closed unit with a total of 19 beds, a 22-bed child and adolescent psychiatry unit, a 20-bed Chemical Dependency Detoxification unit, and a 30-bed Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation unit. A separate and self-contained psychiatric emergency room receives a significant number of round-the-clock emergency psychiatric visits. Interns are involved in rotations on the adult and child psychiatric units. Interns may also select a rotation on the “Consultation and Liaison Service,” a team responding to the mental health needs of patients who have been admitted to services throughout the medical center. Additionally, elective “mini-rotations” are available for additional experience in neuropsychological assessment and in the psychiatric emergency room. All interns carry outpatient cases in the adult and child outpatient clinics, which are located adjacent to each other on campus. This experience includes outpatient diagnostic interviewing and individual, family and group psychotherapy. Psychodiagnostic and neuropsychodiagnostic assessments take place both in outpatient and inpatient settings. Interns have secretarial support, access to word processors, and access to the Internet and email.
In addition to the Clinical Psychology Internship, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science has a fully accredited four-year Residency Training Program in General Psychiatry. Interns work with psychiatric residents on outpatient cases and on the treatment teams of inpatient units. Instructors for seminars are drawn not only from the Division of Psychology but also from the psychiatric and social work staffs as well as several experts from outside the hospital.
The Division of Psychology currently consists of 13 personnel, including eight full-time psychologists and five psychology interns. Supervising psychologists are doctorally-trained, experienced, and licensed persons, several of whom are graduates of or candidates in postdoctoral institutes of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy or child studies. Several of the senior people hold university faculty appointments. Psychologists fulfill both training and service functions. They are assigned to many areas throughout the hospital, including the Child Psychiatry Units, Ambulatory Mental Health Services, Psychiatric Inpatient Services, and Rehabilitation Medicine.
There is substantial integration of the Psychology Division in all areas of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science. Psychiatrists and psychologists work together on a variety of committees for such purposes as developing the training goals, content, and schedules of both the psychiatry residency and psychology intern training programs, and to monitor the effective delivery of a wide range of patient services.
The Psychology Division also has a very active Psychology Externship. Many of our staff teach and supervise psychology externs, as well as psychiatric residents, medical students, and nursing personnel.
Our Psychology Internship Training Faculty:
|Laura Lamontanaro, Psy.D.||Director of Psychology Training and Internship|
|David Waxman, Ph.D.||Psychologist-in-Chief|
|Daniel Ernsberger, Ph.D.||Senior Supervising Psychologist
Adult Inpatient Service
|Nicholas Forlenza, Ph.D.||Director, Psychology Externship
Child and Adolescent Inpatient Service
|Gregory Haggerty, Ph.D.||Director of Research, Dept. of Psychiatry &
Supervising Psychologist, Inpatient Service
|Lynn Schaefer, Ph.D., ABPP||Director of Neuropsychology Service
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Supervisor, Neuropsychology Training
|Andrea Vazquez, Psy.D.||Coordinator, Psychology Residency Program|
|Jennifer Zodan, Ph.D.||Supervising Psychologist
NuHealth Therapy Center for Children, Adolescents & Families
|Staci Ortiz, Ph.D.||Supervising Psychologist
NuHealth Therapy Center for Children, Adolescents & Families
Intern Assignments, Rotations, and Supervision
Intern assignments are composed of required core experiences for all interns and more specialized assignments based on interns’ interests. Required experiences are in general clinical psychology and elective assignments are in specialty areas.
Required experiences are as follows: Throughout the year interns are assigned individual and group therapy cases in the adult and child outpatient mental health clinics. Interns are also assigned diagnostic interviewing and crisis intervention cases one half-day per week throughout the year in that clinic. We design these assignments to acquaint interns with the diagnostic diversity of patients seen in our outpatient clinic, to help interns develop diagnostic and treatment planning skills, and finally, to hone interns’ therapeutic skills in a variety of modalities and theoretical models.
In addition, all interns are assigned to four-month rotations on our inpatient psychiatric units. (Each intern does three rotations over the course of the internship year.) Through these rotations, interns gain experience with a diagnostically diverse patient population, develop diagnostic skills and treatment planning strategies on short-term inpatient units, and gain experience as a psychologist on an inpatient psychiatric unit. Interns become experienced with group, individual, milieu, psychopharmacological, and family interventions on these units.
Each intern receives at least four to five hours of supervision during each week of training. Psychotherapy, psychodiagnostic testing, and inpatient clinical responsibilities are all intensively supervised. An intern typically has two supervisors for his or her outpatient caseload, a supervisor for outpatient group psychotherapy, a supervisor for outpatient intakes, and a supervisor for his or her rotation. Additional supervision for outpatient psychological and neuropsychological assessment is provided as needed.
The interns have two sets of weekly seminars given by psychologists and psychiatrists of the department, and by several invited professionals who are considered experts in their specialties. Seminars are wide ranging in both content and philosophy. They include sessions on time-limited group psychotherapy; neuropsychodiagnostic assessment; multicultural issues; psychopharmacology; the etiology and treatment of schizophrenia; character disorders; family therapy; and psychotherapy of children, among others. There is a balance between theoretical seminars and case conferences in this series.
In addition to the seminar series specific to interns, interns also attend our department’s Grand Rounds, where outside speakers present new research and theory on topics relevant to our field. These lectures are scheduled once a week, most weeks, from October through June. Through these lectures, psychologists in the department have available an in-house continuing education series.
Intern and Program Evaluation
The faculty provides regular feedback to interns on their progress. Formal evaluations are conducted during the year. These reports are shown to and discussed with the interns. Several staff meetings during the year are set aside for intern evaluations. The intern director communicates the findings of these evaluations, in summary form, to the universities at the middle and end of the internship.
Interns are encouraged to provide feedback to the internship director on the strengths and weaknesses of the program. There are also formal written evaluations by the interns of both supervisors and didactic seminars, which are shown to the staff member being evaluated. Administrative matters are typically taken up in monthly meetings of the full division and in monthly meetings of the interns with the director of training.
Research Opportunities and Activities
Interns are supported in initiating personal research when the facilities and population of the hospital lend themselves to such effort. The seven-day per week operation of the Medical Center and its availability to the intern is of excellent advantage in achieving research aims. Interns have the opportunity to participate in grant-supported research programs under the guidance of supervising psychologists. Interns are also encouraged to work on university approved dissertation proposals. Over the years, a good number of our interns have made use of our Center’s populations and the guidance of members of our training staff to begin or continue their dissertation ideas and to follow them through to successful completion. Several staff members have served as readers on dissertation committees. NUMC departmental and medical libraries, as well as those of nearby universities, such as Adelphi and Hofstra, are available as research aids. The Medical Center’s library is one of the best in the New York City area.
The internship is a full-time, 12-month commitment, beginning on July 1 and ending June 30. The annual beginning stipend for that year is $31,576. Benefits include fully paid medical and dental insurance (which begin after six months), optical insurance (after two months), vacation and personal leave (after six months), sick time, and legal holidays.
Selection of Interns
Interns are selected from APA-accredited programs leading to a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Applicants must have completed three years of graduate training, including psychodiagnostic and psychotherapy practica and theory and research courses, and be recommended as ready for an internship by their program directors.
Applicants matching with us must meet several criteria in order to be employed by Nassau University Medical Center as a psychology intern. Employment is contingent upon:
- successfully passing a physical exam at our Employee Health Services,
- successfully passing a screening by the New York State Child Abuse Registry, and
- successfully passing an application review and background check by the Nassau County Civil Service Commission.
We have a strong commitment to cultural diversity and strongly encourage applications from minority candidates, as well as students interested in issues of diversity.
Applications will be accepted through the APPIC online portal only. Applicants must register with AAPIC and then complete the AAPI online. Instructions for using the online portal are available on the APPIC website (www.appic.org). All applications are due November 15, 2014, and must include the following, submitted through the online portal:
- The Online Application for Psychology Internship (APPI).
- Resume of education, training, and related experience.
- Official transcripts of all graduate work in psychology.
- Three letters of recommendation regarding academic ability, clinical skills, and personal qualities.
- AAPI verification form from the director of the university’s clinical psychology training program attesting to the applicant’s readiness for an internship.
- One copy each of a psychodiagnostic testing report and a treatment summary.
Appointments will be made for a personal interview (a necessary step in the selection process) after screening of the above materials. All application requirements, including online application and interviews, must be completed in order for an applicant to be considered for the internship.
Applicants who are matched to the program must forward a set of official transcripts of all graduate work in psychology, in sealed envelopes. This is a Civil Service requirement for employment at the Medical Center. These transcripts must be received before March 31, 2015.
The Clinical Psychology Internship at Nassau University Medical Center is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and abides by APPIC Match Policies. No person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. Our National Matching Service Number is 145711. To confirm the accreditation status of our internship, you may write the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, American Psychological Association, 750 First Street N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4242; or phone (202) 336-5979. Nassau University Medical Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
For more information about the program or the application process, please contact:
Laura Lamontanaro, Psy.D.
Director of Psychology Training
J Pavilion/Box 48
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Nassau University Medical Center
2201 Hempstead Turnpike
East Meadow, NY 11554
Telephone: (516) 572-3088