Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology
Formerly the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium (SMPIC)
~Applications are due December 1st of each year~
The primary goal of the PG-DIPP is to provide high quality training in the practice of professional psychology. The strength of the internship program is derived from the variety of training and supervision available in diverse and unique settings. Interns are offered both breadth and depth in their training. There is 1-week of orientation and two full-time 6-month training rotations: the Assessment rotation and the Therapy rotation. Interns receive experience in three types of settings: outpatient services, a partial hospitalization program, and a residential treatment program. The Assessment rotation is comprised of the Evaluation Center and the Gratitude Program. The Therapy rotation is comprised of Employee Assistance Program and the Professional Enhancement Program.
These rotations provide a broad range of experiences, with a diverse patient population, and with a variety of supervisory orientations during the year. We believe the intensity and depth of training received in these treatment programs provide early career professionals with a strong foundation of core clinical competencies that are applicable and easily generalizable to other settings, populations, and individual psychotherapy.
We also provide weekly didactic training sessions which focus on (a.) developing therapy skills (e.g. interpersonal, schema focused, motivational interviewing, CBT), (b.) developing assessment skills (e.g. clinical interview, personality testing, specialized inventories, report writing), and (c.) increasing awareness of professional issues (e.g. ethics, diversity, empirically supported therapies, supervision, and consultation).
PEP, Gratitude, and the Evaluation Center offer unique opportunities for specialized treatment and assessment of personality disorders and addictive or disruptive behavior problems. The intensity and depth of training received in these programs provides early career professionals with a strong foundation of core clinical competencies that are applicable and generalizable to other settings and populations. Each intern will complete each rotation.
We are currently APA accredited until 2018 as a single entity pre-doctoral psychology internship program under the name of Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services' Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology (PG-DIPP). Prior to October 2011, we were a member of a training consortium and APA accredited as the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium (SMPIC). Our program is listed in APPIC as #1402.
The SMPIC internship program was established in 1995. The two companies that were consortium partners with Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services (Pine Grove or PG for short) elected to withdraw from the internship consortium agreement, one in 2006 and the other in 2010. Pine Grove (a division of Forrest General Hospital) took over the internship as a single entity as of August 16, 2010 and continued the internship training program under the SMPIC name until its application to APA for reaccreditation as a single entity was approved in October 2011.
SMPIC gained APPIC membership in September 1997 and PG-DIPP continues active membership. SMPIC received notice of its initial APA accreditation approval for five years in July 1999. In 2004, SMPIC was granted APA approval for an additional seven years, to 2011. In 2010, PG-DIPP applied for reaccreditation as a single entity internship and in October 2011 APA granted accreditation approval for 7 years until 2018.
Questions related to the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
The PG-DIPP is committed to providing a practitioner-scholar model of training for doctoral interns in the practice of professional psychology. Interns will work within Pine Grove, the behavioral health and addiction services division of Forrest General Hospital, a general public medical facility. Pine Grove offers various residential, outpatient, and inpatient mental health treatment opportunities. Interns work primarily in Pine Grove’s specialized residential and outpatient treatment programs and are expected to fulfill multiple roles. Their training experiences include direct clinical services (group, individual, and marital/family therapy), assessment and diagnosis, taking an active role in multidisciplinary treatment teams, completion of the clinical internship project (consultation, program evaluation, or outreach), and participation in supervision and professional development seminars and workshops. Interns are encouraged to complete work on their dissertation research if they have not previously completed it. If they have completed their dissertation and are interested, interns are also encouraged to consider research opportunities at the rotation sites to further their professional development as psychologists. The integration of the research literature with clinical work occurs through training seminars and supervision. We incorporate empirical literature into many of our training opportunities, such as empirically-based interventions, making modifications for cultural and individual diversity, and development of the clinical internship project (consultation, program evaluation, or outreach). Please look under the "Competencies" tab for a complete list of the competencies expected of interns.
Approach to Training
The staff of the PG-DIPP is committed to the further development and expansion of the intern's competence in the practice of psychology. Training occurs in a facilitative and supportive manner that allows the intern to become part of the professional staff of each rotation site. The internship staff offers a training model that allows professional learning to occur at an optimal pace for the development of the interns. We view our task as expanding the interns' existing competencies while at the same time providing new experiences and training. The internship is structured to offer balanced clinical experiences within outpatient and residential mental health and addiction treatment settings. These clinical experiences also provide an opportunity for the interns to work with other professionals, such as psychiatrists, addictionologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, nurses and marriage and family therapists, as part of a treatment team. The training staff works to ensure that theoretical and didactic learning are thoroughly integrated with practical experience. We work to enhance the interns’ professional skills and also to train interns to strive to grow continually. The primary and adjunct supervisors work closely with interns and seek to mentor the interns toward greater autonomy in the profession.
Training occurs through the performance of diverse staff functions while the intern is working on each of the rotations. There is a “Transition Week” at the end of each rotation that is used to transition to the next rotation and facilitate a smooth, comfortable changeover for the intern. The intern who is finishing one rotation will help the next intern integrate into that treatment community.
Some specialization may be arranged if it is appropriate to the training needs and interest of the intern and fits with the clinical needs of clients and expertise and availability of supervisory staff (see Activity Grid on the following pages). Continuing education opportunities are available at Pine Grove through seminars, case conferences, and workshops. Weekly intern training seminars are held on a variety of topics and many professionals from within the Pine Grove system and the surrounding community present on their areas of specialization. Additionally, Pine Grove sponsors workshops and staff development programs that also meet intern-training needs.
Intern supervision is a priority of the program and is geared to the intern's level of professional development. Each intern receives a minimum of 4 hours of supervision weekly, of which at least two hours are individual supervision. The Director of Training (DT) meets with all the interns once a week for group supervision where they discuss clinical issues directly related to their various training experiences and discuss current literature related to clinical competencies (especially supervision, diversity, ethics and consultation) as well as diagnosis and evidence based treatment. Interns also attend staffing meetings weekly on each rotation, which is an important opportunity for group supervision and consultation. All primary supervisors are Mississippi-licensed psychologists who are also available outside of regular supervision times. Other staff members at the various rotation sites contribute time for adjunct or supplementary supervision and consultations. In addition, the DT and Chief Psychologist (also Mississippi-licensed psychologists) are available for consultation and discussion as needed. Part of the model of supervision we employ entails asking the interns to be open to discussing their reactions to clients and how these can inform therapy.
Commitment to Diversity
Our internship is committed to and values diversity. The primary and adjunct supervisors are from a variety of cultural backgrounds. There is also a variety of theoretical approaches and training opportunities with the different supervisors. The clients that interns work with on both rotations represent a broad spectrum of cultural and individual diversity (including age, socioeconomic status, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, language, and national origin). Our interns have also been culturally diverse and we welcome interns from a wide variety of schools, training experiences, and stages of life.
Interns are employees of Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, which is part of the Forrest General Hospital system. The current stipend is $22,360 each for two funded positions and interns are paid every two weeks. Comprehensive benefits include health insurance, paid-time-off (PTO), and professional- and sick-leave time. With your health insurance benefit, you may insure other family members who are spouses or dependents. The cost of the employee's portion of the health insurance depends on the level of coverage chosen and how many family members are insured. Other company benefits, such as dental and life insurance, may be chosen as part of the benefits package at an additional cost to the employee. All employee benefits costs are paid through payroll deductions. As employees of Forrest General Hospital, interns are also allowed to use the Employee Health Service for a low cost (currently $12 per visit), purchase prescriptions at the employee pharmacy for the lowest prescription cost, and to join the local YMCA at a corporate rate.
Pre-employment Security Measures
All interns have to pass a police background check based on fingerprinting prior to employment. This is a Mississippi state law. Interns also will be required to pass a drug screen prior to the first day of work and supply evidence of appropriate vaccinations (also state law). Please note that the use of marijuana is not legally permitted under any circumstances in Mississippi. Failure to pass any of these procedures (all done after the internship match process is completed) will prevent the intern from being hired and result in forfeiting the internship training position. Once hired, interns will also be tested for tuberculosis (paid for by Forrest General Hospital).
Components and Sequencing of Training
Intern training in the applied areas is provided through two rotations. The assignment and sequencing of the training rotations is based on a review of each intern’s relative training strengths and weaknesses and matching these with our training experiences with aim of building on strengths and gradually enhancing skills in areas of weakness. On each rotation and over the course of the training year, the difficulty and complexity of responsibilities gradually increases and is sequenced in an apprenticeship type model. Each rotation provides training in a comprehensive and developmental manner for specific applied skills. The training is comprehensive in that it includes most of the functions of a psychologist in outpatient and residential treatment settings. Training is developmental in that tasks are sequenced (both within and across rotations) with regard to level of difficulty and the intern's demonstrated degree of competence and independence.
The components of training include individual supervision, weekly staffing meetings with clinical treatment team, weekly professional issues group supervision with the DT, weekly seminars (a rotating schedule of Intern, Empirically-Based Practice, Assessment, and Video Series Seminars) and informal consultations with the DT, Chief Psychologist or other faculty. Additionally, Pine Grove or other local organizations (healthcare providers, universities, etc.) sponsor training seminars which take place during the year. Interns work closely with training faculty through doing comprehensive assessment and treatment planning together, co-therapy arrangements, completing the the clinical internship project, and participating in other opportunities for collaboration as they arise.
Training takes into account the developmental stages of professional identity and individual variability in competence and confidence levels. At each of the rotation sites, interns generally begin their experience in service delivery through providing direct services with a faculty member or other staff member. For example, interns initially begin their training in group therapy by observing and co-facilitating the group with the supervising psychologist or other staff member. Gradually, the interns are expected to assume greater responsibility for the group process with or without the supervisor or other staff member being present. In addition, over the course of each rotation and the training year, interns are expected to demonstrate increasing levels of clinical and professional competence and confidence in their interactions with patients, supervisors, treatment team members and other staff members.
If not done before the internship year begins, completion of dissertation research by the end of the internship year is strongly encouraged and supported. Supervisors and other staff members are typically available and willing to mentor interns on their dissertation projects. If time is available during the workweek, interns can work on their dissertation. If further research is an area of interest, once interns have completed their dissertation they are encouraged to get involved in research projects at one of the Pine Grove sites. Interns are also offered encouragement, guidance, support and, where possible, assistance in their job search and other professional development activities.
Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services Description
Pine Grove is an extension of Forrest General Hospital, a county, not-for-profit general hospital in Hattiesburg, MS. Established in 1984, Pine Grove's inpatient facility is South Mississippi's largest inpatient treatment facility for psychiatric and addictive diseases. The main campus is located on the outskirts of Hattiesburg on a 22 acre grove of pine trees and includes a ropes course, a meditation garden, and paths for walking. Pine Grove’s main campus houses two inpatient psychiatric units and two 90-day intensive residential chemical dependency treatment programs. In addition to the inpatient and residential treatment programs at the main campus, Pine Grove has several outpatient, residential, and intensive treatment programs that are located within a few miles of the main campus.
For nearly two decades Pine Grove has provided mental health and addiction treatment services for thousands of patients and their families from all of Mississippi's 82 counties, throughout the United States, and from foreign countries on several continents. The majority of the intern’s experiences will take place at the Lincoln Center, a professional building several minutes from the Pine Grove main campus. However, it should be noted that the Gratitude Program is housed in a small complex of buildings approximately 4 miles from the Lincoln Center.
Assessment Rotation: Evaluation Center and Gratitude
The assessment rotation includes work in the Evaluation Center and the Gratitude Program. Interns assist in conducting comprehensive evaluations in our Evaluation Center. These evaluations are for impaired professionals who are referred by professional licensing boards or professional assistance programs. The modal problem is addiction, but we see a wide range of other disorders. The psychological assessment is one part of the integrated, forensic-level evaluation report. The EC evaluation team includes licensed psychologists, psychology interns, psychiatrists, addictionologists and nurses. The intern’s primary responsibility is conducting targeted clinical interviews (biopsychosocial histories, psychosexual histories and/or addiction timelines); administering, scoring, and interpreting psychological tests; and writing an integrated summary of the interview and testing results. We make recommendations regarding fitness for duty and recommendations for treatment if needed.
The Gratitude Program is a residential treatment program for individuals with sexual addictions. These individuals present with compulsive and/or avoidant sexual behaviors, and relational behavior problems.. These patients also have a variety of other mental health concerns (such as substance abuse, mood disorders, personality issues and trauma experiences) which are also addressed during their treatment. While working on this rotation, the intern will be involved as a co-therapist with group therapies that draw from a variety of theoretical orientations, including Patrick Carnes’ 30 task model of sexual addiction treatment, personality theory, and traditional 12 step recovery models. The training experiences are group therapy, assessment, and working on a multidisciplinary treatment team. Supervision is provided by a licensed psychologist who is trained as a CSAT. Adjunct supervisors are CSAT trained.
Therapy Rotation: EAP and PEP
With regard to individual therapy, interns provide individual psychotherapy for our main hospital’s Employee Assistance Program. The clients are employees of Forrest General Hospital and their immediate family members. These clients present with a wide range of problems. Supervision on this rotation is provided by two licensed psychologists. Adjunct supervision is provided by a licensed clinical social worker who is the Director of the Employee Assistance Program.
Professional Enhancement Program is a partial hospitalization program for impaired professionals with disruptive behaviors, addictive disorders, and personality disorders. Interns on the PEP rotation will have the opportunity to gain experience not only in addictive and personality disorders, but also co-occurring disorders, such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma issues.. This program is one of only a few programs in the country approved to treat disruptive professionals. The training experiences are group therapy and working on a multidisciplinary treatment team. Supervision is provided by two licensed psychologists. In addition, interns interface with the Medical Director who is a psychiatrist and addictionologist.
Pine Grove Interns work with adult patients (in groups or individually) on all rotations. On the Professional Enhancement Program and Gratitude rotations, interns also participate in the family week treatment program which typically involves working with couples.
SUMMARY ACTIVITY GRID
We are using the following grid to summarize the PG-DIPP training opportunities and specifying on which rotation you will have those experiences.
|Training Opportunities||Therapy Rotation||Assessment Rotation|
|Couples and Families||Minor||Minor|
|II. TREATMENT MODALITIES|
|Couples therapy||Family Week||Family Week|
|Family therapy||Family Week||Family Week|
|Behavioral and Emotional Problems Areas:|
|Addictions (Substance-Related or Process)||Major||Major|
|Disruptive Behaviors (Professionals)||Major||Minor|
|Depressive or Anxiety Disorders||Minor||Major|
|Testing and Assessment:||Minor||Major|
|Objective Personality Testing||Occasional||Major|
|Intelligence or Cognitive Testing||Occasional||Limited|
|Sexual Abuse (Victim or Perpetrator)||Minor||Major|
- Blank = Opportunities for these training experiences are minimal or non-existent.
- Family Week = Family Week is part of Gratitude and PEP treatment programs where patients invite significant family members to participate in a week of specialized treatment with them.
- Limited = Opportunities for these training experiences are limited based on needs of patients being served in respective treatment programs.
- Occasional = Opportunities for these training experiences are occasional based on characteristics of patients who present for treatment.
Interns must be from an APA accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology and be United States citizens. By December 1st of the year they are applying, interns are expected to have:
- a minimum of three (3) years of graduate training,
- three hundred (300) hours of direct client-contact practicum experience (including individual, group, family and couples therapy),
- one hundred (100) assessment hours (including completion of written comprehensive assessment reports),
- completed appropriate graduate courses from an APA accredited program in clinical or counseling psychology (i.e. ethics, clinical and counseling theory, psychological assessment, diversity, supervision, etc.),
- passed their comprehensive exams, and
- dissertation proposal approved (interns who have completed or made significant progress on their dissertation have a slight advantage over applicants who have not accomplished this).
Intern applicants are asked to provide three letters of recommendation attesting to the quality of their psychotherapy and assessment skills, clinical judgment, knowledge of theory and evidence-based treatments, ethical behaviors, research, responsiveness to supervision, and ability to work well both independently and collaboratively. We have some flexibility in these basic requirements if an applicant has substantially met the requirements and we feel that, based on the rest of the application materials, he or she has the potential to be a good fit for our program.
We require in-person interviews. Interviews will be conducted on-site for those applicants whom we feel fit best with our program. Interviews will be conducted on January 13th, 2017 and January 20th, 2017. Interview decisions are made and then interview schedules are determined based on applicants' and staff availability and promptness with applicant reply. Individual interviews are with 2-3 staff members from the different rotation sites. In addition to the individual interviews, applicants will have two other interview meetings (one with our current intern cohort and the other with the Director of Training) and have lunch with staff. Photos will be taken (with applicant's permission) at the time of the interview. We are strongly committed to non-discrimination and request permission to take photographs for further identification purposes only. We will notify applicants of our decisions regarding interviews (interview offers are made by telephone and emails are sent to all the other applicants) by December 15th.
Our internship participates in the online application process through APPIC. The online application is available through http://www.appic.org/.
We will accept the standard online application and request three (3) letters of recommendation, two of which should be from clinical supervisors. Your cover letter should include a statement of training and professional goals and how this training program fits with your goals. You should highlight any training or experiences that are particularly relevant to the areas of emphasis in our internship training program (i.e.; adult psychopathology, group therapy, personality disorders, addictions or psychological testing and assessment). We do not expect applicants to have experience in each of these areas, but it is helpful to us if you discuss the areas that you do have training in. If you do not have experience in any of those areas, please indicate those areas where you have specific interest in learning more, especially if your primary training or experience is in an area which is less emphasized in our training program (such as individual, couples or family psychotherapy or psychotherapy with children and adolescents). The rest of the online application will include your curriculum vitae (including description of practica and related experiences), your graduate transcript(s), and the completed APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) form.
Our internship will be participating in the APPIC Internship Matching Program as Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Service (see note about accreditation above). Our Program Code Number for the APPIC Internship Matching Program is 140211. All applicants must obtain an Applicant Agreement Package from National Matching Services (NMS) and register for the Matching Program in order to be eligible for our internship program. You may obtain an Applicant Agreement Package form at http://www.natmatch.com/psychint/ or, you may write to:
National Matching Services, Inc.
20 Holly Street, Suite 301
Canada M4S 3B1
Telephone: 416 997-3431
Fax: 416 977-5020
Applications should be sent to
Applications should be sent to Dr. Williams using the standard instructions available through APPIC for submitting applications online. The deadline for receiving the applications is December 1st of each year.
This internship site agrees to abide by all APPIC policies, including that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant prior to Uniform Notification Day.
Applications from minority and disabled candidates are strongly encouraged.
Requests for further information should be directed to:
Christina Williams, Ph.D.
Director of Training
Pine Grove Outpatient Services
1 Lincoln Parkway, Suite 202
Hattiesburg, MS 39402