SAPIC is an APA Accredited Internship Program

SAPIC 2014-15 Overview (subject to change)

Internship Structure

Interns will spend up to 30 hours or 3 days/week at one clinical site for the whole year, called primary tracks (AKA “majors”), which provide increased depth of clinical experience and full integration into clinical teams.

SAPIC’s primary tracks include:

1. Serious Mental Illness Services (111013): Outpatient Services – 1 intern

2. Casa de Vida (111014): Co-occurring Residential Program – 2 interns

3. Child and Family Services Program (111015): Child and Family – 2 interns

4. University of Arizona SALT Center (111016): Academic Support Program – 1 intern

5. Sierra Tucson (111017): Assessment and Consultation – 1 intern

Primary Rotations

1) Serious Mental Illness Services

Southwest Clinic and New Life are outpatient sites which provide experience treating clients diagnosed with a serious mental illness in two different modalities. Southwest Clinic is an outpatient clinic offering treatment to over 1000 adult clients for serious mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and substance abuse. The population served is culturally diverse representing the highest number of Hispanic and homeless populations at La Frontera Center. Clients receive medication management, case management, individual and group therapy, health promotion, peer support, and out of office therapy services. The Southwest Clinic offers a wide variety of educational, vocational, skills-based and process groups. The intern will serve as a supplemental therapist for this team performing intake assessments for therapy services as well as delivering individual and group therapy.

New Life’s objective is to provide intensive and specialized resources to reduce the risk of harm to self and others, to prevent and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, and their concurrent costs. To qualify for New Life services, clients must meet specific clinical criteria related to risk of harm to self and/or others, highly impaired status, co-morbidity and quality of their recovery environment. These clients may be in crisis frequently, medication non-compliant, and acutely symptomatic. The intern will serve as a psychology consultant and supplemental therapist for this team. The intern will also conduct ongoing clinical assessments for New Life, as well as provide group therapy services.

2) Casa de Vida

Casa de Vida is a 53-bed residential treatment center for people with substance dependence and co-occurring disorders. Casa de Vida provides a highly structured long-term program, up to 6 months residential followed by 3 months of aftercare, to clients who are committed to their recovery.

Clients/consumers at Casa de Vida learn and participate in various recovery groups, gain knowledge about drugs and addictions, and learn ways to improve their mental and physical health. The structure is intensive. It includes more than 30 hours of weekly structured treatment with the goal of providing support to clients in the initial stages of their recovery. In addition, clients receive support and guidance in securing employment and finding housing to further their ability to live healthy, happy, and productive lives.

During the major rotation, interns will have an opportunity to hone therapeutic skills in diagnosing and treating individuals with substance dependency, co-occurring disorders, and trauma. Interns are expected to be familiar, if not proficient, with evidenced-based practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Processing Treatment, Seeking Safety, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and SMART Recovery. The intern is a key player on the multidisciplinary team and will provide individual, couples, family, and group therapy. As an important part of the team, the intern will attend daily clinical staffings, and weekly and monthly trainings and all-staff meetings. There will also be an opportunity to conduct psychological assessments with individuals in treatment and to provide educational presentations to staff and clients. Casa de Vida utilizes the strengths of each intern to provide exemplary training experience while meeting the needs of the current clients. As such, the above is not a comprehensive list of the intern’s duties; we welcome your thoughts, creativity, and specific skills!

3) Child and Family Services Program

The Child and Family Services Program was formerly 2 separate tracks, Children’s East Clinic and The Young Adult Program. We accept two primary track psychology interns into the Child and Family Services Program each internship year. Interns from other tracks can do “minor” rotations in this Program. The Child and Family Services Program has multiple teams at various clinics throughout Tucson, Arizona. Our Program provides a wide range of services including office services and home-based child and family services, birth to five services, Spanish speaking services, school based services, adolescent and young adult services, and group therapy services.

Each intern will receive clinical supervision from the supervising psychologist, and administrative supervision from the Director of the Child and Family Services Program. The purpose is to give each intern rich clinical experience and support, as well as exposure to administrative experience in a community based mental health setting.

Each intern will be assisted to develop a self-designed clinical experience that is relevant to their professional goals. We encourage the interns to pursue a broad range of clinical exposure working with children, adolescents, and their families. We expect this experience to include: 1) family systems work, 2) clinical work (including assessment and direct services) with varying age ranges and clinical populations (ages 0-21), 3) administrative experience, 4) research and program design, and 5) consultation, training, and supervision opportunities. In addition, we expect each intern to participate in the year long weekly seminar on family systems theory and practice, and to assist in a clinical supervision group for master’s level child and family therapists. Due to the rich professional opportunities available in our Program, in 2012 our Child and Family rotations were identified as being “a strong family psychology training internship” by the APA Division 43 (Society for Family Psychology).

4) The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center

The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center at the University of Arizona is a nationally recognized, academic support program for college students with a learning disability or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Since 1980, the SALT Center and has become the most comprehensive program of its kind in the nation and has helped thousands of students successfully complete postsecondary education. Using a comprehensive system of programs and services, the SALT Center serves more than 550 undergraduate and graduate students who come from across the nation and several countries each semester. Each SALT student is assigned to a Learning Specialist whose role is to provide individual academic support and to assist students as they navigate through the University of Arizona. Additionally, SALT students receive individualized educational planning and monitoring, assistance from certified tutors with coursework, and an array of workshops geared toward their individual academic needs, as well as other specialized services.
Psychological Services at the SALT Center provide SALT students the opportunity to receive on-site and individualized outpatient mental health services. The major rotation at SALT offers the psychology intern the opportunity to gain in-depth, supervised experience conducting psychiatric diagnostic evaluations, providing individual psychotherapy, and consulting with SALT staff and outside professionals. Students in need of psychological services at SALT are referred by their Learning Specialist and represent a range of clinical presentations and psychiatric diagnoses consistent with a university population. Over the course of the academic year, the intern will become adept treating a variety of clinical conditions in tandem with the attention and/or learning challenges specific to each student. When necessary, the intern also facilitates referrals for psychotropic medication evaluations to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the University of Arizona or to private psychiatric clinicians.

The major rotation at the SALT Center occurs during the academic year (September through mid-May) or approximately 8 months of the calendar year. At those times when the University of Arizona is not in session (summer and winter break), the SALT intern will work at La Frontera Center exclusively, providing brief therapy, neuropsychological and psycho-educational assessments, curriculum development and intra-agency trainings to clinical teams. Opportunities for consultation, research activities, and providing group therapy may be available upon intern request.

5) Sierra Tucson

Sierra Tucson is a 138-bed, internationally renowned inpatient treatment center providing individualized treatment for addictions, chronic pain, trauma, eating disorders, and mood disorders, from a multidisciplinary perspective. Sierra Tucson consists of a Level 1 and a Level 2 facility on the same site. The Level 1 portion of the facility (14 beds) is a locked, inpatient hospital designed for safety and security while providing detoxification, crisis management, containment, and transitional treatment in a comfortable environment. The Level 2 portion of the facility is a Residential community designed to provide treatment and integrative services for patients seeking expert care for sobriety, resolution of trauma, stability of mood, and/or chronic pain management. Residents typically stay for 30-45 days of treatment.

The psychology department consists of clinical, educational, and neuropsychologists. The primary role of the psychology department at Sierra Tucson is to provide psychological assessments. These include psychometric test evaluations and are used to inform case conceptualization, diagnostics, treatment planning, and aftercare planning.

The major rotation is primarily an assessment rotation. Interns will have the opportunity to gain extensive experience in assessment. This rotation includes administration, scoring, interpreting, interviewing, report writing, and giving assessment feedback. Interns provide diagnostic assessments and become familiar with a range of psychometric instruments. Interns initially work in close collaboration with supervisors and as the year progresses will be able to complete assessments with a greater degree of independence (while still receiving supervision). Interns will gain skills in assessing for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, chemical dependence, trauma, eating disorders, psychosis, personality disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Interns may also have opportunities to be exposed to neuropsychological sexual compulsivity, and chronic pain assessments. Interns will be an important part of multidisciplinary treatment and will attend daily staff meetings and have opportunities to provide case consultation.

APA Commission on Accreditation contact information:

American Psychological Association
Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979