Students on the Pace Pleasantville Campus

Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

About the Internship

The Internship training program was created in 1984 and has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1986. It has accepted its 37th class for the 2021-2022 training year. The program to date has trained approximately 140 psychologists who are now working in diverse settings as psychologists, educators, and leaders in the psychology profession. As an institution and as a program we are proud to have created opportunities for professionals to receive training that enables them to participate and make important contributions to the world.

The Internship Program in Health Service Psychology at Pace is the only program of its kind in the greater metropolitan area. It serves the unique purpose of training candidates in the work of college counseling centers. The internship is one of the most highly sought programs drawing applicants from a broad national pool from which we receive between 150 and 170 applications for 4 positions each year. Interns have come from as far away as the University of Hawaii and the University of Southern California and from local programs as close to home as Fordham University, CUNY and New York University.

  • The training program seeks to expose interns to the wide variety of functions a psychologist can perform within a university community. The training program follows a practitioner model, meaning that our training goals focus on the acquisition of the skills needed to practice competently as a professional psychologist. That our program’s goals represent a practitioner model should not imply that we see the job of training interns as limited solely to passing along a set of practice-oriented skills. Rather, we view the competent practitioner as defined not just by her/his skills; the competent practitioner is one who is also self-aware and who has grounding in the scientific and scholarly underpinnings of psychological practice. Thus, we think of the training experience as having three facets: skills, scholarship, and self-awareness.

    Our staff shares certain professional values that complete our view of the ethical, skilled practitioner, and which guide us as we design and implement training strategies. Our overall goal is to prepare interns for entry-level Health Service Psychology positions in which they provide culturally diverse, late-adolescent and adult outpatient populations with services in the areas of individual and group psychotherapy, outreach programming, assessment, and clinical supervision of intern and extern staff.

    Special program highlights include training in group psychotherapy and multi/cross-cultural "competency". The training program is also noteworthy for the extensive consultation opportunities that it provides.

    Specifically, interns at the Counseling Center provide the full range of services to the student population for 13-17 hours per week. Another 10 hours per week consist of supervision and in-service seminars. Interns conduct outreach on campus and have a consultation rotation for one of four student service departments on campus. The remainder of the time is spent on special projects and administrative work.

  • Intern Selection Procedures/Eligibility Requirements

    The Training Committee at Pace’s Counseling Center is dedicated to selecting a diverse pool of interns who are adequately equipped for the internship training year. In order to ensure that the interns are prepared for our program, certain criteria have been identified. The following minimum qualifications must be met in order for applicants to be considered for the internship program prospective interns must:

    • Be enrolled in a doctoral program in counseling, clinical, or school psychology.
    • Have completed at least 400 AAPI Intervention and Assessment Hours.
    • Have completed at least 600 AAPI Grand Total Practicum Hours.
    • Have completed all course work prior to beginning internship.
    • Have completed their comprehensive exams prior to beginning internship.
    • Have approval to pursue an internship from their program Training Director.

    When reviewing application materials, Training Committee members attend to a variety of factors. Training Committee members review applicants’ cover letters, vitae, transcripts, APPI essays, Training Programs Verification of Eligibility, and letters of recommendation to determine whether educational and practicum experiences are consistent with the internship training program. When reviewing applications, Training Committee members pay particular attention to applicants’ experiences in the following areas (none of which are required prior experiences):

    • Experience, training, or interest in working with college and university students
    • Experience, training, or interest in issues of multicultural competency
    • Experience providing supervision
    • Experience with consultation and outreach
    • Experience conducing therapy from a psychodynamic orientation

    Applicants whose qualifications and prior clinical experiences are judged to be the most compatible with our training program are invited for interviews.

    Application Procedures

    Applicants for Pace University Counseling Center Internship must complete the APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) Form (This on-line application form is available from the APPIC Web Site)

    Application Due Date: November 5, 2021

    All applications should include:

    • Completed AAPI.
    • Cover letter that specifies their interest in our Pace University Counseling Center's internship program.
    • Three letters of recommendation - at least two should be from clinical supervisors.
    • Graduate school transcripts.

    Applicants must register to participate in the APPIC Matching Program. To do so, each applicant must complete an Applicant Agreement Form and return it to National Matching Services, Inc.

    To obtain an Applicant Agreement Form and materials describing the APPIC Matching Program, you must complete the Request For Applicant Agreement Package form and return it to the National Matching Services, Inc. An Agreement package will be sent by first class mail. Please note that it may take up to two (2) weeks to receive this package. If you wish to contact National Matching Services, Inc. directly, use the address below:

    National Matching Services, Inc.
    595 Bay Street
    Suite 301, Box 29
    Toronto, Ontario
    CANADA M5G 2C2
    Telephone: (416) 977-3431
    Fax: (416) 977-5020

    Intern Selection Process Dates:

    November 5, 2021 - Pace University Counseling Center Application Deadline.

    January 7, 2022 - Interview Notification Date. Traditionally all interviews were onsite to give applicants an opportunity to experience the Center. However, the Training Committee agreed to offer interviews remotely in support of social justice and to ensure accessibility and promote equity for all potential candidates.

    The Counseling Center adheres to the procedures established by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) for notifying candidates. Internship offers will be coordinated through the APPIC Internship Matching Program. Our program code number is 4771 and our matching code is 147711.This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. For information on this program and all forms associated with the Program please visit the APPIC Matching Program website. If you are unable to obtain a copy, please contact us. Applicants must sign up with the Program in order to be considered for an internship position at Pace University.

    All final candidates have to go through a standard background check.

    The University endeavors to provide a safe environment for all members of the University Community. An important part of those efforts is the University’s process for screening candidates for employment and when appropriate, for reviewing employees for continuation of employment. This process includes inquiring about an applicant’s conviction record and pending arrests (and performing criminal history and related background checks) after the otherwise qualified applicant has been given a conditional offer of employment; and also when conducting post-hire re-checks under appropriate circumstances. Please note that background checks are issued by HR-Talent Acquisition.

    Background Check Policy (PDF)

  • Each position carries a salary of $27,300 and includes university benefits (i.e., holidays, sick leave, medical coverage, life insurance, 13 vacation days, 13 professional development days, 10 percent discount in the student bookstore, tuition reimbursement, and library privileges). Overtime compensation to accumulate the hours necessary to complete internship are provided for a total compensation of $31,350.

    Interns are encouraged to attend professional meetings and conferences. While no funds are available to pay for these activities, interns may take release time from the Counseling Center contingent upon approval by the training director and provided they report back to the Counseling Center staff to share the content of the event.

    Each intern has her/his own office which has a computer connected to the Pace University network which provides free internet access and email. Other university resources are available to interns as well.

    Date of Employment

    The internship will begin on August 13, 2022 and conclude on August 12, 2023. Interns should be advised that they will be expected to use 5 of their vacation days during the last week of internship.

  • Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy

    The opportunity to provide short and long-term counseling/psychotherapy under intensive supervision is a unique feature of the training program. Each intern carries 12 ongoing counseling cases including 1 twice-weekly, insight-oriented client for a total of 13 hours per week of the provision of individual psychotherapy. Individual psychodynamic therapy is offered to help students deal with personal, vocational and educational problems. Students are most often seen at the frequency of once a week though in some cases students are seen on a more intensive basis. Treatment length varies and it is common for students to be seen throughout the year. Students range in age from 17 to 60, are of diverse background, and represent a broad range of psychological difficulties.

    Group Counseling and Psychotherapy

    The Group Psychotherapy training component is a major focus of the Doctoral internship. Interns will be assigned to one of our Understanding Self and Others psychodynamically oriented process groups that they will co-lead with a fellow intern for the fall and spring semesters with the goal of developing expertise in group leadership, member selection, co-therapy and other aspects of group psychology as it relates to clinical practice.

    Supervision of Extern Staff

    As part of their ongoing duties, interns will supervise a graduate level psychology extern from one of the New York City doctoral programs. They will meet individually with the extern for one hour and then receive supervision, in a group format, from the Director of Training. Interns also receive individual supervision of their supervision throughout the year on an as-needed basis.

    Consultation and Outreach

    This aspect of the training program is flexible and we encourage interns to develop and implement programs of interest to themselves and the University community. Interns provide a minimum of 5 outreach presentations to incoming 1st year students and 1 outreach program during Wellness Week that the intern creates and conducts with the support of staff and fellow trainees. Group programs for international students, students on probation, resident assistants and student organizations have been developed by interns. Routinely, interns consult on issues of substance abuse, eating disorders and body image, HIV and AIDS, sexual violence prevention, sexuality, and wellness. Interns may also provide outreach presentations for their consultation rotation.

    Summer Rotation

    Beginning late in the fall semester, interns will consider various options for summer rotation placements. Rotations include Training-Director-in-Training rotation and the Outreach rotation. Interns can also chose to work with a staff member to complete a specialized rotation. Examples include working with our Eating Disorder Specialist or AOD Specialist. Rotations make up 8-10 hours of their weekly schedules.

  • Written evaluation of the intern's progress is conducted two times per year by each supervisor. The intern actively participates in this process by responding to feedback, as well as by giving feedback about her/his supervisory experience. The goal of the evaluation process is for intern and supervisor to have a mutual exchange in order to foster their working relationship and clarify the goals of supervision. Additionally, interns and senior staff engage in ongoing informal feedback processes throughout the training year.

  • Remedial Action

    A staff member who experiences concern about any aspect of an intern’s behavior is expected to discuss that concern directly with the intern and to inform the Training Director about the discussion.

    Any time that any significant concern about an intern’s progress or behavior is brought to the attention of the Training Director, the importance of this concern and the need for related action will be assessed by the senior staff. In the event that it is assessed that remedial action is necessary, the intern will be asked to meet with the senior staff in order to discuss the concern and to reach an agreement as to what action should be taken. The intern may invite a colleague to attend this meeting in an advocacy role for the intern. The outcome will be a “Remedial Action Plan,” which summarizes the concerns that exist and outlines the remedial steps that the intern must take.

    The purpose of the Remedial Action Plan is to provide the intern with a clear written statement of what behaviors are deemed problematic and to facilitate the intern’s ability to make the desired changes. The need to protect client and agency welfare will be incorporated into this plan when these issues are relevant to the problematic behavior. Examples of potential components of a Remedial Action Plan are:

    The intern is required to more responsibly attend to professional duties such as completion of case notes, or attending schedule client and supervision sessions regularly and on time.

    The intern is provided with additional supervision time, or the format and focus of supervision is modified in order to facilitate the development of therapeutic skills.

    In cases in which it is determined that the welfare of the intern and/or the client has been jeopardized, the intern’s case privileges will either be significantly reduced or suspended for a specified period of time.

    The Remedial Action Plan will be put into writing, with copies going to the intern and the intern’s file at the Center.

    The senior staff will meet with the intern at a designated time (typically two weeks to one month) after the development of the plan to assess compliance with the plan and progress in the program. Failure to adhere to the plan or to make sufficient progress in the designated behaviors of concern will be evaluated for appropriate consequences and/or the need for modification of the plan.

    Probation

    Formal probation of an intern may be implemented when serious concerns emerge about an intern’s competence, professionalism, emotional stability, or ethics. Probation is both a time-limited and remediation-oriented consequence. The primary purpose of probationary action is to bring the intern to an adequately functioning state as a professional. As a result, the intern is placed on probation for a specified period of time during which her/his behavior will be closely monitored by the primary supervisor in consultation with the rest of the training staff.

    The most common grounds for probation include:

    The need to place an intern on probation will be decided upon by the senior staff, and after a review meeting with the intern and her/his supervisor. A written plan for remediation will be designed, as outlined in the section on remedial action. Faculty from the intern’s home program shall be notified in writing. Phone contact may also be initiated with the home program if it is appropriate to involve them in the remedial planning or if information is being sought as to the intern’s prior level of functioning.

    Probationary status will be specified for a designated length of time and will include regularly scheduled evaluation sessions with the senior staff, intern, and supervisor. Termination of probationary status will:

    • Be contingent upon demonstrated improvements in the intern’s functioning,
    • Be determined by the entire senior staff, and
    • Be communicated to the intern in writing by the Director of Training within two working days of the final decision.

    The intern’s home academic program will be notified immediately of the decision to place the intern on probation and of the disposition following the probationary period. Failure to comply with remedial plan or to significantly improve the concerns leading to probation can result in a number of consequences to be decided by the senior staff.

    Suspension or Dismissal

    In cases involving severe violations of the APA Code of Ethics, where imminent harm to a client is a salient concern, where there is a preponderance of unprofessional behavior, or where there is a lack of change in behaviors for which a trainee has been placed on probation, suspension of agency privileges or dismissal may be recommended consequences. In such cases, this decision will be made by the entire training staff and will be subject to approval by the Director of the Center. Written documentation will be given to the intern. The intern will be notified immediately and will be provided with a copy of the documentation and informed of grievance and appeal procedures. If the decision is made to suspend the intern, the Director of Training will send written notification of this action to the intern’s home academic department within two working days of the decision and also contact the student’s advisor by phone. Suspension would take the form of a required leave of absence from the Center; dismissal means that the intern would be terminated from the training program. In the latter case, the agency will make recommendations to the home program regarding further remediation and/or a career shift.

    Definition of Impairment

    Interns make significant developmental transitions during the internship placement period. Part of the training process involves the identification of growth and/or problem areas for the intern. A problem area is defined as a behavior, attitude, or other characteristic which, while of concern and requiring remediation, is not excessive or outside the domain of behaviors for professionals in training. Problems are typically amenable to management procedures or amelioration.

    While it is a professional judgment as to when an intern’s behavior becomes impaired rather than problematic, impairment can be broadly defined as interference in professional functioning which is reflected in one or more of the following ways:

    Due Process

    If the intern is in disagreement with any aspect of the remedial action, probationary, suspension, or dismissal procedures, s/he may utilize the designated intern grievance procedures. The intern may grieve the validity of concerns that have been raised, the requirements of a Remedial Action Plan, and/or the process used during the remediation procedure.

    Grievance Procedures

    At any time during the year, an intern may take issue with a staff member regarding a particular behavior or pattern of behaviors, or with the entire staff regarding policy or procedure. It is expected that the complainant will take the concern directly to the person(s) with whom s/he takes issue and that the parties will work to resolve the concern in a manner satisfactory to both.

    In the event that the intern feels dissatisfied with the outcome, the following grievance procedures are established to aid in the resolution:

    If the intern has a problem with a supervisor, seminar leader, or staff person which s/he has been unable to resolve through discussion with that person, the Director of Training will meet with both parties to provide mediation and resolution of the problem. The senior staff will also be notified of the situation. If the Director of Training is the party with whom the intern has issue, then the Director of the Center will meet with both parties to provide mediation and resolution. The intern may also invite another staff member or colleague to attend this meeting to serve in an advocacy role, or to present information supporting the intern.

    If resolution still has not been achieved, the intern may request a three-person committee, composed of two senior staff members or adjunct supervisors and one other colleague chosen by the intern, be assembled. This committee will, in a timely fashion (not to exceed 30 days), gather information regarding the grievance, inform the intern of its findings, and offer recommendations to the Director of Training (or the Center Director if the Director of Training is involved in the issue). Should the intern contest the decision, he/she can take the issue to the Director of the Center who will review the information and make a final decision.

    The decision of the Director may be grieved through out-of-agency mechanisms internal and external to Pace University. An intern who desires an out-of-agency hearing with the University will be directed to take his/her case to the Dean for Students, the University Ombud’s office, or some other appropriate office (such as the Office of Equal Opportunity), for further investigation and resolution according to University policy.

    • The intern is required to complete additional readings, to complete additional coursework, or to attend relevant workshops in order to supplement knowledge in deficient areas.
    • Increased monitoring of the intern’s performance is instituted by measures such as additional review of case notes and therapy tapes by the primary supervisor and/or other designated senior staff.
    • The intern is required to obtain therapy in order to address personal issues that are seen as interfering with her/his professional development or behavior.
    • Failure to make adequate progress in a Remedial Action Plan.
    • Consistent lack of responsibility in one’s professional duties at the Center.
    • Significant emotional instability or impairment that interferes with the ability to deliver adequate services to clientele or to work with other professionals.
    • A serious breach of the ethical standards of APA or the laws of New York.
    • Continuation of the probationary period.
    • Provision of a negative evaluation of the intern to the home program and other appropriate parties.
    • Extension of the training experience at Center. In situations where the intern’s behaviors and/or skills need remediation, and where the trainee has made some progress toward change, but where sufficient progress has not been made prior to the end of the training program, the intern may be allowed to extend her/his stay at the Center in order to complete the requirements. This decision is completely at the discretion of the Center staff. In some cases, the intern may be recommended to complete part or all of a second internship. In any case, the intern must demonstrate a capacity and willingness for full remediation, and the home program will be notified and consulted.
    • Notification to the home program that the training program has not been successfully completed with a possible recommendation that the home program require the intern to complete additional training experiences prior to moving forward in their program. The Center is not responsible for the provision of the additional training.
    • Suspension or dismissal.
    • An inability and or unwillingness to acquire and integrate professional standards into one’s repertoire of professional behaviors.
    • An inability to acquire professional skills in order to reach an acceptable level of competency.
    • An inability to control personal stress, psychological dysfunction, and/or strong emotional reactions.
    • More specifically, problems will typically become identified as impairments if they include one or more of the following characteristics:
    • The intern does not acknowledge, understand or address the problem when it is identified.
    • The problem is not merely a reflection of a skill deficit that can be rectified by academic or didactic training.
    • The quality of services delivered by the intern is seriously impacted and not at an acceptable level for the Center.
    • The problem is not restricted to one area of professional functioning.
    • A disproportionate amount of attention by training staff is required.
    • The intern’s behavior does not change as a function of feedback, remediation efforts, and/or time.
  • Individual Supervision

    Each intern receives 3 hours of individual supervision per week including the review of interns' videotaped sessions. Supervision is provided by two senior staff members and one private practitioner from the community. One hour of individual supervision is also provided weekly to co-leaders and process observers on their group work. Additionally, interns receive one hour of individual assessment supervision per week. Supervision is psychodynamic in orientation. Video and audio recording and process notes are used in supervision.

    Case Conference

    The weekly psychoanalytically-oriented case conference is an opportunity for interns to present their cases to each other and to give and receive feedback on their clinical work with their twice-weekly, insight-oriented case. The emphasis in the conference is aiding the intern to view psychotherapy as a developing, relational process. A psychoanalytic orientation is used. Didactics are incorporated to help interns develop conceptualization skills.

    Training Seminars

    Four times per month consulting mental health professionals present topics of interest to interns and staff. Other topics have included: working with LGBTQ clients; working with Latina and Latino clients; working with Asian-Pacific Islanders; working with Black clients; mind body connection; dream analysis; ethics; licensure; eating disorders; addictions; personality disorders; couples therapy; and sex therapy.

    Consultation Group

    Interns meet as a group one time per month for one and a half hours with a consulting clinician. Interns are able to use this consultation group to discuss clinical material with a focus on countertransference and group dynamics.

  • The philosophy of the Counseling Center is in keeping with that of Pace University: to help our diverse and talented students reach their fullest potential for growth and development.

    To that end, we offer a wide range of services and programs. These include:

    • Individual and Group Counseling and Psychotherapy:
      • Offered to help students deal with personal, vocational and educational problems.
      • Personal development workshops are also offered.
    • Outreach and Consultation Services:
      • Offered to student groups, administrators and faculty to help ensure that the academic and social environments are conducive to student growth and development.
      • Ex: training programs for residence hall staff, crisis intervention management programs, university-wide programs on multiculturalism.
      • We also participate in Student Services and Faculty Council meetings, and in programs geared toward freshman studies and student activities.

If you are interested in the pre-doctoral psychology externship please go to this site: Counseling Center Externship Program

If you are interested in the undergraduate summer internship please go to this site: Counseling Center Summer Internship Program