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Psychology Internship

The Psychology Internship Training Program

The AGH Psychology Internship Training Program is overseen by Michael D. Franzen, Ph.D., Training Director, and Nancy A. Kennedy, Psy.D., Associate Training Director, and is located at Four Allegheny Center on the 8th Floor.  Information can be obtained from both Drs. Franzen and Kennedy via phone contact, email, and fax.

Michael Franzen, Ph.D.
Phone: 412.330.4067
Fax: 412.330.4044

Nancy Kennedy , Psy.D.
Phone: 412.330.4062
Fax: 412.330.4044

The AGH Psychology Internship Training Program is a member of, and participates in, the Match Program administered by APPIC. Information about APPIC can be obtained from:

APPIC Central Office
10 G Street, NE Suite 440
Washington DC 20002
Phone: 202-589-0600 Fax: 202-589-0603

The Psychology Internship Training Program at Allegheny General Hospital is APA-approved. The APA Committee on Accreditation can be reached at 202-336-5979. Our internship offers training in the application of psychological science and practice in the setting of a tertiary care medical center. Allegheny General has a long tradition of teaching and training in a variety of professional areas. The philosophy of training is consistent with the AGH statement, "To learn, to teach, to heal the sick, and to preserve health." Please feel free to navigate the Allegheny General Hospital web page to get a better understanding of the breadth of training opportunities available at AGH.

Training Model

The training model of our psychology internship is the scientist-practitioner model. Interns learn to apply the concepts and method of psychological science to the assessment and treatment of individuals in a culturally sensitive way. As part of the scientist-practitioner model, interns are taught to consult the professional and scientific literature in conducting assessment and treatment. Interns are also encouraged to creatively apply the principles of psychological science to the unique individuals and situations that are present in the clinical setting. In addition to consulting the scientific literature, interns are encouraged in the scientific approach that includes scientific curiosity and clinical curiosity. Resources are made available to conduct online searches of the clinical, scientific, and professional literature. When relevant, articles and readings are discussed as part of clinical supervision. Interns are provided supervision in selecting culturally sensitive assessment and intervention methods based on evidence in the professional literature. As part of the scientist-practitioner training model, interns are trained to critically and empirically evaluate their own clinical work.

Additionally interns receive experience and modeling in critical reading of the professional literature through the experiences of the thrice monthly departmental journal club and the once monthly psychology section journal club as well as in discussions with supervisors. As part of training in the scientist-practitioner model, interns are encouraged to participate in faculty research or to develop their research activities under faculty supervision. Substantial professional development funds are made available to each intern. These professional development funds can be used to pay for conference attendance or to pay for professional books and journals.

The scientist-practitioner model is implemented in a culturally sensitive environment. Each individual is treated with respect in an environment that fosters and supports open and honest communication. Clinical services are provided in a culturally sensitive manner without bias related to age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, or culture. Interns are provided with didactic experiences and supervision to foster development of cultural sensitivity and self-examination to evaluate the possible presence and extent of personal bias.

Job Description

The predoctoral internship in psychology at Allegheny General Hospital is a full time, 12 month long learning experience. The aim of the internship experience is to develop and produce generalist psychologists. The intern sees a variety of patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting under the supervision of doctoral psychologists and psychiatrists. The intern is expected to conduct assessment and therapy with a variety of patients across both child and adult populations. The intern learns to utilize various assessment techniques and instruments and also learns various therapeutic techniques. The intern is also expected to participate in didactic experiences such as seminars, case conferences, and grand rounds. Intern performance is regularly evaluated by the primary supervisor for each rotation. The stipend at AGH is competitive with other sites in the region and with similar settings nationally.

The Intern Selection Policy

Allegheny General Hospital is fully committed to opposing discrimination in recruitment, selection, placement, transfer, promotion, reassignment, compensation, benefits, disciplinary actions, separation from employment and other terms and conditions of employment. In accordance, the internship training program engages in recruitment, selection, evaluation, and retention of interns without regard to race, creed, sex, or age. AGH adheres to the APPIC guidelines in the recruitment and selection of intern. Intern selection is completed on a yearly basis in accordance with the APPIC schedule and guidelines. AGH participates in the APPIC match program. Intern applicants submit the universal APPIC application form or AAPI (available on the APPIC web page- www.appic.org) as well as a transcript of graduate training, three letters of recommendation from teachers and supervisors, and a vita.

Selected candidates are interviewed in a group format, one morning a week for approximately three hours, during the month of January. Interview procedures, including our photography policy, are thoroughly explained to all applicants.

There are no specific minimal quantity academic or practica requirements for application to the AGH psychology internship. However, applicants from APA-approved training program are preferred. As such the applicants are expected to have completed academic training in the areas of personality theory, biological, cognitive, social, and affective aspects of behavior, theories and methods of psychological assessment diagnosis, effective psychological intervention, theories of psychopathology and behavioral dysfunction, research design and methods, and professional ethics. There are also no minimal requirements for the amount of practicum hours; however applicants are expected to have completed practicum experiences in both psychological assessment and intervention. All of these educational activities should have been accomplished in the context of sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity as well as current professional standards.

We rely on the letter of readiness completed and signed by the Graduate Director of Clinical Training at the applicant’s home institution. Applicants with didactic training and clinical practica in the training areas offered by AGH are also preferred. Applications are reviewed by faculty and current interns in order to evaluate the degree of match and suitability of training of the applicant when considered in light of the training philosophies and goals of the program. Applicants with appropriate fit are then either interviewed over the telephone or in person. Telephone interviews are conducted with current interns and with faculty and may consist of either individual telephone calls or conference calls. On site interviews are conducted on Fridays in January and are conducted in a group format. Small groups of applicants are interviewed by small groups of faculty and current interns, followed by a tour of the facility and lunch.

Standardized rating forms are completed on the basis of both the applications and the interviews and ratings are assigned on a Likert scale. Applications are rated using the application rating form. Candidates selected for an onsite interview are rated according to criteria noted on the interview rating form. These scores are averaged in order to provide preliminary rankings of the applicants. Following completion of the ratings, a ranking meeting is held with all faculty and current interns attending. At this meeting, the preliminary rankings are reviewed and modified before submitting them to the match process. On the match date and following notification of the match results to the training director, contact is made with the successfully matched candidates.

Selected interns are notified about administrative and financial assistance.

The Training Experience

The Psychology Internship training Program at Allegheny General Hospital is APA-approved. It offers training in the application of psychological science and practice in the setting of a tertiary care medical center. The psychology internship training program aims to train generalists. As such all interns receive training in both assessment and treatment of both children and adults. Some interns come from graduate training programs that may not offer the kind of breadth necessary to be able to provide assessment and treatment of both children and adults. Furthermore, individual interns may intend to pursue careers primarily working with either children or adults. That chosen area of professional activity would constitute an area of expertise. However, all interns are expected to develop basic competence in the assessment and treatment of both children and adults.

Because interns come from diverse backgrounds in terms of prior training, a developmental perspective is taken when planning the training goals for each individual intern. For each rotation and for each set of professional activities, the individual starts at a level of activity consistent with his or her prior training and experience. If the intern has had little exposure to, or training in, a specific clinical activity, the first training experiences would be to observe faculty engaged in that activity. The next level would for the intern to engage in that activity with a faculty member present in the room. The next level of activity would be for the intern to engage in that clinical activity and produce work product (tapes, written reports) for review with the supervisor. By the end of the rotation, the intern is expected to be able to independently engage in clinical activity and receive supervision after the fact.

Training follows the scientist-practitioner model. Interns are encouraged to design the training year experiences to best suit their training goals. As such, the training year is fairly flexible within certain parameters. Interns can declare a specific area of concentration such as in Clinical Neuropsychology, Adult Clinical Services, or Child Clinical Services. The intern chooses training experiences to compose four three-month rotations. The three different rotations available include Child and Adolescent Outpatient, Adult Intensive Day Treatment/Outpatient, and Clinical Neuropsychology. All interns are expected to become competent in assessment and therapy by the end of the internship year.

Consistent with the generalist training focus of the internship at AGH, all interns are expected to conduct assessments and engage in therapy with both children and adults. There are multiple pathways by which this can occur. An intern may choose to complete all three rotations. The intern may choose to complete the three rotations using the Child and Adult Clinical Services rotations. The intern interested in developing eventual expertise in neuropsychology may choose to complete two rotations in clinical neuropsychology and one in Child and Adult Clinical Services. The intern interested in primarily child professional activities may complete two rotations in Child Clinical Services and a rotation in either Adult Clinical Services or Clinical Neuropsychology. The intern interested in primarily adult professional services may elect to complete two rotations in Adult Clinical Services and one rotation in both Clinical Neuropsychology and Child Clinical Services. In order to meet the requirement of conducting assessments and engaging in therapy with both children and adults, the Internship Training Director meets regularly with the interns in order to determine if additional experiences are desirable outside of the rotations. For example, an intern interested in primarily adult professional services may carry a few child therapy cases even if the Child Clinical Services rotation is not completed.

Additionally, the intern can supplement the training experience by judicious choice of a focus for the year-long minor rotation experience which is usually the equivalent of one day a week commitment. Past interns have chosen on-campus minor rotations such as in the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents, in behavioral medicine or in therapy with a population other than one of primary interest for the intern. For example, the child generalist intern may choose to complete a minor rotation in adult outpatient therapy. Past interns have also chosen off campus minor rotations such as in Autism at the DT Watson Center, or in the Epilepsy Surgery Clinic at AGH. In those instances, AGH and the outside institution enter into a training agreement, and a psychologist supervisor must be identified at the outside institution and approved by the Director of the internship. Finally, an intern may identify clinical research activity as a minor rotation and complete this rotation under the supervision of a faculty member.

In addition to the clinical training experiences, the intern is expected to participate in didactic experiences. Didactic experiences are integrated with the didactics for the psychiatry residents. The intern is expected to attend weekly Grand Rounds, the weekly adult clinical seminar, and the bi-weekly child clinical seminar. Additionally, interns are required to present at journal club and to present a grand rounds during the internship year. For approximately two thirds of the year, there is a biweekly clinical case conference which is attended by both the psychology interns and the psychiatry residents. Interns are also encouraged to attend weekly journal club with the departmental residents.

AGH is an approved APA CE and AMA CEU sponsor and routinely presents many different continuing education offerings which are available to the intern at no cost. Interns attend quarterly continuing education breakfast seminars in which all psychologists participate as well. Topics are chosen by faculty discussion and typically involve outside speakers. Interns and all psychology faculty attend monthly journal club meetings in which the discussant rotates among faculty.

All interns attend a six week seminar in Professional Ethics and Legal Aspects at the beginning of the training year. All interns attend a six week seminar in Multicultural Aspects of Practice at the beginning of the training year. Additionally, interns attend the four week long Consultation and Program Evaluation Seminar. As part of the seminar participation, interns develop and conduct an evaluation of their design.

All interns attend the Adult Internship seminar which run from the end of August until the end of May Interns can attend the EPPP Preparation seminar which runs for 8 weeks in May and June. Interns attend the Child Intern seminar which alternates weekly with the Child Trauma Seminar from September until May.

Interns choose from a menu of other seminar offerings to a total of 50 additional seminar hours for the year.

Intern Performance Evaluation Policy

Timely consistent feedback is the cornerstone of helping interns to develop their clinical and professional skills. Interns are expected to be informed of deficiencies in their performance and plans are to be generated to correct these deficiencies as soon as they are identified. Likewise, exemplary performance must be recognized and reinforced. All evaluations are related to performance in professional and training tasks and are not related to variables of diversity, whether cultural, religious, sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnic identity, or age. The following are the Performance Evaluation procedures for all psychology interns:

At the beginning of each rotation, an intern's skills, as measured by the Evaluation of Intern by Supervisor form attached, are assessed to determine the baseline level of performance and to assist in individualizing rotation goals for the intern.

At the end of each rotation, the supervisor and the intern complete the Evaluation of Intern by Supervisor again to determine a final rating on all measured skills. Ratings of Acceptable or greater are considered to be indicative of performance that has met the goals of the rotation and for the interns level of training. Therefore, ratings of acceptable and above on all measured skills at the end of the internship indicates that the intern has met beginning professional level proficiency in all measured skills and has accomplished all internship goals.

Deficiencies in intern performance (any rating lower than Acceptable) should alert the intern and the supervisor to possible difficulties in meeting the internship goals. It is important this information be discussed with the intern and plans be made at that time to remediate any deficiencies. These plans for remediation should be completed in consultation with the Director of the Internship.

Interns may appeal the results of their evaluations according to the procedures set forth in the Internship Grievance Policy.

Failure to remediate deficiencies, or the strong likelihood that the intern will not be able to remediate their deficient ratings are taken very seriously. If an intern requires a longer period of training to meet the goals of the internship, than this may be arranged. If the deficiencies appear beyond remediation, suspension and possibly termination from the internship may result as outlined in the Psychology Intern Agreement.

The internship policy statements include formal procedures for evaluation of the interns and evaluation of the supervisors conducted by the interns.

In addition to subscribing to the regulations of APPIC, the Psychology Internship training program is run in accordance with general policies of Allegheny General Hospital regarding equal opportunity and ethical standards of behavior.

Intern Grievance Policy

It is the policy of the Internship Program to resolve all grievances by interns to the mutual satisfaction of both parties whenever possible. No staff member shall interfere in any grievance procedure in any way. Interns shall be assured the freedom to file a grievance, and freedom from interference or coercion. Interns are made aware of the Grievance Policy at the beginning of the internship year and are provided with a copy of this document in their internship packet: All of the following procedures shall be conducted without consideration of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, religion, or other aspect of diversity. 

Filing a Grievance:

It is anticipated that most grievances can be resolved through discussion of the involved parties, and interns will be encouraged in an informal discussion of their grievance with the involved faculty member prior to filing a formal grievance. Issues concerning the individual supervision of the intern by a faculty member should be approached in this manner, unless the intern believes that this would not be in his or her best interest. If this informal discussion is not successful in resolving the problem, the intern will have the option of filing a formal grievance.

Issues that relate to the general policy or structure of the internship program, should be discussed with the Director of Clinical Training, prior to the filing of a formal grievance.

All formal grievances must be documented in writing at the earliest possible date to allow for a timely correction of the difficulty. Grievances are to be filed with the training committee for consideration. If the grievance involves one of the training committee members, this member will be asked to abstain from participation in the grievance procedure, and another faculty member will be asked to participate in the process.

Due Process

  1. Interns have the right to fair process in evaluatiion.
  2. Any deficiencies identified by the supervisor will be communicated to the intern in a timely fashion during the supervision sessions.
  3. The supervisor and the intern will develop and agree upon a remediatino plan to address the deficiency.
  4. If the deficiency can be resolved during the course of a normal rotation, the Training Committee will provide a suggested remediation plan to the intern. This remediation plan will be in the form of written communication to the intern. Specific behaviors and goals will be presented in this written remediation plan including criteria for successful remediation.
  5. The intern has the right to appeal any remediation suggestions via the internship grievance process.
  6. Failure to meet remediation plan criteria can result in termination from the program after due process has been followed and appeals have been completed.

Licensure Preparation

The intern training committee considers licensure preparation to be a component of the internship year. As such a mini-course in preparation for the EPPI is offered to the interns.

Seminar: EPPI Preparation
Instructor: Glen Getz, Ph.D.

This is an 8-week course that meets for 1 hour per session. It reviews the requirements of taking the examination, different study options and costs of the test. The major focus of the course is to provide a review of the key concepts in the major areas of the EPPP. Specifically, areas of focus include Lifespan, Treatment, Diagnosis, Cognitive, Ethics, Multicultural Issues, Industrial/Organization and Statistics. This 8-hour course provides an overview of the examination, outlines of the key areas and key concepts within each topic. It also encourages a brief pre-test and post-test examination to demonstrate learning.
The following is a description of rotation and supervision experiences available to the intern.

Child and Adolescent Rotation

Supervisors:  Richard C. Withers, Ph.D. and Alvaro Q. Barriga, Ph.D.

The Child and Adolescent Psychology rotation consists of clinical experience based on a biopsychosocial model of behavior. Training is provided in a scientist-practitioner model in which clinical activity is chosen and implemented with reference to the empirical and professional literature. A developmental perspective is utilized in which interns start the rotation at a level of clinical activity commensurate with their prior training and experience. Supervision is provided in a culturally sensitive framework. Consistent with the developmental training philosophy, by the end of the rotation, interns are expected to be able to engage in clinical activity with children and adolescent and receive supervision in regularly scheduled meetings. Interns are provided with individual supervision, didactic seminars, and case consultation group. Interns will learn specific techniques for working with children with specific diagnoses, as well as skills in conceptual frameworks. Areas of specialty on this rotation include: cognitive-behavioral therapy, parent training, family systems perspectives, biological/temperament assessments, and school consultation.

Dr. Withers is an experienced general child and adolescent psychotherapist, teacher and clinical trainer. His work is informed by developmental knowledge and theory. He integrates psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches both in training and in treating diverse pathology among children and adolescents, and in working with their families. He has particular interests in the use of play and art in therapy with children. Other areas of training and interest include clinical use of hypnosis, treatments for ADHD, child sexual abuse and eating disorders, and mental health assessments for bariatric surgery. Dr. Withers is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry of Temple University School of Medicine, and adjunct faculty member of Seton Hill and Waynesburg Universities.

Dr. Barriga has approximately 20 years of clinical, teaching and consulting experience. He currently provides outpatient trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy to children and adolescents presenting at the Center for Traumatic Stress and is equally proficient treating adults with mood and cognitive disorders. Dr. Barriga also conducts psychological assessments and evaluations as well as administers neurocognitive testing for diagnostic and competency purposes. His teaching background is extensive, having taught graduate and undergraduate courses in psychology, research methods, and child development. Dr. Barriga has an interest in developing an adult trauma program in the near future.

Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents

Supervisors: Anthony Mannarino, Ph.D. and Alvaro Q. Barriga, Ph.D.

A minor rotation is offered at the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents which is a specialty clinical-research program for children, adolescents, and their families who have experienced traumatic life events. Interns will receive training in evaluating traumatized children and in two treatments that have been developed at the Center, namely, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and CBT for Children With Traumatic Grief.

Interns that choose a minor rotation at the Center for Traumatic Stress for Children and Adolescents will be given the opportunity to provide therapy to patients between the ages of 3 and 18 who have experienced some type of trauma, including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, physical abuse, the traumatic and/or unexpected death of a loved one, natural disaster, and/or serious medical conditions. The intern will ideally carry a caseload of 5-7 clients and will receive one hour of scheduled supervision per week and additional as needed supervision. The Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents has been engaged in the scientific empirical development and evaluation of culturally sensitive assessment and intervention with children who have experienced. traumatic stress. Faculty provide modeling in the scientist-practitioner approach to clinical activity, and interns are encouraged to participate in research as appropriate.

Intensive Day Treatment/Outpatient Rotation

Intensive Psychiatric Day Treatment Experience
Supervisor: Nancy Kennedy Psy.D

As part of the Adult rotation, interns obtain experience in the Intensive Psychiatric Day Treatment Program where they will work with a comprehensive treatment team. This team works with acutely psychiatrically ill adults, often referred by providers to circumvent an inpatient admission. The program treats a variety of patients with different ethnic backgrounds and constituting diagnostic groups, most frequently affective, anxiety and personality disorders. The intern will gain experience in the conduct of comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluations and group psychotherapy in a culturally sensitive manner. In addition, interns will experience participation with a multi-disciplinary treatment team and gain an understanding of the interplay between intensive group psychotherapy and assertive medication management of the acutely ill psychiatric patient. As part of the developmental perspective on training, interns will participate in a three stage supervision plan, beginning with observation of the supervisor, co-leading with the supervisor and progression to the supervisor moving to observation of the intern with supervision feedback immediately following the group.

Adult Outpatient

Joseph Greenberg, Ph.D.

Dr. Greenberg conducts therapy with children, adolescents, adults, and couples. Though he utilizes an eclectic approach with patients, his primary orientation is psychodynamic. He typically finds it helpful in supervision for interns to examine the relationship between themselves and their patients, and relevant transference/countertransference issues which may arise.

Teri Meyers, Ph.D.

Dr. Meyers treats outpatients with a variety of diagnoses (e.g., mood, anxiety and personality disorders) through the Division of Adult Services. Her areas of expertise include individual, couples and family psychotherapy with adults and adolescents, using a strengths-based or solution-focused model. In supervision, her primary emphasis will be on supporting a collaborative language-based approach with patients, although cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic techniques will be integrated as well. The choice of intervention methods is based on reference to the professional literature as well with regard to cultural variables of the patient. Supervision is flexible based on the needs of the intern, and can involve verbally reviewing cases, as well as taping and observing sessions. The training experience is implemented in a developmental perspective in which co-therapy and direct observation progresses to individual activity with supervisory review of work product (audio or video tapes, written reports).

Lori Siegel, Ph.D.

Dr. Siegel works with older adolescents and adults who present with a variety of symptoms including those related to mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. While Dr. Siegel conceptualizes personality and psychopathology from a psychodynamic perspective, she also has extensive experience in applying cognitive, behavioral, and motivational techniques. Her approach to supervision is collaborative in terms of setting personal goals but always aims to increase the supervisee’s confidence and trust in his/her therapeutic insights and skills. Other areas of focus in supervision include the therapist-patient relationship, case conceptualization, and analysis of countertransference.

Kathleen Stewart, Psy.D.

Dr. Stewart has worked in a variety of clinical settings with diverse populations, including children and adolescents in wraparound services and outpatient therapy; university students at a university counseling center; and individuals who have severe and persistent mental illness, providing group and individual therapy services in the state hospital system. Dr. Stewart’s current practice is focused on providing assessment and therapy to adolescents and adults with varying diagnoses. She utilizes an eclectic approach in therapy, incorporating cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic techniques, while always remaining focused on the therapeutic relationship. In supervision, Dr. Stewart hopes to foster a collegial relationship with trainees in order to promote growth and positive change in both trainees and their patients.

Neuropsychology Rotation

Supervisors: Michael D. Franzen, Ph.D. and Glen Getz, Ph.D.

The clinical neuropsychology experience is available both to interns interested in specializing in clinical neuropsychology and for interns who desire some exposure to clinical neuropsychology. The intern learns a basic model of inpatient consultation while working on the trauma C/L service and learns more general outpatient assessment with children, adults, and geriatric patients on the outpatient service. A developmental perspective is utilized in which interns begin at a level commensurate with their prior training and experience. Generally, shorter evaluations with direct observation by faculty progress to more involved assessment cases in which supervision is provided after the fact and with review of work product. All assessment are conducted in a culturally sensitive manner with reference to the scientific literature.

On the Neuropsychology rotation the trauma C/L service is a very busy consultation service which sees approximately 1000 inpatients each year, mainly closed head injury cases. The outpatient service receives referrals from a variety of specialties in the hospital and in the health care community as well as forensic referrals from lawyers, insurance companies, and from the county jail. Research experiences are available and encouraged. There is a monthly neuropsychology journal club and a biweekly neuropsychology case conference.

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