Training in the Core Areas of Psychology Practice

CONTACT US

For inquires about the internship, please contact:

C.J. Powers, PhD
Director of Psychology Training

Phone: 801-587-3145
Email: cj.powers@hsc.utah.edu

The Psychology Internship Program at Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI), formerly University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI), is an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited program that provides comprehensive clinical training for child, adolescent, and adult populations with severe and diverse psychopathology. HMHI currently offers four full-time doctoral-level internship positions. Students eligible for the internship must have completed all coursework in an APA-approved doctoral program in clinical, counseling, or school psychology. 

Huntsman Mental Health Institute is the leading provider of inpatient and partial hospitalization programs in the Intermountain West. HMHI's psychiatric hospital is a 170-bed facility with inpatient units for adults, adolescents and children. In addition, there are child-focused and adolescent-focused day treatment programs and an outpatient clinic on site.

Program Experience

The internship provides intensive experiential training in the core areas of psychology practice including:

clinical-psychology-program-experience.jpg
  • Evidence-based interventions, including training in a variety of treatment modalities
  • Evidence-based diagnosis and assessment
  • Consultation and interdisciplinary communication and collaboration
  • Integrating research into clinical practice
  • Addressing individual and cultural diversity
  • Application of ethical and legal standards to practice
  • Supervision
  • Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors

All training occurs in an atmosphere of collaborative interactions with supervisors and senior staff members. The breadth and depth of clinical experience combined with our training seminars/activities, and quality supervision creates a unique and excellent clinical internship experience. The goal is to prepare interns for professional practice in a variety of settings.

Internship training is accomplished through:

  • Direct clinical experience: The bulk of interns’ day is spent in direct clinical contacts. Interns conduct individual, family and couples therapy with a diverse array of presenting concerns, with a focus on acute and severe psychopathology.  In addition to their regular case load, interns also carry a caseload of two outpatient clients.  Outpatients are usually selected by the intern to provide addition depth in working with a particular disorder, treatment, or demographic.

  • Group therapy: Interns lead twice-weekly group therapy. Groups are DBT-focused on the inpatient units.  In day treatment, groups are focused on social skills and emotion-regulation skills.

  • Individual and group supervision: Interns receive a minimum of 2 hours each week of direct supervision with their primary supervisor and an addition 2 hours of group supervision with the Training Director during Psychotherapy Seminar. In addition, interns receive another hour each week of group supervision led by a postdoctoral trainee.

  • Didactic seminars: Interns receive 2 hours of didactic training each week. Presenters include psychologists and psychiatrists from HMHI as well as outside presenters.  Interns receive training in administering the ADOS and Rorschach as part of their didactic training.

  • DBT consultation group: Interns and other therapeutic staff who utilize Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) as a treatment modality meet every other week in a DBT consultation group.

  • Supervision experience: Interns have the opportunity to supervise externs who co-lead therapy groups with them.

  • Treatment team staffing: Interns meet regularly with their multidisciplinary teams to discuss patient progress and coordinate care.

  • Continuing professional education: Interns have the opportunity to attend bi-weekly Grand Rounds, staff-education talks, and other trainings and didactics available at HMHI and nearby.

Internship Rotations

All interns complete three full-time, four-month rotations. Interns are involved in selecting their preferred rotations from the four clinical populations that are available: youth day treatment, adolescent-focused inpatient, child-focused inpatient, and adult inpatient.

On each rotation, interns also provide assessment services to aid in differential diagnosis and treatment planning.  This allows the intern to gain experience with a wide variety of assessment measures addressing intellectual, cognitive, psycho-educational, affective, personality and/or behavioral functioning.  In addition, interns sometimes are asked to develop individualized behavioral management plans when a patient is not responding to the typical unit behavioral structures.

Youth Inpatient Rotations

Psychology interns on the adolescent-focused and child-focused inpatient rotations provide psychological services to patients admitted to the inpatient youth units. On the youth inpatient services, all patients work with a psychologist as part of the team-based care provided at HMHI. Interns are integrated into multidisciplinary treatment teams and participate in daily rounds to coordinate treatment. The intern serve as the primary therapist who provides both individual and family therapy to each patient. 

Adult Inpatient Rotation

Psychology interns on the adult inpatient rotation provide psychological services to patients participating in Adult Intensive Treatment Program, Adult Inpatient Program, and the Recovery Inpatient Program. Interns on the adult rotation are consulted by the treating psychiatrist for patients who request a psychologist or whose presenting concerns would benefit greatly from working with a psychologist. 

Day Treatment Rotation

The psychology intern on the day treatment rotation provides psychological services to children (ages 4-12) in Kidstar and to adolescents (ages 13-18) in Teenscope.  Interns on the day treatment rotation work closely with parents and guardians, providing parent training and addressing behavioral concerns as the patients transition back and forth on a daily basis between the program and their time at home.

 

Read detailed rotation information in the internship handbook

Application Process

HMHI currently offers four full-time doctoral-level internship positions. All internship appointments are of a continuous 12-month period beginning at the end of June. Interns are paid a stipend of $26,000 and receive a comprehensive health/dental insurance benefits package, and paid time off. Ethnic minority and culturally diverse students are strongly encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline: November 15

Complete internship applications must be submitted to the director of psychology training by November 15 or the first business day thereafter. Prospective intern candidates will be contacted in December to schedule a virtual interview.

The following qualities are considered when selecting internship applicants to participate in the interview process:

  • Completion of all coursework, in an APA approved doctoral program in clinical, counseling, or school psychology
  • Academic excellence
  • Minimum of 500 practicum hours*
  • Minimum of 100 hours of psychological assessment and report writing experience*
  • Interpersonal maturity and sensitivity
  • Diverse practical experiences
  • High ethical standards and professionalism
  • Good clinical judgment
  • Ability to work as a team member
  • Appropriate career interests

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are allowing some flexibility on the 500/100 hour minimum.  If you have fewer than the 500/100 hour minimum at the time you submit your application, please indicate in your application how you plan to address any shortfall in hours that you have experienced due to COVID.

Application Materials

Required application materials include:

  1. Letter of application/interest
  2. Completed APPIC Application for Psychology Internship
  3. Curriculum vita (CV)
  4. Official university graduate transcripts
  5. Minimum of three letters of professional recommendation
  6. One sample of a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation

Application materials should be addressed to:

C.J. Powers, PhD, Director of Psychology Training

Huntsman Mental Health Institute
501 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108

For more comprehensive information, please review the Psychology Internship Handbook. For additional information and questions, please contact us

Response to COVID-19

Employees at HMHI are considered “essential workers” and clinical employees (i.e., staff, interns, externs and fellows) have been providing direct face-to-face patient care in day treatment and inpatient settings.

In order to mitigate the risk to employees while continuing to provide high-quality patient care, a wide-range of safety protocols have been implemented. Some of the policies that are in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19:

  • All staff are required to have been vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.
  • Masks are required for everyone on HMHI grounds.
  • All patients on the inpatient units and in day treatment are tested for COVID-19 during admission and then re-tested weekly (or more frequently if they are symptomatic or have had an exposure). Only patients with negative test results and no symptoms of COVID-19 are able to attend in-person groups and unit programming.
  • Any staff with symptoms are asked not to come to work and are directed to contact the U’s Work Wellness Clinic to determine steps they need to take to return to work.
  • Unit group rooms and common areas are frequently wiped down and disinfected, and visitation rooms are disinfected between visits.
  • Family therapy is typically provided virtually due to visitor restrictions aligning with COVID-19 policies.
  • Group size reductions (12 patients maximum) to enable social distancing, along with vigilant observation of symptoms for both staff and patients, further limits on-site exposure.
  • Patients are limited to 1-2 visitors per day, and visitors must attest that they are asymptomatic in order to visit. No food or beverages may be consumed.
  • Currently all outpatient visits, supervision, and training didactics are a combination of telehealth/ virtual platforms and in-person visits, depending on the comfort of staff and patients and the feasibility of social distancing.

Since the landscape is evolving, we cannot definitively predict how the next training year will look, however, we expect a hybrid of face-to-face and virtual / telehealth meetings (for example, for family therapy, and for staff meetings and trainings) to remain part of our work.

The applicant interview process for 2021-22 will feature virtual interview days.

Program Leadership

cj-powers.jpgChristopher J (CJ) Powers, PhD

Director of Psychology Training, Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI)

Dr. Powers received his PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University, and completed his internship and post-doctoral training at Geisinger Medical Center. He sees patients on the child and adolescent inpatient units at HMHI. He also serves as a primary supervisor within the internship program and leads the Psychology Training Committee. Dr. Powers specializes in working with teenagers (and their families) with mood disorders and behavior problems. His primary treatment approaches include DBT, CBT, ACT. Dr. Powers is also the principal investigator examining the efficacy of the Teenscope Day Treatment Program. He has extensive research experience and has presented findings in national conferences and published in international peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Powers has a adjunct faculty appointments in both the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Psychology. 

sandra-whitehouse.jpgSandra Whitehouse, PhD

Director of Psychology, Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI)

Dr. Whitehouse is a licensed psychologist with an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. She is a primary supervisor within the internship program, leads the Psychology Training Committee, and is a member of the Youth Leadership Group, which makes management decisions for the youth inpatient unit. She was educated at UCLA, Macquarie University, and the University of Utah, where she received a PhD in counseling psychology with advanced specialization in psychological assessment. She completed her doctoral internship at the UCSD-San Diego VAMC Consortium with rotations in acute child / adolescent inpatient, PTSD, and Dual Diagnosis Substance Abuse / Mental Illness populations. She works with children, adolescents and adults, with an eclectic orientation (cognitive behavioral and object relations emphasis). Her research interests include healing aspects of hospital environments.

lindsay-wilson-barlow.jpgLindsay Wilson-Barlow, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellowship Coordinator, Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI)

Dr. Wilson-Barlow received her PhD in clinical psychology from Texas Tech University where she developed broad interests in human development and behavior. She received a breadth of clinical training in a variety of settings, including forensic, Veterans’ Affairs, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs, and community mental health facilities. Dr. Wilson-Barlow completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Durham VA Medical Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at the SLC VA Healthcare system. She is a licensed psychologist, who who coordinates the Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship and who works with inpatient youth. Of particular interest to Dr. Wilson-Barlow, is case conceptualization of patients with complex clinical presentations. She was trained primarily under a cognitive-behavioral framework, and her current approach can best be described as “integrative”-- largely shaped by Evidence-Based Practices (CBT, DBT, ACT, interpersonal process) with a strong respect for humanistic factors.

Accreditation

Our internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation. For questions about the program’s accreditation status, contact:

APA logoOffice of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Website: https://www.accreditation.apa.org/

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact:

C.J. Powers, PhD
Director of Psychology Training

Huntsman Mental Health Institute
501 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
Phone: 801-587-3145
Email: cj.powers@hsc.utah.edu

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