Counseling & Disability Services
Psychotherapy Externship Program in Clinical Psychology
Mission & Philosophy:
The University of Michigan – Dearborn’s Psychotherapy Externship Program is a comprehensive and experientially-focused training program in clinical psychology, designed to advance development in the areas of theory and conceptualization, technique and intervention, as well as ethics and professionalism. Externs will be exposed to a variety of presenting problems and complex cases, as counseling centers become increasingly utilized by students in severe distress, possibly dealing with serious mental health issues. As such, there will be ample opportunity to engage with students of varied ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and issues, culminating in a diversified externship experience steeped in multicultural awareness, learning, and competency.
We strive to create a supportive yet challenging environment that bolsters maturing capacities and expands existing ideologies while promoting the emergence of one’s clinical voice and professional identity. Predicated upon a developmental model of training, clinical caseloads will be adjusted to compliment one’s level of clinical experience, competency, and overall ability. Emphasis is placed upon the process of migrating from metacognition about clinical phenomena towards the implementation of such knowledge through therapeutic intervention and participation during the clinical hour. Over the course of the externship program, externs will learn how to more skillfully navigate the nuanced complexities of the ever-changing therapeutic encounter, developing a greater capacity for fluidal movement between theoretical formulation and experiential application.
Theoretically influenced by the contemporary psychodynamic perspective (including relational and interpersonal approaches), we strive to offer quality care that communicates our desire and dedication to helping our students feel better psychologically such that they may more fully participate in the college experience that culminates in the achievement of academic goals. In order to effect positive change and make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students, we espouse a flexible and extendable service model that tailors itself to the individual needs of the students seeking assistance (e.g. brief psychotherapy with the option of longer-term care). Psychotherapy services are free of charge and available to all current students of the University of Michigan – Dearborn.
Training Program Overview:
Notably, this program emphasizes the importance of implementing multiple curriculum-based training modalities as well as supervision models, collectively engendering confidence in the ability to function as an effective clinician and future psychologist. All externs will receive two hours of individual supervision per week for psychotherapy cases, providing the externs with a personalized supervision experience that aims to strengthen current skills and abilities while addressing areas for growth and improvement.
Additionally, externs will attend a specialized weekly group supervision seminar that provides an in-depth and ongoing analysis of casework from a contemporary psychodynamic perspective. Externs will be asked to choose one to two cases for this group supervision format, allowing the group to follow the trajectory of select cases evolving and mutating over the course of the externship year. A central feature of this group supervision seminar is its emphasis on both a didactic and applied component coalescing to form an intimate, pragmatic, and lab-like experience. Expanding their clinical repertoire, externs will find themselves developing conceptual fluency as entrée into a contemporary relational culture speaking about relevant concepts such as: transference-countertransference matrices and manifestations (e.g. self and other configurations and interchanges) parallel processes and enactments, multiplicity and dissociation, intersubjectivity and interrelatedness (as developmental capacity), and implicit mechanisms and processes.
Another highlight of this externship program is the weekly practicum case conference followed by a seminar sequence. Externs will be expected to come prepared with case formulations and process material when presenting clinical work for group discussion. Following case conference, the seminar commences with a variety of educational activities including: special topic units (with topics ranging from assessing suicidal and high-risk individuals to assisting Veteran and disability students), journal article debates, professional field presenters, and a contemporary film series (e.g. training video demonstrations by renowned psychologists as well as clinically-relevant movies that lend themselves well to analytic formulation and roundtable discourse).
A particularly distinctive feature of this program is found within its dedication to the Metropolitan Vision of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, promulgating the need for civic responsiveness and engagement as a way to make a positive difference across and within local communities facing adversity. Not only will externs participate in various multicultural and diversity events on campus, they also will experience the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Multicultural Symposium held in the spring, extending invitations to community members and affiliated professionals as well as graduate students in psychology.
Additionally, externs will attend the University of Michigan’s annual Depression Conference in Ann Arbor, participate in outreach events and campus support (e.g. screenings & workshops), conduct group-work for the LBGTQ program, assist in the efforts of the Women’s Resource Center during “Take Back the Night,” provide crisis intervention/management services, and conduct psychodiagnostic assessments as needed.
Externs are required to be on-site approximately 3 days per week for a minimum of 20 hours each week during the course of the externship. While offering a flexible schedule to externs, please note that the following are mandatory days for training: Fridays (for the doctoral-level track) or Mondays (for the master’s track). Externs can expect to spend much of their time engaged in direct contact, providing psychotherapy services and consultations. On a weekly basis, externs will receive 7-8 hours of supervision and training, leaving the remaining hours for individual, direct service and maintenance of case documentation.
This training program offers both master’s and doctoral-level training tracks. Predoctoral students (seeking a doctoral degree) must be enrolled in an APA accredited program in psychology or counseling.
All applicants must be in good standing with their respective academic program as well as demonstrate a readiness for clinical work and ethical practice.
During individual supervision meetings, externs will receive continuous informal feedback regarding areas for growth and improvement as well as areas of strength and burgeoning competency. Biannually, externs will be asked to review and reflect upon their experience and performance during a formal evaluation meeting designed to bidirectionally address any areas of concerns in a timely and effective manner. During this time, written evaluations will be discussed and subsequently mailed to the appropriate contact at the extern’s academic institution.
Competency and Objectives:
- Demonstrate efficacy in providing therapeutic services to college students in Metro Detroit
- Understand the various psychological needs and issues specific to the college population
- Experience how therapeutic intervention not only improves psychological functioning but also assists in the actualization of academic goals
- Expand multicultural awareness, sensitivity, and competency
- Skillfully work with a diverse group of individuals with a wide-range of needs and issues
- Proficiently conduct short-term or brief psychotherapy, particularly from a psychodynamic framework
- Understand theoretical divergences and convergences within the psychoanalytic field
- Develop a foundational understanding of contemporary psychodynamic theory
- Apply relational concepts to case formulations as well as therapeutic practice
- Enhance ability to develop rapport and maintain therapeutic momentum
- Identifying and addressing threats to treatment that otherwise may lead to premature termination and noncompliance
- Reconsider ways to understand and work with defense and resistance
- Discover how to utilize the developing relational dyad and corresponding interpersonal experience as central mechanism for change and growth
- Boost acumen with regard to implicit processes and meta-communications
- Navigate through and benefit from transference and countertransference enactments
- Facilitate intrapsychic as well as interpersonal awareness and understanding
- Understand and manage the inevitability of disruption/rupture and repair as a Strengthen clinical voice while developing professional identity and sense of individuation
- Increase preparedness for internship experience and/or field work
Application Materials & Procedure:
- Cover Letter (providing statement of interest, including training goals)
- Please denote the training track (Master’s or Doctoral) for which you are applying.
- Curriculum Vitae
- Letter of Readiness from academic institution (for Doctoral students only)
- Letters of Recommendation (1 letter for Master’s students and 2 letters for Doctoral students)
- Transcript (unofficial is sufficient)
- Sample Report (assessment, intake) or Case Formulation write-up (redacted)
Please mail the aforementioned application materials (in one packet) to:
Sarah Pouliot, Ph.D.
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Counseling & Disability Services
4901 Evergreen Road
2157 University Center
Dearborn, MI 48128-2406
For further questions, contact Dr. Sarah Pouliot:
Office phone: 313-593-5430