Doctoral Internship Program

A unique opportunity to train in a community mental health setting

Doctoral Internship Program

Mental Health Systems (MHS) offers a unique opportunity to train in a community mental health setting. Many of MHS’s clients are considered by the State of Minnesota to be seriously and persistently mentally ill (SPMI). SPMI diagnoses include Major Depression, Bipolar, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

Other common diagnoses seen include, but are not limited to, PTSD, substance use disorders, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD. Training at MHS focuses on implementation of evidence-based practices to provide exemplary care to a challenging population with a high degree of comorbidity.

Program Goals & Philosophy

Our clients are often times crisis-oriented and MHS’s primary service, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), is a treatment of choice for this population. This orientation to crisis oftentimes manifests as suicidality and self-injury, chronic relationship disruption, sudden emotion dysregulation, and chronically elevated symptom intensity. Our clients tend to be very engaged in treatment and we put forth great effort to destigmatize the Borderline Personality Disorder and other diagnoses, as well as other aspects of mental illness that continue to face stigma.

The mission of the Doctoral Psychology Internship Program at MHS is to train and teach Interns to become effective professionals in the practice of clinical psychology in a community mental health setting. MHS subscribes to the Local Clinical Scientist model of training. Interns are trained to provide evidence-based services and apply information gained by science and research to each unique client. Interns are trained to identify how social, biological, and psychological factors impact a client’s mental health symptoms and to use this information in the application of effective therapeutic interventions.

Training & Elective Options

The internship is a one-year, full-time program. Interns are expected to complete 2,000 hours over 12 months, working 40 hours per week with two weeks of paid time off. The following is an approximate breakdown of Intern weekly hours:

  • 9 hours of group therapy
  • 7 hours of individual therapy
  • 2 hours of one-on-one clinical supervision
  • 1 hour of assessment supervision
  • 1 hour of assessment didactic training
  • 1 hour of group supervision
  • 1 hour of team case consultation
  • 1 hour of staff training
  • 2 hours of Intern Didactic training
  • 0.5 hours providing supervision (one hour, every other week)
  • 5 hours of assessment-related activities
  • 5 hours of open time/informal staff meeting/administrative tasks, self-care
  • 5 hours of paperwork, coordination of care

Sample weekly schedule:

Monday

  • 8 am – 9 am Prep for the day
  • 9 am – 12 pm DBT group/Specialty programming
  • 12 pm – 1 pm Lunch
  • 1 pm – 4 pm Paperwork/Care coordination

Tuesday

  • 8 am – 9 am Prep for the day
  • 9 am – 12 pm DBT group/Specialty programming
  • 12pm – 1pm Clinical team case consultation
  • 1 pm – 2 pm Individual supervision
  • 2 pm – 4 pm Intern didactics

Wednesday

  • 8 am – 9 am Prep for the day
  • 9am – 10am Assessment didactics
  • 10 am – 11 am Assessment group supervision
  • 11 am – 12 pm Individual therapy client
  • 12pm – 1pm Lunch
  • 1 pm – 2 pm Individual supervision
  • 3 pm – 4 pm Group supervision

Thursday

  • 8 am – 9 am Prep for the day
  • 9 am – noon DBT group/Specialty programming
  • 12 pm – 1 pm Weekly staff training
  • 1 pm – 2 pm Individual therapy client
  • 2 pm – 3 pm Supervision of prac student
  • 3 pm – 4 pm Individual therapy client

Friday

  • 8am – 1pm Assessment clients/Report writing
  • 2 pm – 3 pm Individual therapy client
  • 3 pm – 4 pm Individual therapy client

Internship Supervisors & Training Staff

Christopher Malone, PsyD, LP
Didactic Training Coordinator & Clinical Supervisor

Lexi Schmidt, PhD, LP
Assessment Coordinator & Supervisor

Amy Gimbel, PsyD, LP
Clinical Supervisor

Chris Wachholz, PsyD, LP
Clinic Lead – Edina

Steve Girardeau, PsyD, LP
Director of Clinical Services

Dennis Hannon, PsyD, LP
Clinical Supervisor

Morgan Cusack, PsyD, LP
Clinical Supervisor & Program Coordinator, THRIVE for Pain

Location

Edina is located in Hennepin County, Minnesota, a part of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Twin Cities metro area. Minneapolis boasts a broad variety of opportunities for engagement in culture and entertainment.

With numerous museums, a thriving arts community, many restaurants that have won national acclaim, a bustling theater scene, several music venues, and major sports teams, there are numerous ways to explore and enjoy all that Minneapolis has to offer. In addition to many indoor locations of interest, Minneapolis is home to a well-cultivated public park system, extensive bike and public transportation options including both bus and light rail, and plenty of space in the surrounding country for hiking, boating, camping, and enjoying the wilderness.

Even though the winter gets cold, people still enjoy outdoor activities including skating, skiing, hiking, and ice-fishing. Minneapolis and its surrounding suburbs are frequently towards the top on lists of healthiest and happiest places to live and is known for its bike-friendly infrastructure.

Application Instructions

MHS values diversity in its clients, students, and staff, and works to achieve diversity through respect, acceptance, appreciation, and community. As such, we believe in cultivating an environment that is open, safe, hospitable, inclusive, and welcoming such that Interns – and all students – feel comfortable in their clinic and within their training experiences. We welcome applications from potential candidates from all walks of life, and are actively recruiting applicants from diverse backgrounds. Such applicants are encouraged to identify themselves, if they wish to do so, in their cover letters and/or biographical statements.

All applicants are required to submit application materials through the APPIC website and application process. Our deadline for application review is December 1st, 2019. Questions from potential applicants can be directed to training@mhs-dbt.com.

APA Accreditation Status

Effective November 15th, 2018, the MHS Doctoral Internship is accredited by the American Psychological Association.

Questions regarding our accreditation status can be directed to:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: 202-336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: https://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation