About the Psychology Internship Program
The Psychology Internship Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UT Health Northeast) is a doctoral-level psychology internship program in Health Service Psychology, which serves as an integral part of this academic health center. The internship’s mission is two-fold:
- first, to provide clinically and culturally competent behavioral health services to traditionally under-served populations and geographical areas
- second, to train future psychologists to provide excellent integrated care within the medical environment, promoting top notch patient-centered care
We are part of the University of Texas System, known as The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and branded as UT Health Northeast. The UT Health Northeast Clinical Psychology Internship Program offers a 2,000 hour, one year pre-doctoral internship. The internship program at UT Health Northeast provides health service psychology (clinical) training in an academic health center, with an emphasis on the interface between psychology and medicine. The internship program offers opportunities to interface at many levels in a medical setting. Interns learn to collaborate with physicians, physicians-in-training, nurses, dietitians, pharmacy students, and other consultants. They play a vital role in the care of patients with both mental health and physical health needs. As often as possible, experiences are offered longitudinally, to allow interns to develop longer-term professional relationships with treatment team members and patients.
The UT Health Northeast Psychology Internship Program is housed within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Physician partners in psychiatry, family medicine, and internal medicine are actively involved in supporting the internship.
The UT Health Northeast Psychology Internship Program began its first training cohort in July 2015, after participating in the Lone Star Psychology Internship Consortium for two years. In October 2015 the program gained membership to APPIC. On May 1, 2017, the American Psychological Association (APA) notified the program that it had gained Accreditation with the status: “Accredited, on contingency,” dating back to October 28, 2016. “Accreditation on contingency” represents accreditation that is contingent upon follow-up data delivered to the APA, and is often a designation for young programs that do not yet have enough prior years of intern data. The program is listed on the APA website of accredited internship programs.
To reach the APA with any questions or concerns, please contact:
The American Psychological Association
Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
Dr. Jacqueline Remondet Wall, Director
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
The patient population of UT Health Northeast is uniquely diverse. Located on the northern edge of Tyler, Texas, UT Health Northeast has a catchment area that includes the denizens of this mid-sized city to the south as well as the rural inhabitants of the farmlands to the north. Socioeconomic, educational, racial, and ethnic diversity characterize this population. With a mental health provider to citizen ratio of 1:25,000, Northeast Texas suffers from a significant shortage of mental health resources. Many patients seen by the psychology interns have never seen a mental health professional before.
Research and scholarly activity opportunities are available throughout UT Health Northeast. Interns are welcome to join ongoing projects, as well as are encouraged to conduct research of their own.
Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data
Tracks of Training
Integrated Behavioral Health
The Integrated Behavioral Health training track has consisted of four intern slots. This dynamic track emphasizes breadth and depth of training in intervention in an integrated care model. Psychology interns learn how to blend psychology into medical culture, providing psychological care that addresses the needs of, and is integrated into, medical care. Experiences include consultation, collaboration, assessment, and intervention within primary care settings. The Integrated Behavioral Health experience focuses on both short-term and long-term intervention and consultation in both health and mental health areas, with opportunities for assessment of pain, pre-surgical readiness, ADHD, memory screens, and other concerns as needed.
Outpatient group therapies that are ongoing have included depression and smoking cessation. There are opportunities to collaborate with the Cancer support group and with the dietitian. Further, interns provide group therapy to psychiatric inpatients on the psychiatric units at UT Health Northeast.
Additionally, one day a week is spent at the local State psychiatric hospital, where interns participate in treatment team meetings and provide psychotherapy and assessment for those with severe and persistent mental illness. Further, interns will gain experience on the neurorehabilitation (“NeuroRestorative”) unit as well. Supervision of Master’s level students at U.T. Tyler is an additional experience.
In sum, training experiences include:
- Integrated Behavioral Health interventions (psychotherapy and consultation) in the Family Medicine Residency Clinic
- Brief consultations (“warm handoffs”) throughout the health center, including inpatient medical floors, Emergency Room, and outpatient clinics
- Testing and psychotherapy in the Center for Healthy Aging and Internal Medicine
- Group therapy on acute and subacute psychiatry (in-house) units
- Outpatient groups in smoking cessation, with the option to develop additional outpatient groups
- Psychotherapy and testing one day per week at the State Hospital
- Psychotherapy and testing in on-site child and adolescent psychology
- Supervision of Master’s level students in their practica experiences at our sister campus, UT Tyler
- Scholarly activity in Quality Improvement and other projects
Possible elective experiences include a focus in palliative/supportive care and oncology, working within an Internal Medicine Residency Clinic, consultation in a geriatric psychiatry unit, and working with the Juvenile Justice system. Last but not least, interns are allowed and encouraged to develop services that may not already exist at the health center, based on their interests.
Neuropsychology and RehabilitationThis track is currently not available due to a change in faculty. It once supported two intern slots.
Current Elective Experiences
Interns are offered some opportunities to customize their experience. This may include extra hours at a standard rotation, or an experience they have developed that meets a particular interest or training goal, including:
Outpatient Child and Adolescent Psychology ClinicThe Child and Adolescent Psychology experience is built around the Outpatient Behavioral Health Clinic program which serves, children and adolescents (ages 3-18). Diverse families and their children present with a variety of diagnoses and needs. The skills learned and practiced in this setting include differential diagnosis, identification and use of evidence-based treatments and/or their components following a targeted assessment. Engagement of families, providing feedback to families, and incorporating ongoing feedback from families are stressed. An experience with abused children served by a local children’s advocacy center is a possibility. Additional potential experiences include psychoeducational assessments through the Region 7 Education Service Center.
Outpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ClinicThis elective rotation occurred one half day per week and allowed the intern to shadow the child psychiatrist to learn about the medication treatments available to children, adolescents, and young adults. The intern engaged in regularly scheduled individual therapy sessions as well as provided psychological testing necessary to making an accurate diagnosis and informed treatment recommendations. She attended Autism network meetings in the community during which time she was able to learn more about the interdisciplinary treatment approaches (psychological, psychiatric, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and behavior therapy) available to young children with developmental disorders in East Texas.
Palliative Care and OncologyThis rotation is focused on providing care to patients within the Palliative/Supportive care team who address needs of patients requiring support during oncology or other forms of treatment. This elective is intensive in its time commitment.
Geriatric InpatientInterns also have the opportunity to provide psychotherapy and testing to psychiatric inpatients aged 55 and above. This experience includes both group and individual work.
ResearchThe research elective rotation has allowed the trainee to collaborate with current peers on presentations for local and national conferences for a few additional hours each week. Additional collaboration with prior research teams allows for continued development on research methodology, design, presentation, and publication opportunities. Project results are shared with peers through didactic training and conference presentations. Trainees will receive ongoing consultation with UT supervisors on research design and conceptualization.
Sample Rotation Schedule
Click to enlarge.
Primary Educational Model and Professional Training Goals and Objectives
UT Health Northeast PIP offers training within a Practitioner-Scholar model. The goals and objectives of the program include the following:
Goal 1: Evidence Based Practice in InterventionInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Intervention. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Case conceptualization and treatment planning
- Implementation of therapeutic interventions
- Evaluation of interventions
Goal 2: Evidence Based Practice in AssessmentInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Evidence Based Practice in Assessment. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Instrument selection, administration, and scoring
- Test interpretation
- Communicating results
Goal 3: Interdisciplinary Consultation and CollaborationInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Interdisciplinary Consultation and Collaboration. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Theories and methods of consultation
- Multidisciplinary collaboration
Goal 4: SupervisionInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Supervision. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Theories and methods of supervision
- Effective provision of supervision
Goal 5: Cultural and Individual DiversityInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Cultural and Individual Diversity. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Cultural awareness
- Evidence-informed approach to cultural considerations
- Effective clinical approaches
Goal 6: ResearchInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Research. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Application of scientific knowledge to practice
- Program evaluation
Goal 7: Ethical and Legal StandardsInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Ethical and Legal Standards. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Knowledge of and adherence to ethical, legal, and professional standards
- Ethical decision-making and conduct
Goal 8: Professional Values and AttitudesInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Professional Values and Attitudes. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Self-awareness and professional behavior
- Professional awareness
Goal 9: Communication and Interpersonal SkillsInterns will achieve competence appropriate to their professional developmental level in the area of Communication and Interpersonal Skills. Objectives related to this goal include the achievement of competence in the following:
- Interpersonal skills
- Effective communication
TrainingThe training site at UT Health Northeast offers six one-year doctoral internship positions. Each year, training begins July 1.
Interns train in the area of clinical psychology, developing experience in delivering integrated behavioral healthcare in various medical settings, including a Family Medicine residency, Internal Medicine Clinic/Center for Healthy Aging, Oncology, Palliative/Supportive Care Team, Inpatient psychiatric units at UT Health Northeast and at Rusk State Hospital, and NeuroRestorative post-acute rehabilitation for brain trauma.
Experiences are longitudinal, allowing for the development of both short- and long-term therapeutic alliances with patients, as well as collegial relationships with physician faculty and residents. Although two tracks were once offered, with one track emphasizing treatment in multiple medical settings, and the other track emphasizing evaluations focused on neuropsychological and rehabilitation concerns, both tracks overlapped significantly in many clinical areas.
Hands-on learning opportunities include:
- Working with primary care faculty and residents in the Family Health Center as well as working with internal medicine physicians in the Center for Healthy Aging, providing consultation, “warm handoffs,” crisis management, psychotherapy, and counseling
- Conducting psychological assessment for various referral sources, including physician referral, pain evaluations, and presurgical evaluations, among others
- Working in a long-term post-acute brain injury rehabilitation unit (NeuroRestorative), providing psychotherapy and neuropsychological assessment
- Providing consultation to inpatient medical and psychiatric units, the Cancer Center, the Palliative/Supportive Care Team, and East
- Providing psychoeducation in health self-management groups such as smoking cessation
- Developing new services in area(s) of interest
- Developing understanding and confidence in interfacing with the medical community, grasping the cultural differences between professions, and providing streamlined integrated behavioral health
- Providing individual and group therapy and milieu interactions in acute local and state psychiatric units
- Attending psychiatric treatment team meetings and learning the team approach in the state psychiatric facility
- Gaining exposure to the multidisciplinary approach of caring for patients through interaction with physicians, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, speech therapists, dietitians, and community health workers
Supervision and Didactics
- Individual supervision is provided by each of the two full-time faculty, yielding a minimum of two hours per week
- Additional supervision is available with our part-time faculty as well
- Group supervision involves psychology interns and faculty for two hours per week
- Two hours of didactics occur Wednesday afternoons. Psychology didactic seminars will focus on a range of topics. A sample of such topics includes:
- Risk Assessment and Suicidality
- Ethics for the Early-Career Professional and Texas Laws
- Multicultural Diversity and Professional Competence
- Rural Mental Health
- Motivational Interviewing
- Theories and Methods of Supervision
- Program Evaluation
- Assessment and Treatment of Mood Disorders
- Medical/Neurological Disorders Presenting as Psychiatric Illness
- Forensic Psychology
- Advocacy for the Profession/Advocacy for the Patient
- Assessment and Treatment of Psychotic Disorders
UT Health Northeast also offers Cancer Conference on Thursdays and Grand Rounds didactics on Fridays. Medical student presentations occur twice a month in Family Medicine, and serve an invaluable instructional experience for psychology interns, not only in content area, but also in the process of medical case presentation.
Stipend and Benefits
The annual stipend for psychology interns at UT Health Northeast is $24,500. Interns are required to have current health insurance coverage for up to 90-days during the waiting period. After that time, interns will be enrolled in UT Health Northeast health benefits. In addition to State holidays, each intern will receive 12 days of sick leave and 12 days of vacation leave.
Assessment and other training materials are provided. Additionally, each intern is offered office space and a work computer.
William James College
Fielding Graduate University
Kathryn Wortz, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Training Director, Psychology Internship Program
Paul Andrews, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology
Jeffrey N. Wherry, Ph.D., ABPP
Clinical Psychology, Child Psychology
Contributing Supportive Faculty
Marisela Stocks, M.S., Licensed Psychological Associate
Behavioral Health Integration Project
Jennifer Peoples, M.S., Licensed Professional Counselor
The University of Texas at Tyler
Charles Barké, Ph.D., Chair of Psychology and Counseling
Sarah M. Sass, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling
Dennis Combs, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling
Department of Medicine
Ilfeanyi “Manny” Elueze, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.A., Professor, Chair of Medicine (Dean)
Sam P. Hooper, Jr., Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, UT Health Northeast
Jeffery Matthews, M.D., Associate Professor and Chair
Ushimbra Buford, M.D., Assistant Professor, Program Director, Psychiatry Residency
Ray Scardina, M.D., Assistant Professor
Richard Idell, M.D., Assistant Professor
Palliative / Supportive Care, UT Health Northeast
Amy Swan, D.O., Palliative and Supportive Care, Director
Sean Seelbach, BSN, Nursing Care Coordinator
Department of Family Medicine, UT Health Northeast
Robert B. Tompkins, M.D., Associate Professor, Chair, and Program Director, Family Medicine Residency
J. Ryan Menard, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor, Clinic Director and Associate Program Director
Patti B. Olusola, M.D., Associate Professor
Michele C. Bosworth, M.D., Associate Professor, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer
Admir Seferovic, M.D., Assistant Professor
Leo Holm, M.D., Assistant Professor
Rusk State Hospital
Sarah Rogers, Ph.D., Psychologist
Terrell State Hospital
William Thomason, Ph.D., Psychologist
John Kennedy, Psy.D., Psychologist
Lorene Thompson, Psy.D., Psychologist/Neuropsychologist
Brandi Ragsdale, Ph.D., Psychologist
Jeffrey Levin, M.D., Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Pierre Neuenschwander, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs
- UT Health Northeast match numbers can be found on the National Matching Service Website. To learn about our curriculum, policies, and procedures, download the program handbook.
- Students interested in applying for the internship program should submit an online application through the APPIC website. Students may apply for either or both of the two program tracks offered. Please note that each has a separate program number:
- Integrated Behavioral Health — 234511
- Neuropsychology/Rehabilitation — not currently available
- 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.
A complete application consists of the following materials:
- A completed Online AAPI (APPIC’s standard application)
- Cover letter (part of online AAPI) stating your preferred training site(s) and why you are interested in those sites specifically
- A current Curriculum Vitae (as part of the online AAPI)
- Three Standardized Reference Forms, two of which must be from persons who have directly supervised your clinical work (as part of the online AAPI). Please submit no more than three letters
- Official transcripts of all graduate coursework
- All applicants are required to include work samples as part of the application process. Applicants should upload one integrated psychological evaluation.
If applicants are invited to interview, they will be notified by email. If in-person interviewing causes hardship, interviews may be conducted by Skype.
The interview day will begin with a presentation by the faculty to all of the day’s interviewees followed by an opportunity for interviewees to ask questions. This will take place in a large group format, but is not a group interview. Individual interviews will be scheduled throughout the rest of the day. Applicants will be free to have an informal lunch hour with the current interns from 12-1pm. Tours of the campus will also take place. Applicants are encouraged to tour the city of Tyler and learn about our relatively low cost of living.
UT Health Northeast will base its selection process on the entire application package noted above; however, applicants who have met the following qualifications prior to beginning internship will be considered preferred:
- APA accredited graduate program
- 400 intervention hours
- 50 assessment hours
- Dissertation proposal completed
- Some experience or special interest in working with diverse and/or underserved populations
- Psychology Interns are hired employees of UT Health Northeast, a State of Texas agency. Employment and training as an Intern will be based on successfully passing criminal background checks and health screenings. Health screenings include an occupational health exam, (including tuberculosis test, spirometry, and PAPR fit testing). Immunizations are required to be up to date or brought up to date. Flu shots are required and provided to all interns.
- UT Health Northeast is a drug-free and nicotine-free campus. Employees, including interns, may be subjected to drug and nicotine screening, and must have clear test results to be considered and enter training.
- Mandatory rotation schedules are provided for Interns at off-campus locations, such as Rusk and/or Terrell. Personal vehicles may be used, at an individual’s own expense, or individuals may be provided a health center vehicle. To be eligible to use a health center vehicle, employees, including interns, must provide a current valid Texas Driver’s License, have a clean driving record, and take a defensive driving class.
- Interns may receive health insurance and life insurance benefits according to plan documents after meeting a waiting period of up to 90 days of employment. During this waiting period, interns are required to carry their own insurance, for which they may be partially reimbursed. Proof of insurance is required.
- Interns are automatically enrolled in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). The TRS retirement plan follows ERISA guidelines and UT Systems plan documents, for specific information please request plan summary document from the Human Resources Department.