5 Internship Opportunities in Clinical Psychology
- Community Clinic
- K12 School
- College or University
- Hospital Psychiatric Ward
- Private Practice
Completing an internship is the final step in a clinical psychology degree program. It is also the most exciting step for many students, as it is their first opportunity to put into practice the knowledge they have spent years gathering. It is also the last opportunity to hone their skills and build a professional network with the guidance and structure provided by professors. Here are five ideas for where to pursue an amazing clinical psychology internship.
1. Community Clinic
Every community has at least one publicly or governmentally funded health clinic, and they are always seeking clinical psychology interns. These clinics serve a wide variety of individuals struggling with an even wider variety of challenges, so this is an excellent setting for students who have yet to settle on a specialization or who are simply curious about clinical psychology on a holistic level. As these clinics often help a larger volume of individuals than they have the staff available for, interns are given a large amount of hours and responsibilities.
2. K12 School
Students who like the idea of working in the public community and also have an interest in child or adolescent psychology should consider searching for internship opportunities at elementary, middle, and high schools. These institutions always have clinical psychologists on staff, and they are often in need of interns. This is an excellent opportunity to dive deep into the world of child and adolescent clinical psychology as it relates to the educational setting. As children are a uniquely vulnerable and complex population to work with, it is a good idea to explore what the American Psychological Association has to say about Child Clinical Psychology.
3. College or University
Students who are drawn to education but wish to work with older populations might enjoy internships at colleges or universities. One route to take in this direction is to work in the mental health services offered to students, staff, and faculty. This is a great option for those who want to practice clinical psychology with this population. Another route is to apply for a research internship. This is a great option for those who know they want to pursue careers in clinical research and teaching.
4. Hospital Psychiatric Ward
Students who enjoyed their abnormal psychology and psychopharmacology courses might enjoy internships at hospital psychiatric wards. This is the place to gain experience working with people in crisis and those suffering from the most severe clinical psychological disorders. These internships are not for the faint of heart, often requiring long hours of emotionally difficult work, but the payoff is high. These are coveted positions offering a great experience and a chance to help those who need it most.
A popular option for many clinical psychologists is to open a private practice. It affords them the freedom to treat their populations of interests when and where they wish. It also comes with great personal responsibility, as they are in charge of both their work and the space in which they do it. Unless they go into a joint practice with others, they must seek out peers with whom to discuss cases. Students interested in pursuing this path should gain exposure by networking with individuals who have private practices and arranging and internship.
The clinical psychology internship sets the tone and lays the foundation for a career in this field. It is, therefore, crucial to thoroughly investigate all options such as these five to choose the best fit. Each of these internship settings offers excellent experience, in-depth exposure into one area of the clinical psychology world, and opportunities for higher-level professional networking.