Community Mental Health Internship

Serving some of Chicago's 
most deserving communities.

Serving some of Chicago's
most deserving communities.

Community Mental Health Pre-Doctoral Internship (ACMHI)

Interns and externs offer clinical services at and through community-based partnerships. Trainees are assigned to particular community sites based on their interests, training and educational needs, and abilities. In addition to providing direct clinical service, trainees receive individual, group, and peer supervision; participate in case management and case disposition meetings; and attend didactic workshops and seminars.

Services provided in the community through community partnerships include individual, group, family, and couples psychotherapy; neuropsychological, personality, and cognitive ability assessment; support groups; parenting classes; consultation; and psycho-educational programs.

The APA-approved Community Mental Health internship is exclusively affiliated with Adler University (i.e., only Adler University students are eligible to apply) and includes rotations through several community-based partnership sites: primary care clinics serving the homeless, HIV affected persons, and those struggling with poverty; residential rehabilitation facilities for formerly incarcerated men and women; adult transition centers for incarcerated men in a work-release program; disadvantaged students from pre-K through college; and individuals suffering from persistent and severe mental disorders. Through these rotational experiences interns become competent in the areas of clinical intervention, diagnostic assessment, professional development, multicultural issues, and professional ethics and standards. The primary objective of the program is to prepare interns to become entry-level clinical psychologists.

The APA-accredited internship program offers eight full-time positions for Adler University students. The internship begins in September and ends one year later.

Interns are trained by a team of diverse and well-qualified Illinois licensed clinical psychologists. The core training team includes the Director of Clinical Training and four staff psychologists. The current core training staff includes:

  • Dan Barnes, Ph.D. (Director and Chief Psychologist) 
  • Christine Beecroft, Psy.D. (Staff Psychologist)
  • Kelley McKeever, Psy.D. (Staff Psychologist)
  • Mary Pfeiffer, Ph.D. (Staff Psychologist)
  • Jennifer Schmidt, Psy.D. (Staff Psychologist)

Intern Compensation

  • $23,000 Annual Stipend (Part-time Intern $11,500)
  • Health Insurance
  • Two Weeks Paid Vacation (Part-time Intern One Week)
  • Audit up to Three Courses

Training Model

Professional psychology has been defined by Adler Community Health Services as the application of psychological knowledge and skills to forward the improvement of the human condition in the broadest sense with an emphasis on the direct delivery of professional services, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of assessment and change strategies as they are applied to individuals, families, groups, couples, and organizations.

The internship uses the practitioner-scholar model of training as articulated by the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP). Throughout training, the integration of knowledge, skills, and attitude in competency areas established by NCSPP is emphasized. The seven NCSPP competencies include:

  1. Therapeutic relationship
  2. Psychological assessment
  3. Therapeutic intervention
  4. Research/evaluation
  5. Consultation/education
  6. Management/supervision 
  7. Diversity

In addition to the NCSPP competencies, the internship adds two more:

  1. Adlerian competency (based on the University’s and internship’s tradition)
  2. Socially responsible practice competency

Program Objectives

Based on this model and to achieve the program goal, the program provides training and experiences to achieve the following objectives:  

  1. Knowledge of and skill in relational therapeutics both as necessary and sufficient means of engaging and helping others   
  2. Knowledge of and skill in a range of intervention theories and methods; knowledge of and skill in case conceptualization and treatment planning; knowledge of and skill in progress note taking, report writing, and record keeping
  3. Knowledge of and skill in the design, administration, scoring, analysis and report writing of cognitive, personality, and neuropsychological assessments
  4. The integration of science and practice using the local clinical scientist model
  5. Knowledge of and skill in consultation and community education
  6. Knowledge of and skill in administrative & peer clinical supervision, and peer mentorship
  7. Knowledge of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity
  8. Knowledge of and skill in key Adlerian concepts and principles, including early recollections and lifestyle assessment
  9. Knowledge and appreciation of treating a person holistically and in his or her context (extra psychic factors that contribute to good or ill health)

Internship Training Activities

Interns provide service, receive supervision, and participate in other meetings and seminars throughout the internship. Services are provided at community sites. Community sites are grouped into thematic rotations. Current rotations include: Community Mental Health, Primary Care, Forensic, School Based and Neuropsychological Services. 

In consultation with the intern and depending on the interns’ interests and learning needs, each intern will be assigned to two of the four rotations and will spend two days (16 hours) at each of these rotations for a total of 32 weekly hours of service. The remaining 8 hours will be spent at ACHS’ administrative offices where interns will participate in various training modules.


Each intern is assigned two supervising psychologists. The intern will meet one hour per week for supervision with each of the two supervisors. The intern’s primary supervisor is responsible for 70% of psychotherapy cases. The secondary supervisor (Internship Director) is responsible for 30% of psychotherapy cases and supervision of the intern’s supervision of their extern team.

Individual Supervision (1 hour with 2 different supervising psychologists) 2 hours per week
Director’s Meeting 1 hour per week
Case Disposition/Coordination 1 hour per week
Socially Responsible Practice 8 one hour sessions
Adlerian Theory and Practice 8 one hour sessions
Clinical Supervision 8 one hour sessions
Program Evaluation 8 one hour sessions 
Trauma Informed Treatment 8 one hour sessions
Other Meetings
Extern Supervision/Mentorship 3 hours per week
Therapy Didactic and Case Conference Supervisor Discretion
Therapy Case Conference Supervisor Discretion
Assessment Didactic and Case Conference  Supervisor Discretion
Dissertation Completion 4 hours per week

Applying for the Internship

All prospective interns should submit the following documents to ACHS:

  1. Letter of intent summarizing interest in psychology, experience, training, internship training goals, and reasons for applying to the program
  2.  APPIC Application for Psychology Internships (AAPI)
  3. Current curriculum vitae
  4. Official transcripts of all graduate work
  5. Letters of recommendation from at least three professionals who are familiar with you and your work, including two letters from clinical placement supervisors
  6. A letter of eligibility from the applicant's director of clinical training

Selection Procedure

A staff psychologist and current intern will rate each applicant’s submitted materials. After all applicants have been so rated, the Director and staff psychologists will discuss all applications toward determining a list of applicants who will be invited to interview. Those invited to interview will be interviewed by the Director, a staff psychologist and a current intern. After all interviews have been completed the Director and staff psychologists will determine the rank list for submission to the APPIC match program. 

Internship offers are made in compliance with APPIC guidelines. The 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.


The  ACMHI Program at Adler Community Health Services is accredited by the American Psychological Association.  The Commission on Accreditation of the APA can be contacted at:

Commission on Accreditation
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979