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Internship Training Details

The APA-accredited Community Mental Health internship is exclusively affiliated with Adler University and includes placements in several community-based partnership sites: a primary care clinic 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 placement 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.

Interns offer clinical services at and through community-based partnerships. Interns are assigned to particular community sites based on their interests, training and educational needs, and abilities. In addition to providing direct clinical service, interns receive individual, group, and peer supervision; participate in case disposition meetings; and attend didactic workshops and seminars. Interns also provide supervision to assessment and therapy externs and receive supervision on their supervision by a licensed clinical psychologist.

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

The APA-accredited internship program offers eleven (11) full-time positions for Adler University students. The internship begins in August 1st and ends July 31st.

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 five staff psychologists. The current core training staff includes:

  • Kevin Osten-Garner, Psy.D., Executive Director
  • Mary Pfeiffer, Ph.D., Training Director
  • Christine Beecroft, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator, Community Mental Health
  • Joel D Carnazzo, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator, Primary Care
  • Kelley McKeever, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator, School-Based
  • Melanie Mitchell, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist
  • Jennifer Schmidt, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator of Forensic

Intern Compensation

  • Stipend:  $28,352 per annum
  • Health Insurance
  • 10 paid vacation days
  • 10 sick days
  • Up to three audited courses (one per trimester)

Overarching Program Goal

The primary goal of this internship program is to prepare interns for entry level practice and for readiness for the next phase of their training to become a clinical psychologist, whether it is a post-doctoral fellowship or supervised work experience.

Training Model

Professional psychology has been defined by Adler University faculty 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 scholar-practitioner model of training, as articulated by the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology (NCSPP) as the base for its training program. The internship has four goals with attendant objectives and competencies.

Training Model Goals (achievement of goals are measured across three domains: knowledge, skills, and attitude):

  • Goal One: entry level relationship competency across all professional activities
    • Objective One: entry level competence in communication and interpersonal skills
    • Objective Two: consistent demonstration of professional values, attitudes, and behaviors
  • Goal Two: entry level competence in the delivery of clinical services
    • Objective One:  entry level knowledge of and skill in psychological assessment/testing
    • Objective Two: entry level knowledge of and skill in psychotherapy (individual, couple, family, and group)
  • Goal Three: entry level competence as a clinical psychologist in the delivery of other professional psychological services
    • Objective One:  entry level knowledge of and skill in supervision/ management
    • Objective Two: entry level knowledge of and skill in consultation/education
    • Objective Three: entry level knowledge of and skill in research/evaluation
  • Goal Four: development of a professional critical thinking attitude
    • Objective One:  knowledge of and sensitivity to human diversity issues
    • Objective Two: entry level knowledge of ethical and legal standards
    • Objective Three: entry level knowledge of and skill in socially responsible practice
    • Objective Four: basic knowledge of major psychological theoretical orientations

Subcompetencies associated with the competencies articulated in each objective are operationalized by rubrics contained in the Intern Evaluation Form and in Appendix B of the Internship Handbook.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the internship, interns, therefore, are expected to demonstrate the following:

  • entry level competence in the areas of relationship, assessment, intervention, consultation/education, and supervision/management;
  • an understanding of the importance of research and the use of the local clinical scientist model in providing clinical services;
  • appreciation of and respect for the role of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, age, and other aspects of individual and cultural diversity in providing services and working with individuals;
  • a basic understanding of the major psychological theoretical orientations;
  • a sensitivity to the importance of extra-psychic context/environment that may contribute to the overall health of an individual and a commitment to contributing to the greater good of the community;
  • a commitment to the highest level of professional values, attitudes, and behaviors, including individual responsibility, cooperation, and collaboration in working with others;
  • a commitment to the highest standards of professional ethics, lifelong learning, and professional development

Internship Training Activities

Interns provide service, receive supervision and participate in meetings and seminars throughout the internship.  Services are provided at community sites.  Community sites are grouped into service programs.  Current service programs include: Community Mental Health Services Program, Forensic Services Program, Primary Care Services Program, Developmental Disabilities Services Program, and School-Based Services Program. 


  • Psychotherapy (individual, couples, family, group), Consultation, Psycho-education:
    • The intern will spend 24 hours per week (3 eight hr. days) in the field at clinical sites.
    • The intern will typically spend two days at one of two clinical sites in two of the four service programs, although on occasion an intern may staff more or less than two sites, and may provide service within more or less than two service programs.
  • Assessment/Testing  -- Minimum of 3 batteries


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 referred to as a preceptor and is responsible for 70% of psychotherapy cases as well as supervision of the intern’s supervision of their extern team. The second supervisor is either the ACHS Executive Director or the Director of Training and is responsible for 30% of psychotherapy cases.

The psychologist supervisor of a case is the legal and ethical owner of the case.  Interns may seek consultation with another psychologist, but all clinical decisions are the responsibility of the case psychologist supervisor.
The intern should make every effort to audio record and/or video record therapy sessions.  After the supervisor reviews the recorded session, the intern will erase the session.  Session recordings are only permissible with informed consent.  Digital tape recorders are provided for each intern; interns at sites that do not have videorecording capability will be provided with videorecorders as well.
The intern will also be required to videotape supervision sessions with their externs periodically, for use in the Clinical Supervision Seminar and for review by their Primary Supervisor. Video recording equipment is provided for the intern’s use.

  • Individual Supervision (1 hour with 2 different supervising psychologists): 2 hours weekly
  • Assessment Case Disposition: 1 hour weekly
  • Clinical Supervision Seminar: 1 hour weekly


  • Theoretical Orientations Seminar: 1 hour weekly
  • Director’s Meeting: 1 hour weekly
  • Intern Seminars (modules are spaced out throughout the training year.
    • Socially Responsible Practice: 4 one hour modules/year
    • Ethics: 2 one hour modules/year
    • Trauma Informed Care: 8 one hour modules/year
    • Program Evaluation: 4 one hour modules/year

Other Meetings

  • Professional Issues Group: 1 hour every other week
  • Extern Supervision: 3 hours weekly
  • Therapy Didactic Presentations to Externs: 1 hour, once during the training year

Multiple Supervisory Roles

  • Director of ACHS (Kevin Osten-Garner, Psy.D.)
    • Responsibilities
      • overall administrative responsibility for all aspects of ACHS
      • strategic planning
      • partnership development
  • Director of Clinical Training (Mary Pfeiffer, Ph.D.)
    • Responsibilities
      • design training programs (Policies and Procedures)
      • ensure quality of training/supervision provided by staff psychologists
      • ensure quality of each intern’s training experience
      • monitor each intern’s satisfactory progress toward completion of their respective training program
      • ensure compliance with regulating body standards (APA)
      • supervision and development of staff psychologist
      • ensure clinical standards of practice
      • ensure ethical standards of practice
  • Staff Psychologist/Service Program Coordinator (Christine Beecroft, Psy.D., Joel Carnazzo, Psy.D., Kelley McKeever, Psy.D., and Jennifer Schmidt, Psy.D.)
    • Responsibilities
      • manage and nurture partner relations
      • ensure compliance with partner’s policies and procedures
      • improve and enhance services as needed
      • overall coordination of partners and sites within service program
      • provide on-site consultation to interns as needed
  • Primary Supervisor/Preceptor (Christine Beecroft, Psy.D., Kelley McKeever, Psy.D., Joel Carnazzo, Psy.D. and Jennifer Schmidt, Psy.D.)
    • Responsibilities
      • overall training and development of each assigned intern across the 11 competencies taught in the internship
      • in collaboration with the Training Director, monitor each assigned intern’s satisfactory progress toward completion of the internship
      • complete the three written formal evaluations for each assigned intern
  • Intern Supervisor - As an experiential component designed to allow interns to acquire skills in the Supervision/Management competency, each intern will be assigned 1-3 ACHS externs as extern supervisees.
    • Responsibilities
      • administrative supervision of each assigned extern
      • peer clinical supervision of each assigned extern
      • monitor each assigned extern’s training hours
      • keep preceptor informed of each assigned extern’s progress in their respective training programs
      • approve each assigned extern’s time off requests
  • Intern Site Lead - As an experiential component designed to allow interns to acquire skills in the Supervision/Management competency, each intern will be designated as the intern site lead at one (and only one) of the sites at which they are placed.
    • Responsibilities
      • managing and nurturing site relations
      • extern schedule coordination at site
      • coordination of assessment referrals from the site and presentation of referrals in Assessment Case Disposition and Consultation Seminar
      • coordination of emergency situations
      • ensure compliance with partner’s policies and procedures
      • keep primary supervisor and intern supervisor informed of each site extern’s progress within their respective training program
  • Post-Doctoral Resident
    • Responsibilities
      • provide direct services at partner sites as assigned
      • facilitate the Professional Issues Group with interns
      • therapy and assessment didactics as assigned
      • other projects as assigned


Interns are encouraged to be involved in research activities. Each intern is allowed four hours a week to work on their dissertation. Interns will be required to design and implement a Program Evaluation Project during the course of the year, supported by the Program Evaluation Seminar. The Program Evaluation Project will be presented to the ACHS community at the end of the year. Interns are also encouraged to publish any research they have conducted and to make presentations at professional conferences.

Supervision of Externs

To address the “supervision/management” competency, interns provide supervision.  Each intern is assigned 1 to 3 externs and is responsible for their extern team’s supervision.  In this context, the intern’s role is threefold: administrative supervisor, peer clinical supervisor, and mentor.

As administrative supervisor of externs, interns:

  • ensure that policies and procedures are followed
  • monitor the extern’s caseload
  • monitor extern’s clock and direct service hours
  • ensure charts, files, and other documentation is properly completed
  • approve time away or schedule changes
  • address inappropriate or unprofessional behavior
  • keep extern team informed of any ACHS news and/or special developments
  • provide evaluative feedback at the end of each trimester

As peer clinical supervisor of externs, interns:

  • provide clinical consultation on therapy cases
  • provide clinical consultation on assessment cases

As mentor, interns:

  • help externs begin to develop a sense of professional self
  • encourage and support externs
  • help externs develop self-care and conflict resolution skills                                                                                                

Click here for information on applying for the internship, admission criteria, and selection procedures.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The Internship Program is committed to nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in its policies and procedures for recruitment, retention, and development of staff and interns regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status in any aspect of services.  No psychological services will be denied or restricted on the basis of age, sex, race, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, location or residence, marital status, physical or mental disability, health status, sexual orientation, or having a criminal record unrelated to present dangerousness.  Reasonable accommodations for staff, clients, and interns are made on the basis of physical and mental disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


The  Adler Community Mental Health Internship 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
Email:  apaaccred@apa.org