Doctoral students from UWindsor’s clinical psychology program are gearing up to complete the final leg of their exhaustive educational pursuits.
The one-year internship will be the culmination of six years of study, researching for their master’s thesis and PhD dissertation and more than 2,300 hours of supervised clinical practicums.
This September will see 14 students from the program fan out across the continent to begin internships following a highly-competitive selection process.
“We train our students very, very well in clinical work and they generally report that they are extremely well trained compared to students from other universities,” said University of Windsor psychology professor Josée Jarry. “I think we are the only university in Canada that offers training in all three major approaches to psychotherapy.”
Students completing the clinical psychology graduate program select a focus in either the adult clinical track, child clinical track or clinical neuropsychology track.
In their fifth year, students begin to apply for the full-year internships.
“It can be very stressful but we have a lot of peer support,” said neuropsychology student Brie Brooker. “You apply to about 15 different sites and have to put together separate essays for every site.
“It’s a very demanding process but having close friends in my program that are going through the same thing and can relate was really helpful to keep me grounded.”
Brooker was placed at the DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan where she will work alongside children with health conditions and will help to provide psychological services.
“I will be doing a lot of work with children with medical disorders who are inpatients or outpatients at the children’s hospital,” Brooker said. “I’ve had some opportunities in a previous practicum at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan but this is fulltime, a lot more rigorous training, more responsibilities and I’ll be wearing many different hats.”
A Michigan native herself, Brooker said she selected the children’s hospital to be able to expand her skills.
“I’m really excited to gain more independence in neuropsychology and to diversity my ability to use intervention skills to help kids,” she said. “I’ll also be able to help kids adhere to medical treatments or help the medical team understand how the child is doing.”
Emily Johnson's internship will take her to Ottawa where she will work at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
Johnson said candidates pick their top choices but don’t know if they have been selected or where they are going until the day it’s announced.
“Some people don’t get matched or may not get their top choice,” she said. “You get an email saying where you are moving and that’s where you end up going.”
She said she was excited to be placed at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario because she will be focusing less on neuropsychology and more on family-based matters.
“Half of my training will be doing more outpatient, helping children with developmental concerns and as well as the socio- and economic component for the kids’ lives,” Johnson said. “This hospital met all of my goals and will also enable me to grow in that position.”
Dr. Jarry said the internship sites are most often very impressed with UWindsor’s students.
“I wanted to do a little bit of bragging because they probably wouldn’t,” Jarry said. “Our students typically do extremely well and we get great feedback from the internship coordinators.”
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