Om Guidebook for Clinical Psychology Intern
The internship is the capstone experience of professional education and training preparatory for the application of psychology in health and human services. It is analagous for the practice of psychology to what the doctoral dissertation represents in the student's development as a scholar. At its best, the internship should be viewed as far more than simply a require- ment for one's degree or licensure, a rite de passage for entry into the profes- sion. Rather, it should be regarded by students and faculty alike as a rich opportunity for personal and professional growth, the opportunity to as- sess and even rethink one's assumptions about human behavior and psy- chological problems in the context of different client populations, types of problems addressed, and psychological service system environments. In articulating the first formal guidelines for the accreditation of grad- uate training programs in clinical psychology, a committee of the American Psychological Association, comprised of distinguished psychologists of their day, asked, "What are the aims of a psychological internship?" The committee replied to that question as follows: Underlying all of its aims is the principle . . . that the knowledge es- sential to the practice of clinical psychology cannot be obtained solely from books, lectures, or any other devices which merely provide infor- mation about people or about ways of studying them.