Doctoral Psychology Internship Overview



Our mission is to provide excellence in pediatric psychology training to graduate students, interns and residents.


  • Integrity – to exhibit high standards ethically and professionally within the practice of psychology.
  • Dignity – to show dignity and respect through our interactions with our advanced psychology students, our patients and all others, regardless of culture, race, religion, employment status or individual differences.
  • Nurturing – to support our advanced psychology students in a manner which nurtures mastery and excellence.

Our Philosophy

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology trains interns as practitioners by using evidence-based practices. There are research opportunities for motivated interns. The training faculty at Phoenix Children’s Hospital operates from a practitioner-scholar model. Consistent with this model and its emphasis on the mutuality of science and practice, the focus of our training program is on the practical application of scholarly knowledge in the provision of direct patient care, coupled with the evaluation of the efficacy of those interventions and continued planning to improve those services. Interns are trained to think critically in the delivery of services that take into account individual, cultural, and societal considerations. The majority of current staff members were trained in the scientist-practitioner model and see the inclusion of empirical work as a necessary component for the competent treatment of psychological problems. We strive to provide interns with a breadth and depth of training experiences in the context of utilizing innovative scientific information to guide their treatment conceptualization, planning and delivery.

We utilize a developmental process for the training of our interns. Learning is achieved through the observation and subsequent practice of professional activities while receiving support and feedback regarding their progress. Supervisors will work throughout the year to move the intern to a more autonomous role and prepare them to become early-career psychologists, ready for their post-doctoral fellowship by the end of the training year. Our goal is to train interns in the core competencies appropriate for an entry-level psychologist working with children, adolescents, and families in a medical center setting.

The internship program is administered by the Training Director with the assistance of the Internship Coordinator and the Internship Training Committee, consisting of the Behavioral Medicine staff psychologists at Phoenix Children's Hospital. 

We provide a well-rounded psychology training experience and offer training in assessment, outpatient individual, family, and group therapies, and inpatient consultation/liaison.  All interns are expected to participate in these activities over the course of the year.  Interns may select to spend more time in one activity over another to learn new skills and fine-tune previously experienced skills. All interns are expected to conduct at least two therapy groups during their internship year.

Training is achieved through:

  • didactic learning across many areas of diversity issues, ethics, assessment, clinical interventions, supervision and professional issues
  • observation of  supervisors with patients as well as in collaboration with interdisciplinary members of the patient's team
  • conducting assessments and interventions, with supervision, that promote psychological well-being.

Our goal is to train interns in the core competencies needed to be a skilled psychologist working with children and adolescents in a medical setting.

Profession-wide competencies include: 

  • Research
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills
  • Professional values, attitudes and behavior
  • Ethics
  • Supervision
  • Interpersonal skills and communication
  • Individual and cultural diversity


Currently, six of the ten licensed psychologists are supervising interns. Our psychology staff view the role of quality supervision as paramount to intern training. Please review our handbook for more detailed information.Because of this, there are opportunities to:

  • Observe your supervisors’ work
  • Provide co-therapy with your supervisor
  • Observe/be observed through a two-way mirror
  • Review video recordings of sessions
  • Have individual supervision

Our interns receive a minimum of four hours of supervision per week, including a minimum of two hours of individual supervision.  They will also have the opportunity for additional input with case presentations.  Our psychology practicum students will provide the opportunity to supervise a graduate student.

Our psychologists represent an eclectic mix of theoretical perspectives including: 

  • Cognitive behavioral
  • Family systems
  • Interpersonal
  • Solution-focused
  • Behavioral


Given that we work with physicians and other medical staff on a regular basis, both inpatient and outpatient, it is important to work in an interdisciplinary manner.  Interns will have the opportunity to gradually gain more experience and become more skilled in their consultation role.


The Division of Behavioral Medicine is located on the fourth floor of the ambulatory building, along with psychiatry, neurosurgery and audiology.  Many other outpatient medical specialties are located in the floors below.  Inpatient hospital consultations occur throughout the hospital, across many disciplines.   


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