SAPIC is an APA Accredited Internship Program

SAPIC 17-18 Overview (subject to change)

Internship Structure

Interns will spend up to 25 hours or 3 days/week at one clinical site for the whole year, called primary tracks (AKA “majors”), which provide increased depth of clinical experience and full integration into clinical teams.

SAPIC’s primary tracks include:

1. Serious Mental Illness Services (111013): Outpatient Services – 1 intern

2. Casa de Vida (111014): Co-occurring Residential Program – 2 interns

3. Child and Family Services Program (111015): Child and Family – 2 interns

4. University of Arizona SALT Center (111016): Academic Support Program – 1 intern

5. Therapy Team -Integrated Care (111017): Outpatient services with focus on Health Psychology – 1 intern

Primary Rotations

1) Serious Mental Illness Services

Southwest Clinic and New Life are outpatient sites which provide experience treating clients diagnosed with a serious mental illness in two different modalities. Southwest Clinic is an outpatient clinic offering treatment to over 1000 adult clients for serious mental illness, co-occurring disorders, and substance abuse. The population served is culturally diverse representing the highest number of Hispanic and homeless populations at La Frontera Center. Clients receive medication management, case management, individual and group therapy, health promotion, peer support, and out of office therapy services. The Southwest Clinic offers a wide variety of educational, vocational, skills-based and process groups. The intern will serve as a supplemental therapist for this team performing intake assessments for therapy services as well as delivering individual and group therapy.

New Life’s objective is to provide intensive and specialized resources to reduce the risk of harm to self and others, to prevent and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, and their concurrent costs. To qualify for New Life services, clients must meet specific clinical criteria related to risk of harm to self and/or others, highly impaired status, co-morbidity and quality of their recovery environment. These clients may be in crisis frequently, medication non-compliant, and acutely symptomatic. The intern will serve as a psychology consultant and supplemental therapist for this team.  The intern will also conduct ongoing clinical assessments for New Life, as well as provide group therapy services.

2) Casa de Vida

Casa de Vida is a 53-bed residential treatment center for people with substance dependence and co-occurring disorders.  Casa de Vida provides a highly structured long-term program, up to 6 months residential followed by 3 months of aftercare, to clients who are committed to their recovery.

Clients/consumers at Casa de Vida learn and participate in various recovery groups, gain knowledge about drugs and addictions, and learn ways to improve their mental and physical health.   The structure is intensive.  It includes more than 30 hours of weekly structured treatment with the goal of providing support to clients in the initial stages of their recovery.  In addition, clients receive support and guidance in securing employment and finding housing to further their ability to live healthy, happy, and productive lives.

During the major rotation, interns will have an opportunity to hone therapeutic skills in diagnosing and treating individuals with substance dependency, co-occurring disorders, and trauma.  Interns are expected to be familiar, if not proficient, with evidenced-based practices such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Processing Treatment, Seeking Safety, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and SMART Recovery.   The intern is a key player on the multidisciplinary team and will provide individual, couples, family, and group therapy.  As an important part of the team, the intern will attend daily clinical staffings, and weekly and monthly trainings and all-staff meetings.  There will also be an opportunity to conduct psychological assessments with individuals in treatment and to provide educational presentations to staff and clients.  Casa de Vida utilizes the strengths of each intern to provide exemplary training experience while meeting the needs of the current clients.  As such, the above is not a comprehensive list of the intern’s duties; we welcome your thoughts, creativity, and specific skills!

3) Child and Family Services Program

The Child and Family Services Program was formerly 2 separate tracks, Children’s East Clinic and The Young Adult Program.  We accept two primary track psychology interns into the Child and Family Services Program each internship year.  Interns from other tracks can do “minor” rotations in this Program.  The Child and Family Services Program has multiple teams at various clinics throughout Tucson, Arizona.  Our Program provides a wide range of services including office services and home-based child and family services, birth to five services, Spanish speaking services, school based services, adolescent and young adult services, and group therapy services.

Each intern will receive clinical supervision from the supervising psychologist, and administrative supervision from the Director of the Child and Family Services Program. The purpose is to give each intern rich clinical experience and support, as well as exposure to administrative experience in a community based mental health setting.

Each intern will be assisted to develop a self-designed clinical experience that is relevant to their professional goals.  We encourage the interns to pursue a broad range of clinical exposure working with children, adolescents, and their families. We expect this experience to include:  1) family systems work, 2) clinical work (including assessment and direct services) with varying age ranges and clinical populations (ages 0-21), 3) administrative experience, 4)  research and program design, and 5)  consultation, training, and supervision opportunities.  In addition, we expect each intern to participate in the year long weekly seminar on family systems theory and practice, and to assist in a clinical supervision group for master’s level child and family therapists.   Due to the rich professional opportunities available in our Program, in 2012 our Child and Family rotations were identified as being “a strong family psychology training internship” by the APA Division 43 (Society for Family Psychology).

4) The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques (SALT) Center

Psychological Services at the SALT Center provide SALT students the opportunity to receive on-site and individualized outpatient mental health services.  The major rotation at SALT offers the psychology intern the opportunity to gain in-depth, supervised experience conducting intake assessments, developing treatment plans and interventions, providing individual and group psychotherapy, and consulting with SALT staff and outside professionals.  When necessary, the intern also facilitates referrals for psychotropic medication evaluations to Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the University of Arizona or to private psychiatric clinicians.

Students in need of psychological services at SALT are typically referred by their Learning Specialist and represent a range of clinical presentations and psychiatric diagnoses consistent with a university population.  Over the course of the academic year, the intern will become adept treating a variety of clinical conditions that frequently co-occur with attention and/or learning challenges.  Additionally, the intern will have the opportunity to work with the many social, family, and interpersonal issues facing college students, as well as helping to facilitate overall change, growth, and development.

5) The Adult Therapy Team – Integrated Care

This rotation, new in the 2016-17 internship year, will focus on (though not exclusively) health psychology with adults in a newly integrated community mental health care setting. The position will be housed at La Frontera Center’s East site, in mid-town Tucson, which serves Seriously Mentally Ill adult members, with varying levels of functioning and needs.

The intern will provide health-focused treatment (Motivational Interviewing for health and medical adherence, chronic-disease self-management skills, therapies (group and individual) for chronic pain management, and more), and will participate as a member of various inter-disciplinary teams, as well as represent the clinic and La Frontera with external referral agencies.

The second in the position will be instrumental in defining the role as it relates to the site, the Therapy Team, and member-specific adult treatment teams. The focus on health psychology is aspirations, and as such will depend in part, on referrals for members who need these services, and it is therefore necessary for applicants to be willing to work on behavioral health goals not directly related to health, such as: trauma, substance abuse/co-occurring disorders, anxiety, depression, and more. This will be a dynamic, ever evolving, and exciting rotation.



APA Commission on Accreditation contact information:

American Psychological Association
Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979