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Travis County Juvenile Board

Pre-doctoral Psychology Internship Program

The Department is currently accepting applications for two full-time intern positions for the 2012-2013 training year.

Information Packet
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The application deadline is December 9, 2011.

The Travis County Juvenile Probation Department (TCJPD) was recently awarded a multi-year grant from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. With the assistance of this award, the Department will actively move towards APA-accreditation for its new pre-doctoral psychology internship program.

Application Process:

  • Applicants must access and complete the AAPI online application
  • Applications must be submitted by deadline of December 9, 2011.
  • Applicants will be notified of their interview status by December 20, 2011.
  • Interviews will be conducted in-person or via telephone.

The program is registered as a participant in the APPIC Match as a non-APPIC member; the Program Code for Travis County is 202911 (see APPIC Internship Matching Program for a full list of programs participating in the 2012 APPIC Match).

Internship Site Description:

Gardner Betts Juvenile Justice Center, the main campus for TCJPD, is located at 2515 South Congress Avenue in the heart of South Central Austin. TCJPD offers services to youth between the ages of 10 and 17 who are involved with juvenile probation. TCJPD utilizes a comprehensive continuum of care that incorporates supervision; alternative education; mental health and drug courts; substance abuse services; residential, outpatient and day treatment programs; in-home family counseling; and wrap-around and aftercare services.

The Department serves a diverse population of youth and families. Psychological services are provided in the Departmentís secure Detention and Residential facilities as well as in day treatment and outpatient settings. Youth who demonstrate the need for psychological services typically present with a broad range of behavioral and emotional difficulties. Specific psychological services provided by the Department include psychological screening and assessment; psychoeducation; and individual, group, and family therapy.

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Philosophy of the Training Program:

We believe the internship year offers a unique opportunity for psychologists-in-training to strengthen clinical skills and gain exposure to a broad and diverse range of professional experiences. The Travis County Pre-doctoral Internship Program utilizes a mentor model that encourages professional development and increasing autonomy throughout the internship year. The training program and its faculty abide by the overarching mission of Travis County Juvenile Probation, which is to accept dual responsibility for protecting public safety while helping Travis County youth realize their full potential.

Throughout the year, interns operate under this mission as they gain exposure to numerous intervention programs, each designed to meet the needs of youth and families and to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. By working within these programs and providing assessment and treatment to the Departmentís diverse client population, interns receive a unique and varied training experience that fosters their overall professional growth and development.

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Program Goals & Objectives:

The three core goals of the internship training program center on professional development, child and family-focused treatment, and the promotion of psychological services to the local and broader community.

  • Goal 1 Ė Professional development: To foster professional growth and autonomy through training, supervision, and mentoring.

    • Objective 1.1 - To provide specialized training in a variety of areas that supports professional growth. Interns work within the context of juvenile justice but develop broad-based skills in areas such as group, individual, and family therapy facilitation; collaboration with other professionals; and training and presenting to professionals and community members.
    • Objective 1.2 - To foster professional identity through supervision and training in different theoretical models. Interns are trained in cognitive behavioral interventions and case conceptualization models. In addition, interns are exposed to other theoretical models and conceptualization techniques, to include family systems, interpersonal theory, and assessment of neuropsychological processes. Interns are encouraged to identify and strengthen their clinical orientation throughout the year.
    • Objective 1.3 - To provide mentors who support professional growth and increasing autonomy. Interns train as members of a multidisciplinary team through which they gain exposure to various professional disciplines. In addition, interns work with their individual supervisors using a mentor model approach to supervision.
  • Goal 2 Ė Child and family-focused treatment: To work with youth and families at each level of clinical intervention in order to meet their specific assessment and treatment needs.

    • Objective 2.1 To engage in assessment procedures based not only on best practices but also designed to address child and family-specific referral questions. This assessment process, in turn, aids in the development of treatment plans that respect each childís specific developmental stage and clinical needs.
    • Objective 2.2 To provide treatment that takes into consideration familial, community, and cultural factors. Interns work within the context of the child as part his or her environment (e.g., family, neighborhood, school).
  • Goal 3 - Promoting psychological services: To utilize the breadth of experience received during the internship year to further awareness and understanding of the role mental health plays within the juvenile justice system.

    • Objective 3.1 To actively engage in program development efforts that focus on improving family involvement and collaboration as well as successful reentry into the community. TCJPD utilizes a multidisciplinary team model to address the reentry needs of youth and families; interns have the opportunity to participate in this process by providing a mental health focus for families as they develop aftercare plans.
    • Objective 3.2 To conduct and participate in onsite and community training as well as local and state conferences. Interns have the opportunity to provide training to juvenile probation departments in rural communities on topics such as trauma-informed care, family systems, adolescent development, and mental health in the juvenile justice system.

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Training Activities:

Psychodiagnostic Seminar

Throughout the internship training year, interns participate in a weekly, hour long Psychodiagnostic Seminar. This seminar provides guidance and instruction in

  • test administration,
  • interpretation, and
  • comprehensive report writing.

Interns are encouraged to utilize this didactic training as a forum for meeting their own professional development goals in the area of psychodiagnostic assessment.

Clinical Issues Seminar

In addition to the weekly Psychodiagnostic Seminar, interns participate in a weekly, hour long Clinical Issues Seminar. This seminar highlights relevant research and promotes the use of psychological literature as a valuable resource in clinical practice. This seminar incorporates a broad range of topics, including

  • ethics,
  • therapeutic practices with children, adolescents, and families,
  • trauma-informed care,
  • gender-responsive interventions,
  • substance abuse,
  • and mental health in the criminal justice system.

Cultural Diversity Seminars

All TCJPD staff members attend and participate in cultural diversity seminars at the start of employment as well as once per calendar year. In addition to this, the members of the Departmentís Treatment & Counseling Division hold monthly case conferences in which issues of cultural and linguistic diversity are central to the group discussion. Interns participate in this training as well as a monthly Cultural Diversity Seminar. The overall spirit of the seminar is to promote cultural competence by acknowledging that diverse populations have unique interests, needs, and beliefs.

Interns have the opportunity to benefit from the Departmentís training efforts throughout the year. These training efforts include the monthly seminar hosted by the Assessment Services Division; this seminar addresses psychological assessment and intervention as well as adolescent development and mental health.

Training efforts also include collaborations with guest speakers from various agencies and community organizations who provide information on therapeutic interventions, community resources, and issues pertinent to working within juvenile justice (e.g., gang prevention and intervention, substance abuse treatment, gender-responsive programming).

Furthermore, interns have the opportunity to attend conferences and community trainings off-site that promote best practices within the juvenile justice and mental health arenas.

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Direct Service Activities:

At a minimum, each intern receives two hours of individual supervision per week from Department psychologists. All direct care services and internship activities take place through the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department.

Interns work with youth who have been placed in Detention or Residential Services as well as with youth who are coming to the facility to complete psychological evaluations or to attend Mental Health Court. Interns participate as members of a multidisciplinary team comprised of judges, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, teachers, and probation officers. The program follows a mentor model in which interns work alongside clinicians with increasing autonomy throughout the year.

Interns will participate in two major rotations:

  • one six month rotation in substance abuse treatment and
  • one six month rotation in the treatment of behavioral disorders and specialized issues (i.e., female offender programming, gang intervention, trauma-focused interventions).

In addition to these two rotations, interns will participate in a year long minor rotation in psychodiagnostic assessment. This focus on psychodiagnostic assessment will be accommodated by allotting a minimum of 8 hours per week for assessment throughout the internship year.

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Internship Faculty:

The internship faculty is comprised of three licensed psychologists who work full time for Travis County Juvenile Probation.

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Activity Hours:

This is a 12 month internship program that provides interns with 2,000 training hours. Interns work 40 hours per week. At the start of the year, trainees develop training agreements designed to best meet their needs and interests. As such, the internsí weekly schedules may differ slightly.

In general, interns devote:

  • 20 hours/week to direct service activities,
  • 6 hours/week to training and supervision activities, and
  • 10 hours/week to activities that support their direct care services
    • treatment team meetings
    • case management
    • report writing.
  • In addition, interns devote 4 hours each week to professional and program development activities
    • literature reviews
    • preparation for case presentations, and
    • participation in conferences.

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Intern Evaluations:

Written evaluations are conducted throughout the year to address levels of professional competency in a variety of areas. Interns complete evaluations at the start and completion of each rotation to measure professional development and to identify areas for further growth. Interns also receive feedback from their supervisors via weekly supervision. An annual evaluation is completed with the training director at the end of the training year. Additionally, interns provide feedback to their supervisors regarding the supervision and training they receive throughout the year.

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Interns are provided an annual stipend that includes

  • funding for the attainment of personal health insurance,
  • holiday time,
  • professional development time, and
  • dissertation release time.

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For additional information contact Training Director, Dr. Erin Foley at or (512) 854-7078.

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Last Modified: Monday, November 21, 2011 3:22 PM