Practica and internships

UBC Psychology Clinic

Students will be assigned to a practicum team (PSYC 534) during their 2nd and 3rd years in the program. Each team usually consists of approximately two students who are supervised by a clinical faculty member, and students typically begin to see clients early in the course of the first practicum. Students are assigned to a new team for the second year of practicum. The aim is to provide students with a broad range of therapy experience (e.g., children, adults) to establish a foundation of clinical skills from which they can proceed with community-based practica and internship. Clinical Case Conferences also provide students with the opportunity to prepare and deliver case presentations concerning their ongoing clinical caseload. Visit the UBC Psychology Clinic website.

UBC Psychology Clinical Program Practicum Support

UBC Psychology Clinical Program’s Practicum Support website is an online resource for both doctoral students in the UBC Clinical Program and clinical supervisors who provide practicum training both on- and off-campus. Visit practicumsupport.psych.ubc.ca for more information.

Community-based Practica

Students are required to do a community-based practicum full-time during the summer after the 2nd or 3rd year of the program or part-time during the 4th academic year.  This practicum consists of a placement lasting at least 450 hours (three months or part-time equivalent) in an agency where the student is supervised by registered PhD psychologists.  The sites of the practica vary from year to year as placement is dependent on funding, the availability of supervisors and student interests. Examples of recent local practicum sites include:

  • BC Centre for Sexual Medicine
  • BC Children’s Hospital
  • BC OSI Clinic
  • Back in Motion Rehabilitation Centre
  • BC Forensic Hospital
  • Burnaby General Hospital (neuropsychology)
  • Burnaby Mental Health & Substance Abuse
  • DBT Centre of Vancouver
  • G.F. Strong Rehab Centre ABI Program
  • Royal Columbian Hospital (clinical research – psychosis treatment)
  • Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre
  • Maple Ridge Mental Health Center
  • Ministry of Child and Family Development
  • North Shore Stress & Anxiety Clinic
  • UBC Hospital (severe mental illness)
  • Vancouver CBT Centre
  • Vancouver General Hospital (concurrent disorders unit)
  • Vancouver Psychotherapy Centre

Some students have chosen to go away for a summer practicum at sites such as Summit Psychology Group in Nelson, BC, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, or the Summer Treatment Program at Florida International University.

In addition to the required practicum, students typically engage in other community-based practica to round out their clinical skills in preparation for internship. Students are encouraged to assess their developing competencies using the Competencies Assessment form (doc) and discuss with their faculty advisor. Faculty advisors, in conjunction with the Clinic Director (who serves as a liaison between our program and the community-based practicum sites), make recommendations for practicum sites that fit the program’s goals and training standards as well as the student’s goals and developmental training needs. Students must obtain written approval for practicum placements well in advance of when they would like to begin the practicum.  Most sites have a competitive process for selecting trainees and cannot accommodate late applications.

For both the required practicum and elective practica, students are advised to begin checking into the availability of practica for the upcoming summer in October or November. A Practicum/Internship night is held each year to facilitate an exchange of information between students and local agencies, and potential practicum students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Internship

One of the requirements for the PhD in Clinical Psychology is a year-long internship. This is to be completed at a health or mental health agency accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association or the American Psychological Association. Students must be approved by the clinical program as ready for internship before they are eligible to apply. In addition to completing all required courses, the history requirement, and all data collection for their dissertation, students must also demonstrate broad-based competencies in relation to program objectives for clinical, professional, and scientific knowledge and skills. Students can obtain more information regarding these competencies by examining the Competencies Assessment form (doc) and discussing with their faculty advisor or the Director of the Clinical Training Program (Lynn Alden).

All students must apply to CPA or APA accredited internships. If students do not match the first year that they apply for internship, in subsequent application rounds they must continue to apply to accredited internships. However, they also may seek approval from the Clinical Programme to apply to internships that are not accredited. In seeking this area approval prior to applying, the student must provide with documentation clearly outlining how the nonaccredited internship maps onto the standards of an accredited internship. These standards are available on CPA’s website and can be used as a template to document how the internship fulfills these standards – i.e., is equivalent to an accredited internship.

More information about practica and internships can be found in the Practica and Internships Policies and Procedures Handbook (pdf).

Students in our program have recently been placed in the following internships:

  • Alberta Health Services: Calgary Clinical Psychology Residency program
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center/VA Medical Center Residency Consortium
  • St. Joseph Healthcare Hamilton Clinical Psychology Residency Program
  • Centre for Addictions and Mental Health Residency Program
  • Vancouver General Hospital/Vancouver Coastal Health Clinical Psychology Residency program
  • London Clinical Psychology Residency Consortium
  • University of Manitoba
  • Michael E. DeBakery Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Houston, Texas)
  • Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
  • The Ottawa Hospital
  • University of Washington School of Medicine