DSH - Patton: Psychology Practicum Program

Welcome to the DSH-Patton Psychology Practicum Web Site. Our practicum training program provides clinical training to local doctoral graduate students in clinical psychology. The practicum program is not a part of our APA-accredited internship program. Rather, it is a distinct pre-internship training experience that is designed to help students prepare for full-time internships. Our practicum program is primarily focused on providing intensive training in psychological assessment in a forensic setting. Although all practicum students obtain experiences conducting diagnostic intake evaluations and general clinical assessments (e.g., psycho-diagnostic and intellectual assessments), the program also provides more specialized rotations in conducting neuropsychological and forensic assessments. In order to ensure that practicum students have the requisite assessment skills to complete our practicum successfully, we require that applicants have taken coursework in the areas of statistics/test construction, intellectual assessment, and personality assessment. Additionally, successful applicants generally have some previous experience with psychological testing. If interested, practicum students may have the opportunity to participate in one of our ongoing research groups.

Our practicum training program provides clinical training to local doctoral students in clinical psychology and admits four trainees per year, plus one potential neuropsychology practicum position. The program is a distinct and separate program from our APA-accredited internship program. It is an advanced, pre-internship training experience designed to help students prepare for full-time internships. Most of our former practicum students have been accepted into APA-accredited internships. The DSH-Patton training program (post-doctoral fellowship, pre-doctoral internship, and practicum programs) is headed by David Glassmire, Ph.D., ABPP. The practicum program is directed by Sherin Singleton, Psy.D.

Focus of Training:

The primary focus of the training year is in intensive training and experience in psychological assessments in a forensic setting. Trainees will conduct diagnostic intake evaluations and will learn effective and efficient clinical interviewing strategies with patients who have severe mental illnesses, including schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Trainees will also conduct full psychological assessment batteries that focus on general clinical issues such as psychodiagnostic assessments and intellectual assessments. Trainees will also be trained in forensic assessments; specifically, students will learn about and conduct malingering evaluations, and evaluations aimed at determining adjudicative competence. Most intake assessments and all of the focused assessments will be comprehensive enough be considered Integrated Assessment Batteries on the APPI.

Although clinical interviewing and psychological assessment are the core experiences in our program, our practicum students are also expected to co-facilitate a treatment group with a staff psychologist throughout the training year*. This gives the trainee the opportunity to apply existing and newly built skills in a therapeutic role with our patient population. Due to the nature of our population, our practicum students may not conduct individual psychotherapy with our patients.

Highlights of the practicum training program include:

  • Intensive Practicum “bootcamp” at the beginning of the training year.
  • Requires at least 18 hours per week on-site; workdays will be determined at the outset of the training year, with a student's primary supervisor (note: on-site hours are presently modified due to COVID-19)
  • Trainees may be on campus between the hours of 7:30-5:00 and may not work weekends or take work home.
  • Direct supervision of test administration
  • Intake and Focused assessments
  • Assessment of Adjudicative Competence/Malingering
  • Hospital-wide Assessment Consultations
  • 1-2 hours of group treatment per week (*note: presently modified due to COVID-19)
  • Weekly individual supervision, group supervision/case consultation, didactic training
  • Opportunities to attend trainings made available to the Patton psychology staff or hospital staff, as available
  • Prerequisites:
    • Trainee must be enrolled in an APA-Accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.)
    • Coursework in the areas of statistics/test construction, intellectual assessment, and objective personality assessment must be completed prior to the start of the training year.
    • Trainees should have at least some prior experience administering, scoring, and interpreting psychological assessment instruments outside of tests given exclusively for class assignments.
    • Trainees must have excellent writing abilities.
    • As this is an intensive practicum with high expectations, our trainees must have the ability to manage multiple tasks and must be able to accept, internalize, and utilize feedback from supervisors in their work. Flexibility is also a critical prerequisite.
    • Trainees must have at least 2 years of clinical experience (whether external or internal practicum). This is an advanced practicum and is best suited for trainees who are nearing internship (3rd year or higher, depending on the program). That being said, a less advanced student with exceptional skills and experiences in testing and severe and persistently mentally ill inpatients may apply, with their DCT approval.

Application process:

Our practicum program is not participating in the SCAPTP match. All application materials must be received in full by January 22, 2020. Interviews and notifications will be made by the end of February.

Students must receive approval from their graduate school's Director of Clinical Training (DCT) to apply to Patton's practicum program. Application materials must include:

  • Cover letter that includes why the trainee feels that the DSH-Patton practicum fits well within the context of the student's overall training goals
  • De-identified sample assessment report
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Reference from a practicum (externship or internal practicum) supervisor

All questions and application materials should be directed to:

Sherin Singleton, Psy.D.
Practicum Director