Psychology Internship: Rotations


Acute Psychiatric Services (APS)

All interns complete a rotation on the APS. Nationally recognized, the APS was the first hospital-based center to be certified by the American Association of Suicidology. Interns usually work 10-12 eight-hour shifts in this 24-hour, multidisciplinary center, providing crisis evaluation services to walk-in patients as well as to patients brought in by family, police, providers, or ambulance. Interns work alongside their APS supervisor until they are ready to function more independently.

Adult Inpatient Psychiatry

Interns complete a day a week on the Adult Inpatient Psychiatry Service (this is an elective rotation for Child interns). They function as members of an interdisciplinary team that is led by the staff psychiatrist, which includes psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, medical students, and resident physicians. Interns participate in team rounds, where they provide updates and recommendations for patients with serious and persistent mental illness (and often co-occurring addictions). Interns also provide group and individual interventions to patients during this rotation and receive additional training in empirically supported treatments (e.g., motivational interviewing, illness management and recovery, etc.).

Partial Hospital Program (PHP)

PHP provides short-term (usually three weeks) of structured daily programming for patients who are experiencing acute symptoms of mental illness but do not require psychiatric hospitalization. Patients served present with diverse diagnoses, needs, and backgrounds. Most of the treatment occurs in group format, including psychotherapy as well as CBT skills, psychoeducation, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy groups. Interns co-lead a daily therapy group during their time with this service.

Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH)

The Primary Care Behavioral Health service provides integrated behavioral health treatment to patients in HCMC primary care clinics. Health psychologists and interns partner with primary care providers in order to manage the mental and physical health of primary care patients. Behavioral health services include consultation with medical providers, diagnostic assessment, health behavior assessment, health behavior intervention, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychiatric medication consultation by a CNS. In order to meet the needs of the primary care population, behavioral health services are delivered immediately during primary care appointments using problem-focused, time-limited interventions. There are training opportunities in both adult and child/adolescent focused primary care clinics.


While not a required part of the training, many interns choose to gain experience with neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychologists provide assessment of adult, adolescent, and pediatric patients from all hospital departments to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning. Patients with head injury, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, substance abuse, epilepsy, learning disorders, mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, HIV infection, carbon monoxide poisoning, developmental disorders, cortical and subcortical dementias, and psychiatric disorders are regularly assessed. Interns conduct testing and have the opportunity to write reports under the supervision of one of the neuropsychologists.

Health Psychology and Specialty Training Experiences

Health Psychology consultation has become a major focus of our training program in recent years. Physicians, nurses, and other health care providers have become increasingly aware of the role psychological factors play in the acute care and long-term management of many medical disorders. At HCMC, psychologists are important consultants and members of multidisciplinary teams serving the complex treatment needs of patients receiving services through a number of specialty clinics and programs. Interns are encouraged to round out the training year by selecting from the many specialty training experiences available at HCMC, some of which are listed below. If a particular training experience does not formally exist, it may be possible for arrangements to be made to develop appropriate and unique experiences for the intern.

Trauma Services

HCMC is a Level I Pediatric and Adult Trauma Center that provides comprehensive services to accident victims with multiple injuries. Psychological consultation and intervention are built into the critical pathway for patients admitted with new spinal cord injuries and are commonly sought for multiple trauma and burn patients. Psychologists are involved in assessing emotional status and providing counseling and family support. Presenting problems include acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, depression, delirium, and preexisting conditions such as personality disorders. Consultation to nursing staff regarding behavior management issues is requested on occasion as well.

Burn Center

The HCMC Burn Center is a 17-bed intensive care unit that provides comprehensive care to adults and children with thermal injuries (burns, frostbites, and hypothermia) as well as patients requiring specialized wound care. The Burn Center is part of the HCMC Trauma Services, but is also independently certified by the American Burn Association (ABA). As part of the team approach to patient care, a staff psychologist attends weekly rounds and offers consultation to other team members. Psychological services are made available to patients (and families) by psychology staff and trainees to help them cope with the often traumatic circumstances of the injury, the immediate and long-term psychosocial aspects of the physical trauma, and the post-discharge adjustment to everyday life.


The Child Adolescent Psychiatry Service (CAPS) is in close physical proximity to the large inpatient and outpatient pediatric services. Pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners from the Growth and Nutrition Clinic, Asthma Clinic, other specialty clinics, and general Pediatrics make referrals for assessments, therapeutic interventions, and consultation. Staff and students regularly receive referrals from the Adolescent Clinics, which serve adolescents as well as adolescent parents and their young children. CAPS staff and trainees provide consultation regarding children hospitalized on the general or intensive care pediatric units. Referral issues often include assessment of suicide risk, behavior management issues on the unit, difficulties with medical compliance, general adjustment concerns, and provision of education and support to children and families following traumatic accidents.

Pediatric Brain Injury Team

Working with this team offers a rich opportunity for interns wishing to obtain training and experience in the assessment and treatment of children with acquired brain injuries. This multidisciplinary team manages the acute, rehabilitative, and follow-up care of children and adolescents who have sustained brain injuries. Psychologists and neuropsychologists on the team perform assessment of the patient, participate in family and school conferences, and provide counseling as needed to assist the patient and family in coping with problems arising from the brain injury.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Clinic

The TBI Clinic and Knapp Rehabilitation Center consist of a multidisciplinary team of professionals (clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, speech therapists, social workers, recreational therapists, and physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians). The clinic provides comprehensive outpatient care to patients of all ages with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries, stroke, burns, and/or orthopedic injuries. The role of clinical psychology involves providing diagnostic assessment, education, and therapy to patients and families with adjustment to these health problems and/or treatment of comorbid psychiatric disorders. This population also has a higher proportion of patients with substance abuse issues. Trainees may have the opportunity to work with staff in this setting, depending upon clinic needs and available staffing.

Huntington's Disease Clinic

HCMC's Regional Huntington's Disease Clinic offers patients and their families’ comprehensive neurological, psychological, genetic counseling, neuropsychological, and social services. Psychologists participate in the early diagnostic and patient/family educational interventions, as well as provide ongoing individual, marital, and family psychotherapy. All Huntington's patients are evaluated on an annual or biannual basis with a specially tailored battery of neuropsychological tests.

Hennepin Bariatric Center

The Hennepin Bariatric Center is an interdisciplinary team that includes professionals from the departments of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Nutrition, and Psychiatry. Psychologists and trainees perform psychological evaluations of potential bariatric surgery patients, provide evaluation services for medical and psychological interventions, and provide or coordinate further psychological care.