Future psychologists gain experience in internship program
When Adam Bradford began applying for internships to complete his psychology doctorate, he did not know where he would land a year-long position; neither did doctoral candidate Kori Bennett.
Now, both Bradford and Bennett are interns in the Wichita Collaborative Psychology Internship Program (WCPIP). Wichita State University’s Counseling and Testing Center is one of five agencies in WCPIP.
Bradford works for COMCARE of Sedgwick County and Prairie View Inc.; Bennett interns at Wichita State’s CTC and COMCARE.
Bradford, who will receive his doctorate from Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz., said he appreciates the diversity in work experience and supervision, and the camaraderie amongst his fellow interns.
“One of the greatest benefits of WCPIP I’ve noticed is the cohort,” he said. “This is an amazing group of future doctors.”
Interns in the program work primarily at one agency throughout the year; however, they also have the opportunity to work at a secondary location, or “switch site,” which allows for broadened clinical training and experience.
Bennett, a student at the University of Indianapolis, can recognize areas of professional growth and is prepared to enter into the next career phase.
“In addition to providing psychotherapy and assessment services in the CTC, I’ve had the chance to interact with WSU students and staff members through multiple outreach efforts,” said Bennett. “These experiences have fostered in me a deep appreciation for the WSU community.”
The five agencies that make up the Wichita Collaborative Psychology Internship Program are COMCARE of Sedgwick County, Prairie View Inc., South Central Mental Health Counseling Center of Butler County, WSU’s Counseling and Testing Center and University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita.
“WCPIP is unique in that many other programs are located at only one site,” said clinical psychologist Jessica Provines, WCPIP training director and associate director for Wichita State’s CTC. “The fact that we collaborate with our community partners gives future psychologists varied training experiences to draw from in multiple settings.”
Each year, the internship program receives around 150 applicants from doctoral clinical, counseling and educational psychology programs across the country, and accepts only about 10 students.
During summer 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) reaccredited WCPIP for seven more years—the highest number of years the association can grant a program. As of August 2013, about 425 psychologists will have completed their internships with WCPIP, the most famous being psychologist Albert Bandura.
“The program has a huge impact on mental health services in Wichita,” said Provines. “It is the most important factor in recruiting psychologists to our community. Many Wichita psychologists are WCPIP grads.”
WCPIP first received accreditation from the APA in 1953, making it the first accredited consortia in the United States.