Psychology Predoctoral Internship
Mind & Spirit Counseling Center is pleased to offer a full-time, one year, applied clinical and counseling Psychology Predoctoral Internship.
Interns will have exposure and experience with many supervised clinical activities in order to be prepared for entry-level practice as a generalist in psychology upon graduation.
The Center’s model of training most resembles Stricker’s and Trierweiler’s (1995) Local
Clinical Scientist (LCS) variation on the Scientist-Practitioner Model. Our psychologists
and trainees endeavor to bring the application of scientific principles and empirical
research to the local contextual frame of the specific client in their office. As a pastoral
counseling center, we have been interested in exploring how the existential, spiritual, and
religious facets of clients’ multicultural identities can interface with clinical work for
decades. We also attempt to be thoughtful about how the specific client’s diverse
influences (e.g., interpersonal and social, familial, cultural, geographic, economic, etc.)
and identities (e.g., race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, socioeconomic status, gender
identities, sexual orientation, ability, age and development, etc.) may impact both our
therapeutic relationship with each client as well as the application of empirical research
to each client’s presenting concerns.
Because of our history, size, and status in an underserved and largely rural state, our staff
operate as psychology generalists, and we intend to train predoctoral interns to function
in a similar role. We hope to balance breadth of training with sufficient depth to allow
the intern to begin identifying their own unique passions in clinical work. It is our
intention to tailor supervision and support to the unique developmental needs of each
predoctoral intern, with the goal to achieve entry-level clinical skills by the end of the
internship year. Thus, more time might be spent on modeling, observation, reviewing
work samples, and/or co-therapy in the beginning of the training year. As the year and
the intern’s development progresses, we would expect that interns be capable of greater
autonomy and clinical skill, as evidenced by larger and more complex caseloads, more
sophisticated case conceptualizations, and more developed professional identities as
The Psychology Predoctoral Internship program helps build the psychologist workforce in Iowa through the highest quality supervision, training and clinical experiences.
Scott P. Young, PhD, MSCP Director of Psychological Services & Co-Director Predoctoral Internship Program
Shannon Welch-Groves, PhD, Clinical Training Director & Co-Director Predoctoral Internship Program
Training and Experiences
In addition to the wide variety of didactic trainings available to all Cy-Hawk consortium
interns, the Center offers weekly consultations, classes, and trainings to all clinical staff and
trainees. Our Thursday morning offerings include (rotating by week of the month): psychiatric
consultation, psychologist consultation, couple’s and family consultation, general therapy
consultation, EMDR consultation, trauma case consultation, case conferences, SERT (Spiritual,
Existential, Religious, & Theological), intake staffing/small group consultation, C.O.O.L. (Children
Overcoming the Obstacles of Life), etc. There are also classes and trainings offered through the
Center’s other training programs, and through our Leadership and Spiritual Life programs.
Options for Training Rotations
Adult Individual Psychotherapy
Adult Individual Psychotherapy rotations, available as a major or minor rotation, emphasize practice and skill acquisition for adults 18-64 with a variety of presenting concerns. It is anticipated that the intern would have a mix of demographic variables, with some cases potentially continuing throughout the training year.
Youth Individual Psychotherapy
Youth Individual Psychotherapy rotations, available as a major or minor rotation, emphasize practice and skill acquisition for children and adolescents, with the specific age range depending on the interests of the intern and the comfort of the supervisor. In this rotation, the intern can expect a variety of presenting concerns, exposure to expressive arts and play therapy techniques, and a reasonable number of Medicaid cases. It is anticipated that the intern would have a mix of demographic variables, with some cases potentially continuing throughout the training year.
Older Adult Services
The Older Adult Services minor rotation emphasizes practice and skill acquisition for adults 65+ with a variety of presenting concerns. It is anticipated that the intern would have a mix of demographic variables, with some cases potentially continuing throughout the training year. This rotation is only offered as a minor rotation due to inability to bill Medicare for the services provided by interns. The intern can expect this minor rotation to include some individual psychotherapy cases of their own, some shared cases done through co-therapy with another provider, and some geriatric and neuropsychological assessment cases.
Psychological Assessment rotations, available as a major or minor rotation, allow the intern to cultivate skill and experience with one of the aspects of a psychologist’s identity that make us unique amongst mental health providers. The intern should expect to complete testing cases with clients across the lifespan and with a variety of referral questions. Within the major rotation, it may be possible for the intern to focus somewhat on a particular kind of assessment (e.g., ADHD evaluations, clergy evaluations, DDS evaluations, etc.), though the intern should be prepared for an assortment of cases.
Couples and Families Therapy
The Couples and Families Therapy minor rotation offers the intern an opportunity to gain experience working with relationship dynamics in a variety of family configurations. Interns are likely to gain appreciation for the variety of reasons couples seek counseling, and also will have opportunity to learn more about theoretical practice models focused on couples and marital work (e.g., Gottman, Emotionally-Focused Therapy, CBT for couples, etc.). Interns may also see families consisting of children and adults, all adult families, and individual therapy clients focused on family issues (e.g., caregiving, parenting concerns, adjusting to life after children, etc.).
Health and Prescribing Medical Psychology
The Health and Prescribing Medical Psychology minor rotation is an opportunity for the intern to learn more about a developing specialty area for psychologists. This rotation will blend health and behavioral assessments/interventions (e.g., bariatric surgery evaluations, smoking cessation, chronic pain management, spinal cord stimulator evaluations, medication compliance issues, etc.) with some training and exposure to psychopharmacology. Iowa is one of only a handful of states to allow psychologists to acquire additional training in psychopharmacology in order to add pharmacotherapy to their treatment repertoire, and this component (psychiatric and psychopharmacology practice) of the minor rotation is not known to be available at any other postdoc in the state. The psychopharmacology component will include some didactic and observational experiences, and will help prepare the intern to be a more active participant in their client’s pharmacotherapy.
Spiritually-Informed Psychological Services
The Spiritually-Informed Psychological Services major or minor rotation is another unique offering of the Center. As a pastoral counseling center with a rich mind-body-spirit model of care, this rotation will allow interns to learn more about how to integrate spiritual and religious practices and beliefs into their clinical work. The rotation will include some psychotherapy and counseling cases with clients explicitly dealing with spiritual and psychological problems, and with clients who are seeking traditional psychotherapy but for whom a religious or spiritual identity is an important cultural identity and value. Interns will also have the opportunity to learn and conduct clergy psychological evaluations for denominations with which the Center works.
Additionally, there will be ample opportunities for the intern to be involved in consultation, teaching, coaching, and outreach through the Center’s Leadership and Spiritual Life (LSL) Program. Some examples of possible experiences the intern might have partnering with LSL include: teaching a pastoral care specialist program class, community outreach presentations on mental health topics, developing training and resources to help clergy with referrals for their parishioner’s mental healthcare, mental health consultation services for clergy, etc.
- The predoctoral intern will receive a stipend of $36,000
- The option of participating in the Center’s individual health insurance and dental insurance policies
- Eligible to participate in the Center’s 403(b) retirement program at her/his discretion
- 2 weeks of vacation time and will accrue 1 day of sick leave per month.
- Time allotted during the internship for attendance at the Iowa Psychological Association Conferences
- The predoctoral intern will be included in the Center’s professional liability insurance policy
- Long-term disability insurance is provided, and the fellow may elect additional insurance coverages (e.g., short-term disability, life, etc.).
Eligibility and Application Requirements
We are currently accepting applications for the fall 2024 Psychology Predoctoral Internship.
To be considered for an internship at the Center, applicants must meet the following
- Approval by the applicant’s academic training program, verifying their readiness for internship
- A minimum of three years of an APA-Accredited doctoral program in Clinical or Counseling Psychology
- Have completed their comprehensive exams by the ranking deadline
- Have dissertation proposal be accepted by the doctoral committee prior to the ranking deadline
- A minimum of 300 intervention hours by the time of application
- A minimum of three integrated assessment evaluation reports
- Eligibility to obtain the Iowa provisional psychologist licensure.
- Preference will be given to applicants who have greater assessment experience and who will have defended their dissertation by the start of the internship year.
- In addition, the Center is not able to financially support Visa sponsorship but welcomes those applicants with Student Visas or who are eligible to work in the United States.
- After matching, the aspiring intern would need to agree to a background check, and to sign a confidentiality agreement upon beginning employment. The Center does not routinely require urinalysis for drug testing, and does not require regular vaccinations (e.g., COVID-19, influenza, etc.). The Center does encourage and support employees to keep current with vaccinations, and traditionally has offered a flu vaccine clinic day.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I come to Des Moines for my predoctoral internship training?
The Des Moines Metro continues to be the fastest growing Midwest metropolitan area, with a surprisingly rich variety of professional and recreational opportunities. Forbes has named Des Moines the best city for business and careers, and TODAY designated Des Moines America’s Wealthiest City. U.S. News and World Report has also repeated ranked Des Moines in the top cities to live affordably. Yes, we do have corn fields…but just wait till you see what else we have!
OK, but why should I do my predoctoral internship at Mind & Spirit Counseling Center, specifically?
The Center’s commitment to excellence in clinical training has been at the heart of our work for over 40 years. That’s nearly as long as the Center has been in existence (51+ years)! We have training tracks for each level of clinician development and a large multidisciplinary staff that are truly dedicated to helping form integrated and skilled clinicians. We have several areas of unique interest and expertise that you would be hard-pressed to find in any one place elsewhere in Iowa.
What are some of the “unique” experiences I might have during my predoctoral internship at Mind & Spirit Counseling Center
- Training in mind-body-spirit integration
- Psychotherapy and testing with children and adolescents, adults, older adults, couples and families
- Clergy evaluations
- Outreach presentations and provision of training opportunities
- Consultation with a multidisciplinary staff
- Exposure to prescribing medical psychology
What qualities does the Center seek in potential predoctoral interns?
An ideal candidate will have a solid foundation in clinical practice, with genuine curiosity and interest in learning. The internship year is intended to be a time of clinical skill acquisition and refining, so we don’t expect you to know everything or be skilled in everything. What is helpful is an openness to feedback and learning. Passion for specific foci of our internship program, for Iowa psychology, for our mission to help as many as we can regardless of insurance or means and/or mind-body-spirit psychological care are all very important as well. Predoctoral interns MUST be eligible for (or have received) the Iowa provisional psychologist licensure.
What would make an intern a good fit for the Center?
Characteristics that are especially appreciated include:
- Intellectual curiosity about clients and clinical work
- Having a genuine desire to learn
- Willingness to be vulnerable and open to feedback
- Being self-motivated/self-starter
- Feeling passion for our mission
- Interest in spiritually-integrated care
- Cultural humility and curiosity
- Community participation
- Willingness to engage in direct communication and “creative interchange”
- Psychological Mindedness