University at Buffalo

Psychology Doctoral Internship

Policies and Procedures Manual

Internship Framework

Internship Duration

Two interns will complete the program over 12 months on a full-time (40 hours/week) basis.  The internship year will run from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Stipend

The intern stipend for the 2020-2021 internship year is $35,000.  Interns are paid on a monthly basis.

Leave Time and Other Benefits

As full-time employees, interns receive a benefits package that includes health insurance, paid state holidays, sick and personal leave, and use of University facilities.

Interns are given insurance through the medical insurance plan provided by UPP, on behalf of UB.  Full-time employees may enroll in either a single or family plan.  Interns are eligible to enroll on their first day of employment, July 1.  Information and enrollment forms may be obtained from the Practice Plan Administrator.

To assist with the cost of insurance, our organization pays the entire high-deductible of the single or family plan.  Interns are responsible for paying the balance through payroll deduction.  The current cost, as well as a summary of benefits booklet containing the details of the health insurance plan and eligibility requirements, may be obtained from the Practice Plan Administrator.

As employees of UPP, the following are observed, paid holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

As full-time employees, interns are given the following leave:

  • 12 sick days
  • 14 vacation days
  • 3 professional development days

Vacation

Employees should submit written vacation requests to their supervisor with as much advance notice as possible (no less than 60 days) so that backup arrangements can be made.  Every effort will be made to accommodate vacation requests, unless business circumstances do not permit. 

Sick Leave

If you are ill and cannot work, you must call your supervisor no later than one hour before your scheduled starting time.  Thereafter, you must call in at least one hour prior to your normal starting time for each day you remain home ill.

Should you be absent from work for more than three (3) consecutive work days, you are required to provide a physician’s certificate when you return to work indicating the nature of your illness, and physician’s approval for you to resume your job duties.

Failure of an employee to give required notice, or frequent absences, shall constitute cause for disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.  If an employee is absent for two (2) days without contacting their supervisor, the employee may be terminated without notice.  Excessive absences, lateness, or a pattern of poor attendance are grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

Internship Hours

To complete the internship, students must participate in a 40 hour average work week that combines psychological services and other learning activities that are consistent with hours at their internship site(s). 

Staffing Structure of the Internship Program

Administration

The program administration is primarily the responsibility of the Training Director (TD).  The current staff is as follows:

Training Director

Cogswell, Alex

Alex Cogswell, PhD

Associate Professor / Training Director of Psychology Doctoral Internship

The Childrenā€˜s Psychiatry Clinic, 1028 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Phone: (716) 859-5454; Fax: 716 859-5585

Email: alexcogs@buffalo.edu

Director, Division of Psychology

Antonius, Daniel

Daniel Antonius, PhD

Director, Division of Forensic Psychiatry; Director, Division of Psychology

Erie County Medical Center, 462 Grider Street Buffalo, NY 14215

Phone: (716) 898-5290

Email: danielan@buffalo.edu

Associate Training Director

Leidenfrost, Corey

Corey Leidenfrost, PhD

Research Assistant Professor/Associate Training Director of Psychology Doctoral Internship

Erie County Medical Center, 462 Grider St., 11th Floor, Department of Psychiatry Buffalo, NY 14215

Phone: 716 858-2859

Email: coreylei@buffalo.edu

Program Administrator

Julie L. Mikula

Program Administrator

Erie County Medical Center, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY 14215

Phone: (716) 898-3597; Fax: (716) 898-4538

Email: juliemik@buffalo.edu

Supervisor Staff

The supervisor staff for interns are licensed psychologists in the state of New York.  Supervisors must have appropriate training and expertise in clinical supervision.  They will actively participate in program planning, implementation, and evaluation.  Supervisors will serve as professional role models consistent with the program’s training goals and objectives, and will provide the following:

  • Function as an integral part of the program and have primary responsibility for service delivery
  • Contribute to setting the agenda for Supervision
  • Establish a safe environment in which professional and practice issues may be explored
  • Assist the supervisee in clarifying, exploring, thinking, and reflecting on feelings and perceptions underlying their work practice
  • Clear, concise, and constructive feedback where appropriate
  • Facilitate appropriate information, experience, and skill sharing
  • Challenge unhelpful assumptions and attitudes that may influence practice
  • Establish other factors that may impact the supervisee’s work including working relationships with colleagues or personal circumstances within the scope of personal and professional boundaries
  • Challenge all practice that is considered unethical or incompetent using the profession’s code of conduct/practice and the philosophies, policies, and procedures of the organization they work for
  • Encourage the supervisee to take up issues with others where appropriate and to offer support
  • Ensure that issues related to adult and child protection are embedded in professional practice and supervision
  • Monitor that supervisee is coping with their clinical workload and address use or burnout, etc. as required
  • Record agreed outcomes/recommendations of the Supervision session, if necessary

Intern Selection

APPIC and AAPI

The internship intends to use the online AAPI internship application through the APPIC match process.  To bypass the match while in the accreditation process, the Training Director will make contact with local universities/programs to inform and disseminate information regarding the available doctoral internship positions.  Any and all applicants will initially be reviewed by the director for minimum basic criteria and requirements consistent with current APA-accredited programs.

If the internship has not accepted any interns, the program will participate in Phase II of the match and will follow all guidelines associated with the APPIC match process.

Qualifications

Applicants must be matriculated in a PhD or PsyD program in Clinical, Counseling, or School Psychology.  Applicants must also demonstrate adequate preparation for internship as indicated by their credentials and their graduate training director’s endorsement.

Applicants must provide:

  • Application
  • Cover Letter
  • Two letters of recommendation (including teachers or supervisors who are familiar with your graduate work, and at least one familiar with your clinical skill)
  • Graduate school transcript

Applicant Review

The University at Buffalo abides by all APPIC rules governing the application and selection process.  Under these rules, once a candidate’s application is under consideration, very little information about the status of the applicant may be released.

After applications are reviewed, potential candidates will be contacted to interview and visit our Internship Program site. 

Supervision and Evaluation

Each intern is assigned a rotation and psychotherapy supervisor at the initial phase of the internship year.  All supervisory assignments are given by the Training Director, and all supervisors are Psychologists licensed to practice in the state of New York.

Supervisors coordinate all training experiences for each intern in collaboration with the Training Director.  In regards to clinical practice, all questions/comments/concerns should be addressed to either rotation or psychotherapy supervisor.  Items pertaining to policies and procedures should be directed to the Training Director.

Rotation supervisors are responsible for overseeing elective rotations in addition to any activities where interns are involved in co-leading a group.  

Rotation and psychotherapy supervisors are required to provide written evaluations to interns a minimum of three times per year (at 4, 8, and 12 months).  Any concerns by interns and/or supervisors can be remedied in a one-on-one meeting amongst parties involved.  Any concerns that cannot be resolved through this avenue can be brought to the Training Director to assist in an appropriate resolution. 

Elective Rotations

Purpose

Electives offer an opportunity to receive training outside of the standard rotations and work closely with other disciplines/agencies that deal with mental health issues.  Interns will be involved in the clinical and didactic elements of the elective during some portion of the afternoon and evening hours throughout the year.

Locations

Electives are year-long exposures to specialty services offered at:

  • The University at Buffalo (UB)
  • Erie County Medical Center (ECMC)

Rotation Selection

Current Rotations offered include:

  • Neuropsychology – Adult and Child
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)
  • Chemical Dependency Services
  • Rehabilitation
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Clinics – Adult and Child
  • Research

Intern Presentations

Throughout the program, interns are required to complete four (4) presentations in order to be assessed on progress, competency, and ability.  The topic areas include case presentations, research-oriented talks, and diversity or community outreach discussions. 

Training Program Evaluations

Required Evaluations of Interns

Evaluations of interns is an on-going, year-long process throughout the internship.  Formal, written evaluations are provided to interns by their primary or secondary supervisor at 4-month, 8-month, and 12-month benchmarks.

Evaluations completed for each intern during the training program include:

  • Clinical Supervisor Evaluation
  • Case/Research Presentation Evaluation
  • Supervision of Supervision Evaluation

Staff at internship locations can provide feedback to an intern either directly or through their primary supervisor.  The Training Director must be informed of any direct feedback.  In addition, interns must receive copies of all written evaluations following review with their supervisors.

Upon successful completion of the internship program, interns are presented with certificates documenting completion of all trainings and other requirements within the doctoral internship program in psychology.

Required Evaluation by Interns

Interns are also required to provide evaluations throughout the year in order to provide feedback about the program.  

Evaluations completed by each intern during the training program include:

  • Self-Evaluation (entry into the program)
  • Supervisor Assessment (4-month, 8-month, and 12-month benchmarks)
  • Program Evaluation (12-month)
  • Alumni Survey
  • Recruitment Survey

Maintenance of Records

All records related to supervision of interns are stored electronically and securely in a locked office drawer in the Program Administrator’s office.  Individual files are maintained and kept indefinitely.  They can, at any time, be reviewed by the Training Director.

Intern Performance Policy and Due Process, Grievance, and Appeals Procedures

Purpose

Members of the internship training staff are committed to promoting and supporting diversity and inclusion in our research, clinical and educational missions to meet the needs of the students, faculty, staff and the communities we serve.  More so, as outlined by the APA, the doctoral internship allows psychologists involved in the training to help improve and maintain quality control of the profession by ensuring that psychologists entering the field are competent.

This policy provides staff and interns the standards for successful completion of the internship and steps UB may take in response to behavior which interferes with performance and responsibilities outlined in this manual.

The University at Buffalo reserves the right to take actions that may be necessary and required that may fall outside of this policy. 

Standards for Internship Completion

Interns will demonstrate and be evaluated in their achievement of nine profession-wide competencies.

Interns will have worked a minimum of 2,000 total hours in this internship.

Definition and Evaluation of Problematic Behavior

An intern is required to treat each other with respect.  Behavior that a reasonable person would consider offensive and inappropriate in the workplace, even if it does not rise to the level of unlawful conduct, violates the respect rule.  Interactions with coworkers, managers, and customers should be guided by courtesy and common sense.

Problematic behavior is defined as a problem, or source of concern, that interferes with the professional functioning of an intern to do the following:

  • Acquire and integrate professional behavior and ethical standards into his/her professional activities.
  • Control personal stress, psychological problems, and/or excessive emotional reactions which interfere with client care or other professional activities.
  • Gain the level of professional skills necessary to reach an acceptable level of competency.

Problematic behavior is identified when it involves at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Ramifications for ethical and legal concerns if not addressed.
  • A disproportionate amount of time and attention is required by training staff to address the intern’s behavior, and the behavior does not change following feedback, remediation efforts, and/or time.
  • The problem is not acknowledged, understood, or addressed when identified to the intern.
  • The quality of services and professional relationships of the intern is seriously impacted in a negative way.
  • The behavior is not restricted to one area of professional functioning.
  • The behavior is not merely a reflection of a skill deficit, which can be improved through additional academic, didactic, or experiential training.

Due Process Procedures

The following steps will be taken to address problematic behavior to ensure that decisions made by the internship program are not subjective or personally biased.

  1. Verbal Warning
  2. Written Warning
  3. Remediation Plan
  4. Dismissal and/or Withdrawal

Verbal Warning

A verbal warning stresses the need for an intern to terminate inappropriate behavior.  No formal record of the warning is kept in the intern’s permanent file; Verbal warnings are filed only in an evaluation file as a reference when computing overall evaluation scores.  Verbal warnings will include written acknowledgement addressing the problematic behavior.

A written acknowledgement to the intern recognizes the following:

  • The Training Director is aware of and concerned about the problem or the performance rating.
  • The concern has been brought to the attention of the intern.
  • The intern will work directly with the Training Director to correct the problem.
  • The behaviors associated with the verbal warning do not warrant more serious action.

The written acknowledgement will be removed from the intern’s file when the intern responds to the concerns and successfully completes the internship.

Written Warning

A written warning to the intern indicates the intern must terminate inappropriate behavior that is interfering with the intern’s performance.

Written warnings will include the following:

  • A description of the action that is unsatisfactory.
  • Actions required by the intern to correct the unsatisfactory behavior.
  • The timeframe allotted for intern to correct unsatisfactory behavior.
  • Needed action if unsatisfactory behavior is not corrected within timeframe.
  • The Training Director has been notified and consulted.
  • Notification that the intern has the right to request a review of the action.

A copy of the written warning will be kept in the intern’s file, and may be given consideration for removal at the end of the internship by the Training Director.  If the letter is retained in the file, documentation from statements involving all parties in the dispute should be contained within.

Remediation Plan

A remediation plan is a closely supervised period of training intended to assist the intern in the expectation of completing the internship.  This period will include increased supervision and review of the intern’s work and professional obligations by their regular supervisor in conjunction with the Training Director.

Remediation will include the following:

  • A detailed description, with dated examples, of the intern’s unsatisfactory behavior.
  • Specific actions, including steps for remediation, needed by intern to rectify the unsatisfactory behavior.
  • The timeframe allotted for intern to correct unsatisfactory behavior.
  • Needed action if unsatisfactory behavior is not corrected within timeframe, up to and including termination from the internship.
  • The Training Director has been notified, consulted, and provided with a copy of the remediation plan.
  • Procedures to determine whether the problem has been corrected, including when and how any corrective actions were or were not successful in addressing a prior verbal and/or written warning.

Courses of action included in a remediation plan may contain the following:

  • Increased supervision by previous or other supervisors.
  • Change in the format, emphasis, and/or focus of supervision.
  • A recommendation of steps to assist the intern in appropriately performing their duties, including a recommendation of personal therapy and/or a medical evaluation.
  • Reducing the intern’s clinical or other workload.
  • Required specific academic coursework and/or readings.

The Training Director, in conjunction with the Training Committee, will determine the length of the remediation period along with when and if the intern can resume their regular schedule.

Dismissal and/or Withdrawal

Dismissal from the internship program involves the permanent withdrawal of all responsibilities and privileges.  When specific interventions, as noted in prior sections, do not remedy the problematic behavior and/or the intern seems unable or unwilling to alter their behavior, dismissal may be warranted.

This action may be invoked by the Training Director in any situation including, without limit, cases of severe or repeated violations of professional ethical codes or applicable laws, rules, or regulations.  The intern will be informed, in writing, by the Training Director and will meet to review the decision.

If an intern cannot complete the internship due to physical, mental, or emotional illness, or other situations not related to disciplinary action, a consultation can be arranged with the Internship Director.  Administrative leave can be granted with or without pay.

Appeals

Should an intern choose to appeal any aforementioned actions, they must inform the Training Director within one week of receiving notification of the action.  An appeal will be heard by a review panel and all evidence will be presented during a review hearing.  The intern maintains the right to be present during the hearing and have the opportunity to dispute or explain their behavior in question, prior to the review panel’s discussion.  All decisions by the review panel will be made by majority vote, and within one week of completion or the hearing, reports will be submitted to the Training Director and intern.  Any recommendations for further disciplinary action will be included.  Within one week of receipt, the Training Director will accept, reject, or provide an alternative to the panel for further deliberation.  Any further deliberation will require a report filing of results by the panel.  The intern and all other appropriate individuals will be contacted, in writing, once the final decision is made by the Training Director. 

Should an intern appeal a decision made by the Training Director, they must inform the Director of the Division of Psychology within one week of receiving notification of any aforementioned action.  The Director of the Division of Psychology will form a review panel and all evidence will be presented during a review hearing.  The intern maintains the right to be present during the hearing and have the opportunity to dispute or explain their behavior in question, prior to the review panel’s discussion.  All decisions by the review panel will be made by majority vote, and within one week of the completion or hearing, reports will be submitted to the Director of the Division of Psychology and the intern.  Any recommendations for further disciplinary action will be included.  Within one week of receipt, the Director of the Division of Psychology will accept, reject, or provide an alternative to the panel for further deliberation.  Any further deliberation will require a report filing of results by the panel.  The intern and all other appropriate individuals will be contacted, in writing, once the final decision is made by the Director of the Division of Psychology.

Verbal and/or Written

A verbal or written warning may be appealed, in writing, to the Training Director.  A written response, provided by the director, will either confirm the warning or direct removal of the warning from the intern’s evaluation file.  The decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Remediation Plan

The remediation plan may be appealed, in writing, to the Training Director.  Interns may include letters and/or documents from their Training Director in the appeal process.  A written response, provided by the director, will either confirm the remediation plan and its specific elements, or direct the removal of the plan and its elements from the intern’s evaluation file.  The decision is final and not subject to appeal.

Dismissal and/or Withdrawal

Dismissal decisions and voluntary withdrawal with voluntary severance are not subject to appeal.

Grievance Procedures

  If a complaint is issued by an intern against a member of the UPP or UB staff, the following procedures should be followed:

  • The intern should discuss the nature of the concern with the staff member involved; if the situation is not resolved, the issue should be discussed with the Training Director.  The Training Director will then facilitate a meeting between the intern and staff member to resolve the concern.
  • If the situation is not resolved during this meeting, the intern may pursue additional consultation with their supervisor or Training Director.
  • In circumstances where a more formal complaint is filed, the intern will submit a complaint, in writing, to the Training Director.  The Training Director will then review and investigate the complaint.
  • In circumstances where a formal complaint is filed against the Training Director, or the Training Director’s involvement presents a conflict of interest, the Director of the Division of Psychology will review and investigate the complaint.
  • Guidance may also be sought from the American Psychological Association (APA), the Committee on Accreditation for Psychology Internships (CoA), and the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
  • Interns are covered by the University at Buffalo’s equal opportunity and sexual harassment policies that UPP fully accepts and supports. 

All questions pertaining to accreditation should be directed to:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation

American Psychological Association
750 1st Street NE
Washington, DC 20002

Phone: (202) 336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/edu/accreditation

APA Program #: 002379