Externship Training Program

2020-2021 Psychology Externship Training Program

The George Mason University Center for Psychological Services (GMU CPS) offers a nine-month, 16-hour per week Psychology Externship Training Program for doctoral students enrolled in APA-accredited clinical and counseling psychology programs. It is required that applicants have received foundational training (coursework and practicum experience) in cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as psychological and psycho-educational assessment. Preference will be given to extern applicants applying during their third year or later of graduate study with previous therapy and assessment experience. However, we will consider applications from students in their second year of graduate study if they have exceptional prior clinical experience.

The GMU CPS is a community-based clinic that provides a wide range of psychological services to the Northern Virginia community. These services include psychotherapy (individual, group, family, and couples), psychoeducational and psychological assessments, and consultation. As a community-based clinic, we work with clients across the lifespan experiencing a broad range of presenting concerns and diagnoses. Our Center is also the primary training facility for the doctoral students in clinical psychology and masters students in school psychology at George Mason University.

The GMU CPS Psychology Externship Training Program is designed to provide externs with the opportunity to strengthen clinical skills through training and direct client care. The foundation of the training program is on the implementation of evidence-based assessment and intervention with a particular emphasis on therapies that fall under the larger umbrella of cognitive and behavioral approaches. The training sequence includes individual and group supervision, didactics related to clinical practice (often included in group supervision) and case presentations.

At least 3 externs will be accepted for the 2020-2021 academic year, though additional placements may be made available, in addition to there being two primary training sequences.

Combined Therapy & Assessment: The Training Sequence
It is expected that externs will maintain five to six active therapy cases (individual, family, couples, and/or a group), conduct a total of seven psychoeducational or mental health assessment during the year, receive one to two hours of individual and one to two hours of group supervision weekly, and attend periodic didactic seminars. Additional training opportunities that may be available include workshop presentations and clinical research.

Primary Assessment: The Training Sequence
Externs on the Assessment rotation will spend their time conducting psychoeducational and mental health assessments. It is expected that externs in this track will conduct approximately 1.5 psychoeducational or mental health assessments per month across the academic year, receive one hour of individual and one hour of group supervision weekly, and attend periodic didactic seminars. Depending on extern interest, part of the time spent at GMU CPS can be devoted to maintaining a small caseload of therapy cases, though this is not required. Additional training opportunities that may be available include workshop presentations and clinical research.  There is the opportunity to flex the hours on this training sequence and the number of assessments will change accordingly.

How to Apply
Interested applicants can submit a cover letter indicating the track to which they are applying, how we can meet your training goals, a CV including previous clinical experience, an unofficial transcript, and two letters of reference (one must be from a current/past clinical supervisor) to:

GMU Center for Psychological Services

Attn: Externship Coordinator

10340 Democracy Lane, Suite 202

Fairfax, VA 22030         

Applications are due by 9am EST on Monday, February 3, 2020. Applications may be delivered either by mail or email (psycclin@gmu.edu). Please direct any questions to Dr. Mehlenbeck (rmehlenb@gmu.edu). . 

Interviews will be held the week of February 17th. We will be adhering to the Call Day protocol on Friday, March 13th.

Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you!