The George Mason University Center for Psychological Services (GMU CPS) offers a 9-12 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.
It is strongly preferred that the extern be able to start their experience in the summer of 2023, finishing their experience in May 2024. Of note, there are opportunities for pay during the last part of this externship after a set of training expectations are met.
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.
Three to four extern placements are available for the 2023-2024 academic year.
There are three primary training sequences.
Combined Therapy & Assessment: The Training Sequence
It is expected that externs will maintain five active therapy cases (individual, family, couples, and/or a group), conduct a total of six 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. You may specialize with children, teens or adults. Additional training opportunities that may be available include workshop presentations and clinical research.
Primary Therapy: The Training Sequence
Externs in this track will be expected to maintain 8 active therapy cases, which will include a mix of both longer-term clients (individual, family, couples, and/or a group, based on the externs interest) and clients engaged in the Stepped Mental Health Care Program (https://psyclinic.gmu.edu/services/therapy). The Stepped Care program is for adults only; longer term clients can be focused on child, adolescent or adult. Supervision will include two hours of individual supervision weekly, one hour of group supervision and the opportunity to attend periodic didactic seminars.
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 10 psychoeducational or mental health assessments across the academic year, receive one hour of individual and one hour of group supervision weekly, and attend periodic didactic seminars. Opportunities to complete additional assessments for pay is available after the extern has met their requirements. 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 for the assessment training sequence to be part time only, and the number of assessments will change accordingly.
In addition to the general community population served by CPS, the Center also provides both therapeutic and assessment services for Veterans. Applicants with specialized interest in working with Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.
Other specializations and areas of focus may become available over the coming months – please check back for more information.