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Aim and Training Philosophy

Aim of Health Service Psychology Internship

  •  To train social justice-oriented generalist practitioners for entry into the field of health service psychology.

Training Philosophy

Trainees at our site are guided to develop clinical skills as generalist practitioners, as well as receive specialty training focused in their individual areas of interest. We highly value the mentorship role and as mentors, our goal is to help interns transition into professional roles and be prepared to pass on their knowledge and experiences to the next generation of psychologists.

This goal is accomplished through specific, sequential, cumulative, and increasingly complex experiences intended to both challenge and support trainees in their mastery of specific competencies: intervention (Individual counseling, crisis intervention, triage/intake interviewing, group counseling, and outreach and program evaluation), assessment, consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration, individual and cultural diversity, provision of supervision, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, ethical and legal standards, and competency within a chosen area of emphasis.

Our program philosophy is grounded in the practitioner-scholar model with an emphasis on social justice informed practice and training. Our model emphasizes culturally relevant practice, which demonstrates our value and attention to multicultural and ethical issues throughout every facet of our system and training. Emphasis throughout the training program is placed on the richness of cultural diversity among NMSU campus and the community of Las Cruces. The student population consists of a blending of diverse cultures and backgrounds comprised of Latinx, Indigenous peoples, and Caucasian populations. Additionally, the population is further enriched by the presence of Asian American, African American, and an international study body population. Our internship offers training in exploring cultural diversity within the Southwest community and Borderlands applying a variety of perspectives while incorporating intersectionality of various cultural identities.

Interns are encouraged to examine their own cultural experiences and biases as part of their training, as well as appreciate the similarities and differences among their peers, colleagues, supervisors and clients. Of equal importance to us is the philosophical belief that it is our responsibility as professionals to encourage self-exploration and an increase in awareness among interns as it is part of their social responsibility as a social justice advocate. Interns are expected to create a project during the year that focuses on social action, responsibility, justice, and advocacy in order to address environmental and systemic means of facilitating change within the university setting.

Another philosophical belief underlying the training program is that learning is best accomplished when conducted in a setting that provides both a challenge in terms of the professional experience as well as a warm, supportive atmosphere from which interns can participate in self-reflection, processing and integrating their experience. We wish to develop and build upon meaningful supervisory and collegial relationships to facilitate a deeper understanding of self and others through mentoring. Interns are encouraged to use the internship experience as a vehicle by which they can have the opportunity for personal and professional exploration.

We believe that interns will benefit the most from their internship experience with us if they are willing to share their knowledge and experience while still being willing to grow as a professional and open to obtaining feedback. Our hope is to promote the personal and professional integration of identities for interns during internship through building self-reflection and use of self, meaningful mentoring relationships, and a supportive yet challenging learning environment to be ready to enter the field as entry-level psychologists.
Our Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Questions related to our program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5979 /email: