The Catholic University of America

Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of clients will I see at during my internship year?

At the Counseling Center, we typically see the majority of clients who seek our services.  Only a small percentage of clients (i.e., 3-5%) are referred out due to a need for more specialized care than our treatment model might accommodate.  Typically, interns will have the opportunity to provide both time-limited and long-term treatment to clients for a broad range of issues.   Some of the most common symptom presentations include: mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder), anxiety (including GAD, OCD, panic, social phobia), trauma, adjustment, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, eating disorders, autism spectrum, stress, suicidal ideation, self-injury behaviors, distress tolerance, personality disorders, relational problems, bereavement, and religious or spiritual problems.

Will I have a diverse caseload?

At the Counseling Center, we have worked hard to reach underserved populations on campus.  Interns tend to have a diverse caseload throughout their internship year.  Statistically speaking, over the past few years, the percentage of individuals identifed as ethnic minorities seen by interns who have a full caseload has ranged from 25% to 44%.  In addition, interns frequently work with clients who have less visible minority statuses such as first generation college students, various faith traditions, students struggling with LGBTQIAA issues, as well as students from less economically privileged backgrounds. 

How long can I work with clients?

As stated earlier interns have the opportunity to work with clients on both a long-term and short-term basis.  Full-time Catholic University students receive up to 45 individual therapy sessions at the Center.  In recent years, the average length of treatment for clients was around 8-9 sessions.  

What do interns do after they complete the internship program?

The internship program is committed to helping interns take the next step in their careers. Once we were accredited by the APA in 2010, all of our former interns acquired positions shortly after (if not immediately after) completion of internship. Of the nine former interns over the past three years, initial positions obtained include: four postdoctoral positions at counseling centers, one full-time staff position at a counseling center, and four either joined group practices or started their own private practice businesses. For the three who completed postdoctoral positions at counseling centers (i.e., one is currently a postdoc), two obtained full-time staff psychologist positions at university counseling centers and one joined the staff at a university-affiliated hospital. 

Does Catholic University require criminal background checks?

YES: Catholic University requires a background check that verifies that candidates have no criminal or other record that would preclude employment in the University's judgment. These background checks will be conducted following the APPIC Match, and offers will be contingent upon successfully completing the background check. A full explanation of this policy is available at http://policies.cua.edu/employment/backgroundinvestigation.cfm

How difficult is it to relocate to Washington DC? 

Although Washington DC is an expensive city, there are affordable living options in the vicinity of campus.  Because Catholic University is located on the Metro’s Red Line, this provides interns with access to affordable housing in both DC and Maryland.  For more information please take a look at Catholic University’s off campus website: http://housing.cua.edu/offcampus.cfm

What are the staff dynamics like at the Center?

The staff at our Center is comprised of five full-time psychologists, one full-time licensed social worker, one part-time psychologist, one part-time social worker, and one part-time psychiatric nurse practitioner.  The staff is collegial and maintains an open door policy.  Interns are encouraged to collaborate with staff from different disciplines in order to broaden their training experience. 

When will interviews take place?

The interview notification date will be November 28th.  Interviews will take place from December 17th 2018 to January 11th 2019 on days in which the university is open (i.e., closed for nearly two weeks around the holidays).  The applicants are interviewed by the entire staff and one of the interns.  Staff members interview the interns in teams of two or three interviewers.  Each interview lasts approximately 50 minutes.  The entire interview process lasts approximately three hours.  The applicants also have a chance to meet with the current interns over coffee and ask more informal questions.

Who should I contact if my question is not answered above?

Please contact Dr. Mark LaSota if you have further questions and he will respond to your inquiries.