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 are deemed not to be a good fit for our services and referred out.  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 Axis I disorders include: Major Depressive Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Panic Disorder Without Agoraphobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, Substance Abuse, Adjustment Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Type, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Partner Relational Problem, Bereavement and Religious or Spiritual Problem.  In addition, interns worked with clients who were diagnosed with the following Axis II disorders: Histrionic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Will I have a diverse caseload?

At the Counseling Center we have worked hard to reach underserved populations at CUA.  Interns tend to have a diverse caseload throughout their internship year.  Statistically speaking over the past three years the percentage of 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, 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.  All full-time students receive up to 45 free sessions at the Center.  The average length of treatment for clients in recent years was about 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.  During these difficult economic times the Center is proud to report that in the past three years all of our trainees have acquired positions after completing the internship.  These positions include: postdoctoral positions at counseling centers, a postdoctoral position at a VA, a full-time staff psychologist position at a counseling center, and a full-time position for the government completing assessments.   In addition, one person joined a group private practice and two people started their own private practices. 

Does CUA require criminal background checks?

YES: CUA 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 CUA.  As stated earlier, CUA is located on the Metro’s Red Line.  This line provides interns with access to affordable housing in both DC and Maryland.  For more information please take a look at CUA’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 psychiatrist, and one part-time social worker.  The staff is collegial and maintains an open door policy.  Interns are encouraged to work with staff from different disciplines in order to broaden their training experience. 

When will interviews take place?

The interview notification date will be November 27th.  Interviews will take place from December 18th 2017 to January 5th 2018.  The applicants are interviewed by the entire staff and one of the interns.  Staff members interview the interns in teams of three.  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.