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Find hope. 888-364-5977

Doctoral Internship In Psychology

APPIC membership code: #2135

Now accepting applications.

Doctoral internship overview

The mission of The Emily Program is to provide exceptional care leading to recovery from eating disorders. Since psychologist Dirk Miller founded the Emily Program in 1993 in Minnesota, The Emily Program has become a national organization, providing a continuum of care from residential treatment to outpatient care for adults and adolescents and their families in four states. As leaders in the field of eating disorders, The Emily Program faculty shares in developing the most up to date and effective treatment in eating disorders through multiple research projects with the University of Minnesota. Further, The Emily Program faculty maintains expertise in the field of eating disorders by participating with the Academy of Eating Disorders, the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals, and the Residential Eating Disorder Consortium to provide the most effective and comprehensive treatment, care, and training.

The doctoral internship emphasizes empirically-based practice within a multidisciplinary team in the treatment of adults with Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Binge Eating Disorder (BED), and other eating disorders. The multidisciplinary team includes psychologists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, dietitians, nurses, social workers, and family therapists. We aim to train interns to be well-rounded generalists in psychology while also attaining a specialization in eating disorders.

Training philosophy and model

The Emily Program is proud of its emphasis on empirically-based treatment for individuals with eating disorders. We are the largest provider of outpatient "ED" therapy in the country in part because we believe in the need to work with clients on recovery in the context of their everyday lives. Respect for and trust in our clients is woven through every interaction that takes place at The Emily Program. It informs our thinking in our evidence-responsive clinical interventions: individualized treatment plans incorporate one or more of the evidence-supported therapies while also taking into consideration the need to pay close attention to the curative factors for change in the therapeutic relationship (Hubble, Duncan, and Miller, 1999). Our personalized approach to treatment also includes a multidisciplinary team of clinicians to address the spectrum of interconnected needs. In addition to individual therapy, treatment may include medical services, psychiatric care, nutritional rehabilitation and integrative complementary approaches such as art therapy and yoga.

Our focus on the individual needs of the client inevitably guides our core values as providers. We value a diversity of style and theoretical orientation amongst our providers and so place high value on each provider's intelligence, creativity, independent thinking and problem-solving abilities. The capacity to communicate and work well with each other is essential in our multidisciplinary teams. We rely on each provider's personal integrity and openness to growth and change.

Our philosophy of training, grounded in the local clinical scientist model (Stricker and Trierweiler, 1995), is thus consistent with our mission, values and clinical practice. The local clinical scientist model advocates that in addressing clinical problems, clinicians rely on their observations of the individual in context and upon solutions appropriate to that individual as well as upon the attitudes and knowledge base of the scientist. A local clinical scientist is "a person who, on the basis of systematic knowledge about persons obtained primarily in real-life situations, has integrated this knowledge with psychological theory, and has then consistently regarded it with the questioning attitude of the scientist." (Shakow, 1976, p. 554)

Just as we attend to the individual experience of our clients, we recognize that each trainee will come to the internship with their own unique strengths and challenges. Our aim is to support trainees in developing a nuanced and detailed understanding of their strengths and to gain competency in initial areas of deficiency. Interns are encouraged to focus on their development, not just in their clinical practice, but in their capacity for self-directed, life-long learning, including their capacity for self-reflection and effective consultation with other professionals.

We use a variety of methods to support interns in achieving identified goals of internship, including mentorship and individual and group supervision with a wide variety of professionals within the organization, didactic training seminars and clinical program team membership. Training is a developmental process where clinical and professional opportunities--as well as didactic training seminars--are sequenced to provide a cumulative and increasingly complex learning experience.

Training goals

The individualized internship training supports the development of future psychologists who:

  1. are able to provide individual and group psychological services, including assessment, intervention and evaluation services in diverse, clinical settings
  2. have attained competency in working with clients with eating disorders
  3. practice competently and ethically;
  4. are motivated to continue their own personal and professional growth;
  5. welcome collaboration and consultation with practitioners of other disciplines;
  6. are aware of their own strengths and limitations and the impact those strengths and limitations have on their practice of psychology; and
  7. are sensitive to individual differences and to the possible effects of multicultural issues upon diagnostic, therapeutic, and consultative relationships.

These goals for training are operationalized through fourteen primary areas of competence:

  • Theories and Methods of Assessment and Diagnosis;
  • Theories and Methods of Effective Intervention;
  • Theories and Methods of Empirically Based/Supported Treatments;
  • Theories and Methods of Consultation;
  • Theories and Methods of Evaluation;
  • Theories and/or Methods of Supervision;
  • Strategies of Scholarly Inquiry;
  • Issues of Cultural Diversity related to ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion;
  • Legal and Ethical Issues;
  • Professional Ethics;
  • Professional Behavior;
  • Interpersonal Functioning;
  • Application of Advocacy and Outreach skills related to Eating Disorders; and
  • Eating Disorder Treatment Specific Skills.

Interns additionally set individual supervision goals in consultation with their clinical supervisor at the start of internship. Individual goals are set in the context of Emily Program goals and competencies and are amended throughout the year to address intern specific skill development and acquisition. The internship progressively moves the intern towards increasingly autonomous practice.

Training Content

Training at The Emily Program maintains a strong focus on the intern's development of interpersonal skills and awareness. Eating disorders are complex and dynamic, people suffering have often survived physical or relational trauma. In an effort to train interns to provide the best possible care, we believe it necessary to provide adequate focus on the intern's sense of self as a developing psychologist. This focus on the self as therapist is maintained throughout the training, in supervision, consultation, didactics, and the intern group.

Didactics include the following:

  • Regular didactic training seminars throughout the year related to eating disorders and co-morbid conditions and treatment;
  • 26 hours of assessment didactic training
  • Monthly Journal Club; and
  • Participation in Emily Program staff trainings.

Consultation includes:

  • Weekly multidisciplinary consultation group; and
  • Biweekly professional development seminar.

Supervision includes:

  • Two hours per week of individual clinical supervision;
  • Biweekly supervision of group therapy; and
  • Supervision of assessment work.

Psychological assessment training

Upon seeking services at The Emily Program, each client completes an eating disorder level of care screening process that includes a diagnostic assessment of eating disorder and evaluation of client need for and level of care, as well as screening for depression, anxiety and chemical dependency concerns. Doctoral Interns will initially observe this screening process, before practicing and writing up reports first under supervision and then autonomously. Skills in the interview process, assessment interpretation, DSM-V diagnosis, and treatment planning are enhanced through this progressive process, while training and supervision is provided in the Assessment Seminar. Doctoral interns are trained and supervised in administering and interpreting testing such as the MMPI-II, MMPI-Rf, and EDI-3 and are also encouraged to carry out such additional testing with their individual clients.

Psychological intervention training

At The Emily Program, we believe that eating disorders are multi-determined problems. Effective treatment requires awareness of the genetic, biological, psychological, social, and cultural impacts on each person. Our integrative and humanistic approach is based on the belief that individuals are unique and that they intuitively seek meaning, value, and creativity in life. We believe that individuals have choices to make and responsibilities to uphold for themselves and in the context of community. We do not believe that eating disorders are a choice or a moral failing. We believe that given a supportive and understanding environment, individuals can make healthy choices about their recoveries and the future directions of their lives.

Our approach to eating disorder treatment supports individuals in challenging and changing thoughts and behaviors that prevent them from having a positive relationship with food, their bodies, and themselves. Treatment decisions are based on respect for each person and their personal journey and are informed by research, community standards, and sound clinical judgment. Doctoral Interns are encouraged to work with people towards a more hopeful, healthful, and fulfilling life.

Within The Emily Program treatment philosophy, doctoral interns will explore treatment intervention from level of care evaluation, assessment, individual therapy, group therapy, psycho-educational groups, and discharge or transfer. All of these therapeutic experiences will be discussed in individual supervision as well as learning from multidisciplinary providers in group case consultation and training seminars. Further, within the clinical supervisory relationship, doctoral interns will be expected to explore their own reactions, insights, and experiences of counter-transference related to all types of clinical intervention.

The populations served through the The Emily Program Internship include adults, families, spouses, partners, parents, and friends struggling with eating disorders and related concerns. Doctoral interns will in turn work with people of diverse backgrounds including socio-economic class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, gender, education, age, and ability.

Individual training interests and/or needs are set between each intern and the Intern Training Coordinator to ensure that a developmental and individualized training program occurs.

Expectations for quantity and quality of work

Doctoral Interns are expected to develop their capacity in direct client service from about 25% of the week at the beginning of training to 50% of the week after the first quarter of the year. There are minimum standards outlined for interns that need to be met in order for the continuation and completion of the internship. These standards are outlined in the first week of orientation, as well as on the Intern Evaluation form. Evaluations occur several times a year and may be conducted in addition as directed by intern performance and competence.

Through supervision, training seminars, intensive team meetings, staff consultation, peer consultation, and all staff meetings, Interns are taught, supervised, and supported in creating a therapeutic relationship that helps individuals to have increased vitality for life, increased sense of empowerment, increased sense of self, increased self-worth, and a desire for connectedness. A good therapeutic relationship seeks to foster this growth through genuineness, positive regard, and empathy. Both within supervisory and collegial relationships, doctoral interns are expected to conduct themselves responsibly, ethically, collaboratively, and openly as they move forward in their professional development. Should the intern have concerns about the training program, or the training program have concerns about the intern, the Grievance and Due Process notice, hearing, and appeals process is discussed, Grievance and Due Process guidelines are provided at the start of internship.

Client service

For the 2018-2019 year, interns will be placed at The Emily Program – 2265 Como Avenue location. Interns will be involved in: carrying out level of care screenings; conducting diagnostic, psychological assessments; maintaining a case load of individual clients; carrying out eating exposures with clients; and, co-facilitating one or more therapy groups. Interns will be involved in groups two evenings a week and in intensive weekend program programming one weekend day a month.

Training term, stipend, and benefits

Applications are due via the APPIC online process by November 20, 2017 for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Emily Program offers a 2,000 hour internship that begins on September 10, 2018 and is to be completed by September 6, 2019, working an average between 40-43.5 hours per week. This full-time internship involves 20 hours per week of client contact, with two hours individual supervision per week, and at least two hours of weekly intern specific, supervised training experiences. The internship includes four weeks of personal time-off, a salary of $20,000, dissertation release time, health insurance and other benefits.

Application process

The Doctoral Internship at The Emily Program is open to doctoral-level graduate students in psychology who have completed all course work and preliminary exams required for internship. We are a member of APPIC and your application must go through the APPIC application process.

For more information or questions regarding the application process or internship experience, please email: Diane Rubright, Psy.D, LP, Doctoral Internship Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Recovery for life is possible 888-364-5977

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The Emily Program