The Brattleboro Retreat’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Internship program is designed to provide an immersive experience in providing psychological services in an inpatient or outpatient psychiatric setting. In both settings, interns work as part of an integrated team that includes psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, social workers, substance abuse counselors, and mental health workers. Many of our patients present with co-occurring disorders (i.e., mental health and substance use). Interns provide assessments, brief, short-term and long- term therapy, group facilitation and neuropsychological assessments. Much of the work is team-based. Following APPIC requirements, interns spend a minimum of 25% of their time in direct client contact.

Interns are expected to have prior experience conducting intake assessments (e.g., biopsychosocial history, suicide risk assessment, substance use assessment) and conduct regular intake assessments throughout the year as part of their case management responsibilities.  In addition, conducting psychological and neuropsychological assessments is required; the depth and scope of these assessments depends on the intern’s prior experience and current interest.

For individual therapy the internship supports a range of approaches to assessment and intervention including psychodynamic, person-centered, cognitive and behavioral therapies, acceptance and commitment therapy, and DBT.  However, the primary approach to group therapy is third wave cognitive behavioral therapy (ACT and DBT).  Therefore, an interest in, and experience with, these therapies is preferred.

 The Internship consists of individual and group psychotherapy, and assessment, at a minimum of ten (10) hours each week. It provides regular structured learning activities including case conferences, seminars on clinical issues, group supervision, program development, and other didactic activities. The program provides at least four (4) hours total in structured learning activities on issues related to cultural diversity and four (4) hours per week of supervision.

Primary Rotation

Interns may select from either an outpatient health care track (PHP), or one of two inpatient tracks (IP) as their primary rotation in which the majority of their time (at least 50%) is spent.  The outpatient rotation is based in our Partial Hospital / Intensive Outpatient programs which have both a general program open to all adult patients, and a separate specialty program for patients in specific professions (e.g., healthcare, law enforcement, fire, and military).  Interns in the PHP track rotate between these programs.  Patients in the outpatient track present with primary diagnoses of psychiatric disorders, and/or substance use disorders.  These programs are among the few in the country that treat patients with both types of disorders.

Two inpatient rotations are offered – one focused on working with adults, and the other focused on working with adolescents.

The adult inpatient rotation takes place on two inpatient units.  Interns spend 6 months on each unit.   Although there is some overlap between the units, one of the units typically focuses on patients with more long term or severe symptoms, while the other unit typically focuses on patients with less severe symptoms.

The adolescent inpatient rotation also takes place on two units.  Interns spend 6 months on each unit.   The patient population is similar on the two units.

Regardless of the rotation, Interns typically facilitate 1-2 therapy groups per day in their primary rotation.  There is a focus on the use of third-wave cognitive behavioral therapies (ACT and DBT) as the primary therapeutic intervention for these groups. 

Secondary Rotation

Interns typically carry a caseload of 3-5 patients in the Anna Marsh Outpatient Clinic.  The Anna Marsh Clinic provides individual, family, and group, short and long term therapy to children, adolescents and adults with a broad range of disorders including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, phobias, and substance use.   In addition, the Anna Marsh Clinic provides psychological and neuropsychological testing services for adolescents and adults.

COVID 19 Vaccination Policy

The Brattleboro Retreat’s policy on COVID-19 vaccinations is that all employees, including Interns, must be fully vaccinated and have received at least one booster shot.  This policy is updated regularly and it is likely that annual booster shots will be required in the future.  Exceptions may be granted based on medical necessity.  An exception would require documentation from a licensed medical professional (e.g., MD or DO) that a person has received at least one dose of the vaccine and experienced a significant reaction which was life threatening; due to this it is considered unsafe for the person to receive additional doses of any available COVID-19 vaccine.  If you are interested in our program and plan to seek a vaccination waiver you are encouraged to send the Internship Training Director (James Benton, Ph.D.) a copy of your supporting documentation prior to completing the application process.  The Retreat’s medical team will review the documentation and let you know if a waiver will be granted.  Please note that there is no guarantee that a waiver will be granted if documentation is provided. 

For More Information

Click here for the Internship Handbook

Click here for the Program Tables

Program Contact: James Benton, Ph.D., Director of Psychology Training jbenton@brattlebororetreat.org