Harris County Juvenile Probation
Psychology Pre-Doctoral Internship
Texas Psychology Internship Press Release
The Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD) will
accept three full-time interns for a twelve-month internship, which begins
approximately August 1st and ends July 31st.
HCJPD is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and
Internship Centers (APPIC) and is currently working towards accreditation by
the American Psychological Association (APA).
The potential applicant must currently be enrolled in a doctoral
program in psychology (clinical, counseling, forensic, school, or
educational psychology). During
the course of the year, interns will be required to complete a minimum of
2000 clock hours to be used towards licensure. Interns are expected to
work at least 40 hours per week, and at least 25 percent of the time will be
devoted to direct services. The internship is primarily assessment
oriented; however, interns also conduct individual, family, and group
counseling, crisis intervention, and consultation services. Upon completion
of the internship year, interns will be granted a certificate of completion
signifying that all requirements have been met.
MISSION AND TRAINING PHILOSOPHY
The mission of the internship program is to assist interns
in developing proficiency in the provision of psychological services to
juveniles in the justice system in a manner consistent with APA Ethical
Standards. Our ultimate goal is to assist the intern in learning how to act
competently, respectfully, ethically, and empathically in the delivery of
mental health services while being ever cognizant of the cultural and
individual diversity of the clients being served.
This necessarily includes an understanding of issues related to
multiculturalism, underserved populations, and juvenile delinquency, as well
as an awareness of professional issues and ethical standards.
The HCJPD internship employs a developmental model of
training in which the intern progresses from initially being closely
supervised and monitored, to gradually developing into a more autonomously
functioning professional by the end of the internship.
Additionally, as the year progresses, the interns are expected to be
able to manage more clinically complex cases.
The training program encourages the continual accumulation of
knowledge, refinement of clinical skills, and development of professional
identity. While there are
overall training goals and objectives, each individual intern might require
or desire more experience and/or supervision in different areas.
Training for each intern is accomplished through interaction with a
diverse client population, psychological assessment, crisis intervention,
brief psychotherapy, individual and group supervision, didactic instruction,
consultation with other forensic and mental health professionals, research,
and self-study. Supervision is
provided for diagnosis, treatment planning, and case management with
juveniles experiencing a wide variety of disorders.
Additionally, clinical research is also encouraged and supported by
formal opportunities to discuss current research in the areas of juvenile
delinquency, child psychopathology, and clinical assessment.
In addition to developing clinical skills, this internship site seeks
to assist the intern in the development of a professional identity.
To that end, interns are encouraged to participate in educational
seminars and conferences, and are afforded the opportunity to provide
training of professionals working in the juvenile justice system.
INTERNSHIP GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The overall goals of the training program are intended to
help interns transition from trainees to entry level psychologists.
This is accomplished through the provision of clinical services to youth and
their families who are involved in the juvenile justice system. The program
consists of nine goals, with specific objectives and competencies that are
expected by the end of the internship:
Assessment & Diagnosis
To develop and
demonstrate accurate diagnostic skills
To select and
administer appropriate psychological tests
the ability to accurately and efficiently score and interpret psychological
To demonstrate the ability
to utilize assessment writing skills to efficiently produce accurate, high
feedback and to communicate findings in a clear, accurate, and conceptually
Psychological Treatment & Intervention
case conceptualization and treatment planning skills
competency in individual therapy
competency in skills-based group therapy
competency in crisis intervention skills
Ethical Conduct & Professional Behavior
knowledge of ethics and values as they relate to the profession of
professional conduct and interpersonal behavior
professional accountability and responsibility
Individual & Cultural Diversity
To be able to
develop an adequate level of rapport with most youth and their families
sensitivity to diversity
To develop an
awareness of one's own cultural and ethnic background
Scholarly Inquiry & Evidenced Based Practice
in weekly journal hour and to be able to competently discuss relevant
effective, evidence-based interventions
the importance of research as it relates to the field of psychology
Psychology & Juvenile Justice
demonstrate knowledge of a psychologist's role in the juvenile court system
in activities that promote professional self-awareness and reflection
actively seek out and participate in learning opportunities
function effectively in
multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts
Consultation, Teaching, & Supervision
consultative guidance to other professionals regarding psychological issues
education and formal training to other professionals regarding mental health
demonstrate knowledge of effective supervision
supervisory guidance to practicum students
familiarity with techniques of program and intervention evaluation
The juveniles who are seen by the Harris County Juvenile
Probation Department represent a diverse population of youth.
Fifty to sixty percent of the youth have a psychiatric disorder. Many
youth come from single parent homes, have had Child Protective Services
(CPS) involved with their family at some point, and have learning
disabilities. They most often
come from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Training is available in crisis intervention with youth and parents,
individual and group therapy with juveniles, family therapy, psychological
assessment of juveniles, and consultation with various juvenile justice
The primary site will be the Juvenile Justice Center
which houses approximately 250 youth. However, services provided by
interns may be conducted at several different sites in Houston, allowing
collaboration with probation and detention center staff, attorneys,
psychiatrists, and mental health providers. The sites include the
Juvenile Forensic Unit, the Psychological and Social Services Department,
Burnett Bayland Reception Center, the Harris County Psychiatric Center, and
Juvenile Probation offices in the community.
Conducting psychological evaluations is the
primary focus of the internship and two out of the three rotations will be
heavily focused on conducting such evaluations. Interns will conduct both
full psychological assessments and brief psychological screenings during
their training year. Examples of psychological evaluations to be completed
include court ordered evaluations, certification evaluations to determine if
a youth will be certified to stand trial as an adult, and psychological
screenings to help determine appropriate placement and treatment goals.
Clients are referred for assessment due to concerns raised by mental health
providers, probation staff, attorneys, and judges.
These evaluations will enable interns to develop
proficiency in diagnostic skills, writing forensic and psychological
reports, and making pertinent treatment and placement recommendations.
A wide variety of assessment instruments including intellectual,
achievement, objective, and projective measures are available for use at the
HCJPD. Interns are encouraged to enhance their knowledge of the many
instruments available to them. A doctoral-level psychologist provides
supervision directly related to psychological evaluations each week.
Interns will have an opportunity to learn how to
provide crisis intervention with juveniles in detention, and occasionally
with juveniles and their parents who are living in the community. Crises
requiring intervention primarily pertain to juveniles and their parentsí
emotional responses to the childís detention, suicidal ideation and suicide
attempts, violence/ conflict among juveniles in detention, and exacerbation
of existing mental health problems.
Interns will conduct psychotherapy with pre-adjudicated youth
at the Juvenile Justice Center.
Interns will be trained to provide brief individual therapy with juveniles
to address emotional and behavioral needs.
The interns will also have the opportunity to have a limited number
of long-term therapy clients, which typically involves adolescents who have
been detained due to a very serious offense.
Interns will also be providing outpatient psychotherapy to youth in
the community who are involved in the Juvenile Justice system.
This typically involves youth who have been placed on probation or
who have recently been released from an HCJPD institution.
The intern will be expected to provide individual, family, and group
therapy in this setting.
Interns will be involved in one of HCJPDís
specialty courts; either the Juvenile Mental Health Court or the GIRLS
Court. The Mental Health Court aims to effectively address the underlying
clinical component of delinquent behavior in mentally ill juvenile
offenders, while emphasizing public safety and personal accountability. The
GIRLS Court utilizes a comprehensive strength-based approach in working with
girls who are actively engaged in prostitution and who are victims of human
trafficking. This program is comprised of a clinically driven
multi-disciplinary team that works to effectively address the underlying
trauma associated with the participantsí at-risk behaviors and related
delinquent conduct. As a part of the internís involvement with the
specialty courts, the intern will be acting as a consultant and a clinical
liaison between the court and the community treatment providers for some of
the youth involved with these specialty courts. Besides this court
involvement, interns also have the opportunity to consult with family
members, schools, probation officers, medical personnel, attorneys, and
other mental health staff regarding their evaluation or therapy clients.
Through consultation, the intern is able to discuss the clinical
presentation of the client and is often able to gain more information to
make appropriate decisions related to treatment. Interns often provide
feedback about testing results to family members, attorneys, and juvenile
probation officers. Reports are sent directly to the juvenile courts and are
used to inform decisions about placement after adjudication. Additionally,
consultation with Texas Department of Family Protective and Regulatory
Services caseworkers occurs on an as-needed basis in reference to reports of
child abuse and neglect.
Interns participate in
weekly case consultation with other interns and staff members. At least two
hours per week is devoted to discussing case concerns and case-related
issues. As part of our appreciation for the role of research in psychology,
the interns and practicum students participate in weekly journal hour
meetings to present and discuss relevant research. This time allows us to
keep abreast of recent research in the area of adolescent development,
delinquency, and recidivism. Additionally, on- and off-site seminars are
available for training in a wide range of clinical and forensic issues. Some
examples of topics presented at these seminars include the assessment and
treatment of substance abuse in adolescents, treatment of conduct disorder
and oppositional defiant disorder, crisis intervention techniques,
understanding sex offenders, gang training, autism spectrum disorders,
impact of trauma on children and adolescents, and professionals testifying
In addition, interns are invited to attend Grand
Round talks offered by the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of
Texas Medical School at Houston (held at Harris County Psychiatric Center)
as well as trainings provided by the Childrenís Assessment Center, the
Memorial Hermann Hospital System, and the Houston Independent School
Clinical Supervision Provided by Interns.
Depending upon the number of practicum students at HCJPD and
their specific program requirements, interns might be given the opportunity
to supervise masterís level psychology practicum students from schools such
as the University of Houston, Prairie View University, Houston Baptist
University, and Sam Houston State University.
Clinical Supervision for Interns.
Supervision is a major emphasis of the internship
program at HCJPD. Supervision is the primary form of training and
evaluation for the development of skill proficiency. Supervision is
intended to provide both depth and breadth in clinical application,
research, and assessment. All supervision is provided face-to-face and
consists of a minimum of two hours of individual supervision and two hours
of case consultation/group supervision with other interns and practicum
students each week.
Four full-time licensed psychologists
provide primary supervision for interns:
Uche F. Chibueze, Psy.D.
Staff Psychologist, Juvenile Forensic Unit,
received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from
Texas School of Professional Psychology in 2009. She also has a Masterís Degree in Community
Counseling from Baylor University. She completed her pre-doctoral and
post-doctoral internships with the Juvenile Forensic Unit.
also employed as an adjunct professor for the University of Houston,
University of Phoenix, and South University.
She has conducted research that explored the impact of the
acculturation process on African immigrant families and also created one of
the first clinical measures geared specifically for the African immigrant
population. In addition, she has provided presentations on mental health
issues affecting the Black population for the American Psychological
Association and Texas Psychological Association annual conferences.
Nicole B. Dorsey, Ph.D.
Internship Director/Staff Psychologist, Harris County Juvenile Probation
Department, received her doctoral degree from Ohio University
in 2000. She completed her internship
at the Baylor College of Medicine in
previously worked at the Childrenís Crisis
Center, an agency working
with children who have been removed from the home by the Department of
Family and Protective Services due to allegations of physical abuse or
neglect. She has also worked for the
Childrenís Assessment Center, providing services to children
and their families who have experienced sexual abuse.
She has experience testifying in court as both a fact witness and as
an expert witness.
Akalita A. Ross, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist, Specialty Courts, earned her
doctoral degree in Clinical and Adolescent Psychology from Prairie View A&M
University. She also received her
Masterís degree in Clinical Community Psychology from Texas Southern
University and her B.A. in Psychology from Baylor University.
Dr. Ross has clinical experience in providing psychological services
in forensic and school settings. She
has co-authored journal articles and participated in various trainings in
the forensic settings. Dr. Ross has
also been employed as an adjunct professor in institutions of higher
learning. She is bilingual and can
speak, read and write in Spanish and has completed assessments in Spanish
for non-English speakers. Dr. Ross is
a native Houstonian
John A. Webb, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist, Juvenile Forensic Unit, received his doctoral
degree from the University of Houston
in 1985. He has training in both Social and Clinical psychology. His
research interests include substance abuse prevention, psychological
correlates of cancer, and psychological factors related to adjustment among
immigrants and refugees. His most recent research articles have examined
gender differences in alcohol use among adolescents.
Diana Quintana, Ph.D. is the Deputy Director of the Health
Services Division. Dr. Quintana was formerly the Chief Psychologist in the
Forensic Unit and she continues to play an active role in the internship
program through direct consultation with interns and providing and
coordinating training experiences throughout the agency.
Olivia McGill, Ph.D. is the Assistant Deputy Director of
the Health Services Division.
She has prior experience testing youth in the Forensic Unit as well as
overseeing both the Mental Health Court and the Girls Court.
Mary Martinez, M.A. is the Forensic Unit director and she
is also available for clinical and assessment supervision.
In addition, HCJPD houses several Masters-level clinical staff who
provide psychological services to the clients in the juvenile justice system
with whom the intern may interact.
Interns can expect to be busy during their
internship year at the HCJPD; however there is also an appreciation for
quality of life. This
internship seeks to provide an excellent training environment while
still allowing time for the intern to explore their other personal
endeavors. Estimates from
interns regarding the number of hours they spend per week on clinical
activities can vary, but it typically falls between 40 to 45 hours per
week. It is important to
note that some of the clinical work provided by the interns might occur
in the early evenings and having personal transportation is necessary.
This reasonable workload provides plenty of opportunities to
explore life in the fourth largest city in the United States.
The internship year is divided into three rotations; two
forensic testing rotations and one clinical treatment/consultation rotation.
Each rotation lasts four months. During the two forensic testing rotations
the intern will primarily conduct a variety of psychological evaluations and
will be stationed at the Juvenile Forensic Unit. The intern will have a
different licensed psychologist supervisor during each four month rotation.
The third rotation will be more treatment focused, providing brief therapy
and crisis intervention services through our Psychological and Social
Services Department to the youth who are currently placed in our county
detention center. During this
rotation, the intern will also provide consultation services to one of our
specialty courts (Mental Health Court or GIRLS Court).
In addition, the intern will provide therapeutic services throughout
the year to youth in the community who have been placed on probation.
The intern will have the opportunity to conduct individual, family,
and group therapy in this setting.
In addition, throughout the year, the intern will have the
opportunity to conduct longer term psychotherapy with youth who are detained
due to serious criminal allegations.
Finally, the intern will have the opportunity to consult with
detention officers, educational staff, caseworkers, and the psychiatrist to
help coordinate adequate treatment and treatment goals for the juvenile.
Qualified applicants must currently be enrolled in a
doctoral program in psychology and have completed all pre-doctoral
coursework, including Ethics, Psychopathology, Cognitive Assessment, and
Objective Assessment courses.
Additionally, prior practicum placements involving direct experience with
therapy and assessment are required.
Of particular importance are strong writing and clinical interviewing
skills. Preferred applicants
will have clinical experiences and interests that have focused on working
with adolescents and working in a forensic setting; however, these
experiences are not required.
Stipend and Benefits
Compensation for the one year, full-time internship is at
least $25,000. Health insurance
is available for interns after 90 days of employment.
Interns are provided with up to ten days for vacation and/or illness,
as well as five days for dissertation or professional development
activities, and nine holidays throughout the year.
Interns are also invited to participate in various Juvenile Probation
Department activities including the annual Christmas party, luncheons, and
Checklist of Required Application and
___ Complete APPIC application available at:
All of the
following materials must also be submitted through APPIC:
___ Curriculum Vitae with current telephone number
___ Three letters of recommendation
___ An official graduate transcript
___ Two complete psychological assessment reports with
materials to be submitted through APPIC)
___ Receipt of application by November 15, 2013
The application and supplemental materials should be
submitted through AAPI online.
Documentation that is mailed directly to this department will not be
Contact Dr. Nicole Dorsey with questions via email (email@example.com)
or phone her at: 713-222-4257.
Selection and Interview Process
Applicant materials will be reviewed upon receipt.
The applicant will not be notified that his or her application has
been received, unless it is an incomplete application.
However, applicants may contact Dr. Dorsey with any questions
regarding the status of their application.
A subgroup of applicants will be invited for interviews by December
interviews will be conducted in January.
In person interviews are strongly encouraged; however phone
interviews are also acceptable.
This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy
that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any
ranking-related information from any intern applicant.
All pre-doctoral interns will be determined through the APPIC match.
Additionally, the HCJPD is an equal opportunity employer and
encourages minorities and persons of diverse backgrounds of all types to
apply to the psychology internship program.
Accepted interns will be subjected to a criminal background check and
must pass this before beginning the internship year.