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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Psychology


Clinical Training

Training model

Our clinical science program emphasizes evidence-based approaches with substantial training in behavioral and cognitive-behavioral approaches. We also offer supervised experience with other approaches, such as acceptance-based and trauma-focused interventions.

Training initially emphasizes depth with a focus on a limited number of cases with intensive supervision. This approach provides developing clinicians with opportunities to explore the range and limits of a specific therapeutic approach, and the chance to evaluate the goodness-of-fit between the treatment methods and one's emerging therapeutic style. In later years, breadth of training is increasingly emphasized.

In-house training

Clinical training progresses through a sequence of integrated phases. In the first year, students complete courses in cognitive and social/emotional assessment and a course on psychotherapy or psychopathology.

During the second year, clinical students rotate through the Developmental Neuropsychology Clinic, where they receive training in the assessment of learning disabilities and other neuropsychological problems. They also begin highly structured treatment cases in the Center for Child and Family Psychology during their second year in the program.

In their third year, students conduct assessments with the Comprehensive Assessment Team in the Clinic for Child and Family Psychology, and continue seeing individual treatment cases.

In their later years, clinical students continue to see therapy cases in the Clinic for Child and Family Psychology that are increasingly complex.


Unlike many programs, clinical faculty members provide most of this supervision in our inhouse training clinics. Our faculty watch video recordings of each session and meet weekly with students.

Although supervision primarily focuses on treatment and assessment issues, professional issues—especially those pertaining to the student's development as a clinician—are included as well. Students are also given opportunities to serve as consultants or as peer supervisors.


Students complete a part-time clinical externship during their fourth year, and some elect to complete an additional part-time clinical externship during their fifth year. The primary aim of the externship is to broaden the student's clinical repertoire through exposure to a diverse range of clients (such as inpatient clients, adjudicated youth or pediatric patients, and underserved populations) as well as new treatment settings (such as in community mental health centers or hospital psychiatric or rehabilitation units).
In recent years, students have completed externships at sites such as:

  • Children's Hospital of Colorado
  • Child Clinical Outpatient Rotation
  • Neuropsychology Rotation
  • Rehabilitation Rotation
  • Pediatric Psychology Consultation: Kidney Transplant & Urology
  • Denver Health Medical Center
  • Denver VA Medical Center: life Skills
  • JFK Center at the University of Colorado
  • Motherwise


In the sixth or seventh year, students complete a full-time pre-doctoral clinical internship at an APA-approved internship program.
Students have been quite successful in obtaining their top-ranked internships in some of the most highly regarded programs across the country. In recent years, such internships have included:

  • Alpert Medical School at Brown University
  • Children's Hospital, Boston
  • Children's Hospital, Colorado
  • Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
  • New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
  • University of California, San Diego/VA Psychology
  • University of Caliiornia, San Francisco Child and Adolescent Services Multicultural Training Program
  • University of Washington Medical School
  • Verterns Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System
  • Western Psychiatric Institute