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Doctoral Internship in Psychology

The Vanderbilt University Counseling Center (UCC) is a large, well-utilized multidisciplinary counseling center, with a staff of approximately 30 full and part-time mental health professionals. Our staff consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse-practitioners. In addition to psychology interns, graduate level practicum students from a variety of mental health disciplines train at the center. The UCC also trains postdoctoral fellows in health service psychology.  Working in this multidisciplinary setting provides interns with opportunities to cultivate and sharpen clinical consultation skills with a variety of mental health professionals, as well as provide clinical supervision throughout the training year to a graduate student who is at an earlier stage of training. The overall depth and breadth of training experiences offered make the UCC an excellent fit for those seeking a career in a variety of outpatient mental health settings.



The goals of the internship are to develop and refine comprehensive skills in the practice of health service psychology, including individual and group therapy and psychological assessment, and to develop professional identity as a psychologist. There is also a focus on developing supervision and case consultation skills. Professional identity emphases include demonstrating responsible professional behavior, knowledge and application of ethical and legal standards, and demonstrating a commitment to scholarly activity. Developing knowledge of and a sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity is a core theme in all internship activities, whether experiential or didactic. We recognize that developing cultural humility is a lifelong journey, and we expect interns to participate fully through discussion and dialogue about diversity, both formal and informal, as well as through fulfilling required internship activities during their time at the UCC.


All interns participate in structured training activities to ensure development of core competencies.

The required activities include:

Direct clinical service (individual and group therapy)

    •       Conducting new client evaluations and generating written reports

    •       Psychological assessment and report writing

  • Participating in campus outreach activities

    •       Receiving individual clinical supervision two hours per week

    •       Providing individual supervision to a practicum trainee and participating in supervision of supervision

  • Participating in weekly group supervision with UCC postdoctoral fellows

    •       Attending weekly staff meetings

    •       Attending weekly case conference meetings and didactic seminars

Positions available

  • 3 positions available for the 2021-2022 academic year
  • National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 246211

Training Period:

  • Current Term: July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.


Special emphasis is also placed on supervision. Interns are assigned to licensed psychologists with experience in direct client service, supervision, and training. Interns receive two hours of on-site, individual supervision per week and also participate in one hour of group supervision with their intern cohort facilitated by a licensed mental health professional as well as supervision that is as part of their group therapy experience.

Opportunities to provide ongoing supervision represent one of the distinguishing features of the UCC internship program. Interns at the UCC are matched with a graduate-level practicum student and serve as co-supervisors throughout the internship year. This experience provides interns with an opportunity to develop the foundational knowledge and skills associated with being a supervisor, which is facilitated through additional weekly supervision (i.e., supervision of supervision) by a licensed psychologist in a group format.


We are committed to an ongoing dialogue about individual differences in order to work effectively with the entire student body at Vanderbilt. We strive to offer culturally responsive and empirically supported services in a space that feels welcoming, safe and affirming to all students. Our therapeutic, assessment, and outreach services are delivered in a caring and compassionate manner that recognizes the unique characteristics, experiences, and identities of the individual student. We support and challenge each other’s understanding of our own biases and experiences through active reading and dialogue during monthly Diversity Alliance discussions and other staff trainings.

Given the diverse nature of the Vanderbilt student population, interns are expected to approach their work from a multicultural perspective. Knowledge of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity is essential in all areas of practice, including individual and group therapy, assessment, individual supervision, group supervision, campus outreach, and training seminars. Vanderbilt students are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and gender identity, allowing interns to gain exposure to the interplay between multicultural issues and mental health. There is also diversity in terms of presenting concerns, which typically range from moderate to severe in nature. Consequently, interns have an opportunity to work with more complex clients, assuming that these opportunities are consistent with experience and skill level.


All interns attend regularly scheduled case conferences and didactic seminars that are organized as part of the internship experience. Interns attend a weekly didactic seminar at the UCC focusing on various aspects of clinical service delivery and professional identity.  In addition, interns attend a monthly seminar conducted in collaboration with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Internship in Professional Psychology and the Veterans Affairs - Tennessee Valley Health System Internship in Professional Psychology. . In addition to the presentation of clinically or professionally relevant content, a major objective of these didactic training activities is to provide a structure within which members of the intern class may interact and learn from one another. 

Scholarly Project

Interns are expected to contribute to the center through the completion of a scholarly project. Like the clinical training at the UCC, this project is considered to be flexible enough to allow the intern to pursue particular areas of interest. The ideal project will be grounded in, or informed by, existing research/literature and will be undertaken with the aim of enhancing the clinical, administrative, and/or organizational goals of the center. Group therapy initiatives, outreach presentations, organizational assessment, and comprehensive literature reviews of pertinent clinical phenomena are only some examples of possible scholarly projects.

Changes due to COVID-19

It is important for applicants to be aware of several changes to service delivery, supervision, and educational activities due to COVID-19.  The UCC is currently providing individual and group therapy via telehealth only, and interns are currently working from their personal residences in the Nashville area. Supervision, both individual and group, are also conducted virtually at this time, as is campus outreach programming. A limited number of in-person mental health services are currently available to students, including some psychological assessment services and some urgent/crisis care services.

Internship Director

  • Frances Niarhos, PhD, HSP

Primary Supervisors:

  • Mary Clare Champion, PhD, HSP
  • Nalini Conner, PhD, HSP
  • Melissa Porter, PsyD, HSP
  • Anabella Pavón Wilson, PhD, HSP

Training Period

  • Term: July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.


  • The stipend for the 2021-2022 internship year is $35,600.00 (paid monthly).

Health Insurance

  • Vanderbilt offers health insurance as a benefit of employment with employee contribution.

Vacation and Sick Time

  • All interns accrue 24 days (192 hours) of Paid Time Off (PTO) to be used for vacations, personal time, and sick time (for intern’s own illness, injury, or for caring for eligible family members). Interns are allotted five professional days (to be used for professional meetings and workshops, dissertation related activities, job interviews, etc.). Arrangements for leave should be negotiated in advance except in cases of emergency. Extended periods of absence due to serious illness, illness of a family member, etc., will need to be made up by extending the period of the internship in order to complete training requirements.

Additional Resources

  • All interns receive $750.00 in professional development funds to be used to attend relevant workshops and conferences.
  • All interns have access to Vanderbilt University library resources, as well as the library and computer resources available at the training site.
  • The UCC training program adheres to the APPIC Match Policies, which can be found here.
  • The UCC participated in the APPIC 2020 match, and applications were submitted through the AAPI Online applicant portal.
  • National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 246211


  • The Vanderbilt UCC doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; 202-336-5979). The anticipated date for program’s next site visit is 2022.
  • Three internship positions were available for the 2020-2021 internship year. The UCC will be participating in the 2021 APPIC Match. Applicants may submit their applications using the AAPI Online applicant system. The Vanderbilt UCC training program National Matching Service (NMS) Number is: 246211
  • The University Counseling Center is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Association of the Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA).
  • For more information please contact Dr. Frances Niarhos at or call the UCC at 615-322-2571.




Date Program Tables were updated: 08/17/2020


Internship Program Admissions

Briefly describe in narrative form important information to assist potential applicants in assessing their likely fit with the program. This description must be consistent with the program's policies on intern selection and practicum and academic preparation requirements.

The Vanderbilt University Counseling Center Internship in Health Service Psychology seeks to train psychologists with the depth and breadth of the "Profession-Wide-Competencies" as defined by the Commission on Accreditation. Training is aimed at preparing interns for entry level into the professional practice of psychology. The internship is located in a university counseling center setting and offers opportunities for involvement in scholarly activities related to clinical practice.  A number of sources of information are used to assess candidates for the internship, including the written application, letters of recommendation, and a statement of professional goals. Interviews (virtual only for the 2021-2022 recruiting cycle) are also a part of the application process, and are scheduled by invitation. Selections are made without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, age, ability, sexual/affectional orientation, or veteran status. Prior to beginning employment for the internship year, the interns who match with the Vanderbilt UCC internship must successfully complete a criminal background check, in accordance with Vanderbilt University policy.

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? If yes, indicate how many:


Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours





Amount: 425


Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours





 Amount: 20

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:

The applicant must come from an APA/CPA accredited Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology graduate program. Each applicant should have completed all pre-internship requirements of their university before the internship starting date. While the preferred number of total face-to-face Assessment and Intervention Hours is 445 for this program, applications are reviewed holistically and limitations in hours due to COVID-19 will be taken into consideration.



                                                                      Intern Support Table

              Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year (2021-2022)*

  • Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Interns


  • Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Interns


  • Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?



If access to medical insurance is provided:

  • Trainee contribution to cost required?



  • Coverage of family member(s) available?



  • Coverage of legally married partner available?



  • Coverage of domestic partner available?



Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (vacation, personal, and sick time)



Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave


In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?




Other Benefits: University Holidays (8 Days) and Professional Development Funds ($750) to assist with conference/workshop attendance costs.  Five days for professional or educational leave (for interviews, dissertation, etc).

*Note: programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.



Initial Post Internship Positions

(Provide an Aggregated Tally for the Preceding 3 Cohorts)




Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts


Total # interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree






Community mental health center



Federally qualified health center



Independent primary care facility/clinic



University counseling center



Veterans Affairs medical center



Military health center



Academic health center



Other medical center or hospital



Psychiatric hospital



Academic university / department 



Community college or other teaching setting



Independent research institution 



Correctional facility 



School district/ system 



Independent practice setting



Not currently employed 



Changed to another









*PD = postdoctoral residency position

*EP = employed position 

Each individual represented on this table is counted one time. For former trainees working in more than one setting, select the setting that represents their primary position



Minimum Requirements for Consideration:

1. The applicant must be actively enrolled in an academic program leading to a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology or have completed a doctoral degree in a non-professional field of psychology and be certified by an appropriate official as being enrolled in an organized re-specialization program requiring the completion of the equivalent of pre-internship training in health service psychology

2. If in the United States, the academic program must be housed in a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution. If in Canada, the institution must be publicly recognized as a member in good standing by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

3. Applicants must be enrolled in an APA or CPA accredited graduate program. The applicant must have completed at least three years of graduate academic work in a program meeting the requirements described above.

4. It is preferred that applicants have a minimum of 445 Total Intervention and Assessment Hours as defined by the AAPI. This training must be of such a nature and amount as to provide the applicant with the experience needed to have a reasonable opportunity to succeed in the placement for which the applicant is being considered.  Given the breadth of training opportunities available, the breakdown between assessment and intervention hours varies across applicants.  As a general rule, applicants with at least 425 Intervention hours and at least 20 Assessment hours will meet the requirements for the Vanderbilt UCC training program, although limitations in accruing this number of hours due to COVID-19 will be taken into consideration.  Applications will be reviewed holistically with attention given to applicants who have not necessarily accrued this number of hours.  

5. The applicant must be certified by the program’s Director of Clinical Training as being ready for internship.

6. The applicant must pass a criminal background check. This will be performed after Match Day and before the first day of employment. Employment as a doctoral intern is contingent on passing the background check. No prospective intern has ever been refused employment as a result of the background check, but it is a possibility. Several have had difficulty, in all cases because of past legal problems they chose not to reveal during the application process.

Submission Details 

Applications are due on November 08, 2020.

All applications must be submitted through the AAPI Online applicant portal.

The Vanderbilt UCC National Matching Service (NMS) Number is: 246211 

Please email Frances Niarhos, PhD, HSP at with further questions about the application process.

Application Requirements List

1. Cover letter: Vanderbilt UCC training program: National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 246211               

2. Curriculum Vita.

3. Submit at least three and no more than four letters of recommendation from faculty members or practicum supervisors who know your clinical work as well as your research work well. At least one must be from an academic faculty member, and at least one from a clinical supervisor. 

Selection Process and Interviews

Interviews will be arranged following an initial review of applications by the UCC training committee.  All interviews for the 2020-2021 recruitment cycle will be conducted virtually.   Applicants will receive notification of interview decisions on or by November 23, 2020.

Interview Dates: December 09, 2020; December 14, 2020; January 06, 2021, January 11, 2021.  Interviews will last the full morning from 8:00am - 12:00pm CST.