Harris County Juvenile Probation
Psychology Pre-Doctoral Internship
Texas Psychology Internship Press Release
The Harris County Juvenile Probation Department (HCJPD) will
accept at least two 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). 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 1800 clock
hours to be used towards licensure. At least 25 percent of time will
be devoted to direct services. The internship is primarily assessment
oriented; however, interns also conduct individual 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.
AND INTERNSHIP GOALS
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 Pre-Doctoral Internship employs a
scientist-practitioner model of training, which emphasizes the integration
of scientific inquiry in clinical thinking and decision making based on
existing research on adolescent development and juvenile forensic issues.
Training is accomplished through interaction with a diverse client
population, psychological assessment,
individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, individual supervision,
case consultations, didactic instruction, consultation with other forensic
and mental health professionals, research, and self-study. The HCJPD’s
training program provides the intern with the opportunity to integrate
diagnosis and application of community and therapeutic interventions, with a
focus on acknowledging and incorporating clients’ individual differences and
specific needs. 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.
Interns will receive supervised experience in
psychological assessments designed to identify mental health problems, and
make treatment recommendations.
Supervision is provided for diagnosis, treatment planning, case management,
and therapy issues with juveniles experiencing a wide variety of disorders.
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 Training Model
Guided by the scientist-practitioner model of training,
the internship year is seen as an opportunity for interns to further their
integration of psychological theory and knowledge of research through
clinical application. The internship’s training model emphasizes six core
areas of professional competency: 1) assessment, 2) intervention, 3)
application of clinical research to practice, 4) treatment planning and
goals, 5) quality of care and 6) the development of a working relationship
with a multidisciplinary team.
The training model holds that goals and competencies are
individually developed between an intern and their supervisor at the outset
of the year. These goals and competencies are further enhanced through
didactic training and goal-focused supervision. The overriding
objective is to assist the intern in developing clinical skills and
analytical thinking that will aid the intern in progressing from a student,
to a capable, autonomously functioning clinician. Upon completion of
the internship, the intern should be able to critically evaluate and apply
relevant theoretical and empirical literature to various clinical
The client population at HCJPD is comprised of juveniles
with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, and diagnoses.
Recipients of mental health services are primarily children ages 10 to 17
years and in some cases, their parents. Training is available in crisis
intervention with youth and parents, individual and group therapy with
juveniles, psychological assessment of juveniles, and consultation with
various juvenile justice staff.
The primary site will be the Juvenile Justice Center
which houses approximately 250 youth. However, services provided by
interns may be conducted at a number of 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,
Rehabilitation Center, and the Harris County
Center. Detailed information about the Harris
County Juvenile Probation Department is available at:
Conducting psychological evaluations is the primary focus
of the internship. 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 parents’
emotional responses to the child’s detention, suicidal ideation and suicide
attempts, violence/conflict among juveniles in detention, and exacerbation
of existing mental health problems.
Interns will conduct brief psychotherapy at the Juvenile
Justice Center and Burnett
Rehabilitation Center, a juvenile
Interns will be trained to provide brief individual therapy with juveniles
to address emotional and behavioral needs. In addition, the intern will lead
weekly therapy groups with the youth that may focus on a myriad of issues
such as decision making and problem solving skills, appropriate expression
of emotion, processing of emotions related to detention and legal problems,
exposure to crime and violence, substance abuse problems, and sexual
behavior problems. The intern
may also have the opportunity to conduct family therapy, which would focus
on the youth’s return to the home, communication skills, appropriate
boundaries, or helping the family meet each other’s supportive needs.
As either the primary clinician for a client or a
psychological evaluator, interns have the opportunity to consult with family
members, schools, probation officers, medical personnel, attorneys, and
other mental health staff regarding examinees. 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. One to two hours per week is devoted to
discussing case concerns and case-related issues. As part of our
scientist-practitioner approach, the HCJPD Forensic staff 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 court. In
addition, interns are invited to attend Grand Round talks offered by the
Baylor College of Medicine, as well as trainings provided by the Children’s
Assessment Center, the Memorial Hermann Hospital System, and the Houston
Independent School District.
Depending upon the number of practicum students at HCJPD
and their specific program requirements, interns might be given the
opportunity to supervise master’s 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 one hour of case
consultation/group supervision with other interns and practicum students
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 Master’s Degree in
Community Counseling from Baylor University. She completed her pre-doctoral
and post-doctoral internships with the Juvenile Forensic Unit.
She is 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
University in 2000.
She completed her internship at the Baylor College of Medicine in
She previously worked at the Children’s 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 Children’s 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.
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.
Dianne Wood, Ph.D. Chief
Psychologist, Juvenile Forensic Unit, received her doctoral degree in
Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology -
Fresno in 1992. She completed her internship at California Men’s Colony at
San Luis Obispo, California and
previously worked at Kerrville
Hospital. She also served on the Texas State
Institutional Review Board for Manifest Dangerousness. She has been trained
and specializes in the area of forensic psychology since graduate school.
Her interests include psychopathy and sexual offender assessment and
Diana Quintana, Ph.D. is the Deputy Director of
Residential and Behavioral 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.
Mary Martinez, M.A. is the Forensic Unit director and she
is also available for clinical and assessment supervision.
Olivia McGill, Ph.D., is our Mental Health Court
clinician and may work with an intern when a juvenile is referred to this
program. 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
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 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. In addition,
the intern will provide therapeutic services throughout the year to the
youth who are residing in one of the county’s post-adjudication facilities,
Burnett-Bayland Rehabilitation Center (BBRC).
The intern will provide primarily conduct group psychotherapy at
BBRC, but may also have the opportunity to providing individual and family
therapy, as well as 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, and Clinical and Cognitive Assessment.
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 not available for interns.
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:
___ Curriculum Vitae with current telephone number
___ Three letters of recommendation
___ An official graduate transcript
___ Two complete psychological assessment
reports with interpretations (supplemental
materials to be submitted through
___ Receipt of application by November 16, 2012
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.