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Clinical Psychology Internship Program

Track Overview

The Traumatic Stress Track provides interns with training in diagnostic evaluation and evidence-based, culturally competent treatment of people across the lifespan who have encountered one or more traumatic events and are experiencing symptoms that warrant trauma-focused treatment.

Interns will gain experiential training in:

  • Diagnostic evaluation
  • Evidenced-based psychotherapy
  • Treatment with adults and children
  • In-home, residential treatment
  • Cultural competency

All services are guided by a culturally informed integrative framework.  Given the diverse population that UNC Health serves, we strive to foster belonging and empowerment within our clinicians, our consumers, and our community. We value the individual’s experience and are dedicated to promoting an environment of respect and appreciation for all persons.  We are devoted to creating and preserving an atmosphere of belonging where others can explore personal values, beliefs, mindsets, and behaviors.

The trauma track supports one intern per year.  Interns complete a year-long rotation that emphasizes stress-related and trauma-focused training experiences across the lifespan. The intern’s time will be divided between adult and child services, proportional to their interests and patient availability.

Interns will provide evidence-based trauma-specific interventions, including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Prolonged Exposure (PE). Depending on interest, availability, and goals, interns may also have the option of learning adjacent interventions (e.g., Seeking Safety, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and SUDs using Prolonged Exposure (COPE)). Interns will gain experience on a multidisciplinary team providing therapeutic case management services, interview-based assessments, trauma-specific individual therapy, trauma-informed family therapy, parent guidance, caregiver support, and skill-building sessions.  Interns have the opportunity to assist in the development and delivery of community trainings, consultation, and outreach. 

The Traumatic Sterss track is federally funded by an award from the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). To be eligible for this internship position, applicants must be a US citizens, national, or permanent resident.

Program Coordinator

Mary Hill , PhD

APPIC Program Code


Clinical Rotations

The intern will conduct clinical interviews with adults with trauma histories, administer and interpret trauma-specific assessments tailored to specific referral questions, write assessment reports, and provide psychodiagnostic feedback and treatment recommendations. The intern will receive training in PE and CPT and deliver these interventions with adults. Supervision takes a developmental approach, beginning with modeling and co-facilitation, transitioning to reviewing session tapes, with the aim of clinicians achieving independent practice with supervision by the end of the training year. The intern will also provide evidence-based interventions via individual and group modalities for adults with PTSD, Acute Stress Disorder, or Other Specified Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders.

Supervisors: Tiffany Hopkins, PhD; Mary Hill, PhD

The Perinatal DBT program, directed by Dr. Tiffany Hopkins, is one of the only full-model DBT programs in the US adapted specifically for perinatal patients. The DBT program includes weekly skills group, individual therapy, phone coaching, and consultation group. Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to complete Dr. Melanie Harned’s DBT+Prolonged Exposure protocol, for patients with primary PTSD diagnoses. Interns will co-facilitate the skills group with a licensed clinician, and over the course of the year-long experience, gain autonomy in planning and leading group sessions.   Interns will co-lead individual therapy for at least one patient over the course of the internship year, and depending on skill level, experience, and interest, may see patients individually under Dr. Hopkins’ supervision. Interns may provide phone coaching and participate in consultation group, depending on their level of experience and training goals.

Interns will receive one hour of individual supervision and one hour of peer consultation each week. Interns may also participate in a one-day workshop on DBT at the outset of internship, and have access to a wealth of training materials for deeper self-study. Interns may also have an opportunity to teach DBT skills and techniques to graduate-level clinical psychology practicum students.

Supervisor: Tiffany Hopkins, PhD

The intern will gain experience with assessment, individual child therapy, and group therapy with parents within the UNC Horizons integrated care program for pregnant or parenting women in residential treatment for substance use disorders and their children. The intern will conduct child mental health assessments including trauma assessment, developmental history, and dyadic observation, and then write up a Clinical Assessment. The intern will also provide individual therapy with children using a variety of evidence-based treatments (e.g., TF-CBT) and conduct parenting groups. Supervision is reflective and focused on case conceptualization and treatment planning. Interns will also have the opportunity to attend multidisciplinary child team meetings.

Supervisor: Evette Horton, PhD

Additional Track Opportunities

The internship program features a variety of didactic seminars and conferences within the University and Healthcare systems. One specific opportunity is within UNC Hospital’s Beacon Program. This program provides medical, psychological, and educational services for persons experiencing threats, abuse, or other violence. Additionally, the intern will participate in a year-long didactic series emphasizing trauma-informed care. Didactics in trauma-specific evidence-based treatments will be provided by the individual supervisor.  The intern will also benefit from various trauma-focused webinars and trainings.

Supervisors in the trauma track actively support interns’ professional development. Training and professional development goals are set at the beginning of each rotation. Professional development topics include support and coaching regarding postdoctoral and job applications. Additional goals may include writing a case report or research manuscript, presenting at an academic conference, attending a training workshop, supervising practicum students or medical residents, or giving a talk in the Department of Psychiatry.

The intern will have the opportunity to participate in various translational, treatment outcome, and effectiveness studies related to trauma-focused assessment and intervention. Most current research opportunities will be smaller-scale, clinic-specific projects.

The intern will engage in weekly clinical and reflective supervision with an emphasis on the use of evidence-based practice, professional resilience, and reflective capacity.  Supervision is generally conducted through individual treatment-specific discussions, as well as multidisciplinary team presentations. Availability of supervision training and opportunities will vary based upon 1) an intern’s previous training and experience with trauma-focused assessment and intervention, and 2) whether the clinic has current graduate student clinicians. If an intern demonstrates readiness for supervision and supervisees are available, interns may participate in vertical supervision as a part of their training experience.

Program Highlights