Practicum Training

We have a two community facing clinics within the Department of Psychology, and two more external practica that are guaranteed placements for interested students, that serve as introductory practica in Assessment and Psychotherapy.  All clinical students begin their practicum training in their second year in the Introductory Practicum in Assessment and Consultation, which is in an in-house clinic run by Dr. Melissa Hunt.  Students with a special interest in developmental psychopathology will transition in the second half of the year to a pediatric assessment practicum at the Center for Autism Research under the supervision of Dr. Ben Yerys.  After successful completion of a year of assessment, adult focused students typically work with Dr. Rob DeRubeis in his Cognitive Therapy Clinic, providing psychotherapy services to patients with depression and a range of comorbidities, including anxiety disorders, trauma or OCD.  Child focused students transition to the PATCH Clinic at Hall Mercer under the supervision of Dr. Emily Becker-Haimes where they work with pediatric anxiety and OCD patients.   

Because of the wealth of opportunities for clinical training in the Philadelphia area, Penn does not run a large in-house psychological services clinic beyond the introductory practica. Rather, after completing two years of introductory clinical practica, Penn's clinical students have the opportunity to participate in practica at local hospitals, clinics and research facilities staffed and run by world-renowned clinical scientists. The Associate Director of Clinical Training helps students decide which practicum experiences best suit the student's needs and interests, and will inform a student's developing program of research.

Several years ago, Dr. Hunt founded a large regional externship matching program for southern New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.  PENDELDOT now boasts 16 member doctoral programs and over 70 regional externship sites, including most of the major hospital systems in the Philadelphia region.  All of the highly desirable training sites in the region (e.g. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia VA, The Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety and many many others) participate in the PENDELDOT match.  There is a searchable directory that allows clinical students to locate the most appropriate sites based on population treated, theoretical orientation, experience level and so on.  Students using the PENDELDOT system can rest assured that sites will abide by guidelines designed to protect the interests of trainees (e.g. a uniform timeline for applications and interviews, and a coordinated match day, so that applicants need never decide on an offer prior to knowing about other potential opportunities.)  Applicants to the program who are curious about the various opportunities available are encouraged to visit the PENDELDOT directory to explore the many varied training options.