Training Model and Philosophy

Our internship program follows a clinical science model of training and is intended for those individuals whose training and interests emphasize the application of scientific principles within clinical psychology.  Our educational mission emphasizes evidence-informed approaches to clinical care.  Our goal is to provide our interns with a comprehensive training experience that will enable them to become highly effective clinicians.  The primary training method is experiential with conscientious attention to didactic exposure, mentoring, modeling and supervisory/consultative guidance, according to the needs and desires of the individual intern.  Special attention is given to training in and provision of evidence-based practice in all training activities.  Professional and ethical conduct, including attention to multicultural awareness, as well as the highest standards for quality of care are also highly emphasized.

Profession-Wide Competencies

Our program provides clinical and educational activities for all interns to achieve and demonstrate competency in the core elements of the professional practice of health service psychology “profession-wide competencies” (PWC). To “be competent” is to possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to carry out clinical activities well enough to meet a standard of performance. The standard of performance for completion of psychology internship training is “readiness for entry-level practice”.  Performance expectations for interns for minimum levels of achievement (MLA) always take into consideration level of training, prior clinical experience, and stage of professional development. In general, interns are expected to demonstrate each PWC with increasing levels of independence and complexity as they progress through the training year so that at completion each intern demonstrates readiness for entry-level practice. The Psychology Trainee Competency Assessment Form (PTCAF) specifies the content of each PWC and associated elements. Supervisors complete the PTCAF quarterly for each intern they oversee and provide performance feedback in a face-to-face conversation. Interns will have met performance expectations for MLA for required profession-wide competencies and successful program progression (i.e., “readiness for entry-level practice”) when they have achieved average ratings of “intermediate- routine supervision required”. In addition, interns will have no specific competency element rated by any supervisor as “Entry Level – Remedial/intensive supervision required”.  

1. Research: Understanding of research. Respect for scientifically derived knowledge.

a.    Element 1.1 Scientific mindedness

b.    Element 1.2 Scientific foundation

c.     Element 1.3 Evidence-based practice

d.    Element 1.4 Scientific evaluation

2. Ethical and Legal Standards: Application of ethical concepts and awareness of legal issues regarding professional activities. Seeks consultation as needed.

a.   Element 2.1 Knowledge and understanding of ethical, legal, and professional standards and guidelines

b.   Element 2.2 Awareness and application of ethical decision making.

c.    Element 2.3 Ethical conduct

d.   Element 2.4 Risk management

3. Individual and Cultural Diversity: Awareness, sensitivity and skills in clinical work with diverse individuals and communities.

a.   Element 3.1 Cultural self-awareness

b.   Element 3.2 Cultural awareness of others

c.    Element 3.3 Cultural awareness in interactions

4. Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors: Comportment that reflects the values of integrity and responsibility.

a.   Element 4.1 Integrity

b.   Element 4.2 Deportment

c.    Element 4.3 Accountability

d.   Element 4.4 Seeks consultation/supervision

e.   Element 4.5 Engages in self-care

f.     Element 4.6 Administrative efficiency

5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Relates effectively and meaningfully. Demonstrates personal and professional self-awareness.

a.   Element 5.1 Demonstrates productive and respectful relationships

b.   Element 5.2 Affective skills

c.    Element 5.3 Expressive skills

d.   Element 5.4 Self-Awareness

e.   Element 5.5 Effective use of emotional reactions in clinical interactions.

6. Assessment: Evaluation and diagnosis of problems, issues and strengths of individuals and groups/communities.

a.   Element 6.1 Diagnosis and Formulation

b.   Element 6.2 Evaluation methods

c.    Element 6.3 Conceptualization and recommendations

d.   Element 6.4 Communication of findings

7. Intervention: Designs and implements treatment plans to alleviate suffering as well as promote health and well being.

a.   Element 7.1 Nonspecific skills

b.   Element 7.2 Intervention planning

c.    Element 7.3 Knowledge of interventions

d.   Element 7.4 Intervention implementation

e.   Element 7.5 Individual therapy skills and preparation.

f.     Element 7.6 Group therapy skills and preparation.

g.   Element 7.7 Couple/marital therapy skills and preparation.

h.   Element 7.8 Family therapy skills and preparation.

i.     Element 7.9 Progress Evaluation

8. Supervision: Understanding of supervision. Respect for supervisory process and functions.

a.   Element 8.1 Expectations and roles

b.   Element 8.2 Processes and procedures

c.    Element 8.3 Supervisory relationships

d.   Element 8.4 Participation in peer consultation process

e.   Element 8.5 Ethical and legal issues

9. Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills: Awareness of concepts and issues in related disciplines. Cultivation of interactions with professionals in related disciplines. Provision of professional assistance and guidance.

a.   Element 9.1 Knowledge of the shared and distinctive contributions of other professions

b.   Element 9.2 Participation in interprofessional/interdisciplinary contexts

c.    Element 9.3 Respectful and productive relationships

d.   Element 9.4 Role of consultant

e.   Element 9.5 Consultation assessment

What Makes Us Unique

  • Diversity of experience, allowing for exposure to depth and breadth. We offer a number of training experiences across three tracks: adult, child, and pediatric psychology.  Importantly, we collaborate across these various tracks to offer a full internship experience to all of our interns.  Each track allows for deepening areas of interest as well as new opportunities to round out your training.  And variety does not just happen throughout the year—trainees often comment on how they appreciate having the opportunity to engage in different types of clinical experiences each day.
  • Flexibility.  One of our program’s core hallmarks is allowing you to create and choose your own internship experience.  You are given the opportunity to shape your core experiences and select from a number of electives.
  • Exposure to an array of psychotherapeutic frameworks. Our faculty celebrate a variety of approaches to patient care and offer a respectful environment in which to practice and learn.  Frameworks represented in our training program include cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, acceptance and commitment, psychodynamic, family systems, interpersonal, emotion-focused, cognitive processing, exposure, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based.  We do not dictate the theoretical orientation from which interns should work, and we greatly value the intern who is willing to consider new perspectives and integrate frameworks.
  • Ample supervision. With 5 hours or more of supervision a week, we want to make sure you have the space and time you need to reflect on your practice and professional growth.  Supervision occurs both through formal individual and group supervision time, as well as through each supervisor’s open door policy.
  • Respect for your autonomy and independence. Although we provide ample supervision and feedback, we also respect your individual competence and contributions.
  • Number and quality of seminars. We dedicate a full morning each week to didactic learning, in which interns from all three tracks work and learn together.  UW Psychiatry residents also share in some of the discussion and learning in seminars. The topics covered in these seminars range widely from in-depth discussions about specific psychotherapy frameworks to topics like supervision, professional development, multicultural practice, and psychopharmacology basics for psychologists.  A collection of specialized seminars is also provided within the adult, child, and pediatric psychology tracks.  Seminar leaders are often our core faculty, as well as adjunct faculty, sharing their expertise and inviting the skills and thoughts of our interns.
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration. There is no shortage of opportunities to work with multidisciplinary teams.  Whether you are part of a psychiatric treatment team (e.g., working as a therapist on a complex case alongside a psychiatrist, nurse, and social worker), working with a large team in a hospital unit (e.g., working as a psychological consultant alongside physicians, nurses, medical assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, and pastoral care), or in other settings offered in our training experiences, you will find many opportunities to collaborate, contribute, and learn from other disciplines.
  • Access to research and program development. UW-Madison is a large research institution with a robust number of exciting and cutting-edge research programs.  Our internship offers the opportunity to connect with some of our core faculty in their research projects, as well as the opportunity to connect with other faculty across UW engaging in research of interest.  For those who may be interested in clinical program development, we are glad to assist and support interns who wish to pursue such endeavors.
  • Promotion of a positive work environment and self-care. Overall, trainees describe our program as warm and friendly.  We find this essential as internship year can be challenging!  You are embarking on full-time clinical work for the first time, often in a new city, while balancing the completion of your graduate work and considering the next steps of your career.  Our faculty understand these challenges and work to make your experience fun and supportive through activities such as supervision, mindfulness practice in the mindfulness-based cognitive therapy seminar series, a career values-based exercise in our professional development series, and dedication of a full day to a self-care workshop designed by the interns for themselves.  We also love to have fun outside of work with our interns and have a number of events set up throughout the year to help in promoting self-care and fellowship, including nights at the UW Terrace, our annual departmental holiday party, and a graduation dinner.  Each year, our interns also seem to be very good at figuring out fun events to organize themselves while they explore Madison and the surrounding areas together as a class.
  • Opportunities for training after internship. For those interested in a more clinically-focused post-doctoral fellowship, we have positions in adult, child/adolescent, and pediatric psychology. In addition, there are UW Hospital and Clinics based post-doctoral fellowships in adult health psychology. Postdoctoral clinical training is also offered at Access Community Health Centers focused on primary care behavioral health and the Madison VA has research-focused fellowships in addictions and women’s health. For those interested in a more research-focused post-doctoral fellowship, research electives available during your internship may offer the opportunity to stay on for fellowship. Moreover, UW offers many training grants and fellowship awards that can be pursued during your internship year. You will find that we are committed to support you in discerning the next steps in your professional development throughout the internship training year.
  • Training tailored to your career goals is prioritized. This is our main guiding principle, and we support interns in a variety of career paths.  This allows all of our interns to explore the best path for them moving forward.  We are delighted you are considering us for your internship training.

Life in Madison

Rich with geographic beauty, world-class education, and entrepreneurial innovation, Madison is repeatedly ranked as a “best” place to live, work, do business, and play. You will find Madison to be a well-maintained capital city situated on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona offering a variety of housing options, a highly rated public transportation system, and that warm and friendly Midwestern feel. Here, you’ll find world-class entertainment every night, including the Madison Opera, Overture Center for the Arts, Concerts on the Square, and a variety of music venues featuring up-and-coming international talent. When not catching a show or concert, Madisonians like being outside, enjoying a healthy lifestyle with over 120 shared-use trails and paths, five major lakes,and 29,000 acres of parkland designated for recreational use, including biking, hiking, running, swimming, sailing, skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, skating, and hockey. After a full day, you can refuel at one of Madison’s wide variety of award-winning restaurants, microbreweries, or ice cream shops, all of which celebrate Wisconsin’s local foods, traditions, and cultures. Like to cook? These same local foods are available to buy fresh from the farm at Dane County’s award-winning Farmer’s Market! If this isn’t enough, unwind on the weekends with a college sports game in Madison, often noted as one of the country’s best college sports towns. If you currently have children, or look forward to starting a family in Madison, you will find Madison to be an extremely family-friendly city with strong public schools and many activities for parents and children including Henry Vilas Zoo, one of the country’s few free zoos, and the Madison Children’s Museum, a museum for the whole family.

For more about living in Madison, visit: https://madison.wisc.edu/

Intern Resources & Benefits

Intern Resources

Interns have offices with computers, telephones, photocopy privileges, and clerical support.  Pagers are also issued to interns with the expectation that interns will be on call during regular business hours (i.e., non-holidays, Monday through Friday 8am-5pm).  Educational resources available to interns include the University of Wisconsin library and computer systems, a departmental library, and audiovisual equipment for viewing and recording clinical work.  Our internship is also supported by an internship coordinator.

Intern Feedback

We regularly provide informal feedback in each intern’s daily practice.  Additionally, for more formal feedback, each of your supervisors completes the Psychology Trainee Competency Assessment Form (PTCAF) every quarter.  The PTCAF is designed to guide psychology trainees in the development of profession-wide competencies as well as provide constructive feedback regarding professional development.  Supervisors provide ratings of knowledge, skills, and values observed during training activities.  In addition to these ratings, supervisors are encouraged to provide narrative comments highlighting individualized training goals and objectives.  Trainees receive copies of the PTCAF at the time of orientation to internship training.  At the beginning of the training year, interns are also given copies of all the relevant policies that address expectation for performance, feedback, retention, terminations, and their rights as trainees.

Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year*

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 (PTO and/or Vacation)


Yes* *unused time is not paid.
Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave


Yes* *unused time is not paid.
Legal Holidays


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 (please describe):
$400 professional expense allowance

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


Interns receive three weeks (15 days) of vacation and 9 legal holidays. Attendance at local, regional, and national professional meetings is encouraged. Additional leave days may be negotiated for professional activities (e.g., presentations at meetings, postdoctoral fellowship, and/or job interviews).

2025-2026 Training and Recruitment Update

Recruitment Considering the values of safety, equity, ethics, science, and autonomy, we will engage in virtual interviewing and recruitment for the 2025-2026 intern training class. Our AAPI deadline will be November 1, 2024. We would expect to review applications and offer virtual interviews for December and January. The interview day would be a half-day structured around a presentation by track directors, Q&A with current interns, and 3-4 interviews with faculty. To give you a best sense of our program overall, we will also provide materials related to the physical space of our program and what it is like to live in Madison. 

Training The 2025-26 year will likely involve a combination of virtual and in-person clinical care, supervision, and seminars. All interns will be in person/onsite (M-F 8am – 5pm) to engage in these training activities, providing a strong sense of our supportive training community. Our program track directors and administrative support staff will be available to assist in carefully crafting a program of clinical activities to meet individualized training goals and objectives. This is a core value of our training program.

Thank you for considering our training program. Our program is committed to provide a safe and secure setting that promotes professional growth. Please do not hesitate to reach out for conversation and questions.


Statement on Vaccinations

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Psychology Interns follow both University of Wisconsin and UW Health requirements and processes related to vaccinations (influenza, COVID, etc.). As such, all Psychology Interns must complete a COVID-19 vaccination series, including booster vaccination, or submit a waiver and receive an exemption, by the start of the internship training year which is July 1. Similarly, all Psychology Interns are required to receive an influenza vaccination or submit a waiver and be granted an exemption during the flu vaccine season (deadline announced by SMPH Human Resources). Psychology Interns may revoke their waivers in the future with proper documentation. Psychology Interns who knowingly provide false information on a waiver may be subjected to discipline up to and including termination.

APA Accreditation

Our internship program has been accredited by American Psychological Association (APA) since 1963. The last APA site visit was completed in 2021 at which time the program was fully reaccredited for ten years.

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone: 202-336-5979
Email: apaaccred@apa.org
Website: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

APCS Membership

Our internship program is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS), an alliance of leading, scientifically oriented, doctoral and internship training programs in clinical and health psychology.  Our training is integrative and patient-focused; we strive to prepare clinicians to provide quality clinical care informed by psychological clinical science.

"We work hard to tailor our program to meet the individual training goals of every intern."

Jason Horowitz, PhD, Psychology Training Co-Director of UW-Madison Department of Psychiatry