Student Training: Evidence-Based Practice

We view clinical training as an essential component of preparing our students to become clinical scientists. Our training is squarely focused on evidence-based approaches to assessment and intervention, which includes training in established methods, as well as an appreciation for the questions that remain to be answered through future clinical research. 

For the first 3 years, students’ clinical training takes place at our training clinic, the Center for Psychological Services. This training is led by core faculty members, with additional supervision by closely affiliated adjunct faculty.

  • In the 1st year, students take a two-semester sequence in evidence-based assessment, as well as a course in helping skills and interviewing, which includes extensive training in Motivational Interviewing.
  • In the 2nd year, students take two practica in cognitive-behavioral therapy (one focused on adults and the other focused on youth and families), which include instruction in theory and techniques of CBT, together with supervision of 4 clients (2 adults, 2 youth/family) over the course of the year. Supervision includes full audio/video review of all sessions during the academic year.
  • In the 3rd year, students see 5-6 clients per year, with supervision in a broader array of evidence-based therapies, such as dialectical behavior therapy and family systems approaches.

In the 4th and 5th years, students typically engage in externships in the DC Metro area. Externships are available at a number of sites, including Children’s National Medical Center, the DC and Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, and the major regional hospital, Inova. Here is a link to our list of externships:

Most students go on internship in their 6th year. In preparation for this, an Internship Application Committee works with internship applicants each year to develop their applications and prepare for interviews. Since beginning this committee, we have had a 96% match rate to APA accredited internships (see Outcome data). Students most typically secure internship spots at academic and/or VA medical centers (see a listing of recent internships here).