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BHC Alhambra Hospital Offers Top Psych Internship to Doctoral Students

  • By David Barron

ROSEMEAD, CA  - While many organizations have been forced to put internships on hold because of economic restraints, BHC Alhambra Hospital continues to open its doors to more and more doctoral students seeking firsthand experience in the field of psychology.

For the past 15 years, the internship program at Alhambra, a full-service behavioral health facility and member of the Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. (PSI) family of hospitals, has been committed to providing interns with relevant and hands-on exposure to the levels of distress and acuity that are typical in a psychiatric facility. By providing interns with one-on-one attention and supervision by an experienced clinical staff, Alhambra is able to provide the students with valuable field exposure while offering a greater level of care to its patients.

Historically, Alhambra would take no more than five doctoral psychology interns of the 15 applying for an internship each academic year.  When CEO Peggy Minnick and Dr. Joseph Dadourian, the director of psychology and training, decided to enhance the internship by becoming a member of the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC), the program began receiving 50 applications for 12 positions, including international candidates from Denmark, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Per CAPIC requirements, the internship is 1,000 hours.  As most interns in this program are pre-doctorate candidates, they work an average of 20-24 hours each week while taking classes.  Based on this work schedule, the internship program lasts approximately one year.

Dr. Dadourian, who has 30 years of experience in child, adolescent and adult psychology, is also a psychological consultant to business, industry, hospitals, colleges and public organizations specializing in prevention and intervention services related to workplace violence, harassment and critical incident stress management.

His professional experiences, coupled with working with patients in a hospital setting, takes interns from an academic perspective of clinical psychology to a real-life application. Dr. Dadourian is available as a resource to the interns 24 hours a day, allowing them to receive ample expert advice during their internship.

The staff and setting at BHC Alhambra are an excellent venue for graduate students in psychology to learn about severe psychiatric disorders, traumatic stress and learn the skills of rapid stabilization and brief-focused treatment by participating in multidisciplinary treatment planning and milieu training.

Based on a combination of the interns’ and program directors’ preferences, the interns can be assigned to one of the following programs: pediatric inpatient, adolescent inpatient, adult inpatient, partial hospitalization, eating disorders, and assessment and referral services.   In addition, interns attend a monthly clinical education series covering subject matter relevant to working in a psychiatric facility.

“The internship program at BHC Alhambra receives the most qualified applicants, and we do our best to provide them with the highest quality education possible through close encounters in an actual psychiatric setting,” said Dr. Dadourian.

“While we wish we could accept all applicants, the competitive nature and small size of the program ensures that our interns receive the most hands-on experience possible to help them further their education while at the same time providing our patients with high quality care they deserve in a setting and from people they can trust.”
Prepared by Jennifer June for BHC.

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