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Program Mission and Objective
The Chicago area Christian Training Consortium - Internship in Professional Psychology (CACTC) is designed to provide training in a wide range of clinical skills and experiences essential to the practice of professional psychology. CACTC is a collaborative effort of five mental health organizations, all of whom are providing mental health services in urban, suburban and rural contexts, and one graduate institution, an APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology. The partner agencies working together are (Wheaton/Carol Stream, IL), (Chicago, IL), (Chicago, IL), (Chicago, IL), and the partner institution is (Wheaton, IL).
CACTC objectives are designed to provide comprehensive training to doctoral psychology interns in the areas of psychological assessment, diagnosis, intervention, culture, ethics, consultation, and methods of scholarly inquiry, while simultaneously assisting them in the development of their professional identities. Internship training is also geared to help interns become more competent and credible in their work with a wide variety of client populations, presenting problems and to work well in a variety of clinical settings.
One distinctive feature of CACTC includes opportunities for interns to explore ways to integrate issues of Christian faith and theology into clinical practice. This practice, in both conceptualization and intervention, seeks to uphold the dignity and uniqueness of each person, who is seen as multifaceted and having the potential for spiritual, intellectual, emotional and relational growth. Consistent with the mission of each CACTC site, the CACTC internship program encourages integration of faith and practice, identifying a Christian worldview as the foundation for its professional activities.
Predicated on this faith perspective, another CACTC distinctive is its commitment to train interns to work competently with persons who are traditionally underserved by mental health providers. In order to do this effectively, the CACTC internship program is geared to provide interns with numerous clinical and training opportunities to strengthen their skills in conceptualization and treatment with these groups. Interns are also encouraged to learn about the political and sociocultural factors in contemporary society and how they may impact service delivery to underserved groups. Interns learn both traditional and non-traditional approaches to treatment within a community context, in order to develop a wide range of treatment modalities to more effectively meet the needs of the clients and communities they serve.
Additionally, CACTC works to cultivate an environment that is conducive for discussing and learning about issues of cultural and individual diversity. While “cultural competence” is valued and is the goal, the concept of “cultural credibility” has also been identified as important and may more accurately reflect the notion that we are all still in process and growing in our understanding of culture. Furthermore, the supervisors/staff and interns share the goal of becoming culturally credible with others of differing cultural backgrounds through understanding their own background, biases and prejudices and making efforts to learn from, and openly discuss, issues of culture with others.
Given this goal of cultivating both cultural credibility and competence, CACTC provides opportunities to work with diverse clientele, conversations about culture during supervision, opportunities to collaborate with diverse co-workers and/or supervisors and by providing access to professional resources (i.e., books, articles, etc.) on cultural diversity. Also, interns participate in CACTC seminars on a variety of diversity topics which are geared to promote greater understanding (both cognitively and experientially) of diversity issues. The goal of these training experiences is to help interns understand their own cultural heritage and to learn more about the cultural backgrounds of others. Likewise, supervisors also strive to understand their own cultural heritage, biases and worldviews in order to cultivate a safe, multicultural learning environment. These efforts are supported by organizational efforts and nondiscriminatory policies throughout all CACTC sites.
The Internship is a full-time, twelve-month program during which interns gain clinical experience in psychotherapy (individual, family, group, and/or couples), psychological evaluations, consultation and program development/evaluation. LCHC interns work primarily from a Behavioral Health Consultation (BHC) Model (see LCHC site section for more information). All interns will maintain responsibilities at both their primary and secondary sites. The length and duration of secondary rotations may vary, depending on intern interest and program need. However, in most cases, interns will spend 4 days at their primary site and 1 day at their secondary rotation (The exception to this is LHA interns, who will spend both their primary and secondary rotation at LHA). Additional opportunities, such as facilitating groups in local schools, participating in court and legal procedures, supervising doctoral students, program development, and conducting screenings in a medical setting, may also be available.
CACTC will accept 4-7 full time psychology interns. One of these positions is a captive slot for a qualified student from Wheaton Graduate School. Successful completion of the internship typically involves a commitment of 40-50 hours per week, including 2-3 evenings per week. The Internship year begins on the 2nd Monday of August and concludes one year later.
Interns from doctoral programs in either clinical or counseling psychology are encouraged to apply. While students who are from APA-approved doctoral programs are preferred, CACTC is most interested in training motivated students who have goals and interests congruent with the CACTC mission. Opportunities for employment positions post-internship may be available through some of the CACTC sites.
The Chicago area Christian Training Consortium is a participant in the Internship Matching Program with a match number of 16731. CACTC has been accredited with the American Psychological Association since 2002 (; 750 First St., NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, 800-374-2721) and is also an member (). The internship program adheres to all APA and APPIC standards and policies regarding intern selection, supervision and training.
Stipend and Benefits
Interns receive a stipend of $21,000 and benefits which includes vacation, paid holidays and sick leave (further specific benefits may vary from site to site). Medical benefits are provided at most or all primary sites. Because interns are considered an employee of their primary site, stipends and benefits are paid directly from the intern's primary site. Please consult the consortium director with questions regarding benefits.