High Plains Psychology Internship Consortium

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High Plains PIC Training Sites

High Plains Psychology Internship Consortium (High Plains PIC) represents the collaborative effort of five member sites in Northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska to pool and share resources for the purpose of creating a high-quality internship that meets the unique clinical and workforce needs of rural Colorado and Nebraska. The clinical training sites of High Plains PIC include Converge Day Treatment Center (Brush, CO), the Educational Service Unit #13 (Scottsbluff, NE), Options in Psychology (Scottsbluff, NE), and the Colorado Center for Assessment and Counseling (Fort Collins, CO). The  University of Northern Colorado Department of School Psychology (Greeley, CO) is a non-clinical training site that contributes expertise and resources to the consortium.

Converge Day Treatment Center – 1 Full-Time Position

APPIC Program Code: 240611


General Information. Converge Day Treatment Center (Converge) is a nonprofit day treatment center located in Brush, Colorado that provides services to children, adolescents, and their families from the surrounding rural and underserved communities. Converge is dedicated to serving children and strengthening families through the convergence of high-quality, effective education and therapeutic interventions that are both family-focused and child-centered. Converge aims to provide exceptional academic instruction and therapy services to children and adolescence with emotional disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. Converge also works to reduce the need for residential treatment, and promote the successful transition of students with serious emotional disabilities back into their regular school settings. Services provided include academic instruction, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and additional services provided in collaboration with community agencies (i.e., equine therapy, aquatic therapy, and parenting courses).


Intern Experience. Interns placed at Converge have the opportunity to serve on a therapy team within a day treatment facility school setting, providing a broad range of evidence-based services including psychological evaluations, functional behavior assessments, individual and systems consultation, and therapeutic/behavioral interventions. Therapeutic and behavioral interventions include individual therapy for students, play therapy, family therapy, and group therapy. Interns are directly involved in identifying problems and needs, and then researching, recommending, and assisting in the implementation of evidence-based interventions. The intern is an integral member of the educational and therapeutic team, with daily opportunities for collaboration and consultation with staff members, parents, affiliated agencies, and other stakeholders. In addition, there are numerous opportunities to participate in program evaluation and research on the implementation and effectiveness of specific evidence-based treatment programs. As part of the service model, doctoral level psychology and counseling practicum students and externs are routinely placed at Converge. Interns have the opportunity to directly participate in clinical supervision activities with these students. In addition, Converge participates in a wide variety of activity-based treatment modalities, including therapeutic horseback riding, swimming, Special Olympics, horticulture programs, and team sports. As such, Converge provides a unique opportunity for interns interested in integrating activities into therapeutic treatment with children.

Converge Primary Supervisor:

Monica Buettel, Ph.D. ([email protected])


Dr. Buettel is a licensed psychologist in Colorado, and is the founder and executive director of Converge Day Treatment Center in Brush, CO, as well as the director of the center’s special education services. Dr. Buettel earned her Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado, an APA-accredited university and holds several licenses/certifications, including a school psychologist license and a special education director license from the Colorado Department of Education. She is also a nationally certified school psychologist. She has extensive expertise and experience in low-incidence disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Her professional career has included several publications and many presentations, and she has provided supervision to school psychologist practicum, extern, and intern students for the past 8 years. Of note, in 2011 she earned the distinction of being named the Colorado School Psychologist of the Year.

Educational Service Unit #13 (ESU13) – 1 Full-Time Position

APPIC Program Code: 240612


General Information. Located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Educational Service Unit #13 (ESU13) is a nonprofit agency that provides specialized services to schools throughout the western Nebraska Panhandle. Most of the areas serviced by ESU13 are rural with limited access to community resources and a large percentage of economically disadvantaged students. The mission of the agency is striving to achieve educational excellence for all learners through strong partnerships, services, and leadership. Communication and collaboration are emphasized within departments and between organizations to allow an environment in which the expertise of all professionals is utilized to create the most effective and efficient learning environments for western Nebraska’s students. The services provided by ESU13 include psychological services, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, special education, Deaf and Hard of Hearing services, as well as early intervention and brain injury support. The agency also provides districts with extensive staff development through the SOAR (Sharing Opportunities Achieving Results) department, and houses several critical programs that serve the Panhandle including Head Start, the Migrant Education Department, and the Autism Spectrum Program. In addition, EDU13 manages a variety of alternative learning programs for secondary students, as well as a school for students ages 5-21 as part of the continuum of services for students with disabilities.


Intern Experience. The intern matched with ESU13 is provided a unique opportunity to participate in the Psychology Department, comprised of 4 full-time school psychologists and 1 full-time Licensed Mental Health Provider. The Department provides several evidence-based services within the school setting. Interns will be expected to provide a wide-range of direct and indirect services including counseling, psychological evaluations, individual and systems consultation, and other therapeutic/behavioral interventions developed through Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Response to Intervention (RTI). As such, interns are directly involved in identifying problems or needs and then researching, recommending, and assisting in the implementation of the appropriate evidenced-based intervention. The intern is immersed within an interdisciplinary team approach, allowing them routine collaboration and communication with other specialized disciplines. In addition, there are numerous professional development and specialized training opportunities throughout the ESU departments that are designed to augment the intern’s skill base as well as expose interns to cutting edge evidence-based interventions in a variety of disciplines. These opportunities include participation and training within the Traumatic Brain Injury group, training and workshops through the Autism Spectrum Disorder Network, and participation in the SOAR Department training and workshops that focus on topics such as behavioral health, academic interventions, giftedness, and accelerated learning.

ESU13 Primary Supervisor:

Katie Lundgren Carrizales, Ph.D. ([email protected])


Dr. Lundgren-Carrizales is a nationally certified school psychologist who is currently working as an educational and therapeutic consultant in Scottsbluff, NE. She has worked in the field of school psychology for over 10 years and she is currently pursuing specialization in autism spectrum disorders and play therapy. Throughout her training, she has participated in several research projects related to special education and multicultural education/consultation. She is Circle of Security trainer/educator and a provisionally licensed mental health provider in the state of Nebraska.


The Colorado Center for Assessment and Counseling - 1 Full Time Position

APPIC Program Code: 240613


General Information. The Colorado Center for Assessment and Counseling (CCAC) is a multidisciplinary, outpatient private practice specializing in comprehensive, strengths-based psychological and neuropsychological evaluation and psychotherapy with children and adults. CCAC’s staff includes four licensed psychologists and a licensed clinical social worker. They  provide knowledgeable, compassionate care for kids and adults with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, mood disorders, learning disorders, depression, and anxiety. Located in Fort Collins along the front range of northern Colorado, their mission is to maintain strong community relationships in the interest of best serving their clients and their families.


Intern Experience. The intern experience will include psychological/neuropsychological evaluation of children and adults using best practice standards for assessment. Interns placed at CCAC will also engage in individual psychotherapy with children, families, and adults utilizing evidenced-based practices, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Interpersonal Process Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as well as helping to facilitate group therapy for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder utilizing a research-based curriculum. Interns will also participate in multidisciplinary staff meetings and coordinate care with local providers, including physicians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, and other mental health practitioners.it text

Colorado Center for Assessment and Counseling (CCAC) Primary Supervisor:

Jeremy Sharp, PhD ([email protected])


Dr. Jeremy Sharp is a licensed psychologist and founder of the Colorado Center for Assessment & Counseling (CCAC). He has been in private practice since 2009 and has worked in the mental health field for nearly fifteen years. Dr. Sharp earned his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Colorado State University before completing a post-doctoral residency at the University of Colorado at Boulder. These days, Dr. Sharp specializes in diagnostic assessment with children and adolescents. He is an approved evaluation provider for both Fort Collins and Greeley school districts, as well as an expert witness in child psychology.


Options In Psychology, LLC - 1 Full Time Position

APPIC Program Code: 240614 


General Information. Options in Psychology, LLC is a private, freestanding mental health clinic comprised of a collaboration of doctoral level psychologists and contract masters level therapists who have a broad range of experiences and interests. Options in Psychology offers a full range of evidence-based psychological services to infants, children, adolescents, and adults in a 200+ mile radius from Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Services provided include psychological and neuropsychological assessment, psychotherapy and counseling, family and marital therapy, drug and alcohol evaluations and treatment, health psychology (e.g., pre-operative evaluations for bariatric surgery), art and play therapy, as well as a variety of consultation and educational services. In addition, case management services are provided on an as needed basis.


Intern Experience. The intern matched with Options in Psychology will become a team member to this thriving practice. A typical week will include conducting assessments and providing counseling services to a variety of clients. Other opportunities include drug and alcohol evaluations and treatment,  art and play therapy, and consultation services. In addition to this primary experience, Options interns complete a minor rotation one day per week at Western Nebraska Behavioral Health (WNBH) which has several clinics located in primary care medical settings throughout the rural Nebraska Panhandle. Interns have the opportunity to work in close proximity to medical providers to address a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues among children, adolescents, adults, families, and couples.  At WNBH, interns will participate in "brown bag" lunches with medical staff on topics related to integrated care. The primary supervisor at WNBH is Dr. Jones-Hazledine, a licensed psychologist and former assistant professor with the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Options in Psychology Site Supervisor

Mark Hald, Ph.D. ([email protected])


Dr. Mark Hald, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and partner with Options In Psychology, LLC in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He joined the practice in January of 1999. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, CO. Her previously earned an Educational Specialist in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska–Kearney and a Master of Arts in Special Education in Emotional/Behavioral Disorders from the University of Nebraska– Kearney as well. Dr. Hald achieved his Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Conception Seminary College in Conception, MO. Dr. Hald is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and a Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor.


Dr. Hald currently provides psychological consultation to the Educational Service Unit #13 Head Start programs, the CAPStone Child Advocacy Center, The Nebraska Circle of Security programs, Scottsbluff Schools and Sixpence Programs, several other community agencies, and schools. He is active in the local infant-toddler mental health group and is the current President of the board of the Nebraska Association for Infant Mental Health. Dr. Hald has been a faculty member with the Nebraska Court Improvement project Helping Babies from the Bench and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Child Abuse and Neglect Institute. Dr. Hald’s professional interests include assessment and intervention from infants/toddlers to pre-adolescent children, adolescents, and families; neuropsychology; and interventions for behaviors disorders, early childhood maltreatment and trauma, attachment, learning disorders, and brain injuries, depression and anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorders, and other childhood disorders. He is a registered Circle of Security ® parenting Facilitator and a COS-P Reflective Supervision Consultant. He is a trainer and consultant for the Nebraska Child Parent Psychotherapy Learning Collaborative.

University of Northern Colorado Department of School Psychology (UNCDSP)

The University of Northern Colorado is a Carnegie Research Intensive Institution that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The University was recently reviewed by the Higher Learning Commission in 2014 and received full accreditation. UNC’s Doctoral Program in School Psychology prepares graduates for entry-level practice in school psychology, a substantive area of professional psychology. The program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1981. This department houses the Training Director of High Plains PIC, Robyn Hess, PhD. Dr. Hess is a board-certified, licensed psychologist who has several years of experience as a trainer in School Psychology. While there is not a clinical rotation offered within UNC, interns receive some of their didactic training and case consultation from the diverse faculty, are provided with opportunities for additional group supervision, and have access to a variety of resources through the school psychology program including assessment kits and statistical consultation.

UNC Primary Supervisor and High Plains PIC Training Director:

Robyn S. Hess, Ph.D., ABPP (School)

Professor

Department of School Psychology


Dr. Hess is a Professor of School Psychology and is the Training Director for High Plains Psychology Internship Consortium. She is board certified in School Psychology (ABPP), a licensed psychologist in the state of Colorado, and a licensed school psychologist. She received her PhD in School Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 1993. In her role as Training Director for High Plains PIC, she provides group and research supervision, organizes and presents didactics, and heads the Training Committee.  Her research interests are in the areas of school dropout/completion especially among diverse students, culturally responsive assessment and intervention, working with refugee youth and their families, systemic interventions for children’s mental health, and stress/coping in children. Recent publications have appeared in Best Practices in School Psychology-V and the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. She has co-written two books, Counseling Children and Adolescents in Schools and Public Health Problem-Solving to Address Children’s Mental Health Needs. Dr. Hess is actively involved in different school psychology professional organizations in her roles as Treasurer for the School Psychology Specialty Council and Co-Chair of the School Psychology Leadership Roundtable.


Life in Rural Colorado and Nebraska


High Plains PIC is a consortium with training sites located in Northeastern Colorado and western Nebraska. Interns are placed primarily at one site for the full internship year with opportunities to participate in training experiences at other sites within the consortium. The majority of sites are located in the High Plains, a sparsely settled area known for ranching and farming. The region has a high elevation with low moisture and is subject to wide (and sometimes extreme) ranges in temperature. Of note, the rural communities and frontier environment encompassed by the High Plains boast ample opportunities for loan repayment through the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program (http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/).


Colorado

As noted, one internship position is located in Brush, Colorado, a town with a population of approximately 5,500. First-time visitors to eastern Colorado are often surprised to find that it is flat. In fact, the High Plains are characterized by wide-open spaces with blue skies, expansive prairies, and friendly small towns. Pawnee National Grassland, located in northeastern Colorado, contains several hiking trails and camping spots where visitors can see native wildlife near the 300-foot-tall Pawnee Buttes. Jackson Lake State Park is an ideal spot to spend a sunny day with sandy beaches and warm water for swimming, boating, and fishing. Festivals fill the calendar year-round in the region including the Brush Rodeo, Fort Morgan’s SwingFest, and the Hot Air Balloon Festival in Brush. In addition, the area is filled with recreational activities including golfing, antiquing, cycling, and even an 18-hole disc golf course that is home to the annual High Plains Challenge Tournament.


The second Colorado internship position is at the Colorado Center for Assessment and Counseling, in Fort Collins, CO. Located in northern Colorado, Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University and an outstanding public school system. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins offers exciting recreational opportunities, unique cultural offerings, and is a regional center for employment and shopping. Throughout the year, live music and entertainment, as well as great local dining, can be found throughout the historic downtown area. Fort Collins offers the convenience of a small town with all the amenities of a larger city.


For those who want to take full advantage of all that Colorado has to offer, Denver is located approximately an hour away from Fort Morgan. Denver, the “Mile High City,” is an outdoor city bursting with urban adventure. The metro area boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, (e.g., Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Red Rocks Amphitheatre), several professional sports teams (e.g., Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids), dozens of innovative and acclaimed restaurants, and a vibrant craft beer culture with 20 breweries. Visitors are often pleased to find that the city is known for it’s walkable downtown, bicycle sharing system, and easy-to-access public transportation system.

In addition to Denver, interns working in the eastern Colorado area are within driving distance of the Rocky Mountains. Rocky Mountain National Park, a 2-hour drive from Fort Morgan, covers 410 square miles and includes Longs Peak (14,225 ft) and 18 named peaks above 13,000, as well as 150 lakes. Winter Park, also a 2-hour drive, is best known for world-class skiing, though it is also a summer playground for Coloradans and outdoor enthusiasts. Activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, rafting, fishing, zip lining, and an alpine slide. And, of course, interns will also find themselves within a day’s drive of other well-known ski areas including Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Vail, and Aspen.


Nebraska

Two internship positions (ESU #13 and Options in Psychology) are located in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Scottsbluff has a population of around 15,000 and is considered the retail hub of the Nebraska panhandle. The area contains 23 parks, pools, and the West Nebraska Arts Center, which includes Theatre West (a summer theater company) and the historic Midwest Theater (a grand old movie palace). The city is located next to the Scotts Bluff National Monument, towering 800 feet above the North Platte River. Walking and biking trails near the area connect Scottsbluff with the neighboring small cities of Gering and Terrytown. In addition, the surrounding area provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts including golfing, horseback riding, state parks, hunting, fishing, biking, hiking, and bird watching. Some of the more well-known natural wonders of the area include Chimney Rock (20 miles from Scottsbluff), the Sandhills region (4 hours), and Toadstool Geological Park near the South Dakota border (90 miles). The area is also near Black Hills National Park and Badlands National Park in South Dakota (approximately 200 miles). Scottsbluff is located near several larger cities for those seeking more urban activities. Denver, CO is approximately 3 hours away with Cheyenne, WY and Fort Collins, CO falling in between.