Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

24
The Internship Year:
The Transition from Student
to New Professional
Joseph A. Denicola
Cynthia T. Furze

The internship year, with its profound personal and professional implications for the development of the individual, marks the formal transition from student to beginning professional. During this year, the intern relinquishes the status of classroom student and begins to try out new roles as diagnostician, therapist, and consultant (Gold, Meltzer, & Sheff, 1982). However, these new roles may be accompanied by conflict. Trainees comes face to face with their own deficiencies and inexperience. Yet, at the same time, interns discover that their opinion about a particular client is regarded seriously, and may play an important role in treatment decisions (Shows, 1976).

In addition to the professional transitions that occur at this time, the internship year generally coincides with a major personal developmental passage. For most interns, the period that Levinson (1978) defined as “Entering the Adult World” comes to a close during the internship. The developmental tasks to be completed during this period are complex and have ramifications for the future of the trainee. Additionally, the clinical, institutional, and personal stresses created by the transition from graduate school to internship are emotionally complicated and can lead to a crisis (Solway, 1985).

This chapter focuses on the professional and personal transitions and practical concerns of the internship year. The emphasis is on ways in which you can shape the year to create a

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