The graduate training program at LYDIA is designed to provide training in a wide range of clinical skills and experiences essential to the practice of mental health. LYDIA has a history of training Masters and Doctoral level graduate students (practicum and predoctoral internship) in clinical and counseling psychology, social work and related human service programs. The graduate training program is seen as an important year of training, where students build upon graduate education and training experiences in the discipline of psychology and prepare for more independent professional practice. The training year is predicated on the belief that a competent professional must have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and empirical basis of clinical psychology, and the ability to apply that knowledge creatively to a variety of clinical situations. Therefore, the graduate training program encourages interns to develop the ability to practice psychology in ways that are accessible to clients. Students learn to practice in a manner consistent with the current mental health care environment by developing relationships within a community network and by learning both traditional and nontraditional approaches to clinical work. An essential aspect of this training includes exposure to diverse populations and diverse treatment modalities, including individual therapy, psychoeducational groups, family therapy, group therapy, parent training, and a variety of consultative opportunities all within an urban context.
A distinctive feature of the program is the opportunity for students to explore ways to integrate issues of Christian faith and theology into clinical practice. Consistent with LYDIA’s mission, the graduate training program encourages integration of Christian faith with professional practice within the trainee's own Christian faith perspective. Students are encouraged through didactic training, individual supervision and collegial consultation to develop an individualized Christian integration approach while working with a diversity of clients.
The primary method for learning is experiential which is augmented by individual and group supervision, and in-service training. These modalities provide the supervisory guidance, mentoring, role modeling, and observation that is necessary in acquiring clinical competencies. The training plan for the interns is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity in terms of services delivered within the training modalities.
The psychology graduate training program at LYDIA identifies with a practitioner-scholar model of training. Students begin to solidify a professional identity within an interdisciplinary setting. The program provides exposure to a broad range of clinical interventions, roles, and responsibilities that are viable in the current mental health environment. The program addresses professional ethics and responsibility. Interns not only learn clinical skills and roles, but are challenged to attend to their personal development as they pursue their professional identity. Through supervision and involvement in the service areas at LYDIA, interns gain understanding of the interface between the psychological, sociological, biological, and spiritual dimensions of life.
The distinctive endeavor of the graduate training program is the integration of psychological practice with Christian faith and theology in an urban context. Within the Christian traditions, all treatment efforts are employed to uphold the dignity of the person, who is seen as having the potential for spiritual development in addition to healing of the mind, body, and relationships.
Chicago Area Christian Training Consortium
LYDIA is a founding member of the Chicago Area Christian Training Consortium - Internship in Professional Psychology. The training program is designed to provide training in a wide range of clinical skills and experiences essential to the practice of professional psychology. The Consortium is a collaborative effort of five mental health organizations, all of whom are providing mental health services in urban, suburban and rural contexts, and 1 graduate institution, an APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology. The partner agencies working together are Outreach Community Ministries (Carol Stream, IL), LYDIA (Chicago, IL), Cornerstone Counseling Center (Chicago, IL), the Center for Rural Psychology (Elburn, IL), Lawndale Christian Health Center (Chicago, IL), and the partner institution is Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, IL).
The Internship at LYDIA is a twelve month, full-time program during which interns gain clinical experience in individual and group psychotherapy, family therapy, and psychodiagnostic assessment. Interns focus their clinical work to the residential treatment program where they work with 6-7 children/adolescents on one of our treatment units.
For more detailed information, download these PDFs of our Master’s degree training, and our Doctoral level practicum training opportunities.
Go to www.cactc.org for specific information regarding our pre-doctoral internship.