The Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) provides an advanced practicum training program for behavioral health professionals and paraprofessionals. Internships for advanced practicum students are generally twenty hours per week. Graduate student interns must be currently in a Master’s or Doctoral program in one of the mental health fields. Interns are typically accepted for a full year, from the middle of August through the end of July. Depending primarily on the learning objectives of the student, and the availability of supervisory staff, undergraduates may also be accepted for internships.
The following are components of the training program:
Direct Services: interns will spend approximately 50% of their time providing direct services to consumers. This typically includes individual, couples, family and/or group treatment; case management, and assessment/intakes.
Clinical Supervision: individual clinical supervision (typically one hour/week).
Group Supervision: group format, typically with other interns and staff (two hours/week).
Documentation: Time for charting is typically 20% of the intern’s time.
Misc. Activities: Typically 10% of the intern’s time.
For 20-hour/week interns, 10% of hours are devoted to outreach/consultation/education activities. Another 10% of hours can be arranged with the primary supervisor to include either direct services, special projects, or other activities agreed upon.
The Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) is a private, 501©3 non-profit, community-based organization that provides an array of human services including a community mental health clinic (licensed by the State of Colorado). This clinic, the Asian/Pacific Center for Human Development (A/PCHD), serves as the Behavioral Healthcare arm of the parent organization, APDC. APDC has been providing culturally competent behavioral health services to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in Colorado for 39 years. It serves as a critical bridge between these communities and the various human service systems in Colorado. Currently, outpatient mental health services are provided in ten Asian languages and dialects. Services include individual, couples, group and family counseling; psychiatric medication evaluation and monitoring; case management; victim advocacy, and prevention services. A/PCHD also provides an Asian Elder Wellness Senior Health Program and the Refugee Mental Health Education Outreach Program. Other programs provided through APDC include a variety of youth services (e.g., substance and violence prevention after school projects, youth mentorship, leadership training); ESL classes; citizenship classes; job readiness training, diversity training; and a multicultural interpreter service (Colorado Language Connection).
Five primary principles are used in providing services. These are (A) bilingual/bicultural staffing, (B) staff role flexibility, (C) cultural brokers, (D) program flexibility, and (E) community-based services.
Treatment staff are bilingual native Asian-language speakers and are familiar with their own culture. They are embedded in their respective communities (many are considered community leaders).
There is role flexibility for staff (e.g., they are not just psychotherapists, but they also take the role of advocate, navigator/case manager, trusted advisor).
Staff is trained and experienced with both mainstream systems and the cultural adaptations that must be made (i.e., they are cultural brokers). The agency similarly takes the role of “bridge” between various systems and the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
There is program flexibility (i.e., programs/policies/practices adjusted to the needs of consumers, and attempt to be culturally relevant). For example, “non-psychiatric” case management is allowed; or gift-giving is (within limits) accepted.
Services are community-based. A Board of Directors and leadership from the AAPI community oversees APDC. Services are tailored to address a number of community-identified needs (APDC does not simply offer a specific service, with the expectation that consumers will find this sufficient, such as “outpatient mental health services”). For example, APDC is known not only for mental health, but also for health promotion, youth programs (from working with at-risk youth to leadership development), ESL classes, citizenship classes, provision of an interpreter service (Colorado Language Connection), and community development (via consultation, education, networking, resource development/training, and advocacy).
Currently, there are four licensed Clinical Psychologists, one licensed Clinical Social worker, one LMFT, and one LPC who provide clinical supervision and/or consultation to the training program. In addition, interns typically interact with the clinical staff, who range in both ethnic and professional backgrounds. Due to the nature and variety of presenting problems among our consumers, a multi-disciplinary approach is frequently needed.
Interns have been accepted from a number of institutions. This includes MSW and BA level social work field placement (University of Denver, Washington University, St. Louis, Metro State University); MA counseling psychology internship (University of Colorado, Denver, Iliff School of Theology); Disaster Psychology (University of Denver); practicum for clinical and counseling psychology (the University of Denver, University of Colorado, Boulder and Colorado Springs, Colorado State University); APA and non-APA doctoral clinical psychology internship (Fielding Institute, University of Northern Colorado, University of Texas, Miami University, Virginia Consortium). Currently, nursing students from the University of Colorado, Denver, train in various APDC settings throughout the year and provide health education to many AAPI community members.
In May 2012, APDC affiliated with Aurora Mental Health & Recovery (AMHR) in a mutually beneficial partnership. AMHR added an APDC track to their APA doctoral internship program so that now there is one APA doctoral intern doing her/his primary placement at APDC. This intern will supervise one doctoral practicum student as part of their doctoral training year.
Application is open Jan 1st every year, until all positions are filled;
Interns are required to commit 10-12 months starting mid-summer.
Monica Gerber, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist & Training Program Coordinator
Asian Pacific Development Center
1537 Alton St.
Aurora, CO 80010