Doctoral Residency Program for Psychology Students

Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers

The primary goal of the training program at Sierra Tucson is the development of the student’s professional identity from “Resident” to “Psychologist.” This is accomplished by challenging Residents to develop confidence and trust in their own clinical judgment and abilities. Sierra Tucson’s overall training model is a development-mentorship-practitioner model which focuses on using supervisory/mentorship relationships, training, and education to further the development of future psychologist/professionals. Through the mentor relationship Residents gain support in developing their confidence in their professionalism, as well as individual attention during the development of their professional identities. Sierra Tucson is the best fit for Residents who are interested in working in a didactic, biopsychosocial, residential and inpatient setting with an integrative team approach. Students will learn excellence in patient care with a globally-diverse patient population that have complex, often multiple-diagnosis concerns. Students are encouraged to gain experience by being members of treatment teams that specialize in addictions, trauma, chronic pain, eating disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. There is a strong emphasis on assessment and research at this site.

Residency Training Goals

  • To help Residents develop a “psychologist” identity that includes success in integrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes for competence in professional conduct and ethical matters.
  • To further develop the Resident’s clinical knowledge and skill to an advanced level commensurate with completing a doctoral degree in psychology (with regards to assessment, interventions, research, and supervision).
  •  To train Residents in an advanced level of competence regarding individual and group therapy using empirically-based approaches with varied cultural and clinical populations.
  •  To further develop the Resident’s knowledge and skills in psychological testing with varied cultural and clinical populations.
  • To advance Residents’ hands-on experience in the development and application of research in a clinical setting
  • To further develop Residents abilities in working with multidisciplinary teams
  • To further develop their supervision and project management skills

Sierra Tucson Mission Statement

To inspire our employees to deliver clinical excellence and lead Sierra Tucson to be the preferred treatment provider to individuals and families in need.

The Sierra Tucson Model® recognizes that that we all exist as mind, body, spirit, and emotions. The combination of both traditional and integrative therapies engages patients in all four dimensions. Additional modalities include biofeedback/neurofeedback, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, acupuncture, grief and loss work, and adventure therapies, to name but a few. While students will not be involved in learning or conducting these types of therapies, interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment is required.

Residency Training Site

Sierra Tucson is a 140 bed, internationally renowned inpatient treatment center providing individualized treatment for addictions, chronic pain, coexisting disorders, trauma and abuse, sexual addiction/compulsivity, eating disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, and family dysfunction. This multi-licensed treatment center approaches problematic behaviors in a multidimensional manner, and includes a wide variety of treatment options including psychiatric, psychological, and integrative approaches. Sierra Tucson is dedicated not only to the treatment of disorders, but also to prevention, education, and research.

Sierra Tucson consists of a Level 1 and a Level 2 facility on the same site. The Level 1 portion of the facility is a locked, inpatient unit designed for safety and security while providing detoxification, crisis management, containment, and transitional treatment in a comfortable environment. The Level 2 portion of the facility is a residential community designed to provide treatment and integrative services for patients seeking expert care for sobriety, resolution of trauma, stability of mood, and/or chronic pain management.

Student Program Variability

At times, it may be necessary to adjust student responsibilities or assignments based on changes in patient size and variability. Population varies at Sierra Tucson to some extent as is the nature of residential/inpatient programs. Being a patient-centered program, Sierra Tucson alters the activities of its employees to best meet the needs of the patient population in its programs. For example, students may have the opportunity to work with patients in the eating disorder program but may change to cofacilitating a DBT group or a different process group if the census drops in the ED program.

At times, there may be patients in the ST programs from any number of cultures or backgrounds from around the world. ST makes concerted efforts to provide thorough, consistent care to all persons within its capabilities. ST employees and students are expected to maintain excellence in patient care for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, physical or mental disability, and/or any other characteristic protected by law. Multicultural education is mandatory as part of Human Resources orientation. Multicultural training is considered ongoing in clinical care and is an expected part of interdepartmental training, supervision, and case planning.

Sierra Tucson gave me ‘new life!’ With continuing in my program, I feel that my life is better… fuller than I have ever experienced. For me, Sierra Tucson was a life-saver!

– Anonymous Client