Externship Training Program (Non-paid) for Master's Level Psychology Students

art by Pierre R.Astor Services is able to offer Master’s level Psychology Students (in School, Counseling and Community, and Clinical Psychology) a non-paid practicum experience. Because Astor has a competitive doctoral psychology internship program, accredited through the American Psychological Association, the term intern is restricted solely for the doctoral-level psychology intern placements. Consequently, the term extern or externship is utilized for the non-paid practicum experiences of master’s level psychology students. Students sign all documents with their name and the title of “Mental Health Counselor Extern”.

Depending on the training requirements of the college or university and interest of the student, students may be placed at one of two counseling centers (at either Red Hook or Poughkeepsie), or at Astor’s Early Childhood program in Poughkeepsie.

Counseling Centers

art by Justin R.Astor Services has Counseling Centers and several satellite clinics in Dutchess County. The extern is part of a multidisciplinary team that includes psychologists, Master’s level clinicians and psychiatrists, to provide a variety of consultative and direct treatment services to clients and their families. Many of the children present with difficulties in the home, school, and social domains. The treatment philosophy is oriented toward the involvement of the family in the treatment process. Treatment modalities include individual, family and group therapy. Therapeutic orientations include psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, social learning, and family systems approaches.

Early Childhood Programs

The Astor Early Childhood Programs offers Head Start and Early Head Start to low-income and special needs children from birth to age five across seven Dutchess County locations: Poughkeepsie, Wingdale, Millerton, Beacon, Salt Point, Wappingers Falls, and Pine Plains. More than 90% of the children live at or below the poverty line as established by the federal government.

art by Michael T.

In addition to Head Start and Early Head Start, which serve a combined population of 525 children, we offer postpartum depression screening and referral services through our Maternal Mental Health Pilot Project. Funded by the Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation, this project serves women of all income levels who are pregnant or have given birth in the past twelve months. As part of the grant requirements, we also provide feedback to parents about their baby’s development in the areas of adaptive and social-emotional functioning.

This externship will allow master’s level counseling students learn interviewing, assessment, referral, and program evaluation skills. A master’s level school psychologist with more than 20 years experience in the field provides the supervision. As of this writing, the position is only available to applicants who are able to complete their externship requirements before July 31st, 2007.


Externs receive at least one hour of weekly individual supervision with a licensed supervisor based on the amount of placement hours and requirements of the student’s program.

Application Requirements

All students must be cleared by the NYS Child Abuse Registry, as well as have fingerprint clearance prior to beginning any placement. Placement is contingent on successful clearance.

All students must have a letter of eligibility and authorization submitted by their college or university program director. Interested applicants need to submit a cover letter stating their interest in receiving an externship, the type of placement site they are interested in, as well as the number of hours of training required and any special training needs for their placement. They should also submit a resume with their cover letter. Letters and resume should be sent to:

Director of Clinical Training
Astor Services
13 Mt. Carmel Place
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601