Grad Corner

Picture of Grace Chen

Grad Corner provides resources for clinical and counseling psychology doctoral students. I highly enjoy advising and coaching doctoral students regarding their professional identity development and wanted to continue to provide support to psychology doctoral students through my website.

As an internship advisor for clinical psychology Ph.D. students at Palo Alto University (PAU), each year I provide intensive individual advising to students applying to a variety of internship sites (VA, university counseling, integrated health, forensic settings) starting from May/June until APPIC Match Day. The students have found the unique internship advising program at PAU to be invaluable, and I am proud to have been engaged in its development and execution over the past 10 years. I realize that the support doctoral students in other graduate programs most often receive focuses on research-related activity (presentations, publications, and dissertation) and that they could use more support around professional development in their clinical work. Therefore, I decided to compile thoughts and resources through Grad Corner to share with clinical and counseling psychology doctoral students across the country. Many of my former advisees have expressed their appreciation for hands-on support through the stressful internship application process and have gone on to advise and mentor other doctoral students through the process.

A little more about me: I have always enjoyed training, teaching, and advising. I first got involved in training on the clinical side during my internship at the University of Maryland’s Counseling Center (training committee) and then continued during my time as staff psychologist and supervisor (postdoc and master’s level interns) in Counseling & Psychological Services at Cal State University, East Bay (Hayward). During my 8 years of serving as a practicum coordinator and internship advisor in the clinical psychology Ph.D. Program at PAU, I learned about important aspects of clinical training and professional development from the perspectives of training directors, clinical supervisors, and students. I have been licensed as a psychologist in California since 2006. I currently provide psychotherapy and coaching in an independent practice in Menlo Park, CA. I also facilitated support groups for Stanford graduate women business students (MBA and Ph.D.) for the past two years. I continue to provide advising and coaching to counseling and clinical psychology doctoral students during the internship application process.


Currently the main focus of Grad Corner is on the preparation ofAPPIC internship applications, but check back periodically as more content and resources may be added. I welcome you to contact me with suggestions or requests about information and resources: grace@drgracechen.com .

Checking in with Dr. Chen – Wed., 8/12/20

Internship Preparation

Internship Application Tips

Dr. Chen’s suggested timeline

Writing Internship Essays

Purpose of internship application materials (essays, CV, cover letters)

Essay 1: Autobiography

Essay 2: Theoretical Orientation – includes text references

**NEW** Essay 2: 2020 Comments – telehealth considerations

Essay 3: Diversity

Essay 4: Research

**NEW** Internship Site List

Cover Letters

**NEW** Reference Letters

APPIC Rank Order List (2020 APPIC Match)

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Internship Resources (external links)

*** NEW *** APPIC Recruitment and Selection Guidance for 2021-2022 (6/18/20) – virtual interviews and open house are “strongly encouraged” (but not required)

APPIC COVID-19 Statement #2 (3/31/2020)

AAPI Telemental Health Activity Tracking (3/24/2020)

APPIC COVID-19 FAQs – this website addresses a lot of questions students have about the status of internships for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 (3/23/2020)

Council of Chairs of Training Councils – statement on education and training recommendations (3/23/2020)

APA COVID-19 Updates and Resources (updated regularly)


Internship Application Advice by DiLillo & Leffingwill (2011) – brief article with practical advice on internship application preparation

APAGS webinar videos on writing essays and preparing for interviews

APPIC’s website provides a lot of resources – sample AAPI, detailed AAPI instructions, help documents for the AAPI, etc.

2019 APPIC MATCH NEWS – Help resources – includes links for technical support filling out the AAPI and help with the APPIC match (9/6/19)

APAGS doctoral psychology internship website includes resources

APAGS Internship Workbook – this is helpful to a certain extent; the essay examples are not the strongest – instead, I recommend asking for essay examples from students who have gone through the match process recently to see a variety of ways you can write them.

Time2Track Sample Interview Questions – review and practice answering the possible interview questions you’d get; the section on questions for interns is also helpful. (I’d skip the middle section and come up with your own questions for the internship site since many of the questions listed are likely to be listed in their brochure or in a presentation on interview day. Alternate questions could include – “What have interns said have been the most rewarding and the most challenging aspects of their internship experience here?”, “What do you like most about the work you do here?”)

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