The Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP) offers a psychology doctoral internship program for students completing their doctoral degree from counseling, clinical and forensic psychology programs.
MSOP operates secure inpatient treatment facilities and a Department of Corrections (DOC) program for offenders. Clients come to MSOP after being civilly committed by the courts for evaluation or treatment. The most common primary diagnoses are paraphilias and personality disorders. In addition, many clients have primary or secondary diagnoses of substance use, borderline intellectual functioning and mood disorders.
Program goals and training
The mission of the MSOP doctoral internship program is to provide education, training and practical experience for professionals who wish to practice psychology within an inpatient sex-offender specific treatment setting. The training goals are to provide:
- Developmentally appropriate training to enhance and expand each intern’s current expertise in diagnostic and therapeutic skills used in the provision of psychological services
- Training based on empirically supported knowledge, which addresses a wide variety of mental health diagnoses within a civilly committed sex offender population
- Training that strengthens research, writing, and presentation skills and develops a better appreciation of the role of research in treatment and assessment
- Training that enhances the understanding of cultural and individual differences in relation to the delivery of myriad psychological services and support
The internship program has two tracks, one at our campus in Moose Lake, MN, and another on our campus in St. Peter, MN. The training opportunities are virtually identical in both locations; however, the facilities differ in their sub-populations. Clients in Moose Lake are in earlier phases of treatment programming. They may also have behavioral, and/or mental health issues. At our St. Peter facility, clients are in advanced phases of treatment and are working toward reintegration into the community. This facility also holds our alternative programming unit, which is for clients who have compromised executive functioning difficulties.
The 12-month internship program is divided into four rotations, in these areas:
- Diagnostic rotation - Primarily includes a diagnostic evaluation. The resulting report is geared toward an annual diagnostic formulation to assist in treatment planning. Interns may have the opportunity to participate in the client's annual treatment review meeting
- Treatment assessment rotation - Primarily evaluation oriented. Assessments may include (but are not limited to) diagnostic clarification, treatment need reassessments, memory assessments, cognitive assessments and evaluations for malingering
- Treatment rotation - Interns are involved in sexual-offender process groups and psycho-education groups. In addition, there are opportunities to observe vulnerable-adult assessments, crisis intervention and suicide-risk assessment. Interns function as members of the multidisciplinary treatment team and work cooperatively in the treatment planning process
- Research rotation - Interns work with the Doctoral Internship Training Committee, research analysts and the Director of Research and Evaluation to identify a research topic area. These findings are presented at the end of the year at an all-staff meeting. Past interns have had the opportunity to present their completed projects at psychological training conferences
In addition to the unique learning that takes place during rotations, interns will receive other valuable experiences and opportunities, including: high-quality preparation with a full calendar year of supervision, experiential, and didactic training and chances to observe court testimony and civil commitment proceedings.
Salary and benefits
All interns are considered temporary, full-time employees and receive a highly competitive compensation package that includes salary ($38,000 annually) and full benefits, including medical, dental and life insurance. In addition, interns receive 104 hours of paid annual sick leave, 40 hours of paid vacation and 11 paid holidays per year.
All applicants must come from CPA or APA accredited schools. This internship is best suited for students who want to complement prior training with deeper experience gained within a secure program that provides sex offender treatment to civilly committed clients. Successful applicants will possess a solid foundation in psychological assessment and therapeutic intervention, will have completed or be close to completing a formal dissertation and must have successfully defended their dissertation proposal or have Institutional Review Board approval prior to the start date. Doctoral students from counseling, clinical, and forensic psychology programs who have obtained approval from their faculty and who are internship-eligible may apply. Matched candidates must meet two conditions for employment prior to the start of their internship: They must be able to pass a criminal background check and be able to meet physical fitness benchmarks. The position requires candidates to be able to perform various physical tasks to maintain safety of the employee and the environment.
For more information
For more information or to request a copy of our internship manual containing a detailed description of the program, contact:
Dr. Elizabeth Peterson
Minnesota Sex Offender Program
1111 Highway 73
Moose Lake, MN 55767
Prospective internship candidates must apply through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Visit the APPIC website for membership and application information. See our internship admissions, supports and initial placement data.
The Minnesota Sex Offender Program's Doctoral Internship Program is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. The program is not currently accredited by the American Psychological Association. Questions about the program's accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC, 20002-4242
Website: American Psychological Association