Training Program

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Training Program

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 Sandtray Room extern office  HHS Loby Intern Office
Left to right: Sandtray therapy room; Extern Therapy Office; HHS waiting room; Intern Office

Program Basics

The training program is a full year starting on the Tuesday after Labor Day and ending in August of the following year. There is a three week orientation in the beginning of the year. The schedule for the first three weeks during orientation will differ from a trainee's regular weekly schedule. Click here to download our Internship program brochure.

APPIC Site Number: Internship: #1276

Hours per week:

  • Intern: 40 hours/week
  • Practicum: 20 hours/week
  • Advanced Practicum 24 hours/week

Evening hours:

  • Interns are expected to work Monday through Friday. 3 evenings are required.
  • All Practicum Students are expected to work 3 days during the week. 2 evenings are required.

Required training days are Tuesdays and Thursdays

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About the Department and Hoffman Estates

HHS Intern and Practicum students show off a display
HHS intern displays her monthly awareness project: The Chain of Hope.

Health and Human Services is a municipally funded outpatient community health and mental health service facility in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. Hoffman Estates is approximately 35 minutes from Chicago. The community is diverse socioeconomically, ethnically and racially. Click here for demographic information on Hoffman Estates.

For almost 30 years, the department has provided individual, couple, and family psychotherapy training with a stength-based approach toward its clients.

Health and Human Services provides intensive clinical experience and supervision. Caseloads include families, individual, adults, adolescents, children and couples.

In addition to clinical work, Health and Human Services has a strong focus on prevention work. During the year, students participate in a year-long community project as well as several small outreach projects.

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Clinical Experience

Approximate caseloads are as follows:

  • Intern: 16-18 cases
  • Practicum: 6-8 cases
  • Advanced: 10 - 12 cases

About 15% of these cases are families. The remainder of the caseload is made up of individual adults, adolescents, children and couples. It is not possible to know exact proportions since it changes from year to year.

HHS Child Therapy Room
HHS Child Therapy Room

Interns act as Intake Coordinators who oversee the administrative functions of the intake process. Interns provide intakes for 6 months and then train the Practicum students to do intakes for the remaining 6 months of the training year. The Interns and Practicum students report to the Intake Coordinator who supervises the entire intake process.

Common presenting problems of clients include (but are not limited to) affective disorders, conduct disorders, marital difficulties, parenting difficulties and school problems.

Students are trained in:

  • Individual, Couple, and Family Psychotherapy
  • Multicultural Competence
  • Community Psychology
  • Psychological Testing
  • Intake Assessments
  • Crisis Intervention

Opportunities exist for work in:

  • Employee Assistance Programming
  • Career Counseling
  • Community Prevention Program Development
  • School Prevention Programming
  • Community Health Services
  • Applied Research

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The supervision experience at Health and Human Services is varied and intensive, totaling approximately 7 hours a week for Interns, and 5 hours a week for Practicum Students.

In addition to individual supervision, Practicum and Intern students will receive Psychotherapy, Multicultural Competence, and Community Psychology training. Other training include case presentation using video and audio taped material, live supervision and professional seminars.

Support, encouragement, and critical feedback are utilized to help students develop professional abilities that fit their own interactive style and enhance their therapeutic effectiveness.

Training Director:

  • Audra Marks, Psy.D.

Supervisory Staff:

  • Monica Saavedra, Psy.D.
  • Ed Dunkelblau, Ph.D.
  • Caren Gardner, MS
  • Lauren Nichols, Psy.D.

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Interns and Practicum students participate in a weekly Psychotherapy Seminar. This seminar focuses on the theory and practice of psychotherapy with particular attention to applied family psychotherapy skills. The seminar is experiential and didactic including case presentations, role playing, and live supervision.

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Multicultural Competence and Community Psychology

Interns and Practicum students participate in a weekly experiential and didactic Multicultural Competence and Community Psychology Seminar. This seminar focuses on increasing a therapist's self awareness, knowledge and skills as it relates to their work in the community and with diverse clients and settings.

During the year, students develop and implement programs designed to improve and sustain the health and well being of the residents in Hoffman Estates. The research based prevention programs seek to prevent the possibility of future development of severe health and/or mental health conditions that would otherwise require intensive treatment.

Current community prevention programs include:

  • Body Image Group for 5-6 grade girls
  • Social and Emotional Development Group for 5-6 grade boys
  • Leadership Development Group for Elementary School Girls
  • Leadership Development and Gang Prevention Group for 4-6 grade boys
  • Community Education & Awareness Projects on a variety of topics
  • Employee Assistance Program Training

The Seminar trains students on evidence based community work. Students will discuss the importance of self awareness, knowledge and skills while working with clients and communities, learn theories on community prevention work, participate in community prevention projects and activities, learn the steps for developing a program, and implement a community prevention program.

A core focus of this seminar is to encourage a student's further growth of their competencies in issues of diversity. This focus is integrated into the seminar by asking students to share and process their reactions to content and experiential exercises.

In addition to a weekly seminar, students will also receive monthly individual supervision on their community prevention projects.

Lion's Pride Real Girls, Real Talk
Lion's Pride: an after school program for 5th grade boys facilitated by one student and an officer from the Hoffman Estates police department   Reaching for the Stars: A discussion group for young girls. 

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Psychological Testing

Interns can expect to provide a minimum of 3 full psychological test batteries over the course of the year. These batteries include objective, projective and intelligence measures.

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All students receive free admission to a variety of professional education seminars promoted and/or attended by the department. Past seminars include: 1,2,3 Magic (Dr. Thomas Phelan), Expressive Therapy, Mandated Reporting, GLBTQ Training, Psychology and Legal issues, and Ethics.

Intern Salary: $18,500
The salaried Internship includes HMO medical coverage (nominal charge), 7 holidays, and 2 weeks of paid time off.

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How to Apply

Please send the items below to:

Audra Marks, Psy.D, Director of Training
Village of Hoffman Estates
Department of Health and Human Services
1900 Hassell Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

Internship Applicants:

  • Cover Letter 
  • Standard APPIC application - can be downloaded from the APPIC website
  • Curriculum Vita
  • Graduate Transcripts
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation

Practicum Applicants:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vita
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

 Application Deadlines: All applications must be received by the following dates:

  • Intern: November 20, 2016* (Applicants selected to interview will be notified by December 15, 2016)
  • Practicum: February 3, 2017 - Applications can be submitted; March 17, 2017 - Pre-notification (9am-4pm);    March 20, 2017 -Practicum Notification Day (9am-4pm)

* The Department of Health and Human Services was a recipient of the APA grant to pursue accreditation. The self-study application is in progress.

** The Department of Health and Human Services adheres strictly to the ACEPT application rules. Additionally, we strictly adhere to all ACEPT notification guidelines.

Note for Internship Applicants: The Hoffman Estates Department of Health and Human Services Department internship training program 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 internship applicant. Under this agreement, HHS is required to make all internship offers through the Matching Program. Therefore, all applicants must be registered for the APPIC Matching Program. Applicants can obtain a “Request for Application Agreement Package” from National Matching Services, Inc. The web address is

To be considered for this internship, we must receive your application materials by the date listed above.  Additionally, your signed application agreement and fee for registration for the Matching Program must arrive at National Matching Services, Inc office no later than December 1, 2016 in order for your name and code number to be registered in the “Listing of Participating Applicants.”

Questions regarding the application process can be e-mailed to or call 847-781-4850847-781-4850.

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