Externships and Field Placements

The Emotion Management Program offers up to four advanced level externship positions for persons in training for clinical psychology or clinical social work. We provide training in dialectical and contextual behavioral interventions with adults and older adolescents. Many of EMP’s clients are self-referred, while others are referred by physicians from throughout the Chicago area for assessment and treatment. Clients include the full range of the Chicago and Midwest area’s diverse socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic mix.


Trainees will be exposed to conducting Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) from a contextual behavior perspective as a treatment for chronic distress. They will become familiar with the work of Marsha Linehan, Steven Hayes, and Robert Kohlenberg.


Trainees are expected to spend 1-2 days per week on their practicum, depending on individual circumstances. Approximately 4-8 hours weekly are spent in direct clinical contact with patients. Trainees also attend a seminar series designed to provide an introduction to contextual behavioral interventions. In addition to the seminar, lectures or workshops conducted by clinical professionals from outside the Program may occasionally be offered.


We require a one year commitment to the externship —first week of July to the last week of June.


Roles and Responsibilities

The responsibilities and roles of trainees in the Emotion Management Program, LLC (EMP) include the following:


  • Attend the weekly seminar on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and other contextual behavior therapies.
  • Co-facilitate one or more weekly DBT skills groups.
  • Maintain a caseload of up to 4 DBT clients, contingent on availability.
  • Provide telephone consultation to DBT clients during clinic hours. EMP staff are available during off hours to all clients of trainees.
  • Participate in the weekly DBT therapist consultation group.
  • Attend a minimum of one hour of direct individual supervision.

Trainees may be required to work some evening hours to conduct groups.


Trainees may need access to their own transportation. Consult the RTA web site to determine whether travel to EMP’s offices via regional transportation is a viable option for you.



While the externship year is devoted primarily to clinical training, interested trainees may become formally or informally involved in ongoing research conducted by EMP. They may also develop their own research within the EMP’s clinical focus. Time for research activities is negotiated with the Director of the Program.


Externships and Field Placements: Application Procedures

The externship year begins July 1 and runs through June 30. Exceptions to this schedule must be pre-approved by the Director.


All trainees will be required to attend the weekly seminar and weekly consultation groups throughout the externship. Other work days and times will be negotiated with the Director for each trainee, taking into account their academic schedules and the needs of clients.


Application Requirements and Procedures

A maximum of four externship positions are available per year. Because these are advanced level practica, prior therapy practicum experience is required.


Interested trainees should apply by writing directly to:


Paul Holmes , Psy.D., Director
Emotion Management Program, LLC
1800 Ravinia Place
Orland Park, IL 60462


Send a cover letter describing your interests and prior experience and two letters of recommendation. Please include your e-mail address.


Applicants will be notified by e-mail when their completed applications are received. Selected applicants will be invited for interviews in late January and February.


For more information or questions regarding the application process call (708) 403-7570