YOC’s Doctoral Internship Program

The Youth Opportunity Center’s (YOC) American Psychological Association (APA) APA-accredited Doctoral Internship in Psychology Program enables doctoral interns to be exposed to a variety of mental and behavioral health services for youth and families. The YOC’s residential treatment programs offer multiple treatment programs for a wide variety of childhood disorders. The interns are part of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that provide mental and behavioral health services including individual, family and group therapy, as well as conducting comprehensive psychological testing. Doctoral Interns are exposed to numerous training opportunities provided by psychology faculty (on-campus), psychologists and professionals from the community. Interns are encouraged to develop their abilities to provide individual, group and family therapy, create behavior plans for the residents and staff, and learn to work within a cohesive multi-disciplinary team. Doctoral Interns will develop their problem solving skills, crisis intervention skills, and psychological assessment and report writing skills. The intern will engaged professionally with juvenile probation officers, family case managers from the Department of Child Services (DCS), educators, special education professionals and committees, and parents involved within the juvenile justice system. Additionally, doctoral interns will gain experience in the judicial system as they attend and testify in court.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Gisselle McKell-Jeffers with any questions at 765-289-5437.

2018-19 YOC APA Accredited Doctoral Internship Guide
Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data 2017-18

Youth Opportunity Center Clients and Services YOC is located on a 75-acre campus which includes nine residential cottages that are home to four individualized treatment programs, an on-grounds school, recreation facilities, support buildings, and nature areas. The YOC campus also includes emergency shelter care programs, a private secure treatment program for adolescents (Treatment for Adolescents in Secure Care), a juvenile detention center and an outpatient counseling clinic. Doctoral interns have the ability to work in a variety of settings with diverse populations of clients. The children and families served by the YOC are typically “multi-crisis families”. These families often struggle with substance abuse, poverty, disabilities, homelessness, physical and sexual abuse (generational), trauma, violence, and mental illness. Working with this challenging and diverse population requires the doctoral interns to be open to working systematically with complex family issues and working collegially with other professionals in an organized manner. Linking families to other agencies and resources, providing home-based therapy when needed, and maintaining a solution-focused approach is necessary to provide a supportive environment for residents as they transition back into the home. This doctoral internship program challenges the doctoral intern to find solutions to complex problems with the support of the court system, and to meet the needs of the youth and the entire family.

Supervisory Staff

Staff photo of Dr. Gisselle McKell-Jeffers.

Gisselle McKell-Jeffers
Ph.D., HSPP

Chief Clinical Officer

Dr. McKell-Jeffers was born and raised in the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  She finished her undergraduate studies at Coppin State University located in Baltimore, Maryland.  In Baltimore her passion for psychology and the Baltimore Ravens were ignited.  During that time, Dr. McKell-Jeffers completed the Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellowship in the spatial cognition lab of the Psychology and Brain Sciences Department of Johns Hopkins University (JHU).  Dr. McKell-Jeffers gained more research experience working in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at JHU before entering the Doctoral degree program in Clinical Psychology at Howard University located in Washington, D.C.  During Dr. McKell-Jeffers’ doctoral training she received practical experiences working with children, adolescents and families at the Kennedy Krieger Institute,  Children’s National Medical Center, D.C. Superior Courts, and several public schools.  Dr. McKell-Jeffers completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the Youth Opportunity Center located in Muncie, IN where she continues to practice.  She supervises practicum and doctoral students at the YOC.  Dr. McKell-Jeffers utilizes elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy and family systems with her clients.  She also conducts psychological and brief neuropsychological assessments of children and adolescents.  Dr. McKell-Jeffers’ research interests are in the affective, cognitive and physiological impacts of emotional and physical trauma on youth. Additionally, she is a member of the APA Division 35, section 351 (Society for the Psychology of Women—Section of Black Women).

Staff photo of Kelly Bolinger.

Kelly Bolinger, PSY.D., HSPP, LMHC, CSAYC

Clinical Operations Officer

Dr. Kelly Bolinger graduated from Argosy University in Washington D.C. and completed her doctoral internship at the Youth Opportunity Center in 2008.  Since that time, she has served in both administrative and clinical capacities in a variety of settings to include alternative schools, juvenile detention settings, private practice, prison, and residential treatment settings. Dr. Bolinger’s clinical interests include sexually maladaptive behaviors, trauma and delinquency, psychodynamic psychotherapy, group therapy, and training of both clinical and non-clinical staff. Her theoretical orientation is integrative but she leans towards the use of psychodynamic-oriented theories and therapies while integrating practices by Irvin Yalom into her clinical work.

APA Logo

APPIC Match Process, Application, Website, and Information Applications (AAPI) must be received by the YOC by November 22, and should be submitted with Curriculum Vita, official doctoral transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. For more information, please download the “YOC Internship Guide”, which includes detailed application information and a full description of intern benefits. For all other information please contact the Director of Psychological Services, Dr. Robyn N. Eubank, the Director of Internship Training Dr. Scott Biscoff, or Staff Psychologist Dr. Gisselle McKell-Jeffers at 765-289-5437. The doctoral internship program expects the doctoral interns to exhibit professionalism, enthusiasm, and maturity in their daily work with clients, staff and other professionals. Doctoral interns that demonstrate a strong work ethic, adaptability, and have a strong desire to grow in their profession are encouraged to apply. Minority, culturally diverse, and bilingual applicants are also encouraged to apply. The Youth Opportunity Center participates in the APPIC match process. Applications can be obtained through the APPIC website American Psychological Association

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation
Accreditation American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC • 20002-4242
Phone: 202-336-5979 TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123
Email: apaaccred@apa.org

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