Family Psychological Center, PA.

Interview with Dr. Nichols

Match # 192511

Internship positions available: 1

Family Psychological Center (FPC) is a private practice facility located in Harrison, Arkansas, that provides outpatient psychological services in a rural context with a surrounding population of 60,000. FPC receives referrals primarily from physicians, public schools, judges, juvenile services, and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Other referral sources include attorneys, Social Security Administration, and local pastors. Populations served include children, adolescents, adults, and geriatrics with a wide range of presenting problems.The area features mostly low-income to middle-class families along with some of the highest rated public schools in Arkansas. The Harrison area boasts some of the state’s best outdoor recreational opportunities, including highly rated water recreational and fishing lakes, the scenic Buffalo National River (for kayaking, swimming, and fishing), hundreds of miles of pristine state and federal hiking trails, and numerous regional shopping, sporting and entertainment venues in Fayetteville/Bentonville, Branson, and Little Rock. There is also a growing Hispanic population in the areas surrounding Harrison.

For a video tour of the site go here.

Our Mission

The mission of Family Psychological Center is to provide quality, intensive training in practicing clinical psychology in a rural setting.

Our Supervisors

Site Training Director
Charles Nichols, Psy. D. 

Dr. Nichols is the training director of Family Psychological Center, P.A. He established FPC in 2000 with the goal of providing generalized psychology services in a comfortable, family-centered atmosphere. Dr. Nichols earned a master’s degree in counseling (Marriage and Family Therapy) at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in 1995 and his doctoral degree in psychology (Clinical Psychology) in 1999 from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology. Dr. Nichols completed his Pre-doctoral Internship at Cook County Jail (Chicago, Illinois) and his Residency in private practice at the Mental Fitness Center. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in the State of Arkansas and a provider for Medicaid, Medicare, and numerous private insurance companies.

As the Training Director and primary supervisor at Family Psychological Center, Dr. Nichols provides clinical supervision of psychological interns and residents. Dr. Nichols has worked with clients in a range of settings, including acute psychiatric units, residential facilities, private practice, and correctional institutions. His interests are in ADHD, learning disabilities, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and forensic assessment. He is a member of the Allied Health Staff at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center. His supervision is geared toward providing students with enhanced differential diagnostic skills through focused interviewing, careful observation, and psychological testing. His theoretical orientation is best described as integrated.

Primary Supervisors

Phil Brown, Ph. D. 

Dr. Brown is a seasoned psychologist who has practiced in a variety of organizations, including a state hospital, community mental health centers, and private practices. He consults closely with health professionals, including psychiatrists and physicians from the Harrison area. His Ph.D. was earned from the University of Oklahoma, and he has been a licensed psychologist in Arkansas since 1998.

Training Opportunities

Training opportunities are varied and include assessment of a range of clientele and presenting problems, not only through the outpatient clients, but also through the site’s evaluation contracts with area public schools. Interns have the opportunity to work with clients with diverse age, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, including training in providing culture-fair assessment and treatment for ESL students. On average this center serves 60 clients per week with diagnoses ranging from neurocognitive, mood, and trauma-related disorders in adults to ADHD, depression, trauma-related, autism spectrum, and disruptive behavior disorders in children. Interns may also get the opportunity to attend the Trauma-Focused CBT training in Little Rock. Training at this site will follow two modules described in more detail below: Psychological Assessment Module and Psychotherapy Module

Psychological Assessment Module
Psychological assessment is a core emphasis of the internship. Training is focused on providing a diverse range of experience to hone the intern’s assessment skills. Evaluations include psychoeducational assessments for children and adolescents in local public school districts, treatment-focused assessments for therapy clients, and guided participation in forensic evaluations for local circuit courts. Assessments will address cognitive, academic, emotional, behavioral, personality, and developmental functioning. Experience with a wide range of assessment techniques and instruments is available. Interns are expected to complete a minimum of 50 full psychological batteries during the year. Supervision and guided participation in evaluations will focus on careful review of collateral documentation, developing rapport, best practice interviewing techniques, focused diagnostic questioning, test administration and interpretation, report writing skills, and treatment planning. Interns will be closely supervised in the administration and interpretation of a wide range of assessment instruments during the year. As competency is gained with core test instruments, interns enjoy greater autonomy as well as the opportunity to expand their assessment skills into more specialized psychological tests in their interest area.

Psychotherapy Module
In addition to assessment, interns will spend approximately five hours per week providing outpatient therapy services in office to children, adolescents, and adults. Interns may also have the opportunity to co-facilitate a trauma-related group. Patients are selected to provide interns with a generalist experience and will include a variety of presenting problems as well as the opportunity to provide individual and family therapy. Interns will also have the opportunity during the year to complete formal training in Trauma-Focused CBT for children and adolescents.

Secondary involvement in forensic evaluations (e.g., risk assessment, parenting capacity) can also be expected. Interns have scheduled weekly supervisory sessions in addition to open access throughout the week to their primary supervisors in the event that special training issues or unplanned client crises arise. Case formulation and supportive supervision from multiple theoretical orientations and treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral, client-centered, and interpersonal approaches, are provided by supervisors.

APPIC Training Experiences
Family Psychological Center is located in the country seat of Boone County, a rural, undeserved area of Northcentral Arkansas with considerable income and educational diversity. There is also a growing Hispanic population in the areas surrounding Harrison. One of the barriers that patients in this area face include a lack of adequate psychiatric providers in the area.

Patient Demographics
Total number of clients (agency wide) 510
Elderly 5%
Adults 30%
Adolescents 30%
Children 35%
African American 3%
Caucasian 80%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Asian/Pacific Islander 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 1%
Multiethnic or None of the Above 1%

Interns at this site have the opportunity to work with clients with diverse age, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, including providing culture-fair assessment and treatment for ESL students. This site sees diagnoses ranging from depressive and anxiety disorders in adults to ADHD, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders in children.

Example patient populations (as listed by APPIC):

  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Older Adults
  • Families
  • Outpatients
  • Ethnic Minorities
  • Spanish-Speaking
  • Students
  • Rural
  • Low Income

Example treatment modalities for this rotation (as listed by APPIC):

  • Assessement
  • Individual Intervention
  • Couples Intervention
  • Family Intervention
  • Group Intervention
  • Community Intervention
  • Consultation/Liaison
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Evidence-Based Research

Example supervised experiences (as listed by APPIC):

  • Health Psychology
  • Eating Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Assessment
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Trauma/PTSD
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Forensics/corrections
  • Pediatrics
  • School
  • Counseling
  • Vocational/Career Development
  • Religion/Spirituality
  • Empirically-Supported Treatments
  • Program Development/Evaluation
  • Supervision
  • Research
  • Administration
Example Schedule
Interns at Family Psychological Center will typically work from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays and 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on Wednesday – Friday each week. Travel to local public schools to conduct assessments will be required at this site.
Salary, Benefits, and Support
Salary for the 2019-2020 Training Year: $30,014.40

Benefits provided at this site include:

  • 80 hours (10 days) vacation
  • 32 hours (4 days) of sick leave
  • 24 hours (3 days) of Professional Development
  • Discounted health insurance
  • Free Long-Term Disability
  • Flex spending account (free to intern, but no site contribution to plans)
  • Professional liability insurance (for those not already covered)
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel (32 cents per mile over 20 miles)

Family Psychological Center observes the following 7 holidays:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Personal Holiday

FPC provides extensive clerical and technical support to trainees. Clerical staff to professional staff is kept at a 1:1 ratio. Clerical staff provides a range of services, including professional calendar/appointment management, phone services, insurance and private pay billing, invoicing agencies contracted with FPC, and general document management. Interns are provided with a dedicated office that is not shared with other staff. Technical support includes computer-administered scoring of most testing instruments by trained clerical staff members and a range of contemporary digital devices that improve the efficiency of the trainees’ time.

More information about the Support and Benefits offered in each of our regions can be found here.

Background Check
Though not part of the regular onboarding process, Family Psychological Center reserves the right to perform a background check if deemed necessary.
Intern Selection Process
When considering the application and interview process for ranking of potential interns, Family Psychological Center looks for the following primary criteria:

  • Quality of references
  • Writing style in letters and application materials
  • Graduate program GPA
  • Interest in private practice
  • Number of testing hours accumulated
  • Types of test instruments administered
  • Experience and preference for rural settings.

While not required, an intern who is fluent in Spanish would be of benefit for this area.

Interview Day
In order to reduce the travel expense associated with interviewing, all participating NPTC sites participate in a Universal Interview day in Springfield, Missouri. Interviews can also be arranged at other times and places and Skype interviews are also possible. Please be aware that on-site tours are not a part of this interview process. However, some sites may approve a site tour at a later date if requested by prospective intern. The ability or inability to attend a site tour at another time will not impact match rankings and this is not an option available at all locations.