The overall goal of our internship training program is first and foremost to provide evidence –based high quality training in the broad and general field of Clinical Psychology which fosters the consolidation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired during doctoral training. We strive to provide training that emphasizes mastery of competency benchmarks commiserate with the predoctoral training year.
Specific training goals are as follows:
- To provide broad and general training in evidence-based clinical psychology practice aspiring to the spirit of a competency-based education model incorporating the following key competency domains: assessment, intervention, consultation, supervision, professional functioning and ethical/legal conduct, evaluation/administration, research, and individual and cultural diversity.
- Prepare interns who demonstrate the requisite knowledge, skills, and attitudes for immediate or advanced entry level professional practice of psychology at the end of the training year.
- Provide training opportunities within a variety of practice settings including outpatient mental health clinics, inpatient psychiatric units, acute care hospital units, inpatient rehabilitation units, and federally-qualified community health centers.
- To provide systematic training in integrated care in a primary care setting focusing on the unique needs of rural and underserved patients who exhibit lifestyle and behavioral factors that promote the development and maintenance of chronic disease.
Our training program provides a comprehensive training model that is broad and general, developmental in nature, and anchored in the scientist-practitioner model. Our assessment process addresses important core competencies expected for entry level practice. Frequent assessments (described in item 15) on specific competency domains allow us track progress and to address specific areas that may require further training.
Our training program incorporates a mentoring model coupled with experiential training under close supervision. Training is sequential, cumulative, and increasing in complexity across the training year and interns are expected to move toward professional independence as they move through the training year. This ensures that at the end of training, interns will be able to demonstrate a broad level of competency that is necessary for entry-level practice or post-doctoral training.
Intern training is enhanced by early identification of unique training needs and interests. During orientation, all interns complete a self-assessment that provides data for developing an individualized training plan which addresses not only individual differences in prior training, but also clinical interests and career goals. Various training approaches are utilized across settings including direct supervision by an experienced clinician, participation in co-therapy, utilization of role-play and enactment, observational learning, and formal didactic training. Our curriculum also allows for a variety of training experiences to include inpatient psychiatric care, consult/liaison, integrated primary care, acute hospitalization, rehabilitation, and community-based psychology, and participation in interdisciplinary care teams. This array of training opportunities helps us fulfill our goal of providing training across a variety of settings.
The goal for becoming proficient for practice in integrated primary care in rural settings is obtained through a specific seminar covering delivery of integrated behavioral health in a primary care setting. Experiential training occurs in a primary care community health center that provides the setting for demonstration of competency.
Besides experiential training, didactic seminars focus on providing current, research-based education in a number of areas pertinent to achieving the above described goals. Interns participate in seminars related to professional development, ethics, society, culture and practice, the theory of assessment and treatment of psychological disorders, and on developing a more thorough understanding of the relationship between psychological and physical health.