The adult elective in the Internship in Clinical Psychology is designed to train psychologists in the scientist-practitioner model. In this elective the scientist-practioner model is envisioned as the integration of the best available research knowledge and clinical expertise within the context of patient characteristics, culture and preference (APA, Presidential Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice, 2006).

Treatment

Interns choosing the adult elective provide individual psychotherapy to a wide range of diagnostically diverse patients in the outpatient clinic. On average, interns see approximately ten patients per week. Primarily patients are treated in two modalities: cognitive behavioral therapy and integrative dynamic psychotherapy. Specific didactic and supervisory experiences are provided for each treatment orientation.

Assessment & Evaluation

Interns receive broad-based assessment training that includes providing psychological and neurocognitive evaluations for psychiatric and medical inpatients along with conducting traditional comprehensive outpatient evaluations. Our inpatient assessments utilize a focal or core test battery designed to answer diagnostic, treatment and placement questions that are common to the care of acutely ill psychiatric and medical patients. Outpatient assessments employ a multi-method data gathering approach to generate a comprehensive, coherent and integrated description of complex, confusing or treatment-resistant psychiatric conditions. Interns receive training in the use of a wide range of assessment instruments including: the Wechsler scales, self-report measures of psychopathology, performance-based measures of psychological functioning, tests of normal personality and standard neuropsychological instruments.

During the internship year, adult elective interns alternate between two assessment services:

Consultation

Interns who choose the adult elective are provided with numerous opportunities to function in the role of assessment consultant providing diagnostic and treatment planning information and guidance to providers, patients and sometimes, family members. Core consultation skills include working collaboratively with medical and mental health professionals, translating clinical dilemmas into questions that assessment procedures can inform and communicating assessment findings back to the referring professionals and patients in an informative and beneficial manner.

Research

Interns participating in the adult elective learn to integrate research literature into ongoing professional practice through discussion of readings, literature reviews, supervision and didactic training. Many adult elective staff members are actively engaged in assessment and psychotherapy research. In addition, the adult elective has a strong tradition of encouraging and supporting interns in presenting their research and training experiences at national conferences and publishing assessment or test-related journal articles.

Didactics

Two adult elective-specific seminars are required for the adult elective interns in addition to the internship core didactics:

  • Advanced Psychological Assessment Seminar (1.5 hours weekly)
  • PEaRL staff meeting (1 hour weekly)

Supervision

Interns receive substantial supervision for all their professional activities:

  • Each intern has two or more hours of supervision for his or her individual psychotherapy work
  • One hour of weekly scheduled supervision for the assessment consultations. This hour of supervision is supplemented with "real time" supervision as needed for each case assigned
  • Under this model, interns receive two to three hours of assessment supervision per week

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