The one-year, full-time Public and Community Psychology (PCP) Elective provides focused training experiences in evidence-based psychosocial treatments and rehabilitation approaches for serious mental illness (SMI) and is designed to help trainees develop an understanding of, and facility with, assisting patients and families to navigate the public and community system of psychiatric care in Massachusetts. Inpatient and outpatient training experiences comprise the training experience and although there is a focus on SMI, trainees also have the opportunity to gain experience with a broad range of psychological presentations in an outpatient community behavioral health setting.
Experiences are designed to provide trainees with an understanding of best practices in psychotherapy and psychiatric rehabilitation for individuals with SMI as well as underserved and vulnerable populations treated in public and community settings who may experience a range of adverse social determinants of health, including poverty, immigration challenges, homelessness, and trauma.
Post-doctoral training opportunities are available and PCP trainees receive support and mentorship to pursue careers in community psychology. Training experiences can be tailored to the interests of the trainee and research opportunities are available.
Interns in this elective receive intensive training designed to provide:
- Experience working as part of an interdisciplinary early intervention service for first episode psychosis; training opportunities with individuals with longer histories of SMI as well as those identified as being at clinical high-risk are also available (see https://www.massgeneral.org/psychiatry/schizophrenia)
- Inpatient experience at Tewksbury State Hospital which primarily serves DMH-eligible individuals with SMI and a forensic population (Note: this is an offsite 2-day per week, 6-month rotation and although public transportation is an option, it is helpful if the trainee has their own car. A maximum of $5000 for travel expenses is provided.)
- Training in the MGH Inpatient Psychiatry Service, a 24-bed medical-psychiatry adult acute inpatient unit
- Training experiences in providing outpatient care for a broad range of psychological disorders at one of the MGH Community Health Centers
Treatment, Assessment & Evaluation
The PCP Elective provides interns with training in the evaluation and treatment of individuals with a broad range of psychopathology in both outpatient and inpatient settings as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Core training experiences will include working with diverse services including: a psychosis spectrum outpatient service based in an academic medical center (MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program), a long-term inpatient care psychiatric hospital (Tewksbury State Hospital), an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital (MGH Blake 11), and the behavioral health program of one of the MGH outpatient community health centers.
PCP interns will complete a full-year rotation one day per week in the MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program, a unique outpatient service which provides specialized assessment and treatment for individuals with clinical high-risk syndromes, those experiencing a first episode of psychosis, and individuals with longer histories of schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
PCP interns will complete a rotation for six months, 16-20 hours/wk (approximately 2 days on site) at Tewksbury State Hospital, which serves individuals who have been admitted following an acute psychiatric hospital admission, under court order for evaluation or treatment, or as a step-down from a state forensic unit. The most common psychiatric disorders treated in this setting include: psychotic spectrum disorders, affective disorders, eating disorders, and comorbidities related to trauma, substance use, intellectual disability, cognitive (e.g. dementia, head injury) or medical conditions.
PCP interns will also complete a full year rotation at one of the MGH Health Centers, where they will work with a diverse population of individuals who are receiving evidence-based therapies for a wide range of clinical issues, including anxiety and depression, PTSD, SUD, often in the context of a number of adverse social determinants of health. Although interpreters are available, trainees with multi-lingual and/or multi-cultural capacity are especially highly valued in these settings.
PCP interns will complete a rotation for 6 months, four hours/week with the MGH the Inpatient Psychiatry Service on Blake 11, a 24-bed medical-psychiatry adult acute care inpatient unit that provides brief, problem-focused individual and group therapy; and seeks to include family members or other supports in discharge meetings to enhance continuity of care and harness the contribution of the patient’s support system in recovery.
Training will be provided in diagnostic assessment and case conceptualization across these rotations. Psychology trainees will: observe and conduct diagnostic evaluations, learn about the administration of gold-standard rating scales typically used in SMI, conduct admission assessments, as well as comprehensive risk assessments related to violence, fire-setting, suicide, problematic sexual behavior or substance use disorders. Interested trainees can also gain exposure and experience to neuropsychological assessment, forensic evaluations, and psychodiagnostic testing.
Trainees will have the opportunity to conduct individual, family psychoeducation, and group therapies in accordance with established evidence-based practices for the population served. Trainees can expect to develop skills in delivering NAVIGATE individual therapy and family psychoeducation, illness management and recovery (IMR), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches for a range of psychological disorders including schizophrenia spectrum disorders, motivational interviewing, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The clinical training requirement for interns is eight direct patient-contact hours per week. Typically, interns schedule approximately 10-12 patient/hours per week to insure a full eight hours of contact.
PCP interns provide consultations to medical and psychiatric patients hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital or Tewksbury State Hospital on an as-needed basis. PCP interns will have the opportunity to participate in second opinion consultations as part of the Psychosis Clinical & Research Program team.
ResearchAlthough clinical training experiences are prioritized during internship, there are numerous opportunities to become involved with ongoing research projects. Mentorship is available for those trainees interested in pursuing independent intramural, foundation, or federal funding during their internship year.
Key Faculty Involved in Research and Clinical Training
- Corinne Cather, PhD, MGH Center of Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research
- Abigail Batchelder, PhD, MPH, MGH Behavioral Medicine Program
- Kahni Blackmon, PhD, MGH Revere Community Health Center
- Pedro Garrido Castillo PhD, MGH Chelsea Community Health Center
- Victoria Choate, PhD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Drew Coman, PhD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Judith Craver, PhD, MGH Department of Psychiatry
- Nicole Detore, PhD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Sarah Darghouth PhD, MGH Chelsea Community Health Center
- Haley Duncanson PhD, MGH Chelsea Community Health Center
- Cheryl Foo, PhD, MGH Center of Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research
- Mary Lyons Hunter, PsyD, MGH Chelsea Community Health Center
- Carina Iati, PsyD, Tewksbury State Hospital
- Martha Kane, PhD, MGH Charlestown Health Center
- Ben Killilea, PhD, Tewksbury State Hospital
- Meghan Mitchell, PhD, Tewksbury State Hospital
- Kim Mueser, PhD, Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation
- Lauren Utter, PsyD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Vincent Vindice, PsyD, MGH Revere Community Health Center
- Alexandra Volpacchio, PsyD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Anne Whitman, PhD, MGH Center of Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research
- Abigail Donovan, MD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Camila Godoy PhD, MGH Chelsea Community Health Center
- Daphne Holt, MD, PhD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Oliver Freudenreich, MD, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Alex Keuroghlian, MD, MPH, MGH Division of Public and Community Psychiatry
- Carol Lim, MD, MPH, MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program
- Tamara Leaf, PsyD, MGH Chelsea Community Health Center
- Robert Salazar, PhD, Tewksbury State Hospital
- Amanda Seirup, PsyD, Tewksbury State Hospital
PCP interns will be expected to attend the internship core didactics in addition to seminars and case conferences offered as part of each rotation for a total of approximately 6 hours/week. PCP interns will also be invited to become part of MAPNET, a Massachusetts-based learning collaborative for first episode and early psychosis, which sponsors monthly lectures in addition to an annual conference. During training, interns will receive instruction from individuals with lived experience on how to optimize care from a patient perspective, as well information about how to access and incorporate peer support in recovery planning.
Additional weekly seminars:
- Public and Community System of Care
- CBT seminar, see topics here
Additional monthly seminars:
- MGH Morbidity and Mortality Case Conference
- Massachusetts Psychosis Network for Early Treatment (MAPNET) lectures
- MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program Journal Club
- MGH Psychosis Clinical and Research Program Research Seminar
- MGH Center of Excellence Anti-Racism Seminar
- 2+ hours of individual supervision
- 2 hours of group supervision
- Supervision provided in both group and individual formats is designed to offer a variety of perspectives on the care of patients. In all cases, supervision is designed to combine perspectives based on empirical research and enhanced with clinical experience.
Several of our faculty have received recent awards:
- Dr. Abigail Batchelder 2021 Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award
- Dr. Corinne Cather 2023 MGH Exceptional Mentorship of Women Faculty & Trainees Award
- Dr. Nicole Detore 2022 MGH Exceptional Research Mentorship Award
- Dr. Abigail Donovan, MD 2023 MGH Department of Psychiatry Clinical Excellence award and the MGH Child Psychiatry Fellowship Teaching Award
- Dr. Oliver Freudenreich, MD 2021 Mentorship Award for Exceptional Mentorship in the Clinical Realm
- Dr. Alex Keuroghlian, MD, MPH 2011 Harvard Medical School Primary Clinical Experience Teaching Award