Browse by Medical Category
The Behavioral Medicine rotations in the Internship in Clinical Psychology are designed to provide a broad range of clinical experiences.
As part of the generalist training component of the internship, BMED interns will complete a six-month rotation for one half day per week on Blake 11, home of the Inpatient Psychiatric Service. You will learn to provide brief psychological interventions for patients hospitalized on the unit for acute psychiatric concerns and will be exposed to a full spectrum of psychiatric diagnoses, including anxiety disorders, major depressive disorders/suicidality, substance use disorders and psychotic disorders. Interns observe and participate in patient rounds and actively collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, residents, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, case managers and other unit staff. You will receive individual supervision for cases and attend a weekly group seminar to discuss clinical issues relevant to inpatient psychiatric care. Interns also have opportunities to co-lead groups based on individual interest or to observe electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) sessions and evaluations within the Acute Psychiatry Service (APS).
Each intern will participate in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) rotation for six months of the internship. This rotation includes co-leading a weekly 90-minute DBT skills group through the outpatient psychiatry department at Mass General for patients with borderline personality disorder and other psychiatric comorbidities. During the rotation, the you will co-lead the DBT group with an expert in DBT and have the opportunity to participate in a weekly DBT team meeting with other expert clinicians and trainees.
The Outpatient Psychiatry Department (OPD) rotation is a year-long rotation. Behavioral Medicine (BMED) interns provide evidence-based cognitive-behavioral treatments to individual therapy outpatients. You will have the opportunity to treat a wide range of psychological disorders (e.g., mood disorders, anxiety disorders and adjustment disorders) in patients with and without medical comorbidities. Common medical populations served include cancer patients (and those with survivorship status), neurological problems (such as epilepsy or multiple sclerosis), HIV and endocrine disorders like type-2 diabetes. Interns carry a caseload of approximately 8-10 patients, and they receive high-quality supervision weekly from multiple supervisors (two hours of individual clinical supervision and one hour of small group supervision). You will also have the opportunity to work as part of multidisciplinary team, communicating with patients’ primary care providers, psychiatrists and medical specialists to provide comprehensive, high-quality patient care. Patients can self-refer to the OPD or be referred by their medical providers
Each BMED intern spends one half-day per week at the Mass General Weight Center for six months of the internship year. The Weight Center is a multidisciplinary subspecialty obesity medicine clinic treating patients with obesity or other conditions related to weight. Each Weight Center patient is assessed by a team that includes a physician, dietitian and psychologist, who together formulate a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan. Weight Center treatments for obesity include behavioral weight management intervention, pharmacological treatments and weight loss surgery; for many Weight Center patients, the team psychologist plays an active role in treating eating disorder symptoms or providing behavioral problem-solving, motivational interviewing and sleep hygiene interventions. Under the supervision of Weight Center psychologists, you will conducts psychosocial evaluations of new Weight Center patients, formulate treatment recommendations and carry a caseload of 1-3 short-term therapy cases at any given time during the rotation, which typically involve treating emotional eating and binge eating disorders, supporting healthy lifestyle changes and reducing distress related to body image. Interns work closely with the other team members to provide coordinated care and receive one hour of formal supervision weekly, with informal supervision contact as needed. There is also a strong didactic component to this rotation, with assigned readings of scientific articles related to a wide range of obesity and obesity treatment topics and weekly discussions of these articles during supervision.
BMED interns may have the opportunity to participate in a Cancer Center Survivorship Mind-Body Resiliency Program rotation for six months of the internship. This rotation includes co-facilitating a weekly 90-minute resiliency group with Mass General Cancer Center patients who are transitioning off cancer treatment. Resiliency groups are currently being held at Mass General sites in Boston, Waltham and Danvers through the Cancer Center Survivorship Program. During this 6-month rotation, you will formally train in the delivery of the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) Program, a mind-body program based on principles of relaxation response elicitation, CBT and positive psychology developed through a collaboration between BMED and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Training involves participating in an 8-session resiliency program as a participant and partaking in a 2-day Implementation Training. You will co-facilitate the Resiliency group with BMED faculty Elyse Park, PhD, Lara Traeger, PhD and Giselle Perez, PhD, as well as participate in weekly team supervision meetings.
Interns interested in expanding their 6-month rotation may also have the opportunity to become involved in one of several funded mind-body clinical research trials. This includes learning and implementing the manualized resiliency treatment as a group facilitator and participating in biweekly clinical research supervision team meetings as well as biweekly research meetings with faculty and trainees affiliated with the Cancer Center Survivorship Program. This rotation will provide interns with the opportunity to learn more about ongoing cancer survivorship research projects, contribute to new and ongoing cancer survivorship grant applications and participate in preparing first author and co-author manuscripts for publication and conference submissions.
Dr. O’Cleirigh directs the Behavioral Science Team at The Fenway Institute with a primary focus on intervention development to support HIV prevention and treatment and LGBT health disparities. The rotation at The Fenway Institute is available to interns who have an interest in HIV research and/or in LGBT health. The rotation is typically arranged for the intern to spend one full day a week at The Fenway Institute with the potential to increase their time during the second semester of the internship year. The opportunities for interns on the Behavioral Science Team at The Fenway Institute multiple and varied and are typically linked to current research projects in progress or in development. These projects are generally conducted by researchers who have their primary appointment at Harvard Medical School and in the Behavioral Medicine Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. The Directors of the Fenway Institute are Drs. Kenneth Mayer and Judy Bradford who work closely with the Behavioral Sciences Team.
Current behavioral research projects at The Fenway Institute include:
The opportunities for interns on these projects include participating in treatment and treatment development studies as protocol therapists. This involves learning and implementing novel manualized cognitive behavioral treatments and receiving weekly clinical supervision. The intern also participates in weekly research team meetings and other trainings. The intern will also be expected to participate in preparing manuscripts for publication and preparing conference submissions from study data sets. Opportunities to make co-author and first author contributions are available on most of these projects. The Behavioral Science Team is constantly developing new projects and the opportunity to contribute to new and ongoing grant submissions is expected and forms part of the supervised research mentorship that is provided through the rotation at The Fenway Institute.
Interns who elect this rotation enjoy the experience of working in the more relaxed atmosphere of an LGBT Health Center (the largest Health Center meeting the needs of the LGBT Community in the country). This rotation also provides opportunities to become involved in biomedical research projects, ongoing epidemiological studies, and policy and education initiatives all of which form part of The Fenway Institute’s portfolio.
Aging and HIV
Interns may have the opportunity to co-lead a weekly Aging with HIV group at Mass General. The group is didactic in nature, leveraging existing evidence-based intervention content developed for people living with HIV (e.g., LifeSteps, adjusted cognitive processing therapy content, mindful self-compassion, motivational interviewing and substance use management).
In order to better serve patients, behavioral medicine has psychologists embedded in several hospital clinics and centers, including the Digestive Healthcare Center at Mass General. The majority of behavioral medicine patients seen through the Digestive Healthcare Center are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disorders (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis) or functional gastrointestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastroparesis, and Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome. Typical referrals include (1) patients having difficulty adjusting to a recently diagnosed chronic GI condition, (2) patients facing challenges around adherence to medication, diet, or lifestyle changes, and (3) patients for whom stress and anxiety management strategies could improve their medical conditions either directly (by reducing episodes) or indirectly (by improving coping). Directly addressing these challenges often yields noticeable benefit after just a few sessions. Opportunities may be available for interns interested in working with this population.
BMED interns may have the opportunity to participate in the delivery of group interventions for part of the internship, which includes co-facilitating a weekly 90-minute resiliency group with older, HIV-infected women and/or a lifestyle modification program for HIV-infected women at risk for cardiovascular disease. During this rotation, you will formally train in the delivery of the interventions, including the Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART) Program, a mind-body program based on principles of relaxation response elicitation, CBT and positive psychology developed through a collaboration between BMED and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Interns will participate in weekly team supervision meetings. This rotation will provide you with the opportunity to learn more about ongoing projects related to women’s health and HIV, contribute to new and ongoing grant applications and participate in preparing first author and co-author manuscripts for publication and conference submissions.
Back to Top