Saint Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., is a publicly funded inpatient psychiatric hospital, with approximately 300 beds distributed among 12 forensic and civil units. The hospital units include admissions (pretrial and civil admissions) and long term units. In our internship program, you will obtain training in working with a chronically and severely mentally ill urban minority population in a public mental health setting. Our training model is the Practitioner Apprenticeship Model, characterized by “learning by doing” and the refinement of clinical skills under the supervision of experienced practitioners. It is the philosophy of the training faculty that the internship program should encourage interns' exploration of areas of interest within the practice of psychology while building their generalist skills.
Trainees spend the majority of their time (75%) in service delivery. Trainees will have an opportunity to work with Civil (voluntary and civilly-committed) and Forensic (admitted by Court Order for competency restoration and other forensic evaluations), as well as individuals adjudicated Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI).
During the 2019-2020 training year, the hospital did experience changes in service provision due to COVID-19. Our interns and training staff worked together to provide services to the people we serve in new and creative ways, including via telebehavioral health technologies. The class of 2020 sucessfully completed all requirements and experiences to graduate as expected. We expect to continue to navigate and adapt treatment as the COVID-19 situation demands.
Each intern completes two major rotations (16-20 hours per week) providing clinical services on patient care units. The rotations last 6 months, each spent on a unit in the hospital (6 months on an admissions/pretrial unit and 6 months on a long-term unit). Interns develop competencies in individual and group psychotherapy, milieu treatment, psychological assessment, multidisciplinary consultation, treatment planning, program evaluation, and clinical supervision.
The training program emphasizes interns' ongoing development of cultural competency and humility, and interns participate in a process-oriented cultural competency seminar for the majority of the training year. Interns also participate in didactics and seminars during the training year, including seminars on forensics, individual and group therapy, assessment, ethics, supervision, and psychopharmacology. In addition to their major unit rotations, interns may select optional minor rotations with the Forensic Consult Service, Neurology Clinic, or with the Positive Behavioral Support team in order to obtain exposure to specialty clinical skills.
Please email the Director of Psychology Training, Dr. Wendy Olson (she/her/hers) at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like additional information. We look forward to hearing from you.