The Utah State Hospital doctoral internship program is designed to comprehensively train interns to reach career and/or postdoctoral fellowship goals in the specialty areas of Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Neuropsychology, while also ensuring strong foundational and generalist skills. Our training model is defined as “practitioner-scholar” and is experiential in nature. Interns are expected to apply graduate training to “real world” clinical situations. This philosophy emphasizes the development of professional skills, critical thinking ability, and professional ethics. Interns are provided with a graded sequence of experiences, responsibility and independence increase as competency and comfort increases. Thus, as interns progress through the training program, they are expected to broaden and deepen their clinical knowledge and demonstrate increased independence, in a manner consistent with the hospital’s mission of providing excellent inpatient psychiatric care. The internship is structured to provide supervised experience working with patients of different ages, backgrounds and ethnicity, with diverse presenting problems and varying degrees of symptomatic severity. Supervisors serve as role models to challenge and guide, as well as to ensure interventions and assessments are completed with fidelity to the model.
The internship program training philosophy is based on an integration of experiential, theoretical, and empirical knowledge. Interns are provided a venue in which clinical experience, didactic training, and ongoing research components integrate to produce state-of-the-art, individualized, and sensitive patient care. Training procedures emphasize mentoring and graduated responsibility, in the context of evaluation, treatment delivery, and outcome assessment.
The program provides sequential training within a format of two consecutive rotations, a primary rotation completed during the first 8 months of internship, which typically aligns with the specialty area the intern matched with, followed by a secondary rotation in a separate specialty. Additionally, in order to honor our dedication to generalist training there is a year-long mandatory group and individual therapy component. Rotation options include: Clinical Psychology, Forensic Psychology, and Neuropsychology.
Throughout the internship year, all interns will carry a caseload of four long-term individual patients, in addition to facilitating or co-facilitating two therapy groups. It is expected that comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) will be used with one of the individual psychotherapy cases. A second evidence based intervention should also be chosen. Two additional cases will receive individual neurocogntive remediation. Groups interns facilitate are expected to be evidence based and meet the needs of our patients, recent groups offered to patients have included the following: Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Schizophrenia, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Psychosis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Mood Disorder and Anxiety, Seeking Safety, and Competency Restoration.