Consistent with the agency’s mission, the doctoral psychology internship program’s aim is “to provide a training experience that integrates for each intern the science and practice of psychology, facilitates the transition from theory to practice, and produces broadly competent practitioners who can effectively address the needs of children, adolescents, and their families across multiple professional settings.” The program’s training program ensures entry-level, independent competence in the 9 Profession Wide Competencies delineated in the Standards of Accreditation: Evidence-based practice in intervention, Evidence-based practice in assessment, Ethical and legal standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Research, Professional values and attitudes, Communication and interpersonal skills, Consultation, and Supervision. Staff members at all levels of the Center are accustomed to treating psychology interns as capable professionals; they are given responsibilities and opportunities commensurate with their advanced level of education, training, and skill development. Because advanced clinical training in human services involves issues of quality assurance, supervision and training involves ongoing evaluation of the intern's performance while at the same time providing the freedom, support, and responsibility to grow professionally. Professional growth and development includes integrating the science and practice of psychology, acquiring and demonstrating a broad range of clinical competencies, and transitioning from a student to professional self-awareness. The core training elements are:
1. Supervised clinical experience in all aspects of specialty mental health and integrated care with children, adolescents, parents, and families. These services include: intakes and assessment; clinical case management; a range of psychotherapeutic interventions and modalities, including implementation of evidence-based interventions; clinical case consultation with other treatment staff, schools, and allied agencies; crisis intervention; and termination planning and discharge. Services are provided in the office, client’s homes, and schools. Interns will spend four days per week in specialty mental health care and one day per week in one of two supplemental integrated care settings.
2. Certification in Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP), an evidenced based program developed by Bruce Chorpita, Ph.D. Certification involves 40 hours of face-to-face training, 12 consultation/supervision meetings, and review and passing of two client portfolios
3. Diagnostic Assessment and Comprehensive Psychological Testing of clinic referred children. Interns complete at least 12 diagnostic interviews and at least 4 batteries each year to assist clinicians in answering diagnostic questions about their clients. Diagnostic assessments are semi-structured interviews to determine initial diagnoses for clients and require the completion of the initial assessment form. Testing includes consultation, brief assessment, comprehensive assessment, and therapeutic assessment. Interns learn a hypothesis-driven approach to psychological assessment and how to provide individualized, specific feedback and recommendations.
4. Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) training in order to identify clients who are not responding to therapist treatment as usual and addressing the lack of treatment progress in a positive, proactive way that keeps clients engaged while collaboratively seeking new directions. PCOMS is an evidence based practice that gives clients a voice in their treatment. Interns must use PCOMS with at least one therapy case during the year.
5. Supervision of practicum students to develop supervisory skills. As part of the training to become professional psychologists, interns have the opportunity to supervise psychology practicum students in psychological testing in a group format or individual clinical supervision, participate in supervision didactics, and receive supervision of supervision.
6. Exploration of individual and cultural diversity through didactics and professional issues supervision and through case conceptualization. Supervisors present their morality genograms at the beginning of the year in order to foster conversations regarding diversity and how they impact relationships. By the second or third month of the program, interns also present to fellow interns and supervisor their morality genograms depicting their core values and how those do or do not impact clinical work and supervision. The program also sponsors a Diversity Fishbowl discussion that interns are expected to attend. In addition, the agency has a voluntary psychology diversity mentorship program.