The JPS 12-month generalist internship curriculum is designed to train competent, technically skilled, theoretically equipped clinicians who know how to adapt approach, communication style and method in a scientifically appropriate manner to the needs and demands of a highly diverse, underserved population with complex clinical needs. From week one of the training year, our interns are introduced to fast-paced, high-acuity, multidisciplinary clinical settings that require psychologists to deliver accurate diagnoses, actionable assessment results, and effective, impactful interventions.
Each intern’s growth is supported through intensive supervision and relevant educational experiences. The internship training curriculum is sequential in nature -- promoting professional competencies within a carefully structured developmental framework that culminates in the ability to function independently as a professional psychologist. Training activities are graded in nature from basic to advanced over the course of the year, forming a coherent, organized learning experience. Our approach is based on the practitioner-scholar model, and within this framework our interns learn to integrate empirical data with clinical acumen in order to serve the unique concerns of the JPS patient population.
At least 80% of intern time is devoted to training in direct clinical activities. Interns will train in three primary rotations – each 4 months long -- as described below.
Neuropsychological / Psychological Assessment Rotation: JPS houses one of the largest inpatient psychiatric services in Texas, including a 98-bed acute psychiatric hospital and another 38-bed facility for patients who require extended inpatient psychiatric care. These acute inpatient psychiatric units are designed to provide services to patients who require aggressive psychiatric intervention to stabilize acute symptomatology. Within the acute care psychiatric hospital, 82 beds are reserved for adult patients (ages 18 and older) while the other 16 are dedicated to inpatient treatment for adolescents (ages 13-17). Psychology plays a consultative role in these settings, working collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team composed of psychiatric specialists, clinical pharmacologists, social workers, nurses, and front-line behavioral technicians. Psychological and neuropsychological assessment results support the clinical decision-making of these care teams in a variety of ways, clarifying diagnoses and problem list, providing short- and long-term treatment recommendations, and assessing risk of near-term suicidal or other-directed violent acts.
The JPS Outpatient Behavioral Health Service provides care during over 41,000 outpatient medication management and psychotherapy patient encounters annually. In this relatively psychiatrically stable population, empirically-supported assessment services are used to establish diagnosis, level / quality of cognitive functioning, and / or to provide further treatment recommendations.
Psychotherapy Rotation: JPS patients are referred to the Outpatient Psychotherapy Service from across the network in order to address a variety of psychological issues, such as mood dysregulation, anger management, psychological trauma, and relationship problems. Both group and individual therapy formats are available. (Individual therapy is currently offered only on a virtual basis, due to pandemic-related restrictions.)
We include in this rotation experience with a psychodynamically-informed approach to personality assessment and case conceptualization that specifically incorporates the use of projective assessment techniques (Rorschach, Thematic Apperception Test). This specialized testing experience affords a balance with cognitive-behavioral conceptual and interventional approaches, and ensures that the rotation exposes interns to the “depth” case conceptualization methods available using projective assessment techniques.
Health Psychology Rotation: Finally, JPS houses a 583-bed inpatient medical service, and the Psychology Division provides Health Psychology consultations and other supportive services to the diverse multi-disciplinary specialty care teams who care for these medically-ill inpatients. Intensive health psychology evaluative, intervention and consultative services are provided to JPS’s Level I Trauma Service where psychologists play an important role in addressing a host of issues encountered by medically injured and psychiatrically traumatized patients. On this rotation, psychology interns learn to address requests for capacity evaluations, interventions aimed at substance and acute stress-related issues, and a wide variety of other patient management concerns.