Training Goals And Procedures

 

The internship year, July 1 through June 30, provides a one-year full time clinical psychology internship. The Training Director works with each intern to develop a satisfying training program. The core faculty provides most of the training and supervision, but other professionals in allied disciplines also participate. Interdisciplinary exchange is strongly supported.


Goals and Objectives

Principle 1: Integration of Clinical Research and Practice
The first set of goals related to this principle is to train psychologists who are capable of (1) implementing empirically validated mental health services, (2) evaluating the effectiveness of existing treatments, and (3) developing innovative treatments based upon existing and emerging empirical findings. Consistent with these goals and with recent values proposed for clinical science programs, we expect graduates of our internship to function as clinical investigators, and/or as practitioners who utilize scientific methods in professional practice. The internship is a member of the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (APCS) and subscribes to it’s definition of clinical science: “’Clinical science’ is defined as a psychological science directed at the promotion of adaptive functioning; at the assessment, understanding, amelioration, and prevention of human problems in behavior, affect, cognition or health; and at the application of knowledge in ways consistent with scientific evidence. The Academy's emphasis on the term "science" underscores its commitment to empirical approaches to evaluating the validity and utility of testable hypotheses and to advancing knowledge by this method” (http://acadpsychclinicalscience.org/index.php?page=mission; see also, Hebert, 2002, McFall, 1991).

In adopting a clinical scientist model for our internship, we recognize that the distinction between clinical scientist and scientist practitioner is especially narrow during the internship year. As we will describe, consistent with the goals for internship training, the overall goal of our internship is for our interns to acquire enhanced understanding for the clinical needs of our clients, and for the assessment and intervention modalities appropriate to these needs. Our clinical scientist orientation evolves from our integration of clinical research and practice that also can be considered a hallmark of a scientist practitioner program. However, the distinction is an important one for our program as indicative of our commitment to training students interested in pursuing academic careers consistent with the goals of graduate programs from the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science.

The second goal related to this principle is to provide practice and instruction regarding scientific methods and data so as to develop interns’ competencies to apply scientific thinking to practice. This is in accord with the principles from the Gainesville conference: "All aspects of professional practice education and training should be carefully selected and evaluated so that the continuity of scientist-practitioner thinking and practices is maintained" (Belar & Perry, 1992, p. 73). Specifically, this involves "professional training in and use of assessment and intervention procedures that are empirically supported . . . (and) training in the research methodology for developing and evaluating new assessment and intervention procedures" (Belar, 1996, p. 9). This is operationalized in our program as providing training in the use of scientific principles in practice in addition to experience In clinical research programs.

The third goal for this principle is for interns to develop competencies in the development and implementation of multiple facets of clinical practice. These include assessment and evaluation, consultation, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy and research programs to advance new models of intervention in these domains.

Principle 2: Effective Interventions for Under-served Populations
The goal for this principle is the development of competencies in the evaluation and implementation of valid and effective interventions for urban, low income, minority adults, children, and families. This population is the target population of many of the clinical research projects in the Department of Psychiatry and is the majority population seen in many outpatient clinics. The concentrated experience with this population provides interns with multiple opportunities to develop an integrated understanding of the influence of ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, and poverty on client functioning.

Principle 3: Faculty Mentoring
There are two goals for this principle. One is for interns to receive intensive supervision in clinical cases and in clinical research from faculty who ascribe to the clinical scientist model (i.e., faculty who are clinical researchers, are practitioners who utilize research findings to guide clinical cases, or generate clinical theory that can guide research). The second goal is for interns to collaborate with faculty in the development of clinical research projects to enhance their development as an independent clinical researcher.

Completion Requirements
1. Completion of 2,000 hours of training.
2. Supervisor evaluations indicating that the intern’s performance on each area of training was satisfactory and that all requirements have been met.
3. Proper documentation of all clinical activities has been completed.
4. Presentation at clinical case conference.
5. Attendance and participation in seminars and conferences.

Expectations:
Demonstrate competence in conducting therapy (e.g., individual, family, group) and consultation (e.g., to schools, community agencies, medical staff) with individuals of various backgrounds and presenting a variety of problems.
Maintain a caseload that will result in at least 12 hours a week of direct client contact while completing required professional documentation.
Demonstrate competence in diagnostic assessment and diagnosis.
Manifest comfort in functioning as a clinical psychologist with a start towards the development of a personally satisfying, professional career. Favor a professional career that encompasses or integrates clinical work and applied research.


Supervision:
The training director and each intern’s research mentor and clinical supervisor will comprise that intern’s training committee. Each intern receives individual supervision from their research and clinical supervisors, as well as additional supervisors from other rotations. Outpatient individual and group therapy are supervised by both UIC staff and consultants to the training program from social work, psychiatry, and psychiatric nursing. Interns generally receive four to six hours of supervision per week depending on their caseload and activity mix, with additional supervision hours added when necessary. Small group and case conference-based supervision are provided in the context of several tracks. In addition, interns meet as a group with the Director of Training monthly to monitor progress, resolve difficulties, and share information and experiences.


Individualized Program Evaluation:
At the beginning of the year, interns complete baseline evaluations of their competencies in specific areas. These baseline evaluations are discussed with research and clinical supervisors and used to identify specific training goals for the year. Thereafter feedback is obtained for both interns and supervisors at six months and at the end of the year. Additionally, interns evaluate all courses and lectures and participate in an end-of-year exit evaluation process.


Administrative policies and procedures

Intern evaluations: Intern performance is evaluated by all supervisors at 6- and 12-months on 7 core competencies: Clinical Interviewing Skills, Diagnostic Skills, Therapy Skills, Psychological Assessment Skills, Professional Activities, Clinical Research Skills, and Consultation Skills.

Procedures to Advise and Assist Interns not Performing:

      The monthly meetings between interns and the Director and Associate Director of Psychology Training, and the assignment to interns of two year-long supervisors, is designed, in part, to monitor each intern's progress on internship. Interns not performing at expected levels of competence are advised of their perceived deficits and assisted through a series of responses designed to help the intern develop or execute the needed skills. This is most commonly accomplished through individual supervision with identified faculty, or with the Directors of Psychology Training, whomever is deemed most appropriate to address the issue with the intern. The goal of this meeting is to determine the reason(s) for the difficulty and to put into place the training and support activities needed to remediate the deficit.

     If a situation arose in which these discussions were deemed insufficient to remediate the deficit, our next step would be to inform the intern's university Director of Clinical Training that the intern is in jeopardy of not completing the internship. We would elicit input from the Director of Clinical Training to develop a plan for addressing the identified deficits including remediation activities and performance objectives with a completion date and specific outcomes noted. Our goal is to enable the intern to complete the internship on schedule, but also to ensure that expectations and consequences are clear and attainable. This plan would be accompanied by notification in writing to the intern and the university Director of Clinical Training. Expulsion from the internship could occur if an intern is found to engage in grossly unethical or illegal activities during the internship year. If such behavior were suspected, the matter would be referred to the Department Head’s office for a formal review and determination through appropriate university channels.

Intern Grievance Procedures

      We emphasize full and prompt expression of concerns by interns to preempt any unresolved grievances. Interns meet regularly with the Director of Psychology Training and each have two year-long faculty mentors assigned to them in part to help ensure that they have regular and dependable faculty contact to raise any concerns and air any grievances. Interns with grievances are advised to first direct their concerns to the person with whom they have a grievance. If it is not a grievance with a particular person, or the intern feels intimidated about directly speaking with the person about the grievance, or it involves program structure or policy, then the intern is expected to direct their concern to the Director of Psychology Training. If their grievance is with the Director of Psychology Training and the intern feels too uncomfortable to speak directly with the director, then they are expected to elicit the assistance of another faculty member to speak with the director. If this procedure is not acceptable then a separate committee of three departmental faculty would be formed to hear and address this concern. In any case, interns are also free to speak with any level of administration about their concerns, to put those concerns in writing, and/or to speak with their graduate school advisors about concerns. Once a grievance is registered, depending on its nature and seriousness, it may be resolved informally or formal action may be taken. Formal investigation would be applied to grievances involving allegations of harassment, unethical behavior, or illegal actions.

      At orientation interns are informed that the Director of Psychology Training has particular responsibility to assist the intern in navigating the demands of the internship and for the personal development of the intern. Among the duties included are helping the intern with any grievances they may have. They are also informed that they may contact the Director of Psychology Training and the Department Head at any time if they have a concern they wish to raise. Interns also meet with the Director of Psychology Training monthly to discuss their adjustment to the program and any concerns they may be having. The means for formal grievance are provided in writing to interns and if such an instance arises these procedures would be reviewed with the intern.

UIC complaint resolution procedures can also be found at http://www.uic.edu/depts/hr/relations/PolicyDocs/HRPP%201100/1101_111808.pdf


Seminars:
ASSESSMENT SEMINAR - This course explores issues in diagnostic assessment and testing. 


ETHICS AND CULTURE - The ethics course includes issues of ethics that arise in the clinical treatment of patients (and particularly, how some of these issues arise in treating minority populations). Issues of research ethics in a clinical treatment setting are also addressed. Also, boundary violations, confidentiality, informed consent, right to treatment are discussed here. Starting in the 2007-2008 year, issues of culture will be included in each rotation.


THERAPEUTIC MODALITIES – This course will actually be a series mini-courses introducing interns to the various treatment modalities including psychopharmacology, individual therapies, family, and group therapy.


CLINICAL CASE SEMINAR - As part of the Psychiatry Dept. series, interns will generally pair up and present a case that includes both didactic and clinical aspects.


PSYCHIATRY GRAND ROUNDS

 

WORKSHOPS

  • Suicide assessment and management
  • Supervision
  • Program Evaluation


The internship offers the following track-specific seminars and rounds for its interns: (Interns, in consultation with the training director and training committee, may choose one or more of these as appropriate). Note that specific seminars may be required for certain of the selected rotations.

  • Behavioral Neuroscience Series
  • Child Multidisciplinary Team
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Health Psychology Seminar
  • Neurology Bedside Rounds
  • Neurology Grand Rounds
  • Neuropathology Rounds
  • Neuropsychology Seminar
  • Neuroradiology Rounds
  • Oncology Lecture Series
  • School And Community Consultation