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 an individualized training program that meets each intern’s training and career goals. The core faculty provides most of the training and supervision, but other professionals in allied disciplines also participate. Interdisciplinary exchange is strongly supported.
Values, Aims, and Competencies
The psychology internship program at UIC Department of Psychiatry follows a clinical-scientist training model focused on teaching skills in research, evaluation, and intervention with mental health problems of adults, children, and families including those living in urban, low-income communities (see Atkins, Strauman, Cyranowski, & Kolden, 2014). The program is guided by three main training aims: (1) Integration of clinical research and practice, (2) Effective evaluation and treatment for traditionally under-served populations; and (3) Faculty mentoring of clinician-scientist values and practices. Training experiences are designed to support these aims and promote the development of the nine required competences described by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation: Research, Ethical and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Professional Values and Attitudes, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Assessment, Intervention, Supervision, Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdiciplinary Skills.
Central to our program is treating underserved populations and a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These values are integrated into both research and clinical experiences as well as didactic seminars. A previous intern (Class of 2020-2021) remarked: "One of the internship program's three training aims is 'effective evaluation and treatment for traditionally under-served populations,' and this really did seem to be at the forefront of my internship experience. Because of this goal and the population that UI hospital serves, training in diversity, equity, and inclusion was interwoven into each seminar, clinical experience, and research opportunity I engaged in." Please see the "Feedback from Past Interns" tab to read more of our interns' reflections on their experiences with DEI.
Aim 1: Integration of Clinical Research and Practice
The first set of goals related to this aim 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 scientist-practitioner programs (American Psychological Association, 1995; Belar, 1996; 2000; Peterson, 2000), we expect graduates of our internship to function as clinical investigators, and/or as practitioners who utilize scientific methods in professional practice.
The second goal related to this aim is to provide practice and instruction regarding scientific methods and data so as to develop interns’ ability 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 on clinical research programs.
The third goal for this aim is for interns to develop abilities in the development and implementation of multiple facets of clinical practice. These include assessment and consultation, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy.
Aim 2: Effective Interventions for Under-served Populations
The goal for this aim is the development of abilities 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.
Aim 3: Faculty Mentoring
The first goal for this aim 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 of 2,000 hours of training.
- Supervisor evaluations indicating that the intern’s performance on each area of training was satisfactory and that all requirements have been met.
- Proper documentation of all clinical activities has been completed.
- Presentation at clinical case conference.
- Attendance and participation in seminars and conferences.
- 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.
Administrative policies and procedures
Intern performance is evaluated by all supervisors at 6- and 12-months on the nine profession-wide competencies: Research, Ethical and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Professional Values and Attitudes, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Assessment, Intervention, Supervision, Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdiciplinary Skills.
Procedures to Advise and Assist Interns not Performing:
The monthly meetings between interns and the Director, 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 here.
- Psychopharmacology Workshop
- Family Therapy
- Suicide Workshop
- Program evaluation workshop
- Dissemination and Implementation Science
- Supervision workshop
Culture and ethics:
- Cultural awareness (a component of each core seminar)
- Multicultural workshop
- Immigrant families and issues
Grand Rounds: Department of Psychiatry sponsors a weekly Grand Rounds series from September through May. Interns are encouraged to attend these events and are also scheduled for two presentations, shared across all interns. The Training Director will meet with the interns prior to the scheduled presentations, to assist with organizing the two presentations.
The following additional seminars are required for interns choosing specific internship experiences, and optional for other interns.
- Introduction to Trauma Training (Urban Youth Trauma rotation)
- Working with schools (Child Track)
Required for Neuropsychology Rotation:
- Behavioral Neuroscience Series
- Neuropsychology Seminar
Optional for Neuropsychology Rotation:
- Neurology Bedside Rounds
- Neurology Grand Rounds
- Neuropathology Rounds
- Neuroradiology Rounds