Clinical Psychology Internship Training Activities
Clinical Psychology interns participate in a year-long agency training program that deals with diverse issues, such as working with violent and aggressive children, alternatives to physical restraints when dealing with a child in crisis, and the nature of inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations of children.
A set of clinical and didactic experiences is provided to help interns achieve the goals of the program. Throughout the training year, an intern carries four psychotherapy cases from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The work with the children from the RTC entails the full spectrum of case management, including individual therapy with the child, family therapy, ongoing, daily consultation with the child care staff, and consultation with the child’s psychiatrist and educational staff.
Interns attend staff meetings, treatment meetings, and an interdisciplinary clinical case conference each week throughout the training year. These conferences focus on diagnostic and treatment issues and are attended by a psychologist supervisor, a child psychiatrist, social worker, teacher and, occasionally, the child and/or parents. As an important member of the treatment team, the intern collaborates with other clinicians and staff members in evaluating and modifying the child’s treatment plan.
The intern is supervised by senior psychologists and, separately, by a clinical social worker on issues related to the child’s social service needs. Peer supervision is also provided on a weekly basis for the RTC children.
The intern conducts approximately one comprehensive psychological or neuropsychological assessment each month for an annual total of no less than 12 assessments. Additionally, the intern conducts less comprehensive psychological updates that are periodically requested for discharge or other placement purposes. The intern’s supervisor and training director carefully select assessment cases to ensure that the intern can extend his/her assessment skills by working with diagnoses, cultural backgrounds, case histories, and complex assessment issues that are new and challenging. Supervision is provided by a senior psychologist and typically occurs throughout the assessment process in a one-hour, weekly session.
Didactic Training is an integral component of the training program and the interns’ experience. Interns participate in two weekly seminars – Clinical and Assessment – that deal with important aspects of the interns’ professional development.
The Clinical Seminar includes presentations on ethical standards, clinical work in forensic settings (such as conducting child custody evaluations and pre-employment psychological evaluations of applicants for positions in law enforcement), animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities with abused children and children with autistic spectrum disorder, advances in psychopharmacology with children and adolescents, alternative medicine approaches, family therapy and individual therapy with abused and adopted children, treatment of children diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and work with LGBTQ youth, among other important clinical topics. The seminar topics are presented by psychologists, psychiatrists and other clinicians in and outside the agency who have extensive experience in these subjects. The seminar also includes topics in clinical research at which the interns present their research.
The Assessment Seminar meets weekly throughout the training year and has two components: presentation of challenging issues in the assessment of children and adolescents and formal training in psychological and neuropsychological assessment.
Topics in clinical neuropsychology include:
- an overview of clinical neuropsychology
- a description of the procedures in a neuropsychological examination
- interpretation of neuropsychological examination data
- diagnostic issues
- assessment of memory and memory tests and batteries
- assessment of executive functions
- assessment of verbal functions and language
- assessment of visual, auditory and tactile perception
- assessment of concept formation and reasoning
- assessment of motor and sensory functions and the apraxias
- assessment of orientation and attention
In addition to training in neuropsychological assessment, the assessment seminar provides training in:
- standardized measures of personality assessment, including the MMPI-2, the MMPI-A, the 16 PF, and Personality Assessment Inventory
- projective measures
- assessment of intellectual functioning, including the evaluation of young children, children from different cultures, the aged, non-verbal tests of intelligence, and dementia rating scales