Philosophy and Goals

Aims and Competency Development

In facilitating interns' proficiency to function as independent, generalist psychologists, the Internship Program is dedicated to developing certain core competencies. These are competencies in: (1) research skills; (2) ethical and legal standards; (3) multicultural awareness; (4) professional values, attitudes and behaviors; (5) communication and interpersonal skills; (6) assessment skills; (7) models for intervention including evidence-based methods; (8) supervision skills, and (9) consultation and inter-professional/interdisciplinary skills.

Training in various diagnoses and modalities of evidence-based psychotherapy and assessment is integral to this process. An integrative treatment approach – combining psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, systems, ethno-cultural, developmental and medical model perspectives -- is emphasized. This approach is taught, and practiced by psychology interns, throughout the various clinical placements and didactics. Within this approach, an attempt is made to individually tailor each intern’s experience in accordance with his/her interests and goals. Ongoing program planning and evaluation involving the interns and their supervisors are an integral part of the program. Interns are encouraged to assume a gradually increasing degree of professional responsibility and autonomy as the year progresses.

The Internship Program is guided by the tenets of the practitioner-scholar model. Our primary focus is on developing the intern’s capacities to deliver clinical psychological services. This is implemented through supervised clinical experience and courses. Empirical and theoretical psychological literature is the core of our experiential and didactic training. Thus, we emphasize evidence-based intervention and assessment, empirically-validated psychological theory, and methods of scientific inquiry and analysis in our training and services. As Rodolfa et al. (2005) observe: the practitioner-scholar model ‘emphasizes the development of reflective skills and multiple ways of knowing in the practice of psychology, and it stresses clinical practice and the importance of theory and the use of research to inform practice’. (Rodolfa, E. et al., 2005, Internship training: Do models really matter? Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 36(1), 25-31).