Overview of Cognitive Behavior Therapy Tracks

The overarching aim of this track (as with the IOL internship as a whole) is the practical integration of psychological science and practice. Within this general framework, the CBT track will emphasize the use of critical thinking skills, the application of basic and applied research to complex cases, and the thoughtful and systematic evaluation of clinical work using evidence-based practices. 

Two full-time positions will be offered by the Clinical Psychology Department; one focusing on adult patients and one focusing on the treatment of children and adolescents. The training year is composed of three primary four-month rotations and several minor rotations. These two CBT tracks will include the following training experiences and objectives:

  • To prepare psychologists who can consume new research findings and integrate them into practice. Using individual and group mentorship programs, interns will read, discuss, and evaluate practice-relevant research articles; develop treatment plans that consider the best available empirical evidence; and discuss the therapeutic, ethical, and legal aspects of evidence-based practice.

  • To prepare psychologists who can evaluate their own interventions using empirical methods. Interns will participate in research projects using evidence-based strategies of measurement and analysis in order to evaluate the efficacy of their treatments, to develop and refine programs, and to inform best practices for the institution.

  • To prepare psychologists who can produce new scientific findings that will contribute to the literature. All interns will have the opportunity to participate in the broad range of basic and applied research conducted at the Institute of Living, including psychotherapy research, pharmacotherapy clinical trials, neuroimaging research, and more. 

The CBT track intern will spend 8-10 hours per week providing outpatient services at the Anxiety Disorders Center (ADC) for the entire internship year. This will allow them to treat patients over a longer period of time, become involved in longer-term projects at the ADC, and provide a "home base" that will include meeting with a primary internship preceptor. This will allow the CBT intern to strengthen his/her expertise in CBT while also having the opportunity to work collaboratively with mental health providers throughout the hospital from different disciplines and theoretical orientations. The CBT intern will also have the option of co-leading a16 week CBT class with Dr. David Tolin. This annual CBT class is offered to mental health providers within the IOL and Hartford Healthcare and is an opportunity for the CBT intern to contribute to the dissemination of CBT. Other speaking opportunities within the Hartford community are often available for the CBT intern.

While internship is meant to be primarily a year of clinical training, ample research opportunities are available at the ADC for interns who are interested in contributing to research. The ADC is an active research center with many active research studies at any given time, as well as archival data available for analyses. Intern opportunities for research include assisting with data collection of ongoing research projects, publishing and reviewing peer reviewed journal articles, and contributing to development of new research projects or program development. Interns with interest in research during the training year may be granted protected research time (up to 4 hours per week).

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Anxiety Disorders Center (ADC), Institute of Living (IOL), and Hartford Healthcare (HHC) are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion among our staff, trainees and the people we serve. This is reflected on all levels of our healthcare system and trainees have many avenues to pursue continued growth in their own cultural competence in addition to incorporation of diversity and cultural aspects within clinical supervision. Some examples include the Diversity Seminar for IOL psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows, bi-weekly meeting to promote equity, diversity and inclusion of ADC staff and trainees (ADCer’s for Change), and Let’s Talk (the Behavioral Health Network’s monthly open forum to discuss aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion).

We welcome applications from trainees from diverse backgrounds. We encourage you to inform us of any relevant life experiences in your cover letter or essays.

Core Training Rotations

The intern will complete 3 rotations, each lasting 4 months, including:

(A) Anxiety Disorders Center
The CBT intern will spend the majority of their time at the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy during one of their 4 month rotations. The Anxiety Disorders Center (ADC) is an outpatient clinic specializing in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety, mood, and obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders. Interns will provide outpatient CBT to the clinic’s patients, including accelerated (daily) exposure therapy sessions to patients with moderate to severe anxiety disorders and OCD and co-facilitating an adolescent transdiagnostic group. Interns will also complete assessments of new patients utilizing structured diagnostic interviews and well-validated self-report measures. The ADC employs state of the art technology and assessment tools, including virtual reality technology, evidence based computerized assessment of treatment progress, which the interns will use in their patient care. In addition, interns will have the opportunity to contribute to research, gain experience in program development, and provide specialized CBT consultation services to other departments of the Institute of Living. The ADC provides services across the lifespan, although each of the two CBT interns will be assigned predominantly to either adult or children/adolescent cases.

(B) Connecticut Children’s
The CBT intern will spend four months providing consultation and brief therapy intervention to pediatric patients at Connecticut Children’s. Connecticut Children’s is one of three hospitals in the state of Connecticut that provide comprehensive medical services to children, and along with Hartford Hospital and The Institute of Living, has a long tradition of training psychologists.

This rotation is designed to introduce the CBT intern to several roles that the psychologist can hold when interfacing with medically complex patients. During this rotation, the CBT intern will have the opportunity to work in specialty clinics staffed by pediatric psychologists as well as opportunities exist to work with patients on the medical floors and emergency department. The CBT intern will work with patients with acute and chronic medical conditions as well as those with complex behavioral disorders. The intern can expect to spend roughly 10 hours in our specialty clinics weekly, and will have 1 hour of supervision weekly with a pediatric psychologist.

Finally, the CBT intern will attend pediatric journal club and relevant medical didactics during their time on rotation.

(C) Child Intensive Outpatient Service
At the IOL’s Child & Adolescent Day Treatment Program, the CBT intern will be exposed to a broad spectrum of both acute and chronic psychopathology in youth at intensive outpatient level of care. Patients present with severe mood, psychotic, personality, behavioral and developmental disorders. The CBT intern will function primarily as a group therapist in this setting, and will co-facilitate group therapy with patients typically between the ages of 10-13. Program development during this rotation will involve creating, running and managing behavioral and skills-based groups that will ideally be self-sustaining by the rotation/training year’s end. Such groups may involve DBT skills, social skills, unified protocol, behavioral activation, parent-management training, et cetera, contingent on program needs and trainee experience. There are also training opportunities in crisis management and risk/safety assessments and planning. The CBT intern will additionally carry an individual caseload (approximately two cases at a time) for targeted family therapy and individual therapy and will offer consultation for behavioral interventions throughout the program.

Year Long Training Experiences:

Psychiatric Inpatient:
The Child CBT intern will consult to our psychiatric inpatient unit across all three rotations. Consultative role includes collaboration with inpatient providers on behavioral management strategies for selected patients as well as diagnostic consultation when OCD or anxiety disorders may play a significant role in the hospitalization. The CBT intern will also run inpatient therapy groups on the child/adolescent units. Trans-diagnostic treatment targets may include social skills, coping skills, affect regulation, distress tolerance, et cetera; the novel experience will be in tailoring provision of these services to the capacity of the acute inpatients. 

Other Core Experiences

In addition, the CBT track intern may complete 3 electives, running concurrently with the Major Rotations, each lasting 4 months (although an elective could be extended to two periods by mutual agreement). The intern’s interests will be identified at the beginning of the training year so that a sequence of training can be established that takes into account any elective interests identified by the intern.

Electives offered will include:

  • Young Adult Services
  • Neuropsychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Schizophrenia Rehabilitation Program
  • Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Research (collaboration with faculty)

Seminar Program

Trainees attend a variety of seminars, offered by both the Psychology Department and the psychiatry residency training program. Although the CBT track focuses on providing excellent CBT training, the seminars are led by psychologists across the Institute of Living, and provide the CBT intern an opportunity to hear and explore other perspectives, including psychodynamic and family systems approaches.

We anticipate that the following seminars will be available this year:

  • Weekly clinic meeting at the ADC
  • Weekly Research Meeting at ADC
  • Monthly Continuing Education Seminar at ADC
  • Monthly Journal Club at ADC
  • Biweekly ADCer’s for Change (ADC’s department DEI initiative)• Diagnosis and Assessment (Required)
  • Modern Readings in Personality and Psychotherapy (Required)
  • Family and Group Therapies (Required)
  • Weekly Grand Rounds (Required)
  • Child Psychotherapy Seminar and Case Conference (Required for Child Track)
  • CT Children's Medical Center Grand Rounds
  • Psychosis Seminar
  • Focal Therapy and Case Conference (Required)
  • Diversity Seminar (Required)
  • Psychiatry Journal Club (monthly)