Training Philosophy

The clinical psychology internship has been an integral part of The Institute of Living’s (IOL) training mission since 1957. The IOL specializes in the evaluation and treatment of acute psychiatric and behavioral disorders, including acute exacerbations of chronic conditions. Stabilization of psychiatric crises using an integrated blend of brief psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, case management, and collaboration with community resources has become the hospital’s primary mission. The hospital has been very successful in establishing an umbrella of care for its patients, integrating the use of inpatient, partial hospital, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services in response to a patient’s changing treatment needs.

The internship training program is structured such that the intern assumes treatment and assessment responsibilities within the IOL’s integrated healthcare delivery system. Interns assume responsibilities similar to those of a staff psychologist working within that same work site. Our faculty believes that today’s psychology training needs to be responsive to the changing context of health delivery systems throughout the country. Training occurs within a scholar-practitioner model that values the integration of the theoretical and empirical bases of assessment and intervention and includes exposure to and training in evidence-based methods. Seminars and supervision expose the intern to both psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral models of psychotherapy, crisis management, and case management. Interns develop skills necessary for effective collaboration with the managed care industry, and will learn to plan treatment in accordance with financial and temporal constraints. Interns receive at least 4 hours of clinical supervision per week, with a minimum of two hours of individual supervision.

In addition, interns have the opportunity to work with several patients in need of both brief and longer-term outpatient care. Advanced training in individual and group psychotherapy provides the intern the opportunity to further develop their competencies in the treatment of a wide variety of patient problems.

The Psychology Department is committed to the ongoing professional development and education of its staff, and seeks to promote a commitment to the pursuit of scholarly interests and post-graduate education in the intern group.

Internship Competencies and Program Aims

Upon completion of the program, interns are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the core profession-wide competencies of Health Service Psychologists. Competency development is achieved through a number of program elements, including direct clinical experience, structured educational/didactic experiences, and supervision. Upon completion of the program, interns shall demonstrate competency in:

(1) Research
(2) Ethical and Legal Standards
(3) Individual and Cultural Diversity
(4) Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
(5) Communication and Interpersonal Skills
(6) Assessment
(7) Intervention
(8) Supervision
(9) Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills 

Elements of these nine profession-wide competencies are represented in the program’s aims:

Aim #1: To develop interns’ competence in theories and methods of assessment and diagnosis in preparation for entry level positions as professional psychologists.

Aim #2: Interns will demonstrate competence in theories and methods of treatment planning and evidence-based psychotherapeutic interventions appropriate to an entry level into the profession.

Aim #3: Interns will appreciate the unique contributions of Psychology to the planning and delivery of services to a continuum of care and acquire skills necessary for treatment of individuals with severe emotional problems.

Aim #4: To develop interns’ competence in scholarly inquiry, research methodologies, and the application of evidence-based knowledge to clinical practice.

Aim #5: Interns will demonstrate competence in understanding individual differences and cultural/ethnic diversity as they impact clinical work.

Aim #6: To acquire the necessary knowledge and values to function as an ethical psychologist in the practice of psychology.

Aim #7: To increase interns’ knowledge of models of supervision and consultation.

Aim #8: To develop effective communication and interpersonal skills that promote the ability to relate meaningfully with individuals, groups, and other professionals as members of interdisciplinary teams.

Aim #9: To acquire professional values and attitudes that include an openness to supervision, commitment to self-reflection, and the promotion of autonomy.