The primary mission of the program is to prepare interns for assuming a dynamic role in the rapidly changing world of professional psychology. Our training program is consistent with the Practitioner-Scholar Model. It is a model that emphasizes learning-by-doing in an environment that allows for, and values, reflection and mentoring. Clinical work experience involves contact with a diverse population of clients from multiples agencies and settings. We focus on clinical practice and service delivery, guiding the intern through a series of developmental stages from the apprentice mentee to colleague. Our fundamental goal is to train the intern to be ready for autonomous professional practice upon graduation. Although we do not follow directly the Scientist-Practitioner Model, we do expect that interns become educated consumers of clinical research. We encourage interns to think critically and to evaluate the findings of research-based knowledge within their local clinical context. While we provide ample didactic training, our primary emphasis is on fostering the intern's use of self and creativity in professional practice, as developed in the context of supervision.
While there have been many changes in the field of psychology, it is our belief that there are two core clinical skills required of practicing psychologists. First, they must have proficiency as diagnosticians who can comprehensively assess psychological and psychiatric problems, and formulate treatment strategies. Second, they must be flexible and adaptive treating clinicians, responsive to a range of presenting problems with diverse patient populations. The net effect of our training efforts is to guide the intern in becoming an effective practitioner in both psychological assessment and psychotherapeutic process, and thereby provide a foundation for specialization and the refinement of one’s professional identity.
It should be understood that we are a generalist training program. We do not aim, nor are we designed, to provide interns with specialist training. We feel that specialization should be pursued at the post-doctoral level. We emphasize intensive (broadly psychodynamic) psychotherapy and psychological assessment, while at the same time offering adjunctive/elective experiences (e.g., child and adolescent psychiatry/psychology, neuropsychological assessment, health psychology, chemical dependency, crisis management, and cognitive-behavioral therapy). Students from a variety of programs, representing divergent theoretical orientations, will find that our generalist atmosphere respects and nurtures previous training while fostering professional growth.