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Clinical Psychology Internship Program

How we train and assess interns

Supervision & Teaching Methods

The intern’s work is supervised primarily by members of the psychology faculty. Since the ratio of faculty to interns is quite favorable, close and intensive supervision is provided throughout the year. Psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, and other mental health professionals also participate in the supervision of some aspects of the intern’s work. Interns receive more than the minimum requirement of two hours a week of individual supervision. Interns often participate in additional group supervision.

Interns have the opportunity to observe and to be observed by faculty in clinical activities either in the same room, when services are provided in person, via a one-way mirror or video, or through remote supervision. Demonstrations also are provided by the faculty with regard to intervention techniques.

Provision of supervision follows a sequential and cumulative model of developmental learning. Interns are assessed at the beginning of the year and then provided scaffolded learning opportunities to increase their competency in a variety of domains.

To develop competency in providing supervision, interns learn about models of supervision in the seminar series. Interns may also obtain direct experience in supervision under supervision of a faculty member of postdoctoral fellow. Most interns obtain this direct experience via peer supervision, in which interns with areas of greater competence in a specific area provide supervision to interns with less competence in that area. Depending on availability of practicum students, some interns may serve as supervisor for a student from doctoral or masters programs.


Evaluation of Interns: Formal Assessment and Feedback

While interns receive ongoing verbal feedback from supervisors, formal written evaluative feedback is also provided. At the start of each rotation, an agreement is completed by the intern and each supervisor, spelling out the specific goals and responsibilities of the intern on the supervisor’s service. The agreement serves as the basis for a written evaluation of the intern by the supervisor at the end of the rotation; the intern also has the opportunity to evaluate the experience in the service. In addition, the supervisor completes the internship program’s competency evaluation, rating the intern on the profession-wide competencies. The intern receives the completed rotation evaluations, reviewing and discussing them with the supervisor and the Program Coordinator.

Any rating below the minimum level of achievement or performance is reviewed by the Training Committee. A similar written agreement is completed between the intern and Program Coordinator to ensure ongoing support and monitoring of the intern’s progress, as well as to provide opportunities for an in-depth discussion of professional and career issues. During the course of the year, each intern will make a scholarly presentation on a clinical or research topic to a general meeting of the faculty and interns. At mid-year, the Program Coordinator summarizes the intern’s progress for the Training Committee to ensure that the intern meets the program’s competency criteria. The Director of Clinical Training completes a final evaluation letter at the end of the internship year. Copies of both the mid-year and final evaluations are forwarded to the intern and the Director of Clinical Training at the intern’s university.