The primary goal of the psychology internship program is to prepare interns to function autonomously in a broad range of applied psychology settings. The internship integrates scientific, clinical, and ethical knowledge in the development of professional competencies, specialties, and styles. The program is designed to refine an intern’s skills in assessment and treatment interventions, and enhance professional development through experiential and didactic learning.
We further expect our interns to identify and develop other areas of proficiency based on their own interests. We expect interns to work with all members of the professional staff in order to expose them to a wide variety of specialties, competencies, and styles. Throughout the course of training, our goal is to provide a complete professional experience while being sensitive to each intern’s special needs. In order to do this, a minimum of 10 hours per week of the intern’s time is spent in direct service delivery with the remaining time representing some form of supervision or training activity.
Our program offers three Clinical Track internship positions and two Forensic Track positions.
Thank you for your interest in the Doctoral Psychology Internship at Center for Behavioral Medicine. The Psychology staff of the training program is deeply committed, professionally and ethically, to the field of psychology. An essential outgrowth of this is a strong commitment to meet our responsibilities in the preparation of skilled psychologists. The internship program has been fully accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1963.
Inquiries regarding the program’s accreditation can be made to:
The American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
750 First St, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Telephone: (202) 336-5979
TDD/TTY: (202) 336-6123
Fax: (202) 336-5978
Our training model is best described as a Practitioner-Scholar Model and focuses on clinical practice informed by scholarly inquiry. Underlying and infused within this model is our program’s value for celebrating and honoring multiculturalism in our relationships, practices, policies and procedures while also striving to create a multi-culturally sensitive and supportive environment in which to work and to train (see Diversity Statement). Therefore, the program is designed to increase the intern’s appreciation of human differences, including gender, age, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, and physical and mental abilities. The patient population reflects the communities’ diverse make up and allows for interns to consider issues of differences in their professional work.
CLINICAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
The Clinical Track is divided into three, four-month Major rotations. Interns are required to complete a rotation on each inpatient extended-stay unit (3C and 2B). Options for the third rotation include another inpatient extended stay rotation (3C), an Outpatient Forensic Services rotation, or Inpatient Competency Restoration rotation.
Although the essential experiential components of major rotations remain generally the same regardless of rotation order, performance expectations increase as the year progresses. Orientation periods decrease and interns are expected to require less supervision during each subsequent rotation. During the first rotation, it is expected that interns will function at a beginning predoctoral level; require more orientation time, oversight, and direct supervision by the supervising psychologist. In the second rotation, interns are expected to function at an advance predoctoral level; function more autonomously, require less orientation time, and direct supervision. By the end of the third rotation, interns are expected to function autonomously and perform at a post-doctoral/entry psychologist level in the provision of services.
Unit 2B is a 15-bed extended stay-acute adult inpatient unit. Presenting problems may include severe and persistent mental illness, suicidal/self-injurious behavior, affective disorders, personality disorders, and co-morbid developmental disability and/or substance abuse diagnoses. The average length of stay ranges from 90 days to one year. By the end of the rotation, interns will be providing services commensurate with that of the supervising psychologist and will be versed in implementing treatment strategies based on case conceptualization and psychological assessment.
Unit 3C is a 25-bed extended stay-acute adult inpatient unit. Presenting problems may include severe emotional and behavioral dysregulation, psychoses, suicidal and/or parasuicidal behavior, affective disorders, severe personality disorders, and co-morbid cognitive impairment or substance abuse diagnoses. The average length of stay ranges from six months to two years. By the end of the rotation interns will provide services commensurate with that of the supervising psychologist and will be versed in implementing treatment strategies based on case conceptualization and psychological assessment.
Unit 3D is a 25-bed inpatient, competency restoration unit. Patients on this unit are admitted under Chapter 552 of the Revised Statute of Missouri (RSMo.) as Incompetent to Proceed and participate in the Competency Restoration Program. Patients are offered a combination of psychopharmacological treatment and competency education. The treatment focus is Illness Management and Recovery (IMR). By the end of the rotation interns will be able to identify and implement treatment strategies based on case conceptualization and psychological assessment. Additionally, the intern will have gained knowledge regarding psycholegal aspects related to incompetent to proceed patients.
The Outpatient Forensic Services rotation offers interns the opportunity to acquire a working knowledge of Criminal-Forensic Psychology, particularly as it applies to the issues of competency to stand trial. This rotation involves conducting and writing pretrial court-ordered evaluations under the provisions of Missouri State Statues. Initially, interns will observe the supervisor and gradually move toward performing evaluations. Interns will also have gained the ability to write concise reports for the Court and may have the opportunity to testify as an expert witness. Additionally, interns will have gained knowledge regarding psycholegal issues.
Inpatient Treatment Program
In addition, at the beginning of the year, each Clinical Track intern will choose a treatment modality (Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Positive Behavior Management (PBM), or Illness Management and Recovery (IMR)) as a primary focus throughout the year and will participate in provision of those specific services as a member of CBM’s treatment program, the “Recovery Academy.” Interns may request or be requested to participate in other Recovery Academy groups as well.
The DBT program is designed for individuals who have difficulty effectively managing their emotions. DBT teaches distress tolerance skills, radical acceptance, and mindfulness techniques to allow individuals to handle unpleasant or undesirable emotions. As part of the DBT program, interns will facilitate DBT skills groups and provide individual therapy for one or two inpatients throughout the training year. An intern who chooses to have DBT as a training experience would devote one and one-half day per week to DBT endeavors such as attending the weekly two-hour consultation team meeting, facilitating skills groups, providing individual therapy, and consulting with treatment teams. The consultation team receives consultation and support from the statewide DBT training coordinator.
The PBM program is designed for individuals who have difficulty controlling their behavior, which may result in negative outcomes for themselves and others. PBM teaches effective social skills and helps individuals learn to how to develop appropriate social relationships. As part of the PBM program, interns will facilitate PBM skills groups and provide individual therapy for one or two inpatients throughout the training year. An intern who chooses to have PBM as a training experience would devote one and one-half days per week to facilitating skills groups, providing individual therapy, and consulting with treatment teams.
The IMR program is designed for individuals diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illnesses (Bipolar or Schizophrenia spectrum disorders), and offers therapy to assist patients to better understand the causes and symptoms of their mental illness and to find effective coping mechanisms for managing their symptoms. As a member of the IMR team, interns will facilitate IMR groups and provide individual therapy for one or two patients throughout the training year. An intern who chooses to have IMR as a training experience would devote one and one-half day per week facilitating groups, providing individual therapy, and consulting with treatment teams.
FORENSIC TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
The Forensic Track involves combined experiences in Outpatient Forensic Evaluation Services and on the Inpatient Competency Restoration Unit. Throughout the training year interns spend two days per week performing criminal-pretrial evaluations and risk assessments and two and one-half days per week providing assessment and treatment to patients committed to the Missouri Department of Mental Health as Incompetent to Stand Trial. The remaining one-half day is devoted to didactics and other training activities.
All interns, forensic and clinical, participate in weekly didactics, Grand Rounds, bi-weekly Case Conference, and monthly Journal Club. All interns are based in the psychology training area where they share access to the department’s psychological testing supplies and group therapy resources.
Outpatient Forensic Evaluation Services provides interns a working knowledge of criminal/forensic assessment, particularly as it applies to the issues of competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility. This experience involves conducting and writing pretrial court-ordered evaluations under the provisions of Missouri State Statutes. Interns initially observe evaluations conducted by supervisors, who are Missouri Department of Mental Health Certified Forensic Examiners. Interns then progressively move toward performing and writing evaluations for the Courts under supervision. Interns gain knowledge of statutory and psycho-legal issues related to pretrial forensic evaluations. Additionally, they will have opportunity to interact with legal personnel, and may have opportunity to testify as an expert witness.
The 25-bed Inpatient Competency Restoration Unit serves patients committed to the Missouri Department of Mental Health as Incompetent to Stand Trial. Based on their pretrial diagnoses and structured admission assessments, patients’ progress through an individualized treatment track involving psychopharmacological, psychosocial, and/or educational components. Under supervision of a licensed psychologist, interns gain experience identifying, implementing, and evaluating treatment approaches based on case conceptualization, psychological assessment, and collaboration with the unit’s multidisciplinary team. Interns gain knowledge of statutory and psycho-legal issues related to the treatment and evaluation of forensic patients committed as Incompetent to Stand Trial. Additionally, interns have the opportunity to interact with legal personnel.