In addition to training experiences at their primary site, all interns participate in core training experiences. This offers valuable breadth of training that contributes to achievement of program training goals and facilitates community in the internship class.
Interns provide approximately four hours of psychotherapy per week to outpatient clients through the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic. The Baylor Psychiatry Clinic is an outpatient community mental health clinic providing comprehensive assessment and treatment of psychiatric, psychological, and relationship difficulties and offering training experiences for psychiatry residents and psychology interns. A broad spectrum of clinical problems appropriate for outpatient treatment come to the attention of psychology interns in this service, with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and interpersonal problems being common. Interns have the opportunity to request referrals commensurate with specific training goals and consult with supervisors to assure that they treat a variety of problems and patients. The clinic offers experiences in long-term individual psychotherapy as well as short-term intervention. Interns with interests in additional child, adolescent, or family therapy experience may receive referrals from the Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology Clinic.
This core training experience is intended to offer breadth of training and supervision, providing a balance to the more specialized training obtained at the primary sites. Interns are expected to develop competence in formulating a useful case conceptualization that draws on theoretical and research knowledge and to formulate appropriate therapeutic treatment goals in collaboration with their patients.
For breadth of training, intern supervisors for these outpatient cases are typically different from supervisors at their primary training track. Supervisors are selected by interns in consultation with the training director and primary track supervisors at the beginning of the internship year, with more available supervisor options than interns. Supervisors include psychologists primarily affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and providers in the community who have clinical faculty appointments. Supervisor theoretical orientations represent a variety of approaches (e.g., cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, integrative). The orientation of the supervisor, the interest of the intern and the needs of the patient typically combine to determine the therapeutic approach used in a given case. Over the internship year, interns tend to develop a therapeutic approach that fits their particular background and is further developed through supervision.
The main goals of research rotation experiences are to foster interns' competence in scholarly inquiry. Research rotation offerings vary from year to year but capture a wide array of research areas with many more offerings than interns. At orientation, interns are provided with a list of available research rotations for the training year and with the support of the training director contact faculty to find a good "fit" for their research rotation based on interest and experience. New research rotation experiences may also be developed depending on intern interests and faculty availability.
Research rotation assignments are made by mutual agreement between interns and supervisors (in consultation and with approval of the training director), who then create a learning plan that specifies the nature of the intern's involvement in the research project. To provide an example of the range of topics, recent interns have chosen projects addressing suicidality in eating disorders, mental health barriers to weight management, relationships between children’s media use and eating/activity, evaluation of novel approaches for treatment-resistant depression, evaluation of a school-based intervention for pediatric obesity, anxiety disorder treatment for veterans, cognitive functioning in children with autism, assessment of sleep and suicidal behaviors, Spanish translation of a mental status assessment tool, PTSD intervention for veterans, and evaluation of social-cognitive risk factors of psychopathology in adolescents. The internship expects that each research rotation includes collaboration on a scholarly product (e.g., poster presentation or manuscript for submission), with many interns earning first-author publications from the experience.
All interns (regardless of track) participate in core didactic experiences that include a full range of topics on assessment, treatment, consultation, diversity and ethics/professional behavior. Interns often attend specialized seminars/conferences as part of their primary tracks as well. The following conferences are regularly scheduled and attended by all interns regardless of training track.
Group Training Director Meeting
Each month interns meet monthly as a group with the training director. This time is open to discuss matters that interns feel are important to their training. It is used to clarify administrative procedures, discuss the training program and any issues relevant to training, and augment the didactic and research experiences. Matters of professional and career development are also discussed.
Peer Supervision Case Conference
This monthly conference consists primarily of case presentations, with discussions of empirically supported interventions, management of challenging clinical issues, and comparative approaches to treatment. Literature relevant to case material may be incorporated in the discussion. Quarterly in lieu of a case presentation, interns participate in a guided discussion related to supervision and becoming a supervisor.
Patient Perspectives and Experiences Case Conference
This monthly conference focuses on case discussions with relevant issues related to patients' lived experiences and perspectives. Stephanie Day, Ph.D., and Anthony Ecker, Ph.D., co-facilitate this conference.
This monthly conference provides interns an opportunity to demonstrate the integration of science and practice by presenting and discussing their ongoing or completed research. Interns may use this time for presenting their dissertation research, research rotation work, or to prepare for job interviews or upcoming conference presentations. Terri Fletcher, Ph.D. facilitates this conference.
September through May, a weekly grand rounds sponsored by the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences features both research and clinical presentations by Baylor faculty and invited local and national lecturers. A wide variety of topics are offered, varying from year to year.
Individual Training Director Meeting
Each intern is scheduled to meet individually with the training director four times per year. These meetings focus on discussion of the intern’s progress, training goals, and feedback about the program; dissertation progress; career goals and post-internship plans; and any other matters of personal importance to the intern.
Council of Houston Area Training Sites
CHATS meets seven times per year (Fridays 2:30-4 p.m.) the six currently APA-accredited internship programs in the Houston area rotate hosting a didactic presentation focused on issues of professional development or practice, with interns from each of the APA-accredited internship programs (i.e., 30-40 interns) attending.