Message from the Program Director

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The University of Chicago
Clinical Psychology Pre-Doctoral Internship Program

 

August 15, 2015

Thank you for your interest in the University of Chicago Clinical Psychology Pre-Doctoral Internship Program. We are pleased to provide you with our updated 2016-2017 internship information.

We are a Clinical-Scientist oriented pre-doctoral internship program and are accredited by the American Psychological Association through 2019.  We are based in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, in the Adult and Child sections.  The Clinical Psychology Internship has been an important component of Departmental training for many years, and is strongly integrated within the multidisciplinary educational mission of the Department and the Medical Center. As a result, we believe we offer a challenging but highly supportive setting for obtaining pre-doctoral internship training in Clinical Psychology. Most significantly, our internship is highly individualized and can be tailored to meet our interns’ specific training goals.

We ask that you carefully read this information before deciding to apply to our program, so that you may fully appreciate the structure of our program and what we have to offer. We hope that you will select this internship because you believe it is a “great fit” with your professional goals for training and career development. Should you match with us, we will, in turn, work to provide you with the skills necessary to become a professional clinical psychologist who specializes in science and practice in an academic environment.

The Clinical Psychology Internship at the University of Chicago is comprised of four tracks: Adult/Health Psychology, Adult Neuropsychology, Child Psychology, and Pediatric Neuropsychology. We will be recruiting and matching with one intern in the Adult Neuropsychology, Child Psychology and Pediatric Neuropsychology Tracks, and two interns in the Adult/Health track. We no longer an Eating Disorders Track. Applicants with interests in eating disorders may apply to either the Adult or the Child Track and select rotations that are consistent with their training goals. Each track is briefly described below, and more detailed specifics concerning each track can be found as you further review our information.

Please note that while our program is structured to train interns committed to their specific clinical track, we encourage all of our interns to participate in either a research and/or clinical rotation outside of their track, to round out their experiences and skills. More detail concerning our training model can be found in the relevant sections below.

The Clinical Psychology Internship Tracks

The University of Chicago’s APA-accredited Clinical Psychology Internship Program is comprised of four tracks: Adult/Health Psychology, Adult Neuropsychology, Child Psychology and Pediatric Neuropsychology. Applicants to the internship must identify the track to which they are seeking consideration. The program will select one intern for each track for the 2015-16 training year, except for the Adult/Health track which will offer two positions. Please keep in mind that once an intern is admitted to the internship, he or she will be expected to complete four rotations over the course of the year, with three of those rotations taking place within the specific training track.

A summary of the four tracks in the training program follows:

The Adult/Health Psychology track emphasizes training in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mood and behavior disorders, and psychosocial contributors to health disorders in adults. This track offers core clinical rotations that develop competencies in the treatment of individuals with Addictive Disorders, Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Severe Mental Illness, and emotional and behavioral dysregulation using empirically supported treatments, as well as emphases in different areas of health and psychosocial functioning through Psychosocial Oncology/Consultation-Liaison Psychology, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and Diabetes, Surgical and Behavioral treatment of Obesity, Transplant Clinic, Health Psychology, and Integrated Primary Care. Interns have the opportunity to conduct research in such areas as the treatment of addictive disorders compulsive behaviors, and the treatment of mood and emotion regulation disorders. In addition, interns may elect to learn more about psychology Training and Administration.  Each rotation is described in greater detail in this brochure, along with a description of faculty interests. Primary faculty involved in the Adult Psychology track include Drs. Andrea King, Jon Grant, Amy Siston, Shona Vas, Lindsay Brauer, Nancy Beckman, Daniel Fridberg, and Lisa Medalie. If you are considering this track for internship, to ensure a good potential match, please carefully read the description about each faculty member's research and clinical interests.  

 

The Adult Neuropsychology track adheres to APA Division 40 and Houston Conference guidelines for training. The intern spends at least 50 percent of his/her time conducting neuropsychological evaluations and attending weekly didactics related to this specialty. Adults across the age range are evaluated, with a significant geriatric population. There are several clinical rotations available. The Adult Neuropsychology Clinic rotations (which occur on different days of the week) involve evaluations of primarily outpatient referrals presenting with various neurologic and medical conditions, using a flexible battery approach. The Memory Disorders rotation involves working with a multidisciplinary medical team and conducting neurocognitive assessments of individuals presenting with memory complaints. The Adult Neuropsychology Research Rotation involves working closely with a faculty member on either an existing project or new short term project, with a focus on improving knowledge regarding cultural issues and/or geriatrics. A new research rotation examining the neurocognitive abnormalities of psychotic disorders and using EEG and fMRI data is also available. Faculty on the Adult Neuropsychology track are Drs. Joseph FinkMaureen Lacy and Sarah Keedy.

 

The Child Psychology track is oriented towards candidates seeking a focus on the interface between hospital based clinical child psychology and pediatric psychology practice. Emphasis is on consultation/liaison, diagnostic interviewing and intervention, management of health and psychopathology related difficulties, and working with referring medical and psychiatric teams.  Core rotations in this track include Pediatric Consultation/Liaison, Kovler Diabetes Center, MALS (Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome), Hematology-Oncology and Survivorship Clinics, HIV Clinic, International Adoption Clinic, Comer HIV Clinic, Adolescent Eating and Weight Disorders, Infant Mental Health, and Trauma and Resilience Treatment. Core faculty in this track include Drs. Tina Drossos, Andrea Goldschmidt, and Sonya Mathies-Dinizulu, with some rotations being supervised by our pediatric neuropsychologists, Drs. Scott Hunter and Megan Scott.   

The Pediatric Neuropsychology track emphasizes competencies in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of neurodevelopmental, mood, and behavioral concerns in children and adolescents. The intern on this track divides time between conducting neuropsychological evaluations of outpatient referrals from the broad spectrum of pediatric specialties in the Medical Center, with an emphasis on children with neurological, learning, and developmental disorders; and on developing skill in pediatric consultation-liaison, pediatric psychology, and individual and family psychotherapies. All interns in the child section  become expert in the application of empirically supported interventions for mood, behavior, developmental difficulties, and pediatric psychology. Primary faculty on this track are Drs. Scott Hunter and Megan Scott with additional rotations supervised by Dr. Tina Drossos.

Along with offering specialized training experiences, we also believe that the internship year should be focused on the broadening and further development of an intern's general clinical psychology skills. To facilitate this objective, interns are required to spend approximately 50% of their time conducting evaluations and providing brief and longer-term individual psychotherapy with outpatients, under the supervision of departmental faculty. This requirement encourages interns to develop competence in providing empirically supported treatment through work with supervisors representing various orientations, including developmental, systems, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and acceptance-based models.

Our program is consistent with the American Psychological Association’s (APA) updated standards for accreditation in health service psychology. Across tracks, we expect that all interns will acquire competencies in the following areas over the course of the training year.

  1. Science, research and evaluation: Given our clinical-scientist philosophy, we expect our interns to engage in professional activities informed by clinical science. As such, interns are exposed to empirically supported treatments, learn to turn to the literature to answer clinical and research questions, become involved in different aspects of clinical research, and generally demonstrate dedication to expanding their knowledge and skills. Further, interns will recognize the importance of outcome and program evaluation and its value in professional practice.
  2. Ethical and legal standards: We expect our interns to become proficient in the knowledge and application of appropriate ethical and legal guidelines, especially within the area of patient risk management and confidentiality.
  3. Individual and cultural diversity: Our interns are expected to be thoughtful about their own cultural and ethnic background and how it impacts their own approach to assessment, treatment, consultation, and research. Our program offers a unique setting to develop competence in working with a range of individual difference variables including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, socioeconomic and educational status, geographical location, and sexual orientation.
  4. Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors: We value the interns as members of our Department. We expect that they will engage in appropriate professional behavior, act ethically and responsibly in all professional settings, and become familiar with the operation of a medical center in terms of administration, billing, documentation, and time management. Through clinical service, research, supervision and didactics, interns will be exposed to the process of developing their own identities as clinical psychologists. We encourage ongoing self-reflection and refinement of personal and professional goals
  5. Communication and interpersonal skills: We expect our interns to appropriately utilize supervision and consultation to accomplish their training goals while providing appropriate clinical care. Training is also focused on enhancing communication in multiple settings and roles.
  6. Psychological assessment and diagnosis: Clinical activities will facilitate the acquisition of diagnostic knowledge and assessment skills. Interns will become develop a thorough working knowledge of the DSM and ICD systems and learn to use interview, historical, collateral, and psychometric data to diagnose appropriately, develop a case formulation, and provide treatment recommendations as necessary.
  7. Psychotherapeutic intervention: Interns will be expected to become familiar with empirically supported treatments. Goals in this regard include being able to develop and maintain patient rapport, engage in case conceptualization that guides treatment planning, provide evidence-based treatment to individuals, couples, families, and groups, and mobilize case management services as necessary.
  8. Supervision, education, and training: We prepare interns for careers in academic settings. To this end, they acquire competencies in the provision of clinical supervision and are also offered opportunities to provide other forms of teaching and training.
  9. Consultation: Our program provides interns with the opportunity to work with different types of medical and mental health providers such as psychiatrists, social workers, residents, fellows, nurses, medical students, and physicians. By the end of internship, we expect our trainees to be competent in providing consultation, to work collaboratively as members of a treatment team, and to interact effectively with professionals from different disciplines.

In addition to developing broad competencies across the major areas of clinical psychology, interns’ professional development is emphasized. Interns are assigned a primary mentor who will help guide them in making rotation choices, monitoring their progress through the program, and assisting with career development and decision-making about the transition from graduate trainee to professional psychologist. Interns attend didactic seminars conducted by senior and junior faculty members addressing their developmental and professional needs. Seminars focus on issues such as updating your CV, creating an effective job talk, finding a postdoctoral fellowship, providing supervision, attaining that “elusive” K-award or R01, and balancing family and career, among other pertinent concerns.

Ultimately, our focus as a faculty is on assisting interns’ development as clinical scientists, through generalized training, specialty rotations, didactics, and research opportunities. Interns interact with various supervisors from diverse backgrounds and orientations, and develop the communication skills, expertise, and confidence required to provide expert feedback to patients, families, and physicians, and to share their knowledge in lectures and more formally, in peer-reviewed venues. Given these goals, we believe we have developed an enriching, exciting, and challenging program. We hope that this description sparks your interest and that you will continue to carefully read our brochure and choose to apply.

On behalf of the training faculty, we look forward to reviewing your application. We appreciate the time you will invest in completing your application and will carefully review your credentials.  The University of Chicago Medicine participates in the APPIC Internship Matching Program. Therefore, you must register with APPIC in order to be eligible to match with our program. As an APA accredited internship training site, we also abide by all APA guidelines and principles.

If you have any questions, please contact our administrative assistant, Rachel Myszak at 773-702-0529 or via email at rmyszak@yoda.bsd.uchicago.edu. If your questions cannot be answered through such communication, feel free to contact Dr. Shona Vas, the internship training director.  We look forward to the prospect of reviewing your application. We wish you the best of luck during this process and hope to have the opportunity to meet you in the future.

Sincerely,

Shona N. Vas, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience
Director, Clinical Psychology Training Program

Director, Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Program
svas@yoda.bsd.uchicago.edu