Department of Psychiatry

Internship Training in Clinical Psychology

TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

Clinical psychology training at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) is characterized by three key points: breadth of training, intensive supervision, and the practice and science of applied psychology.

I. BREADTH OF TRAINING. As applied psychology expands to encompass many new areas, the clinical psychologist needs to be trained in a broad variety of skills rather than any single specialty. A good program should be comprehensive in scope.

As a generalist program, we are able to provide our residents with a wide range of training activities including intake work, diagnosis, case consultation in the hospital, and group, individual, and family psychotherapy. Residents provide care for diverse patient populations including adults, adolescents, and children with a wide range of presenting problems. A significant percentage of the patients served come from under-served urban areas. Approximately 50 to 60% of the training experiences involve services to minorities (primarily Hispanic), though there are also opportunities for work with Veteran and military populations at some sites. In addition to clinical care, we have provided residents with opportunities for involvement in applied clinical research and/or process improvement activities.

II. INTENSIVE SUPERVISION. A second major point is the importance of close and careful monitoring of the student's experience, with useful feedback to the student. The content and timing of evaluations should be such as to maximize the student's growth. This implies a close individual involvement in each student's program by faculty and supervisors.

Our residents' work is intensively supervised on an individual basis, with each student scheduled for a minimum of five hours per week of individual supervision. Major supervision is provided by the psychology faculty with assistance from psychiatric faculty and social work staff.

III. PRACTICE AND SCIENCE OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY. Third, quality clinical internship training should impart skills focusing on the process and science of psychological work.

The Clinical Psychology Internship was established in 1970 with the faculty at that time making a philosophical commitment to the "scientist-practitioner model," with an emphasis on the practitioner side of the Boulder model. More recently, we have added opportunities for training in evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches. The internship or residency year is seen as a time to emphasize first-hand experiences with clinical involvement under intense individual supervision by faculty who demonstrate clear and visible scientific and professional interests.

Health Science Center Interns get year-long education designed to help them strengthen their understanding and skill in assessment and psychotherapeutic process. Our students also learn the fundamentals of outcome evaluations and use of available scientific principles and data to guide their selection of clinical interventions and help them learn to evaluate and evolve their clinical practice.

OVERVIEW OF INTERNSHIP

Our internship in clinical psychology is designed to provide an intensive American Psychological Association-accredited (750 First Street N.E., Washington, D.C., 20002-4242, Telephone 202-336-5979) clinical internship training experience embodying principles, outlined above. The Department of Psychiatry is the coordinating agency for the development and operation of the training program in clinical psychology. The faculty as a whole participates in the residency program. The Psychology Internship Training Committee serves as the major forum for ongoing discussion of the training program and formulates recommendations for program development. These recommendations are forwarded to the Chairman for final approval.

GENERALIST PROGRAM. Our program provides generalist training involving a full array of patients (children, adolescents, adults) seen in diverse treatment settings (inpatient, outpatient, ER, and community organizations) receiving a full spectrum of psychological evaluations (interview and test based) and interventions (individual, family, and group). Our residents receive intensive supervision and are exposed to multiple theoretical orientations, including behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic.

During the year long residency, residents participate in two major rotations as well as several year-long clinical activities, including on-going individual therapy cases through our Psychotherapy Training Program, Consultation and Liaison through the University Hospital, and co-leading group therapy. Additionally, residents attend weekly seminars and didactic trainings designed to enhance their understanding of the scientist-practitioner model, evidence-based practice, integrative assessment, and ethics/diversity. Finally, residents have the opportunity to design and implement a program improvement project during the training year.

TRACKS. Our program strives to provide training that has depth as well as breadth. We have attempted to accomplish this balance by establishing a track system, which was first implemented during the 2014-2015 training year. The track system provides applicants with stronger assurance of the training experiences they will receive when they arrive. Interested participants can apply to one or more of our three tracks (behavioral medicine, psychodynamic, or forensic).

The Behavioral Medicine Track. The behavioral medicine track provides training in empirically supported psychological assessments and interventions across treatment settings, presenting problems, and patient populations. Residents on this track will rotate year long across two major sites. For 2015-2016, there will be 4 full time positions available through this track.

Institutions/Programs that are affiliated with the behavioral medicine track include:
  • UTHSCSA, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Medicine: Residents are trained in providing integrated behavioral health services. There are opportunities to work in a primary care clinic, a UT Medicine Weight Loss Clinic, and a Pain Management Clinic. Additionally, residents receive training in behavioral treatments for Tourette Disorder. Finally, residents rotate with STRONG STAR, a federally-funded, multidisciplinary PTSD research consortium (www.strongstar.org), and receive training in evidence-based assessments and treatments for trauma-related disorders.

  • University Plaza – Transitional Care Center: The Transitional Care Center, which is housed at the University Plaza, provides psychological services to individuals with serious mental illness that are transitioning back into the community following inpatient care. Residents work within a multidisciplinary treatment team and have the opportunity to perform psychological testing, case management, individual and group therapy as well as potentially participate in research efforts. Residents at this site are trained in Illness Management and Recovery, an evidence based treatment for serious mental illness.
  • UTHSCSA, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinical Therapy (CAP): Residents are involved in ongoing treatment trials for childhood ADHD and severe behavioral disorders. They receive training in family-based psychosocial treatment components of a CBT intervention. Residents also have the opportunity to participate in neuroimaging.

  • UTHSCSA, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. PROXIMA PROGRAM: Residents participate in a collaborative-care integration of child and adolescent mental health services in primary care. UTHSCSA’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry directs the implementation of a federally-funded program to improve timely access to behavioral health services for youth through their integration in the primary-care ‘medical home’ to which families are already attached. Residents are trained in the Behavioral Care Manager model and gain experience conducting initial assessments and consultation to pediatricians. Residents have the opportunity to implement psychological treatments, consult with other team members on individualized behaviorally-focused treatment planning, conduct school consultations, and perform psychoeducational screenings.


 

The Psychodynamic Track. The UTHSCSA psychology residency program has a rich history of providing psychodynamic training. Residents on this track receive extensive training in psychodynamic theory, case conceptualizations, assessments, and interventions. Residents complete 2 six month rotations. For 2015-2016, there will be 4 full time positions available through this track.

 

  • Clarity Child Guidance Center: The Clarity Child Guidance Center is a not-for-profit treatment center that provides outpatient services, acute care, on-campus 24-hour treatment, and on-campus day treatment for children and adolescents with mental health concerns. Residents participate in psychological testing and individual, group, and family therapy.

  • Laurel Ridge Treatment Center: Laurel Ridge is a 252-bed, campus-style psychiatry hospital that offers behavioral healthcare services, including acute programs and residential treatment for children and adolescents. Residents have the opportunity to conduct psychiatric evaluations, develop treatment plans, strengthen case conceptualization skills, participate in multi-disciplinary treatment teams, and conduct inpatient individual and group therapy.

  • Center for Healthcare Services (CHCS): The Center for Hope is a community behavioral healthcare agency that improves the lives of people facing severe and chronic mental health, substance use and/or developmental disability challenges across the developmental spectrum, using a recovery-oriented approach that focuses on a person’s whole health. Residents are involved in adult outpatient, integrated healthcare clinics, and work closely with each clinic’s multidisciplinary team of professionals.

  The Forensic Track. Residents on the forensic track will complete 2 six month rotations at Kerrville State Hospital, one of the 10 mental health facilities in the Texas Department of State Services system. Kerrville State Hospital is a 202-bed facility that provides care for adults with major mental illnesses, who have been hospitalized on a forensic commitment. Staff and residents work with patients who are not competent to stand trial or who have been judged to be Not Guilty by Reasons of Insanity (NGRI). Patients are generally transferred to the Kerrville State Hospital from a secure treatment facility after a determination that they are not manifestly dangerous and require a long length of stay. Residents participate in forensic evaluations and collaborate with a with a multidisciplinary staff to provide patients with mental health treatments designed to help patients either attain competency or be safely returned to the community. For 2015-2016, there are 2 full time positions available through this track.

AFFILIATED and COOPERATING INSTITUTIONS:

 

GENERAL APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS

 
  • Dissertation Proposal completed by the start of Internship
  • Able to pass background security check
  • Experience with both adult and child patients is preferred but not required.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The internship year begin on July 1 and ends June 30. Applicants are invited to apply to one or more of its tracks and are encouraged to rank one or more tracks. Some applicants will be invited to attend a 1/2 day interview at the University of Texas Health at San Antonio, where they will meet as a group for orientation to the program, have an opportunity to meet with a current resident to ask questions, and interview with a faculty member and the internship director and assistant director.
  • Application Deadline: 21 November 2014
  • Interview Notification: 25 November 2014
  • Tentative Interview Days: 10, 12, 17, 19 December 2014

POINTS OF CONTACT

DIRECTOR

  Don McGeary, PhD., ABPP, Assistant Professor
Director, Clinical Psychology Residency and Fellowship Training Programs
Department of Psychiatry
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900
Phone: (210) 567-5430
Email: MCGEARY@UTHSCSA.EDU


ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

  Tabatha Blount, PhD., Assistant Professor Phone: (210) 562-6718 Email: BLOUNTT@UTHSCSA.EDU


BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE TRACK COORDINATOR

  Cindy McGeary, PhD., ABPP Assistant Professor Email: MCGEARYC@UTHSCSA.EDU


PSYCHODYNAMIC TRACK COORDINATOR

  Wayne Ehrisman, PhD., Clinical Professor


FORENSIC TRACK COORDINATOR

  Janet Mueller, PhD., Clinical Assistant Professor