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Educational Model and Professional Training Goals and Objectives

Training Program Aims

The internship program seeks to facilitate the development of highly competent, compassionate, culturally responsive, and ethical psychologists who pursue career paths that are congruent with their professional aspirations, interests, values, and priorities.  Consistent with this perspective, the overarching programmatic aims are to: (1) provide generalist training that engenders development of the full range of competencies in health service psychology; (2) prepare interns to assume the professional roles and responsibilities of practicing psychologists; and (3) facilitate ethical engagement and diversity responsiveness of interns in all professional activities.

Professional Training Goals and Objectives

Goal #1  Develop and master a broad array of competencies in direct service (assessment, intervention, consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills) based on knowledge within the science of psychology and consistent with standards of professional practice.


1a   Interns will demonstrate, through their direct service activities, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following assessment-related areas: (a) clinical interviewing skills; (b) conduct of observational protocols; (c) understanding of complexity of factors in evaluation; (d) knowledge and formulation of diagnoses; (e) development of recommendations; (f) feedback and communication of findings; (g) assessment of clinical progress; (h) knowledge of psychological test security and integrity; (i) selection, administration and scoring of assessment instruments; (j) use of behavioral observations in testing; (k) integration of test results in interpretation of findings and clinical conceptualization; and (l) timeliness and skill in report writing and provision of recommendations.

1b  Interns will demonstrate, through their direct service activities, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following intervention-related areas: (a) orientation of patients/clients to intervention process; (b) cultivation of productive therapeutic relationships; (c) case conceptualization skills; (d) balancing patient/client needs and preferences, research evidence, and clinical knowledge to guide choice of interventions; (e) collaboration with patient/client to establish and monitor therapeutic goals; (f) management of referrals, follow-up, and termination; (g) crisis management; and (h) developmentally appropriate practitioner independence.

1c  Interns will demonstrate, through their direct service activities, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills-related areas: (a) cultivating mutual respect in interprofessional interactions; (b) using relationship building/team dynamics knowledge in interprofessional roles; (c) articulating and fulfilling appropriate interprofessional roles/responsibilities;   (d) selecting appropriate means of assessment for consultative role; (e) providing timely and effective consultative services; (f) communication of consultation results and recommendations; and (g) communication that is responsive, responsible, and supports interprofessional collaboration.

Goal #2  Facilitate competence in supervision of more junior trainees and/or allied professionals. 


2  Interns will demonstrate, through their supervisory endeavors, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following areas: (a) knowledge of supervision models, theories, modalities, and research; (b) development of a supervisory relationship conducive to learning; (c) maintenance of supervisory boundaries; (d) collaborative approach to setting supervision expectations/goals; (e) regular conduct of supervision sessions; (f) monitoring of supervisee professional development; (g) evaluation of supervisee quality of care; (h) provision of formative and summative feedback to supervisee; (i) collaborative approach to strengthening relevant supervisee competencies; and (j) receptivity to feedback on supervisory approach. 

Goal #3  Facilitate adoption of  a scientifically-minded stance as a psychologist with competence in research.


3   Interns will meet a developmentally expected level of competence in research in the following areas: (a) understands principles of research design, implementation, and program evaluation; (b) adopts a scientifically minded approach to professional activities; (c) reviews practice-relevant scientific literature; (d) evaluates relevance of research/data analytic methods for practice; (e) possesses and applies knowledge of multiple scientifically established bases of behavior to professional endeavors; (f) demonstrates knowledge of scholarship and research on evidence-based relationships, assessment practices, and intervention; (g) engages in relevant research using appropriate designs; (h) performs appropriate statistical analyses and accurately communicates results; (i) contributes to current knowledge base via publications/presentations; and (j) partners with appropriate colleagues/community stakeholders in research efforts.

Goal #4    Assume the professional role of a psychologist within a scientist/practitioner model and associated competencies (professional values, attitudes, and behaviors; communication and interpersonal skills; individual and cultural diversity; ethical and legal standards) consistent with standards of professional practice.


            4a   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following professional values, attitudes, and behaviors areas: (a) carries out professional activities responsibly; (b) practices within the bounds of professional competence; (c) responsive to supervisory input; (d) seeks out additional training, supervision/consultation resources and information; (e) engages in professional self-reflection; (f) assumes professional identity consistent with being a psychologist; (g) understands interplay between personal and professional life; (h) engages with colleagues/peers in honest, genuine, and supportive manner; (i) values social justice activities; and (j) understands how own beliefs/values influence professional functioning.

4b   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following communication and interpersonal skills areas: (a) develops and maintains effective professional relationships; (b) listens attentively; (c) seeks clarification to ensure accurate understanding; (d) considers others’ viewpoints and suggestions; (e) communicates effectively verbally and in writing; (f) takes into account cultural, language, educational, socioeconomic, and other factors required for successful communication; (g) manages difficult conversations sensitively and non-defensively; (h) employs effective conflict prevention/management strategies; (i)  communicates responsibility for mistakes and/or inappropriate behavior and takes corrective action; and (j) is respectful and courteous in all interpersonal interactions.

4c   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following individual and cultural diversity areas: (a) engages in professional development and training to enhance knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to individual and cultural diversity; (b) interacts in a manner that conveys comfort with diverse populations; (c) recognizes impact of own individual and cultural identities on others; (d) demonstrates curiosity about the full range of diversity; (e) conveys respect for diverse values, ethical perspectives, and worldviews; (f) demonstrates cultural competence, responsiveness, and humility; (g) recognizes and mitigates the potential for bias when interacting with others, including those from different backgrounds; and (h) recognizes conflicts/misunderstandings related to lack of knowledge about individual and cultural differences and seeks cultural consultation.

4d  Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following ethical and legal standards areas: (a) knowledge of ethical/professional codes, standards/ guidelines, statutes, rules, and regulations relevant to the practice of psychology; (b) adheres to APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct; (c) recognizes ethical and legal dilemmas and seeks appropriate consultation; (d) articulates and implements a framework for ethical decision-making; (e) appreciates the nuances of confidentiality with regard to sensitive topics; (f) demonstrates thoughtfulness about the ethics of social media use; (g) follows relevant legal rules and regulations; and (h) demonstrates sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations related to all professional activities.