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Educational Model and Professional Training Goals and Objectives

The predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at Emory University School of Medicine/Grady Health System aims to provide interns with a competency-based generalist clinical training year consistent with the scientist-practitioner model of graduate education.  The  Neuropsychology Track provides competency-based general clinical training while also preparing interns for later specialized postdoctoral fellowship training. A developmental framework guides a core focus on continuing to cultivate professional trainee competencies, thereby building on knowledge and competencies derived from the science of psychology and learned during doctoral training. It provides an environment in which applied competencies can be further developed via supervised, clinical experience with a variety of clients across a multitude of settings. Our goal is to train culturally competent psychologists with clinical expertise in working with diverse clinical populations who are prepared to assume professional roles in a range of professional environments (e.g. academic health science centers, universities, community settings).

To help trainees develop in their professional roles as psychologists, we utilize a graduated, developmentally based training model. Initially, interns are expected to demonstrate basic clinical skills with more prototypic cases and are gradually expected to learn more complex differential diagnostic tasks and interventions with patients with more complex difficulties. Supervision is developmentally graded, with interns initially provided with direct modeling and detailed guidance. Over time, interns are expected to function more independently and to use supervision to develop more sophisticated clinical skills. Didactic learning in seminars is clinically relevant and supervision focuses on utilizing the psychological and neuropsychological literature to inform clinical practice, as well as applying a scientific method of thought to case conceptualization and intervention planning.

The training goals and objectives are to:

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

Objectives:

1a   Interns will demonstrate through their direct service activities, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following assessment-related areas: (a) diagnostic interviewing skills; (b) knowledge of diagnoses; (c) selection of appropriate assessment approaches; (d) test administration and scoring; (e) interpretation of findings and appropriate case conceptualization (f) provision of appropriate recommendations; (g) report writing skills, (h) communication of results, (i) sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations in all aspects of the assessment process; and (j) sensitivity to diversity considerations in all aspects of the assessment process.

1b  Interns will demonstrate through their direct service activities, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following intervention-related areas: (a) case conceptualization; (b) use of  theory and research to guide conceptualization and choice of interventions; (c) establishment and monitoring of therapeutic goals; (d) development and maintenance of therapeutic alliance; (e) application of evidence based (where possible) therapeutic strategies; (f) management of crises and follow-up; (g) management of therapy termination; (h) sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations in all aspects of the intervention process; and (i) sensitivity to diversity considerations in all aspects of the intervention process.

1c  Interns will demonstrate through their direct service activities, a developmentally expected level of competence in the following consultation-related areas: (a) utilization of theory and research to guide consultations; (b) maintenance of a system perspective; (c) understanding of local contexts; (d) negotiation of contacts among systems; (e) provision of feedback to individuals from different fields; (f) development of effective interdisciplinary relationships; (g) learning from other team members; (h) sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations in all aspects of the consultation process; and (i) sensitivity to diversity considerations in all aspects of the consultation process.

Goal #2    Assume the professional role of a psychologist within a scientist/practitioner model (ethics and legal issues, individual and cultural diversity, professional identity/functioning, and interpersonal skills) consistent with standards of professional practice.

Objectives:

2a   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following ethical and legal areas: (a) knowledge of ethical/professional codes, standards and guidelines; knowledge of statutes, rules, and regulations relevant to the practice of psychology; (b) ability to recognize ethical and legal issues across the range of psychological activities; (c) ability to recognize and reconcile conflicts among relevant codes and laws; (d) ability to apply the above knowledge and skills to professional activities; (e) ability to maintain appropriate professional boundaries; and (f) ability to build and participate in a collaborative, supportive peer network in order to consult when advisable

2b   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following individual and cultural diversity areas: (a) sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity; (b) respect for diverse values, ethical perspectives, and worldviews; and (c) capacity for reflection, self-awareness, and self-assessment

2c   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following professional identity/functioning areas: (a) progress towards assuming a professional identity as a psychologist; (b) awareness of personal/professional limitations; (c) understanding of how own beliefs and values impact their professional functioning; (d) sound and mature professional judgment; (e) dependability and responsibility in the performance of duties; (f) capacity to assume and manage multiple professional roles; (g) effective time management; (h) autonomous functioning; (i) ability to take initiative in an appropriately assertive manner; and (j) commitment to life-long learning

2d   Interns will achieve a developmentally expected level of competence in the following interpersonal skills areas: (a) interpersonal competence (listening, empathy, flexibility, sense of humor, contextual understanding) with peers and colleagues; (b) interpersonal competence (listening, empathy, flexibility, sense of humor, contextual understanding) with professional staff; (c) effective communication, problem-solving, and systems negotiation; (d) capacity to effectively share knowledge with others; (e) collegial and respectful behavior; and (f) good team functioning.

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

Objective:

3   Interns will meet a developmentally expected level of competence in scholarship/research in the following areas: (a) performance of all professional functions consistent with being a “scientifically-minded” psychologist; (b) use of empirical literature to guide direct service activities; (c) progress in  attaining the knowledge and skills required for program evaluation; (d) sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations in all aspects of research and scholarship; and (e) sensitivity to diversity considerations in all aspects of research and scholarship.

Goal #4  Facilitate initial exposure to and beginning competence in supervision of more junior trainees and/or allied professionals.

Objective:

4  Interns will demonstrate through their supervisory endeavors a developmentally expected level of competence in the following areas: (a) knowledge of area in which providing supervision; (b) knowledge of models, theories, modalities, and research on supervision; (c) awareness of supervisee development and learning needs; (d) capacity to develop and sustain a strong supervisory relationship; (e) ability to monitor the services provided by the supervisee; (f) capacity to provide effective formative and summative feedback to the supervisee; (f) receptivity to supervision on supervision; (g) sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations in all aspects of the supervisory process; and (h) sensitivity to diversity considerations in all aspects of the supervisory process.