Intern knowledge and competence are assessed on an ongoing basis through a variety of methods, including live observations of intern-patient interviews and testing, reviews of video of digitally recorded therapy sessions, detailed reviews of the intern’s written assessment reports and treatment progress notes, observations of required intern presentations of case formulations and treatment planning, as well as formal and informal feedback from referral sources.
Feedback to interns about their progress in achieving competence in professional skills is accomplished through several means. First, each supervisor provides interns with verbal feedback about performance during the course of assessment/consultation rotations or therapy cases. Second, all supervisors complete detailed, written, scaled evaluations of the competence of each intern supervised during the quarter. Third, faculty members review and discuss the progress of each intern, on a quarterly basis, and make individualized recommendations for training experiences for the following quarter. These progress reports and recommendations are reviewed by the Internship Director. Fourth, the Internship Director meets individually with each intern to review the formal feedback from the faculty evaluations, to assist the intern in conducting a self-assessment of progress, and to integrate the evaluative information into the training plan for the remainder of the internship year.
We expect that interns generally begin the training year with the need to develop competence in several levels of knowledge and skills (i.e., that they require a relatively high degree of faculty input into the planning and provision of clinical services). As the training year progresses, we expect that intern progress will be such that their levels of knowledge and skills will demonstrate increasing competence so that at the conclusion of the internship year, each intern is competent to practice psychology as an entry level professional.
Competence in the understanding and application of ethical principles is particularly stressed throughout the internship year. Interns are exposed early and often to the wide array of ethical issues that arise in clinical practice. Discussion of ethical issues is an important feature of didactic training and individual and group supervision. In didactic meetings, interns are required to demonstrate an ability to apply the APA Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct in a clinical context. Application of these principles is fostered through group discussions (during the intern didactic seminar series) of the possible courses of actions to be taken in specific case scenarios. Knowledge and sensitivity to issues of individual and cultural diversity in psychological practice is ensured through a variety of means. Interns are prompted by the faculty to discuss these issues as they relate psychological assessment and treatment in individual and group supervision. A series of didactic and experiential presentations is devoted specifically to key issues of cultural and individual diversity, our Education and Advocacy Colloquium Series.