Each Consortium agency adheres to the following training principles, as established by GSPIA’s Executive Board:
- Initial caseload assignments are consistent with the intern’s developmental level
- Intensive supervision of case activity is provided
- Each student is supported to administrator, score, and interpret myriad assessment instruments. (Initially, the intern’s administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing will occur under close supervision by either the primary supervisor or other assigned supervisors. Once a reasonable level of competency is established, the interns work more independently but continue to be supervised throughout the rotation)
- Interns act as co-consultants with a supervisor. As competence increases, interns consult alone
- Interns are provided time to participate in weekly didactic training and monthly seminars that include case conferences and presentations on clinical and professional issues. Additionally, each site provides regular in-service educational opportunities (available to all interns), and includes interns in administrative meetings, case conferences, and intake conferences. Meetings where interns share information among themselves or consult with other psychologists in the Consortium are held to offer additional forums for learning and professional development
- Interns receive at least 2 hours of individual supervision and 2 hours of group supervision per week
- Interns present journal articles after case presentations, and facilitate discussions that relate the significance of the article to practicing psychologists (Journal articles must be pre-approved by the intern’s supervisor and, have been published in a reputable journal within the last two-years.)
Although research is not a major emphasis of the GSPIA internship, interested interns are afforded the opportunity to engage in applied clinical research and program evaluation studies. Additionally, several Consortium sites have archival clinical data that can be used by interns to investigate clinical research questions.
Individual Clinical Supervision
Interns receive a minimum of two hours of regularly scheduled supervision from their supervisor(s) per week. All supervisors are licensed psychologists. The primary supervisor monitors the intern’s caseload, supports the development of clinical skills, promotes the intern’s professional growth, and evaluates intern’s progress through frequent and actionable feedback. At the beginning of the internship, the supervisor and intern work together to develop an Individual Learning Plan, which reflects an assessment of the intern’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the intern’s goals and objectives for the internship year.
The name of the primary supervisor will be recorded on the ILP. Copies of the ILP will be retained by the Agency and by the intern; the original ILP will be placed in the intern’s central file (maintained by GSPIA).
In general, the individual assigned as the intern’s primary supervisor remains consistent through the entirety of the program year. In the event that circumstances require a change in the primary supervisor, the intern and the new primary supervisor will review the intern’s ILP, make any corrections/additions (if warranted), and sign and date the updated copy. Updated copies of the ILP will be retained by the Agency and by the intern; the original will be placed in the intern’s GSPIA-maintained central file.
Group supervision is an integral component of the training program at GSPIA. Interns are expected to spend two hours per week in group supervision. Interns are afforded the opportunity to discuss their client caseload and dialogue about such issues as case conceptualization, transference/countertransference issues, appropriate boundaries, dual relationships, professional conduct, and legal and ethical considerations. Sharing audio and videotapes for the purpose of training and peer support is encouraged. Group supervision also assists students to develop skills associated with providing effective feedback.
GSPIA’s extensive Didactic Training Program is designed to reinforce applied training, facilitate skill development, support peer interaction and offer training in specific specialty areas. The content, coordination and scheduling is determined by the GSPIA Executive Board and is responsive to feedback from agency staff and interns.
GSPIA’s Didactic Training consists of:
Weekly Didactic Training
GSPIA interns from all member agencies attend weekly, three-hour didactic training workshops, held on the campus of Alliant International University. During these trainings, local speakers are recruited to share their knowledge and experiences. Topics of the weekly trainings can include psychopharmacology; cultural diversity; assessment and treatment of eating disorders; solution-focused therapy; techniques in art therapy; and forensic practice. Topics are chosen based upon their ability to broaden the intern’s exposure to therapeutic techniques and interventions. The weekly trainings also provide interns with opportunities to network with mental health professionals in the community.
Intern Case Presentation
As the program year progresses, interns are expected to present case presentations at the weekly didactic trainings. Each intern presents an assessment and/or clinical case for which he/she has been serving as the primary clinician in accordance with GSPIA’s presentation guidelines. The intern is expected to demonstrate a solid working knowledge of the case, and to discuss the rationale for interventions based upon sound psychological principles. Each intern is also required to present a current journal article or other scholarly piece in conjunction with the presentation to demonstrate the scientific basis for his/her approach to the treatment issues. The intern’s immediate supervisor is encouraged to attend the presentation and to provide additional information to and support for the intern. The sharing of adjunctive therapies, such as art therapy and bibliotherapy, are encouraged to expand intervention techniques and for peer learning.
In accordance with the practitioner-scholar model, GSPIA expects interns to be knowledgeable about the current research and latest developing trends in the field of psychology. Interns are expected to present journal articles at the end of their case presentations and to facilitate discussion on the significance of the articles to practicing psychologists. Additionally, they are expected to discuss the research methodology utilized, exploring both its strengths and weaknesses. A supervising psychologist will be available to help facilitate the discussion and serves as a resource. Journal articles must be preapproved by the intern’s supervisor and have been published in a reputable journal within the previous two years.
Monthly Seminar Series
GSPIA sponsors and provides a monthly seminar series. Most seminars are passed through a preliminary review committee at Alliant International University, and later forwarded to the California Psychological Association or American Psychological Association for consideration as Continuing Education Units for psychologists as well as other health professionals. Allowing professionals from other disciplines to attend these workshops promotes professional networking. The monthly seminar typically occurs on the third Friday of every month (with the exception of conflicts due to holiday scheduling). Examples of seminars that have been presented in the past include: Advances and Treatment of Personality Disorders; Hypnotherapy and Stress Reduction Techniques; Assessment and Treatment of At-Risk Children (0-5); and Child Abuse Forensic Evaluations. All interns are required to attend the monthly training.
Criteria for Successful Completion of Internship
- Successful completion of the GSPIA internship occurs when the intern:
- Completes a minimum 1,500 hour, full-time internship commitment;
- Receives satisfactory evaluations by primary supervisors;
- Obtains approval by the Training Director and the Consortium Director;
- Completes all internship assignments that are required by both the primary supervisor and the Training Director