Training Experiences | Psychology Doctoral Internship Program | Health Care Professionals | Dartmouth-Hitchcock
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Training Experiences

The program offers a one year, full-time training experience. Interns are expected to engage in 750 hours of direct service during the internship year. This translates into approximately 15 or 16 hours of direct service delivery per week. This expectation is the result of the program's goal of providing sufficient exposure and experience to meet the program's competency expectations while also allowing adequate time for supervision, seminars, record keeping, and literature reviews within a 45 to 50 hour week. While interns are expected to contribute to patient care, the intern's service provision is secondary to the training received by the intern.

Supervision

When interns begin the training year with the Psychology Internship Program, each intern is assigned an administrative supervisor who is responsible for integrating the intern into the program and refining the intern's schedule so that training goals and objectives can be met. The administrative supervisor is located at the intern's primary training site and is a constant throughout the year. Administrative supervisors are responsible for the on-going evaluation of the match between the intern's training goals and objectives and their responsibilities within the program. The program also designates up to four clinical supervisors for the supervision of the psychotherapy and testing activities. All clinical supervisors are licensed psychologists.

Interns attend approximately four hours of individual supervision per week. Intensive supervision is a strength of the internship experience at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Supervision is intended to expose interns to a variety of clinical approaches and help the interns to develop and understand a particular treatment philosophy and style of their own. While the program espouses no single right way to be a psychologist, it does demand that all trainees become thoughtful and knowledgeable about the evolution of their own professional identity and that interns are able to fully conceptualize their own clinical decisions. Supervision offers opportunities for socialization into the profession of psychology and may utilize a wide variety of teaching techniques such as process notes, review of written work, discussion, live or recorded observation, co-therapy, didactic exposure, and mentoring.

Supervisors are highly accessible to the interns and seek to provide the interns with sufficient training, mentoring, and encouragement to allow them to successfully complete the internship. Supervisors help interns to utilize empirical findings and relevant theoretical models as the bases for their thinking about clinical issues.

Didactics

Seminar series provide another critical component of the program's efforts to expose interns to the core skills of the profession of psychology. These seminars are held on a weekly basis. The following seminars are offered:

  • The Research Lecture Series is held at the beginning of the training year in July and August and involves senior faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry presenting to the first year psychiatry residents and doctoral psychology interns on research projects going on in the Department.
  • Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds is held each Tuesday from September to May. Grand Rounds consists of a formal presentation by a visiting speaker or faculty member on a wide variety of topics in the field.
  • The Clinical Practice Didactic is held weekly on Tuesdays. This seminar provides in-depth information about a variety of topics and techniques, including methods of assessment and intervention, relevant to professional clinical application of psychological science. Topics are presented during individual didactic presentations in a seminar style by faculty from the Department of Psychiatry and other clinical departments as available.
  • The Professional Issues Seminar is held monthly on Fridays. This seminar involves faculty presentations on topics in ethics; risk assessment; cultural diversity; psychological testing; evidence-based practice standards; working with specific disorders; and the conduct of clinical supervision, among other topics.
  • Additional didactic/observational experiences are available. All interns are invited to attend the psychiatry resident journal club. Adult interns attend a monthly psychotherapy case conference and psychology journal club as well as a weekly Hanover Psychiatry team meeting. Neuropsychology interns have the opportunity to observe Wada administrations. They also attend the Epilepsy Case Conference on Fridays from 3:00 to 4:30 pm in the Radiology conference room at DHMC, and the Neurology Grand Rounds held on Fridays. See more Grand Rounds offerings.

In addition to the educational benefits of the seminars, the seminar series helps to create cohesion in the intern class, and it serves to consolidate the interns' identities as psychologists.

Program Goals

The Department of Psychiatry's Psychology Internship Program seeks to provide high quality clinical training and research exposure to doctoral level psychologists. The Program, consistent with the scientist-practitioner model, is designed to help early-career professionals develop solid skills in both clinical practice and research. The internship experience at Dartmouth-Hitchcock is primarily geared toward enhancing interns' clinical knowledge and skill, but, throughout the year, the internship program exposes its trainees to the conduct and use of research in the field and emphasizes the importance of research in clinical decision making. The Department of Psychiatry is a research rich environment in which interns are able to work with professionals with international reputations in research areas such as neuroscience, post-traumatic stress disorder, and serious and persistent mental illness. Research opportunities are available for interns wishing to gain additional supervised research experience.

The Psychology Internship Program is designed to involve interns in a specified range of core professional experiences. We strive to equip all of our doctoral psychology interns with basic knowledge and skills in treatment models and interventions, assessment, sensitivity to and understanding of cultural differences, ethics and professional conduct, and research skills. Interns are expected to be able to draw from the research literature to support their clinical actions, and they are expected to see ways in which service delivery issues may identify empirical questions that may be used for subsequent research ventures.

An additional goal of the Internship Program is to provide focused training in a domain or "track" which the intern specifies as his/her future area of professional specialization. At this time, the program provides focused training in Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on treatment and assessment of Adults. Thus, there are positions available in the Neuropsychology Track and Adult Track for the 2017-2018 training year.

Intern Evaluation Process

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Psychology Internship Program provides nearly continuous evaluation and feedback to the interns. Specific competencies in treatment interventions, assessment, sensitivity and understanding of cultural differences, ethics and professional conduct, and how science and practice interrelate are assessed through on-going weekly supervision and seminar participation. Intern performance is formally assessed every four months in October, February, and June. Strengths and weaknesses in intern performance are identified and any remedial plans are developed to address areas needing improvement. Interns are expected to participate in evaluations of the program by completing seminar, supervisor, and program evaluations.

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