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Interns are given opportunities to shape their internship experience through various rotations and additional clinical experiences both within and outside their primary site. Interns and supervisors work together at the beginning of the training year to develop a breadth of training opportunities commensurate with the intern's training goals and interests along with the specific needs of the program.
Each CACTC site has opportunities for interns to work in outpatient counseling centers to provide individual, family, groups and/or couples therapy to people from a diverse range of age groups (children, adolescents and adults), ethnic groups, and socioeconomic levels. Primary and secondary rotations are available in urban, suburban and rural communities in order to provide interns with a diverse range of therapeutic modalities, contexts, and client presenting problems. Most interns will do at least 4-6 hours of outpatient work at their secondary rotations and 15-20 hours for primary rotations (except LCHC interns who work primarily from a BHC model).
Interns working at LCHC will have the opportunity to develop their skills in working in primary health care settings as a behavioral health consultant to the physicians within the health center. Behavioral Health Consultation (BHC) is an innovative approach to adapting clinical psychology skills to a primary care setting (pediatric to geriatric). Interns will learn how to diagnose and screen for psychological disorders accurately and efficiently, design problem and strength-based behavior change plans, consult with medical providers and to assist providers in utilizing pharmacological treatment effectively.
Growth in assessment and psychodiagnostic skills is provided through administration, interpretation, and written synthesis of psychological test data. A variety of intellectual, achievement, personality, and competency-based instruments are available. Interns learn to write reports and make recommendations that convey meaningful information to clients and/or referral sources. While each site varies on the number and type of referrals, most interns will complete 2-10 batteries throughout the course of the year. LCHC interns will complete abbreviated batteries for the purpose of facilitating their clients’ primary care treatment.
Interns have opportunities to develop their clinical, assessment and consultation skills through working on a multidisciplinary treatment team on residential units at LHA. These units provide care to up to 40 children and adolescents ages 5-15, many of whom are wards of the state due to caregiver abuse/neglect, and/or have been residentially placed due to severe emotional or behavior problems. Interns will provide weekly individual and group therapy (on issues of social skills, human sexuality, anger management, etc.) and team consultations with child care workers to develop unit treatment interventions. Interns will also gain experience working with the juvenile court system, foster care system. This opportunity is available for interns who are doing their primary rotation at Lydia Home Association. (Interns completing their secondary rotation at LHA work in the outpatient counseling center, not the residential program).
Specialized training in PCIT is a unique opportunity for intern training at LHA, CCCoC and LCHC. PCIT is an evidenced based practice designed to decrease parental stress and increase prosocial behaviors of difficult to manage preschool children. PCIT is a treatment paradigm that utilizes a therapist-coach model and works with parents and children together. Interns would be trained in the model and would then be given PCIT cases to be treated in either a family or group treatment format.
With the rapid changes occurring both within society and the discipline of psychology, it is essential for psychologists-in-training to develop programs to meet the needs of the clients and communities in which they serve. Given this, interns are given opportunities to learn skills in creating, implementing and/or evaluating programs in urban, suburban or rural contexts through at least one of the CACTC sites (especially at CCCoC and OCCC). This rotation/opportunity occurs weekly for 2-4 hours (or as needed) under the supervision of the on-site psychologist. Also, the OCCC primary intern would have the opportunity to collaborate with the CACTC Training Director on program development and evaluation of the CACTC training program in particular.
Opportunities are also available for developing and refining group therapy treatment skills (consistently available at CCCoC, OCCC and LHA). Interns serve as therapists for school, and outpatient groups, including both traditional and specialized groups. Some of the specialized groups focus on treatment of ADHD, and development of social skills/life skills with children/adolescents, women’s growth groups in a variety of contexts.
Developing skills in supervising other professionals or students in training is also a skill essential for psychology interns. Opportunities for informal and formal supervision of Master's or doctoral students is also available through some CACTC sites. Supervising psychologists provide supervision of the intern's formal and informal supervision and periodically supplement this training with relevant articles and/or other reading material to read and discuss in order to enhance this training experience. The length of this training experience is negotiable, depending on intern interest and opportunities available.
Interns will be given opportunities to learn administration and program development skills through working with the Training Director and/or their on-site supervisor on various program projects and/or task forces. Interns will learn skills in program development and will have opportunities to help shape the program during their internship year. For example, interns at some sites also have opportunities to work directly with their supervisor on grant writing projects and marketing their organization within the local community. OCCC interns learn administrative skills by working with their supervisor to oversee OCM’s Psychological Testing Program. In the past, OCCC and CCCoC interns have performed intake coordinator responsibilities for their site.
Elective training and supervision opportunities are provided to enable interns to develop skills in areas of individual interest. At the present time, training is available in such modalities as cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems therapy, biopsychosocial model and psychodynamic psychotherapy. Other opportunities to develop consultation skills can be arranged through a variety of affiliated programs with community and school agencies. These facilities include local public schools, local churches, and other treatment programs and ministries in urban, rural and suburban locations.
CACTC Training Seminar:
This seminar meets 3x/month (1st, 2nd and 4th Fridays) for 2 hours throughout the year, with the location rotating between the various CACTC sites. The goal of this seminar is to provide participants with greater exposure and experience, through both didactic and experiential modes of learning, to the clinical and assessment skills needed to work competently and ethically with a diverse range of persons. The seminar focuses on various specific topical areas such as multicultural issues, assessment, ethics, trauma, evidence based practice, faith integration issues, treatment modalities with children/adolescents and community psychology, in order to further prepare interns for work with underserved populations. Interns are also encouraged to develop a more systemic, community-based perspective in work with these groups. Invited outside speakers with specific expertise are also utilized in this Seminar (see sample Training Calendar).
Faith Praxis Seminar:
This seminar meets 6-8 times per year with a focus on going deeper with issues of Christian integration and social justice. The history of the integration movement and contemporary views/models will be discussed. Recent scholarship on a social justice/advocacy orientation and its application in practice setttings will also be explored. An emphasis on addressing ethical issues and honoring value differences which may arise will also be included in this monthly seminar.
Each site holds separate, weekly group supervision for 2 hours to focus on case presentations, peer supervision, and discussion of topics related to the treatment of the clients served at the site. This group is also provides informal opportunities to discuss the application of certain treatment modalities, issues of spirituality/faith in treatment, and ethical issues which may arise in work with clients. Interns and staff present cases and pose questions to the group for discussion and problem-solving. Over the course of the internship year, interns will make several client case presentations.
Intern Lunch Group:
This intern group meets three times a month over lunch, and on a periodic basis with the CACTC Director, to discuss any relevant topics related to their professional development, caseloads and/or progress in the internship program. These meetings may also periodically include a review of a current journal article for discussion. Not only does this group provide additional professional support for the interns, but it also helps them to develop supportive relationships with each other.
Other Training Opportunities:
Interns are also given opportunities to participate in other formal and informal training opportunities, lecture series, seminars and/or conferences offered through the CACTC sites, Wheaton College Graduate School and/or the community.
Interns receive a minimum of 2-3 hours per week of individual supervision with licensed psychologists within CACTC. Supervision encompasses all activities, including psychotherapy/behavioral health consultation, providing supervision (to MA or practicum students), psychological consultation, program development and testing. Interns participate in ongoing peer supervision activities with staff at their primary site, including opportunities for live supervision/shadowing at some sites and observation of colleagues in professional activities. The style of supervision may also vary depending on the setting. For example, interns at LCHC participate in more “in vivo”/shadowing supervision given the nature of their setting (ie- medical clinic).
Further feedback is provided through group supervision, treatment team meetings, and case presentations in staffings. Supervisors and interns are encouraged to enhance supervision through techniques such as co-therapy, direct observation, and video or audio tape recordings to be utilized during weekly supervision.
Verbal and written evaluations of intern performance are provided in December, April, and at the completion of the internship program. In preparing the evaluations, the supervising psychologists include their own observations/conclusions, as well as incorporating feedback from other supervising professionals. The CACTC Director will submit a copy of these evaluations to the intern's graduate programs.
Internship faculty represent psychologists, directors and faculty from a variety of facilities throughout the Chicagoloand locations and sites. For more information on the faculty, read faculty bios >