Conemaugh Psychology Internship Curriculum

Conemaugh Health System's Psychology Internship Program is designed to prepare students for the practice of professional psychology consistent with the philosophy embodied in the practitioner-scholar model of training. The overarching goals for the internship are to assess, refine and extend knowledge, skills and attitudes in the following areas of professional psychology, such that the intern will have developed a proficient to advanced level of competence in the following areas: 

  • Competence in Relationship and Individual and Cultural Diversity 
  • Competence in Psychological Assessment
  • Competence in Therapeutic Intervention 
  • Competence in Consultation and Interdisciplinary Health Care
  • Application of Scientific Knowledge and Supervision to Clinical Work 
  • Competence in Professional Conduct, Ethics, and Legal Matters 
  • Competence in the area of Behavioral Medicine Technique and Application

Our faculty aim to train future professional clinical psychologists to meet the individual and collective mental health needs of all persons, with attention to diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, religion, age, and abilities using comprehensive, empirically-supported cognitive and behavioral interventions, in collaboration with primary care physicians and other health professionals in an effort to provide holistic interdisciplinary health care services. We seek to train culturally competent clinical psychologists who will be leaders, advocates, clinicians, educators, and supervisors, with a commitment to scholarship and the application of research methodologies to answer clinical questions in their daily practices and communities. 


Developmental and Sequential Learning

The internship training program at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center is developmentally planned and sequentially organized. Interns begin the year with orientation which is aimed at helping them to transition into the Department of Psychology in the Family Medicine practice at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and the Department of Behavioral Medicine, to become part of the professional staff and to begin assuming the role of Intern. The internship program operates under the assumption that most interns will have had relatively little experience in the provision of services within a medical system and/or primary care setting. Consequently, the training program begins with an orientation to the scope of psychologist-physician collaboration, the culture of the psychiatric consultative liaison, and issues related to serving culturally-diverse populations, and policies and procedures related to the referral, triage and case assignment process. 


Modalities

  • Orientation: general introduction to all areas of functioning included in the internship and provide background conceptual and/or didactic frameworks. 
  • Didactic seminar sessions: provide more in depth explorations of various topics or encourage interns to contemplate their experiences thus far in the area in order to integrate their didactic and/or scientific knowledge with their provision of the service. 
  • Participation in case conferences: includes a discussion of multicultural and ethical considerations. 
  • Observation of supervisors and seasoned professionals: performing clinical services providing the opportunity to become familiar with the competencies required to provide the service and the procedures utilized by the agency in performing the service. 
  • Providing the service: in conjunction with a staff or clinical supervisor, being observed by a supervisor, or with consultation from a staff or supervisor. 
  • Develop competency: participate in training activities including discussions and review of video recordings of their sessions in supervision; discussions and case presentations in didactic seminars; and interaction and discussion with other interns. 
  • Evaluation and formative feedback from supervisors and training committee to interns to encourage their development, identify areas needing extra attention and provide remediation, as necessary.

Clinical Rotations

  • Family Medicine: brief, integrative treatment utilizing a primary care psychology model and consultation-liaison services
  • Behavioral Medicine: inpatient adult and child psychology services
  • Conemaugh Counseling Associates: psychological assessment and psychotherapy
  • Diabetes Institute: chronic illness management utilizing behavioral change and motivational interviewing
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation: chronic disease management utilizing group therapy, behavioral medicine, and individual modalities
  • Trauma Services: acute inpatient assessment and interventions as well as interdisciplinary team consultations
  • Neuroscience and Chronic Pain: outpatient neuroscience specialty clinic populations and chronic pain interventions