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Core Experience

Psychotherapy Supervision
Interns receive one-to-one supervision of their individual, group, family, child/adolescent, and couples therapy. Supervisors are drawn from all the mental health disciplines, and have staff positions in Cambridge Health Alliance, are on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School appointed through the Cambridge Health Alliance Department of Psychiatry, or both. Each intern usually receives three hours per week of individual supervision for their outpatient cases and one hour per week of supervision for psychological testing. Additional supervision is provided child and adolescent work, adult acute service work, and group, family and couples treatment, and these supplemental supervisions usually include two hours by the secondary site placement. The interns also meet in weekly supervision groups in groups of four.

Testing and Testing Supervision
In addition to psychotherapy, the program emphasizes the development of psychodiagnostic and clinical inference skills. Interns typically administer between three and six batteries per year, for which they ordinarily receive three hours of testing supervision per battery. The high ratio of supervision to testing time provides an opportunity to analyze the data in depth, and to understand the person's psychopathology and adaptive capacities.

The Director of Psychology Internship Training along with the Director of Psychology serve as program preceptors who advise and advocate for the intern within the total program. Interns also have a psychology preceptor at each site who oversees the work of the intern, and makes suggestions to help tailor the program around case assignments and seminars. Interns meet weekly with site preceptors who help coordinate the evaluation of interns at mid year, and at the end of the internship year. Interns also meet regularly with the Director of Psychology.

The following seminars are required for interns:

  • Summer Core Seminar
  • CBT Integration Seminar
  • Multicultural Seminar
  • Psychodynamic Research Clinic Formulation Seminar

Fall and Spring

  • Psychological Testing (emphasis on projectives, cognitive assessment, and integration - depending on track)
  • Child Psychotherapy Seminar (required of combined adult/child track interns)
  • Professional Development
  • Psychodynamic Theory

Interns also attend weekly clinical case conferences at their clinical sites. The Cambridge Health Alliance Department of Psychiatry also has an extensive offering of elective seminars and conferences which are available to the interns, with topics such as the treatment of severely disturbed persons from various theoretical orientations, behavioral medicine, trauma, couples and family therapy, treatment of narcissism, cross-cultural issues, and psychopharmacology. Attendance is required at the weekly academic Grand Rounds which draws speakers on current clinical, theoretical, and research issues. Continuing Education courses are offered throughout the year sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry alone, or jointly with the Harvard Medical School. These optional courses include nationally recognized speakers on topics such as Psychotherapy, Substance Abuse, Suicide, Women's and Men's Issues, Spirituality, Couples and Family Treatment, and Psychopharmacology. Interns attend these conferences at a scholarship rate as trainees of Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance. Interns also participate in the Expert Witness Training, a simulated courtroom experience with training offered jointly by the Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Law School.