Clinical Adult Track

The Adult track provides in-depth exposure to the many functions that constitute the role of the clinical psychologist. It includes intensive experience in individual and group psychotherapy with inpatients and outpatients, diagnostic evaluation, assessment, and consultation with adults and children, ward administration, training in clinical supervision, participation in conferences and seminars, and opportunities for individual and collaborative research. In addition, the intern’s clinical knowledge is broadened by continuous informal interaction with psychologists, psychiatrists, and members of other behavioral and biological disciplines.

The program stresses intensive supervision and a constant flow of communication between staff and student. The intern participates on an equal professional basis with the psychiatric resident in both treatment and evaluation of patients.

The teaching focus is on developing psychological skills through an integration of the most validated aspects of traditional and cutting edge approaches to individual psychotherapy, group therapy, and assessment.

The diverse interests of the faculty provide the student with an opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in a variety of areas, such as:

    • Brief and long-term therapy
    • Cognitive behavioral treatments
    • Dialectical behavior therapy
    • Family therapy
    • Health psychology
    • Psychodynamic therapies
    • Systems-centered therapy
    • Sex therapy
    • Psychoanalytic Theory
    • Eating Disorders Treatment

The Upstate Medical University affords an opportunity for creatively relating the sophisticated methodology of psychology to an abundant supply of rich clinical material. In sum, the program offers the student a chance to become familiar with, question, and learn from the multitude of experiences that make up the professional work of the clinical psychologist.

Activities

The Adult track comprises two areas of activity - the Core Program and the Clinical Rotational Experience. The Core Program consists of all the activities that are part of each intern’s responsibilities during the entire year.

Core Clinical Activities:

  • The Adult Track intern carries a year-long outpatient caseload resulting in 8 - 10 outpatient clinical hours per week. These patients are drawn from the Adult Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic, the Student Counseling Service, and the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic (if an Adult Track intern chooses). In addition to individual treatment, services include work with couples, families, and groups. These clinical hours are supervised weekly in individual supervision, with the aid of webcam videos or audio recordings, for one hour each by 3 faculty members per intern.

  • Each intern performs psychological assessments and consultations through the Psychological Assessment and Consultation Service on a rotating basis throughout the year, typically completing about 8 consultations and evaluations (3-5 of each) during the internship year. Interns are closely supervised on each assessment, with supervision provided by 2 different faculty members per intern over the course of the year. In addition, interns take part in the Adult Assessment Team, during which they discuss and provide peer supervision and receive faculty supervision for ongoing assessment cases.

  • Each intern co-facilitates a DBT skills group in the Adult Psychiatry Clinic for a period of 6-months.  Interns document sessions and participate in the weekly DBT consultation/supervision group.

In addition to the Core Program each intern spends up to 20 hours per week in four, three-month rotations:

      • Inpatient Psychiatry (Unit 4B): Here interns provide individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, primary case management, and consultation services (to physicians and staff) for severely disturbed psychiatric patients.  Interns work as an integral part of the treatment team with professionals from various disciplines and collaborate directly with the unit psychologist about treatment issues.

      • Child Psychology: On this rotation interns participate in activities of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (see description of Child Track activities on the Clinical Child Track page) for a 3-month period.  Unlike Child Track interns, Adult Track interns may elect to, but are not required to carry an ongoing child/adolescent therapy case for this rotation.

      • Inpatient Health Psychology (Unit 2N): Here interns work as part of multidisciplinary teams on the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit. Services promote emotional and physical healing in patients suffering from trauma and diverse medical conditions. Training activities include individual therapy, basic neuropsychological screening, concussion evaluations, leading an education and processing group for families, observation of different aspects of rehab (e.g., OT, PT, CT), and research and presentation on a topic of interest in rehab psychology.

      • Elective:  This rotation gives interns the chance to develop a personalized rotation, in consultation with faculty and the Director of Internship Training. The rotation includes activities in direct service and/or research in specialty areas which build on areas of particular interest to the intern.  Areas of focus have included the Behavioral Health Program, Eating Disorder Services, Neuropsychology, Chronic Pain, Student Counseling, extended training in Clinical Supervision, Addictions, CBT group therapy for anxiety and depression, and research (dissertation and/or other independent or collaborative research projects). Electives often include time spent in two or three areas.

Adult Track Seminars

Interns on the Adult Track also participate in seminars throughout the year, including seminars on DBT, Eating Disorders, and Systems Centered Therapy.  Adult Track interns, as members of the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic Staff, also participate in a monthly morbidity and mortality meeting for the outpatient clinic and a monthly clinic meeting to discuss administrative issues related to clinical work.