Core Didactic Experiences

Rutgers UBHC and the Rutgers University Biomedical and Health Sciences Department of Psychiatry are active training centers with trainees from several disciplines. In addition to psychology interns, there are general and child psychiatry residents and fellows, medical students, and social work students. Many other disciplines contribute to the training program, including psychiatrists, social workers, and nurses.

The required core seminars for interns are: Orientation to Rutgers University of Health Sciences and Rutgers UBHC, Introduction to the Newark Community; Basic Skills Overview; Assessment Seminar; Evidence-Based Treatments/Integrated Therapies; Diversity Seminar; Group Supervision. The didactic program is described below.

Orientation to Rutgers University Biomedical and Health Sciences and Rutgers UBHC (Summer)

This program includes the formal Rutgers University of Biomedical Health Sciences and Rutgers UBHC orientations, as well as required web-based trainings (e.g., HIPAA, sexual harassment), training in our computer based documentation system Vista CPRS and Vista Mental Health Suite, training in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI), orientation to the internship, orientation to unit-specific procedures, and talks on offered elective orientations. Interns in all tracks participate, and students from other disciplines may be present for some of the classes.

Introduction to the Newark Community (Summer)

Interns participate in a discussion of the history of Newark (including a PBS documentary about the Newark Rebellion of 1967), and in two afternoons of visiting various neighborhoods and agencies servicing the community. There are also often visits to child protective services and to the courts to introduce interns to these systems.

Basic Skills Overview (summer and early fall)

Classes will include such topics as intake assessments, treatment planning, assessment of homicidality/suicidality, family systems, treatment planning and documentation, violence, and psychopharmacology. There is also an emphasis in trying to recruit speakers in areas in which interns have not had much previous training. Some classes are specifically for child or adult track interns; some classes are conducted in conjunction with psychiatry residents.

Testing Seminar (full year)

This seminar offers an overview of basic testing issues, ethics in testing, and review of basic instruments. There is emphasis on becoming competent in administration and scoring of a basic test battery, on integrating the data into a well-written report and on interpreting test results to other professionals and to clients and their families. Additional psychological testing opportunities are offered through elective rotations and concentrations.

Diversity Seminar (September-May)

This seminar is required for all interns and meets for 1.5 hours per week. The major focus is on issues of diversity/multiculturalism, which are addressed weekly throughout the year. Included in these discussions are: racism and its impact; issues in the treatment of Latino and African-American individuals and families; transference and countertransference issues; the role of spirituality; GLBT issues; gender issues; ability/disability issues, ageism; impact of socioeconomic class. The seminar includes didactics, movies, group activities, journaling, and reading assignments. Significantly, the class is led by a variety of non-supervisory staff, with interns functioning in a co-facilitation capacity. This structure serves to minimize the power differentials and promote safety when discussing sensitive material.

Evidence-Based Mental Health (September – May)

This seminar is required for all interns, 1st year child psychiatry fellows, and 3rd year psychiatry residents, and meets for 1 hour per week. The major focus is a review of evidence-based mental health, in terms of evidence-gathering methods, advantages, disadvantages, and special populations including diverse, inner-city populations, LGBT populations, and individuals with a range of DSM disorders. Trainees also rotate case presentations as part of this seminar, in applying evidence-based inquiry methods to thier own cases.

Group Supervision (full year)

This series rotates among several topics, and allows interns to consult with each other, as well as with faculty on the training committee. One week per month is devoted to resolving administrative issues, and providing support to interns in completing both internal and external goals. Another week is devoted to the presentation and discussion of difficult cases. A third week is devoted to reviewing ethical principles, and integrating ethical thinking in one’s practice. The final week covers other professional issues of interest to psychologists: career development, licensing issues, role of state psychological associations, private practice, varied roles of psychologists. Outside speakers from the NJ psychological community often participate, such as committee members of the NJ Psychological Association.

In addition, throughout the year a number of seminars are scheduled that cover a range of topics. For example, there have been classes devoted to infant mental health, gang violence, suicidality and suicide prevention programs, child welfare assessment, leadership development, and state legislative initiatives. These classes are taught by a team of faculty and staff psychologists, as well as some outside speakers. A number of electives include a didactic component, such as dialectical behavior therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, and substance abuse IOP.

Further Didactic Experiences

Psychology interns are also encouraged to attend Psychiatry Grand Rounds, as well as training seminars that are often given at UBHC. For example, in the past, several interns attended trainings on ”Undoing Racism” and suicidal ideation in terminal illnesses.

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