The internship in clinical psychology is a 12 month, full-time appointment in the Division of Psychology of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Kansas Medical Center. The internship is directed toward fulfilling the internship portion of the requirement of APA-accredited doctoral degrees in clinical and counseling psychology. The internship program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. There are four positions with similar core clinical and didactic experiences, with two positions designated as the Comprehensive Track and two positions designated as the Underserved Populations Track.
The internship provides the opportunity for the interns to develop competence in the practical application of the knowledge base of clinical psychology to clinical problems presenting in a broad variety of programs of this academic medical center. Our approach is intended to develop interns who will emerge from this experience in route to becoming clinical psychologists- independent professionals possessing the ability to assess and treat the clinical psychological aspects of patients with a wide range of common mental disorders. The successful intern will achieve the ability to utilize psychological principles to develop and carry out essential plans of clinical psychological treatment.
The internship operates out of the Division of Psychology, which is a component of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. It is supported by the Department, The University of Kansas Medical School, and The University of Kansas Hospital. Two of its four internship positions are supported by a grant from the Health Services and Resource Administration (HRSA). The Medical Center's basic functions include research, education, patient care, and community service.
The University of Kansas Medical Center is a campus of the University of Kansas. The Medical Center is located in Kansas City, Kansas, and includes schools of Medicine, Allied Health, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. It operates in conjunction with The University of Kansas Hospital, a large urban-based facility. Well over one hundred outpatient clinics and other patient care services operate through the Medical Center facilities. The Medical Center cares for a diverse patient population. Patients are individuals from many cultures, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and locales, including many medically underserved persons.
The Clinical Psychology Internship Program is planned and implemented within the Division of Psychology of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences by the Psychology Training Supervisors. The Director of Training is Edward E. Hunter, Ph.D., ABPP (Diplomat in Clinical Psychology). The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences sees approximately 5000 patients per year with wide ranging psychiatric diagnoses. In addition to outpatient clinics for adults and for children and adolescents, there are also an 18 bed adult psychiatry inpatient unit housed within the main campus of the Medical Center and an affiliated child and adolescent inpatient unit. In addition, the Department houses the Psychiatry and Psychology Consultation/Liaison programs. Psychologists affiliated with the Department and internship are also stationed throughout the Medical Center in various clinics and affiliated settings such as the NCI-designated Cancer Center, the Neurorehabilitation Program, and the Family Medicine integrated care clinic, to name a few. Faculty and trainees also see patients via the premier Kansas University Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth.
The Program philosophy begins with the understanding that the clinical psychological needs of patients can be determined by appropriate individualized assessment, based on the body of scientific knowledge in psychology, and on the basis of a positive, supportive clinician-patient relationship. Such a method takes into account the whole person with their unique characteristics and particular life circumstances. Empirical knowledge can also inform the clinician of appropriate approaches to use in developing and implementing a formulation and treatment plan for the identified clinical problems in the individual patient. The goal of intervention in all cases is to alleviate psychological and/or physical suffering or distress, and/or to alter problematic or unhealthy behavioral patterns which may contribute to distress or to disease. This understanding of the meaning of practicing clinical psychology is the basis for our approach to training the interns.
The Program values training the interns to implement, in a practical and flexible manner, specific assessment methods and interventions varied on empirically-supported knowledge as these fit the needs of the given patient. Furthermore, interns learn to work with specialized populations by faculty who emphasize such areas as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, substance dependence disorders, disorders of childhood and adolescence, neuropsychological dysfunction, neurorehabilitation, behavioral medicine, telemedicine and telehealth, psycho-oncology and primary care. Faculty strive to develop interns who are well-rounded professionals, emphasizing (1) relating to others in constructive, positive, and effective ways, (2) integrating all relevant data so as to evaluate and treat the whole individual in their unique circumstances, and (3) practicing according to the guidelines and ethical principle of The American Psychological Association.