The internship is an important year in an intern’s professional development, which provides a “bridge” between his or her prior academic and clinical training and future professional practice. By taking a developmental approach to supervision, each intern’s individual growth is facilitated by building on his or her already existing strengths and competencies, and through identifying the areas he or she wants to develop during the internship year. CACTC also provides opportunities for each intern to expand his or her knowledge base, and repertoire of, effective clinical interventions with a diverse range of persons. Through supervision, mentoring and involvement in CACTC training activities, interns grow in their awareness of the multifaceted nature of persons, and the interface between the psychological, sociological, biological, and spiritual dimensions of life.
The CACTC internship program embodies a practitioner-scholar model of training (Vail Conference) in order to promote competencies congruent with the discipline of professional psychology and informed by the Christian faith. While this model of training is primarily geared towards preparing interns for applied practice, it is built on the assumption that well-researched and empirically supported treatments/evidenced based practice help to provide a strong, conceptual framework for this clinical practice to take place. In other words, the goal of this particular training model is to develop interns’ skills in effectively making use of, and contributing to, the scholarly professional literature as it applies to direct service provision.
This synthesis of science and practice is accomplished through building on the intern’s graduate education and emerging skills of effectively integrating and applying the evidence-based practice recommended in the field to provide the highest level of client care. This atmosphere of learning is cultivated through providing training presentations grounded in the professional literature, sharing relevant reading materials and encouraging interns to utilize resources available on-site, on the Internet, or through Wheaton’s library. In addition to required case presentations, interns are also required to provide a minimum of 1 formal presentation during the CACTC Seminar which demonstrates their ability to effectively synthesize the research literature on a particular evidence based practice of their choice.
At times, supervisors and interns may also work collaboratively on writing and/or research projects (based on program needs, etc). This serves a dual purpose of providing critical modeling of the importance of contributing to the scholarly literature/professional community while also helping to hone the intern’s skills in these areas. For example, interns may have opportunities to collaborate with on-site psychologists with research and program development; this may include workshop presentations, seminars, posters, and published abstracts for professional conferences (ex. APPIC, Illinois Psychological Association, Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, Christian Community Health Fellowship and Christian Community Development Association). Also, in recent years, an intern worked with supervisors to consult with Afghan native medical residents in Kabul. For this research project, both trainees participated in consultation through building relationships, needs assessment, targeting issues and populations, providing training, creating a feasible intervention system, and providing follow up consultation.
The primary method for learning is experiential, augmented by individual and group supervision, seminars, and in-service training. These modalities provide the supervisory guidance, mentoring, role modeling, and observation that is necessary to acquire clinical competencies. Live supervision is also utilized at some of the sites in order to further hone clinical skills in work with both individuals and families; shadowing may be done at LCHC for interns learning the BHC model.
Given the importance of self-reflection as an aspect of professional growth, CACTC requires some level of personal disclosure during the application process and holds that a reasonable level of self-disclosure is necessary to fully engage in and learn from the supervision process during the training year.