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The AU/MCG-CNVAMC Internship organizes practicum activities and supervision around three four-month rotations, each designed to expose Interns to a wide variety of patients with all types of diagnoses at varying levels of acuity and complexity, and to provide emphasis training in an area of interest to the Intern.

In 2019 Supervisionaddition, throughout the year one day of the week is set aside for emphasis track training, enabling a continuity of training experiences in the area of the Intern’s emphasis interest. There are two rotations required of all Interns: (1) The General Practice Rotation – located at Uptown VA, AU/MCG, and/or East Central Georgia Regional Hospital sites, and (2) the General Health Psychology Rotation – located at the Uptown VA, Downtown VA and/or MCG sites. The third rotation - Emphasis Track Rotations - is selected prior to entry into the internship program and entails one of the six emphasis track experiences available.  The weekly supervision hours vary by rotation/track but for the most part each intern will have 3-4 supervisors during each of the three rotations resulting in significant access to individual and group supervision throughout the practicum training experiences.  Individual and group supervision is primarily provided on a weekly scheduled basis, although there may be as-needed-case consultation/supervision that represents a smaller portion of the supervision hours reported above.  With the exception of limited supervision by Postdoctoral Fellows, the supervision is provided by doctoral-level licensed psychologists that have been credentialed by their respective service organizations (i.e., Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University-Summerville Campus, East Central Regional Hospital, and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center). Consistent with the policies of the Medical College of Georgia/Augusta University and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, supervisors must be on-site when interns are performing direct patient care activities.  Moreover, access to supervisors is facilitated by paging systems and/or phone in all the internship partner sites that insure that supervisors can be promptly contacted by interns to address their supervision needs.  Descriptions of the key supervisory roles are provided below:

  1. 1. Overall Supervisor - Due to the complexity of internship training and the diverse interests and educational needs of interns entering internship training, the AU/MCG-Charlie Norwood VAMC Internship provides an Overall Supervisor (OS) for each intern prior to the beginning of the internship. The OS is charged with the duty to develop an understanding of the unique educational needs and interests of the Intern and to develop and monitor a yearlong strategy to maximize the training experience available. Thus, for example, an intern might desire or require a special emphasis on psychological assessment. The OS would be responsible for helping the intern devise a sequence of trainings to meet this need that might begin with basic training in test administration and then move forward to more interpretive and integration training experiences. These special needs and sequence of training would be communicated with rotation supervisors to ensure that the necessary training experiences are provided in each rotation.  To facilitate a developmental process, at the beginning of the training year the Intern completes the Intern Self-Study and the Self-Assessment of Cultural Competency forms and discusses the results with the OS to determine specific areas of need for competency development.  The OS is responsible for insuring that each intern has adequate access to patient care activities that represent the key training requirements for the internship.  In particular, the OS is to facilitate efforts to provide each intern access to at least 1-2 patients 2019 Supervision-2throughout the year that needs “long-term” therapy in order to meet the requirements of the Psychotherapy Process Seminar. The OS plays a vital role throughout the year in addressing rotational schedules and within rotational experiences to insure that target areas of need and interest are adequately addressed. Rotational/track supervisors are to insure that 2 hours each day will be provided for documentation of clinical encounters and/or additional training and administrative/institutional responsibilities. To insure that the Intern is provided sufficient time for documentation/administrative/ institutional responsibilities, the rotation/track supervisors and the Intern collaboratively create a weekly schedule at the start of each rotation to be submitted to the respective Overall Supervisor for review. The OS is responsible for providing the following assessments of the Intern during the training year:
  2. The OS is responsible for completing the Intern Performance Milestones Tracking form at the midyear and end of year evaluations – providing a cumulative record of the completion of requirements and obtainment of required competencies.
  • At the completion of each rotation, the intern completes the Intern Performance Milestones Self-Evaluation form in order to assist in monitoring progress and self - identifying competency development needs.  This completed self-evaluation form is reviewed and discussed with the OS. 
  • Interns are required to complete one research-scholarly project in which there is a written product authored or co-authored by the interns. The Overall Supervisor is responsible for helping the intern develop with his/her/their research mentor a research-scholarly project and review the project plan and timetable. Progress and successful completion of the research-scholarly product will be judged by the responsible project supervisor, the Overall Supervisor, and the Internship Training Director.

When training issues/deficiencies are identified, the Internship Director of Internship Training will address these with the OS and the Core Committee so that effective educational interventions can be planned.  In this regard, the Internship policies under the heading of “Due Process: The identification and management of Intern problems/impairment” stipulate that the OS plays an important role in dealing with problems that may arise with the Intern’s behavior or performance.  Similarly, the OS plays an important role in responding to any Intern Grievance. The OS is required to serve as a member of the Core Committee and to participate in the midyear and end of year evaluations of all of the interns.  Finally, the OS insures that guidance is being provided in regard to career planning including strategies for identifying and applying for postdoctoral fellowships or professional positions in a timely fashion.

  1. Co-Directors of Internship Training and Core Committee.  To insure that interns are progressing in areas of program competencies and individualized educational interests/needs, the Co-Directors of Internship Training review all rotational and seminar evaluations, intern self-evaluations, and the Intern Performance Milestones Tracking form of all the interns in a timely manner. When training issues/deficiencies are identified, the Co-Directors of Internship Training will address these with the OS and the Core Committee so that effective educational interventions can be planned. At mid-year, each intern’s progress is reviewed with the Co-Directors of Internship Training and the Core Committee and specific educational goals for the remainder of the training year are devised. At the end of the year, each intern’s performance is reviewed with the Co-Directors of Internship Training and the Core Committee to insure that all required training experiences have been completed and all required competencies have been obtained.  The Co-Directors of Internship Training provide a summary letter of the intern’s progress to the respective Graduate School Training Director at the mid-year and end-of-year evaluations. 
  2. Practicum Experiences and Supervision. The Rotational/Track supervisors are responsible for establishing and communicating clear educational goals for the rotational/track experience, identifying and delegating appropriate clinical assessment/treatment cases for the Intern, supervising all clinical/professional activities on the rotation/track, maintaining on-site presence during all Intern clinical encounters, verifying the accuracy and timeliness of all clinical documentation, and providing routine verbal and written feedback regarding the Intern’s rotation/track performance. Interns are required to document all patient encounters in the appropriate electronic records that must be reviewed and signed by the appropriate supervisor. Typically, interns will have 2-4 rotational/track supervisors for all rotations and tracks.  At a minimum, as a component of the rotational/track training interns must receive 4 hours of supervision per week with a minimum of 2 hours of individual supervision (one-on-one) per week and 1.5 hours of group supervision per week (supervision with multiple interns and a supervisor).  It should be noted that additional group supervision is provided in the Psychotherapy Process Seminar. Supervision

In regard to rotation/case supervision, the AU/MCG-Charlie Norwood VAMC Internship emphasizes the following supervisory activities that facilitate a sequential and cumulative training experience that is graded in complexity:

  • Initial assessment of the Intern’s skills/competencies and training needs is essential and the data obtained should guide the supervisor in regard to the training experiences assigned.
  • For new areas of skill development, didactic instruction and reading materials need to be provided prior to patient-care training activities. There should be provision of a bibliography with continually updated research-oriented articles and articles specific to the cultural issues relevant for the clinical populations served. Instruction should include not only the teaching of specific techniques but also the general principles that underlie them.
  • In early stages of skill development, conjoint clinical/professional activities in which the Intern can observe the Supervisor in action should be emphasized. These observational experiences can then be followed by the Supervisor observing live or via video recording the Intern engaging in the targeted skill/competence. Effective skill/competence development in professional psychology is dependent upon practice in patient care activities. 
  • A feedback model of supervision should be provided as the Intern progresses in the early phases of skill/competence development. This model emphasizes: 1) A clear understanding of what constitutes a “correct” and “incorrect” conceptualization or treatment intervention, and 2) Immediate, unambiguous and consistent supervisory feedback regarding the specific relevant behaviors observed.  As the Intern progresses in the skill development this feedback model of supervision should also progress in regard to the level of supervisor-intern collaboration pertaining to what was observed and the relevant evaluations associated with the observed behaviors.
  • As much as possible, assignment of patient care experiences should begin with the less complex and less high acuity cases and move according to demonstrated competencies toward the more complex and higher acuity cases. Some services, however, may not have the patient care complexity/acuity range to enable such a progression.  Therefore, in such circumstances a weaning process is encouraged in which the Supervisor initially is highly visible and engaged in the clinical care and then gradually allows the Intern to take more significant roles in the patient care activity.
  • To enhance transfer and maintenance of skills/competencies, the Supervisor should increase the variability or range of training experiences to which the Intern responds.
  • A reflection-driven model of supervision should increasingly be incorporated in the middle to latter phases of skill development. This model emphasizes: 1) The Supervisor encourages the Intern to engage in a reflective process in which the Intern pays deliberate attention to his/her/their experience, critically analyzes feelings and observations, and engages in more of a self-evaluative process, 2) The Supervisor actively teaches the Intern how to learning from his/her/their own experience, 3) Supervisory input and teaching is guided more and more by the Intern’s own inquiry and conceptualization of case material, and 4) Supervisory discussions should increasingly become more about collaborative reflections on skills and strategies, personhood issues, and conceptualizations. 
  • Within the legal limitations of practice of psychology, the Intern should increasingly become more and more independent in the clinical care training opportunities afforded as skills/competencies are successfully obtained.

It is required that the Rotational supervisor(s) and Intern have a relatively formal discussion of the Intern's progress six weeks after beginning the rotation. Each supervisor makes a report not less than every four months to the Internship Core Committee after discussion between the supervisor and supervisee concerning the evaluation of the Intern’s performance.  These evaluations are used to assess educational progress and further develop educational plans for the Intern.

SupervisionCase Supervisor
If special expertise is needed on a case, or if the Intern has a special interest in working with a specif faculty member, a Case Supervisor can be added at any time.  This includes supervision of a research project. The Case/Research Supervisor, though not responsible for most of the Rotational or Track experiences, would be responsible for the appropriate supervision of the case or research project and must provide feedback in verbal and written form to the Intern and to the Training Director and Core Committee each 4-month block.

Mentor
After the Intern gets to know the faculty, we encourage, but do not require, the Intern to seek a personal mentor relationship with a faculty person. In the past, the faculty mentor has acted as a friend, informal counselor, ombudsperson, role model, and case supervisor. Please recognize that our internship is in the process of changing the way more formal mentorship is determined and provided.  New details will be communicated via this site as they become available.