SEMINARS AND DIDACTIC TRAININGSeminar Training

All Interns attend three year-long seminars:

  • Psychotherapy Process Seminar
  • Diagnostic-Treatment Seminar
  • Professional Issues Seminar. 

Additionally,  interns  must successfully complete a Diagnostic Intake Assessment and a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Session. Finally, the AU/MCG Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior's Grand Rounds series, which features speakers of regional and national prominence, as well as workshops pertaining to recovery-oriented mental health care, evidence-based assessment and treatment strategies, and cultural/diversity competence, are available for interns when their schedules allow for attendance. 

Diagnostic/Treatment Seminar. The Diagnostic/Treatment Seminar is a 1.5-hour seminar that meets weekly for eleven months of the year and includes application of a “Problem-Based Learning” (PBL) model.  The PBL approach to learning employs a clinical case/problem as the vehicle of learning and demands scientific thinking.  A case is presented in a progressive and stepwise manner, and the Interns are guided to engage in self-directed learning around salient issues of clinical practice.  Distinct teaching modules, e.g., depression, anxiety disorder, etc. with their associated clinical cases are identified. Facilitation of case exploration and pertinent clinical issues is provided by the course directors and by a module “expert.” Module experts are generally postdoctoral fellows and faculty members.

Seminar instructors guide the progress of skill development in the seminar across the course of a year using the following strategies:

  • Objective personality assessment
  • Diagnostic Intake Assessment
  • The AADPRT Diagnostic Intake Assessment Form CSV.3 is used to rate the assessment performance along with the Diagnostic Intake Assessment

After introduction of the Problem Based Learning training model, the initial phases of the PBL conceptualization trainings places emphasis on learning how to effectively organize data and learning the basic principles of clinical conceptualization

Psychotherapy Process Seminar. The Psychotherapy Process Seminar provides a laboratory to develop skills of empiricism and reflection in the nonparticipant mode of peer supervision and in the participant mode of a live therapy session presentation.  The Interns have the opportunity to observe each other and the faculty facilitators conduct therapy sessions, followed by peer and faculty supervision.  In the beginning of the year, interns observe the Seminar Facilitators (2 faculty members) engaging in therapy to model what is expected of the interns. This initial process is designed to reduce performance anxiety among the interns Then interns are assigned the duty of presenting and discussing their own cases.  This seminar focuses upon the progression of therapy skills, identity as a therapist and eventual supervisor, and supervision skills.  Typically, at the end of the year interns present their most complex and difficult cases,

Didactics for the seminar focus upon: 

  • Common factors in psychotherapy,
  • Supervision,
  • Termination

Feedback from the interns each year consistently suggests that they find this seminar to be a very valuable experience with respect to their growth as clinicians. Each Intern presents a psychotherapy case live at three different times over the course of the year. 

The Seminar also facilitates a 9-10-week course (one and a half hours per week) that reviews Cognitive Behavior Therapy and introduces ACT, and includes joint psychology internship and psychiatry residency training activities. The CBT and ACT training consists of didactic materials, lectures, treatment skill exercises, and live supervision of therapy cases

Professional Issues Seminar. 

 The Professional Issues Seminar is a 2-hour seminar that meets bimonthly for the year and is intended as a complementary endeavor to be devoted to the task of the professional development of the Intern.  The seminar primarily focuses on the non-therapy aspects of being a psychologist.  This seminar meets every other week to ensure that the following issues are adequately addressed during the year:

  • Professional roles in medical settings including principles of consultation/liaison work, effective communication strategies, and proper documentation;
  • The integration of legal, ethical, and organizational issues pertaining to successful clinical practice;
  • Rural/Underserved populations;
  • Appropriate responses to acute/crisis symptoms;
  • Preparation for postdoctoral/first job search;
  • Licensure/Career planning;
  • Cultural Competence issues - race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, spiritual/religious world views;
  • Special topics pertaining to treatment of military veterans;
  • Program Evaluation – theories and methods;
  • Psychopharmacology;
  • Self-care to manage the stresses inherent in clinical work over the long term;
  • Advocacy.