Training and Rotations

Program Overview

UT Tyler School of Medicine’s Psychology Internship Program provides training in human development, psychopathology, assessment, psychotherapy, and ethics and provides interns with the necessary skills to practice as competent and ethical entry-level professional psychologists.

We are the only academic health science center in Northeast Texas and sponsors eleven graduate medical education training programs and eight internships/fellowships in disciplines such as family medicine, internal medicine, occupational medicine, and psychiatry and behavioral medicine. We provide a rich training experience through opportunities to work with highly experienced psychologists in serving a wide variety of patients, including historically underserved, underfunded, and rural persons, across a number of treatment settings within the organization.

The school includes an emergency department, an inpatient medical unit and various outpatient clinics including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Center for Healthy Aging, Oncology, and cardiopulmonary clinics and four inpatient psychiatric units. Northeast Texas is a rural state region characterized by 1) low income and below-state-average education level, 2) older average age, 3) high rates of chronic illness, 4) high rates of mental health problems, and 5) underutilization/limited access to mental health resources.

Program Structure and Training Model

Our program offers six one-year, full-time internship positions beginning and ending in late June of each year.  This is a 2,000 hour program. The program provides comprehensive clinical and didactic experiences to support future professional practice.

Program training is based in the Practitioner-Scholar model, training doctoral psychology interns to become effective consumers of research who utilize scholarly inquiry to inform their practice.

Training

We train interns in health service psychology and integrated behavioral healthcare. Housed within an academic medical center, the Psychology Internship Program strives to blend psychology into the medical culture, providing psychological care that addresses the whole person. The generalist nature of the program provides interns with breadth and depth of training through a variety of clinic experiences.

Training emphasizes intern participation in longitudinal experiences in an interdisciplinary environment. All interns will complete the following rotations:

  • Integrated Behavioral Healthcare
    The Integrated Behavioral Healthcare experience consists of working in various settings within the hospital on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. The Family Medicine Clinic is the center of this experience, where interns work closely with medical residents. Interns see patients as needed in the clinic based on referral and provide consultations as well as brief behavioral health intervention. Interns provide “warm-handoffs” throughout the hospital and attached clinics. Warm handoffs serve an important integrated consultation/liaison experience offered to family medicine, emergency department, inpatient medical setting, oncology, pulmonology, physical and occupational therapy, and internal medicine.
  • Inpatient Psychology
    The Inpatient Psychology Experience utilizes a collaborative and interprofessional approach in the four on-campus psychiatric units at UT Health North Campus at Tyler. Primary modalities utilized for individual and group psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral, acceptance and commitment, Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training, motivation-enhancement techniques, safety planning, and psychoeducational materials. Opportunities in group psychotherapy across units include DBT Skills Training, Seeking Safety, Illness Management and Recovery, ACT for Psychosis Recovery, Social Skills Training for SMI and relaxation skills training. Interns will also engage in interdisciplinary collaboration through consultation with physicians and nursing staff and provide education and training to medical residents and nursing staff.
  • Psychotherapy
    Interns will carry a caseload of individual psychotherapy patients throughout the training year. Psychotherapy is provided to children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Interns are encouraged to work with a range of ages, presenting concerns, and cultural backgrounds in order to broaden their psychological intervention skills.
  • Psychological Assessment
    All interns will participate in psychological assessment during the training year. Opportunities include pre-surgical evaluations for bariatric assessments, psychodiagnostic assessments for adults, and assessment with children and adolescents. Typical child and adolescent assessment referrals include ADHD, specific learning disabilities, developmental delays, autism identification, and psychodiagnostics. Interns interested in neuropsychological testing may elect a six-month, one day per week rotation at Terrell State Hospital.
  • Supervised Supervision
    Interns will supervise master’s level practicum students from The University of Texas at Tyler. Patient interactions take place as part of a course for master’s students which is taught by UT Tyler faculty and/or UT Tyler Health Science Center faculty. Interns may elect to supervise for one or two semesters.
  • Quality Improvement
    All interns will participate in quality improvement throughout their internship year although the extent of involvement may be decided by each individual. Opportunities range from joining a pre-existing quality improvement project to designing a cohort project to running an individual project. Dedicated research time is provided once per month with additional time added as needed.

Areas of Emphasis

In lieu of elective rotations, interns spend approximately two days per week receiving in-depth training in their chosen area such as integrated behavioral healthcare, child and adolescent psychology, inpatient/severe mental illness, or psychotherapy. Each intern is allowed to select an area of emphasis of their choosing and works closely with program leadership prior to the start of internship to develop their training schedule. Sample schedules based on areas of emphasis are pictured below:

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
IBH Emphasis AM UT Psychiatry Integrated Behavioral Health 8:30-10:30 UT Tyler Supervision Integrated Behavioral Health Psychotherapy
PM Didactics Health Psychology Assessment
Child & Adolescent Emphasis AM Assessment / Psychotherapy Assessment / Psychotherapy 8:30-10:30 UT Tyler Supervision UT Psychiatry or Integrated Behavioral Health
PM Psychotherapy Psychotherapy Didactics Terrell State Hospital
Psychotherapy Emphasis AM Psychotherapy Psychotherapy 8:30-10:30 UT Tyler Supervision Integrated Behavioral Health UT Psychiatry
PM Didactics
Inpatient/SMI Emphasis AM Psychotherapy UT Psychiatry or 8:30-10:30 UT Tyler Supervision UT Psychiatry or Integrated Behavioral Health
PM Terrell State Hospital Didactics Terrell State Hospital

 

Supervision & Didactics

Interns will receive a minimum of two hours of individual supervision with a full-time faculty member (all licensed psychologists). Additional supervision is available with part-time faculty as well. Interns will also attend two hours of group supervision per week. Group supervision topics are offered on a monthly basis and include inpatient psychology consultation, integrated behavioral health consultation, case presentations, book club, diversity journal club, wellness activities, peer consultation, professional development, and protected research time.

A minimum of two hours of didactic training takes place on Wednesday afternoons. Psychology didactics seminars focus on a range of topics. Some of these topics include:

  • Risk Assessment and Suicidality
  • Ethics for the Early-Career Professional and Texas Laws
  • Multicultural Diversity and Professional Competence
  • Rural Mental Health
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • End of Life Care
  • Family Systems and Couples Therapy
  • Special Research Topics

 

Interns are encouraged to attend hospital Grand Rounds, pediatric Grand Rounds, psychiatry Grand Rounds, and other continuing education offerings throughout the institution. Additionally, the UT Tyler Health Science Center funds interns to attend the Texas Substance Use Symposium in the spring of the internship year.