The program at UT Health Science Center trains interns in health service psychology within an Integrated Behavioral Health (primary care behavioral health) model, emphasizing breadth and depth of training in intervention in an integrated care model. Exposure to severe and persistent mental illness is also part of this training program. Psychology interns learn how to blend psychology into the medical culture, providing psychological care that addresses the needs of, and is integrated into, medical care. Experiences include consultation, collaboration, assessment, and intervention within primary care settings. The Integrated Behavioral Health experience focuses on both short-term and long-term intervention and consultation in health, mental health areas and substance abuse, with opportunities for assessment of pain, pre-surgical readiness, child ADHD, memory screens and neuropsychological assessments and other concerns as needed.
Outpatient group therapies have included a focus on depression, smoking cessation and opioid/substance abuse disorders. Interns are invited to promote new groups as well. Further, interns have opportunities to provide group therapy to psychiatric inpatients on psychiatric units on our campus as well as at the local State hospitals.
The Child and Adolescent Psychology experience serves children and adolescents ages three thorugh 18. Diverse families and their children present with a variety of diagnoses and needs. The skills learned and practiced in this setting include differential diagnosis, identification and use of evidence-based treatments and/or their components following a targeted assessment. Engagement of families, providing feedback to families, and incorporating ongoing feedback from families are stressed.
The opioid/substance use disorders experience includes opportunities to provide psychoeducational, prevention and treatment services in outpatient behavioral health clinics and inpatient (acute and subacute) units. Experiences include conducting pain management therapy for patients being treated with opioid medications, conducting psychological evaluations for patients seeking long term treatment with opioid medications and providing substance use services such as psychosocial intakes, group and individual psychotherapy. Opportunities to provide telehealth services may be available.
One day a week is spent at the local state psychiatric hospital, where interns participate in treatment team meetings and provide psychotherapy and assessment for those with severe and persistent mental illness. Interns will have opportunities to participate in neuropsychological testing. Supervision of master’s level students at UT Tyler is an additional experience.
Training experiences include:
- Integrated Behavioral Health interventions (psychotherapy and consultation) throughout the hospital and in the Family Medicine Residency Clinic and the Internal Medicine Center for Healthy Aging Clinic
- Brief consultations (“warm handoffs”) throughout the health center, including inpatient medical floors, emergency room, and outpatient clinics
- Interventions with the palliative care team, in oncology, and other settings
- Testing referrals for memory screens and assessments, pre-surgical evaluations, ADHD, and pain evaluations
- Group therapy on acute and subacute psychiatry (in-house) units
- Psychotherapy and testing one day per week at the state hospital
- Psychotherapy and testing in on-site child and adolescent psychology
- Supervision of master’s level students in their practical experiences at UT Tyler
- Scholarly activity in quality improvement and other projects
Rotation Schedule Example
|Morning||Health Psych Testing||SUD||Family Practice Clinic||UT Psychiatry
|Afternoon||Health Psych Testing||SUD||Supervision Didactics
Child and Adolescent
|Palliative Care/ Oncology||Dr. Wherry Supervision
Child & Adolescent
|Terrell State Hospital|| Neuropsychology Rotation
Dr. Schmitt Supervision
|Substance Use Disorder Clinic||Supervision Didactics
|Terrell State Hospital||UT Tyler
Supervision & Didactics
- Individual supervision is provided by full-time faculty (all licensed psychologists), yielding a minimum of two hours per week
- Additional supervision is available with part-time faculty as well
- Group supervision involves psychology interns and faculty for two hours per week
- Two hours of didactics occur Wednesday afternoons. Psychology didactic seminars will focus on a range of topics. A sample of such topics includes:
- Risk Assessment and Suicidality
- Ethics for the Early-Career Professional and Texas Laws
- Multicultural Diversity and Professional Competence
- Rural Mental Health
- Motivational Interviewing
- Theories and Methods of Supervision
- Program Evaluation
- Assessment and Treatment of Mood Disorders
- Medical/Neurological Disorders Presenting as Psychiatric Illness
- Opioid/substance use disorders education, prevention and treatment
- Advocacy for the Profession/Advocacy for the Patient
UT Health Science Center also offers Grand Rounds didactics on Fridays. Medical student presentations occur twice a month in Family Medicine and serve as an invaluable instructional experience for psychology interns, not only in content area, but also in the process of medical case presentation.