PSYCH526-20I (HAM)

Clinical Internship: Assessment-Focused

30 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


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Paper Description

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Paper Numbers: PSYC526 is the assessment-oriented part of the internship, which is typically completed in the first half of the year, and concludes with the successful completion of the assessment-oriented oral exam. PSYC527 is the treatment-oriented part of the internship, which is typically completed in the second half of the year, and concludes with the successful completion of the treatment-oriented exam, and is the final requirement to complete the PGDip (Clin) Psych.

The ability to work with other psychologists and with professionals from other disciplines is an important expectation, but not something that is easily taught within an academic course. You will be expected to establish appropriate links with referring professionals (e.g., probation officers, GPs, and psychiatrists), to understand the workings of other relevant agencies (e.g., schools, family court), and to maintain any links with kaupapa Maori and iwi-based services that you developed in previous years. It is important that you understand the interface between clinical psychology and medicine: you will be responsible for learning about clients’ medications, medical diagnoses, and parallel medical treatments. By the end of this internship year, it is expected that you will be able to talk confidently, competently, and respectfully with other relevant professionals (and family/whanau) regarding your perspective on case or a problem, your role, and what professional contribution you can make to a client’s welfare.

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Paper Structure

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Location and time: Case Conference is held from 11:15 to 12:30 on Mondays in I 1.09. Clinical concepts seminars are held from 1:30 to 4:30 in K.B.12. At times additional special sessions will be notified, typically 10-12 a.m. on Mondays.

Clinical Concepts Seminar:

The intern clinical concepts seminar is intended to provide an opportunity for interns to integrate the basic theoretical and practical learning they have done over the last several years and apply it to clinical work. At times, this will mean reflecting on your current clinical experiences, and at other times it will mean applying your skills and knowledge to cases and vignettes from a specialist area presented by a guest speaker.

No one learns to be a clinician in a classroom. You learn to be a clinical psychologist by taking the concepts, ideas, and skills you have learned into the room with a person, and applying them to the particulars of the client’s life, in the context of a relationship. Then, you reflect on what happened, take it to supervision, think about what other information and skills you might need, try something else out, and repeat as needed. The classroom is one place you can gather information and reflect, but it is by nature generic, and the answers to your clinical questions will come from your thinking and reading, your supervisor, your colleagues.

By the time you are an intern, you have had the opportunity to learn a lot of facts, theories, and skills. Before starting the programme, you had papers on psychopathology, assessment, culture, and theories of psychotherapy. In the first year, you learned about professional issues, bicultural practice, and participated in case conference and clinical skills and interviewing workshops. You then had a chance to apply these skills in your second year practica, and in the second year seminar, revisited principles of assessment and intervention with core population groups—children and adolescents, adults, and correctional clients.

In the intern year, we will spend the first semester (526) focusing mainly on topics that are cut across clinical groups, such as using supervision, managing risk, and understanding the impact of trauma. In the second semester (527), we will have guest speakers bring their experience in applying clinical principles to special populations and issues. This year we are trying a more structured approach to try to incorporate more role playing and clinical case discussions. This is in response to student requests for a more applied, practical orientation. It does place more responsibility on you, the students, to prepare for the class by doing the background reading provided, and being ready to apply that as well as your previous knowledge about assessment, formulation, and treatment to the cases and vignettes of the day.

Case Conference: A related professional activity is the weekly Case Conference. This is held from 11:15 am – 12:30 pm on Mondays on campus in room I 1.09. Attendance is mandatory, as we consider your contribution to these sessions, both as presenter and as collegial audience, to be an important part of your professional development. This is also the main opportunity for all members of the clinical programme to meet and exchange ideas and support each others' progress. The Senior Tutor will provide details of the programme, and will coordinate the schedule of presenters. You will be expected to present one case presentation during the year. Presenters are responsible for preparing Powerpoint slides to structure their presentation, which should be organised in to suit the case and related the issues and concepts; more information about the format and tools for case presentation will come from the Senior Clinical Tutor. You are welcome to consult clinical staff members in the process of preparing your presentation.

All-programme sessions: Four times during the year, there will be special sessions to be attended by all students and staff, on topics of interest across the year groups. These sessions will be held on Mondays, 10-12 on the days indicated on the schedule, followed by a shared lunch with our guests. On those days, there will be no case conference.

Supervision: Regular supervision visits from the Senior Clinical Tutor are an important component of the 526/7 course. The main objective of this supervision is to consult with you and your supervisor on how your supervision is working, to discuss the development of your professional skills, and to ensure that you are meeting requirements expected for the final exam. By evaluating your work and by meeting with the internship supervisor it is possible to identify strengths and weaknesses and provide individualised goals for you to work on during your internship year. This supervision complements rather than supplants the direct supervision from the placement supervisor and serves as the liaison between the internship and the Clinical Diploma Programme. As a part of this oversight of your internship placement, and to encourage both students and supervisors to regularly review recorded clinical sessions, you are asked to provide regular records of how many clinical sessions you and your supervisor have reviewed. These records are submitted to the Senior Clinical Tutor.

The Senior Clinical Tutor will visit interns at their placement settings. The agenda for these visits will be negotiated with the intern before the visit. Case files of clients with whom you are working/have worked with should be available. Each visit should, if possible, include a meeting with the placement supervisor. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your internship and the training and supervision you are receiving, communicate these to the Senior Clinical Tutor as soon as possible; do not wait for the formal supervision visit to bring these up. Note that there is a formal procedure for dealing with conflicts, concerns, or complaints you may have about your placement or supervisors; a summary is in the Guide for Students. There is a training agreement with each internship site covered by a document called the Statement of Responsibilities. Please make sure that your internship supervisor has signed this. It is also important that you return your internship contract to the Senior ClinicalTutor by the date required.

Internship: The internship period is designed to allow clinical students to practise and develop their professional skills in a field setting under the supervision of experienced practitioners. During this period you should be exposed to diverse aspects of clinical practice (including working with clients and multidisciplinary teams, but also possibly including areas such as policy development, designing and implementing training packages, programme evaluation, clinical research, and so on). The goal is to move towards increasing independence as a professional clinical psychologist.

The period of the internship is late January to mid-December divided equally into two rotations (late January to early July, and early July to mid-December). During this period each intern is required to work in an approved setting for four days each week. The remaining day (Monday) is reserved for class work and independent study. The interns are directly and completely accountable to their placement supervisors. Any leave arrangement for days other than Mondays (including sick leave, attendance at university courses, seminars or workshops, conferences, etc) is to be negotiated between the intern and the placement supervisor. Please note that attendance at classes is mandatory, so any planned leave must be arranged around teaching schedules.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • integrate your psychological knowledge with the practical skills you are acquiring on your internship placement
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • expand your clinical professional skills to the point at which you can practice clinical psychology in a safe, competent, ethical, and culturally appropriate manner.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • discuss clinical problems from a cognitive-behavioural perspective
    The development of a critical faculty is considered important during this year; you should be able to provide a psychological rationale for your actions and to be able to operationalise and define the explanatory constructs you use. Although innovative and creative clinical interventions are encouraged, and you are encouraged to become familiar with other theories and treatment approaches, you will be expected to be very familiar with CBT protocols and concepts.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • discuss, problem-solve, and deliver empirically-guided services in assessment and treatment for the entire spectrum of client needs that are considered to be the domain of clinical psychology.
    At the same time it is suggested that you begin to develop one or more special areas of interest and competence in which you are particularly well informed and up to date.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The central assessment for this paper takes place during a final oral exam , assessing the student against criteria listed in the Clinical Guide, Appendix 8, "Competency Criteria for Training and Assessment". However, please remember that this exam process takes into account the other assessment components: your supervisor evaluation and consultation with your supervisor if there is a concern, your case studies, and your clinical log.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Class attendance
2. Internship reports
3. Examinations
  • Other: Oral Examination
4. Clinical log
5. Case studies
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Any articles assigned by lecturers are considered required readings and are examinable during the oral exams.
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Recommended Readings

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Various articles or books will be referred to or distributed throughout the year. You are encouraged to read these articles or books and incorporate this information into your clinical work.

In your readings, your literature compilation, and the literature summarised in your case studies, you should generally rely on leading research journals in clinical psychology rather than journals from other disciplines, although there are some topics where it will be important for you to read widely and use information from medical, psychiatric, social work, or nursing sources.

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Online Support

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Psychology Café: This is a Moodle space for all students and staff of the School of Psychology.
Use it to find out what is happening and what the School may provide for you. Think of it as our virtual notice board: it gives information about events, seminars, resources and study options. But unlike a notice board, it is interactive. It has links to university policies and regulations.

Graduate Virtual Common Room:
The Graduate Virtual Common Room has been designed to help you locate the resources you are likely to need as a graduate student, to find out what is happening in the School and to network with other graduate students.

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Paper 526/7 is taken in addition to four days a week internship. Students need to plan their time allocation carefully. It is expected that each week students will do reading related to class topics as well as their clinical internships experiences. Workloads for clinical students are considerable and will require good organisation and time-management skills. If you are finding yourself under time pressure, it is important that you discuss these with us as soon as possible and BEFORE you find yourself unable to complete requirements on time.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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526 is followed by 527; you must pass the exam for 526 before proceeding to 527. There are various versions of 526 and 527 to allow for part-time enrollment options. The most common, full time option is 526/7I.
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Prerequisite papers: PSYC523, PSYC524




Restricted papers: PSYC525, PSYC700

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