Training Philosophy

The National Psychology Training Consortium believes…

that the competent practice of psychology requires an integration of scientific and professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

NPTC’s internship training incorporates diverse psychological theories, approaches, and perspectives that are designed to prepare psychology interns for a broad range of professional roles and activities. The training program is also attuned to the continually expanding scope and evolving nature of the field and the likelihood that clinical psychologists will engage in multiple roles over the course of their professional careers.

NPTC is committed to providing a clinical training experience that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. The training is conducted in a facilitative and supportive manner that provides each psychology intern with the opportunities to experience the practice of psychology with rural and underserved patients and as members of multidisciplinary integrative primary care teams. Psychology interns are respected trainees who make valuable contributions that enhance the learning environment of the organization as a whole. Psychology interns are provided the opportunity to expand their understanding of theoretical principles and translate that knowledge into practice.

The goal of the supervisory relationship is to maximize the opportunity for the psychology interns to develop a constructive, collaborative working alliance that supports growth, learning, and quality care provision. Through collaborative modeling with supervisors, psychology interns are socialized into the profession and develop an appreciation for continuing professional development and lifelong learning.

The National Psychology Training Consortium seeks to train prospective psychologists to the discipline and practice of clinical psychology by employing an empirically-informed competency-based practitioner-scholar model. The three program aims include the following:

Aim 1: To provide broad and general training in psychology with emphasis on applied empirical knowledge within each setting.

Aim 2: To prepare psychology interns to competently address the needs of diverse populations, with emphasis on underserved.

Aim 3: To socialize psychology interns to utilize critical thinking, problem solving, and meaningful self-reflection to facilitate life-long professional development.

The program utilizes these aims to provide experiences in clinical learning environments that are responsive to the changing needs of diverse communities.

As psychological practice is inarguably based on science, the program firmly believes the competent, evidence-based practice of psychology requires an integration of both scientific and professional knowledge, skills and attitudes. Our training philosophy utilizes the local clinical scientist philosophy with an additional focus on acquisition of core competencies for behavioral health consultants in some settings. Specifically, this model not only emphasizes the importance of general training in psychology but also prioritizes the integration of science and practice via implementation of the practitioner-scholar as a “local clinical scientist.” As described by Trierweiler and Stricker (1992), this perspective emphasizes:

  • being a generalist of knowledge and method;
  • focusing on local realities in which data are gathered as they apply to a particular case but may be limited in the extent to which they generalize to other cases; and
  • developing an active inquiring mind as opposed to concentrating on technical expertise with scientific methods (p. 104).

Internship training is guided by consortium values that include:

  • Broad and general practice with the opportunities to move into new, emerging areas;
  • Multiples ways of knowing, sources of knowledge, and values;
  • Commitment to life-long learning;
  • Valuing of human diversity;
  • Self-awareness, open-mindedness, flexibility, personal integrity, and honesty;
  • Guidance by professional ethics and standards of conduct.

This generalist foundation is complimented by a focus on Robinson and Reiter’s (2015) suggested core competencies particularly relevant when working in primary care, which include:

  • Clinical Practice Skills
  • Practice Management Skills
  • Consultation Skills
  • Documentation Skills
  • Team Performance Skills
  • Administrative Skills

These values serve to compliment the profession-wide competencies of the Internship Program.

Profession-Wide Competency 1: Research

Behavioral Objectives
  • Demonstrates the substantially independent ability to critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentation, publications) at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Research Questions 1-3)
  • Critical Analysis

Profession-Wide Competency 2: Ethical and Legal Standards

Behavioral Objectives
  • Be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with each of the following:
    • the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct;
    • relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels; and
    • relevant professional standards and guidelines.
  • Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
  • Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Ethical and Legal Standards Questions 1-4)

Profession-Wide Competency 3: Individual and Cultural Diversity

Behavioral Objectives
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently apply their knowledge and approach in working effectively with the range of diverse individuals and groups encountered during internship.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Individual and Cultural Diversity Questions 1-4)

Profession-Wide Competency 4: Professional Values and Attitudes

Behavioral Objectives
  • Behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology; including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
  • Engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
  • Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  • Respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Professional Values and Attitudes Questions 1-4)
  • Quarterly Professionalism Review

Profession-Wide Competency 5: Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Behavioral Objectives
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals; including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
  • Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Communication and Internpersonal Skills Questions 1-3)
  • Critical Analysis

Profession-Wide Competency 6: Evidence-Based Assessment

Behavioral Objectives
  • Demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal, and cultural).
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.
  • Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
  • Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
  • Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Evidence Based Practice in Assessment Questions 1-5)
  • Critical Analysis

Profession-Wide Competency 7: Evidence-Based Intervention

Behavioral Objectives
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
  • Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
  • Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
  • Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking,
  • Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Evidence Based Practice in Intervention Questions 1-7)

Profession-Wide Competency 8: Evidence-Based Supervision

Behavioral Objectives
  • Apply knowledge of supervision models and practices in direct or simulated practice with psychology trainees, or other health professionals.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Evidence Based Practice in Supervision Questions 1-3)
  • Clinical Supervision Exercise

Profession-Wide Competency 9: Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

Behavioral Objectives
  • Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  • Apply this knowledge in direct or simulated consultation with individuals and their families, other health care professionals, interprofessional groups, or systems related to health and behavior.
Evaluation Methods
  • Psychology Intern Quarterly Evaluation (Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills Questions 1-3)

Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH)

A growing body of literature calls for the inclusion of broad-based mental health services in America’s healthcare system. Furthermore, there is recognition of the need and utility of an “integrative” approach to mental health and behavioral health into our “healthcare” system.

The primary care setting has been viewed as the preferred setting for the delivery of behavioral health care services. There are three principle goals of integrative care: 1) to produce healthier patients, 2) to create more efficient resource expenditures, and 3) to remove barriers to access.

One of the primary goals of NPTC is to provide Psychology Interns with the skills to practice in and even manage integrated primary care settings. All three of our NPTC regions offer varying experiences in integrated health care, and all designated sites within the Cascades Region implement the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model and offer this intense and focused training.

The PCBH care training model provides training to work in a medical office, hospital, ER, and medical care facility and interact with a multidisciplinary team while focusing on the behavioral needs of the patient. This training model requires a strong background in at least one of the following areas: primary care behavioral health, integrative primary health care, medical psychology, health psychology, rehabilitation psychology or pain management. Psychology Interns interact in a triage fashion with the medical staff providing valuable feedback and intervention on a behavioral level for the patient’s medical condition.

Information regarding the PCBH model can be found in the links below.

Robinson, P. J., & Reiter, J. T. (2015). Behavioral consultation and primary care: A guide to integrating services (2nd ed.). New York: Springer.

Trierweiler, S. J. & Stricker, G. (1992). Research and evaluation competency: Training the local clinical scientist. The Core Curriculum in Professional Psychology. Washington, DC: APA.