Interns can expect to spend approximately 75 percent of their time within the outpatient program of Advocate Illinois Masonic Behavioral Health Services, which serves the entire age span including children, adolescents and adults. This experience is not rotational and the intern is involved in this clinic for the full 12 months, which allows for greater flexibility in regard to both clinical experience and supervision.
The greatest portion of the intern experience within the outpatient program involves carrying a basic therapy caseload, which includes comprehensive treatment planning and patient education. Several characteristics describe this experience:
The outpatient population is extremely varied with regard to both demographic and clinical variables. Interns work with the entire age spectrum, which is multi-ethnic in nature and encompasses a wide range of socioeconomic levels. The outpatient population also is extremely varied with regard to functioning level and presenting problem.
The program is exceptionally strong across the entire range of treatment modalities, and interns can expect to receive extensive supervised clinical experiences involving individual, couple, family and group therapy. Training includes work with time-limited models, long-term therapy and experience with managed care.
There is no dominant theoretical/conceptual orientation. Psychodynamic, behavioral, developmental, cognitive and system viewpoints are well-represented by staff and supervisory personnel. Each intern is assigned three different clinical supervisors at the beginning of the internship program who oversee the therapy caseload and work with the intern on an individual basis throughout the year. Senior staff members serve as co-therapists as well as supervisors for group therapy. The range of supervision assures that the intern is exposed to a variety of therapeutic points of view, assisted in integrating concepts and exposed to a variety of role models. Supervision also is available in Spanish, English and American Sign Language.
Diagnostic skills are developed through psychological testing, diagnostic interviews and hospital emergency room experience. Due to the changing climate within the behavioral health field, the program has begun to place an increased emphasis on the use of brief self-report/symptom checklist measures, but interns also will receive training in more traditional psychological testing, which includes projective measures. Diagnostic interviews include the assessment of individuals, couples and families.
Approximately 25 percent of the internship experience is to be selected from a variety of other activities available throughout Illinois Masonic. Interns may choose from one or more of the areas listed below and may be involved in any of these experiences for the entire year or for a shorter period of time. The amount of time devoted to any activity is negotiated early in the program year.
Adolescent Intensive Outpatient program
This clinical program allows interns to work with lower-functioning adolescents in an intensive treatment program that permits the adolescents to remain within their customary day-to-day surroundings including family, school and friends.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program
Interns have access to an extensive adult and adolescent alcoholism and substance abuse treatment program. The program emphasizes intensive outpatient services and features a variety of groups as well as individual treatment.
Interns wishing to acquire skills in conducting clinical supervision will supervise psychology externs.
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program
Interns may select to work on an outpatient basis with the deaf and hard-of-hearing population. Interns who choose this option must be fluent in American Sign Language.
Involvement with this option includes experience in a variety of medical ambulatory care clinics (primary and specialty clinics) where psychological therapy is provided as well as consultation to medical staff.
The Emergency Room at IMMC is a Level 1 trauma center with a behavioral health crisis team on staff 24/7. This experience involves crisis intervention, risk assessment and consultation to the medical staff of the ER.