Training Philosophy

Program Philosophy, Training Model and Training Plan

The Southern Vermont Doctoral Internship in Psychology (SVDIP) program strives to produce empathic, culturally-sensitive professionals who are prepared for independent practice in psychology.  In accordance with the Scientist-Practitioner training model, we emphasize the integration and scientific inquiry in clinical intervention. Clinical practice is informed by critical analysis of current empirically-validated assessment, diagnostic and intervention techniques.  The internship program focuses on outcomes-based clinical practice and provides interns with the opportunity to develop core competencies through experiential and evaluative practices. The primary objective of the training program is to assist interns in developing intermediate to advanced level clinical skills through supervised clinical experiences and didactics.  The program strives to produce interns with the clinical skills necessary to act competently and ethically while remaining sensitive to clients’ cultural and individual beliefs and practices.

Development of professional competencies is achieved through participation in didactics and clinical experiences that are sequential, cumulative and graded in complexity.  At the outset of the internship, each intern meets with his/her assigned training supervisor and discusses his/her personal goals for internship.  The supervisor assesses interns’ level of competency in psychological assessment and intervention, consultation, professional development, ethics and cultural awareness and sensitivity.  Then, individual goals and objectives are established to encourage mastery of each domain through clinical experience and didactics.

Interns interact with a geographically and socioeconomically diverse client population and supervision is provided in assessment, evaluation and intervention. To develop a professional identity, interns interact with a multi-disciplinary team and are encouraged to participate in research activities and didactics.  Examples include case presentations, graduate level coursework, seminars and scientific conferences discussing research and effective means of providing care to individuals diagnosed with neurological/psychological disorders.

By the conclusion of the training year, interns will be expected to demonstrate competence in professional issues related to the practice of psychology.  To ensure that competencies are successfully established, progress is monitored during evaluative sessions midway through and at the end of internship.  At that time, interns are also encouraged to provide feedback about their training experiences so that program strengths and weaknesses can be identified and the training can be modified to provide the most effective learning environment for future interns.

SVDIP is committed to recruiting and maintaining a diverse professional staff, including a diverse class of interns. As such, individuals with a minority/non-dominant cultural identification are strongly encouraged to apply.

Internship Administrative and Financial Assistance

As a program housed in The Memory Clinic, the SVDIP training program is provided with clerical and technical support from clinic staff.  Ms. Stephanie Merrill, the Office Manager, is responsible for coordinating staff’s schedules, scheduling patients and coordinating appointments within the clinic and managing medical records.  Ms. Donna Fontaine coordinates bookkeeping and human resource activities (including payroll).  Technical support is provided by Hunter Greene, who is the Data Management/Network Consultant. Interns are provided a $30,000 stipend and financial assistance is provided to attend select professional meetings.