WICPP Philosophy and Objectives

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Wisconsin Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology

Philosophy and Objectives

WICPP’s philosophy and model of training is based on the practitioner-scholar model, which is operationalized by an emphasis on practice that is influenced by an understanding of the current knowledge, principles, and methods of psychological science. As such, our training program encourages interns to integrate the practice of psychology with the theoretical and applied components of psychological science. We build upon the intern’s foundation of competence acquired through graduate coursework, research, practica, and other applied experiences.

As scholars of science, interns use scientific information (e.g., theoretical and research literature) collected from supervision, seminars, and continuing education to contextualize and inform their professional practice. WICPP interns learn to be highly-skilled and -informed consumers of research as scholars. As practitioners, interns apply critical thinking with scientific principles to their professional practice by gathering data, formulating conceptualizations and testing hypotheses, controlling variables to account for change, examining the efficacy of psychological services, evaluating outcomes, and considering theories and assumptions of the diversity of human experience. We encourage interns to examine the efficacy of their work with their clients and to review the research literature for research on evidence-based practice.

Although the integration of science and practice is difficult, interns are exposed to supervisory role models who exemplify balance of this professional identity. Accordingly, scholarly learning occurs via experiential, consultative, and didactic methods under intensive supervision, and interns develop and practice these skills I supportive learning environment. This environment facilitates the intern’s transition in professional identity from graduate student to culturally-competent, clinically-skilled, and ethically-sound psychologist.

WICPP is committed to diversity and the richness of human differences, to provide interns with role models from diverse backgrounds, and to provide an inclusive and welcoming climate for all. Our training mission highlights that staff and interns are treated with respect and valued across all individual and cultural differences. WICPP’s policies, procedures, activities, relationships, and interactions with individuals and groups we serve are consistent with this value.  

Multicultural competence is a core goal and expectation of the training program. Interns will be able to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and competence in service delivery to clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Training activities are designed to facilitate intern exploration of assumptions and biases and their influence on clinical practice. Interns are exposed to diverse clients and are expected to develop self-awareness, appreciation of differences, and understanding of the different sociocultural contexts in which people live.

In summary, the model of training at WICPP reflects a belief that a competent practitioner-scholar must have a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles of the professional practice of psychology and the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations. Interns socialized within the practitioner-scholar model of training will have the experience to work in a variety of applied and clinical settings, as well as research and academic positions, and to provide psychological services to children, families, schools, and adults.

Program Goals

WICPP offers interns the education, training, and experiential preparation they need to succeed in their professional practice of psychology in a variety of applied settings. We nurture and support the developmental process of interns’ transition from graduate students to competent and ethical professional psychologists. Within the context of the practitioner-scholar model, WICPP’s goals are to produce entry-level psychologists who

  1. practice from a foundation of well-developed professional and relational competencies
  2. demonstrate functional skills in applied areas of psychology    
  3. possess and utilize a foundation of science/scholarly inquiry that underlies professional psychology

These goals are accomplished by providing interns with individual and group supervision, didactic and experiential seminars, and other training experiences where they deliver psychological services (e.g., assessment, intervention, and consultation) to diverse client populations. WICPP interns receive a broad range of professional learning experiences in several domains of knowledge and practice. These domains include professional and legal issues, social and emotional assessment, consultation, intervention in social and emotional areas, diagnostic classification of child, adolescent, and adult psychopathology, cognitive and academic assessment, consultation and intervention in cognitive and academic areas, and research methodology. All interns also participate in the Multicultural, Supervision of Supervision, Group Supervision, and Professional Practice Seminars, as well as individual supervision and other professional training opportunities.

Competencies

Training at WICPP is guided by a set of competencies that serve as the foundation of the internship experience, such that WICPP interns will possess clinical and professional competence when they complete their internship experiences. These competencies are based on the competency benchmarks in professional psychology described by Fouad et al. (2009), and are operationalized throughout each of the consortium-affiliated training programs. These competencies also serve as the framework for intern evaluation.

Foundational Competencies

  1. Professionalism: Interns will integrate a professional identity such that their behavior and comportment reflects the values and ethics of psychology, integrity, and responsibility.
  2. Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care-Practice: Interns will demonstrate personal and professional self-awareness and self-reflection in their professional practice. 
  3. Scientific Knowledge and Methods: Interns will understand the foundations and methods of science, including research methodology, techniques of data collection and analysis, empirically-supported research, and biological and affective bases of behavior.
  4. Relationships: Interns will relate effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups and/or communities.
  5. Individual and Cultural Diversity: Interns will be aware (of self and others), knowledgeable (of self and others), and skilled in their work with culturally-diverse individuals, groups, and communities. 
  6. Ethical Legal Standards and Policy: Interns will apply ethical concepts and an awareness of legal issues in their professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations. 
  7. Interdisciplinary Systems: Interns will become skilled members of an interdisciplinary team and effectively collaborate with professionals from other disciplines. 
  8. Receiving Supervision: Interns will demonstrate attitudes, behaviors, and skills when receiving supervision to meet their personal and professional development goals.

Functional Competencies

  1. Assessment: Interns will assess, diagnose, and evaluate problems, capabilities, and issues associated with individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
  2. Intervention: Interns will select and implement interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations. 
  3. Consultation: Interns will provide expert guidance or professional assistance to individuals, groups, and/or organizations. 
  4. Management-administration: Interns will manage the direct delivery of services and/or the administration of organizations, programs, and/or agencies. 
  5. Advocacy: Interns will engage in actions that promote social, political, economic and/or cultural changes in individuals, institutions, and/or systems.
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