Clinical Psychology Practicum

Training Mission

The PSC is a training clinic for doctoral students in clinical psychology at Antioch University New England. It is staffed by a full;time director and by faculty members in Antioch’s Clinical Psychology Department who are available part;time to provide training, consultation, supervision and limited direct service. The PSC strives to be a model training program in professional psychology. With an emphasis on training, supervision, and staying abreast of changes taking place in the health care field, the goal of the program is to prepare students for multiple professional roles. The PSC seeks to train clinicians at an appropriate level of competence in their intellectual and clinical development.

The PSC functions as a mental health center and offers a range of psychological services to people in Keene and the surrounding communities. These services include individual therapy for children and adults, family therapy, group treatment, systems intervention, community consultation, psycho;educational groups, and a full range of psychological and cognitive evaluations. In addition, the PSC functions as a treatment and referral resource for students attending Antioch (excluding those in the Clinical Psychology Department). The treatment emphasis is on short-term interventions, and group therapy is encouraged and time limited.

The PSC promotes scholarly inquiry as part of its training. Both traditional, empirically;based studies and qualitative forms of research are emphasized. Students and faculty are encouraged to utilize the PSC as a research site for studying a variety of clinical/psychological areas, including prevention;oriented community programs, clinical outcome studies, organizational problems, and family systems interventions.

The training program at the PSC is 11 months in duration, beginning the first week of September and ending the first week of August. Trainees are given four weeks of vacation during this time, to be taken when the clinic is officially closed, two weeks during each semester break. Trainees are expected to be on-site for a minimum of 20 hours each week. Trainees will provide an average of 6;7 hours of direct service to clients each week. In addition, trainees are expected to conduct a minimum of three full psychological and/or psychoeducational assessment batteries during the academic year. Group treatment is encouraged, as is community consultation and education. Trainees will prepare and offer at least one community service presentation (usually in response to a request from a local agency). The clinical expectation may be reduced for trainees devoting significant time to consultation and education activities. See a listing of our current groups.


Supervision

Each trainee is assigned a primary clinical supervisor and a small;group testing supervisor. Both supervisors are licensed doctoral level psychologists. There is a minimum of two hours of face;to;face supervision each weekat least one hour of this time is in individual supervision with the primary clinical supervisor. It is this supervisor who assumes primary responsibility for overseeing the trainee’s clinical work at the PSC.

Instruction and supervision in assessment, especially for those students in their second year of study, is also an integral part of the training at the PSC. This is accomplished through a combination of group and individual supervision. Each clinician will meet with the testing supervisor in a small group once a week for 60 minutes during the regularly scheduled training seminar on Tuesdays from 9:00 AM until 10:00. Clinicians will also be expected to participate in two day;long assessment orientation sessions before they can begin performing assessments. Trainees will have the opportunity to schedule individual assessment supervision as needed.


Training Seminars

All trainees are expected to attend the bi-weekly training seminar, Tuesdays from 10:30;11:30. The first 30 minutes of this time will be spent with the director reviewing caseloads and other administrative business. The remainder of the time will be devoted to training issues and case presentations. Antioch faculty and invited guests will be available during this time to address topics of clinical interest or to be discussants in case presentations. The scheduling of these trainings and speakers is often fluid, depending on speaker schedule and availability, but an attempt is made to notify about topics well in advance. This time may also be used for family therapy observation and teamwork. Case presentations may be made in these times as well. Follow this link to a schedule of our recent Orientation and Inservice Training seminars.

Peter Isquith

Peter Isquith
co-author of the BRIEF was an invited guest during one of the PSC’s bi-weekly training seminars. His presentation was titled, Executive Function: Development & Presentation in Disorders.

In addition to the formal training seminar, discussion/work groups may be formed periodically to address areas of special interest. Clinicians will have the opportunity to participate in these specialized, theme;based training groups conducted by faculty as time allows. This year special interest groups may include health psychology, group therapy, parent consultation, and advanced family therapy.


Some previous presentations have been:

  • John McPeak on Substance Abuse.
  • Jim Fauth: Transtheoretical Brief Therapy
  • Deb Bergeron: Art Therapy
  • Lee Faver: Sexuality: Differences in Frequency or Desire
  • Vic Pantesco: Suicide Assessment
  • Kathi Borden: Introduction to Therapy with Children


Sources of Therapy Referrals

Small portions of the PSC client referrals are Antioch students from other departments. More and more of our client base are people in the community who have heard of our services and they do not have insurance. Other referrals come from social service agencies, such as Cheshire Academy and the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Cheshire Academy is a year;long outpatient program for non-violent felony offenders who typically have substance abuse, mental disorders, and/or Attention Deficit Disorders. The purpose of DCYF is to protect children from abuse and neglect and to assist families in providing opportunities to their children to grow and develop into physically and emotionally healthy adults.

A recent source of referrals has been MC2 or Monadnock Community Connections School, an alternative high school located at Antioch University New England. In its second trial year it is a small high school for the overachievers and underachievers who feel stifled in a regular school and who work well independently.


Focused Training Opportunities

Health Psychology an the Cheshire Medical Center

The PSC coordinates two health psychology programs with the Cheshire Medical Center in Keene. Both programs are under the direction and supervision of Vic Pantesco, EdD.

The Cardiac Rehab Program

The following activities are offered and supervised by PSC staff and students who have been credentialed through CMC’s Medical Staff credentialing process:

  • An initial psychosocial assessment for all patients admitted to the program.
  • Facilitation of weekly support/discussion groups with a focus on emotional and behavioral factors related to healthy life transitions.
  • Provision of individual and family treatment as necessary with the understanding that patients with more significant mental health concerns will be referred to other providers.
  • Regular attendance by the APSC clinicians at the Cardiac Rehab Team staff meetings or rounds.

The Pregnancy Wellness Program (PWP)

The Pregnancy Wellness Program (PWP) is a service provided by PSC clinicians in training to pregnant women and their families designed to address psychological and emotional issues that may present during pregnacy. The primary goal of the PWP is to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other distress in order that a woman may have a positive experience during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and the early postpartum period. The PWP offers counseling services and collaborative care within the OB;GYN department at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth;Hitchcock, Keene (CMC/DHK), and works to coordinate services with community agencies.

The Postpartum Support Program

The Postpartum Support Program is currently under design as a natural extension of the Pregnancy Wellness Program (PWP). Its purpose is to provide postpartum support for new mothers and their families within a collaborative care model. Focus will be on primary and secondary prevention, early identification of those women who are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders, education and awareness programs, cooperation with existing community resources, and counseling services.

Parent Consultation and Family Therapy Program

This program involves small group weekly meetings to include:

  1. Didactic information on how to teach parenting skills;
  2. Didactic information on using systems theory and systems-related data in therapy;
  3. Case consultation on each student’s parenting and family cases (students present their cases and the team consults on the treatment of those cases, including the use of family systems theory and parent consultation in treatment planning); and
  4. Observation and live supervision during actual therapy sessions, exposing practicum students to a variety of in vivo training and intervention approaches (e.g., reflecting teams and team consultation models).

The presentation and observation of (and being observed while conducting) family intakes and family and parent sessions, is a large part of this group. Students involved in this specialty rotation will receive preferential assignment of family cases. Others will have the opportunity to observe during the course of the semester. This program is supervised by Kathi Borden, PhD and George Tremblay, PhD.

Brief Therapy Training

Jim Fauth, Ph.D. offers training in Brief Therapy. The training is organized around the idea of increasing therapeutic responsiveness in three domains: development and maintenance of a therapeutic focus, recognition and repair of alliance ruptures, and recognition and facilitation of motivational issues. The training deemphasizes specialized theory, adherence to techniques, and didactic learning in favor of common factors, broadly applicable metacognitive skills (i.e., pattern recognition skills and self-reflections skills), and experiential learning through practice and feedback. In other words, the training encourages therapists to become more therapeutically responsive by harnessing their own preexisting personal characteristics, theoretical preferences, and clinical skills. This training is offered in the context of an ongoing research program of the Center for Research on Psychological Practice (CROPP), which is directed by Dr. Fauth.

Psychoeducational Assessment Training

Assessment trainees are under the supervision of Susan Hawes, PhD. Our assessment training program has been providing these services for over seven years to local private schools, colleges, and graduate schools. Students receive intensive training in a neuropsychological approach to identifying learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders. Our reports are comprehensive in that they communicate information for several types of consumers: clients, parents of dependent clients, educators, psychotherapists and psychiatrists, and national educational testing services.

A psychoeducational assessment battery typically includes:

  • A comprehensive clinical interview
  • Self-report questionnaires consisting of background information, including childhood development, executive function, and academic observations
  • An individualized Cross-Battery plan, involving tests of cognitive abilities and achievement, founded on a base of either Wechsler or Woodcock-Johnson III assessment batteries
  • Tests of relevant social and emotional functioning, from general personality instruments (NEO-PI, 16PF) to standardized clinical diagnostic measures (MMPI-2, MMPI-A, PAI, APS), to projective tests (Rorschach, TAT)
  • A study skills and habits questionaire

Students compose a comprehensive report from the above sources that includes a detailed list of recommendations that inform the client(s) as well as their professional providers, such as teachers, therapists, physicians, and/or relevant institutions. In addition, we provide several pages of pertinent learning strategies.

A brochure of our psychoeducational assessment services is available online, as is a list of online resources for learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.