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Adult Psychology Track

CastleLauren DeCaporale-Ryan, Ph.D.
Psychology Internship Training Director, Adult Track


The goal of the Adult Psychology Track is to provide a solid foundation of general clinical training for those interested in careers in patient care, teaching or research. Our training model supports practitioner-scholar careers. We view the internship year as a pivotal clinical year that is essential to the development of all professional psychologists, even those who will go on to be full-time researchers. Therefore, the majority of the interns' time is spent in clinical training activities that involve exposure to and experiences with a wide range of health and mental health problems as part of team-based, collaborative care. We also believe that psychologists are well suited to conduct empirical research and to translate the results of research into effective practice and programs in an array of settings and we provide a variety of opportunities for interns to meet with researchers in the Department and Medical Center community to discuss their interests and future career goals. The goals of the program are to enhance each intern's knowledge base and clinical skills in relation to psychopathology, assessment, treatment planning, and treatment implementation.  These goals are consistent with the five overarching long-term goals for all interns across tracks.  In the area of Professional Skills and Competencies, we aim to develop psychologists who have skills in: 1) diagnosis and assessment, and 2) treatment and consultation.  In the area of Professional Standards and Behavior, we aim to develop psychologists who demonstrate: 3) ethical understanding and behavior, and 4) professional development and demeanor.  In the area of Academic Competencies, we aim to develop psychologists who have skills in: 5) teaching, supervision and scholarship.

We provide a number of elective opportunities for interns on the Adult Track including Primary Care, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, and Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders.  Depending on their interest and resources, interns may also contribute to clinical research as part of their elective experience.

Clinical Rotations

Outpatient Rotation, 25 hrs/wk (12 months)

Supervisors: Lauren DeCaporale-Ryan, Ph.D., Dennis Foley, Psy.D., Autumn Gallegos, Ph.D., Sharon Gordon, Ph.D., Deborah King, Ph.D., Amanda O'Hearn, Ph.D., Robert Pollard, Ph.D., Marc Swogger, Ph.D.

During this aspect of the training experience, the intern engages in three primary activities.

Ongoing Assessment and Treatment of Adult Psychiatric Outpatients

Each intern follows a caseload of patients in our General Ambulatory Service (CMHC). Interns receive at least two hours per week of individual supervision from two different licensed psychology faculty members. Supervision focuses on the development of case load management, clinical interviewing skills, case conceptualization and diagnosis, treatment planning skills, and methods of individual psychotherapy. Interns learn to function as part of interdisciplinary teams and participate in a weekly treatment team meeting(s) with General Ambulatory Service clinical staff, providers, and other Departmental trainees.

Group Psychotherapy Training

Howard Markus, Ph.D., CGP, Sherrie Smith, LCSW-R, CGP; (3.5 hrs/wk)

This training includes

  • A didactic seminar on theory and practice
  • Co-leadership of a therapy group, and
  • Group supervision of the interns’ group work

The design of our group therapy training program is based on the guidelines set forth by the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) and offers the opportunity for increased depth and breadth of skills as a group clinician. Supervision takes place through live observation by a skilled group therapist/co-therapist and in biweekly group supervision of group therapy by a psychologist who is certified with the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists.

Psychological Testing Service

Supervisor: Marc Swogger, Ph.D.;  (2 hrs/mo)

This service deals with a wide variety of referral questions including issues of differential diagnosis, outpatient treatment planning, forensic matters, and learning disabilities. Interns perform 3-5 comprehensive assessments per year depending on their training goals and become familiar with a wide range of assessment instruments. Interns also perform psychological testing in the inpatient rotation at Rochester Psychiatric Center.

Inpatient Rotation, 20 hrs/wk; (6 months)

Rotation Coordinator - Christine Ransom, Ph.D. (Rochester Psychiatric Center)
Supervisors: Dale Kulick, Ph.D., Jaime Doolittle, Psy.D.

Interns participate in one six-month rotation consisting of 20 hours per week in the Adult Services Unit (ASU) or Regional Forensic Unit (RFU) at Rochester Psychiatric Center, a 180-bed, state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital operated by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

The ASU is comprised of four 30-bed inpatient wards, each serving treatment-refractory patients with severe mental illness.  Two interns are assigned during each six-month period to an inpatient rotation at RPC; one to a forensic ward and one to a non-forensic ("civil") adult ward with extended stay patients, including those retained under criminal procedure law (CPL). The ASU also encompasses two admission wards which serve a variety of patients who have not been stabilized at community hospitals and need longer inpatient treatment.

The inpatient rotation focuses on both targeted assessment and individual and group treatment for treatment-refractory patients. Interns will learn individual and group interventions appropriate for severely mentally ill patients, using structured group treatments, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) interventions, and behavioral techniques.  Interns will also gain experience functioning as part of an interdisciplinary treatment team, learning about psychiatric rehabilitation and community reintegraton as approached through the varied perspectives represented within each treatment team.

Core Didactics and Other Structured Training Experiences

Screening, Brief Interventions, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT); Stephanie Gamble, Ph.D. (1 hr/wk; 6 wks). This interdisciplinary seminar includes 6 hours of didactic lectures and experiential learning exercises designed to enhance participants' knowledge, confidence, and skills in the detection and treatment of co-occurring substance use and behavioral health disorders. This course teaches interns how to:

  • Conduct screening for problematic alcohol and drug use
  • Deliver Brief Interventions for problematic alcohol and drug use
  • Employ a Motivational Approach based on patients' readiness to change
  • Make referrals to specialized treatment when clinically indicated

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT; 1hr/wk; 10 mos) Seminar and Supervision – DBT is a cognitive-behavioral treatment for individuals with emotional dysregulation and other difficulties commonly associated with borderline personality disorder. This interdisciplinary seminar includes eight hours of didactic lectures followed by weekly group supervision that allows trainees to discuss cases from a DBT framework. The text and training manual for the seminar are made available for all participating trainees: Linehan, M.M. (1993) Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press (Text); Linehan, M.M. (1993). Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.

Urgent Care Clinic (UCC; 1hr/wk; 6 mos) - All interns will have a 6 month UCC experience. They will have group supervision of these cases for 30 minutes each week. The intern will also participate in a weekly UCC treatment team meeting along with psychiatry, psychology, and social work staff.

Psychology Testing Seminar (1hr/mo; 12 mos) - This is a combined seminar for interns on the child/adolescent and adult tracks to become familiar with evidence-based practices across the domains of diagnosis and assessment, professional/ethical conduct in psychological assessment services, and cultural competence.  Adult and child/Adolescent interns will work in pairs to research and present information regarding best practices for one topic in psychological testing/assessment across the lifespan.  Topics include mood disorders, psychotic disorders, OCD, and trauma.

Multicultural Experiential Seminar (monthly, 1 hr) - The overall goal of this seminar is to increase cultural awareness and sensitivity of psychology interns and fellows through experiential learning activities. This seminar helps trainees become more aware of their own cultural identities, recognize their own personal biases, better meet the needs of a diverse patient population, and increase awareness of how culture impacts clinical work, research, and teaching.

Ethical Dilemmas in Psychology (1 hr/mo; 5 mos) - The overall goal of this seminar is to assist psychology interns and fellows in the development of advanced practice competencies in critical thinking about ethical issues that psychologists encounter as clinicians, educator/teachers, researchers, and in professional relationships.  Specific competencies addressed in the seminar are: Ethical Knowledge and Ethical Behavior.  The seminar is conducted as a case presentation, consultation and discussion series.

Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds (3/mo; 12 mos) – This weekly forum brings together faculty, staff and trainees from multiple disciplines to learn together about new developments in education, clinical care, empirical research and other topics of interest. It serves as a way for interns to be exposed to information and people outside of their "silos" of expertise, setting, or daily focus. Presenters may be departmental faculty and trainees, national and international experts, and members of our local community. Grand Rounds also helps to build and promote shared understanding of the mission and values of the Department and the Medical Center. Interns may also choose to attend other Grand Rounds relevant to their training goals (i.e., Primary Care, and Public Health Sciences).

Professional Development Seminar (2/mo; 12 mos) – Each month the Internship Training Director and Chief Fellow host a breakfast meeting attended by all interns that includes invited faculty speakers. The meetings are used to promote aspects of professional development such as increasing awareness of various roles that psychologists perform within academic medical centers and community settings and pathways to those roles, refining skills (i.e., job-search strategies, interviewing and negotiating) related to success in obtaining future professional positions, increasing knowledge of requirements for independent practice (licensure), and facilitating group cohesion among interns to promote collaboration/peer support and future networking. Several times a year, the interns join with the postdoctoral fellows for professional development topics appropriate for all trainees.

Leadership Projects (2.5 hrs/wk; 6-12 mos) - Each intern participates in a leadership project mentored by a faculty member. The leadership project is designed to:

  • enhance the intern's understanding of complex issues facing the Service or Department
  • give interns exposure to the scope and depth of the functioning of psychologists within a Service or Department and increase their ideas regarding the "value added" of psychologists.
  • provide current Service and Department leaders with new perspectives and ideas for addressing long-range issues.
The project can be an evaluation of a program; building of a web-based resource bank; patient satisfaction, etc. Interns work 1-2 hours each week on their project and also meet with their mentor (total of 6-8 hours per month).

Advanced Topics in Psychology (1 hr/wk; 12 mos.) - The overall goal of this seminar series is to assist interns with acclimation to the training program and their primary training site, enhance clinical fund of knowledge, general therapy skills, and to build competency in the delivery of select empirically based treatment for adults.  Topics that are covered include: a) the appropriate use of electronic medical record documentation in patient care; b) training in Problem Solving Therapy (PST); c) Aging (assessment, treatment, care giver issues); d) use of interpreters in mental health; e) exposure to Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT); basics of adult psychopharmocological interventions; f) treatment with members of the LGBTQ community; g) the intersection of religion, spirituality and therapy; h) marital therapy.

Commitment to Living (Suicide Prevention) Seminar (3 hours) and Standardized Patient Practice Session (1 hour) - The overall goal is to prepare trainees with the knowledge and skills needed to conduct person-centered, standard-of-care interviews, risk assessments, safety planning, documentation, and decisions with suicidal patients.  Each trainee practices these skills in a 1:1 behavioral rehearsal experience with trained standardized patients.

Intimate Partner Violence Workshop (6 hours): This interdisciplinary workshop focuses on the identification, assessment, and treatment of intimate partner violence (IPV). Teaching/learning methods include powerpoint presentations, film clips, experiential exercises, discussion, and distribution of resource cards and reference manuals.

Assessment and Treatment of Eating Disorders (4 meetings, 12 hours). This interdisciplinary didactic series focuses on evaluation and evidence-based treatment of eating disorders, with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary treatment team functioning and planning.

Clinical Elective Experiences, 10 hrs/wk; 6 months

Interns select one successive six-month experience with program approval. The choices include the following:  (Please note that not all choices listed may be available in a given year.) 

  • Deaf Wellness Center (Amanda O’Hearn, Ph.D) – For trainees who are proficient in sign language, this elective offers supervised clinical practice in the assessment and treatment of deaf adults, and promotes trainees' abilities to provide independent psychological services in the high need area of mental health services for the deaf population.
  • Primary Care Psychology (Lauren DeCaporale-Ryan, Ph.D.) – This rotation is based in the Behavioral Health Services of the University of Rochester Family Medicine Center, an ambulatory primary care medical clinic serving patients with a range of diagnoses and problems. Interns learn a model of systems-based consultation and collaboration in medical settings developed by the faculty of the Family Medicine Department and the Division of Family Programs in the Department of Psychiatry.
  • Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders (Marc Swogger, Ph.D.) Based in the Adult Ambulatory Psychiatry Clinic, this rotation provides the intern with training in the evidence-based assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders. The therapeutic approach is cognitive-behavioral, and incorporates techniques from "third wave" behavioral therapies in order to tailor treatment to patient needs.

Research Elective: Suicide Prevention Training for Primary  Care

Faculty Mentors: Wendi Cross, Ph.D., & Jennifer West, Ph.D.
One Intern may complete a 12 month rotation (1 day/week) on the research team involving:

  • Training/experience in testing simulation (standardized patient) methods as part of an RCT
  • Extensive training and supervision in reliable observational coding
  • Exposure to suicide prevention research
  • Exposure to a variety of residency and nursing training programs
  • Exposure/experience with online and remote education and clinical methods

Applicants must be interested in observational methods and coding, educational research and suicide prevention; interest in primary care is also helpful. Training will occur in the UR Observational Research and Behavioral Information Technology Lab (ORBIT).

Group Meeting with the Director of Training - Interns meet quarterly with the Director of Training in Psychology to discuss training-related questions or concerns and their professional development and to provide feedback about the internship. Interns also have two-three scheduled individual meetings with the Training Director, but are invited to set up additional meetings as needed.

Meetings with Track Director - Interns have bi-annual meetings with the Adult Internship Training Director where they can discuss questions or concerns related to their individualized training plan, the training program or their professional development, or provide feedback about the internship.  During these meetings individual progress in the internship is provided, along with an exit interview at the end of the internship training year.