Tell us a little about your clinic.
I have been director of the PSC for 22 years. I am full time and nontenured. We currently have 27 students in our Ph.D. clinical program. 5 are on internship and 5 are in their first year, which leaves 17 students who are active in the PSC. We have 9.5 faculty members. Students start seeing clients in their second year and continue to see clients until they leave for internship. Typically students carry 4 therapy cases and do 2 full neuropsych assessments a year.
What types of services do you offer?
Primarily we do adult individual therapy and neuropsych assessment for both children and adults. We see almost any type of case unless the primary problem is substance abuse. Our typical client is Caucasian, has 14 yrs of education, is in their 30's and presents with depression or relationship problems. Our clients used to be predominantly female, but that has changed recently and last year we saw almost an equal number of males and females.
How do you generate income for your clinic?
Our PSC is expected to generate enough income to cover our expenses. (Last year our expenses were over $76,000). Our only source of income is from client fees – from therapy and from neuropsych assessments. Slightly less than half of our income comes from neuropsych testing. The remainder comes from therapy.
How does being in a research program make your clinic different?
Our clinical psychology program has clinical research faculty and clinical training faculty who do all the clinical supervision. These people are not the same, so the biggest struggle for our PSC is balancing how the research faculty want their students to spend their time and how the clinical supervisors want their students to spend their time. As you might guess, the research faculty think our students spend way too much time seeing clients, and the supervision faculty never think their students see enough clients.
What are the challenges in working with a program that has research as its primary focus?
How do our students accumulate enough clinical hours to be competitive for internship and still get all the research done that is expected in our department! This is an age old dilemma for us. It's a constant struggle for our PSC and our students.
What are you looking forward to developing in your program?
About 10 years ago, we started a client database and have accumulated a ton of data. In particular we are going to be looking at changes in the MMPI-2 over the course of treatment (our clients are required to take the MMPI both at intake and again at termination). Our other project is to look at MMPI profiles of different diagnostic groups. We recently completed a study which found significant MMPI differences between people with dysthymia and people with major depressive disorder.
Do you conduct research at your clinic?
In addition to the database that we've collected, many of our students run their dissertation subjects in our PSC.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with the graduate students. They are excited about what they're doing, are eager to learn, pleasant to work with, and all and all, a real delight to be associated with.
Amy Bertelson, PhD.
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