Assessment and Consultation
Psychological testing is a valued clinical activity that often contributes to our understanding of patients and is an important aspect of each intern's training. As mentioned above, the intern is centrally involved in diagnostic formulation, which is informed by testing, team input, previous records, and intensive interviewing. For each six-month rotation, the intern will carry a caseload of two to three assessment cases at a time. The intern will share the assessment results with patients, families, and the treatment teams. Psychological testing batteries can include objective personality tests (MMPI-2, MCMI), projective personality tests (Rorschach, TAT), and neuropsychological screenings (RBANS). As indicated, the intern may also assess intelligence (WAIS-IV). Additionally, interns will learn more about using a collaborative assessment approach, a therapeutic way to approach psychological testing, that involves the patient and examiner being co-investigators throughout the assessment process. Experience with test administration, interpretation, and integrated report-writing is essential.
The intern conducts group and individual therapy for patients on their respective units. The intern will conduct four to eight hours per week of individual and group therapy for each program. Patient treatment plans include many evidence-based psycho-educational, skills and process groups including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), suicide resilience, trauma education, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), self-compassion, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Access to Diverse Populations
Interns in this track gain experience with a broad array of complex psychiatric disorders or co-occurring disorders across adulthood. Common presenting problems including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, substance abuse, and borderline personality disorder. While the majority of patients come from the United States, The Menninger Clinic receives a fair number of patients who come from other countries. The Compass Program serves a significant number of patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgendered, as well as patients who may be questioning, unsure about, or in the process of exploring their sexuality.
The intern can become involved in ongoing research activities at the hospital if they choose this as a secondary research rotation. Such opportunities include program evaluation, assessment of hospital-wide outcomes, work on theoretical models including applications of mentalizing/theory of mind to treatment of inpatients with Axis II pathology, and research with suicidal patients using the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS-David Jobes, Ph.D.).
Theoretical orientations utilized at The Menninger Clinic are integrative, broadly and flexibly psychodynamic, with cognitive behavior therapy, family systems and other skills-building and empirically supported treatment approaches represented. Interns receive at least two hours of individual supervision per week (testing and therapy supervision) by various members of the psychology faculty. Patricia Daza, Ph.D., serves as the track supervisor for the Adult Track at The Menninger Clinic.