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Department of Psychiatry

Houston, Texas

The Alkek Building at Baylor College of Medicine
Psychiatry
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The Menninger Clinic-Adult/Adolescent Psychology Track

Location: The Menninger Clinic

The Menninger Clinic is a not-for-profit inpatient psychiatric treatment center serving adolescents and adults with a broad range of psychiatric and substance abuse problems. The Menninger Clinic offers five specialty inpatient programs and diagnostic services, including the Adolescent Treatment Program, Compass Young Adult Program, Comprehensive Psychiatric Assessment and Stabilization, HOPE Adult Program, and Professionals in Crisis Program. Treatment follows an integrated biopsychosocial model in which pharmacological, psychotherapeutic and systems approaches are employed to assist patients in understanding and managing their symptoms. Much attention is given to careful and thorough diagnosis and a compassionate, client-centered approach to patient care.

All work at The Menninger Clinic is done with sub-acute inpatients. The core training experiences on this track are divided between six-month rotations on the Adolescent Treatment Program (ATP) and the Compass Program for young adults. In both programs, the intern integrates diagnostic formulations into treatment planning, meets with patients during weekly rounds, conducts psycho-education and process groups, and provides individual evaluation and therapy services within a multidisciplinary treatment team. Patients typically stay at ATP for four to six weeks, with the assessment service completed within the first three weeks. The Compass unit serves a population of young adults, ages 18-30 who are having problems managing the transition to adulthood. This program lasts on average six to eight weeks.

Adolescent Treatment Program

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 interns training. As mentioned above, the intern is centrally involved in diagnostic formulation, which is informed by testing, team input, previous records, and intensive interviewing. The intern performs two to four psychological assessments per month, and the results are shared with patients, families, and the treatment teams. While on the ATP rotation, the intern conducts comprehensive psychological testing batteries including intelligence (WISC-IV; WAIS-IV), achievement (WJ-III-Ach), objective personality (PAI-A, MACI, MMPI-A), and projective personality (Rorschach, AAT) tests. Experience with test administration, interpretation, and integrated report-writing is essential.

Psychotherapy

The intern conducts group and individual therapy for patients on their respective units. The intern carries four to six hours per week of individual and group therapy.

Access to Diverse Populations

Interns in this track gain experience with a broad array of complex psychiatric disorders or co-occurring disorders across adolescence and adulthood. On the Adolescent Treatment Program, interns gain experience with adolescents ages 12 to 17 years who have complex psychiatric disorders or co-occurring disorders. Common presenting problems including mood disorders, GAD, PTSD, eating disorders, ADHD, substance abuse, and emerging Borderline Personality Disorder. While the majority of patients come from the United States, the ATP receives a fair number of patients internationally.

Scholarly Inquiry

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 for the adolescent program, 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.

Didactics

Supervision: The theoretical orientation is integrative, broadly and flexibly psychodynamic, with cognitive behavior therapy, family systems and other skills-building and empirically supported treatment approaches represented. Sandra Soenning, Ph.D., serves as primary supervisor for the ATP rotation.

Compass Program for Young Adults

The Compass Program at The Menninger Clinic helps young adults with complex psychiatric issues that have hindered their capacity to meet important vocational, personal and interpersonal goals, have substantially compromised their quality of life, and/or have been unresponsive to other treatments.young

Assessment and Consultation

Psychological testing batteries administered in the Compass Program are typically shorter than on ATP, but assessment continues to be an important clinical activity and the intern continues to be centrally involved in diagnostic formulation. The intern performs two to three psychological assessments per month, and the results are shared 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-III or IV). Experience with test administration, interpretation, and integrated report-writing is again essential.

As a member of one of the treatment teams, the intern will attend clinical rounds and team meetings. The function of these teaching rounds and team meetings is to formulate a diagnosis and treatment plan for each patient and to discuss each patient’s treatment and progress. The intern is encouraged to be an active member in these meetings and is expected to relay clinically relevant information from testing and/or individual therapy.

Psychotherapy

The intern conducts group and individual therapy for patients on their respective units. The intern carries four to eight hours per week of individual and group therapy.

Access to Diverse Populations

While training in the Compass Program, interns commonly gain experience with a wide variety of mental disorders. Common presenting problems include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, personality disorders, trauma and psychotic disorders. Over half of these patients also struggle with substance abuse issues. 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.

Scholarly Inquiry

The intern is encouraged to become involved in ongoing research activities at the hospital. Such opportunities include assessment of hospital-wide outcomes and research with suicidal patients using the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS-David Jobes, Ph.D).

Didactics

Supervision: Interns receive at least 2 hours of individual supervision per week (testing and therapy supervision).. Patricia Daza, Ph.D., serves as the primary supervisor of the Compass rotation.