The curriculum of training to meet the program’s mission is experiential in nature, involving the delivery of psychological services supported by intensive supervision. The CPSR operates as a community mental health clinic providing services to the general population in the National Capital region. Interns are exposed to clients originating from diverse backgrounds, presenting with a variety of problems, and experiencing varying levels of psychological distress. Depending on an intern's training plan, caseloads are made up of individuals (children, adolescents, and adults), couples, and/or families. The types of clinical problems presented by clients include marital conflict, separation and divorce issues, children’s disruptive behaviour problems at home or in school, parenting issues, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, trauma, depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, relationship difficulties, sexual health concerns and self-esteem problems.
The internship recognizes that contemporary requirements of practicing clinical psychologists typically include a broad range of service expectations. Psychological services are defined as direct contact with clients (whether in person, virtually or by telephone), consultation related to service delivery to a client, providing training and supervision to practicum students or other professionals, and participating in program development activities within the CPSR or at a community agency external to the CPSR.
The development of competencies in training consultation and supervision are accomplished through the involvement in practicum training offered at CPSR. This includes training in the provision of clinical supervision and training in the administration of clinical services. Training in community consultation focuses on developing skills in program development and evaluation in community-based human service agencies. The program consultation training is accomplished through supervised involvement in consultation activities at the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) at the University of Ottawa.
Each intern will be assigned, in consultation with the Interns’ Coordinator, a management role at CPSR under the supervision of one of the Centre’s administrators (Interns’ Coordinator, Coordinator of Practica and Internships, or Director of CPSR). The intention of these roles is to provide training to interns in the management and operations of a mental health clinic. Time devoted to these roles is approximately 4-5 hours per week. Roles include: lead for screening call supervision, coordinator of case assignment to practicum students, assistant to the Director, assistant to the Interns’ Coordinator, and external practicum placement assignment.
To supplement the training offered at CPSR, all interns undertake external rotations in other sites that offer psychological services in the National Capital region (e.g., psychiatric hospitals, general hospitals, correctional facilities, private practices). These sites offer the intern the chance to provide psychological services and work with specific populations not available at CPSR. As well, training in these sites expose interns to other professional disciplines. External rotations can provide up to 400 hours of the 2,000-hour internship. The internship helps interns identify external sites that correspond to their training objectives and facilitates their placement in these sites. Three of the internal internship positions have external rotations already set (i.e., Montfort Hospital, Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services, and The Ottawa Hospital). For the other five internship positions, interns determine their external rotation with the assistance of the Interns’ Coordinator and consistent with an individualized training plan prior to the beginning of the internship.