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Training and Education in Professional Psychology - Vol 11, Iss 1

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Training and Education in Professional Psychology Training and Education in Professional Psychology is dedicated to enhancing supervision and training provided by psychologists.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Faculty and student perceptions of clinical training experiences in professional psychology.
    This investigation sought to evaluate students’ perceptions of their doctoral practicum/internship training experience, with those of doctoral faculty administrators responsible for the design and implementation of clinical training programs. The participants (n = 1,219 students, n = 30 faculty administrators) completed questionnaires, administered to Time2Track members, regarding their clinical training activities. The resulting sample of student respondents came from all geographic regions in the United States, 92% of whom were from accredited programs of the American Psychological Association (APA) or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Furthermore, 53% of the student respondents were enrolled in Ph.D. programs and 46% were enrolled in Psy.D. programs. A series of ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of doctoral clinical training and the experiential nature of student clinical supervision. Comparisons between Ph.D. and Psy.D. students were also conducted to investigate outcome significance of perceived preparedness for professional practice upon the completion of their doctoral studies. Further, differences were assessed between students attending APA accredited versus nonaccredited internship programs. Numerous significant differences were identified among the factors assessed in this study (e.g., students rated their training preparation significantly lower than did faculty for work with multicultural and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] populations). Recommendations for enhancing clinical training relevant to competency based assessment, accreditation standards compliance, and diversity education are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Inside the world of corrections practica: Findings from a national survey.
    Correctional settings host numerous practicum students and provide them with a variety of training experiences. Yet data on the core setting, clinical, and supervisory features of this training remain sparse and the topic warrants further exploration. The present study addresses this need by presenting findings on setting, clinical, and supervisory features drawn from interviews with supervisors of 52 unique corrections practicum where doctoral psychology students are trained. Results on setting features indicate that training opportunities are most frequently offered at the high security level settings and that correctional facilities communicate regularly with graduate programs whose students are trained at the site. Clinical feature findings include intervention as the most frequent focus of clinical work, followed by assessment and a strong emphasis on consultative experiences. The majority of supervisors reported that having students on site to receive training and deliver services was helpful to department morale and workload, and beneficial to the inmates served. Implications for education, training, and development of the correctional mental health workforce are offered based on these findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Women in health service psychology programs: Stress, self-care, and quality of life.
    Due in part to gender roles and their socialization as caretakers, women in health service psychology (HSP) programs may be vulnerable to experiencing stressful events that negatively impact their professional and academic functioning. Two constructs are particularly germane to understanding the stress experienced by women in HSP programs: quality of life and self-care. However, scant literature exists on women in HSP programs, especially concerning the relations among stress, self-care, and quality of life. The purpose of our study was to address some of the conceptual–methodological deficiencies in the literature by empirically testing the application of the health promotion model to women in HSP doctoral programs. The investigation tested the extent to which self-care activities moderated the negative association between stress and quality of life (QL) in a sample of 558 women enrolled in HSP programs throughout the United States. The most salient findings were (a) women in HSP programs, compared to other populations, evidenced substantively higher stress levels and lower self-care and overall QL; (b) stress was uniquely and inversely, though modestly, related to QL, whereas self-care and its moderating effects were not; and (c) self-care and quality of life were best conceptualized and analyzed as multidimensional constructs. The findings suggest stress levels may have a significantly larger effect on QL than self-care for women in HSP doctoral programs. Results also suggest QL and self-care are multidimensional constructs and need to be analyzed as such. Implications for theory, practice, and research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Testing the dose-response curve in a training clinic setting: Use of client pretreatment factors to minimize bias in estimates.
    Patient-focused research has been empirically established to reduce drop-out (Lambert, Hansen, & Finch, 2001) and improve outcomes (Reese, Norsworthy, & Rowlands, 2009), particularly for those at risk for treatment failure (Shimokawa, Lambert, & Smart, 2010). An additional benefit associated with the use of patient-focused research systems is the facilitating the integration of clinical and research endeavors. In an archival study, the current work utilized patient-focused research data (N = 132) to explore outcomes. Analyses focused on the number of sessions required for clients to experience reliable improvement or clinically significant change, while controlling for relevant pretreatment characteristics. Results demonstrated that while a significant proportion of clients experienced positive effect from treatment (41.2%), an even larger proportion of the sample (48.9%) did not experience any reliable improvement. In addition, results demonstrated that the number of presenting problems significantly influenced the median treatment length for improvement, with more than 1 problem generally predicting faster improvement. Finally, the results also highlighted potential problems with treatment length, with a number of clients staying in treatment significantly longer than what would be predicted to generate reliable or clinically significant change. Overall, the results support conducting psychotherapy research in a training clinic environment, with the potential for research to inform clinical care as well as clinical care informing future research projects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Influence of client attachment and gender on therapy transfers: A multilevel examination.
    Transferring psychotherapy clients from one clinician to another has been a common practice in most psychological training facilities (Clark et al., 2011; Flowers & Booraem, 1995). Despite this practice, very little empirical research has examined the impact of this process on psychotherapy retention and client outcomes. In the current study, we examined symptom changes over the course of 4 pretransfer and 4 posttransfer sessions in a sample of 35 adult clients receiving psychotherapy services from master’s- and doctoral-level trainees in a psychology training clinic. At intake, clients completed a measure of adult attachment orientation and for each session, clients completed a measure of their overall psychological distress for the week preceding the session. Multilevel modeling analyses revealed that client attachment orientations and gender were significantly associated with transfer-related therapy outcomes. Clients with increasing levels of distress pretransfer were most at-risk for not following through with treatment posttransfer. Also, for those who did follow through, clients with more anxious attachment orientations were likely to report higher levels of psychological distress posttransfer than were those with less anxious orientations. Future work should examine whether such increased distress levels persist or are ultimately reduced through additional treatment sessions. Results suggest several issues that should be considered by supervisors and clients during the process of transferring clients to a new therapist. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Training confident school-based consultants: The role of course content, process, and supervision.
    Consultation competency is a critical component of health services psychology training, as consultation permeates all aspects of service delivery. Despite the increasing importance of consultation as a form of service delivery, school-based preservice-level consultation training has historically lacked rigor. Many components of training may contribute to psychology graduates’ confidence to consult in schools. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of specific consultation training components (i.e., coursework, competencies included in training, field experiences, supervision, and models) to the development of confidence to consult in early career school psychology practice. Data were collected as part of a larger study on early career school psychologists’ consultation training and practices (n = 262). Bivariate correlations, repeated-measures analysis of variance, and a multiple regression model were estimated to fulfill the purpose of the study. Results indicated (a) exposure to given consultation models were positively correlated with confidence consulting with different types of consultees, (b) respondents had varying levels of confidence consulting with different types of consultees, and (c) quantity of coursework, supervision strategies, and exposure to formal consultation models emerged as significant predictors of confidence to consult at graduation. Recommendations for consultation training include (a) coverage of systems-level consultation and team-based consultative problem solving, increasingly common contexts for consultation in contemporary schools; (b) implementation of applied experiences and supervision in tandem for the development of consulting confidence; and (c) inclusion of formal models of consultation in consultation training. Limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Psychological functioning predicts competence development for postgraduate students of professional psychology.
    This study sought to examine the psychological functioning of students enrolled in postgraduate programs of clinical and forensic psychology in an Australian university, and the degree to which psychological functioning predicted competence attainment while participating in an extended clinical placement. Results revealed that as a group students reported psychological functioning within normal ranges, with levels of conscientiousness found to positively predict, and levels of depression found to negatively predict the development of the necessary competencies. However, a subgroup of 27% of students reported experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress on at least one measure during the placement. At the completion of the placement, when compared to the performance of peers, the students who reported experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress demonstrated significantly poorer performance on a psychometrically sound measure of competence attainment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Does changing grade-based marking to pass-fail marking change student achievement in a postgraduate psychology course?
    The impact of traditional versus pass-fail grading on student achievement in professional postgraduate psychology courses remains undetermined. The effects of these marking systems on achievement levels for students enrolled in a postgraduate psychology course were examined. It was anticipated that performance would not differ as a result of the change in assessment approach. Data from 73 postgraduate students enrolled in one component of a psychology program during 2012–2015 were collated. Forty-three students were enrolled in the 2 years immediately prior to the change in marking and received grade-based marks. Their grades were compared to 30 students who were enrolled in the subsequent 2 years and marked using a pass-fail system; grade-based marking was additionally undertaken with this cohort but not provided to students. A significant difference was observed in scores for grade-based, M = 83.8, SD = 5.0, and pass-fail marking, M = 78.4, SD = 3.8, t(71) = 5.07, p <.001. This equated to a large group difference in mean grade between the cohorts, with a mean difference of 5.5, 95% CI [3.3, 7.6], d = 1.2. Although a reduction in performance was evident, students continued to demonstrate excellent achievement of the course learning objectives with the change to pass-fail assessment. Competency-based assessment in postgraduate professional psychology curricula with competent/not yet competent grading may be the best way to proceed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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