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Core Seminar

Dr. David Berg teaching in the Core Seminar about organizational dynamics in complex systems of healthcare.

The Core Seminar is the cornerstone of the formal curriculum within the Doctoral Internship in Clinical & Community Psychology. It serves as the central locus within the program for classroom-based learning and fosters a sense of community among fellows as they all gather for the seminar each week for 2½ hours on Tuesday afternoons. The most effective Yale educators and those most highly rated by previous students are invited to teach within this seminar. Fellows evaluate the seminar sessions weekly and the sessions are strengthened from year to year as part of a continuous quality improvement initiative. Though seminars are typically delivered in-person, in response to COVID-19, seminars may be delivered live via a virtual platform wherever necessary.

The Core Seminar is organized around the internship’s core competencies, so there are sessions on:

  1. Communication & Interpersonal Skills
  2. Individual & Cultural Diversity
  3. Professional values, Attitudes and Behavior
  4. Ethical and Legal Standards
  5. Assessment
  6. Intervention
  7. Consultation, Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary and Systems-Based Practice
  8. Supervision
  9. Research and Scholarship

Some highlights from the Core Seminar include:

  • Incorporation of training sessions on telemental health and changes in the health-service psychology landscape in the wake of COVID-19
  • Clients presenting their first person accounts of illness, recovery, and treatment
  • A series on culture and diversity within the local treatment system, Yale University, and larger New Haven community
  • Sessions beginning eight weeks after internship start on finding and securing a post-internship position
  • Multiple peer consultation sessions in which fellows advise each other, in the absence of faculty supervisors, using a specific peer consultation method
  • A multiple session series on understanding the interpersonal, group, and inter-group dynamics in complex healthcare organizations, with strategies for diagnosing and intervening with organizational problems in these settings
  • Multiple sessions on integrated mental health and general health care
  • Quarterly Facilitated Open Discussion sessions in which fellows share in confidence their perspectives on the internship experience and the effectiveness with which they are working together as a group
  • A three-part series on trauma presented by one of the nation’s leading experts on this topic
  • Learning about the assessment strategy of “observation” by observing famous works of art at the Yale Center for British Art (every medical student at Yale has this structured and highly rated educational experience)
  • Multiple sessions on assessment and treatment of various conditions from cognitive behavioral and recovery-oriented perspectives
  • A four-part series on the utility of psychodynamic concepts in contemporary clinical practice
  • A session with an internationally known emeritus psychiatrist on writing about your life as a professional and your work with clients

Placement Based Seminars

The Core Seminar is complemented by seminars offered within the placements. These focus on the competencies essential for work with the specific populations and treatment approaches that are central to the placements. A description of these seminars can be found within the placement descriptions. Though seminars are typically delivered in-person, in response to COVID-19, seminars may be delivered live via a virtual platform wherever necessary.

Departmental Grand Rounds

The Yale Department of Psychiatry hosts a weekly Grand Rounds, which is offered on Friday mornings. Fellows do not routinely attend this event, but may attend selected Grand Rounds presentations that are of special interest to them.

Departmental Electives

Fellows are also eligible to take one of the Electives offered by the Department of Psychiatry. Most fellows choose to focus on activities within their formal internship placement. However, each year a few fellows may decide to participate in an Elective. Participation in an Elective requires prior approval by the internship Primary Advisor.