Presidential Reflections:  Psychology Training is a Team Sport
Tony Cellucci, Ph.D., ABPP

To many APTC members the period after APA convention might seem one of relative Tony Cellucciquietude for our professional group. However, the executive committee has actually been busy working for you, and recently held a videoconference meeting.

     Our liaisons, chaired by Lettie Flores, have been representing training clinics. Phyllis Terry Friedman attended the ACCTA conference this year and Lettie marched on Washington as part of the Educational leadership Conference. Most recently, Erica Wise and I attended BEA and CCTC respectively. Liaison reports are posted on our website. Speaking of the website, did you pay your Sept 2014-2015 dues?  Most of your fellow directors have so don't delay and risk losing access to our resources and listserv. Please update your member profile telling us what is special about your clinic and uploading your best picture. On another front, Heidi Zetzer is taking awards to the next level with the announcement of a new clinic innovations award but I will let her tell that story. Financially, Bill has kept us in good stead with the IRS and with a modest balance after paying for TEPP subscriptions and as we plan the annual conference which we subsidize. I am excited by chatter on listserv about developing proposal ideas. Please plan on joining us in Austin for Texas dinner.

     Perhaps the most important milestone in APTC history was developing guidelines for clinics that Directors can consult and review with Department Heads and other administrators when discussing clinics, your role as administrator and in strategic planning.  However, they were finalized in 2008. Mary Alice Conroy is heading up another APTC group who are reviewing these guidelines and considering needed updates and revisions considering evolving standards and trends in the field. These guidelines are aspirational and not meant to be overly prescriptive. However, I do believe changes in the administration of higher education pose challenges to training doctoral level health care providers. What are the emerging concerns that these guidelines need to address today? Our APTC clinic guidelines are an effective mechanism by which 180 other clinic directors can join your often lone voice in promoting high standards in training and practice. Write Mary Alice or myself and tell us what you want them to reflect.

     A measure of the maturity of APTC is the degree to which practicum and therefore our clinics are now considered in accreditation. We are all about developmental training that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.  This is the first time we will have CoA site visitor training available prior to our meeting. Moreover, APTC as an organization has responded and commented through the SOA revision process. Karen Fondacaro has agreed to provide ongoing leadership in this area as it is expected that there will be over 20 Implementing Regulations (IRs) released in the coming year. Anyone interested but particularly those Directors who are in touch with evolving standards in graduate training are asked to email Karen and get involved representing us in this national conversation.

     The theme for this issue of the newsletter is the continuing internship crisis. Our students are facing insufficient placements and increasing pressure to obtain accredited internships. Please read Bob’s prior scholarship and his thoughts in this issue for a sophisticated understanding of the issues involved. In recent years, both APA and CCTC in particular have been very involved promoting the development of internships. I would just make a few points:  a) The internship crisis involves ethical issues (i.e. the ethical context in training) b) We need to resist the impulse to blame others (e.g., professional schools) as the crisis is multi-determined and these are our colleagues c) All programs which send students into the match should be active in internship creation and d) Practicum clinics may be an untapped resource. I recently collected some survey data on our involvement in internship training. Preliminarily, of about sixty responding clinics, 10% were involved at least in part in internship training, although another 20% were moderately interested and considering the possibility. I will be examining the responses of clinic directors as to the internship resources they would find most helpful to them and the technical assistance they most need. Please add your voice to this listserv survey. The SoA affirmed internship training to be a part of pre-doctoral preparation as a health services provider. I think there would be considerable value to improving communication between programs and internship sites; clinic directors (who often coordinate external practica as well) should seemingly be at the center of such conversations.  We could learn from internship supervisors about what are students need and potentially develop better developmental and /or remedial plans. Perhaps APTC and APPIC might create some joint programming to foster such conversations. In closing, I would encourage all of us to consider networking with internship or potential internship sites in your area to promote partnerships. As one of my ECU colleagues is fond of saying, psychology training is a team sport.