Kathi Borden (Department Chair), George Tremblay (Professor and Director of Research), and Molly Conley (3rd year PsyD student), represented Antioch University New England’s PsyD Program at the Midwinter meeting of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) that was held in San Diego from January 19th – January 24th. George’s panel presentation was very well received, demonstrating how our program is ahead of many others in providing innovative training that prepares students for the future. Molly was one of only 8 student-delegates selected from programs around the country to represent student perspectives, and she did a great job! Molly represented our program well at the meeting, discussing her passion, interests, and impressions of the week-long experience with all of the APA dignitaries and the administrative, faculty, and student delegates at a plenary session and again at our business meeting on the final day.
The conference was entitled, “Positioning Professional Psychology in Today’s Healthcare: Ensuring our Graduates’ Relevance.” Several days of exciting presentations and discussions focused on many changes in our world, for example, changes in demographics, technology, and most of all, the healthcare delivery system, all of which will impact employment opportunities and psychological practice in the coming years. Important skills (e.g., the ability to conduct brief assessments, implement brief interventions, consult and collaborate with medical and other professionals, and evaluate interventions and treatment programs), along with more medical knowledge (e.g, familiarity with common medical problems, common medications, and other medical interventions) will become necessary for many practicing psychologists. We do not expect more traditional forms of psychological assessment and therapy to disappear, but more and more of our graduates will be involved in patient healthcare homes and other integrated and accountable care settings. We are pleased to learn that much of what our graduates will need for the future is already built into Antioch’s PsyD curriculum!
A Student Perspective on the NCSPP Meeting:
From Molly Conley: I just returned from the National Council of Schools & Programs of Professional Psychology Mid-Winter conference, which focused on ways to advance education and training to ensure that we, as graduates of a clinical psychology program, have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be an integral part of today’s changing healthcare system. I am pleased to report that our program already incorporates numerous essential aspects of providing mental health services within the changing healthcare system, even if we haven’t directly labeled the opportunities and curriculum as such. Additionally, I am hopeful that the ACA will help further our commitment to social justice and providing mental health services to underserved populations.
Dr. Tremblay Presented Center for Research on Psychological Practice Work:
At the mid-Winter meeting of the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology, George Tremblay represented AUNE’s Center for Research on Psychological Practice, as part of a panel on training students for consultation roles. George described three areas of work that both capitalize on unique capabilities of doctoral trainees, and shape skills that are in high demand in practice settings. The first of these is Knowledge Translation, in which students search the scholarly literature for information relevant to a practice question (for example, what risk and protective factors have been identified that influence readiness to thrive upon school entry, and what is the status of the evidence-based interventions to address those factors?), and condense this information into brief, highly targeted communications for a practice audience. The second area is External Facilitation, in which student members of the Center for Research on Psychological Practice team are matched with practice sites to serve as coaches and advocates in implementing new patient flow and data collection practices. The third area is Evaluation Services, in which students help to design data feedback systems (i.e., learning capacities) that can help our practice partners make routine clinical decisions and improve the quality of their services. Students have taught us that they can make substantial contributions in all of these areas, and are charming and disarming to our practice partners as well.