Past Intern Projects
As part of their training, interns complete a project that involves consultation, outreach, or educational presentations or workshops. Below are listed some of the projects that recent interns have completed.
“For my project, I developed and led an 8-session Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group protocol for the Professional Enhancement Program (PEP). I came into the internship with the ongoing goal of developing an expertise in the theory and practice of ACT. While on the PEP rotation (and with the approval of my supervisor, Dr. Yowell), I began utilizing ACT interventions during therapy groups and found that the psychological flexibility model applied well to the rigidity and inflexibility that many of the patients struggled with. As part of the project, I provided an outline that included a brief explanation of ACT, a literature review on the support for ACT, the goals of the group, and general group criteria.”
“For my project, I developed and gave a continuing education presentation on Integrating Spirituality and Psychotherapy: Ethical and Practical Considerations. I specifically reviewed the fundamental ethical standards that guide the field of mental health and applied those standards to integrating spiritual concerns into treatment. I also reviewed relevant research on the benefits of incorporating spirituality into treatment, reviewed several tools for assessing spiritual issues with patients and discussed strategies for working on specific spiritual issues patients may have. My project was supervised by Drs. Ratti and Paterson.””
“I conducted a pilot study to examine a strategy for reducing hospital readmissions at Pine Grove’s adult inpatient psychiatric treatment unit. The goal of the study was to investigate whether post-discharge phone calls as a follow-up procedure are effective in reducing the readmissions rates. The post-discharge re-enforcement phone call is a follow-up procedure that allows for patient’s actions, questions, misunderstandings, and discrepancies in the discharge plan to be identified and addressed. The call also reminds patients to adhere to discharge orders. Our results suggest that when phone call follow-up is utilized, readmission rates decrease at 30 and 60 days after the patient was discharged”
Maria Dal Maso
“For my special project I developed and presented a continuing education course on assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunction, and I was supervised by Dr. Ratti. My presentation included an overview of sexual functioning, diagnostic criteria of sexual dysfunction disorders, interviewing for and assessment of sexual functioning, and identifying appropriate treatment for sexual dysfunction. I presented the 90-minute course to licensed mental healthcare workers and nurses working at Pine Grove, Forrest General, and the surrounding area.”
“I plan to pursue a career in administration, so for my special project I partnered with Dr. Calabrese to update Outpatient Services' method of conducting initial and annual competency evaluations in keeping with Forrest General Hospital's competency initiative and based on best practices in the field. I accompanied him to management meetings and trainings, culminating in a new set of ongoing competency evaluation criteria based upon his evaluees' and departmental needs. I also created a streamlined "how-to" document for Dr. Calabrese to use in future years. Finally, Dr. Calabrese and I plan to create and present a training to his staff on this new process.”
“For my special project I developed a continuing education presentation on the uses of computerized and mobile technology in therapy, with the assistance of Dr. Ratti. I presented my special project at the 2014 Pine Grove Spring Workshop to an audience of professionals of varying health backgrounds. The presentation focused on the rationale, evidence base, ethics and limitations of using computerized and mobile technology in a therapeutic practice.”
“For my internship project I worked with Dr. Ratti developing a continuing education presentation on ethics. We created a presentation that offered a new model for conceptualizing ethical concerns related to informed consent and confidentiality. The model was a multilayered paradigm intended to help mental healthcare providers consider factors influencing these ethical concerns from different perspectives (Individual, Provider, Organizational and Systematic). We gave a 2-hour oral presentation with slide show to an audience of mental healthcare professional from throughout the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services system and surrounding community.”
“The special project that I chose to complete was on social skills in individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. For this project, I worked with Christina Williams, Ph.D. to collaboratively develop and prepare a slide show for an oral presentation with current research in this area. I was responsible for gathering new research, reviewing literature, finding appropriate media examples, and assisting in the creation of the slide show using Microsoft PowerPoint. I also co-presented this information at the annual Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders and Related Concerns Conference in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on October 18, 2012. Information included an introduction to autism spectrum disorders, social skills and development across the lifespan, warning signs of autism, and strategies for intervention and clinician/parent/teacher resources.”
“For my consultation project, I created a manual of relaxation and mindfulness exercises for use at the Gratitude program. The project included an introduction with a rationale for inclusion of adjunctive relaxation and mindfulness exercises in the treatment of addiction disorders, as well as references to empirical studies in peer reviewed journals supporting such inclusion. Utilizing eight training modules, the project included instructions for group facilitators on how to introduce each relaxation and mindfulness exercise while promoting group discussion and reflection following the practice.”
“For my consultation project, I worked to draft the Supervision Handbook for Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services’ Doctoral Program in Professional Psychology (PG-DIPP). This project was conducted to provide a response to the American Psychological Association's (APA) request for follow-up information as part of the re-accreditation process which was completed in 2011. The Supervision Handbook contains an outline of requirements and primary responsibilities for supervisors and supervisees. It also delineates the supervisors and the treatment team for each rotation and describes their roles. The handbook contains documents that are required for the supervision process and supplementary materials.”
“For my consultation project, I completed a Diversity Handbook for Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services’ Doctoral Program in Professional Psychology (PG-DIPP). This project was conducted to provide a response to the American Psychological Association's (APA) request for follow-up information as part of the re-accreditation process which was completed in 2011. The Diversity Handbook contains a written Statement of Diversity, Long Term Diversity Plan, and appendices of references for books, journal articles, and movies related to cultural and individual diversity. The project involved researching the diversity handbooks of other training programs and APA's diversity requirements. I also identified what steps PG-DIPP already utilizes and has implemented and additional steps they will implement to ensure the recruitment and retention of diverse training staff and internship classes and to better train interns in working with diverse populations. The Diversity Handbook is intended to be a flexible and evolving document that PG-DIPP can modify as needed and share with other training programs.”
“For my consultation project, I organized and edited a master calendar of responsibilities and duties of the Director of Training (DT) for the Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services’ Doctoral Program in Professional Psychology (PG-DIPP). I also proposed and drafted a written statement of the current organizational structure of PG-DIPP, options for modifying this structure to increase flexibility and adaptability, and succession plan options in the event the DT, supervisors, or rotations need to be modified or replaced. This project was conducted to help PG-DIPP develop a written Succession Plan in response to American Psychological Association (APA) comments and suggestions during the re-accreditation process which was completed in 2011. The Succession Plan is intended to be a flexible and evolving document that PG-DIPP can modify as needed and share with other training programs.”
Sandra Grissom, Monica Meyer, and Thelia Robinson
The 2010-11 intern class worked together to complete a consultation project for South Mississippi State Hospital (SMSH). This project was completed under the Director of Training, Dr. Michele Larrow, and involved making two presentations to the staff at SMSH and preparing a handbook.
There is a large population of Vietnamese immigrants who live and work on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. This population was adversely impacted by the disasters of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Following these disasters, there was an increase in Vietnamese immigrants presenting for mental health services at SMSH and the staff members wanted to improve their ability to effectively work with these clients. Interns provided the staff at SMSH with educational presentations on therapeutic work with Vietnamese clients. They made presentations to both the day and the evening staff at SMSH. The interns also prepared an educational handbook for current and future staff members to use working with immigrants from a variety of Asian cultures. These handbooks addressed a variety of cultural and diversity issues including acculturation level, language, customs, assessment of mental health, family involvement, spiritual beliefs, openness to disclosure, and attitudes about mental health.
In addition, the 2010-11 intern class made educational presentations to the clinical staff at Pine Grove. These presentations offered APA-approved continuing education credits for psychologists. Sandra Grissom and Monica Meyer worked together to make a presentation on therapeutic issues related to working with LGBT clients and Thelia Robinson, together with Dr. Larrow, made a presentation on the use of self-compassion and mindfulness in working with clients. Both of the presentations included experiential exercises and participants were provided with relevant literature references.