Doctoral Internship Training Program

PRACTICE DESCRIPTON

Dr. Miller founded Solstice Counseling & Wellness in 2013 in response to the limited psychological assessment and treatment services for those residing along the Wasatch Back. During this time, Dr. Miller has built a solid professional reputation in the area and has maintained an increasing stream of client referrals from the community since starting the practice. The training opportunities for students was built upon Dr. Miller’s passion for supporting this underserved community and more recent passion project of his which led to joining the APA Accredited Utah Psychology Internship Consortium (UT-PIC) in the training of tomorrow’s psychologists. Solstice is currently the only APA-accredited private practice training site in the state of Utah! What further distinguishes Solstice Counseling & Wellness from other service providers is our creative approach to clinical services, while upholding high standards of care to deliver services that are intrinsically motivating to our clients.

We receive referrals from a broad range of sources: pediatric and family medicine practitioners, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), insurance companies, family lawyers and the courts, child welfare professionals, local children’s agencies, the Children’s Justice Center (CJC), Crime Victim Advocates (CVR) and local schools. Assessment referral sources can be, but are not limited to, Work Force Services of Utah, the courts, other local health care providers, insurance companies, and 3rd party contactors for the Veterans Administration. Given the breadth of referrals, we provide services to both the general mental health population in the region as well as harder to serve, more complex client challenges commonly found in underserved and somewhat remote locations.

POPULATION SERVED

Clientele consists of varying age groups across the life span; from children ages 6 and up, through elders (80+) residing in our community.  The ratio of children to adults and female/male is roughly a 40-60 split. Over 90% of clients are Caucasian. Most adult clients and families can be considered working middle class with at least a high school education. Clients show variability relative to socioeconomic status from those who are more well off to those at or below the poverty line. Educational background can include individuals who have dropped out of high school to those with advanced degrees.  While most individuals are likely to be working full time jobs, we also serve those that can’t and might be on long term disability. Clients present with a diversity of problems/issues with most adult clients having a mood, anxiety, or adjustment disorder, along with some sort of relationship conflict. Many adolescents present with mood and anxiety disorders as well, along with adjustment-related signs and symptoms. Children tend to present with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, non-compliance, aggressive behavior, school-related problems, symptoms associated with separation/divorce, other adjustment-related issues, and/or learning disorders. Most clients are self-referred, lending themselves to being highly motivated and open to the treatment process. There is individual diversity with respect to intellectual and adaptive behavior functioning. There is also variability in working with those with more acute and recent symptom expressions to those that have a more chronic long-standing condition. We also see a variation across clients in terms of symptom severity from mild to severe.  While the above information provides an overview of who our clientele is likely to be from these different perspectives, those receiving services can be considered higher functioning and have decent resources to support and advance the therapeutic process.

TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

The focus of our training program is on the consolidation of clinical skills and the application of the scientist-practitioner model to clinical practice.  We believe in providing a holistic, well-rounded training experience that emphasizes not only the development of foundational professional skills (i.e., assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, and professional and ethical issues) but also the importance of the broader context influencing growth as well as the unique human experiences and qualities that help shape an emerging professional identity.  Therefore, interns will be trained as a generalist guided by the above principles.  We believe that good clinical practice has both an empirical basis and clinical relevance.  We also believe that it is important to be creative yet maintain fidelity in applying evidence-based practice in working with members of the community. We strive to provide highly applied training experiences so that interns may apply and consolidate the rich research, theory and clinical training they received in graduate training in a practical, integrative and creative manner.    At the applied clinical level, we value taking a developmental and theoretically integrative approach to the assessment and treatment of clients.  Therefore, trainees will learn to formulate integrative case formulations considering multiple levels of influence producing vulnerability to mental health symptoms.  Interns will also learn how to think critically and integrate elements of theory, empirical research and practice from a range of theoretical orientations to inform clinical practice.

At the individual level, we value the unique experiences, worldview and contributions of every member of our team.  We appreciate that the intern will arrive at our training program with their own unique training and life experiences and have developed personal meanings from these experiences.  We strive to help them understand and respect the culmination of their prior graduate training experiences and integrate this understanding within their own personal, cultural and professional values in developing their own training goals, theory of practice, professional identity, and commitment to life-long growth and learning.  We take a gradual approach to the development of professional skills in our training, with more direct ‘hands-on’ modeling and live supervision of newer clinical skills and a gradual emphasis on increasing levels of independence as clinical skills progress.  We also value fostering a sense of professional responsibility and accountability to ourselves, clients, colleagues and the broader community for the unique decisions we face in our role as practicing professional psychologists.  The privilege of joining a self-governed profession, requires strong self-awareness, reflection and evaluation in order to uphold the responsibility of this privilege.  Again, we strive to model and guide the interns in what it means to practice ethically and responsibly in all aspects of our clinical work as practicing psychologists. While the training program is primarily focused upon building solid clinical skills and the application of them in an effective individualized manner the intern will also have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in what it takes to effectively manage and be successful in running a private practice of their own.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

The training program at Solstice will take a developmental approach over the course of the full year to supervise, teach and foster the development of a breadth of clinical skills in psychological assessment and intervention with children, adolescents and adults.  The training program adheres to the UT-PIC structure offering a one-year, 2000-hour, full-time doctoral internships beginning and ending in August. The start date for the 2022-2023 cohort is August 1, 2022. The Consortium provides a range of clinical and didactic experiences that represents the necessary depth and breadth required for future professional practice within psychology. Interns have a primary placement at one of five sites, with both required and elective rotations and other training experiences at other sites within the consortium. Across training sites, interns are expected to complete a full-time internship during the course of the internship year, of which at least 25% (500 hours) are spent in the provision of direct face-to-face clinical services. Interns are expected to achieve the internship program aim and objectives, as stated in the UT-PIC brochure (Which can be found here under general information: https://www.ut-pic.org/) and to abide by the APA Code of Ethics, the requirements of the UT-PIC training program, and the policies and procedures of their primary training site.

UT-PIC trains clinical psychologists who are effective consumers of research and who utilize scholarly inquiry to inform their practice. UT-PIC offers generalist training with a focus on rural and underserved populations, with the opportunity for specialized training that varies across training sites. More information about each training site and the resources and opportunities offered by each is provided on the link found above.