Interns at Framingham Day Hospital must be enrolled in an accredited program of professional graduate study (i.e., social work or counseling psychology, etc.). Internships are an integral part of an accredited educational institution's academic curriculum. At Framingham Day Hospital student interns integrate and apply the theories that they learn in class with actual practice with individuals, families, groups, and larger systems. The goal is to produce professional clinicians possessing the knowledge and skills to work with a range of clients and problem areas, to analyze and apply theory critically, and to utilize a variety of interventions according to client need. The placement provides the opportunity for the student to help clients improve their psychological and social functioning, and gain access to social and economic resources.
Internships are designed by the educational institution as a concurrent course of study with classroom curriculum throughout the academic year. Interns are in the placement (at Framingham Day Hospital) three days a week (twenty-four hours) during the academic year. They receive a minimum of one and one half hours per week of supervision from a qualified supervisor (at least two years of post-graduate experience for a social worker, at least five years of post-graduate experience for counseling psychology) and participate in weekly clinical reviews of clients at a multidisciplinary treatment team meeting. They are also offered the opportunity to consult with the team's psychiatrist on an as-needed basis.
Interns are expected to achieve competence in a range of roles; formulating assessments and treatment plans; direct clinical practice; collaboration with the multidisciplinary staff and community providers; and case management and advocacy. They also learn about the agency's policies and organizational issues that affect services to clients, and have the opportunity to learn about organizational dynamics and change. Interns benefit from additional supervisory input through clinical reviews with the multidisciplinary treatment team, the agency's consulting psychiatrist, and a series of in-service educational sessions held at the agency throughout the academic year. Supervisors meet formally twice a year with representatives of the institution to coordinate training, and contact them as needed throughout the year. Each institution carries professional liability insurance for its students.
The internship program at Programs For People has been in existence for over 35 years. During that time hundreds of students have received training at the program from a variety of professional disciplines including social work, counseling psychology, occupational therapy, expressive therapy, and rehabilitation counseling. The academic institutions that have participated in this program are numerous, including Simmons College, Boston University, Boston College, Tufts University, Leslie College, Framingham State University, Northeastern University, Quinsigamond College, and others.
Consistent with the philosophy of Programs For People, interns assume clinical responsibilities similar to those of the staff, under the weekly supervision of their supervisors. They make significant contributions and participate as an integral part of the multidisciplinary treatment team. They have facilitated a variety of groups over the years in the area of individual and group psychotherapy, vocational rehabilitation, expressive therapy, and activities of daily living. In addition, they have participated actively in the therapeutic milieu, and in ongoing agency contact with collateral providers in the community. They have also been an integral part of Framingham Day Hospital's family treatment team.
Programs For People has welcomed the contributions that interns have made to the agency both in terms of the services they have provided and the energy and creative thinking that they bring to their work. Programs For People is proud to see former interns, now with professional degrees, making contributions to the field.