Welcome, 2018-2019 Interns!



Pictured left to right, Blake Palmer, Andrew Goebel, Hannah Sutherland, and Chris Morrison, and the PMHC mascot plant, Seymour. Let’s hope Seymour doesn’t get hungry…



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Farewell to the class of 2017-2018

The time has come again to say goodbye–sigh. But WKPIC knows its graduates will be awesome in whatever they undertake. Fair winds and following seas to these new psychologists. Here’s hoping they chart new waters and travel far!



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Many congratulations to previous intern and current post-doctoral student Jennifer Román on the successful defense of her dissertation–including THREE HOURS of answering questions from an academic audience!!




Susan Redmond-Vaught, Ph.D.
Director, WKPIC


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WKPIC extends a giant congratulations to intern Anissa Pugh for her successful dissertation defense yesterday!!





Susan Redmond-Vaught, Ph.D.
Director, WKPIC

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Article Review: On Being Sane in Insane Places (Rosenhan, 1973)

Dr. David Rosenhan in 1973 conducted a study called On Being Sane in Insane Places to examine the reliability of staff, especially psychiatrist, in telling the difference between people who had severe psychiatric disorders and people who did not have these issues. Rosenhan produced eight pseudopatients who gained access to 12 different hospitals. Upon admission, all of the pseudopatients complained that they heard voices or sounds (“empty,” “hollow,” and “thud”) that were often unclear, unfamiliar, and of the same sex as the pseudopatients. Once admission was granted for the pseudopatients, all abnormal symptoms were discontinued and they behaved normally on the wards.


While the pseudopatients were on the psychiatric ward, staff would ask how they were feeling, and they all said fine. All the pseudopatients spoke to the other patients and staff as they regularly did. However, once being labeled schizophrenic, there was nothing a pseudopatient could do to overcome the diagnosis. The label of schizophrenia pathologized every aspect of the person’s behavior, as far as the staff were concerned. For example, all pseudopatients took extensive notes publicly but staff overlooked this activity. The closest questioning of the note taking occurred when a pseudopatient asked what medication they were receiving and began to write it down. The staff member then said, “You need not write it… If you have trouble remembering, just ask me again.”


In addition, Rosenhan noted that the pseudopatient behaviors that were stimulated by the environment were commonly misattributed to their disorder of schizophrenia. In other words, the patients’ behaviors were misinterpreted by staff as stemming from within the person, rather than the environment. For example, one of the pseudopatients was pacing in the long hospital corridor and a nurse asked were they nervous and the pseudopatient responded, “No, bored.” Interestingly, the patients on the psychiatric ward were able to question the normality of the pseudopatients and were suspicious of them, but not the staff. The main study results highlighted that there was a failure to detect sanity—and that the failure was that of the staff.


After the main study, Rosenhan conducted a second part where staff members were instructed to rate on a 10-point scale each new patient as to the likelihood that person was a pseudopatient. After examining the results out of 193 total patients, only 19 were rated by the psychiatrist and at least one other staff that the patient was suspected as a pseudopatient. In fact, Rosenhan had not sent any pseudopatients. These results suggested there was a failure in staff’s ability to detect pathology as well as sanity.


There is a long history at attempting to classify individuals with a disorder due to their symptoms and behavior. Currently the DSM-5 is used as a means to diagnosis one with a disorder based on specific criteria, which is more reliable, objective, and generalizable than the DSM-II that was used in the 1973. However, this study is still relevant and highlights biases, as well as stigma associated with diagnostic labels. In addition, it fosters a deeper look at our own role as practitioners, and encourages us to have a holistic view, and to be mindful to not pathologize every aspect of a person’s behavior.


Rosenhan, D.L. (1973). On being sane in insane places. Science, 179. 250-58


Katy Roth, M.A., CRC
WKPIC Doctoral Intern





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Friday Factoids Catch-Up: Self-Care During Internship


In my first Friday Factoid of the month, I mentioned that it is important to create friendships over the course of your internship.  I have learned it is not only important to have friendships within your cohort, but with other staff members at work who are not related to your department.  I have been lucky enough to have developed friendships with several individuals who understand my quirky nature and who are not afraid of having fun at work.



This year has been filled with too many fun shenanigans to talk about in just one blog post.  The two best shenanigans that have been talked about all over the hospital are our Unicorn Shirt days and Operation Cat Take Over.  On a random Thursday this year, a group of staff members decided to wear “I am a Unicorn” shirts along with unicorn headbands.  Not only did staff find these shirts entertaining, but several patients have asked if they could have the shirts.


By far the best shenanigan of the year not only started a department prank war, but WON the prank war.  It is said that on a Sunday afternoon two awesome, dedicated, and creative people entered the office of Will Battle.  Rumor has it that in 4 hours over 1200 cat pictures were hung across the entire office floor to ceiling with approximately 6 rolls of tape.   Pictures of this office do not do it justice so if you are ever at the hospital make sure to ask if you can see the “Cat Office.” 







Anissa Pugh, MA, LPA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern



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Friday Factoids Catch-Up: Self-Care During Internship

Many of the articles that provide tips on how to have a successful internship strongly encourage participation in self-care activities. We, as clinicians, frequently tell our clients to engage in self-care activities such as being outside, coloring, or listening to music. However, we are not always the best at taking our own advice.


I know over the course of this internship, I have had to work at incorporating self-care into my weekly routine. I have found that I not only need self-care activities outside of work, but also during my normal work day. One way I incorporate self-care into my work day is by getting out of the office for a few minutes several times a day. It started out just walking outside the building because there is always something to see on the grounds of WSH. At some point, I added a weekly Friday trip to Starbucks before seminar. On these trips, I realized I not only needed the caffeine, but I also needed to have a reward at the end of the week I could look for to. Now 10 months into internship, I may go to Starbucks more than is probably necessary, but it gives me a chance to get out of the office for a brief period of time.


Before you begin your internship year, I would suggest finding different ways you are going to incorporate self-care into your weekly routine.


Anissa Pugh, MA, LPA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern


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Friday Factoids Catch-Up: Having FUN on Internship

Congrats!!! You have officially matched with your internship placement for next year and that means one more stressful process cannot be taken off your long to-do list before graduation.  But just like other portions of your graduate school career, the actual internship can be stressful.  As clinicians we teach our clients a variety of coping skills to manage stress and instruct them to engage in self-care activities.  However, we usually don’t take our own advice and I know this has been a personal struggle for be during my internship placement.  That is why for the month of June the Friday Factoids are going to focus on how to survive your internship while not only growing as a professional, but also having fun at the same time.


There are a variety of articles online that give tips on how to have a successful internship and most of these articles incorporate the same aspects.  Tartokovsky (2016) composed a list of “8 Tips for a Successful Internship.”  Some of the tips from this were to learn as much as you can during internship, because you will most likely have a chance to do things you have never done before.  Something new you learn on internship may even become your specialty in the future.  Other tips discussed were talking with staff members and getting to know your cohort.  Internship can be stressful at times and you are going to need people to talk to both at work and in your personal life.


As I near the end of my internship placement, I got to thinking about things I did over the last nine months to ensure internship would be a memorable experience.  So over the next few weeks, I am going to show you some things I did as an intern that kept me calm including creating friendships, going on lots of Starbucks runs, and wearing unicorn shirts and headbands throughout the hospital.  Yes, you read that correctly unicorn shirts because sometimes you need to a good laugh when things get stressful (There is picture proof this happened).


Tartakovsky, M. (2016). 8 Tips for a Successful Internship. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 8, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/8-tips-for-a-successful-internship/


Anissa Pugh, MA, LPA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern



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Big giant hurrah for intern Crystal Henson, for successfully defending her dissertation!






Susan Redmond-Vaught, Ph.D.
Director, WKPIC

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Friday Factoid Catch-Up: The Porcupine Dilemma

Having a loved one with a mental illness can sometimes feel a lot like trying to love a porcupine. Schopenhauer and Freud have used a metaphor called the Porcupine Dilemma to describe what they feel is the state of the individual in relation to others.


This dilemma suggests that despite goodwill and the desire to have a close reciprocal relationship, porcupines cannot avoid hurting others with their sharp quills for reasons they cannot avoid. This typically results in cautious behavior and unstable relationships.

To work through this dilemma, if you have a loved one suffering with mental illness,  consider the following strategies:

  • Get involved in a community support program for emotional support and camaraderie.
  • Engage in self-care.
  • Encourage your loved one to initiate mental health services.
  • Communicate openly about your feelings, wants, and needs.



Georgetta Harris-Wyatt, MS
WKPIC Doctoral Intern


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