Managing Intern Problems

The faculty and staff of this internship believe in assisting interns in resolving problematic behavior that negatively affects their ability to adequately perform their duties and proceed through the training program.


Problematic Behavior.

Problematic behavior is broadly defined as behavior that interferes with professional functioning, and is reflected in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Inability and/or unwillingness to acquire and integrate professional behavior and ethical standards.
  2. Inability and/or unwillingness to acquire the level of professional skills necessary to reach an acceptable level of competency.
  3. Inability and/or unwillingness to control personal stress, psychological problems, and/or excessive emotional reactions which interfere with professional functioning.
  4. Inability and/or unwillingness to abide by the standard operating procedures of LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center or Western State Hospital.


Identifying Intern Problems.

The internship has evaluative procedures designed to provide feedback about the intern’s performance. Feedback on the intern’s performance comes formally and informally from the intern’s verbal self-reports, peer interns, primary supervisor, internship director, other supervising psychologists, and when appropriate, staff at LifeSkills/Pennyroyal Center or WSH. Interns may have difficulty in particular areas during the course of the internship. Most concerns can be resolved in the course of individual supervision. If this method fails, additional action may be required. Additional formal action is more likely to be considered if one or more of the following conditions apply:

  1. The intern does not acknowledge, understand, or address the problem when it is identified.
  2. The problem is not a reflection of skill deficit which can be rectified by further academic or didactic training.
  3. The quality of the intern’s practice is negatively affected and may be considered to be detrimental to patient care.
  4. The problem is not restricted to one area of professional functioning, or if the problem causes a severe deficiency in one area of professional functioning.
  5. A disproportionate amount of attention by training personnel is required, compared to other interns in the group; and/or
  6. The intern’s behavior does not change as a function of feedback, remediation efforts, and/or time.