Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) Program, Integrated Behavioral Health Concentration

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Organization Type: 
Educational Institution
Program Type: 
Education Level: 
Educational Elements: 
Self Reflection Activities
Experiential not including services to patients
Experiential including clinical contact with patients
Program Description: 

Integrated Behavioral Health (IHB) Training Overview

The integrated behavioral health concentration provides training in the competencies required to work effectively within primary health care and other medical settings, preparing students to work as behavioral consultants to both patients and medical staff. 

The integrated behavioral health training includes didactic coursework as well as practica in primary care health delivery settings.  After appropriate coursework, students are placed in primary healthcare settings where they provide onsite services to primary healthcare patients.  Basic services provided include focused interventions for depression and anxiety, chronic illness management training, assistance in health behavior change, and assistance with adherence to medical recommendations.

Required Integrated Behavioral Health Courses:

  • PSY 5108 Health Psychology
  • PSY 5511 Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • PSY 5595 Practicum
  • PSY 6570 Clinical Applications in Behavioral Healthcare

IBH Areas of Emphasis

Health Behavior Change. Increasing healthy behaviors and eliminating unhealthy behavior patterns is critical to long-term prevention of chronic medical conditions and the management of chronic conditions when they occur.  Facilitating health behavior change is an essential component of behavioral consultation in primary care settings.  This training encompasses primary areas of health behavior change; including tobacco cessation, weight management, pain management, sleep hygiene, fatigue management, exercise planning, and stress management.

Interprofessional Collaboration. This program prepares students to work effectively with all types of health care providers.  In the Primary Care Behavioral Health (PCBH) model, students work hand-in-hand with physicians, advanced nurse practitioners, nurses, and case managers to improve patient care.  The training also involves increasing communication within the medical setting, providing self-care and psychoeducational programs for medical staff, and team building activities. 

Evidence-based Practice. The program emphasizes the use of evidence-based interventions; including patient education materials, well researched health behavior change procedures, specific skills training, and motivational interviewing techniques.

Focused Consultation and Interventions. Working in medical settings involves a faster pace and more focused patient interaction.  This program trains students to quickly evaluate and provide basic interventions to patients on the same day they are seen by the primary medical care provider.

IBH Practicum Training Sites. The program currently provides IBH practicum training and services within multiple clinics of Brevard Health Alliance, a Federally Qualified Health Center. The populations served in these settings are diverse in age and ethnicity, and many patients have chronic illnesses and disabilities.  Thus, the integrated behavioral health training increases opportunities for training and service with underserved and diverse patients who might not otherwise receive the benefit of behavioral healthcare or the opportunity to participate in health behavior change programs. Opportunities are also available for advanced training in pediatric populations, mobile health services for homeless patients, program administration, and peer supervision.

IBH-Related Research Opportunities. The program's clinical activities create opportunities for systemic evaluation of the training model, the utility of behavioral health consultation services, and the effectiveness of BHC interventions on patient outcomes.  Current faculty maintain ongoing research programs in these areas. Student participation often begins in the first year of the program, and a number of Doctoral Research Projects with a behavioral health focus are completed each year.

Program Results: 

FQHC medical providers were surveyed before behavioral health services were added and approximately six months after services were established. Results indicated increased satisfaction with the ability to meet patients' behavioral health needs. Patients surveyed have also demonstrated satisfaction with services provided.

Informal assessment of students' satisfaction has been positive. Efforts are underway to formally evaluate the program via anonymous survey of current and former students who have completed the concentration. Anecdotally, students report positive feedback about their training from internship and postdoctoral training directors, and to date, three former IBH students have been hired to work in integrated primary care in clinics of the local FQHC.

The Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) program that hosts the Integrated Behavioral Health Concentration is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Thus, materials related to the program will be included in the 2014 Self Study and included in the review by the Committee on Accreditation. 


Targeted Professions
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Advocacy for patient-centered integrated care
Cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally appropriate practice
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Patient-centered care planning, including collaborative decision-making and patient self-management
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Population-based approaches to health care delivery
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Health information technology, including e-communications with patients & other providers
Interprofessionalism & interdisciplinary team collaboration
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Assessment of patient outcomes
Evidence-based practice
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated July 21, 2014

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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