Guam-PIC Philosophy, Training Goals, Aim, and Competencies

Philosophy and Training GoalsOverlooking water and buildings along the shores. Tree branches in the top right corner. Rolling hills and clouds in the background.

Guam-PIC aspires to prepare knowledgeable, skilled, passionate, and compassionate psychologists-to-be to live and work in Guam, serving the people of Guam to help them remain healthy, strong, and resilient. The varied cultures and challenges of the people of Guam require clinicians to be culturally sensitive and culturally humble, to adapt evidence-based practices where appropriate to meet the needs of diverse clients, and be accepting of all clients.

Guam-PIC provides a range of clinical and didactic experiences and training opportunities representing the necessary depth and breadth required for future professional practice in psychology providing culturally relevant and competent services for Guam’s diverse, rural, and often underserved population, with a focus on public behavioral health, and the shared experiences, demands, and common treatment barriers of this region.

Guam-PIC seeks to produce generalist child, adolescent, and adult psychology practitioners who have demonstrated the capacity to function autonomously and responsibly and who are well-prepared to acquire and maintain licensure. More specifically, Guam-PIC’s training is based on the Practitioner-Scholar model. Guam-PIC prepares psychology interns to be clinical psychologists who are effective consumers of research and who utilize scholarly inquiry to inform their practice. We view the internship year within the overall context of doctoral psychological training and emphasize professional growth and development. Building upon interns’ prior learning, we facilitate their transition from the role of student to that of professional psychologist. Therefore, an initial, collaborative assessment between supervisor and intern regarding intern strengths, weaknesses, existing knowledge/skill base, specific training needs, and areas of professional interest sets the tone for and amount of supervision an interns receive at the beginning of the training year. All training experiences are planned and coordinated such that as interns demonstrate increased competency, they are given increased autonomy in professional service delivery and assigned increasingly complex learning tasks. Thus, our training approach is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.

Across the training year, interns are rated on APA’s nine Profession Wide Competencies, Guam-PIC’s two Program Specific Competencies involving public behavioral health and their associated learning elements. These competencies and learning elements are formally evaluated at the mid- and endpoints of each rotation. The minimum level of achievement (MLA) on each evaluation changes over the course of the training year, reflecting expected growth in competence. The MLAs are 3 at the 6-month evaluation and 4 at the 12-month evaluation. To successfully complete internship, interns must receive a rating of 4 or higher on all competencies and learning elements to demonstrate that they are prepared for entry level independent practice and licensure. Falling below the MLA on any competency or learning element may initiate the program’s Due Process procedures.


The aim of the Guam Psychology Internship Consortium (Guam-PIC) is to prepare, train, and retain psychologists to provide culturally competent collaborative health care for the underserved and diverse people of Guam.

Profession-Wide and Guam-PIC Competencies and Learning Elements

1. Research

a. Demonstrates the substantially independent ability to critically evaluate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentations, publications);

b. Disseminates research and other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentations, publications) at the local, regional, or national level; and

c. Independently accesses and applies scientific knowledge and skills appropriately to the solution of problems.

2. Ethical and Legal Standards

a. Be knowledgeable and act in accordance with each of the following:

i. the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct;
ii. relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, territorial, and federal levels; and
iii. relevant professional standards and guidelines.

b. Recognizes ethical dilemmas as they arise and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas;

c. Conducts self in an ethical manner in all professional activities; and

d. Seeks supervision and consultation in order to resolve ethical dilemmas.

3. Individual and Cultural Diversity

a. Demonstrates an understanding of how one’s own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases affects how one understands and interacts with people different from themselves;

b. Demonstrates knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service;

c. Demonstrates the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles;

d. Demonstrates the ability to apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity;

e. Demonstrates the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own; and

f. Considers relevant cultural issues in case conceptualization, selection of assessment tools, diagnosis, and determination of treatment modality.

4. Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors

a. Behaves in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including cultural humility, integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others;

b. Engages in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning, engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness;

c. Actively seeks and demonstrates openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision;

d. Responds professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training;

e. Actively participates in scheduled appointments, training activities, required documentation, and meetings consistently in a timely manner; and

f. Maintains appropriate boundaries in professional and clinical relationships.

5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

a. Develops and maintains effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services;

b. Demonstrates a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts; produce, comprehend, and engage in written, verbal, and non-verbal communications that are informative and well-integrated; and

c. Demonstrates effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

6. Assessment

a. Demonstrates current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology;

b. Demonstrates understanding of human behavior within its context (e.g., family, social, societal, and cultural);

c. Demonstrates the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including the context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process;

d. Selects and applies assessment methods that draw from the empirical literature and that reflects the science of measurement and psychometrics;

e. Collects relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient;

f. Interprets assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective; and,

g. Communicates the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner to a range of audiences.

7. Intervention

a. Establishes and maintains effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services;

b. Develops evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals;

c. Implements interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables;

d. Demonstrates the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making;

e. Modifies and adapts evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking;

f. Evaluates intervention effectiveness and adapts intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation; and

g. States and explains one’s theoretical orientation regarding behavior change.

8. Supervision

a. Applies supervision knowledge in direct or simulated practice with psychology trainees, or other health professionals. Examples of direct or simulated practice examples include, but are not limited to, role-played supervision with others, and peer supervision with other trainees;

b. Applies the supervisory skill of observing in direct or simulated practice;

c. Applies the supervisory skill of evaluating in direct or simulated practice; and,

d. Applies the supervisory skills of giving guidance and feedback in direct or simulated practice.

9. Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

a. Demonstrates knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions;

b. Applies knowledge of consultation models and practices in direct or simulated consultation with individuals and their families, other health care professionals, interprofessional groups, or systems related to health and behavior; and

c. Demonstrates ability to work within a team-based approach to clinical services.

10. Guam Public Behavioral Health

a. Demonstrates understanding of the public behavioral health system;

b. Demonstrates understanding of and sensitivity to the specific social and environmental stressors of underserved client populations by appropriately considering these factors in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning;

c. Demonstrates knowledge of organizational, local, and state policies, regulations, and statutes and their impact on the profession of psychology and the delivery of services; and,

d. Demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate the system of care, including strengths, challenges, and impacts on persons served.

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