Ollie123

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Two related questions:
1) What sort of balance did everyone have between individual and group hours and do you think it was valuable when applying? I'm expecting to have a sizable portion of my therapy hours as groups. I'm aiming to have ~500-600 therapy hours pre-internship, and I think about half of that will come from groups. Somewhat concerned about how that will look. Not too worried since I'm planning to apply primarily to clinical science internships (primarily health psych and/or substance use) which I suspect are somewhat less hours-focused than other places, but figured I'd ask.

2) The bigger question is - how on EARTH do people actually keep track of their client demographics in these sort of settings for purposes of tracking hours? We will have anywhere from 10-20+ people at a time at the VA - they span multiple programs and not all clients attend all groups anyways, some are always being pulled in and out at various times. I tried keeping accurate records initially, but it seems more trouble than its worth, especially since the total # of individuals will likely be on the order of several hundred by the time I'm done and this is an incredibly diverse population so I'm not sure a handful of folks in either direction is going to make an enormous difference in my application.
 

erg923

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I had only had 10 group therapy hours from 1 group that I ran this year. Its still ongoing at my prac. There was a big debate on how to keep track of the demos for that sort of thing on the APPI list serve, and I dont remember what the conclusion was. Sorry.

I did not feel like not having much group experience was an issue for my appi. Lots of places (especially VAs) have opportunity for groups and I simply couched that in my cover letter as something to the effect of "your program's extensive opportunity for group therapy will provide an important compliment to my current current group therapy training experience." I did not explicitly say that I didn't have much experience there (although they can see that in my hours breakdown), but phased in such a way that it was obvious that I wanted to use them to fill this gap in my training.
 
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Ollie123

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Oooo - if someone remembers the conclusion of that discussion that would be fantastic. If there is an ofificial decision, so much the better. Realistically, tracking with the most precision would proboably tack on an extra hour a week just sitting at the VA computer sifting through notes, and even that wouldn't be perfect. Seems like an astronomical waste of my time that I'm not sure would affect anything.

To clarify, I'm more worried about having too MANY group hours (in terms of proportion to individual hours that is) rather than the other way around. I just wasn't sure if they were given more/less weight.
 

AcronymAllergy

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When it came to client demographics, if I wasn't able to explicitly determine the number of individuals in X or Y groups that I'd assessed or treated, I made an educated guess (usually by looking at the population breakdown in those clients I had kept track of, and then extrapolating that).

In terms of group work, I had approximately 1/3 the time vs. my individual hours. However, I'm in neuropsych, and thus my treatment hours as a whole were fairly paltry when compared with my assessment hours (I believe the grand total was something like 200-250, give or take). As with erg, I played this up in my cover letters as an opportunity to further shore-up my therapy experience while on internship. The one bonus here was that I can recall the majority of my individual and group therapy clients from memory, and thus that helped me tally their demos.

In my mind, at the end of the day, the best you can do after-the-fact is to simply provide your most honest and accurate guesses. I probably shorted myself a hundred or two assessment hours because of this (i.e., if I didn't have definitive proof, I either didn't count the hours at all, or I erred on the side of significant caution), but I'm ok with that.
 

erg923

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It was my impression that the traditional individual therapy hour is valued slightly more, in general. However, if you were applying to 100% PTSD tracks where therapy is conducted almost exclusively in a group format, it would probably be a postive. But for general sites, I would want to have more individual hours than group hours.
 
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LM02

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It's not an exact science. I would just figure out what the overall demographic breakdown is for the VA you are working in, and then guesstimate the numbers based on that. If you saw 100 people in group treatment, and you know that 15% of the population in your particular VA service is African American, I'd just say that you treated 15 African Americans in that context.

It's not perfect, but it's not misleading, either. All other things being equal, it's probably fair enough. Obviously, for individual therapy, you should be collecting the data. But for groups such as the ones you're describing, I would aim for the "spirit of the law," and not get hung up on the "letter of the law."