Postdoctoral Psychology: Clinical Training Experiences

The program offers three clinical fellowship training tracks: Adult, Child, and Primary Care/Health Psychology. All fellowship positions include outpatient and inpatient clinical experiences.

Adult Assessment Clinic

Adult Track and Primary Care/Health Psychology Track

The Adult Assessment Clinic was established in 1998 to ensure timely provision of psychological services to requesting physicians and other providers in the Department of Psychiatry and throughout the medical center. The clinic also provides a vehicle for training psychology fellows in psychological evaluation and health psychology consultation. The Adult Fellow is scheduled for two afternoons a week on this service and the Primary Care/Health Psychology Fellow is on this service for one afternoon a week.

There are two main functions of this service. First, physicians from medical inpatient units in the hospital can request psychological consultations. These often focus on issues such as coping after trauma, behavior management, and pain management. Psychology fellows routinely have opportunities to provide consultative services to patients on the Orthopedic, Surgery, Medicine, Neurosurgery, and Burn units. Second, staff psychiatrists from the inpatient service may request psychological evaluations to aid in diagnostic clarification and treatment planning. This clarification can include both MMPI-2 testing and structured diagnostic clarification interviews.

Adult Therapy Clinic (Adult Track)

The Adult Fellow has a year-long placement in the Adult Therapy Clinic. A variety of theoretical approaches to psychotherapy are practiced in this clinic, including cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and psychodynamic therapies. Both long-term and short-term approaches are used. The current patient population includes many individuals with serious and persistent mental illness, which can be challenging with regard to developing effective strategies for change. Additional duties include conducting psychological readiness evaluation for bariatric surgery and ADHD screening assessment.

The Adult Fellow can co-lead groups in the Adult Therapy Clinic depending on the fellow’s interest and the availability of staff and patients. Current group offering include a DBT skills group, Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST) groups, an Interpersonal Process group, and a Mind Body group.

Child Adolescent Psychiatry Service (CAPS) — Assessment & Consultation (Child Track)

The Child Fellow is assigned to CAPS for the full year and conducts intake/diagnostic interviews and full psychological evaluations with children and families; administers, scores, and interprets the appropriate intellectual, educational, and personality tests; writes reports; gives feedback; maintains chart records; and engages in various case management duties. The Child Fellow also works with schools, community agencies, and the courts as necessary.

In addition, the Child Fellow provides consultation to pediatric inpatients on the Pediatric Unit, as well as on other medical units. Typical requests range from behavior management issues to coordinate better care between patients and staff, to assessment of suicide risk, depression, or psychosis. Psychology staff and trainees are often asked to facilitate communication between a patient and the patient’s family members when a significant injury or death has occurred.

Child Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS) — Therapy (Child Track)

In addition to the activities described above, the Child Fellow also conducts individual and family therapy. Presenting therapy concerns include behavioral problems and parenting concerns, as well as a full range of serious psychiatric disorders. Various therapy orientations are taught including cognitive behavioral, family systems, and parenting skills training. The fellow is taught to tailor their interventions to the specific needs of the child in the context of his or her particular life situation.

Primary Care Behavioral Health (Primary Care/Health Psychology Track)

The Primary Care Behavioral Health service provides integrated behavioral health treatment to patients in HCMC primary care clinics. The Primary Care/Health Psychology Fellow partners with primary care providers in order to manage the mental and physical health of primary care patients. Behavioral health services include consultation with medical providers, diagnostic assessment, health behavior assessment, intervention, brief empirically supported therapy, and psychiatric medication consultation by a CNS. In order to meet the needs of the primary care population, behavioral health services are delivered immediately during primary care appointments using problem-focused, time-limited interventions.

Additional Health Psychology Experiences (Primary Care/Health Psychology)

The Primary Care/Health Psychology Fellow has additional opportunities to engage in training and provide care within a variety of health psychology settings. Some of these opportunities include providing CBT-I in the HCMC Sleep Clinic, working as part of the multidisciplinary team in the HCMC Burn Center, and doing Bariatric Surgery Evaluations for psychological readiness prior to bariatric surgery.