Practica

Tracks

Overview

The Achievement, Behavior, and Cognition (ABC) Children’s Programs at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA are dedicated to helping children ages 6-12 and their families to overcome the challenges posed by psychiatric illness.  Youth come to our programs seeking help for a variety of problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and other neurodevelopmental delays, and they are offered state-of-the-art care rooted in the latest scientific evidence.  Our treatment is provided by a multidisciplinary team of child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and occupational/recreational therapists who work together to promote recovery and long-term wellness. Our goal at ABC is to provide high quality evidence-based care for a complex group of children who often have exhausted all other treatment options in the community.  We achieve this goal via three unique aspects of programming: state-of-the-art assessment; family-centered, whole-child approaches to intervention; and training/dissemination efforts to ensure that our strategies for promoting health and wellness reach the broadest possible audience.

Each child is unique and our assessment focuses not only on formal psychiatric diagnosis (or diagnostic clarification) but on understanding specific domains where he or she may struggle (academic functioning, sleep routines, peer relationships).  This systematic and evidence-based approach allows us to craft a plan for treatment that is comprehensive and individualized.  Because families play a key role in managing illness and supporting wellness, they are central to our treatment approach at ABC.  Each family receives weekly family therapy and parent-training sessions and they are invited to attend additional mindfulness and support groups.

This multi-pronged approach to treatment provides a one-of-a-kind platform for training.  Because youth stay with us, on average 6-8 weeks, trainees get to know individual patients and families and to see a full arc of treatment, from assessment and case conceptualization to treatment planning and implementation.  Through our ongoing research protocol, students will gain knowledge in and provide a thorough diagnostic evaluations, ongoing symptom assessment, and group and individual treatments for youth with significant psychiatric morbidity.  Additionally, students will learn to provide evidence-based group treatments (CBT, mindfulness, social skills training) for a range of presenting pathology. Finally, they will learn to collaborate as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team in preparation for internship placements in hospital-based settings.

Overall Scope of Training:  

Practicum placements are one year in duration, typically from July-June of the next year. Students spend 15-20 hours per week in the program, with an emphasis on training in assessment, evidence-based group interventions, parent training, and participating in multidisciplinary care.

Resource Allocation: 

The ABC Program and practicum is housed on the seventh floor of the UCLA Semel Institute at 760 Westwood Plaza and all clinical activity takes place in the ABC offices and treatment rooms. 

  1. Space for practicum trainees to write chart notes and return telephone calls is provided in the ABC rounding room space. This area includes desk space and computers and is adjacent to a separate kitchen/lunch area utilized by all program staff.  There is ample room for core staff and student trainees.
  2. The program will provide access to computers, telephones, and any materials needed for assessment and intervention.

Trainee Activities:

Externs are involved in all aspects of the UCLA ABC Program.  Their clinical training will focus on gaining proficiency in the following areas of practice:

  1. Assessment and clinical intakes.  Each patient admitted to the ABC program completes a comprehensive diagnostic interview along with a number of self-report measures completed by both children and parents.  Trainees will be learn to administer structured diagnostic interviews, obtain collateral information, and formulate a case conceptualization along with members of the treatment team.
  2. Group treatment.  The ABC Program is primarily group-based.  Externs will participate in didactics that teach them to administer these group interventions and then begin to co-lead groups with core program staff.  Over the course of the year, they will assume responsibility for planning sessions and leading groups.  The primary focus of these groups will be Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Social Skills interventions.  Each extern will participate in 3-5 groups per week.
  3. Externs will obtain experience with individual psychotherapy (1-2 sessions per week) under the direct supervision of program attendings.  They will have ample additional opportunities to shadow sessions led by case coordinators.
  4. Parent Training. Externs will have the opportunity to shadow, and eventually participate in, parent training sessions for program youth.
  5. Treatment Planning and Rounds.  Externs will participate in 2.5 hours per week of meetings devoted to treatment planning and monitoring of clinical progress. They will gain experience with presenting cases and collaborating in multidisciplinary care.

Supervision: 

Supervision at ABC is provided in multiple formats, including weekly individual and group meetings and live observation and feedback sessions. All practicum trainees will receive weekly supervision from Dr. Peris, who is a licensed clinical psychologist, and by Dr. Schneider, a child and adolescent psychiatrist.  Practicum trainees are required to attend weekly group supervision/treatment planning on Friday mornings for 1 hour, and treatment planning meetings on Monday mornings for 1.5 hours.  Trainees have access to both individual and group supervision throughout the year conducted by clinical supervisors and program staff.  Additionally, team members are available by phone for ‘on the fly’ supervision as needed.  Together, these account for a ratio of at least 1 hour of supervision for every four hours of clinical activity.  The direct clinical supervisor will complete practicum trainee evaluations on a quarterly basis, including documentation of the training hours that have been accrued. Orientation and training occurs in July and is conducted by clinical supervisors and program staff.

As part of a multidisciplinary team, externs will never be the only ABC clinician working with a patient or family. Externs interact closely with our whole team, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, and educational consultant. 

Externs receive additional training via a weekly didactic series on Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30pm.  Examples of topics include: interacting with school systems/understanding school-based modifications; obtaining a developmental history; safety monitoring and interventions for suicidal youth; understanding the range of interventions for autism spectrum disorder. 

Training in Culturally Competent Health Care:

Our program assesses and treats youth from across California, and often includes children from out of state and out of the country.  These patients are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and religion.  Thus considerations of diversity issues are central to our work with children and families.

The ABC team fosters an environment that prizes cultural humility.  Recognizing that ascertainment of complete cultural competence is unlikely, we aim to better understand the cultural practices of each individual patient and their family and to integrate this understanding meaningfully into treatment. 

Trainees and staff receive didactic instruction in sensitively and thoroughly assessing for issues regarding race, religion, ethnicity, sexual and gender orientation and integrating any relevant factors into treatment planning.  We also maintain valued relationships with experts/leaders in relevant areas (specialists in race, gender issues, and religion) and consult with them as needed for patients in the program.  Our colleagues have joined us in the past for individualized case consultation on factors such as parenting norms and values in the African American community, assessing gender identity in early adolescence, and implementing evidence-based intervention with sensitivity to religious belief systems. Additionally, we invite our UCLA chaplain student to rounds once weekly and they also lead a group once weekly on ABC to further foster diverse perspectives on spirituality and religion.  These program-specific activities are enhanced by opportunities within the larger department that all program staff and trainees are strongly encouraged to attend.  These include specialized cultural competency and sensitivity training workshops and grand rounds devoted to cultural humility, sensitivity, and competence.

Evaluation.  ABC will conduct quarterly evaluation of students including the following sections, each with multiple items.  We will address both clinical skills as well as professionalism.  Trainees are asked to evaluate themselves as well as part of their clinical growth and training.  Feedback from trainees on the quality of the training experience will be solicited once each quarter via a standing feedback lunch (currently a practice for all ABC trainees); in addition, anonymous ratings forms will be completed by students at the end of each year.   

Research.  ABC is involved in ongoing data collection on all children and families at intake and during treatment.  Externs may be involved in these studies if there is time and interest.

Application Pre-requisites: 

Practicum students should have a Masters Degree and be on their way to completion of their Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree.    

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

1 spot available for 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#therapy #brief intervention

Program Overview

This UCLA Semel Institute practicum opportunity involves assessment (psychodiagnostic, social-cognitive, and neurocognitive) of children, adolescents, and young adults with or at risk for severe psychopathology, as well as training in early intervention services for prodromal psychosis.

Trainees participate in one or more of our clinical research programs, which include the Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS) outpatient early intervention program for adolescents and young adults at high-risk for psychosis, and the Adolescent Brain-Behavior Research Clinic (ABBRC), which is a prospective longitudinal research program for adolescents with psychotic spectrum disorders. We also follow children longitudinally who are at high genetic risk for psychotic disorder (22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome).

ASMI trainees will work as part of an interdisciplinary clinical team, gathering information about client symptoms, social/role and cognitive functioning, treatments, and changes over time. Many of our clients do not yet meet diagnostic criteria for a psychotic illness, although they are exhibiting some early symptoms of thought disorder (such as suspiciousness, confused thinking, loss of sense of self, unusual auditory and visual perceptions). Our clients often present with complex cases, with significant diagnostic co-morbidity, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, Major Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and/or Anxiety Disorder. We anticipate that many of these young people will go on to develop some form of psychosis, and we are working to study and treat the illness as early as possible in order to better understand the early evolution of psychosis as well as to improve functional outcomes . At-risk individuals and families participate in a broad range of research activities, as well as psychiatric care and psycho-social family-based therapeutic interventions, individual therapeutic work, skills groups and process groups.

As a clinical and neuropsychological examiner, ASMI trainees will have the opportunity to develop their diagnostic and cognitive assessment skills in a challenging and complex clinical population, while also broadening their understanding of brain-behavior relationships. A neuropsychological assessment-only practicum may be possible upon inquiry for trainees with sufficient weekly availability for client appointments, though the opportunity for direct client hours will be more limited than for trainees who are also providing clinical assessment and intervention. All students will develop their case conceptualization and report writing skills and have the opportunity to provide feedback to providers and families, evidence-based brief family interventions, input into client Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Additional opportunities include co-facilitating skills groups and community outreach efforts. A variety of assessment and treatment opportunities are also available in Spanish.

ASMI clients are diverse in terms of ethnicity/race, SES, religion, gender identity, nationality, acculturation, and sexual orientation. Diversity and cultural competency are core values of our ASMI program and we strive to honor the backgrounds of our clients. Towards this end we have recruited diverse staff and trainees and consistently work to ensure that we are welcoming to people from all backgrounds. We expect that trainees will be open to working with clients representing different values, cultural experiences, and lifestyles than they have. Multicultural training starts during orientation and is woven into all aspects of training throughout the year. We train interns in multicultural identity development models and in thinking in a culturally competent way, rather than encouraging them to apply group-level information in stereotyped fashion. We use supervision to emphasize cultural humility to trainees and to assist them in identifying and working through areas of bias and blind spots. Trainees are encouraged to self-explore and reflect on their own multicultural identity and how that impacts their clinical interpretations and approach to their cases. Trainees are also assisted in sensitively communicating with clients about individual, family, and cultural identities, strengths and differences, and core personal values, and they receive training in communicating with clients through a translator. Additionally, as part of our research team, trainees will have the opportunity to contribute to furthering understanding of the impact of culture and individual factors on psychopathology.

Current Position Openings:

Three to Five positions are being offered for the 2024-2025 year. The practicum will begin July 1, 2024 and end June 30, 2025 with optional extension negotiable. Practicum trainees are required to be on site Mondays 10am-noon and and attend clinical case meetings Thursdays 9am-10am. Trainees are asked to provide at least two 4-hour blocks of availability on another 1-2 days per week. Students typically complete approximately 3 neuropsychological and 4-6 clinical assessments per month.

Resource Allocation:

ASMI trainees have access to workstations and interview and testing rooms on the 2nd floor in the Semel Institute on the UCLA Campus. Appropriate office equipment, including desk, phone, and office supplies, are provided. Students will complete practicum duties in a hybrid (telehealth and in person) manner.

Supervision:

Individual supervision will be provided via live observation and scheduled meetings by appointment with a licensed clinical psychologist. Group supervision with a multidisciplinary team including licensed psychologists is held for 2 hours per week. Thus, students can expect to meet the APA guidelines regarding one hour of direct supervision with a licensed psychologist per week including some live observation during training.  Supervision will follow the hybrid structure of the clinic and can include both scheduled and informal in-person, zoom or telephone facilitation.

Director/Instructor(s):

Carrie Bearden, Ph.D.
Professor, UCLA Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Psychology
Principal Investigator, Neurodevelopment and Psychosis Project and Prodromal Research Program Clinical Core
Director, Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS)
Telephone: (310) 206-2983
Clinic Phone: (310) 206-3466
Fax: (310) 794-9517
Email: cbearden@mednet.ucla.edu

Laura Adery, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Associate Clinical Director, Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS)
Email: LAdery@mednet.ucla.edu
Telephone: (323) 362-2107

Application Pre-requisites:

Prior didactic training in child /adolescent psychological and neurocognitive assessment is preferred, as is completion of course work in cognitive assessment and developmental psychopathology, if offered by the applicant’s training program.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program. Early Decision applications are prioritized for placement.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

Resources

You may be required to login to view some of the course material that may have been attached to this web page.

Additional Information on:  UCLA CAPPS PrNet Brochure.pdf 

3-5 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Breif Intervention #Neuropsychological Assessment

Program Overview

The Adult OCD Treatment Practicum provides evidence based treatment for individuals struggling with moderate to severe Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. Our training rotation offers the extern an opportunity to learn and conduct exposure and response prevention (ERP), a form of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) that has consistently demonstrated very strong efficacy in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

What is exposure and response prevention (ERP)? In ERP, patients are guided through specific situations to come in direct contact with fearful stimuli without engaging in compulsive behaviors or avoidance in order to help patients learn new ways of relating to and handling rapid and prolonged surges in anxiety and other intense negative emotions. Adult patients attend the OCD Intensive Treatment Program Monday-Friday for 6 weeks, from 9am-1pm. Each day, they have 1 hour of therapy, 1 hour of group therapy and 2 hours of ERP. Treatment to patients is provided mostly in person, but some exceptions are given for remote treatment. Trainees are expected to be in the program in person.

What patients will you work with? Our program specializes in treating individuals diagnosed with OCD and related disorders. Greater than 90% of our patients with OCD also have a comorbid mental health disorder, most typically major depressive disorder. In addition, our patients often have comorbid disorders of social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another major strength of our program is that we work with individuals with a primary diagnosis of hoarding disorder, with approximately 10-20% of our patients struggling with this problem.

What you will learn? Practicum trainees will receive training in 1) OCD assessment; 2) ERP, exposure based approaches for other anxiety and stress disorders, and treatment for compulsive hoarding; and optionally, 3) co-running one of our five groups. Practicum trainees receive training conducting and interpreting standardized assessments (including the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale as well as other measures) and creating exposure hierarchies. ERP training starts out with observation of currently trained students and staff therapists conducting ERP, one-on-one role-playing and review. Next, the extern will conduct exposure sessions in conjunction with staff therapists. After this, trainees begin conducting exposures on their own with patients. Based on extern availability and interest, the extern could also assist in one weekly group therapy session (we run 5 different groups covering a diverse set of topics including goal setting, coping skills, didactics, cognitive skills and relapse prevention).

Cultural Competency and Diversity Training

In 2017, we began a process of developing formal didactics in cultural competency as part of our didactic supervision. This step is part of our already on-going work in discussing clinical conceptualization and treatment approaches for patients in our program in a manner that is cognizant and inclusive of cultural, ethnic, gender-based, religious, gender identity, sexual orientation and economic diversity in our patient pool. Addressing these factors is particularly vital to our population since these specific aspects of identity often become central aspects of obsessions and compulsions that clients engage in.

Addressing Diversity. Our practicum addresses awareness, sensitivity and skills training for working professionally with individuals. We address treatment care with an understanding that an individual patient in our program is not merely a person with a set symptoms, but instead a person who’s identity, personality, ways of interacting with others, ways of processing and handling intense emotions and compulsive behaviors is shaped by individual, social experiences as well as physiology. We teach an awareness of age, familial traditions, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status in conceptualizing each patient’s presentation and designing exposure based treatment. In supervision and in daily one-on-one team based care, we emphasize awareness and consideration of these factors in constructing the treatment approach and monitoring treatment implementation. Through supervision, we examine how the student’s communication style, their language, their conceptualizations in working with a patient need to demonstrate an awareness and an accounting for the complex biosociocultural aspects of the patient. We examine how the student can connect with patients and also address how students can communicate with the patient about the student’s gaps is awareness about the diverse background and experience of the patient.

Practicum hours
Trainees typically devote 12-20 hours (typically over 3-5 days) to this rotation. Trainees with fewer available hours (just 2 days) are encouraged to apply and may be considered for practicum positions.

Supervision
Trainees in our training program receive group supervision for 1 hour a week provided by a licensed clinical psychologist covering assessment, treatment planning, and ERP. We offer a second optional hour of didactic supervision that includes journal article reviews, didactics and research topics related to OCD. In addition, informal supervision (curbside discussions, phone calls, emails, etc.) is typical and all therapists are available for consultation if an urgent situation arises. Documentation includes a supervision log, written feedback by supervisor of strengths, areas to work on and overall review. At the end of rotation, extern will fill out an extern evaluation form (modeled after UCLA Semel Institute teaching evaluation form).

Clinic Space
We have clinic rooms for exposure sessions (rooms 2303, 2305, 2207, 2209, 2214), two conference rooms (2214 & 2216), and a trainee room with a computer and internet access and phone (2210). Trainees will not be required to use a pager and because primary therapeutic care is provided by lead therapists and not by the trainee, patients are instructed to contact primary therapists and not the trainee.

Director/Instructors

Interim Training Director: Ana Ribas, PhD, Kristen McDonald, PhD

Program Director: Dr. Reza Tadayon-Nejad, MD

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

3 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Symptom Checklist #YBOCS-II # Therapy #Brief Intervention #Exposure and Response Prevention 

The Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC) at UCLA Semel Institute offers 4-6 practicum trainee positions per year, under the direct supervision of Dr. Patricia Walshaw, Dr. Delany Thrasher (OpMend), other MPAC affiliated faculty, and postdoctoral fellows. This clinic offers neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic assessments for adult outpatients and military veterans. Exposure to inpatient evaluations with psychiatric or surgical populations is also available. Opportunities for evaluations with children and adolescents may also be available

Referrals come primarily from psychiatrists and neurologists at UCLA, the Wounded Warrior program, or from the community at large. Adult patients present with a broad variety of clinical questions, including TBI, stroke, memory problems, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric disorders, developmental disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders. Pediatric patients present with a broad variety of neurodevelopmental (e.g. Pervasive Developmental Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities), acquired (e.g. epilepsy, cancer, head injury), and psychological (e.g. depression, anxiety, bipolar, oppositional defiant) disorders.

During their rotation, the practicum trainee participates in 2-3 comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological evaluations per month.  Practicum trainees will focus on competency for administering, scoring, and interpreting a wide range of neuropsychological tests. In addition, under the guidance of a postdoctoral fellow, practicum trainees will learn how to conceptualize cases, as well as write sections of a comprehensive reports (e.g. history, behavioral observations, results, recommendations). As their report writing skills develop, they will be asked to write greater portions of the report with the goal of writing full comprehensive reports. Additional didactic experiences are offered and encouraged for practicum trainees to attend on Thursdays (optional).

Current position openings:

We offer 4 practicum trainee positions each year. This position requires a minimum time commitment in the MPAC of 12 hours per week with a preference for 16 hours over 2 days. This does not include time spent in supervision or optional Thursday didactics. Practicum trainees are required to be on site on their clinic days and attend MPAC Group Supervision on Mondays at 12-1pm (currently on Zoom).

Resource Allocation: 

Practicum trainees share a designated office (C9-400) on the same floor as their primary supervisors in the Semel Institute.  Appropriate office equipment, including desk and office supplies, is provided. Separate testing rooms are located in C8-750, C8-754, C8-760, and C8-860, and shared scoring computers are available in C8-746. All essential materials, including psychological assessment instruments and record forms, are provided.

Supervision: All practicum trainees will receive at least 1 hour of supervision from an MPAC affiliated licensed clinical psychologist in coordination with a postdoctoral fellow for every clinical case seen. This time includes case conceptualization, interview, interpretation of data, and feedback. In addition, peer supervision by postdoctoral fellows will also be provided via face-to-face, phone calls, emails, etc. At least 10% of time will be spent in supervision, and at least half of the total supervision time will be individual, face-to-face supervision. Practicum trainee evaluations will be completed by the training director and postdoctoral fellows with feedback from individual case supervisors.  

Diversity Training:

The MPAC serves as the centralized assessment hub for the UCLA Health System, and so serves a wide variety of patients from different backgrounds.  As such, issues of diversity are woven into the service delivery and conceptualization of every case as they arise whether they are related to ethnicity/race, sexual orientation or gender identity, educational background, socioeconomic standing, linguistic background, religious persuasion, military/civilian roles, able-bodied issues, neurodiversity, and/or other social markers of diversity.  The overall philosophy at the MPAC is one that is closely aligned with the AACN 2050 Relevance Initiative, and is focused on the complementary relationship of cultural competence and cultural humility in neuropsychology.  In addition to “bedside learning” with individual supervisors and postdocs on cases with diverse patients, MPAC practicum students have an opportunity to engage in didactic opportunities focused on diversity interspersed throughout the Thursday seminars, including the quarter-long Cultural Neuropsychology Seminar in the Spring Quarter.  A yearly lecture on interpreter-mediated assessment is provided through the weekly Psychology Intern Seminar, and trainees are exposed to relevant readings and hands-on training related to working with interpreter services in a neuropsychological assessment context.  Foundational readings related to cultural and linguistic competency in neuropsychology are also disseminated during the practicum orientation, and serve as a springboard for ongoing discussion with supervising faculty throughout the academic training year.  Finally, practicum students are encouraged to process their own journey of developing cultural competence with the MPAC practicum director, who is also the director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative, during office hours.

Director: Patricia Walshaw, Ph.D.

Application Pre-requisites:

Given the nature of the practicum program, prior experience in neuropsychological assessment is required. Prior coursework in neuropsychological assessment is recommended. Students must be enrolled in an APA approved Clinical Psychology doctoral program.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

4 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment

The Medical Psychology Assessment Center (MPAC) Pediatric, at UCLA Semel Institute operates under the direct supervision of Dr. Patricia Walshaw, Dr. Sandra Loo, other MPAC affiliated faculty, and postdoctoral fellows. This clinic offers outpatient neuropsychological assessments for children, adolescents, and young adults who present with a wide variety of clinical questions, including neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD, learning disorders, autism spectrum disorder, language disorders), pre-maturity, in-utero exposure, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and psychiatric disorders. Referrals come from psychiatrists and neurologists within UCLA, as well as providers outside the UCLA health system.  

During their rotation, the practicum trainee participates in 2-3 comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological evaluations per month.  Practicum trainees will focus on competency for administering, scoring, and interpreting a wide range of neuropsychological tests. In addition, under the guidance of a postdoctoral fellow, practicum trainees will learn how to conceptualize cases, as well as write sections of a comprehensive report (e.g,. history, behavioral observations, results, recommendations). As their report writing skills develop, they will be asked to write a greater portion of the report with the goal of writing a full comprehensive report before the end of the training year. Additional didactic experiences are offered for practicum trainees to attend on Thursdays (optional). 

Current position openings: 

We are offering 2 positions for the 2024-2025 training year. This position requires a minimum time commitment in the MPAC of 12 hours per week with a preference for 16 hours over 2 days. This does not include time spent in supervision or optional Thursday didactics. 

Resource Allocation:  

The practicum trainees share a designated office (C8-723) on the same floor as their primary supervisors in the Semel Institute.  Appropriate office equipment, including desk and office supplies, is provided. Separate testing rooms are located in C8-750, C8-754, C8-760, and C8-860, and shared scoring computers are available in C8-746. All essential materials, including psychological assessment instruments and record forms, are provided. 

Supervision: All practicum trainees will receive at least 1 hour of supervision from an MPAC affiliated licensed clinical psychologist in coordination with a postdoctoral fellow for every clinical case seen. This time includes case conceptualization, interview, interpretation of data, and feedback. In addition, peer supervision by postdoctoral fellows will also be provided via face-to-face, phone calls, emails, etc. At least 10% of time will be spent in supervision, and at least half of the total supervision time will be individual, face-to-face supervision. Practicum trainee evaluations will be completed by the training director and postdoctoral fellows with feedback from individual case supervisors.   

Diversity Training: 

The MPAC serves as the centralized assessment hub for the UCLA Health System, and so serves a wide variety of patients from different backgrounds.  As such, issues of diversity are woven into the service delivery and conceptualization of every case as they arise whether they are related to ethnicity/race, sexual orientation or gender identity, educational background, socioeconomic standing, linguistic background, religious persuasion, able-bodied issues, neurodiversity, and/or other social markers of diversity.  The overall philosophy at the MPAC is one that is closely aligned with the AACN 2050 Relevance Initiative, and is focused on the complementary relationship of cultural competence and cultural humility in neuropsychology.  In addition to “bedside learning” with individual supervisors and postdocs on cases with diverse patients, MPAC practicum students have an opportunity to engage in didactic opportunities focused on diversity interspersed throughout the Thursday seminars, including the quarter-long Cultural Neuropsychology Seminar in the Spring Quarter.  A yearly lecture on interpreter-mediated assessment is provided through the weekly Psychology Intern Seminar, and trainees are exposed to relevant readings and hands-on training related to working with interpreter services in a neuropsychological assessment context.  Foundational readings related to cultural and linguistic competency in neuropsychology are also disseminated during the practicum orientation, and serve as a springboard for ongoing discussion with supervising faculty throughout the academic training year.  Finally, practicum students are encouraged to process their own journey of developing cultural competence with the MPAC practicum director, who is also the director of the Cultural Neuropsychology Initiative, during office hours. 

Director: Patricia Walshaw, Ph.D. 

Application Pre-requisites: 

Given the nature of the practicum program, all applicants are required to have some experience or coursework in neuropsychological assessment. Additionally, prior clinical experience with children/adolescents is preferred. Students must be enrolled in an APA approved Clinical Psychology doctoral program. 

Application process: 

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program, and a list of tests administered in a clinical setting. 

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

2 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment

The UCLA Aftercare Program for First-Episode Psychosis is part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and provides outpatient psychiatric services to patients who have had a recent onset of psychosis. The most frequent diagnostic categories in our patient population include schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder, and we specialize in treating individuals who are in the early phase of their illness, many are experiencing their first episode. Our patients are typically in their early -20s, have at least a high school education, and are mostly male. Services provided include individual psychotherapy, group therapy, case management, and psychiatric medication management. Our treatments are designed to help young adult patients who have recently developed a psychotic disorder return to either work or school, and improve their cognitive abilities, with a goal of preventing the development of chronic disability.

Trainees will co-lead psychoeducational therapy groups for patients, as well as provide individual therapy for patients with whom this treatment modality is appropriate. Depending on the needs of our clinic and the training goals of practicum students, trainees typically run 2-5 groups per week and carry an average individual caseload of 3 individual patients. Group therapy modalities included: an orientation group for new patients that meets weekly and provides psychoeducation for those newly diagnosed with schizophrenia, computerized cognitive training especially adapted for individuals with cognitive deficits, aerobic and muscle-conditioning physical exercise, a “bridging group” designed to help address motivation issues and provide opportunities for practical application of skills learned in the cognitive training and exercise program, and a psychoeducational group that encourages healthy lifestyle behaviors and adaptive coping. Individual therapy for schizophrenia patients includes supportive psychoeducation, cognitive-behavior therapy, social skills training, solution-focused therapy and crisis management. Family interventions are provided as needed and are an integral component for engagement and for coordination of interventions, especially early on in treatment. The use of insight-oriented psychodynamic theoretical approaches is employed when clinically indicated.  The clinical staff has training and expertise in a variety of theoretical orientations. Individual and group therapy sessions, as well as supervision, will occur via HIPAA compliant videoconferencing (Zoom meetings).

Patient Racial and Ethnic Diversity: 

Many patients participate from traditionally underserved populations. Our patient population is primarily (70%) racially mixed or non-White.  Approximately 40% of the patients are Hispanic.  This racial and ethnic makeup of our patient sample is quite representative of that of the Greater Los Angeles area (50% racially mixed or non-White, with 47% Hispanic).  The services at the Aftercare Research Program are provided with sensitivity to, and awareness of, racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations.

Supervision to Train in Sensitivity to Diversity and Build Cultural Competency

Supervision provided to practicum trainees stresses the importance of addressing these issues in both group and individual therapy. In addition, practicum students will be provided articles or book chapters to read throughout the year on issues of sensitivity to cultural competency and diversity. Diversity and cultural competence is addressed during case conceptualization and throughout the entirety of work with our patients. The onset of schizophrenia is often marked by a great loss of one’s previous life trajectory and a pressing need to cope with the myriad of new and unusual symptoms that can occur with this illness. Thus, our team pays particular attention to the ways that diversity and culture can often take a backseat at the beginning of treatment.  We are mindful of how each patient racially, ethnically, and culturally identifies him or herself. Sensitivity is given to how individuals view the meaning of “family.” Staff and trainees are encouraged and challenged to explore their views and biases and understand how these schemas can impact treatment.

The Aftercare Research Program attempts to imbue sensitivity to diversity and cultural competency in our training goals. We continue to learn and grow in this regard, and encourage our trainees to do so as well in order to provide the best treatment and training that encompasses understanding each individual’s core identities and values.

Interpretive Services:

Patients are required to be fluent in English, although loved ones and caregivers are often not English speaking. Our patient care coordinator is bilingual in English and Spanish and can provide interpretive services for therapy, meetings and phone calls in Spanish. For other languages we utilize the UCLA Health/Translation and Deaf Services.

 

Requirements Fulfilled:

Assessment: 0%
Therapy: 100 %
Adult: 100%
Child: 0
Adolescent: 0

Disciplines Represented and Nature of Supervision Theoretical Orientation: Cognitive-Behavioral individual psychotherapy, supportive psychoeducation, social skills training, solution-focused therapy, crisis management, family therapy, and psychoeducation.

Supervision and Training:

Our practicum begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. Intensive introductory training occurs in July, and trainees are expected to attend these sessions. NOTE: All trainees should have availability on MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, and THURSDAYS because these are the days when clinical services are provided to patients. The training experience is designed for 3 days per week.

Trainees will be exposed to a multidisciplinary team environment of psychiatrists, psychologists, case managers, community volunteers, UCLA undergraduate students, and staff research associates.

Individual supervision will be provided by licensed psychologist, Kenneth Subotnik, Ph.D., who has clinical privileges at the UCLA Semel Institute. Trainees’ individual psychotherapy sessions will be observed in real time at least once every 6 months through Zoom videoconferencing by Dr. Subotnik. The specific days and times of individual supervision vary by trainee, but in the past have been on Tuesday afternoon, as well as Thursdays, 10am and 11 am.

Supervision for treatment groups and clinical group supervision occurs on Tuesdays from 9-11 AM and is MANDATORY for all trainees.

Trainees will be exposed to a variety of reading materials and discussion topics, in addition to clinical issues that occur in the context of the Aftercare Program therapy groups. Trainees will be provided with training on suicide risk and assessment and given opportunities to attend additional trainings at UCLA.

We will use forms employed by the UCLA Psychology Doctoral Practicum Training Programs to document supervision and solicit trainee evaluation of the program.  

Practicum Director/Contact: Kenneth Subotnik, PhD

Aftercare Research Program Director: Keith Nuechterlein, PhD

Number of Primary Practicum Spots Available: 3

Required day(s) and Times:

Practicum hours are:

  • Monday 11am-5pm
  • Tuesday 9am- 5pm
  • Thursday 10am-5pm

Beginning and Ending Dates with hours expected per week:

June 1st to June 30th: a few hours of training and shadowing of current trainees, to be scheduled.  

Full schedule begins July 1 and ends on June 30

Resource Assessment: Trainees will be assigned an e mail address for Program communications. 

Although services provided by trainees will be done remotely, there are offices and computers available on site if needed.  There is shared office space on the 2nd floor of the 300 Medical Plaza building on the UCLA campus, where the Aftercare Program has a suite of offices. If needed, trainees will have access to at least 3 shared (password protected) computers. Private offices are also available for individual therapy if the occasion arises and on on-site office is needed.

Application process:

Applicants should upload the following documents to the application portal: (1) a letter of interest explaining why they want to work at our site; (2) resume/CV; (3) 3 letters of recommendation (one of which should be a letter from the student’s school’s Director of Training confirming their readiness for practicum).  Please name each file with the following format (in the following example, the applicant’s name is “Jane Doe”, The content is “CV”, and date (e.g., Jane Doe CV 11-22-2023) Letters of recommendation should use a similar format but include the last name of the writer (Jane Doe letr rec Dr. Johnson 11-22-2023). Applicants with a particular interest in working with schizophrenia patients are especially encouraged to apply.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

General Decision notification: 3/1/24, 9 AM.

3 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

 

3 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Therapy #Cognitive Remediation

The UCLA Aftercare Research Program for First-Episode Psychosis is part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and provides outpatient psychiatric services to patients who have had a recent onset of psychosis and are voluntarily participating in our research protocols. The most frequent diagnostic categories in our patient population include schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder, and we specialize in treating individuals who are in the early phase of their illness, many of whom are experiencing their first episode. Our patients are typically in their early 20s, have at least a high school education, and most are male. Services provided include individual psychotherapy, group therapy, case management, and psychiatric medication management. Research focuses on treatments designed to help young adult patients who have recently developed a psychotic disorder return to either work or school, and improve their cognitive abilities, with a goal of preventing the development of chronic disability. There is a particular emphasis on understanding the role that cognitive deficits play in functional outcome in schizophrenia.

The trainee will conduct intake diagnostic interviews to determine if the presenting patient is eligible for participation in the Aftercare Research Program. The trainee will be trained to reliability to conduct the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM (SCID) and well-established symptom assessment scales. The initial screening of potential participants is usually conducted over the phone with the patient and/or his/her relatives. Further, the trainee will have frequent contact with community-based inpatient and outpatient psychiatric facilities throughout the Greater Los Angeles area to identify potential first-episode schizophrenia patients who might be interested and eligible to participate in our Program. Some contact with outside agencies and facilities will be in person, and some diagnostic interviews will be conducted on-site at the referring agencies. The trainee must have reliable transportation and be willing to drive to these referring agencies. The trainee will assist in giving presentations about the treatment of schizophrenia, the Aftercare Research Program in particular, and our research findings to various agencies and facilities in the greater Los Angeles area. The majority of the assessments, community contact, and supervision will occur via HIPAA compliant videoconferencing (Zoom meetings).

Trainees with an interest in learning how to summarize results from cognitive and psychological assessments will be provided with the opportunity to write 3-4 reports in which neuropsychological tests, some of which may have been administered by the research team, are integrated with the findings from the diagnostic and symptom assessments.  Cognitive domains studied will include working memory, attention, learning, reasoning and problem solving, and social cognition along with questionnaires that address health attitudes, motivation, and quality of life.

Patient Racial and Ethnic Diversity:

Because the Aftercare Research Program provides services at no cost as part of clinical research on new interventions, many patients participate from traditionally underserved populations. Our patient population is primarily (70%) racially mixed or non-White.  Approximately 40% of the patients are Hispanic.  This racial and ethnic makeup of our patient sample is quite representative of that of the Greater Los Angeles area (50% racially mixed or non-White, with 47% Hispanic).  The services at the Aftercare Research Program are provided with sensitivity to, and awareness of, racial, ethnic, and cultural considerations.

Supervision to Train in Sensitivity to Diversity and Build Cultural Competency:

Supervision will be provided to practicum trainees that stresses the importance of sensitivity to issues of diversity and cultural competency in the assessment of schizophrenia patients.   In addition, practicum students will be provided articles or book chapters to read throughout their training year on issues of sensitivity to cultural competency and diversity. Diversity and cultural competence is addressed during case conferences and case presentations throughout the training year. We are mindful of how each patient racially, ethnically, and culturally identifies him or herself. One of our psychologists, Dr. Turner, has specialized education and training in this area and provides crucial insights into this topic.

Staff and trainees are encouraged and challenged to explore their views and biases and understand how these schemas can impact their interactions with patients and their family members.  The Aftercare Research Program attempts to imbue sensitivity to diversity and cultural competency in our training goals. We continue to learn and grow in this regard, and encourage our trainees to do so as well in order to provide the best treatment and training that encompasses understanding each individual’s core identities and values.

Interpretive Services:

For research purposes our patients are required to be fluent in English.  However, loved ones and caregivers are often not English speaking. Our patient care coordinator is bilingual in English and Spanish and can provide interpretive services for therapy, meetings and phone calls in Spanish. For other languages we utilize the UCLA Health/Translation and Deaf Services.

Requirements Fulfilled:

Assessment: 100 %

Therapy: 0 %

Adult: 100% Child: 0 Adolescent: 0

Disciplines Represented and Nature of Supervision

Theoretical Orientation: NA

Supervision and Training:

Our assessment practicum begins on June 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. During the month of June, there will be a flexible schedule of introductory training on symptom assessment.  Training will consist of in-person training sessions as well as the rating of training videos of actual patients that can be viewed remotely on-line.  Intensive diagnostic, symptom assessment, and functional outcome training begins in July. Joseph Ventura, Ph.D. will provide supervision in conducting structured clinical interviews. He has been a member of our team for over 35 years, is an expert in assessment of psychosis and is sought out by research groups around the world to travel to their sites for training in psychiatric symptom assessment.  He is the author of the revised, expanded Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale.

NOTE: The trainee must be available to attend a weekly case review and quality assurance meeting Wednesdays from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM and a general staff meeting on Wednesday afternoons from 1 PM to 2 PM and periodic community liaison meetings. Trainees will be exposed to a multidisciplinary team environment of psychiatrists, psychologists, case managers, UCLA undergraduate students, and staff research associates.

Diagnostic eligibility interviews in general occur between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, although some phone calls might need to be returned during evenings and weekends, and occasionally an interview will occur in the evening hours. A regular schedule will be arranged with the practicum student’s supervisor.

Trainees may attend an optional case conference on Tuesdays at 10am. In addition, the trainee will be provided with a variety of reading materials and invited to participate in discussion of relevant topics. Trainees will be provided with training on suicide risk and assessment and given opportunities to attend additional trainings at UCLA.

We will use forms employed by the UCLA Psychology Doctoral Training Program to document supervision and solicit trainee evaluation of the program.

Practicum Director/Contact: Kenneth Subotnik, PhD

Aftercare Research Program Director: Keith Nuechterlein, PhD

Number of Practicum Spots Available: 1

Required day(s) and Times: Practicum hours are variable and arranged in advance with the supervisor, and will be a total of 20 hours per week. Weekly case conference and quality assurance meeting from 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM and general staff meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 1 PM to 2 PM are mandatory. Weekly case conferences on Tuesdays at 10 and Wednesdays at 2 PM, are optional but recommended.

Beginning and Ending Dates with hours expected per week:

June 1st to June 30th: flexible schedule of symptom assessment training.

July 1 through June 30th:  20 hours per week.

Practicum Director: Kenneth Subotnik, PhD

Aftercare Research Program Director: Keith Nuechterlein, PhD

Application process:

Applicants should upload the following documents to the application portal: (1) a letter of interest explaining why they want to work at our site; (2) resume/CV; (3) 3 letters of recommendation (one of which should be a letter from the student’s school’s Director of Training confirming their readiness for practicum).  Please name each file with the following format (in the following example, the applicant’s name is “Jane Doe”, The content is “CV”, and date (e.g., Jane Doe CV 11-22-2023) Letters of recommendation should use a similar format but include the last name of the writer (Jane Doe letr rec Dr. Johnson 11-22-2023). Applicants with a particular interest in working with schizophrenia patients are especially encouraged to apply

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

General Decision notification: 3/1/24, 9 AM.

1 spot available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment

The MPAC Assessment of Neurodegeneration Track offers 6 practicum positions per year. On this rotation, the practicum trainee performs one neuropsychological evaluation under the supervision of Dr. Tingus and her postdoctoral fellow each week in the MPAC Outpatient Clinic. Patients seen on this rotation are referred with a variety of clinical presentations, including mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia and other parkinson’s-plus disorders, stroke, normal pressure hydrocephalus, primary progressive aphasia, and multiple sclerosis. The practicum student will be expected to achieve proficiency in standardized test administration for a core battery of 20-25 tests (approximately 3-4 hours testing time), and will score, interpret, and write up one neuropsychological report each week. In addition, the practicum student will participate in didactic seminars within the Semel training program, which are held weekly on Thursdays.

Current Position Openings:

 The MPAC Assessment of Neurodegeneration Track offers 5-6 practicum positions each year. Practicum trainees are required to spend one full day in clinic each week, and to attend Semel didactic courses on Thursdays. The total time commitment is estimated to be 16-20 hours per week.

Resource Allocation:

Practicum trainees on this rotation have designated office space in Room C9-432 at MPAC located within the Semel Institute. Students are provided appropriate office equipment including a desk, a computer, phone, and other office supplies. All essential materials, including psychological assessment instruments and computerized scoring programs are available to the practicum trainees.

Supervision:

All practicum trainees will receive at least one hour of individual supervision per week with Dr. Kathy Tingus and will receive additional one on one supervision with the post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Tingus will conduct all clinical interviews with patients and will be onsite for consultation during clinics. Additional informal supervision is available when necessary (phone calls, e-mails), and Dr. Tingus is available for consultation at any time if an urgent situation arises.

Diversity, cultural competency, and cultural humility are a central focus of our training throughout the year. We are fortunate to work with a diverse patient population in terms of ethnicity, SES, religion, gender identity, nationality, acculturation, and sexual orientation, and we strive to ensure that we are honoring individuals from all backgrounds. We welcome trainees from diverse backgrounds and expect that trainees will be open to working with patients with different values and lifestyles than their own. We encourage our trainees to engage in self-reflection and to explore how their worldview impacts their approach to the practice of neuropsychological assessment and case conceptualization, particularly for patients from diverse backgrounds. We use supervision to emphasize cultural humility to trainees and to assist them in identifying and working through areas of bias. We teach students to think in a culturally competent way, and strive to think critically about the synergistic relationship between multiple intersecting cultural identities in our patients. We highlight how group stereotypes can lead to misinterpretation of outcome data, and how the examination setting can impact patient performance (e.g., stereotyped threat). We additionally emphasize the critical importance of the appropriate selection of normative data from which to draw inferences about patient performance. We consistently highlight how issues of acculturation status, quality of education, language proficiency, bilingualism, and access to healthcare may impact patient performance and treatment outcomes. Students are required to read core research articles relating to cultural and diversity issues in neuropsychological assessment, and will attend didactic presentations on this topic. Translation services are currently not available on this rotation.

Supervisor on this rotation: Kathy Tingus, Ph.D.

Practicum trainee evaluations will be completed by Dr. Tingus. Orientation to the rotation occurs in early June and is conducted by MPAC faculty and post-doctoral fellows.

Qualifications: Prior didactic training in psychological assessment is preferred, in addition, to completion of course work in neuropsychology, if offered by the applicant’s school.  Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vita, two letters of references, a testing log, a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks) 

5-6 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment

The Autism Across the Lifespan Clinical and Research Practicum provides experience in evidence-based assessment of behavioral changes over time, with a particular focus on responses to treatment in individuals with autism from early childhood through adulthood.  Externs will have the opportunity to learn diagnostic and assessment techniques used to describe children and adults with autism, be trained in a variety of evidence-based treatment techniques that are used in our studies, and learn to administer and interpret results of newly developed standardized measures of change.  Externs will work with individuals of all ages, severities, and verbal levels. In addition, much of our clinical work includes children or adults with developmental disability and related disorders.  Current clinical opportunities include opportunities for interaction with  very young children, minimally verbal preschool children, children and adults with autism who have some language, but are not verbally fluent, and verbally fluent adolescents and adults with autism. 

What will externs do? Trainees can participate clinically in a variety of ways.  Most unique is to learn to administer, code and interpret results from several standardized measures of behavior change.  However, all studies require diagnostic and clinical documentation of participants’ abilities and difficulties at baseline, which means that trainees have the opportunity to learn to be research reliable on standard autism diagnostic, cognitive and adaptive measures and to practice these assessments under direct supervision.  In addition, many studies involve participants who are engaged in different brief empirically supported interventions.  Trainees may choose to be trained to administer and carry out such an intervention if they choose (though not while they are delivering the measures of change). In these activities, they will supervised by postdoctoral fellows and licensed clinical psychologists.  About half the time externs spend should be in direct patient contact and the other half supervision, didactics and research coding.

Who will externs work with?  Our work includes different projects with participants of different ages, most of whom will have or be suspected of having autism.  Because methods of assessment, treatment and monitoring change differ by the age and severity level of the individual, externs will most likely work in one or two projects with one or two age groups or severity levels.

Patient racial and ethnic diversity Our program provides free services to the Los Angeles community, so we expect to see a considerable proportion of children and adults from different ethnic and racial groups.  In the past, in other settings, we have been able to sustain ethnic distributions of up to 50% non-white families, but this is a new clinic, so these are only estimates.  We have several staff who are fluent Spanish speakers, including one native Spanish speaker, who can provide interpretation and support when needed,  and some of the projects in which we engage are available to children and families who speak Spanish as their primary language, though some are restricted to fluent English speakers.  We hope to expand resources to include other ethnicities and languages but are limited by specific projects and funding for research.  We will not be using UCLA Health/Translation and Deaf Services, but can refer families who need them to other autism clinics at UCLA. 

Supervision and training in sensitivity to diversity and cultural competency  Supervision for the practicum trainees includes a significant emphasis on these issues as part of our general philosophy of recognizing strengths, personalized needs and how these fit into a family and cultural background. Diversity and cultural competence are addressed both formally in individual and group supervision and throughout the entire process of considering a family and the identified patient and the process of measuring changes over time.  We are also particularly interested in how families use the information provided during assessment and treatment to support changes in behavior in the field of autism.  Additionally, we are interested in ideas of self-advocacy and neurodiversity and issues of how much we can encourage the modification of environmental (social and physical) challenges versus foster individuals’ efforts to learn to cope with day to day demands and how to support effective decisions.  This is the underpinning of our approaches to which we also add more traditional information about cultural diversity and competency.

Clinical supervision and training Trainees are expected to participate in the program at least 10 hours a week for at least 10 months of the year.  Individual supervision will be provided directly by Dr. Lord, with active involvement by the postdoctoral fellows who will provide much of the training. Trainees need to be available on Monday afternoons for one-hour group supervision and weekly individual supervision with Dr. Lord. Trainees also have the opportunity to attend 90-minute group multi-disciplinary supervision once a week (Thursdays 11:30am – 1pm). Otherwise, times can be arranged but generally require occasional weekend and evening hours, with most work between 9 am and 7 pm Monday through Friday.  Some projects are conducted at schools or community agencies and so travel may be necessary; funding is available for costs of travel and trainees will be accompanied by research staff on these occasions. Trainees can attend multidisciplinary team meetings for other autism clinics that include psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists, social workers, case managers and research associates.  Clinical training and opportunity generally consists of formal training in the assessment tool or treatment technique or measure of change, followed by opportunities to observe and then side by side administration.  Supervision between the licensed clinical psychologist and the trainee will involve discussion of supervisor-observed opportunities (e.g., live or videotaped data of care provided by the trainee) and then more traditional indirect discussions.  Reading material and discussions, including a bi-weekly journal club are also available.

With Dr. Lord, externs will identify short-term (3 months) and long-term (10 months) goals for the practicum and complete supervision logs, as well as receiving brief written feedback throughout the practicum.  They are not expected to be “on call.”  Clinical questions and issues will be handled directly through Dr. Lord who is available by phone at all times.

Space Our trainees are housed in room 68-217 on the 6th floor of Semel, with our graduate students and research assistants.  Computers and phones are available to them in this room.  Our clinical work is carried out in a number of shared spaces including rooms 68-262A, 68-258, 68-236A, 67-436 in Semel and rooms 1221/1260 and 1264 in 300 Medical Plaza Building. Larger conference rooms are available for training and group meetings. 

Practicum director:  Catherine Lord, Ph.D., George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Education

Application process: This practicum is open only to enrolled UCLA graduate students.  Students are expected to have one year of clinical or school or applied developmental psychology, social work, special education graduate school or experience in a related field.  Students must feel comfortable working with children (even though some projects focus on adults) and some experience with standardized coding or research. 

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

2 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment

Overview:

Trainees within the Behavioral Parent Training Program practicum, which is part of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at the UCLA School of Medicine and Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior will implement an evidence-based parent training program for parents of children with behavioral difficulties. The parenting program is a brief (12 week) highly structured intervention delivered to groups of parents with children between the ages of 2 and 12 years of age. Parent sessions are composed of homework review, didactics, and coaching parents on correct implementation of in-vivo exposures and behavioral rehearsals. Groups provide instruction on the essential elements of effective behavior management (i.e.: establishing structured routines; managing emotional dysregulation; enhanced communication; selective attention; and limit setting). As part of the program, parents are given weekly homework assignments to practice implementation of key skills. Children do not attend sessions.

 

Diagnoses typically seen among the children whose parents are in need of parent training are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, DMDD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety and Mood Disorders. Most referrals come from within the division of Child Psychiatry outpatient clinics, IOP programs and in-patient. Other sources of referrals are from schools, and clinicians in the community. Some families are concurrently being seen within other modalities (individual psychotherapy for parent or child, psychiatric care, or other family therapy).

 

Trainees will develop proficiency in assessment, group therapy, and behavior modification treatment modalities. Trainees participate in diagnostic evaluations that integrate the assessment and measure interpretation to collaboratively determine treatment plan and aid in research and clinical efforts.

 

Trainees will be assigned 2 groups on Wednesday 12-1:30pm and Thursday evenings 7-8:30pm. They will also conduct intake evaluations on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursdays to determine program eligibility, perform diagnostic evaluations, and develop appropriate treatment plans. Trainees may also have the opportunity to work with 1 individual case depending on their level of experience.

 

Training and Supervision:

Students will receive a minimum of one hour of weekly supervision per week provided by an attending licensed clinical psychologist. Students facilitating group treatment programs will be provided weekly group supervision beginning the hour prior to the scheduled group session. Students conducting evaluations or individual therapy will be provided weekly individual supervision. Supervision will be provided over zoom.

 

Trainee evaluations will be completed by the direct supervisor. Orientation is conducted by supervisors and program staff. All essential materials, including assessment materials, are available and provided to the trainees.

Supervisors:

Shilpa Baweja, PhD; Reina Factor, PhD

Current position openings:

One extern position is available. This requires a full year commitment of a minimum of 14 hours total per week (including clinical contact hours, supervision and completing notes), typically in the afternoon and evenings. The positions are hybrid, with most clinical contact hours completed through telehealth.

Resource allocation:

The externs will have workspace at the Semel Institute on the UCLA Campus in office suite 27-384. Appropriate office equipment, including computer access, desk, phone, and office supplies, are provided.

Diversity:

The UCLA Parent Training Program works with people from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, sexual, gender identity, and cultural backgrounds. As a part of best practice, discussions in team case conference, presentations, and supervision routinely take into consideration diversity and cultural considerations. Readings and didactics are also used to increase the trainee’s awareness and competency in the treatment of clients with diverse backgrounds.

Application Pre-requisites:

Prior clinical training and experience in child development, parenting, and/or families is strongly preferred. Knowledge of and/or experience with neurodevelopmental disorders is also preferred.

Application Process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the student.

Clinic and Program Director:

Shilpa Baweja, PhD

Not Accepting Applicants for the 24-25 Practicum Cycle

The field of Cardiac Psychology has become an important and necessary part of individual care in hospitals nationwide and it is also expanding with community interventions in order to reduce the effect of the #1 killer in the country: heart disease.

Cardiologists along with the American Heart Association have increasingly identified stress as one of the top cardiac risks factors. However, stress is difficult to measure and its definition has evolved as the psychological care of cardiac patients has developed.  Although we have not, at this time, identified a direct correlation between emotional instability and heart, the notion of stress has been at the center of cardiac care and of mental health in general. There is a particular emphasis in understanding the role that stress plays in decision making, relationships, communication skills, sleep and how it affects the heart and the overall mood. In addressing psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, poor quality of sleep, isolation, this program is, therefore, a unique opportunity to be exposed to a variety of clinical experiences all centered around the notion of lifestyle changes and stress reduction strategies after an unexpected and life threatening event.  Supervision provided to practicum trainees stresses the importance of integrating new form of care in order to address the pathologies of our times. By understanding and addressing a unique form of trauma, trainee will develop proficiency and will increase competence not just in heart care but in the field of psychology in general

This practicum represents a great opportunity for trainees to:

  • Understand the mind body interaction and how to address it in order to improve mental and physical health
  • Gain knowledge in the science of stress and its latest developments
  • Develop research in the field of medical psychology to prepare for the future of the profession.

Patients come to the UCLA Cardiac Rehabilitation Center because they know that after a traumatic heart attack or a cardiac arrest, they need to make life time changes in order to reduce risks of future cardiac trauma. In that frame the notion of empathy often becomes an area of focus for patients because it involves both the brain (it has been shown that gratefulness reduces depression) and the heart (lessens blood pressure and heart rate).

From a heart trauma stems empathy which is an unavoidable focus of health improvement in general and is at the core of cardiac psychology perspectives. The use of insight-oriented approaches is employed as well as meditation techniques developed by the UCLA Neuroscience Center, in order to optimize personalization of treatment relevant to each patient.

Trainees will participate in the evaluation of patients using mood screening scales and interviews. They may have the opportunity to serve as co-therapists in behavioral and psychoeducational treatments.

What you will learn:

  • Understanding trauma and its effects on the mind in order to provide cognitive-behavioral and related psychoeducational techniques in the treatment of patients with chronic illnesses.
  • The science of stress and how it impacts mental and physical health.
  • The importance of sleep and sleep hygiene which is often overlooked by professionals
  • Patient base interventions and research in order to connect the field of medicine with the field of psychology for the benefit of patient care during the recovery phase.
  • How to understand empathy and how to make it the focus of interventions.
  • Within the learning settings trainee will gain competence in specific techniques and every effort will be made to teach the trainee, via didactic instructions, the distinctions between depression, loss and trauma
  • Stress, anxiety, fear and obsessive thinking.
  • Isolation, loneliness and love and support.

Trainees at the UCLA Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center, which is part of the UCLA Rehabilitation Department, will be working with cardiac patients during the post discharged and recovery phase. Trainees will be assigned several patients to work with. Trainees may also have the opportunity to participate in group interventions. Trainees will also be given the opportunity to explore, during supervision, their awareness and challenges in working with a specific population.

Gender and Race Issues

Training through the program will emphasis the importance of gender issues in the field of cardiac care because decades of research that focused almost entirely on men has reinforced the myth that coronary heart disease is a uniquely male disease. As a result, women’s symptoms and their medical problems are not as well understood because of the male dominated model. It has, now, been widely recognized that women are more likely to survive heart attacks if treated by female doctors. In addition, women with heart attacks are, on the whole, less likely to survive than men because women delay seeking help for them and they are often dismissed and less likely to be offered diagnostic testing.

There a trend of fatal heart events going up for women in their 40ies and 50ies in the country, involving black women in particular. At this time, we still need to determine the cause of these findings but chronic stress associated with dismissal (symptoms are played down even though they are persistent) may be at the origin of this issue.

Relevant readings on culture in mental health will also be discussed.

Overall Scope of Training:  Practicum placements are 6 month in duration with a maximum of 1 trainee per session in order to follow the COVID-19 social distancing requirements. Students spend a minimum of 10 hours per week in the program, with an emphasis on training in assessment, group interventions, patient-care giver interventions, and participating in multidisciplinary care.

Clinic Space

Supervision: Practicum trainees will receive one hour of individual supervision per week from the clinical supervisor: Dr. Anne Saltzman. The clinical supervisor will complete practicum trainee evaluations on a monthly basis, including documentation of the training hours that have been accrued. Orientation and training are conducted by the clinical supervisor. Trainee will be working on the site of the Cardiac Center in 100 Medical Plaza, #410.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program. The Practicum Director will conduct an interview with each candidate.

Application process:

Please upload materials via the portal  

Earlier applications/decisions:  

General applications deadline

The UCLA Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental (CAN) Clinic, located in the 300 Medical Plaza at UCLA, provides outpatient clinical services that include assessment and evidence-based treatments to children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders through the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Services are provided for a wide age span from early toddlerhood to adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities who may also present with co-occurring psychiatric conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression, ADHD). The functioning levels for individuals vary widely and the populations served are culturally diverse.

Two training tracks are offered: (1) Assessment Track and (2) Treatment Track.

  • Assessment Track: Assessments are based on best practice standards, incorporating diagnostic and treatment considerations according to the current research in the field. Training in assessment measures will include cognitive, autism diagnostic (e.g., Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd Edition [ADOS-2], Brief Observation of Symptoms of Autism [BOSA], Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised [ADI-R]), adaptive, neuropsychological, achievement, structured clinical interviews for psychiatric conditions, and informant report instruments. These specialty, high complexity assessments are done in the context of a multidisciplinary team that consists of clinical psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and a child neurologist to whom the psychology team presents cases on a weekly basis. Patients come to clinic for a range of presenting concerns, including first diagnosis of autism in early childhood to adulthood, re-evaluations, and assessment of possible co-occurring conditions and differential diagnosis (e.g., ADHD, depression, anxiety).

 For practicum trainees in the Assessment Track, the typical caseload is 2 assessment cases each month (estimated: 3 hours of face-to-face time for each testing appointment, 2-3 testing appointments per case, 1 hour of feedback, for a total of 7-10 hours face-to-face hours per case). During weeks without an assessment case, duties include scoring, chart review, and report writing. Currently, parent/caregiver interviews and feedback are typically completed via Zoom and patient testing occurs in person. Live observation and co-facilitation of measures with the attending psychologist are available during training in new measures. Live supervision during practicum trainee testing will be provided via one-way mirror or Zoom observation. Outside of direct patient care, trainees will interpret test results, complete integrated reports with detailed feedback from clinical supervisors, and participate in case conferences. Treatment cases may be available depending on trainee interest and supervisor availability.

  • Treatment Track: Treatments are based on evidence-based practices (e.g., cognitive behavior therapy, parent management training, naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions). Treatments are provided in individual and group-based modalities and are often time-limited. Potential treatment cases typically range from early childhood to mid-adulthood. Presenting issues include co-occurring emotional and behavioral difficulties (e.g., anxiety, depression, behavioral concerns) and ASD-related symptoms (e.g., rigid thinking, social skills impairments). Training in a specific form of CBT for children on the spectrum (i.e., BIACA) may be available. The CAN Clinic also offers 1-hour treatment consultations where targeted information gathering and guidance are provided for specific referral issues (e.g., whether an evaluation is appropriate, providing education about the IEP process, whether to make changes to intervention program).

 For practicum trainees in the Treatment Track, a typical caseload includes 2 individual therapy cases or 1 group and 1 individual therapy case on a weekly basis (estimated: 2 face-to-face hours per week). For interested trainees, involvement in 1-2 treatment consultations per week is often available (estimated: 1 face-to-face hour per case). Involvement in focused autism evaluations also possible depending on trainee interest and availability. Therapy and consultation services are currently provided via Zoom or in person depending on patient preference and clinical considerations. Additional responsibilities include documentation of therapy progress in the patient’s medical record, brief reports for consultations, participation in case conferences, and possible collateral contacts and record reviews. Live supervision via Zoom/video or observation window and weekly group and/or individual supervision provided.

 All trainees are highly encouraged to attend the weekly multidisciplinary case conference and didactic meeting that occurs every Thursday from 12:00-1:00pm. Further training is available to practicum students on topics such as the ADOS-2 on Thursday mornings. The clinic is a Monday-Friday clinic, with testing usually occurring in the morning and therapy in the afternoon.

Openings: Up to 1 opening per track to intermediate-advanced doctoral students. Successful applicants to the Assessment Track are commonly 4th year and above and Treatment Track 3rd year and above. Trainees who are available for at least 1 full day and 1 half day (Assessment Track) or 2 half days (Treatment Track) and Thursday afternoons for an hour-long multidisciplinary team meeting are preferred. Positions require at least occasional travel to the UCLA campus, but some work can commonly be completed remotely.

Start date: July 1 (flexibility possible)

Resource allocation: Trainees will be provided with a computer and work space that will be shared with the CAN Clinic team while on site. Assessments and treatments will be conducted at the clinic or via Zoom.

Supervision: Individual and/or group supervision (typically at least 1 hour per week) will be provided. Trainees will be directly observed by and work alongside attending psychologists. Ad hoc supervision to occur during Zoom therapy sessions (via chat function) and during and immediately following testing sessions. Supervisors are typically available informally via email, text, Zoom, and dropping by the office as needed. Supervision occurs both in person and via Zoom. Trainees will be assigned a primary supervisor who will oversee their training experiences and provide mentorship and will be staffed with other attending psychologists for specific assessment and/or treatment cases. The licensed psychologist supervisors are: Nicole McDonald, PhD, Patty Renno, PhD, Sara McCracken & Amanda Gulsrud, PhD.

Diversity and cultural competency: The CAN Clinic serves clients from diverse racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. Families visit the clinic from the local community, as well as distant national and international locations. Trainees are provided with opportunities to work with clients who vary in age, gender, family composition, presenting problem, and language and cultural background. Multicultural training, including discussion of the presentation of ASD and developmental disabilities in different cultural and family contexts, is integrated throughout the training year. During individual supervision, trainees are encouraged to consider cultural, developmental, and familial factors that may be contributing to the client’s presentation, as well as the impact of the trainee’s own identity in their interactions with families. Specific guidance is provided in how to sensitively communicate assessment results, diagnoses, and recommendations to families from diverse backgrounds. In addition, discussions during multidisciplinary team case conference presentations and supervision routinely take into account issues of diversity and cultural considerations. Didactic lessons on these issues are also provided (e.g., gender diversity, autism in Black families), and training and experience in working with interpreters is available.

 Pre-requisites: Prior didactic training and practical experience in psychological assessment and evidence-based treatments is required. For the Assessment Track, trainees should have completed a prior assessment-focused practicum or equivalent (e.g., experience in cognitive testing). For the Treatment Track, trainees should have completed a prior treatment-focused practicum or equivalent. Some familiarity or experience with autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities preferred.

Faculty positions of supervisors (Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences):

Nicole McDonald, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor (Practicum Training Director)

Patty Renno, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor

Sara McCracken, PsyD, Staff Psychologist

Amanda Gulsrud, PhD, Associate Clinical Professor (Clinical Director of CAN Clinic)

Application process: Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

1-2 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment #Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Therapy

General Description:  Students in our practicum train in evidence-based assessment and treatment of child obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders, tic disorders, and related conditions via complementary training experiences in the hospital-based Child OCD Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Clinic (the Clinic).

In the Child OCD IOP, trainees provide intensive group and individual CBT to a diverse and psychiatrically complex youth population, ages 5 to 17 years, with severe OCD. The primary modality of treatment is exposure and response prevention therapy, which is augmented by complementary skills in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, distress tolerance, and mindfulness. Emphasis is placed on teaching trainees to exercise creativity, flexibility, and developmental and cultural sensitivity in applying evidence-based strategies with this severely ill youth population. IOP activities also include assessment (including the Children’s Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale), parent training, family work, and cross-disciplinary consultation with psychiatry team members.

The UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety and Tic Disorders Clinic is a teaching clinic that is the site for externally-funded research and outpatient services for children, youth, and young adults. Research has focused on examining the psychosocial and neurobiological aspects of childhood psychopathology and developing treatments. In the Clinic, training focuses on evidence-based practice as the integration of evidence-based assessment and evidence-based treatment. Trainees receive rigorous instruction on diagnostic interviews, including opportunities to achieve gold-standard reliability on instruments such as the Anxiety Disorders Interview Scale, the Diagnostic Interview for Anxiety, Mood, and OCD and Related Neuropsychiatric Disorders, and Yale Global Tic Severity Scale. Assessment activities include conducting semi-structured diagnostic and symptom assessments for youth presenting for research and clinical services for anxiety, OCD, chronic tic disorder, hair pulling and skin picking disorders. Trainees are taught specific methods for case conceptualization, developing individualized treatment plans, and making informed clinical decisions based on routine outcome monitoring. Trainees provide weekly outpatient CBT for youth with OCD/anxiety in individual and group formats, with additional opportunities to learn and practice behavioral interventions for tic disorders (e.g., Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics) and body-focused repetitive behaviors.

Practicum trainees typically devote approximately 16 hours/ week participating in this practicum (10 hours face to face client hours) but trainees with fewer available hours will be considered for practicum positions on case-by-case basis.  Treatment activities occur primarily in the Child OCD IOP which takes place Monday-Thursday 12:30-4:30pm, so availability during these hours is essential.  Assessment and outpatient clinical activities through our Clinic occur morning and afternoon Monday-Friday.

Current position openings: We currently have 6-8 positions each year.

 Resource Allocation: The Child OCD IOP is primarily housed on the first floor of the UCLA 300 Medical Plaza (MP) and all clinical activity takes place in Child OCD program offices and treatment rooms housed there. Outpatient clinical services are delivered in person or via Zoom from Child OCD Clinic offices located in the Semel Institute building, across the street from 300 Medical Plaza. Practicum trainees have dedicated space to write chart notes and return telephone calls in both locations. Telephones, computer, office supplies, and mail service are also available through the Child OCD Clinic.

 Supervision: All practicum trainees will receive weekly group/individual supervision from Drs. Guo, Cox, Yadegar, Piacentini, Peris, Ricketts, and/or Treanor who are licensed clinical psychologists. Practicum trainees are required to attend (1) weekly didactic presentations Mondays 9-10 am, (2) weekly IOP treatment rounds on Mondays 10-11:30 am, (3) 1-2 hours weekly group supervision for IOP cases and (4) 1-2 hours weekly group supervision for outpatient assessment and treatment cases per week. The Child OCD IOP and outpatient Clinic will also provide live supervision during program hours.

Our program assesses and treats youth from a diverse catchment area in the broader Los Angeles County and California, as well as children from out of state and out of the country. These youths are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, and family and community practices. Thus, diversity training and development of cultural competency for our trainees, and consideration of diversity issues, are central to our work with youth suffering from anxiety-related disorders.  Issues of diversity are addressed in several ways. Trainees receive specific didactic instruction and experiential practice in sensitively and appropriately querying factors related to diversity during assessment, integrating these findings into case conceptualization, and subsequently integrating any relevant factors into treatment and discussing how these factors may play a role with our patients and their parents. Didactic instruction includes formal readings and related discussion (e.g., how a family’s religious practices may influence a patient’s scrupulosity OCD symptoms). Experiential practice includes participating in treatment rounds, observing and being shadowed in the conduct of assessment and intervention, and participation in team-based treatment planning. When relevant to individual youths/families, trainees also participate in the practice of cultural sensitivity (e.g.,  consultation with experts/leaders in the relevant area such as religious leaders, discussions with parents about their cultural practices and how the child’s behavior may fit within or deviate from typical practice or beliefs, etc.). By the end of the training year, trainees will demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to diversity issues in the assessment and treatment of pediatric anxiety-related disorders, as well as awareness of one’s own cultural and ethnic background and its potential impact on this work.

In addition to scheduled weekly meetings, informal supervision (phone calls, emails, etc.) is available when necessary, and supervisors are available for consultation if an urgent situation arises. The direct clinical supervisor will complete practicum trainee evaluations with input from the supervision team. Clinical supervisors and program staff lead orientation and initial training starting in July.

Director/Instructor(s):

Sisi Guo, Ph.D.

Julia Cox, Ph.D.

Mina Yadegar, Psy.D.

John Piacentini, Ph.D.

Tara Peris, Ph.D.

Emily Ricketts, Ph.D.

Michael Treanor, Ph.D.

Application Pre-requisites:

Previous clinical experience with children is recommended as is some familiarity with childhood anxiety disorders or cognitive behavioral therapy. Documented experience in or knowledge of DSM-based diagnostic interviewing using formal diagnostic measures (i.e, KSADS, DISC, ADIS, SCID, etc.) is strongly preferred.

 Application process:

Candidates are required to submit:

  • a letter of interest
  • a curriculum vitae
  • two letters of references
  • a letter from the Training Director of their graduate program attesting to the student’s qualifications
  • evidence of professional liability coverage

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

6-8 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Therapy

Overview:

Trainees within the Children’s Friendship Program practicum, which is part of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at the UCLA School of Medicine and Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior will implement an evidence based, cognitive behavioral social skills intervention with children and families. The Children’s Friendship program is a brief (12 week) manualized intervention delivered to groups of children between the ages of 7 and 11 years and their parents. Child sessions are composed of homework review, brief didactic presentations, behavioral rehearsals, and individual coaching. Groups provide instruction on the essential elements of socialization such as conversational skills; initiating and maintaining play, good sportsmanship; effectively managing teasing and bullying; conflict resolution; choosing appropriate friends; and having successful play dates. As part of the program, children are given homework assignments, which the parents help them implement. Parent sessions are composed of homework review, didactics, and coaching parents on correct implementation of in-vivo exposures and behavioral rehearsals. Parents do not observe child sessions but are required to attend their own weekly group parent sessions.

 

Patients are children with at least average cognitive functioning between 2nd and 5th grade, mainstreamed in school, who are having difficulty making and keeping friends. Diagnoses most typically seen are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety and Mood Disorders. Most referrals come from within the division of Child Psychiatry outpatient clinics, IOP programs and in-patient. Other sources of referrals are from schools, and clinicians in the community. Some families are concurrently being seen within other modalities (individual psychotherapy for parent or child, psychiatric care, or other family therapy).

Trainees will develop proficiency in assessment, group therapy, and behavior modification treatment modalities. Trainees participate in diagnostic evaluations that integrate the assessment and measure interpretation to collaboratively determine treatment plan and aid in research and clinical efforts.

Trainees will be assigned 2 groups on Tuesday from 5:30-8:30pm or Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:00pm. They will also conduct intake evaluations on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays to determine program eligibility, perform diagnostic evaluations, and develop appropriate treatment plans. Trainees may also have the opportunity to work with 1 individual case depending on their level of experience.

Training and Supervision:

Students will receive a minimum of one hour of weekly supervision per week provided by an attending licensed clinical psychologist. Students facilitating group treatment programs will be

provided weekly group supervision beginning the hour prior to the scheduled group session. Students conducting evaluations or individual therapy will be provided weekly individual supervision. Supervision will be provided over zoom.

Trainee evaluations will be completed by the direct supervisor. Orientation is conducted by supervisors and program staff. All essential materials, including assessment materials, are available and provided to the trainees.

Clinic and Program Director:

Shilpa Baweja, PhD

Supervisors:

Shilpa Baweja, PhD; Reina Factor, PhD

Current position openings:

Two extern positions are available. This requires a full year commitment of a minimum of 14 hours total per week (including clinical contact hours, supervision and completing notes), typically in the late afternoons and evenings. The positions are hybrid, with most clinical contact hours completed through telehealth.

Resource allocation:

The externs will have work space at the Semel Institute on the UCLA Campus in office suite 27-384. Appropriate office equipment, including computer access, desk, phone, and office supplies, are provided.

Diversity:

The Children’s Friendship Program clinic works with children and parents from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, sexual, gender identity, and cultural backgrounds. As a part of best practice, discussions in team case conference, presentations, and supervision routinely take into consideration diversity and cultural considerations. Readings and didactics are also used to increase the trainee’s awareness and competency in the treatment of clients with diverse backgrounds.

Application Pre-requisites:

Prior clinical training and experience in child development, parenting, and/or families is strongly preferred. Knowledge of and/or experience with neurodevelopmental disorders is also preferred.

Application Process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the student.

The Cultural Neuropsychology Program (CNP) at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior and the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital offers a unique training opportunity for pre-doctoral clinical students who are interested in the neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric assessment of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Since July 2010, this program has offered a 12-month training rotation for graduate students enrolled in an APA approved Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Students in the CNP clinical practicum provide outpatient neuropsychological assessments to Spanish speaking, bilingual (Spanish-English), and monolingual English-speaking patients who identify as Latino/a/e. Our program assesses patients across the lifespan with a variety of diagnoses, including dementia, epilepsy, brain tumors, organ transplant, learning disabilities, and other conditions that impact neurocognitive functioning.

CNP practicum students are trained in the theory and practice of neuropsychological assessment with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds in general, and also receive specialized training in the administration and interpretation of linguistically and culturally appropriate neuropsychological measures with Spanish dominant and bilingual individuals, as well as English-dominant patients. Students are taught to identify points of convergence and divergence between assessment instruments and practices available solely in English versus those that are available in Spanish. CNP practicum students are expected to participate in all aspects of the neuropsychological assessment within including the initial intake interview, test administration and scoring, report-writing, and feedback; however, each student’s level of professional development is taken into consideration in determining the extent to which they contribute to each of these phases of the neuropsychological assessment. As part of their neuropsychological training, students are also explicitly taught how to identify possible differences in establishing rapport with culturally and linguistically unique patient populations relative to patients from mainstream populations (e.g., different levels of acculturation, educational levels/quality, specific idioms of distress, country-specific presentations, etc.). As such, CNP practicum students are trained in best practices to actively engage their patients in culturally and linguistically informed ways in order to help them feel at ease and ensure meaningful assessments that are empirically grounded and generalizable.

Current position openings: 

We currently offer anywhere between 2 to 5 positions each year.  This position requires a minimum time commitment in the CNP of 16 hours per week with a preference for 20 hours over 3 days. This can include time spent in supervision or elective didactics. Please note that supervision can take the form of individual or group supervision depending of the clinical load per week (see below). Please note that all activities for the year 2023-2024 will take place in-person.

Resource Allocation:

Practicum students share office space on the Semel Institute C Floor. Appropriate office equipment, including desk, phone, computer, and office supplies, is provided. All essential materials, including psychological assessment instruments, are available and provided for all practicum students in both English and Spanish.

Main Clinical Supervisors: Paola A. Suarez, PhD, & Lucia Cavanagh, PhD

Supervision: All practicum students receive weekly supervision from the main supervisor, as well as, other rotating bilingual/bicultural faculty, who are neuropsychologists and licensed clinical psychologists. In addition, peer supervision by postdoctoral fellows will be provided. There is also a weekly case conference/ group supervision in which all CNP trainees, including interns and postdocs, present and discuss their cases. CNP practicum students participate in several didactic seminars that are part of the post-doctoral fellowship program in neuropsychology as well. In addition, informal supervision (phone calls, emails, etc.) is available when necessary, and all supervisors are available for consultation if an urgent situation arises. Practicum student evaluations are completed at the mid and end of year by the direct clinical supervisor. Orientation to the CNP occurs at the beginning of July where students are expected to participate for a full week of dedicated training by supervisors and other trainees.

Diversity Training:  The CNP practicum is organized under the framework of “Socially Responsible Neuropsychology,” and practices cultural neuropsychology grounded in the extant evidence-based literature.  Rather than merely focusing on trying to provide equal care for limited English proficiency patients, the clinical service focuses on providing equitable care that acknowledges that health disparities exist, and directly addresses them head-on.  By leveraging the educational academic medicine setting to systematically help trainees see how disparities in care emerge and how they can be remediated, the CPI provides trainees with a comprehensive model of neuropsychological assessment that will subsequently help them to be both more efficient and targeted in serving the unique needs of the historically underrepresented Latina/o population.  

Director(s): Paola A. Suarez and Lucia Cavanagh.

Application Pre-requisites:

Qualifications: Given the nature of the practicum program, all applicants are required to be fluent in Spanish and have some experience or coursework in neuropsychological assessment. Some exceptions to this can been made on a case-by-case basis.  Students must be enrolled in an APA approved Clinical Psychology doctoral program.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

2-4 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment

THE FAMILY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Program Description:

The Family Development Program (FDP) provides evaluation, consultation, prevention, and treatment services to new parents who are facing early life medical challenges with their infant, including high-risk pregnancies and NICU stays. The mission of FDP is to enhance the ability of family members to care for themselves and each other, and to cope with stressors while bonding with their infant. The practicum provides trainees with specialized experience in the following areas:

-Providing bedside and phone consultations to families who are currently admitted to the NICU

-Facilitating therapy groups for caregivers of infants with medical needs

-Completing intake evaluations for families enrolling in groups

-Participating in multidisciplinary rounds, program development meetings, and case conference

Additionally, trainees with sufficient time, interest, and training may take 1-2 outpatient individual or couples psychotherapy cases.

Practicum students will receive training in brief and long-term individual and dyadic interventions, and will learn to recognize and respond to the unique challenges of parenting medically complex infants and navigating medical trauma during the transition to parenthood. Practicum students will also receive training in reproductive mental health-specific interventions. FDP’s family-centered approach allows clinicians to tailor trauma-informed consultations to include all partners and infants. Trainees will attend weekly group supervision and didactics. We provide live supervision for outpatient psychotherapy and group therapy.  

Diversity and Cultural Competency: This practicum supports the trainee across all areas of diversity including (but not limited to) race/ethnicity, gender, religion, gender identity, language, and socioeconomic status in order to expand cultural awareness and sensitivity, as well as to enrich the services provided to the increasingly diverse populations at UCLA.  Diversity training is woven into various aspects of the training experience. In addition to exposure to diverse populations in the training, the practicum trainee will receive STAR Seminar Rounds hosts experts/speakers in the area of child and family trauma to discuss important topics related to the field, including prevention and intervention, diversity, cultural awareness and sensitivity, as well as best practices working with diverse populations (e.g. LGBTQ families, foster/adoptive families, and underserved populations). Trainees are encouraged to engage in reflective conversations about their cultural identity, personal biases, attitudes and values, in both, individual and group supervision, as well as during multidisciplinary team case conferences. In addition, cultural exploration is encouraged in all aspects of case conceptualization to determine how cultural aspects may play a role in symptom presentation, parental reactions, as well as how to incorporate these important factors into diagnosis, assessment and treatment.

Day, Time, and Location

  • Didactics (required): Thursdays 11:30am – 12:30pm
  • Group Therapy (required): Thursdays 10:00-11:30
  • Case Conference and Clinic (required):
    • Tuesdays 12:30pm -5:00pm

OR

  • Thursdays 12:30pm – 5:00pm
  • NICU Rounds:
    • Tuesdays 11am – 12pm (psychosocial rounds)

OR

  • Thursdays 2:30 – 3:30 pm (discharge rounds)

Location:

Nathanson Family Resilience Center, 300 Medical Plaza

Hours per week:

16-20

Faculty and Staff:

Catherine Mogil, PsyD

Blanca Orellana, PhD

Agustina Bertone, PhD

Sierra Kuzava, PhD

Karol Grotkowski, PhD (postdoctoral fellow)

Alyssa Morris, PhD (postdoctoral fellow)

Duration of Practicum:

12 months

Supervision Provided:

Method of Supervision: Direct observation and case presentation

Format: Individual and group

Hours per week: 2

Days and Time: Thursdays 11:30-12:30, Either Tuesday or Thursday during clinic hours

Names of Supervisors:

Agustina Bertone, PhD; Blanca Orellana, Ph.D.; Catherine Mogil, Psy.D.; Lauren Marlotte, Ph.D.; Nastassia Hajal, Ph.D.; Sierra Kuzava, PhD

Trainee evaluations will be completed by the direct supervisor. Orientation is conducted by supervisors and program staff. All essential materials, including assessment materials, are available and provided to the trainees.

Current position openings: There will be one opening for the 24-25 year

Resource Allocation: The practicum students will have workspace at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center and Semel Institute at UCLA. Appropriate office equipment, including desk, phone, and office supplies, are provided.

Pre-requisites:

Prior clinical training and experience in child development, parenting, and/or families is strongly preferred. Knowledge of and/or experience with family trauma and perinatal mental health is also preferred.

Application Process:

Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a CV, two letters of references, a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

1 spot available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Therapy #Brief Intervention

Program Description: Practicum students will be placed with Dr. Van Dyk, Dr. Gammada, or Dr. Wall in the Gero-psychology Service, which is part of the Geriatric Psychiatry Division at the UCLA Medical School and Semel Institute. Trainees will typically perform one neuropsychological evaluation each week consisting of a core battery of tests. Referrals are from primary care, geriatrics, psychiatry, and neurology clinics at UCLA, and from the community at large. The mission of this program is to provide training in neuropsychological assessment of older adults that informs and supplies not only diagnosis but targeted, relevant recommendations and support to optimize functioning, cognitive risk, and quality of life. There is a broad range of clinical issues addressed in this clinic including mild cognitive impairment (MCI), dementia (Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, etc), cancer-related cognitive impairment, psychiatric disorders, and other neuro-degenerative or neurological disorders. Each trainee is trained to achieve proficiency in standardized test administration at minimum; depending on developmental level, the trainee will independently score, interpret, and write up a comprehensive neuropsychological report each week.

Our patient population reflects the richly diverse setting of Los Angeles, including but not limited to individuals of varying linguistic, racial and ethnic backgrounds, abilities, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation.   We strive to champion an approach to neuropsychological training that prioritizes respect for each patient’s identity and incorporates evidence-based considerations about the validity and limitations of neuropsychological methods in patients of different backgrounds.  At minimum, this includes pre-case discussion/readings of diversity considerations relevant to assessment choices, on-line supervision as needed to adapt the approach to assessment, and devoted time in supervision to consider diversity factors with respect to case conceptualization and test interpretation.  Throughout these experiences, trainees are encouraged to consider their own backgrounds and identities in the clinical setting and interpersonal dynamic with patients.  In service of increasing access, our services also involve communicating with interpreter services, which involves in-depth preparation and close supervision. Our trainees are expected to be open to discussing and thinking critically about diversity issues throughout the year, be willing to engage in self-reflection for professional development, and engage with suggested readings, seminars, and didactics. Trainees will be expected to be on site for most of their practicum training experiences, including clinical work. Remote work is possible on occasion at the discretion of their supervisor.

Current position openings: We currently have 3-6 positions available this year; the commitment is 12-months, and runs from June 1 through May 31.

Resource Allocation:  Trainees will have office space in Semel 38-148 and access to a testing room in Semel 38-256.  Appropriate office equipment, including desk, phone, computer, and office supplies, is provided.

Supervision:Dr. Van Dyk, Dr. Gammada, and Dr. Wall will provide regular weekly supervision scheduled in accordance with each student’s schedule. Also, all trainees have the option of attending select classes with the current MPAC interns and post-doctoral fellows on Thursdays for fall, winter, and spring quarters, as well a Group Supervision Class with Dr. Tingus. Their attendance of these classes is considered optional. Finally, informal supervision (phone calls, emails, etc.) is available when necessary, and all supervisors are available for consultation if an urgent situation arises. The evaluations for trainees will be completed by the direct clinical supervisor. Orientation for each trainee is handled individually in June or July; all essential materials, including psychological assessment instruments, are available and provided to the externs.

Qualifications: Prior didactic training in psychological assessment is preferred, in addition, to completion of course work in neuropsychology, if offered by the applicant’s school. Prior clinical experience in neuropsychological assessment also preferred. Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vita, two letters of references, a testing log, a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

3-6 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Neuropsychological Assessment

Not Accepting Applicants for the 24-25 Practicum Cycle

Program Description

The Infant and Preschool Clinic provides comprehensive assessment of young children in the context of their families as well as older individuals who may be functioning at a much younger level. The staff completes comprehensive assessments which include testing and interviewing the child and/or parent with standardized measures (cognitive, diagnostic, academic, and adaptive functioning), collection of questionnaire data (from parents, caregivers, and teachers), and observation of the child (in clinic, in school/daycare, and/or at home, as clinically appropriate and feasible), and review of previous assessments. Observations, findings (questionnaire and test), formulation/interpretation, and recommendations are communicated to the parent figures in-person and summarized in a written report.

Children evaluated include those with suspected autism and other developmental disabilities (e.g., intellectual disabilities), identified genetic disorders, fetal alcohol exposure, challenging behaviors, and a variety of other concerns. The children often have complex developmental histories and present with a variety of developmental challenges.

The Infant and Preschool Clinic is committed to providing a high standard of clinical services to individuals and their families. Training throughout the program will include emphasis on the importance of culturally sensitive work to match the diverse individuals and family constellations (e.g., self-identified ethnicity/race, social and educational status, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality and acculturation) that seek evaluation in clinic. Trainees are expected to be open to and willing to work with families that may differ in background/self-identity and values from themselves.  Supervision will encourage trainees to examine actively how their own training, family background, previous experiences and self-identity(ies) may influence and impact the assessment process, including discussion of when it may appropriate and indicated to refer clients to other providers. Case conferencing and supervision will explicitly include discussion of context (e.g., cultural, economic, residential, family constellation, perceived power/status differential), and identity (e.g., ethnic, gender, sexual orientation) issues relevant/salient to each child and family in order to optimize the assessment plan and subsequent recommendations for that child and family.  Discussion of clinical case conceptualization, treatment recommendations, and treatment access for clients will be incorporated in a manner that is cognizant and respectful of the cultural, ethnic, religious, gender identity, sexual orientation and economic diversity among the children and families we assess. Discussion and planning of interviews and feedback sessions will emphasize the importance of culturally sensitive and effective communication.

Students will learn to select measures appropriate/valid for the client and clinical question.  Students, in close consultation with faculty, will learn to administer, score and interpret a variety of measures. The students will also learn behavioral management techniques. If interpreters are required to facilitate the assessment process, specific supervision regarding the sensitive and appropriate use of live interpretation (on line interpretive services are not used) will be provided.

The practicum student or students must have a working knowledge of, and preferably experience in, working with young children and their caregivers and culturally sensitive assessment. Young children often present with unique behavioral issues that require specific and flexible strategies to optimize their participation in cognitive assessment. The student’s learning experience will be two-fold: learning assessment techniques for individuals who present with a wide range of abilities and learning positive and flexible behavioral strategies with which to elicit the participation and cooperation of those children. The student will score related self-report research measures, check the scoring of testing protocols completed by others ( as others will check the students), and draft assessment summaries of measures administered. The student may accompany the lead clinicians on observations, as scheduling allows.

The Intern may also assist the group intervention: “Secret Agent Society” http://www.sst-institute.net/ an evidence based intervention for 8-12 year olds with social communication/autistic spectrum disorders. This opportunity is optional.

How many positions are being offered, with what starting and ending dates?

The maximum number of positions offered is four, more usually two positions are offered, but the number of positions depends on the number of qualified candidates. This is an advanced practicum experience; candidates with extensive early childhood experience are preferred. Please contact Kbest@mednet.ucla.edu for clarification of experience needed.

Trainees are expected to work one to two full days per week (approximately 8- 16 hours). The amount of time does not include writing reports or department seminars and courses. Specific days to be determined (usually Monday and Friday); not all combinations of days are possible.

The assessments take place in the 300 Medical Plaza Building or the Semel Institute. Evaluation rooms are appropriate for young children and include a one-way mirror for viewing from the observation room so the student may watch assessments in which she/he is not directly involved.

The student will share work space. The student must return calls, texts, or emails to the supervisor in a timely manner.

Minimal expectations of supervision are one hour per week; typically a ratio of 1 hour supervision to 4 hours of direct human service delivery is expected.

Supervision occurs individually or in small group.

The practicum student is taught and must review and practice the necessary assessment tools, observes test administration, and then participates in supervised test administration until able to demonstrate consistent, reliable administration.

Application Pre-requisites:

The practicum student or students must have a working knowledge of cognitive assessment and eagerness, and preferably the experience, to work with young children and families.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Not Accepting Applicants for the 23-24 Practicum Cycle.

Website: https://www.uclahealth.org/resnick/insomnia

Clinic Overview

Insomnia is a very common and costly condition. At least 10% of Americans suffer from insomnia, and it costs the US workforce $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity. Furthermore, insomnia increases the risks of depressive, inflammatory, metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurocognitive disorders. Unfortunately, insomnia often remains untreated or inappropriately treated only with hypnotics.

The UCLA Insomnia Clinic was established to fill this important gap in healthcare. Based on the decade-long research and delivery of insomnia treatments by clinician scientists at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, we envisioned a clinic providing behavioral treatments of insomnia, which are safe and effective. Among these treatments, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is the first-line treatment as recommended by the American College of Physicians with proven short- and long-term efficacy. Research at UCLA has demonstrated that Mindfulness-Based Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (MBBT-I) is also effective in the treatment of insomnia with a greater patient acceptability. Thus, with the support of the UCLA Cousins Center and the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC), we developed an insomnia clinic solely dedicated to the provision of effective behavioral treatments. Among the sleep clinics in academic and community settings in the Greater Los Angeles area, the UCLA Insomnia Clinic is unique in providing behavioral insomnia treatments such as CBT-I and MBBT-I. Our professionals at the UCLA Insomnia Clinic strive to deliver high-quality and evidence-based behavioral treatments for insomnia using not only the knowledge accumulated by the scientific community but also making the most of the expertise derived from our own longstanding clinical research.

Training Program Description

UCLA Insomnia Clinic offers 2 practicum students a clinical training program of 6 (six) hours/week for at least one academic year. Trainees will first have an afternoon of lectures and then shadow an attending delivering individual sessions of CBT-I over 2 weeks; after this intense and close learning opportunity, trainees will deliver 2-4 individual sessions each week on their own with a real time supervision by an attending through a one-way mirror or a video conference. After the conclusion of each session, there will be individual face-to-face supervision by the same attending. There will also be a monthly didactic meeting for more teaching and interaction between all attendings and trainees.

The training will focus on individual CBT-I, a structured treatment program of 2-8 weekly sessions. Given the highly structured nature of our intervention, externs will be able to learn and practice CBT-I with high fidelity. In addition to the didactic and training activities on the principles, content, and delivery of CBT-I, the trainees will also have lectures on:

  1. Diagnostic assessment of insomnia
  2. Selection of CBT-I or MBBT-I based on the patient profile and preference
  3. Management of hypnotic medications prior to and during behavioral treatments
  4. Principles and content of MBBT-I (only a lecture but no practice due to the training requirements for this modality)

Day, Time, and Location

Our clinical activities are currently conducted in a hybrid form of virtual and in-person encounters. All intake evaluations and all in-person CBT-I sessions will take place in 300 Medical Plaza building, but virtual CBT-I sessions via Zoom may be flexibly conducted in 300 Medical Plaza or Semel Institute according to the availability of office space. For the practicum students, therapy sessions and supervision will take place on Thursday afternoons (1pm-6pm). There will also be 1 hour per week on a day and time of your own choosing for extra activities such as patient records review, documentation, and communication with other providers. Thus, this training program is of 6 hours/week.

Faculty & Supervisors

Joshua Cho, MD, PhD, Professor, Clinic Director

Stephanie Kremer, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor

Jeffrey Young, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor

Paul Barkopoulos, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor

Harold Boerlin, MD, Clinical Instructor

Anthony Reading, PhD, Clinical Professor

Ani Vartazarian, PsyD, Clinical Instructor

Supervision Provided

Method of Supervision: Direct observation and face-to-face discussion

Format: Individual

Hours Per Week: 5 hours per week as trainees will conduct 4 therapy sessions per week (each session for 53-60 minutes) with a real time supervision using Zoom chat comments and will receive a 15-minute face-to face supervision immediately after each session.

Diversity Training

Consistent with the diversity of the UCLA Health patient population, trainees will be working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to patients who are racial and ethnic minorities, and sexual and gender minorities. Trainees are expected and trained to treat all patients with respect, regardless of patient race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other diverse characteristics. At the same time, in supervision and didactic activities, we also emphasize awareness and consideration of these factors to shape and adapt the treatment approaches for the maximum benefit of patients. Interpretive services are not a part of this training program. Trainees will also have opportunities to participate in insomnia-related research in diverse populations as an optional activity.

Qualifications

Prior didactic training and clinical training (i.e., actual therapy sessions conducted by the student under supervision) in cognitive-behavioral therapy (in general sense rather than insomnia-specific) are required.  Prior didactic or clinical training in CBT-I is preferred but not required.

Application process

Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vita, two letters of reference, and a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

Bibliography to Consult

Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia: A Session-by-Session Guide (by Michael L. Perlis, Carla Jungquist, Michael T. Smith, Donn Posner). This is the official textbook for the clinic.

Say Good Night to Insomnia (by Gregg D. Jacobs). This is a short and easy book to read and also practical and very helpful.

2 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Therapy

Overview of the Clinical Research Program: The Integrated Substance Abuse Program (ISAP) is a multi-disciplinary research group within the Semel Institute. Several clinical researchers have NIH grants to develop and evaluate novel interventions for substance use disorders. Dr. Kate Wolitzky-Taylor is a licensed clinical psychologist, ISAP Principal Investigator, and UCLA Adult Division of Psychiatry clinician whose expertise is in the behavioral treatment of comorbid anxiety and substance use disorders. Her laboratory has NIH grants aimed at developing and evaluating new behavioral treatments for comorbid anxiety and substance use disorders.

Program Description: For the 2023-2024 academic year, Dr. Wolitzky-Taylor is offering a practicum for advanced graduate students (3rd year or beyond). Practicum students will be trained to serve as protocol therapists for an NIH-funded randomized clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a CBT protocol to augment the efficacy of benzodiazepine taper among primary care patients who are co-prescribed benzodiazepines and opioids (a high risk combination). The CBT protocol includes cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy (with an emphasis on interoceptive exposure), and somatic components (e.g., breathing retraining). Benzodiazepine taper with CBT will be compared to benzodiazepine taper with a health education control. Practicum students will be trained to deliver both interventions. They will have the opportunity to deliver evidence-based treatments in the context of a clinical trial, and will get experience working with a unique patient population and in multidisciplinary teams (psychiatry, psychology, and primary care).

Expectations and Supervision: Practicum students will provide 4-16 hours of therapy per week and will receive weekly, small group supervision by Dr. Wolitzky-Taylor in both arms of the study. Individual supervision is also available. The number of hours of direct patient care depends on the practicum student’s program requirements and expectations for practicum hours in the particular year in which the student is enrolled in this practicum, as expectations and limitations vary by program and by year in program. As described above, although the number of therapy hours per week is flexible and based on the individual trainee’s needs/program expectations, it will be pre-determined with Dr. Wolitzky-Taylor prior to beginning the practicum placement. Once determined, this number will remain relatively stable throughout the practicum year. Students with prior training and experience in CBT or ACT for anxiety, depression, or substance use disorders preferred but not required. Training and supervision will be conducted either remotely (via zoom) or at the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, which is at an off-campus UCLA building in Westwood village (on Weyburn). Patients will all be seen via telehealth.

Diversity and Cultural Competency: Trainees will be working with individuals from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, from the UCLA campus population and the greater Los Angeles community. Practicum students are expected to be self-reflective about their own identities and how their identities may impact therapy. Practicum students are expected to treat all patients with respect, regardless of patient race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other diverse characteristics. Multicultural training will be woven throughout the practicum training, and will be raised in supervision discussions. Discussions in supervision will routinely take into consideration diversity and cultural considerations. These discussions will include, but are not limited to, making appropriate adaptations to interventions to meet the needs of patients with diverse backgrounds and identities; developing a greater understanding of our own limitations as clinicians who strive to develop greater levels of cultural competence; and exploration of how practicum students’ own identities may impact therapy. Interpretive services are not a part of this practicum, and thus learning to use interpreters in the context of therapy will not be available.

Current Openings:

We currently have between two and four openings for advanced clinical psychology doctoral students. Students can begin as early as July 1, 2023 or as late as the beginning of the Fall 2023 quarter.

Pre-requisites: Clinical psychology doctoral trainee in at least the 3rd year of training, with at least one year of clinical practicum experience in therapy and completion of psychopathology course. Prior experience with CBT for anxiety or depression, DBT, or ACT are strongly preferred.

 

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

Overview:

Social skills training groups for preschoolers, teens, and young adults

(OPEN TO UCLA STUDENTS ONLY)

Training and Supervision:

Training and weekly group supervision are provided for conducting a parent-assisted cognitive behavioral social skills intervention for preschoolers, adolescents, and young adults. Weekly group supervision (1-2.5 hours per week) and individual supervision (1 hour per week, if co-facilitating sessions) are provided. In addition, trainees will be work alongside and receive ongoing supervision from supervising faculty throughout the weekly group sessions. Supervisors are licensed clinical psychologists.

Diversity Training:

At the UCLA PEERS Clinic, diversity and cultural competency are core values. Patients come from diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, with individual differences across gender identity and sexual orientation. Consequently, multicultural training is woven into all aspects of training and issues of diversity are considered in the conceptualization of every individual case whether they are related to ethnicity/race, sexual orientation or gender identity, educational background, socioeconomic standing, able-bodied issues, religious persuasion, linguistic background, military/civilian roles, neurodiversity, and/or other social markers of diversity. Trainees will be provided training and supervision on how to appropriately and sensitively communicate with patients about their individual differences through weekly group supervision as well as individual supervision through the entirety of their time at UCLA PEERS Clinic. Trainees will be encouraged to consider diversity and culture competence throughout their training and will be provided assistance in the individualization of treatment based on the unique differences of their patients. If interpreters are required to facilitate the therapy process, specific supervision regarding the sensitive and appropriate use of live interpretation will be provided (on line interpretive services are not used).

Program Description:

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) provides one of the only evidence-based group social skills interventions to help youth with social challenges foster meaningful friendships. Originally developed at UCLA, this internationally recognized program is used in over 30 countries and has been translated into over a dozen languages through numerous cross-cultural validation trials. Trainees of the PEERS Clinic will have the opportunity to be trained and supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson, the program developer.

Teen and young adult groups provide instruction on the culturally relevant elements of socialization (i.e., conversational skills; peer entry and exiting strategies; handling teasing, bullying, and rejection; changing bad reputations; choosing appropriate friends; handling arguments and disagreements; and having appropriate get-togethers with peers). Young adults are additionally instructed on culturally sensitive elements of dating etiquette, handling unwanted social pressure, and handling direct and indirect forms of bullying. Separate parent/caregiver and teen/young adult sessions are conducted concurrently for 90-minutes each week. Sessions are structured to include homework review, didactic presentation, role-play demonstrations, and behavioral rehearsal exercises. Parents and caregivers are taught how to assist their teens and young adults in making and keeping friends in a culturally sensitive context by providing performance feedback during weekly in vivo socialization homework assignments.

The PEERS Clinic also provides parent-assisted group intervention for preschool-aged children. The preschooler intervention addresses culturally relevant fundamental social skills such as greeting friends, initiating and maintaining play, sharing and turn taking, body boundaries, helping friends, and having appropriate play dates. The session format is similar to that of the teen and young adult groups, with the addition of a parent coached play component in which parents receive real life performance feedback from the treatment team while social coaching their children during in-session mock play dates.

Separate parent and child/teen/young adult sessions are conducted concurrently for 90-minutes each week.  Sessions are structured to include homework review, didactic presentation, role-playing demonstrations, and behavioral rehearsal exercises.  Parents are taught how to assist their children in making and keeping friends by providing performance feedback through coaching during weekly in vivo socialization homework assignments. Youth are taught important social skills through didactic instruction, role-plays, and behavioral rehearsal during socialization activities.

Client Population Served:

  • PEERS for Preschoolers is appropriate for children 4-6 years of age with autism spectrum disorder without intellectual disabilities.
  • PEERS for Adolescents is appropriate for middle and high school teens between 11-18 years of age with a variety of presenting problems, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and adjustment disorders.
  • PEERS for Young Adults is appropriate for individuals 18-35 years of age who are struggling to develop and maintain meaningful relationships. All youth have at least average cognitive functioning, are socially motivated to make and keep friends, are behaviorally and emotionally regulated, and have a parent or caregiver willing to participate in treatment.

Time Requirements:

The time commitment for this elective varies according to the individualized program of the trainee, but typically includes 15-20 HOURS PER WEEK for a ONE-YEAR commitment. Trainees are free to join any of the following treatment groups, and may supplement their time commitment with participation in research studies phone screening, assistance with intake interviews, as well as scoring/verifying psychological testing protocol.

PEERS for Preschoolers is 4.5 hours per week (TUESDAYS, 1:30 – 6:00 PM).  Group supervision is conducted for 120 minutes prior to the start of groups (1:30 – 3:30 PM). Social skills groups are conducted from 4:00 – 6:00 PM.

PEERS for Adolescents is 4-5 hours per week (In-person groups WEDNESDAYS, 3:30 – 8:00 PM and Telehealth groups THURSDAYS, 3:00 – 7:30PM).  Individual supervision is 30-60 minutes per week, depending on the involvement of the trainee in the implementation of the group, and is scheduled on an individual basis. Group supervision is conducted for 45 minutes prior to the groups (3:30 – 4:15 PM for in-person groups, 3:00-3:45 for telehealth groups).  Two social skills groups are conducted from 4:30 – 6:00 PM and 6:30 – 8:00 PM for in-person groups, and 4:00 – 5:30 PM and 6:00 – 7:30 PM for telehealth groups.

PEERS for Young Adults is 4-5 hours per week (MONDAYS, 3:30 – 8:00 PM).  Individual supervision is 30-60 minutes per week, depending on the involvement of the trainee in the implementation of the group, and is scheduled on an individual basis. Group supervision is conducted for 45 minutes prior to the groups from 3:30 – 4:15 PM.  Two social skills groups are conducted from 4:30 – 6:00 PM and 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Groups alternate between in-person and telehealth.

Resource Allocation: Trainees will be provided with a shared workspace, computer, and phone in the UCLA PEERS Clinic, located at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior (760 Westwood Plaza). All groups are held at the UCLA Semel Institute.

Current Openings:  Two doctoral-level practicum positions are available to UCLA STUDENTS ONLY. Practicum students are required to commit to 15-20 hours per week (weekly schedule may vary) for a minimum of one academic year.

Training and Supervision Pre-requisites: Prior clinical experience working with culturally diverse individuals diagnosed with ASD and/or developmental delays is preferred. However, this practicum is also available for those who wish to gain experience with this population. Candidates are expected to value diversity, conduct self-assessment, manage the dynamics of difference, acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and adapt to the diversity of cultural contexts of the individuals, families, and communities they serve.

Founder and Director: Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson

Associate Director: Dr. Shannon Bates

Director of Clinical Services: Dr. Elina Veytsman

Director of Research: Dr. Christine Moody

Application:

Candidates are required to submit the following documents.

  1. Letter of interest
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Two letters of references
  4. Letter from the Training Director of the University attesting to the student’s qualifications
  5. Evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

2 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Therapy #Brief Intervention

Psychosis Clinic – Program Description

Joseph Ventura, Ph.D., Director, and Luana Turner, Psy.D., Clinical Supervisor

The UCLA Psychosis Clinic provides medication management services to individuals with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) in collaboration with five faculty psychiatrists and five psychiatry residents by prescribing the lowest effective dose to treat symptoms while minimizing side effects and promoting recovery. The aim of the Psychology Services Practicum, in which the practicum student is a core member, is to promote recovery and improve the quality of life for patients with SMI. This supervised practicum provides a unique opportunity to deliver psychosocial interventions and administer brief neurocognitive assessments and clinical evaluation measures to patients. Practicum students will learn a great deal about psychopharmacology and the interface of medication management and psychosocial interventions through interactive lectures and weekly case discussion. The Psychosis Clinic maintains an active patient treatment and referral list, which provides students with the opportunity to assist in matching a patient’s therapeutic needs with community resources.

Practicum students are supervised by the Director, Joseph Ventura, Ph.D. and/or Clinical Supervisor, Luana Turner, Psy.D. who are members of the UCLA Psychosis Clinic and organize the Psychology Service Therapeutic Services. Drs. Ventura and Turner are members of the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Practicum students provide cognitive and behaviorally oriented psychosocial interventions and/or brief psychological assessments to clinic patients. These adult patients range in age from 18 to 68 years and live in the greater Los Angeles area. While most of the psychosocial treatments are provided through telehealth (HIPAA Compliant ZOOM), in-person visits are encouraged whenever possible. The Psychosis Clinic patients have a broad array of diagnostic and clinical presentations such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, acute psychotic symptoms, mood symptoms such as depression and anxiety, neurocognitive and social cognitive impairments, functional impairments, and metabolic and weight issues.

Training and supervision by licensed and experienced staff is provided to achieve proficiency in standardized, empirically-based psychosocial interventions including: Mindfulness Meditation, Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) and Functional Cognitive Behavior Therapy (FCBT), family and individual psychoeducation, supported employment and supported education (SEE) via the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model, metacognitive training, and computer-based neurocognitive and social cognitive training. In addition, the Psychosis Clinic incorporates technology as an aid in treatment such as Internet access to treatment approaches, and personal apps to deliver services such as exercise, weight loss, smoking cessation, and nutritionally healthy eating and behaviors. Clinical measures can be administered such as the Delusions Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, or Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale. Brief neurocognitive assessments can be administered, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test (MoCA), the Brief Cognitive Assessment Test of Schizophrenia (B-CATS), and the Cognitive Assessment Interview (CAI). 

Supervision to Train Sensitivity to Diversity and Build Cultural Competence: Supervision provided to practicum students emphasizes the importance of addressing diversity and cultural competency topics in both individual and group therapy, and our team is mindful of how each patient identifies themselves. To aid training, practicum students will be provided publications throughout the year that address diversity and culture, with an attention to the SMI population. Diversity and cultural competence are focused on during case conceptualization and throughout the entirety of work with our patients. Dr. Turner has specialized education and training in this area, and she provides insights into this topic during individual and group supervision. Staff and trainees are encouraged and challenged to explore their views and biases and understand how these schemas can impact treatment. Our team believes we continue to learn and grow in this regard and encourage our trainees to do so as well to meet each individual’s core identities and values and improve treatment outcomes.

All trainees will receive weekly individual and bi-weekly group supervision from Dr. Ventura or Dr. Turner depending on who is assigned as their direct clinical supervisor. Individual supervision is scheduled in accordance with each student’s schedule. Additional supervision will be provided through phone calls, videoconferencing, emails, and text messages when necessary. Practicum supervisors, as well as the Psychosis Clinic Psychiatry team are available for consultation if an urgent situation arises.

Qualifications: Prior didactic and clinical training in psychosocial interventions and/or psychological assessment or neuropsychological testing with individuals who have psychotic disorders is welcomed, in addition to completion of course work in psychopathology or the equivalent in clinical experience.

Practicum Positions: This practicum is available full-time 16-20 hours per week, as a secondary placement 8-10 hours per week, or as an elective with a minimum of approximately 4 hours per week and can be adjusted to the student’s schedule. The 12-month period spans from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. For additional information or to get answers to questions, please contact the Practicum Director, Joseph Ventura, Ph.D., jventura@mednet.ucla.edu.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

4 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychosocial Intervention #Therapy #Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Brief Cognitive Assessment

UCLA Reproductive Mental Health Psychology Externship

https://www.uclahealth.org/resnick/maternal-mental-health-program-1191

Clinic Overview

Perinatal (during pregnancy and up to 1 year postpartum) mental health problems affect 15-20% of all birthing persons, and risk is even higher among racial/ethnic minority and low socioeconomic status individuals. Almost half of birthing persons who experience postpartum depression in their first pregnancy will go on to have another depressive episode following subsequent pregnancies. Infants of individuals with perinatal mental health problems are at risk for adverse outcomes; birthing persons with postpartum depression are more likely to display lower positive affect, engage with their infants less often, and are less responsive to infant cues. Children of individuals with postpartum depression are also at significantly higher odds of behavioral problems in early childhood, poorer academic outcomes throughout adolescence, and experiencing major depression in early adulthood. Perinatal individuals furthermore experience unique biological, psychological, and environmental changes and stressors that oftentimes go unaddressed in general mental health settings.

The Perinatal Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) within the UCLA Maternal Mental Health Program at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital was established in order to address the mental health needs of this vulnerable population. We are one of 19 intensive outpatient programs in the United States and only one of four such programs located in an academic medical center or teaching hospital. We receive referrals from Primary Care Physicians, OBGYNs, and other mental health professionals from throughout the LA area for birthing persons whose mental health problems require a high level of care. Our patients typically stay in our program for 6-8 weeks before stepping down to a lower level of outpatient care. Patients at the IOP level attend our program 3 days a week. Patients are offered weekly individual sessions with a reproductive mental health therapist and weekly medication management appointments with a reproductive psychiatrist. They attend coping skills (CBT and DBT based), support, mindfulness, and behavioral health groups. Lastly, they attend an attachment-based parenting class (i.e., Circle of Security).

All patients with infants are encouraged to bring their children to program. Our clinic space is located in Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA Health in Westwood. In addition to private therapy offices, we have a group therapy room, a pumping room, and a nursing/diaper change area.

Training Program Description

The UCLA Perinatal Intensive Outpatient Program at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital offers 1 clinical or counseling psychology practicum student a clinical training program of 7-14 hours per week for at least one academic year at our Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Program. The practicum will provide training in the following:

  1. Assessment and diagnosis of antepartum and postpartum mental health disorders
  2. Biopsychosocial case conceptualization
  3. Individual and group intervention from a CBT and DBT-informed framework
  4. Assessing and managing issues of risk in a high-acuity population
  5. Working with an interdisciplinary team and care coordination
  6. Issues of marginalization among pregnant and postpartum birthing persons

The primary supervisor for this practicum is Dr. Dixon De Silva, who is psychotherapist at the Perinatal IOP. In the first week of the practicum, Dr. Dixon De Silva will meet with the trainee to determine specific training goals. An individualized training plan will be collaboratively constructed to best meet these goals. Weekly training opportunities include:

  • 2 hours individual therapy patients
  • 1 hour of face-to-face supervision
  • 1 hour weekly case conference
  • 5-2.5 hours of group therapy
  • 2-3 hours of administrative time (note writing, preparation, as needed supervision etc.)
  • Optional: 2-4 hours development and implementation of a new group

 Day, Time, and Location

Program days for IOP patients include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday in the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in Westwood. Trainees are able to work with the externship supervisors to determine which clinic activities they will be involved in, which will align with their training goals and scheduling needs. Individual therapy sessions may be flexibly scheduled on any of these three program days. The only required meeting is the Wednesday morning case conference, which takes place onsite and in person. Although patient services on Tuesdays and Fridays are currently offered virtually, practicum students should be able to attend all practicum activities onsite if required for training and/or if hospital policies change.

Professional leave for conferences or other academic activities may be negotiated with the primary externship supervisor and sick time may be taken as needed.

 Clinical Team

Louise Dixon De Silva, PhD – Clinical Psychologist (primary externship supervisor)

            Clinical Director at UCLA Perinatal IOP

Katie Unverferth, MD – Reproductive Psychiatrist (secondary externship supervisor)

Medical Director at UCLA Perinatal IOP Program

Co-Director at UCLA Women’s Life Center

Brittany Booth, MD – Reproductive Psychiatrist

            Attending Psychiatrist at UCLA IOP Program

Misty Richards, MD – Reproductive Psychiatrist

         Associate Medical Director at UCLA Perinatal IOP Program

Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Program Director of UCLA Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship

Core Faculty Educator in the Scientific Foundations of Medicine for UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

Felicia Andrews, LCSW – Social Worker

            Care Coordinator at UCLA Perinatal IOP Program

Diana Glasner, RN-BC – Nursing

Kim Lucio, MHP – Nursing and Administration

Supervision Provided

Method of supervision: Direct observation, face-to-face discussion

Format: Individual and Group Conference

Hours per week: 3 hours total – 1 hour of individual face-to-face supervision with primary supervisor (Dr. Dixon De Silva, in person), 1 hour clinical case conference (in person), 1 hour co-therapy (Dr. Dixon De Silva, in person) and as-needed supervision with primary and secondary supervisors (Drs. Dixon De Silva or Unverferth; in person, via Zoom, or phone).

Supervision will take place weekly throughout the academic year.

Diversity Training

The practicum’s approach to diversity training is in line with the 2017 APA multicultural guidelines, with a specific emphasis on intersectionality of identity and understanding of historical and contemporary experiences with power, privilege, and oppression. Diversity and intersectionality is woven into all training aspects of this practicum, including intervention, case conceptualization, and supervision. In addition to working with a marginalized group (i.e., birthing persons), trainees will gain experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including racial/ethnic minorities and sexual/gender minorities. Trainees are expected and trained to treat all patients with respect and dignity regardless of identity.

Pregnant and postpartum birthing persons in the United States represent a marginalized group based on their reproductive status alone. These people face legal (e.g., laws criminalizing abortion), medical (e.g., doctors prioritizing health of the fetus over life of the pregnant person), and societal (e.g., stigma around eating behavior) discrimination. Further, the transition to motherhood often leave birthing persons feeling like their role is reduced to that of “wife” and “mother”, rather than a multifaceted individual. Within this population, BIPOC birthing persons are far less likely to receive evidence-based gynecological care than white individuals and Black women are far more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy complications compared to white women. All of these factors intersect with mental health, making provision of evidence-based psychiatric care that is culturally sensitive and relevant even more important. Our program serves a racially and ethnically diverse population, and experiences of racism and discrimination are important considerations for conceptualizing and treating perinatal mental health disorders.

In addition to the racial and ethnic diversity of our population, we are a program that accepts insurance – meaning that our patients represent a range of socioeconomic statuses. Although we accept anyone into the program who is a birthing parent, almost all of our patients identify as women. About half of our patients have other children and most patients are in their mid-to-late 30s (though we accept any birthing person over 18 years of age).

Qualifications

Applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology. Prior clinical training in an evidence-based therapy for mood and anxiety disorders is required (i.e., CBT, DBT, IPT, or ACT). Prior clinical experience in group psychotherapy is preferred.

Application process

Applicants are required to submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vita, two letters of reference, and a letter from the Training Director of their graduate program attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the applicant’s doctoral training program. Please upload materials to the portal.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

1 spot available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Therapy

Trainees at the Nathanson Family Resilience Center (NFRC)-Stress, Trauma And Resilience (STAR) practicum, which is part of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division at the UCLA Medical School & Semel Institute, will be working with children and families who have experienced traumatic events, including medical , community violence and/or family traumas (e.g. abuse, neglect, loss/traumatic grief, foster care placement). Trainees will develop proficiency in trauma-informed assessment and therapy for STAR patients and will be assigned 1-2 cases to work with. Trainees may also have the opportunity to participate in group interventions on Tuesday evenings.  

The NFRC-Family STAR Clinic has a strong training program that is committed to promoting a culture of inclusion and appreciation for diversity. We strive to support trainees across all areas of diversity including (but not limited to) race/ethnicity, gender, religion, gender identity, language, and socioeconomic status in order to expand cultural awareness and sensitivity, as well as to enrich the services we provide to the increasingly diverse populations at UCLA. Training is woven into various aspects of the training experience. Throughout the year STAR Seminar Rounds hosts experts/speakers in the area of child and family trauma to discuss important topics related to the field, including prevention and intervention, diversity,  cultural awareness and sensitivity, as well as best practices working with diverse populations (e.g. LGBTQ families, foster/adoptive families, and underserved populations) . Trainees are encouraged to engage in reflective conversations about their cultural identity, personal biases, attitudes and values, in both, individual and group supervision, as well as during multidisciplinary team case conferences. In addition, cultural exploration is encouraged in all aspects of case conceptualization to determine how cultural aspects may play a role in symptom presentation, parental reactions, as well as how to incorporate these important factors into diagnosis, assessment and treatment. Trainees are exposed to reading materials and training in working with interpreters, in order to meet the linguistic needs of patients. Practicum trainees typically devote 1-2 full days to participation in clinical activities. Clinic runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 10-5pm, with groups held on Tuesday evenings (4:30-6pm or 6-7:30pm).

Supervision:

Bi-weekly group supervision (1 hour) and individual supervision will be provided. All trainees will be supervised by a post-doctoral fellow or a licensed attending.

All trainees are required to attend weekly group supervision. In addition, 1 hour of individual supervision will be provided on a weekly basis. Trainees will also have contact with various supervisors through team meetings, group supervision, and through the STAR didactics which students are highly encouraged to attend on Wednesday mornings, with alternating Child Rounds.

Trainee evaluations will be completed by the direct supervisor. Orientation is conducted by supervisors and program staff. All essential materials, including assessment materials, are available and provided to the trainees.

Supervisors: Blanca Orellana, Ph.D., Catherine Mogil, Psy.D., Nastassia Hajal, Ph.D.

Current position openings: There will be one opening for the 24-25 year

Resource Allocation: The externs will have work space at the Semel Institute on the UCLA Campus. Appropriate office equipment, including desk, phone, and office supplies, are provided.

Application Pre-requisites:

Prior clinical training and experience in child development, parenting, and/or families is strongly preferred. Knowledge of and/or experience with family trauma is also preferred. Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a CV, two letters of references, a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Application process:

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

1 spot available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Therapy #Brief Intervention

Supervisors: Linda Olszewski, Psy.D. (child track); Julie Banks, Ph.D. (adult track)

Program Description

Stuart House and the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center are internationally recognized model programs created to serve the special needs of victims of sexual assault and child sexual abuse and their families. Trainees in the Stuart House/RTC Practicum will choose from the Adult or Child tracks to develop proficiency in crisis intervention, trauma-informed, evidence-based practice and assessment. Trainees will be assigned 2 to 4 therapy clients (children and non-offending caregivers in the child-track; individuals who are over 18 years old in the adult track). Trainees may also have the opportunity to participate in group therapy interventions.

Stuart House and the Rape Treatment Center serve individuals of all cultural, ethnic, gender, and religious identities and orientations and are committed to providing culturally appropriate, sensitive, and respectful services while maintaining the dignity and privacy of all clients.

Staff of Stuart House and the Rape Treatment Center, also provide education for teachers, coaches, counselors, parents, administrators and other school personnel about how to create a safer school environment, respond to incidents of sexual abuse, bullying, and sexual harassment, as well as how to provide support for students who have been victimized. Additionally, professional training and education programs for police, prosecutors, paramedics, medical and mental health practitioners, and other victim service providers are conducted by staff to enhance the treatment victims receive wherever they turn for help.

CHILD TRACK:

Stuart House was created through an exemplary public/private partnership that made it possible to co-locate, in a child-friendly setting, an onsite, multi-agency child protection team (law enforcement, prosecutors, DCFS workers, child advocates, and forensic interview specialists) to respond immediately to children who report sexual abuse and to expedite investigations and child protection actions. Stuart House provides free, comprehensive services, including state-of-the-art treatment services for child victims and their families. Stuart House therapists provide evidence-based, trauma informed, and culturally centered therapeutic services to help victims cope with the traumatic effects of sexual abuse and to prevent the well-documented, potentially long-term deleterious effects of untreated childhood victimization on children’s physical and emotional health, and development.

ADULT TRACK:

The Rape Treatment Center adult therapy program provides comprehensive, therapeutic services to adult victims, free of charge. Therapists at the RTC are highly trained and skilled to provide trauma-focused treatment in order to help alleviate symptoms related to sexual trauma. RTC therapy is available to adult victims regardless of when their assault occurred – some clients start treatment shortly after an assault occurs, and others start many years following an assault. The RTC also provides services to adults who were victimized as children.

The Rape Treatment Center created an innovative, highly specialized Acute Clinic that transformed 24-hour emergency care for sexual assault victims. In most communities, victims who seek immediate treatment are seen in busy hospital emergency departments where they are often subjected to long waits to receive care. The RTC Acute Clinic is dedicated exclusively to sexual assault victim care 24 hours a day. It is located within the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, in a private, safe, therapeutic setting. Trainees will have an opportunity to be a part of a multi-disciplinary team where they will support psychological aspects of victim care, including accompaniment through the forensic medical examination and law enforcement reporting. Trainees will also provide the victim with linkage to additional resources to meet the unique needs of each individual.

In accordance with American Psychological Association’s ethical guidelines, all service providers at Stuart House/RTC are dedicated to safeguarding the welfare and rights of those whom they serve professionally.  Our practicum leaders and staff members maintain a commitment to creating a supportive training environment. Helping trainees build competence and awareness in their work with the diverse population the Stuart House/RTC serves is a priority. Interwoven into all aspects of the practicum (assessment, supervision [e.g., group, individual], staff meetings), trainees will be challenged to recognize their own intersectionality and how it might interact with that of the clients they serve, and help students work effectively with individuals who may be from backgrounds different than their own.

Current position openings: We currently have 1 – 4 trainee positions available each year in the CHILD TRACK and the ADULT TRACK. The commitment is 16 hours per week for a minimum of 12-months, and typical start date is July 1. Trainees are expected to be at the Stuart House or the Rape Treatment Center on two-full days (Mondays and Wednesdays) of each week.

Clinical Responsibilities. Trainees in the Stuart House/RTC placement will be involved in all aspects of therapeutic services. Specifically, they will participate in the following clinical endeavors:

CHILD TRACK:

  1. Provide individual psychotherapy to children who are survivors of sexual abuse – Children who are survivors of sexual abuse and their families often have complex trauma histories. Students will provide 8 to 10 hours of weekly clinical services (to children and caregivers), carry a case-load of 2 to 4 patients, (adults – and children), and may have the opportunity to co-facilitate a psychotherapy group.
  2. Trainees will participate in monthly in-service conferences at the Stuart House, and will present to faculty, staff, and/or community on a quarterly basis.
  3. Trainees will participate in a 1.5 hour diversity training provided by a member of the Ethnicity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee at the Stuart House/RTC (this will occur as a part of orientation during the group supervision time).
  4. Trainees receive 1 hour per week of individual supervision and will participate in weekly case conferences.
  5. Trainees will receive 1.5 hours per week of group supervision.
  6. Trainees will receive 1 hour per week of assessment group supervision.
  7. Trainees will be expected to conduct a minimum of 2—child-focused, comprehensive, psychological evaluations/psycho-educational assessments at Stuart House. Based upon evaluation and psycho-educational assessment, trainees will help caregivers have a better understanding of the child’s cognitive functioning, their strengths and areas of growth, which can guide parenting, mental health, and educational interventions. Under the supervision of a staff psychologist, the trainee will complete the psychological assessment battery, gather appropriate developmental, medical, mental health, family, social, and educational history, and will integrate findings into a conceptually integrated report.
  8. Trainees will complete the 40-hour California certified sexual victim counselor training.
  9. Trainees will have the opportunity to serve as a certified sexual assault victim counselor in the Rape Treatment Center’s 24-hour emergency clinic as part of their training, including phone call and in-person crisis intervention; and may include overnight or weekend shifts up to once per month.

ADULT TRACK:

  1. Provide individual psychotherapy to adults (over 18 years old) who are survivors of sexual assault –Students will provide 8 to 10 hours of weekly clinical services, carry a case-load of 2 to 4 patients, (adults), and may have the opportunity to co-facilitate a psychotherapy group.
  2. Trainees will participate in monthly in-service conferences at the RTC, and will present to faculty, staff, and/or community on a quarterly basis.
  3. Trainees will participate in a 1.5 hour diversity training provided by a member of the Ethnicity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee at the Stuart House/RTC (this will occur as a part of orientation during the group supervision time).
  4. Trainees will receive 1 hour per week of individual supervision and will participate in weekly case conferences.
  5. Trainees will receive 1.5 hours per week of group supervision.
  6. Trainees will complete the 40-hour California certified sexual victim counselor training.
  7. Trainees will have the opportunity to serve as a certified sexual assault victim counselor in the Rape Treatment Center’s 24-hour emergency clinic as part of their training, including phone call and in-person crisis intervention; and may include overnight or weekend shifts up to once per month.

Supervision Approach. A culturally sensitive approach is always our aim in both care and supervision, as we feel it is critical to train empathetic and trauma-informed clinicians. Because of the diverse backgrounds and complex trauma sexually assaulted adults, children and families present with, all cases are approached using not only a trauma-informed lens, but cultural humility as our clients’, supervisors’, and trainees’ intersecting identities must be taken into account in conjunction with the use of an evidence-based, trauma informed approach to care.

Working through a nested system, our supervisors use reflective practice and approach when working with trainees, promoting the trainees’ needs in their development and training by creating a “nest” of emotional safety for the trainee, the adult, the child, and parent/caregiver they are working with. Trainees may share cases with other staff clinicians and/or students, allowing trainees to benefit from the team approach and multiple perspectives on a case.

Training: Stuart House/Rape Treatment Center UCLA maintains a 40-hour training for crisis intervention with adults and children who have been sexually assaulted/abused. Trainees will be required to attend this training to learn more about crisis intervention and working with these complex cases through an interdisciplinary and culturally sensitive lens. The 40-hour-training will be done in a matter of two weeks. Hours will be coordinated to best meet externs’ schedule. May include nights and weekends and staff will do its best to accommodate trainee’s schedule.

Evaluation.  The Stuart House/RTC Practicum participates in tri-annual evaluation of trainees based on the following competencies: Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Professional Values, Attitudes and Behavior, Ethical and Legal Standards, Assessment, Intervention, Consultation, Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary and Systems-Based Practice, Supervision, Supervision as identified by the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation. In addition to supervisors rating students’ competencies, students will have the opportunity to rate their experience of both supervision and the placement. All feedback will be incorporated into the training experience.

Resources: Trainees will be provided private offices on the 2nd floor of the Stuart House for the child track (rooms 208, 210, 219 and 220), and private offices on the 2nd floor at the Rape Treatment Center for the adult track (rooms C08 and C09), where they may conduct therapy and assessments. Trainees will have access to shared, password-protected computers and the EMR to enter patient notes (e.g., progress, quarterly treatment plans, phone notes, termination notes). A communal conference room will be available for training, group supervision, weekly case conference and in-service meetings.

 Linda Olszewski, PsyD, M.S.Ed., M.A.
Clinical Director
Stuart House
UCLA – Santa Monica Medical Center
Clinical Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, UCLA 
p: 424 259-7100  f: 424 259-7080
lolszewski@mednet.ucla.edu
https://www.uclahealth.org/rtc

 Julie Banks, PhD.
Clinical Director
Rape Treatment Center
UCLA – Santa Monica Medical Center
Clinical Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, UCLA 
p: 424 259-7208  f: 424-259-7249
jbanks@mednet.ucla.edu
https://www.uclahealth.org/rtc

Prerequisites
Practicum students should have or be on their way to completion of a Masters Degree, Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree.  Preference is given to graduate students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at UCLA, but others will be considered.

 Application Process

Candidates are requested to submit the following:

  1. A letter of interest outlining experience and interest in working with adults or children and families as well as complex trauma associated with sexual abuse/assault.
  2. Curriculum Vita.
  3. Two letters of reference.
  4. Evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

1-4 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Therapy #Brief Intervention #Crisis Intervention #Psychoeducational and Psychodiagnostic Assessment

Supervisors: Catherine Lippincott, Psy.D., Alycia Davis, Psy.D., Natalie Bencuya, Ph.D. & Jill Waterman, Ph.D.

Program Description

UCLA TIES for Families, in partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Department of Mental Health, serves children from birth to age 21 in foster or kinship care or adopted through foster care in Los Angeles County and their families.  For 27 years, UCLA TIES for Families has helped the development of foster children and their resource families by providing a range of interdisciplinary mental health and auxiliary services, developing unique programs for this population, supplying high-quality local and national training to professionals and families, and developing research to help understand the consequences of multiple risk factors and the healing power of intervention and family support for our most vulnerable children.  Our team includes professionals from 8 disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, pediatrics, education, social work, speech and language, occupational therapy, and in-home behavioral services) and diverse backgrounds and experiences (in terms of our racial and ethnic identities, immigration histories, sexual orientations, and lived experience with child welfare) to rally around foster/adoptive children and families with trauma and resiliency informed, child-welfare competent care to enhance stability and optimize outcomes for children.  We are sensitive and attuned to cultural contexts and diversity issues since we work primarily with children of color, some of whom are in transracial placements, and approximately one third of the families we serve identify as LGBTQ. We integrate teaching (of community members and professionals as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows of various disciplines) and long-term research on our programs with our clinical work.

UCLA TIES has several unique aspects that trainees participate in during their practicum placement:

TIES Transition Model (TTM): These services are initiated, whenever possible, as children make the transition into a foster/adoptive or relative caregiver home — a particularly vulnerable period for families, which presents opportunities to promote attachment and prevent problems from escalating into crises.  Our mental health services combine evidence-based child mental health programs with best practices and literature in adoption, attachment and developmental psychology taking into consideration the children’s past traumatic histories.  Educational, medical and support services such as speech and language and occupational therapy and in-home behavioral services enhance the mental health services offered.  This unique transitional model was designated as Community Defined Evidence Based Practice (CDE) in 2009 by the California Institute of Mental Health (CIMH) and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH). Dr. Langley, Dr. Waterman (Psychology), and Dr. Miranda (Psychiatry) evaluated the manualized mental health component of TTM, ADAPT (Adoption-specific Therapy), through grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.   American Psychological Association Books published ADAPT in 2018, with the title Adoption-specific Therapy:  Helping adopted children and their families thrive.

Infant Mental Health Program:  UCLA TIES offers the only IMH program in L.A. county specifically aimed at meeting the needs of infants in DCFS, most with prenatal substance exposure and other risk factors, and their foster/adoptive families, to promote attachment, access early intervention services, and optimize the children’s development.  This program offers home based mental health services, developmental evaluation, parenting education, and monthly support groups for foster/adoptive parents and infants and toddlers age 0-3.

UCLA TIES Multidisciplinary Pre placement Consultations:

We provide interdisciplinary review of records and assessment of children prior to placement to support prospective adoptive parents in making informed decisions about the placement as well as educating them about the child’s strengths, vulnerabilities, and service needs. We also provide these assessments for children for whom DCFS is having a difficult time finding an adoptive placement or who have bounced from home to home.

Current position openings: We currently have 3-4 positions each year; the commitment is 16 hours per week for a minimum of 12-months, and typical start date is September 1.  Externs are expected to be at TIES for two days: Mondays required and second day based on clinical responsibilities: Wednesdays (required for IMH). 

Clinical Responsibilities. Externs are involved in all aspects of UCLA TIES for Families.  Specifically, they will participate in all of the following clinical endeavors.  In addition, training and experience in working with interpreters are available as needed to meet the linguistics needs of clients and to facilitate the assessment or therapy process. 

  1. Psychological evaluation and pre-placement consultations.  Clients of TIES often have complex histories involving abuse and neglect, multiple traumas and frequent caregiver and school changes.  Thorough and sensitive psychological evaluations can help their caregivers understand children’s strengths and needs to help them determine if they can provide permanency for the children as well as guide mental health and educational interventions. Externs are expected to complete 2 to 4 full in-person psychological evaluation batteries over the course of their placement.  One of these may involve taking the lead (with close supervision) on an interdisciplinary pre-placement consultation to Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in the second half of the year to help with optimal placement planning.  With supervision by a staff psychologist, the extern will complete in-person the psychological assessment battery, collect and summarize feedback from record reviews by the necessary disciplines such as education, psychiatry and pediatrics, lead a meeting of the interdisciplinary consultants, DCFS social workers and prospective adoptive parents to outline the child’s strengths and needs, and integrate the findings into a conceptually solid report. 
  • Supervision of psychological testing.   Externs receive 1 hour per week of individual in-person or telehealth assessment supervision by a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow or licensed psychologist as well as participate in a monthly telehealth Psychological Testing Didactics seminar.
  1. Psychotherapy with foster/adoptive children and their families.  Externs are expected to carry 3 to 6 weekly in-person or telehealth intervention cases. TIES philosophy involves having as much contact with parents as with the children, utilizing evidence-based, culturally competent, trauma- and resiliency-informed treatments that take into account the child’s often complicated past history.  Our approach involves both CBT-based treatments such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT) and Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP), as well as attachment-based approaches such as Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and Reflective Parenting Practice (RPP).  At least one of the ongoing treatment cases should involve our Adoption-specific Therapy (ADAPT). This approach is a modularized activity-based 20-24 week treatment specifically developed to combine evidence-based child therapy and parenting interventions with an attachment-based approach that looks at child behavior through the lens of their past traumatic history and modifies interventions accordingly.  In each module, parents and children meet separately for a couple of sessions, and then come together for a family session.   As noted above, a therapist guide for ADAPT was published by APA Books in 2018.  Externs typically have at least one therapy case for which they are the child therapist and another where they are the parent therapist, as well as cases where they are the sole practitioner on the case.
    • Supervision of psychotherapy.  Externs receive 1 hour per week of individual in-person or telehealth clinical supervision from a licensed psychologist for their treatment cases, and also participate in the weekly telehealth Interdisciplinary Case Conference on Mondays from 12:30-2 pm.  Additionally, when utilizing ADAPT or MAP, there is a weekly telehealth or in-person group practice specific supervision meeting.  Students also receive training and supervision in required documentation for Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.
  2. Group treatment.  Each extern participates as a co-therapist in a monthly support group for parents and/or children (Monday evenings).Groups are held for all ages of children:  infant and toddler, preschool, younger and older school age, and teens.  The parents and infants meet together, while the other age groups have separate parent and child groups to help with processing their adoption history and placement concerns.  Additionally, TIES has periodic short-term groups in which externs participate, including Incredible Years, Social Skills, PEERS and Reflective Parenting.  Supervision for group therapy is arranged among the group leaders and will include at least one staff clinician.
  1. Infant Mental Health (IMH).  Externs may participate in the TIES for Families Infant Mental Health program. They are part of the weekly telehealth IMH meeting (Wednesdays 11:30 – 12:30) which combines case discussion and consultation, discussion of readings, and assignment of new cases.  On Wednesday mornings, externs participate in the in-person Developmental Assessment Clinic where children under 3 years of age are assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development as well as behavioral measures.  Externs observe and then administer the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.  Pediatric, educational, and speech and language consultants participate as-needed for an individual case.  Additionally, externs see 1 to 2 home based infant cases monthly in-person or telehealth to provide parent support, interactional guidance, help with concurrent planning concerns, and help facilitate parent-child attachment and attunement.  Externs accompany their IMH mentor to learn about the infant mental health approach for at least one of their cases.  Supervision for IMH includes participation in the weekly telehealth IMH meeting and discussion of the infant cases with their therapy supervisor.

Supervision Approach. Ongoing cultural competence and supervision is critical to our training program. Because of the often complex needs of the children and families we serve, elements of cultural humility, competence, diversity, privilege, and multi-layered identity must also be interwoven with a child welfare-competent trauma and resiliency lens.   Many of our supervisors utilize a reflective supervision approach to work collaboratively with the trainees to reflect on their work and the impact it has on their therapeutic interventions to best meet the family’s goals while promoting trainee’s own clinical growth and development.  Throughout the training year, we will build upon the foundation laid through the series of trainings (see below) by continuing to have a significant focus on diversity issues in individual and group supervision to explore the increasing depth and complexity of these issues as they apply to the trainee’s specific cases and their own growth and self-exploration. Externs’ development will be discussed during monthly staff supervisor meetings and supervisors will seek consultation from specific experts that we partner with if the content extends beyond the expertise or competency of the supervisors.

As part of an interdisciplinary team, externs will rarely be the only TIES clinician working with a family. Most commonly, externs will share cases with other staff clinicians and/or postdoctoral fellows. It is not uncommon for 4-8 of our team members to work with one family, and externs benefit not only from the support of having a team, but from the wealth of diversity and experience represented by that team that provides new perspectives and approaches to cases related to culture and beyond.  Externs interact closely with our whole team, including mental health clinicians with expertise in trauma, child abuse and maltreatment, underserved populations, culturally diverse families, community mental health, and infant mental health.  In addition to the individual and group supervision mentioned previously, informal supervision and consultation are available (e.g., email, telehealth, in-person) as needed by other licensed clinicians and the clinical director.

Trainings.   UCLA TIES for Families holds three 3 hour sessions for prospective resource parents (PREP) every couple of months (Mondays 6-9 pm).  All externs attend one cycle of these sessions with the prospective parents to learn more about prenatal substance exposure, developing empathy for the birth parents, child temperament, strategies for managing difficult behaviors, issues about open adoption, and concerns parents have about adopting from foster care.  Our research shows that PREP helps participants feel more empathy for substance-abusing parents and significantly increases their willingness to adopt children with prenatal substance exposure, ADHD and other risk factors. 

Externs receive additional training related to specific foster/adoption issues.  Examples of topics include understanding child’s behaviors and presenting issues within the context of their complex history, shifting the lens from deficits to exquisite adaptation in order to survive chaotic and sometimes abusive environments; caring for infants and toddlers in foster care – the role of temperament; communicating difficult and challenging histories and information with children in adoption – being sensitive to developmental stage; grief, loss and divided loyalties in children adopted from foster care; parenting strategies to promote substance abuse prevention; prenatal substance exposure and adoption; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder assessment; relationships and rivalry in siblings in foster care/adoption; educational and academic issues for children in foster care and adoption helping children success in the IEP process; and challenges and supports for prospective adoptive parents in concurrent planning.     

As part of the UCLA TIES Orientation, externs will begin to engage in discussions about the historical perspectives of discrimination and disproportionality in child welfare; the role and impact of poverty, racism, mental illness and substance abuse on the child welfare system; and some of the specific issues for the diverse families served at TIES including transracial families, LGBTQ+ parents, LGBTQ+ youth, single parent families, relative caregivers and older parents. A DCFS representative also presents the local disproportionality information, theories on what practices impact it, and how LA County’s Eliminating Racial Disparities and Disproportionality (ERDD) board is working to address these issues.  Externs will also attend a specialized Cultural Competency and Sensitivity Training for community mental health practitioners provided by LA County Department of Mental Health. On-going monthly professional development in-services include topics such as cultural humility, sensitivity and competence. Examples of topics include historical and current perspectives in the field of Social work related to  transracial adoption and the adoption of African American children from public child welfare; understanding disparities in health and mental health care and access to care, and how to work toward cultural competence in clinical treatment with diverse populations; best practice clinical strategies for supporting children in transracial and diverse families; understanding and working with specific diverse groups (e.g., LGBTQ+ youth and families, Latino families) and intersectionality; complex identities and being sensitive to and supportive of children and young people through multilayered identity development; and exploring safety issues and privilege, recognizing inherent bias, and the impact of microaggressions and discrimination on children’s development and wellbeing.  

Evaluation.  TIES will conduct quarterly evaluation of students including the following sections, each with multiple items:  Professionalism (e.g., promptness, documentation, interactions with staff, accurate evaluation of own competency); General clinical skills (e.g., appropriate interpersonal skills, knowledge of assessment, case conceptualization and theoretical models, collaborative goal setting, flexibility, awareness of self and own impact); Supervision relationship (e.g., prepared, non-defensive, utilizes supervisory feedback, can examine potential impact of own issues); and Individual and cultural diversity (e.g., trainee self awareness of their own attitudes, biases, and assumptions; knowledge of various dimensions of diversity and its relationship with child welfare; ability to develop rapport and work insightfully and effectively with families from diverse backgrounds).  In addition to rating scales, supervisors write comments for each section, as well as noting Strengths and Areas Needing Improvement.  Externs are also asked to evaluate themselves on these dimensions so that feedback can be incorporated into supervision and training.

Research. TIES for Families is involved in ongoing data collection on all children and families at intake and during treatment.  In addition, TIES is currently analyzing data from an online survey with older adolescents and young adults and their parents who participated in a 5 year follow-up study when they were under 9 years of age.  The survey looks at mental health, substance use, educational outcomes as well as adoption dynamics.  In addition, qualitative interviews are being held with some of the young adults.  TIES is also involved in an ongoing study of infant development and parent-child dynamics through the Infant Mental Health program; so far, over 100 infants and toddlers have participated in the study 2 and 12 months after placement.  Externs may be involved in these studies if there is time and interest.  Last year, 2 of the externs utilized data from the 5 year follow-up study in their doctoral dissertations.

Resources

Trainees will be stationed in assigned or shared office space on the second floor of the UCLA Rehabilitation building. Trainees will have access to password-protected computers as well as separate phone lines with voicemail that has a password. Private offices will be available for therapy. Larger conference rooms will be available for trainings and weekly case conferences.  

Prerequisites

Practicum students should have a Masters Degree and be on their way to completion of their Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree.   Preference is given to graduate students in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at UCLA.  Others are encouraged to apply and will be considered.  

Application Process

Candidates are requested to submit the following:

  1. A letter of interest outlining experience and interest in working with foster and adoptive families
  2. Curriculum Vita
  3. Two letters of reference
  4. Evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

3-4 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Psychodiagnostic Assessment #Therapy

Program Overview

The Depression Grand Challenge Innovative Treatment Network (ITN), a component of the Depression Grand Challenge at UCLA, is designed to provide gold standard treatments for depression and anxiety. The Innovative Treatment Network’s Screening and Treatment of Anxiety and Depression (STAND) clinic, which focuses on delivering gold standard treatments in a scalable personalized manner, has historically been the site for the practicum placement. The STAND model of care is now being deployed to community college students from East Los Angeles College (ELAC) as part of a large-scale partnership between UCLA, NIMH, and DMH, herein referred to as “STAND at ELAC” (PIs: Drs. Michelle Craske and Kate Wolitzky-Taylor). Therefore, the patient population in the practicum this year will be ELAC students.

The scalable and personalized treatment approach involves three tiers. Individuals who are mildly depressed or anxious, or at risk for depression or anxiety, are provided largely with self-guided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (Tier 1). Individuals who are moderately depressed, or moderately to severely anxious, will be provided internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy with support by certified coaches (through a program separate from the practicum placement; Tier 2). The internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy is an evidence-based treatment, with demonstrated large effect sizes. The third tier will be reserved for individuals with severe depression, at risk for suicide, or who have bipolar disorder and who are thus in need of more intensive, traditional clinical treatment (i.e., weekly therapy with the option for medication management; Tier 3). Practicum students will see patients in Tier 3, under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist. In this new deployment of STAND at ELAC, Tier 3 patients will be treated through the UCLA DMH-contracted clinic called the  UCLA Tele-Mental Health Hub, the clinic partner site for the STAND at ELAC program. Treatment in the Tier 3 will be personalized to each individual’s presenting needs and preferences, and will include cognitive and behavioral treatments for anxiety or depression with the option for medication management. Medication will be managed by the UCLA Tele-Mental Health Hub staff psychiatrists. Any treatment option considered will be evidence-based. Psychological therapies will be administered (flexibly and individually) for 12-16 weeks with the option for follow up booster sessions.

STAND at ELAC has both a research and non-research arm. In the research arm, participants will be randomized to different conditions. These treatment conditions will not change the types of treatments being used in Tier 3, but will provide guidance about what tier an individual should be in throughout their participation. All participants are repeatedly assessed and continuously monitored through mobile health technologies.  

Practicum students can expect to learn behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, dialectical behavior therapy skills, positive affect treatment, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy components, prolonged exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and other evidence-based modalities for treating anxiety and depression. Treatment is principle-based and focuses on selecting strategies/treatment modalities based on an individual’s process-based case conceptualization. Practicum students will also learn how to conduct a process-based functional assessment to guide treatment selection and planning.

Hours for the clinical placement are relatively flexible. The clinical placement will entail either one or two days per week and will involve, b) provision of psychological therapy in Tier 3 through the UCLA Telehub, b) attendance at weekly case conference where treatment decision making and treatment response are reviewed and c) weekly supervision meetings. Caseloads will be dependent on individual program expectations but are typically between 5-9 cases per week. As noted, all students will be trained in evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy modalities described above.

Current Position Openings

Two to four practicum student positions are open, each one requiring the commitment of 8 to 16 hours per week for a minimum of one academic year.

Training and Supervision

Prior clinical experience working with individuals with depression and anxiety and cognitive behavioral therapy is preferred but not required. Weekly supervision (one-on-one, one hour per week with each practicum student) as well as as-needed supervision for challenging clinical situations, will be provided. In addition, practicum students will attend weekly case conferences.

Supervision will be provided by a licensed clinical psychologist who has been credentialed for the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and will be DMH credentialed (Dr. Kate Wolitzky-Taylor). As mentioned, trainees will attend weekly case conferences that are led by the licensed psychologists and psychiatrists. Students will be encouraged to provide blocks of time during which they are available over the course of each quarter.

Diversity Training

Consistent with the diversity of the UCLA student population, trainees will be working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to students who are racial and ethnic minorities, and sexual and gender minorities. Practicum students are expected to treat all patients with respect, regardless of patient race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other diverse characteristics. The ELAC student population is predominantly Latinx (80%). A large proportion report food and housing insecurity and other contextual stressors. Multicultural training will be woven throughout the practicum training. In addition to didactic presentations on these topics, discussions in supervision will take into consideration diversity and culture. These discussions may include making appropriate adaptations to interventions to meet the needs of patients with diverse backgrounds and identities; developing a greater understanding of our own cultural competence (and limitations); and exploration of how practicum students’ own identities may impact therapy. Interpretive services are not a part of this practicum, and thus learning to use interpreters in the context of therapy will not be available. Students will be encouraged to think about how their own cultural background and biases may impact their patient care. This will be discussed in supervision.

Resources

The Telemental Health Hub is 100% telehealth. Clinicians see their patients remotely. UCLA computers can be furnished if needed to see patients virtually. Space can be made available on the UCLA Campus if needed.

Prerequisites

Practicum students should have at least two years of clinical psychology Ph.D. or Master’s degree experience.

Commitment to Diversity

The UCLA Innovative Treatment Network and Depression Grand Challenge as well as the Telemental Health Hub are committed to providing a high standard of equitable and ethical clinical services to all individuals. Training through the program will emphasize the importance of culturally sensitive work to match the diverse set of individuals that will be seen in the Innovative Treatment Network. Specifically, case conferencing and supervision will always include cultural context and gender issues relevant to each patient in order to optimize personalization of treatment. Relevant readings on culture in mental health will also be discussed.  

Application Process

Candidates are required to submit the following:

  1. A letter of interest delineating experience and interest in working in the Depression Grand Challenge Innovative Treatment Network
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. 2 letters of reference
  4. A letter from the training director of the school attesting to the student’s qualifications
  5. Evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

2-4 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Therapy

This program provides training focused on youth depression and  suicide and self-harm prevention. Supervised experience is available and diagnostic evaluations, cognitive-behavior therapy (including dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and DBT-informed approaches), family education and treatment, individual and group treatment approaches, and other interventions. Trainees participate in diagnostic evaluations that integrate the assessment and measure interpretation in order to collaboratively determine treatment plan and aid in research and clinical efforts. The emphasis is on evidence-based evaluation, treatment, and clinical decision making. The program provides clinical training within the context of a clinical service with a strong research component. Treatment and services trials are in progress funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), the U. S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and other organizations. These projects focus on suicide and suicide attempt prevention, treatment of youth depression, and improving health and behavioral health.

Current position openings: Two. This requires a full year commitment of 10-12 hours a week, typically in the late afternoons and early evenings; choice of days and times are flexible but must be approved by the practicum director. Clinic typically meets on Tuesdays 3pm-6pm, with additional supervision on Friday afternoon from 1:00pm-5:00pm. This site begins in September each year and ends either July 1 or September 1 of the following academic year. Clientele include children and adolescents with depression, suicidal tendencies, as well as adolescents and young adults with health risk behaviors or at risk for health risk behaviors.

Resource Allocation: Students will be housed in Dr. Asarnow’s laboratory at 300 UCLA Medical Plaza and will use available laboratory telephones and computers. Mail will be through department of psychology and the faculty will be available by mobile paging system for emergencies. Students will participate in evaluations and interventions per program protocols (see above).

Supervision: Dr. Joan Asarnow and Dr. Jeanne Miranda are the primary supervisors. Supervision and evaluations will be completed and documented using standard procedures for psychology students. Supervision will be individual, supplemented by group supervision during clinic rounds. All NPI & H and Mental Health Group procedures will be followed.

Diversity: The YSAM clinic works with people from diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, sexual, gender identity, and cultural backgrounds. As a part of best practice, discussions in team case conference, presentations, and supervision routinely take into consideration diversity and cultural considerations. Readings and didactics are also used to increase the trainee’s awareness and competency in the treatment of clients with diverse backgrounds.  Further, trainees may also take advantage of opportunities to participate in research on adaptions of treatments to best serve our diverse treatments. If interpreters are required to facilitate the assessment process, specific supervision regarding the sensitive and appropriate use of live interpretation (on line interpretive services are not used) will be provided.

Director/Instructor(s): Joan R. Asarnow & Jeanne M Miranda

Application Pre-requisites:

We accept graduate students in good standing from clinical psychology programs. To date, our graduate students have included third and fourth year graduate students from the UCLA Clinical Psychology Program. Both of the graduate students completing our externship to date have elected to continue for another year.

Application process:

Candidates will be required to submit a curriculum vitae, two letters of references, a self-statement of interest, a letter from the Clinical Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications for the program, and evidence of professional liability coverage provided by the candidate’s doctoral training program.

Please upload materials via the portal (opens 12/1/23)  

Earlier applications/decisions: 12/1/23-1/24/24 (limit: one track) 

General applications deadline: 2/1/24 (no limit on # of tracks)

2 spots available 24-25 Practicum Cycle

#Therapy #Brief Intervention