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Clinical Training Activities

Clinical training for externs is provided through individual and group supervision and through a variety of didactic and case-based seminars.

Supervision

UIC employs a multiple supervisory model, which is intended to give each Extern exposure to several distinctive training relationships, approaches, and perspectives. Supervisors collaborate with the Extern and with the rest of the Training Committee to evaluate the distinctive training needs and performance of the Extern and to guide his/her progress over the course of the year. Each supervisor seeks to establish the essential supportive and challenging context in which to help the Extern learn the complexities of clinical practice. Particular attention is given to the dynamics of the client, of the therapist and of the interactions between them in the treatment relationship, as well as the parallel processes in the supervisory relationship. The supervisor also helps the Extern consider alternative therapeutic approaches and strategies, define and apply his/her theoretical orientation, become more sensitized to the implications of cultural differences and perspectives, better appreciate the importance of professional values and social responsibility, and synthesize the various components of the training experience. By the end of the program, the Extern should have advanced significantly toward defining a sense of professional identity, with an increasingly sophisticated and autonomous range of professional skills.

Generally on a weekly basis, there is an average of three hours of individual supervision and two-three hours of seminars provided to Externs during Fall semester and one – two hours during Spring semester (see seminars below for more detail). Primary supervision with a licensed clinical psychologist is provided individually for one hour a week throughout the duration of the training year for overall attention to the Extern's clinical work including intake assessment and report as well as general training experiences and professional growth. Another hour a week of secondary supervision is provided by another staff member, focused on individual psychotherapy. In order to increase exposure to a breadth of staff and specialization areas, the secondary supervisor will change between the fall and spring semesters. An Intern also provides single-case supervision for one hour per week, which creates the opportunity for in-depth analyses of the treatment process.

Seminars

In keeping with the goals of the training program, seminars are designed to explore key theoretical, technical, ethical, multicultural, and diagnostic issues as they relate to the delivery of clinical services in a university setting. Multicultural Therapy Group Supervision is an Extern-only seminar; other seminars include interns.

  1. Multicultural Therapy Group Supervision: Utilizing a didactic, self-exploratory, and case-conference format, this seminar addresses dimensions of identity, power, values, and the meaning of culture in the client, the therapist, and in their interactions. This is an Extern-only seminar held weekly for the duration of the training year.
  2. Professional Issues Seminar: With presentations by staff, trainees, and outside speakers, this didactic seminar highlights a series of topics relating to both theoretical and applied aspects of clinical work including empirically supported therapies and assessment and treatment of specific clinical presentations and populations. This seminar is held bi-weekly throughout the training year; postdoctoral fellows and other staff also attend.
  3. Assessment Seminar: This seminar focuses on principles and practices for clinical evaluation, including the intake process, diagnostic screening and emergency and mental status examinations. Emphasis is given to the development of a focused and comprehensive psychological report including treatment planning and consultation. This seminar is heavily emphasized during orientation and ends after the first two-three weeks.
  4. Psychiatric Issues Seminar: This seminar addresses trends in psychiatry in university settings, psychoactive medications, mind-body interactions, and medical issues, as well as their impact on assessment and the therapeutic process. Externs attend on a bi-weekly basis for the Fall semester.
  5. Outreach Seminar: The seminar focuses on the philosophy and techniques of outreach and primary prevention, program development of specific psycho-educational workshops, and related topics. Externs who select the outreach rotation participate in the first eight weeks of the seminar. During the spring semester, Externs who select the rotation may participate in an Extern-only monthly Outreach Seminar, which the Assistant Director for Outreach will schedule as needed.

Extern Support Group

Externs have a bi-weekly scheduled support group meeting Friday at noon among themselves without staff involvement. The meetings are encouraged as an opportunity for Externs initially to better their relationships with each other and develop mutual support, as well as subsequently to discuss or process the Externship experience or other areas of mutual interest. The agenda and direction of the meeting are determined by the Externs.

Meeting with the Assistant Director of Training

In order to promote regular and open communication with the Externs, the Assistant Director for Training will meet with the Externs once per month, on Fridays at noon. The Associate Director for Training, the Clinical Director, and/or the Center Director will be available to attend this meeting as requested, as an informal means of dealing with any issues that may arise regarding the course of the training year.

Lunch Together

The fourth Friday of the month is designated as an opportunity for all staff to gather together to meet and lunch together; Externs are encouraged to attend.

Multicultural Staff Meeting

Approximately once per semester, the staff will gather together for an extended multicultural staff meeting. These dates will be circulated in advance and everyone is expected to cancel clients and other commitments in order to attend.

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