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Clinical Training Activities

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


UIC employs a multiple supervisory model, which is intended to give each extern exposure to several distinctive training relationships, approaches, and perspectives. More specifically, externs receive three hours a week of individual clinical supervision. Each extern meets with a licensed Primary Supervisor for two hours weekly. The Primary Supervisor oversees the extern's comprehensive training and service activities, including the majority of the extern's psychotherapy cases. The extern will also be matched with a Secondary Supervisor, who will provide supervision of intake reports/disposition and supervision of a single therapy case. Finally, externs will receive supervision of a separate therapy case from a Single-Case Supervisor (typically a pre-doctoral intern). Scheduled for one hour a week, both Secondary and Single-Case supervision provide externs with the unique opportunity to focus intensively on the specific therapeutic dynamics of a single case as it proceeds over the course of treatment. Assignment of supervisors is determined by a combination of extern preferences and staff availability.

In addition to their individual supervisors, externs can anticipate contact with other clinical staff members, who are available to trainees as consultants and as leaders of the various training seminars (see below). Moreover, externs who participate in one or both of the available training rotations will be assigned a supervisor to oversee those activities as well.


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. To that end, both didactic readings and case materials are used to facilitate externs' understanding of theory and research and their applications to practice. The Multicultural Therapy and Professional Issues Seminars are offered for the duration of the training year, whereas the other seminars are offered for a portion of the year. In general, externs can expect to spend 2-3 hours a week in seminar training.

  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. A facilitated cultural identity exploration component and presentation of clinical material by trainees provide the foundation of the seminar experience.
  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. Presentations are likely to include reviews of empirically supported therapies, diagnosis-specific treatment options, assessment of unique clinical presentations, and clinical work with specific populations.
  3. Assessment Seminar: This seminar focuses on basic principles and practices for clinical evaluation, including the intake process and diagnostic screening, emergency and mental status examinations, and the use and integration of testing and clinical interviews. Emphasis is given to the development of a focused and comprehensive psychological report related to psychopathology, personality organization and development, and clinical questions. Response to referral issues, conceptual formulations, differential diagnoses, treatment planning and consultation, and feedback are also addressed.
  4. Psychiatric Issues Seminar: This seminar addresses psychoactive medications, mind-body interactions, and medical issues, as well as their impact on assessment and the therapeutic process. It uses clinical material to identify the indications and counter-indications for medication, possible side effects, and the integration of drug treatments with psychotherapy. It also discusses related issues such as light treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, nutritional factors and mental health, and the role of herbal, "organic," and over-the-counter treatments. This seminar begins upon completion of the assessment seminar.
  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. This seminar meets Fall semester only.
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