Practicum trainees may be placed in one of a variety of settings throughout Cambridge Health Alliance. Placements include inpatient settings for adolescents or children, and outpatient specialty clinics that focus on behavioral medicine, victims of violence, couples and family treatment, or the cultural/linguistic clinics. Descriptions of settings are listed below, though some program components may be subject to change.
Accepting applications for the following training sites for the 2014-2015 training year:
Child Assessment Unit (CAU)
The Psychology Practicum offered by CHA’s Child Assessment Unit provides experience in assessment of and psychotherapeutic intervention with acutely distressed children, ages 3-12, in an inpatient setting. Diagnoses of patients on the unit include psychoses, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma-spectrum illnesses. The training experience occurs in the context of multidisciplinary care involving psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, occupational therapy and other forms of intervention. Clinical interventions include individual psychosocially oriented treatment, play therapy assessment, family meetings, extended evaluation, and psychological testing. Trainees also develop skills in the negotiation of complex social systems (e.g., schools, social service agencies) that interface in the lives of children. Team meetings and case conferences enhance understanding of the diagnosis and stabilization process with these acutely distressed patients.
Adolescent Assessment Unit (AAU)
The Psychology Practicum offered by CHA’s Child Adolescent Assessment Unit provides experience in assessment of and psychotherapeutic intervention with acutely distressed teenagers, ages 12-19, in an inpatient setting. Diagnoses of patients on the unit include psychoses, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and trauma-spectrum illnesses. The training experience occurs in the context of multidisciplinary care involving psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, occupational therapy and other forms of intervention. Clinical interventions include individual psychosocially oriented treatment, family meetings, extended evaluation, CBT/DBT group therapy, and psychological testing. Trainees also develop skills in the negotiation of complex social systems (e.g., schools, social service agencies) that interface in the lives of adolescents. Team meetings and case conferences enhance understanding of the diagnosis and stabilization process with these acutely distressed patients.
Adult Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment
CHA's Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessment Service (NAPA) offers a testing practicum comprised of a five-month rotation in psychological assessment and a five-month rotation in neuropsychological assessment. Fourteen hours per week are devoted to testing service, supervision, seminar instruction, testing rounds, the neuropsychological case seminar, and the Practicum Program's professional development seminar. The NAPA Service provides care to a range of adult outpatient populations, including those with primary medical (e.g., vascular, metabolic, sleep, headache, and movement disorders), neurological (e.g., head trauma, dementia, and seizure disorders), and psychiatric conditions (e.g., mood, anxiety, personality, psychotic, and substance abuse disorders, as well as complex trauma). Patients with neurodevelopmental disorders such as learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorder, and Asperger's disorders are also evaluated. Medical and psychiatric inpatient consultations are also performed.
At-Risk Youth Safety Net Program
Trainees participate in Safety Net, a unique collaboration among Cambridge Health Alliance, the Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Schools, and the Department of Human Services aimed at supporting at-risk youth. The program was founded on the principle that in order to meet the needs of at-risk youth it is necessary to establish ongoing collaboration between families and the agencies that support the city’s youth, and in particular a strong police/mental health partnership. A group of police officers, clinicians, and youth workers meet regularly to review current cases and identify new cases appropriate for interventions, which may include home and school visits, screening for mental health problems, formal mental health services, mentoring, job assistance, youth development activities, and school support services. Youth typically between ages 11 and 19 are referred to this program because they have been identified as being at-risk of future delinquent behavior, or because they have been offered participation in this program as an alternative to actual legal charges. At Cambridge Health Alliance, the trainee is a member of a multidisciplinary child outpatient psychiatry team, assessing and treating children and families referred through the Safety Net program. Patients are socio-economically, racially/ethnically, and diagnostically diverse. They present with a range of clinical problems including oppositional-defiant, conduct, attachment, and trauma-related disorders. Team evaluations focus on the integration of child/adolescent mental health, clinical services, and forensic issues. Psychotherapy utilizes a solution-focused approach to help youth remain safe and comply with the juvenile diversion program. The trainee also conducts school safety assessments and consults with Cambridge police officers from the Youth and Family Services Unit about outreach visits to schools and homes. A group treatment program may be developed and trainees may be involved in its implementation. Instruction is provided in child psychology, police operations, juvenile court procedures, assessment of safety in juveniles, and the intersection of child/adolescent mental health and forensic issues.
Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Program
At Central Street Health Center in Somerville, trainees will gain experience providing individual, family/systems, and group treatment utilizing an integrative approach (e.g., short-term/problem-focused psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and supportive strategies) in treating older adults who suffer from a range of anxiety and mood disorders, as well as cognitive dysfunction (mild to moderate dementia, executive disorders, etc.), psychotic-spectrum, substance abuse, and personality disorders, as well as co-morbidities of physical health problems. As a member of a multidisciplinary treatment team representing psychiatry, psychology, clinical nursing, and social work, trainees will conduct psychological evaluations, treatment planning, and psychotherapy services. Trainees will attend team meetings, weekly seminars, monthly geriatric inpatient case conferences, and individual supervision.
Please note that applications are not being accepted to the following sites for the 2013 - 2014 training year:
Trainees provide consultation and liaison with medical services as
well as assessment, individual, and group treatments in the Malden
Family Medicine Center. Trainees gain experience providing short-term,
symptom focused treatment utilizing cognitive, behavioral, and
physiological techniques in treating adults who suffer from a range of
anxiety and mood disorders, as well as pain, sleep, and psychological
co-morbidities of physical health problems. Instruction is provided in
the clinical applications of behavioral medicine, fundamentals of
cognitive-behavioral therapy, and self-care, with the option of specific
training in hypnosis or biofeedback.
Victims of Violence Program
In this setting, trainees gain experience in the assessment and provision of short- term, longer-term, individual and group psychotherapy to an adult population that has experienced significant trauma. Patients in this setting may present with histories of recent or remote trauma, and may have suffered single incident trauma or may have been multiply traumatized throughout their lives. The treatment program is guided by Dr. Judith Herman's stage model of trauma recovery. Psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral perspectives are integrated within appropriate phases of treatment.
Couples and Family Program
In this setting, trainees gain experience in the assessment and treatment of couples and families. Family systems, contextual, and narrative approaches are used to understand and intervene with families that present to the Program. Opportunities are available for live supervision using a one-way mirror. In addition, there are opportunities to consult on family issues to a primary-care center, thereby combining Health Psychology concerns with family treatment.
Cultural/Linguistic Specialty Clinics
In accord with its mission to provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive care, Cambridge Health Alliance has four specialized outpatient clinics that provide service to patients from particular cultural and linguistic communities. In general, staff and trainees working in these clinics must be fluent in the appropriate language.
Latino Mental Health Clinic
The Latino Mental Health Clinic provides a full range of outpatient services to Spanish-speaking persons, including evaluations, psychological testing, and individual, group, child/adolescent, couples, and family therapy. The community is comprised of persons who emigrated from Central and South American Countries, and from the Caribbean. Many patients have been traumatized. Trainees work as part of a multidisciplinary team. The examination of cross-cultural issues is an ongoing part of the training.
Portuguese Mental Health Clinic
Part of Cambridge Health Alliance's Adult Psychiatry Ambulatory Service, the Portuguese Mental Health Clinic provides a full range of outpatient services to monolingual Portuguese-speaking persons, including evaluation, psychological testing, and individual, child/adolescent, and family therapy. The community is comprised of persons who emigrated from Portuguese-speaking countries around the world, with the majority of persons coming from Brazil and the Azores. Trainees work as part of a multidisciplinary team, and carry a varied caseload. The consideration of cross-cultural issues is an ongoing part of the weekly supervision and team meetings.
Asian Mental Health Clinic
The Asian Clinic offers multilingual outpatient psychological and psychiatric services to Asian individuals and families in the greater Boston area. The Asian Clinic draws on a philosophy that appreciates a wide range of Asian backgrounds, experiences and conflicts. Treatment attempts to address the individual's emotional and spiritual well being in a safe and culturally sensitive environment. Special attention is devoted to trauma survivors. Primary services include outpatient short- and long-term individual, family and group psychotherapy, psychodiagnostic testing and evaluation, psychopharmacology, crisis intervention, case management and community outreach. The clinic also provides consultation to other branches of Cambridge Health Alliance, and serves as a liaison to community-based social agencies that serve the Asian community. Proficiency in an Asian language is preferred.
Haitian Mental Health Clinic
The Haitian Mental Health Clinic provides culturally and linguistically competent care to Haitian residents of the greater Boston area, and to French-speaking immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa. Treatment attempts to reduce the severity of psychosocial dysfunction in a variety of adult and child patients, and to provide these patients with additional coping mechanisms to better handle stressors triggered by the experience of migration. Primary services include child and adult individual psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, psychodiagnostic evaluations, psychopharmacology and crisis intervention. The Clinic also acts as a liaison with community and social agencies that interface with Haitian patients. French or Haitian Creole proficiency is preferred.