Training Sites

CHA Psychology Postdoctoral Options for 2022-2023

Option I: Adult Neuropsychology (two years)

Option II: Primary Care-Behavioral Health/Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

Option III: Child and Adolescent Acute Services

Option IV: Adult Psychodynamic Treatment in the Program for Psychotherapy

Option V: Adult Psychotherapy/Psychological Assessment Services

Option VI: Treatment of Early Psychosis/Psychological Assessment Services

Option VII: Adolescent Risk Assessment and Violence Prevention


I: Adult Neuropsychology Service

This two-year program provides intensive training in clinical neuropsychological assessment at the Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessment Service (NAPA) in the psychiatry department at CHA. Our objective is to provide intensive training in the neuropsychological assessment of a range of adult outpatient populations with primary neurological, medical, psychiatric, and developmental disorders. Outpatient referrals stem from neurology, primary care, and psychiatry divisions, and include evaluations of patients who present with a variety of neurological disorders, such as dementia, movement disorders, head trauma, seizure disorders, vascular disorders, metabolic disorders, and sleep disorders. Psychiatric referrals include mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders, as well as complex trauma, and polysubstance abuse. Patients with neurodevelopmental disorders such as learning, attention-deficit/hyperactivity, and autism spectrum disorders are also evaluated. We dobrief neuropsychological screens in primary care. There is also a minor rotation of inpatient neuropsychological evaluations (medical-surgical, psychiatric, geriatric units). Fellows sometimes work on an assessment team with psychologic assessors to coordinate patient care and integrate comprehensive assessments. The majority of our patients are from ethnic, racial and culturally diverse backgrounds, and fellows develop strong skills in multicultural neuropsychological assessments and work with medical interpreters as needed.

The neuropsychology training program adheres to guidelines proposed by the Joint Task Force of Division 40 of the APA and the Houston Conference on Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Psychology to meet eligibility requirements for ABPP Board Certification in the specialty of Clinical Neuropsychology. To meet these goals, fellows conduct two outpatient evaluations per week, and one to two cognitive screens per week. They receive two to three hours of supervision weekly. They also have the opportunity to engage in a cognitive remediation rotation. They complete various intensive seminars over the course of two years within the hospital and Harvard Medical. First year seminars include adult neuropsychology, and a clinical case seminar (using a fact-finding method). In their second year, fellows participate in a neurology rotation in which they shadow a neurologist in clinic. They also participate in a brain-cutting seminar, a case seminar, Psychiatry Grand Rounds, and a joint virtual lectures series between Cambridge Health Alliance and the Boston VA neuropsychology programs. The wider Harvard Medical Schoolsystem provides fellows with other diverse didactics. Opportunities for advanced training in psychologicalassessment are also available and multidisciplinary interaction with psychiatry, neurology, and geriatrics is typical. The program, consistent with its scientist practitioner approach requires the fellow to participate in at least one research project culminating in a publication in a peer-reviewed journal or presentation at a national scientific conference within the two-year training.

For more information, please see this announcement.

II: Primary Care-Behavioral Health/Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

The fellow in this one-year track will work half-time in the Primary Care Behavioral Health Integration (PCBHI) Program at one of CHA's primary care clinics. The fellow will conduct psychiatric intake evaluations, triage to appropriate settings of care, individual and group psychotherapy, multidisciplinary consultation, and warm hand-offs and risk assessment. The fellow will gain experience in assessing and treating patients with a wide range of psychiatric and adjustment issues, as well as promoting behavioral management of chronic medical conditions.

Additional fellowship opportunities include clinical teaching to medical residents and co-leading group medical visits for addictions, chronic pain, weight management, and/or diabetes management. The fellow will attend multidisciplinary medical team meetings at the primary care site, as well as PCBHI team meetings with therapists, psychiatrists, and mental health care partners. The fellow will also attend the Integrated Care Seminar and the Fellows Professional Development Seminar.

The fellow will also work half-time in the Mindful Mental Health Service (MMHS) within the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC), a national leader in research on and implementation of evidence-based approaches to integrating mindfulness and compassion practices into primary and mental health care. Under expert supervision, fellows will learn to co-lead structured mindfulness-based clinical groups following empirically supported protocols, including Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness Training in Primary Care. Fellows will conduct integrative psychiatric intake evaluations for MMHS and participate in the MMHS weekly team meeting, which is an interdisciplinary team meeting for clinical supervision and administration. Fellows will also conduct screening assessment and brief interventions as part of the CHA MindWell community mental wellness program. Fellows will participate weekly in a didactic and experiential meditation and psychotherapy certificate course and meet with international experts for mentoring. In the second half of the year, fellows may provide short-term individual psychotherapy for 1-2 patients/week, using evidence-based mindfulness protocols under clinical supervision. There may also be opportunities for academic projects within the Center’s Quality Improvement Program or participating in research at CMC.

III: Child and Adolescent Acute Services

This one-year fellowship consists of rotations on two inpatient CHA inpatient units: The Child Assessment Unit and the Adolescent Assessment Unit, as well as an outpatient rotation in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities evaluation clinic in the Child Outpatient Psychiatry Department. Currently, the child unit (CAU) is a 13-bed locked inpatient unit serving children ages 3-12 and the adolescent unit (AAU) is a 22-bed locked inpatient unit serving adolescents ages 13-19. The CAU is slated for expansion in the coming year to a larger number of beds. Both have a patient population that is quite diverse ethnically and diagnostically, and operate within a collaborative interdisciplinary team framework.

While on the inpatient units, fellows serve as the primary clinician for two cases in which they provide individual, family and systems assessment and interventions. Fellows also complete 3-4 psychological assessment batteries during the two inpatient rotations, often including performance (projective), personality, and cognitive testing measures. Supervision emphasizes psychodynamic, attachment, trauma-informed and family systems approaches. Fellows also lead and co-lead therapy groups on each unit, including psychodynamic approaches and utilization of performance tasks to enhance understanding of patient needs in novel group designs.

IV: Adult Psychodynamic Treatment in the Program for Psychotherapy

The Program for Psychotherapy (PFP) fellowship in the Outpatient Psychiatry Department (OPD) of the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) is a one-year intensive training program focusing on psychodynamic psychotherapy with attention to both theory and technique as well as both service and training, including consideration of indications for shorter- or longer-term therapy. The fellowship consists of 40 hours per week consisting of 20 patient/clinical hours, 4 hours of individual supervision, 1 hour of group case consultation, 3 hours of seminar time (a PFP reading seminar on theory and technique of psychodynamic psychotherapy, a PFP reading seminar on object relations in psychodynamic theory, and an OPD seminar on short-term psychotherapy), 3 hours of research, 5.5 hours of paperwork/collateral work/seminar preparation, 1 hour of grand rounds, .25 hours per week (once a month) of a precepting meeting, 1 hour per week professional development meeting, and 1 hour a week of an all fellows meeting (which at various times includes administrative issues, in-service training, a discussion with a senior faculty member, and the PFP case conference). Optional seminars and group supervisions are also offered.

V: Adult Psychotherapy/Psychological Assessment Services

This one-year fellowship combines a half-time advanced psychological assessment experience with a half-time psychotherapy experience in one of the following sites, to be mutually agreed upon by the applicant and CHA according to the applicant’s background and interest: Primary Care/Behavioral Health Integration, Linguistic Minority Clinics (LatinX, Portuguese, or Haitian Mental Health Clinics), General Outpatient Psychotherapy with a subspecialty in trauma, or the Program for Psychotherapy. Applicants should specify in their cover letter which of these outpatient options they prefer.

In the outpatient placement, fellows provide psychotherapy of adult outpatients for which they receive intensive supervision, as well as the opportunity to participate in seminars in psychotherapeutic technique. At the psychological assessment service (NAPA), fellows receive supervision and training in projective and objective assessment techniques within a Therapeutic Assessment model of care and participation in a psychological assessment seminar. Fellows in this rotation have the option of attending a variety of neuropsychological testing seminar offerings. There is also limited opportunity to gain experience in neuropsychological assessment. Assessment frequently requires multi-disciplinary delivery of care and coordination with neuropsychologists of neuropsychological assessments.

Assessment patients for this fellowship include adults with a wide range of psychiatric conditions, including mood and anxiety disorders, severe and persistent psychotic disorders, complex trauma, and polysubstance abuse. Patients with medical, neurologic, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorder, and autism spectrum disorders are also evaluated for co-morbid psychiatric conditions.

VI: Treatment of Early Psychosis/Psychological Assessment Services

This one-year fellowship combines a half-time advanced psychological assessment experience with a half-time placement in the Recovery in Shared Experiences (RISE) clinic, a multidisciplinary team providing comprehensive, recovery-oriented services to adolescents and adults experiencing a first episode of psychosis and their families. This placement will include experiences in comprehensive intake and diagnostic assessment, evidence-based individual therapy (individualized resiliency training), family therapy and group treatment. An option to participate in ongoing research is also available.

At the psychological assessment service (NAPA), fellows receive supervision and training in projective and objective assessment techniques within a Therapeutic Assessment model of care and participation in a psychological assessment seminar. Fellows in this rotation have the option of attending a variety of neuropsychological testing seminar offerings. There is also limited opportunity to gain experience in neuropsychological assessment. Assessment frequently requires multi-disciplinary delivery of care and coordination with neuropsychologists of neuropsychological assessments.

Assessment patients for this fellowship include adults with a wide range of psychiatric conditions, but with a focus on patients with severe mental illness and psychosis. Patients with medical, neurologic, and neurodevelopmental disorders such autism spectrum disorders are also evaluated for co-morbid psychiatric conditions.

VII: Adolescent Risk Assessment and Violence Prevention

This one-year fellowship consists of specialized training in juvenile risk assessment as well as violence prevention treatment for adolescents and young adults. The fellow selected for this position will provide consultation to the Cambridge Police Department through the Safety Net Collaborative. Safety Net is a partnership between the Cambridge Health Alliance and Cambridge Police designed to integrate mental health services into juvenile policing and has been recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police as a promising approach to the prevention of juvenile delinquency.

The fellow will also conduct safety assessments for the Cambridge Public Schools. There are also part-time rotations through the year in the Juvenile Court Clinic in either Lowell or Cambridge. The fellow will provide individual and family therapy through the Child/Adolescent Outpatient clinic at the Cambridge Health Alliance and will conduct at least one group utilizing a violence prevention curriculum developed to address retaliatory violence in youth. There is also an opportunity for research through the ongoing program evaluation of the Safety Net Collaborative. Seminars are available through the Court Clinic, and the fellow will also attend the Professional Development Seminar.

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