This practicum opportunity involves neurocognitive and social-cognitive assessment of children and adolescents with severe psychopathology, participating in one of three clinical research programs at the UCLA Semel Institute. Specifically, the Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS) and Adolescent Brain-Behavior Research Clinic (CAPPS/ABBRC) is an early intervention/prevention outpatient clinical research program for adolescents and young adults with psychotic disorders, and those who are at very high-risk for developing psychotic disorders. We also follow children longitudinally who are genetically at high risk for psychotic disorder (22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome). Practicum trainees will work as part of an interdisciplinary clinical team, and will serve as the primary source of information about patient’s current cognitive functioning and changes in such functioning over time. Many of these youth 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). Often they have significant diagnostic co-morbidity, particularly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, Major Depression, and/or Anxiety Disorder. We anticipate that many of these children 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 ensure the mildest form of illness expression. At-risk individuals and families participate in a broad range of research activities, as well as psychiatric care and psycho-social interventions.
As a neuropsychological examiner, students will have the opportunity to develop their cognitive assessment skills in a challenging clinical population, while also broadening their understanding of brain-behavior relationships. Additionally, students will develop their report writing skills and have the opportunity to provide feedback to patients and families and/or participate in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.
Current Position Openings:
One to four positions are being offered for the 2015-2016 year. The practicum will begin July 1, 2015 and end June 30, 2016. Practicum trainees are required to be on site Mondays and one other day per week (9am-5pm). Students complete approximately 2 neuropsychological assessments per month. Such assessments can be scheduled on weekends, in order to better accommodate the student’s and/or patient’s schedule. Practicum trainees typically see over 15 patients for assessments per year and can accumulate over 40 direct client hours in assessment.
ASMI practicum trainees have available office space on the A floor (A7-440) in the Semel Institute on the UCLA Campus, and interview and testing rooms (2265) are located in the 300 Building of UCLA Medical Plaza. Appropriate office equipment, including desk, phone, and office supplies, are provided.
Individual supervision - by appointment
Assessment group supervision - 1 hour per week
Also, we hold a monthly 1.5-hour, multi-disciplinary team meeting, where practicum trainees will coordinate their work and make case presentations with a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, masters-level clinicians, pre- and post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students.
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
Carrie Bearden, Ph.D.