Program Description. This clinical and research experience provides evidence-based assessment and treatment services for patients with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, insomnia, and cancer. Trainees will have the opportunity to engage in applied clinical research that focuses on the evaluation and treatment of patients with chronic illnesses using cognitive-behavioral and related psychoeducational techniques. Patients range in age from 18 to 80 years and vary in ethnicity and sociodemographic background. They come from the broader Los Angeles area and are frequently referred for care by UCLA physicians and allied health professionals. Many patients enter research programs based on newspaper and other print advertising. Practicum trainees will participate in the evaluation of patients and may have the opportunity to serve as co-therapists in group behavioral and psychoeducational treatments. Practicum trainees will be expected to participate in data analysis and the management of databases from clinical studies and will have opportunities to participate in manuscript publication with Center faculty.
Current Position Openings. We currently accept 1 or 2 practicum trainees each year who will work on one or more applied research projects, depending on the demands of the Center. Perry M. Nicassio, Ph.D. and Sarosh Motivala, Ph.D. are Department of Psychiatry faculty who oversee and coordinate the training and educational opportunities for practicum trainees. Drs. Nicassio and Motivala are scientist practitioners with extensive research and clinical experience in health psychology, behavioral medicine, and public health.
Resource Allocation. The Cousins Center has significance office, research, and laboratory space that will be available to the practicum trainees. Practicum trainees will have the opportunity to work with Cousins Center staff and statisticians in executing their work. Computer support will be made available, as needed.
Supervision and Training: Practicum trainees will receive a minimum of one hour individual supervision per week from either Dr. Perry Nicassio or Dr. Sarosh Motivala. They will be encouraged to attend weekly Psychiatry Grand Rounds, case conferences, and lectures within the School of Medicine. Practicum trainees will have the opportunity to learn from other medical professionals (psychiatrists, rheumatologists) throughout the course of their training experiences. The practicum involves a half time, 20-hour/per week commitment. Supervisors will perform formal evaluations of practicum trainees performance during the middle and at the end of the training period. Ongoing feedback and evaluation will take place during weekly supervisory sessions.