Aftercare Program Practicum - Clinical & Research


The UCLA Aftercare Research Program is part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and provides outpatient psychiatric services to recent-onset schizophrenia patients in exchange for voluntary participation in our research protocols. The most frequent diagnostic categories in our patient population include DSM-IV schizophreniform disorder and schizophrenia, and we specialize in treating individuals who have been ill for 2 years or less. Our patients are typically in their early to mid-20s and about 75% are male. Since the clinic provides services free of charge as part of clinical research on new interventions, many patients participate from traditionally underserved populations. Services provided include individual psychotherapy, group therapy, case management, and psychiatric medication management. Research focuses on whether we can improve treatments designed to help young adult patients who have recently developed a psychotic disorder get back to work or school in order to prevent the onset of chronic disability, with a particular emphasis on understanding the role that cognitive deficits play in functional outcome in schizophrenia.


Trainees will co-lead psychoeducational therapy groups for patients, as well as provide individual therapy for patients with whom this treatment modality is appropriate. Depending on the needs of our clinic and the training goals of practicum students, trainees typically run 2 – 5 groups per week and carry an average individual caseload of 2 – 3 individual patients. Group therapy consists of an orientation group for new patients that meets weekly and provides psychoeducation for those newly diagnosed with schizophrenia, computerized cognitive training especially adapted for individuals with cognitive deficits, aerobic and muscle-conditioning physical exercise work-out groups, and a “bridging group” designed to help address motivation issues and provide opportunities for practical application of skills learned in the cognitive training and exercise program. Individual therapy for schizophrenia patients includes supportive psychoeducation and cognitive-behavior therapy for psychosis. The use of insight-oriented psychodynamic theoretical approaches is not typically employed, but the clinic staff has training and expertise in a variety of other theoretical orientations.


Trainees with an interest in learning how to administer a limited number of cognitive and neuropsychological assessments can be accommodated, but we must emphasize that we do NOT provide formal assessment training that incorporates scoring, interpretation, and report writing. We administer both commercially-available and research-based tests of working memory, attention, social cognition, and stimulus discrimination along with a number of questionnaires that address health attitudes, motivation, and quality of life.


Nature of Supervision and Trainee Schedule

Our practicum begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. Intensive introductory training occurs in July and August, and trainees are expected to attend these sessions. NOTE:  All trainees should have availability on MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, and THURSDAYS because these are the days when clinical services are provided to patients. The training experience is designed for 3 days a week.

Trainees will be exposed to a multidisciplinary team environment of psychiatrists, psychologists, case managers, community volunteers, UCLA undergraduate students, and staff research associates.

Individual supervision will be provided by licensed psychologists, Keith Nuechterlein, Ph.D., and Kenneth Subotnik, Ph.D., who have clinical privileges at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry.  The specific days and times of individual supervision vary by trainee. 

Supervision for treatment groups occurs on Tuesdays from 9-10 am and is MANDATORY for all trainees who are co-therapists in groups.

Trainees will be exposed to a variety of reading materials and discussion topics, in addition to clinical issues that occur in the context of Aftercare therapy groups.

We will use forms employed by the UCLA Medical Psychology faculty to document supervision and solicit trainee evaluation of the program.


 Specific days and times that are preferable for trainees are shown in the table below:



Patients attend clinic from 11 am – 4:30 pm

3 – 4:30 New Patient   Group                  


Patients attend clinic from 11 am – 4:30 pm



10 – 11 am Trainee Case Conference


1:30 – 2:30 Computerized Cognitive Training #1

2:30 – 3:30 Exercise #1

3:30 – 4:30 Computerized Cognitive Training #2


Patients attend clinic from 11 am – 4:30 pm


11 – 12 Computerized Cognitive Training #3


1 – 2 Cognitive Training and Exercise Bridging Group

2 – 3 Exercise #2

3 – 4 Computerized Cognitive Training #4


Resource Assessment: 

Trainees will be stationed in a shared office space on the 2nd floor of the 300 Medical Plaza building on the UCLA campus, where the Aftercare Program has a suite of offices.  Trainees will have access to at least 3 shared (password protected) computers in this room. Trainees can be reached via a shared phone line with voicemail that also has a password and is accessed by program staff only. There are three laboratories available for testing/assessment and computerized cognitive training. Larger conference rooms are available for new patient group, physical exercise and group supervision. Private offices are also available for individual therapy.


Practicum Director/Contact: Kenneth Subotnik, PhD

Aftercare Research Program Director: Keith Nuechterlein, PhD






Applicants are screened via email first. Individuals should email Dr. Kenneth Subotnik, Ph.D.,, the following: (1) a letter of interest explaining why they want to work at our site; (2) most recent resume/CV; (3) 2 - 3 letters of recommendation. Sending materials via EMAIL is required.  Please name each file with the applicants name, file content, and date (e.g., Jane Doe CV 1-22-2014, Jane Doe letr rec Dr. Johnson 1-22-2014).  Applicants with a particular interest in working with schizophrenia patients are especially encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: February 15th each year.

Application deadline: 

 15 Feb 2014

Application deadline: 
15 Feb 2013
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