Aftercare Program Practicum - Clinical & Research

Overview

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 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 treatments designed to help young adult patients who have recently developed a psychotic disorder return to either work or school, and improve social cognition, with a goal of preventing the onset of chronic disability.  There is 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, 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, cognitive-behavior therapy, social skills training, solution-focused therapy and crisis management.  Family interventions are provided as needed. The use of insight-oriented psychodynamic theoretical approaches is not typically employed, however the clinic staff has training and expertise in a variety of 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.  Observation of clinical assessments of unawareness of having a mental disorder (i.e., poor insight) and psychological factors affecting medication adherence can be arranged.

 

Requirements Fulfilled

           Assessment:  0%                                                                                                                                                      Therapy: 100 %

 

Adult: 100%  Child: 0 Adolescent: 0

  

Disciplines Represented and Nature of Supervision

Theoretical Orientation: Cognitive-Behavioral individual psychotherapy,supportive psychoeducation, social skills training, solution-focused therapy and crisis management. 

 

Supervision and Training:

Our practicum begins on July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year. Intensive introductory training occurs in July, 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 per week.

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

Trainees will have the opportunity to attend Quarterly Relatives Meeting where speakers provide psychoeducation to family members on relevant topics. These meetings provide trainees with the opportunity to learn about cutting edge treatments and interventions, as well as meet and interact with loved ones of the patients.

Individual supervision will be provided by licensed psychologist, Kenneth Subotnik, Ph.D., who has clinical privileges at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry.  The specific days and times of individual supervision vary by trainee, but in the past have been on Thursdays, mornings at 10am. 

Supervision for treatment groups and clinical group supervision occurs on Tuesdays from 9-11 AM and is MANDATORY for all trainees.

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.

 

Practicum Director/Contact: Kenneth Subotnik, PhD                                                                                       Aftercare Research Program Director: Keith Nuechterlein, PhD

Number of Practicum Spots Available:2

Required day(s) and Times:

Practicum hours are:                                                                                                                                                    Monday 10am-5pm                                                                                                                                                     Tuesday 9am- 5pm                                                                                                                                                     Thursday 10am-5pm

Beginning and Ending Dates with hours expected per week: 

July 1 and ends on June 30

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 will be assigned an e mail address for Program communications. 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.

Director/Instructor(s): 
Kenneth Subotnik
Director/Instructor(s): 
Keith Nuechterlein
Application
Pre-requisites: 

 

Application process: 

Application Due Date: 2/15/15                        

Applicants are screened via email first. Individuals should email Kenneth Subotnik, PhD, ksubotnik@mednet.ucla.edu, the following: (1) a letter of interest explaining why they want to work at our site; (2) most recent resume/CV; (3) 3 letters of recommendation (including letter of readiness for practicum training from Training Director). Sending materials via EMAIL is required.  Please name each file with the applicants name, file content, and date (e.g., Jane Doe CV 1-22-2015, Jane Doe letr rec Dr. Johnson 1-22-2015).  Applicants with a particular interest in working with schizophrenia patients are especially encouraged to apply

 

Application deadline: 
15 Feb 2015
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