Why I Chose Yale

Amy Heberle

My Background

My name is Amy and I am a Psychology Fellow at The Consultation Center (TCC) with a secondary placement in Child and Adolescent Services (CAS). I grew up in rural Ohio and went to college at Harvard. After college, I spent a few years working as a research coordinator before entering graduate school in clinical psychology at UMass Boston. My graduate program had a strong focus on social justice, diversity, and cultural competence, and my training there helped me to develop and refine my interest in using the tools of applied psychology to work toward a more just society. I conducted research on sources of risk and resilience, particularly among young children living in urban poverty; simultaneously, I focused my clinical training on this population. Working to improve the lives of children and families impacted by economic disadvantage continues to be the focal interest of my career.

Why I Chose Yale

In graduate school, I became passionate about research and worked on a variety of basic and applied research projects. I am drawn to work that attempts to leverage the insights of clinical and developmental psychology to promote change at the community and systems (rather than individual) levels. As I prepared to apply for internship, my advisor recommended that I look into TCC, which offers one of the few internship training programs in the country to focus on program evaluation and consultation in the community. TCC was a natural fit for me, and I was also drawn to the opportunity to continue my clinical training in community mental health at CAS.

In addition to the strong fit that I found with TCC/CAS, my experience during the interview day at Yale was unparalleled at other sites. The faculty were incredibly warm and welcoming. It stood out to me that, in the group orientation session at the beginning of the day, faculty mentioned ways in which the program supports fellows’ family lives. My daughter was one year old at the time that I was interviewing, and the tone during the interview day let me know that I would be supported as a whole person—with both a personal and professional life—at Yale.

My Professional Activities

I work Monday through Friday. At TCC, I am working on two projects. On one, I am part of a team working with the city of Pottstown, PA on the Pottstown Trauma Informed Community Connection (PTICC). Motivated by the evidence that trauma, toxic stress, and adverse childhood events (ACEs) are a public health concern, impacting physical and mental health outcomes across the lifespan, leaders in Pottstown have come together to make the culture of their town more trauma-informed. Our involvement in the project is to provide consultation and evaluation. My specific role is focused on the implementation and evaluation of a universal social-emotional learning curriculum in the Pottstown local schools. In that role, I participate in weekly team meetings, biweekly individual supervision, and have travelled to Pottstown to meet with school administrators and teachers. I am also involved in writing several manuscripts related to various aspects trauma-informed systems and trauma-informed care, and am leading development of a manuscript focused on racial disparities, racial discrimination, and group-based trauma as these relate to trauma-informed systems/trauma-informed care.

My second project at TCC is with the GEAR UP program, a district-wide school-based intervention program designed to raise high school graduation and college enrollment rates. I am primarily involved in evaluation for that project, and have analyzed and written up data both for community stakeholders and for an academic audience. In addition, I participate in evaluation team meetings each week and have been involved in planning for a new GEAR UP grant that the team applied for this year.

At CAS, I currently provide treatment to three child clients and psychological assessment to one young adult client. I also attend weekly team meetings for the CAS program, in addition to weekly individual supervision, weekly group supervision for TF-CBT, and a weekly Child and Adolescent Seminar. I also attend the internship core seminar.

My Favorite Things to do in/around New Haven

I am married and have a toddler daughter and a dog. My free time mostly consists of hanging out with my family in various outdoor spots around New Haven. Our favorites are Edgewood Park (which is across the street from our home in Westville!), East Rock Park, and West Rock Park. I also enjoy biking around New Haven with my daughter, especially on outings to one of the two free Yale art museums. We’ve also enjoyed weekend trips to NYC and to the Hudson Valley, which is about 2 hours away.

Final Thoughts

I have had a rich and varied experience at Yale. The fellows in my cohort have blown me away; in addition to being genuinely friendly and caring people, they are impressive at the work they do and it has been a joy to get to know them during my time here at Yale. I am excited to watch my colleagues become leaders in our field. My supervisors have been incredibly supportive and encouraged me to engage in a reflective practice that has moved me forward as a professional and a person.