Adult Outpatient Services / 34 Park Street

APPIC #118319

Overview

The Outpatient Services (OPS) placement is based at Connecticut Mental Health Center and serves individual adults with a wide range of serious mental health concerns. As a community mental health center, CMHC offers not only therapy and psychopharmacological services but also many other wellness oriented programs designed to enhance recovery for those with mental illness. The internship experience is based on providing individual and group psychotherapy to adults on interdisciplinary teams with an emphasis on helping clients develop and achieve goals designed to maximize their mental health.

Placement Options

Primary placement, full year, 30 hours per week. All fellows with a primary placement at OPS will complete their secondary placement in the Community Services Network (described below).

Secondary placement, full year, 15 hours per week. This is available in combination with the following CMHC primary placements: Hispanic Behavioral Health Services / The Hispanic Clinic; Substance Abuse Services / Substance Abuse Treatment Unit; Hispanic Behavioral Health Services / the Hispanic Clinic; and The Consultation Center.

Number of Fellows

Primary Placement: 2

Secondary Placement: Varies by year

The Setting

OPS is designed to provide outpatient mental health services to adults with serious mental illness who live in the New Haven catchment area. CMHC’s treatment model is firmly grounded in the concept of recovery. This involves a focus on empowerment and individualized, person-centered treatment to help individuals achieve their highest potential. The recovery emphasis at CMHC is built on the idea that for a mental health system to provide best care, it must include not only clinical services but also a range of other opportunities including housing and residential services, employment and social supports, and avenues for creative expression.

The primary units of organization in OPS are interdisciplinary teams that specialize in Affective Disorders, Anxiety and Personality Disorders, Community Forensics, Psychotic Disorders, and Residential Services. Members of the teams include psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, peer recovery specialists, community clinicians, supported employment specialists, and social rehabilitation staff. Most commonly, people receiving services at OPS are engaged in individual and/or group therapy depending on their individualized recovery plans.

The Internship

Fellows placed in OPS receive intensive training in treating adults with serious mental illness in a community mental health setting. The role of the fellow is to provide ongoing individual and group psychological services in the context of an interdisciplinary team.

While many individuals engaged in services are seen in long-term therapy, there are some opportunities for briefer, more focused interventions. Within the recovery model, a variety of modalities and theoretical models can be appropriate insofar as they work to assist the client in moving toward his or her goals and are focused on collaboration with the client.

Fellows with a primary placement in OPS generally spend about 12 hours per week in face-to-face clinical contact and those with a secondary placement are engaged in about 6 hours per week. The preponderance of clinical time is spent in individual therapy, and the fellow serves as the "primary clinician" for his or her clients and holds responsibility for the case (under supervision). Training caseloads are selected to provide a variety of treatment experiences as well as focused experience in a diagnostic area of particular interest. There are opportunities for conducting psychological testing and participation in such assessment activities is determined on a case-by-case basis. The rest of the fellow's weekly time in OPS is spent engaging in recovery planning, completing documentation, participating in supervision, and doing other activities to promote individual learning and growth.

The OPS internship experience is designed to build competence in treating individuals with serious mental illness using a recovery framework, establishing and maintaining strong working alliances with individuals receiving services, and collaborating effectively with other mental health providers and clients’ natural supports.

The secondary placement in the Community Services Network (CSN) for OPS primary fellows offers training opportunities in the development, provision, and evaluation of community-based clinical and rehabilitative services for individuals with serious mental illnesses. The CSN is a collaborative of 18 local community-based, not-for-profit organizations providing a broad variety of psychosocial rehabilitation services, including residential, vocational and social programming to individuals served within OPS and other clinical settings. CMHC is the lead agency for the CSN, and the primary advisors for OPS provide the administrative oversight to the network.

Fellows focus on 2 or 3 specific initiatives chosen from among a diverse range of programs based on their interests and training needs. Fellows with a secondary placement in the CSN will also spend a small number of hours training in Inpatient Services providing group psychotherapy and performing other consultative services to ensure that each trainee is able to experience the full range of services that are offered in our recovery-oriented continuum of care.

Roles and responsibilities of the CSN secondary fellow will vary according to the chosen initiatives, but typically will involve participation in consultation to and/or training of to the rehabilitation staff, program development, administration, evaluation, research and/or strategic planning initiatives. It is anticipated that at the end of the training year fellows will have developed an array of skills pertinent to service administration and will have an enhanced framework for understanding the varied roles of psychologists in public sector mental health. More information is available at www.csnct.org

Evidence-Based Practices

The following evidence-based practices (EBPs) are used in this placement setting. Fellows generally have exposure to most of these EBPs though do not necessarily receive training or supervised experience in all of them. The EBPs include, as part of a recovery-oriented model of care: Person-centered planning, peer support, supported housing, supported employment, strengths-based case management, integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders, family psychoeducation and psychopharmacology.

Scholarly Activity

Scholarly activity in OPS and the CSN can take many forms. In consultation with the primary advisor, the fellow can choose to engage in an ongoing research project (usually in conjunction with the Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health), evaluate a clinical service or program, or work with a CSN agency to design and implement a new project that will benefit the individuals receiving services there. Ideas for other projects can be explored; the advisors for OPS are eager to engage fellows in a collaborative process to determine the scope and content of the scholarly project.

Faculty

Thomas Styron, Ph.D., Primary Advisor
Allison Ponce, Ph.D., Primary Advisor
Elizabeth Flanagan, Ph.D., Supervisor
Larry Davidson, Ph.D., Research Advisor

Supervision

Supervision is provided by the fellow's primary advisor as well as by numerous other full time and voluntary faculty. Each fellow is provided with at least four hours of individual supervision each week with licensed psychologists from a range of theoretical orientations. The exact nature of each supervisory relationship is determined by the supervisor-fellow dyad but normally will include discussion of clinical material, the fellow's role on an interdisciplinary team, research and scholarship as it applies to the clinical work, and professional development issues.

Seminar

In addition to the core seminar, the fellows in this placement participate in two additional weekly seminars based at CMHC. One is a continuing clinical case conference, which provides an opportunity for trainees to present and discuss clinical material related to work with their clients at CMHC and to further develop one’s relationship with other trainees and seminar leaders. The other is a didactic and interactive seminar focusing on the topics related to the delivery of care on an inpatient unit.

Applicant Qualifications

Strong applicants for this placement generally have experience working with adults with serious mental illness. Fellows who match with OPS usually have an interest in community-based and recovery-oriented services and their future goals often include doing clinical work with people who have significant mental health problems and/or conducting research related to serious mental illness.

Applicants selected for this placement must be able to successfully pass background checks conducted by Yale University and the State of Connecticut.

For Further Information

Contact Dr. Thomas Styron at thomas.styron@yale.edu or 203-974-7174.