Hispanic Behavioral Health Services / The Hispanic Clinic
Placement at the Hispanic Clinic provides a rare and exciting opportunity for the doctoral fellow to receive intensive clinical training and preparation for working with an under-served and growing Latina/o community. Specific skill development relevant to assessment, intervention, and consultation with this population is offered throughout the course of the training year. As the Clinic serves monolingual Spanish-speaking consumers, fluency in Spanish is required.
Primary placement, full year, 30 hours per week, combined with a secondary placement at one of the following CMHC placements: Adult Outpatient Services / 34 Park Street; Child & Adolescent Services / West Haven Mental Health Clinic; or The Consultation Center.
Number of Interns
Primary Placement: 1
The Hispanic Clinic of the Connecticut Mental Health Center is a community mental health and addictions treatment provider that serves the Hispanic monolingual population of Greater New Haven and surrounding areas. In addition to serving as an APA-approved training site for doctoral psychology fellows, the Hispanic Clinic also serves as a training placement for psychology postdoctoral fellows, psychiatry residents, and nursing, social work, and medical students.
The Clinic is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of bilingual-bicultural clinicians that provide a comprehensive range of services to an adult population aged 18 and over. These services include but are not limited to, diagnostic evaluation, case management and community linkage, pharmacotherapy, and psychotherapy in mental health, addictions, and co-occurring disorders. Many of the clients served typically originate from the Caribbean, Central, and South America, and often present with challenging life circumstances exacerbated by the process of migration, trauma histories, separation from family supports, and acculturative stressors. Therefore, the Clinic promotes strengths-based assessments and recovery-oriented interventions that enhance quality of life, community integration, and that are sensitive to each individual’s unique life narrative.
As an established provider of outpatient behavioral health services for the Spanish-speaking community, and recognized partner in the promotion of culturally and linguistically appropriate care, the Hispanic Clinic has served as the coordinating hub for the Connecticut Latino Behavioral Health System (LBHS) since 2007. The overarching goals of this initiative are to improve access to behavioral health care to the monolingual Latina/o community, and to support workforce development efforts that will build regional capacity to deliver culturally informed treatments.
The fellow is expected to gain proficiency in the conceptualization of clinical issues based on a comprehensive and culturally informed treatment formulation. Particularly, the training year will provide an opportunity for the fellow to acquire further skill in the following: 1) knowledge of diagnosis and psychopathology and differential diagnosis based on cultural nuances; 2) ability to adapt evidence-based interventions in a culturally specific manner; and 3) interpretation of assessment results in a manner that takes into account cultural and linguistic issues.
From a systems perspective, the fellow will apply an understanding of relevant organizational and faith-based issues to establish and maintain effective relationships through the utilization of cultural constructs with service recipients, community partners, and family members. As part of the outpatient clinical treatment team, the fellow may also consult with staff members at the Clinic, CMHC, other local providers, and area hospitals.
Additionally, she/he will work in conjunction with the clinical interdisciplinary team and provide services within the Ambulatory Specific Adjunctive Program (ASAP), a program designed to provide intensive clinical care within a group treatment modality. The fellow will also provide individual psychotherapeutic services to a caseload of approximately 8-10 clients. Individual therapy clients present with a diversity of behavioral health concerns, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, bereavement, trauma history, traumatic brain injury, and personality disorders. Clients often present with concurrent needs such as homelessness, parole/probation, inadequate access to medical services, and extreme poverty and hardship requiring extensive case management services.
There is also the opportunity for the fellow at the Hispanic Clinic to gain experience in conducting brief neurocognitive screenings and psychological testing in Spanish. Most often, testing referrals seek diagnostic clarification and overall assessment of cognitive abilities. Particular attention to issues of language and culture, and the unique considerations necessary in the assessment of Hispanic/Latino individuals with limited educational backgrounds is emphasized. The fellow is assigned an individual testing supervisor and collaboratively engages with the supervisor in reviewing the referral, selecting the appropriate battery, interpreting the results, report writing, and the development of recommendations. The fellow also has the opportunity to lead feedback sessions with the client, family members, and/or referring clinical staff.
The following evidence-based practices (EBPs) are used in this placement setting: cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. The fellow will receive ample training and supervision in both of these modalities. Specifically, the fellow will receive training on how to culturally/linguistically adapt and integrate these modalities in the provision of individual and group treatment.
The fellow will have opportunities to participate in original and/or ongoing research projects based within the Clinic as well as within the broader context of the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Additional mentoring and supervision related to the development of culturally-competent clinical research skills can also be arranged based on the fellow’s interests and training goals.
Supervision is a cornerstone of the internship experience, and as such, is provided for all aspects of the fellow's work. A unique aspect of the supervision experience is that it can be conducted in Spanish, at the fellow’s request. The supervision provided at the Clinic utilizes a collaborative and strengths-based model that focuses on skill acquisition and retention, quality of care, use of best practices, and professional development. Exposure to a variety of therapeutic modalities including cognitive and cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal approaches, and motivational interviewing techniques are offered. The fellow will also have the unique opportunity to learn about the diverse roles psychologists play in community settings and issues pertaining to the development of a broader system of care and community collaboration through the LBHS. Additionally, the fellow receives ongoing feedback during the internship from their advisor and supervisors. Quarterly formal evaluations are also completed and serve as opportunities to review progress on training goals and address progress toward core competency areas.
Seminar(s) & Specialized Training
The fellow will have opportunities to participate in seminars focusing on cross-cultural issues, addictions treatment, co-occurring disorders, community-based intervention, and prevention. In addition to the Core Seminar, fellows in this placement participate in a monthly multidisciplinary case conference specific to assessment and intervention with the Latina/o community and are invited to attend a quarterly behavioral health workshop series.
Applicants for this placement should have an explicit interest in working with monolingual, Spanish speaking clients in a community behavioral health setting. As a result, fluency in Spanish is a requirement for working within this multi-service, specialty clinic. 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. Manuel Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org.