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Mental Health Services' philosophy and model of training is based on the practitioner-scholar model, which is influenced by an understanding of the current knowledge and methods of psychological science. We build upon the postdoc’s foundation of competence acquired through internship, graduate coursework, research, practica, and other applied experiences, offering opportunities to accumulate required post-degree clinical hours, prepare for the EPPP, and solidify professional identity as an independent professional psychologist.
As scholars of science, postdocs use scientific information collected from supervision and other learning experiences to contextualize and inform their professional practice. As practitioners, postdocs apply critical thinking with scientific principles to their professional practice by gathering data, formulating conceptualizations and testing hypotheses, controlling variables to account for change, examining the efficacy of psychological services, evaluating outcomes, and considering theories and assumptions of the diversity of human experience.
Although the integration of science and practice is complex and challenging, postdocs are exposed to supervisory role models who exemplify balance of this professional identity. Accordingly, scholarly learning occurs via experiential, consultative, and didactic methods under intensive supervision, and postdocs develop and practice these skills in a supportive learning environment. This environment facilitates the postdoc’s transition in professional identity from intern to entry-level psychologist.
MHS is committed to diversity and the richness of human differences, to provide postdocs with role models from diverse backgrounds, and to maintain an inclusive and welcoming climate for all. Our training mission highlights that staff and postdocs are treated with respect and valued across all individual and cultural differences. Policies, procedures, activities, relationships, and interactions with individuals and groups whom we serve are consistent with this value.
Multicultural competence is a core goal and expectation of the postdoctoral training program. Postdocs will be able to demonstrate cultural competence in service delivery to clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Individual and group supervision are designed to facilitate postdoc exploration of assumptions and biases and their influence on clinical practice. Postdocs work with clients from diverse backgrounds, and as a result develop self-awareness, appreciation of differences, and understanding of the different sociocultural contexts in which people live.
In summary, the model of training of our postdoc program reflects a belief that a competent practitioner-scholar must have a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles of the professional practice of psychology and the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical and cultural contexts. Postdocs socialized within the practitioner-scholar model of training at MHS will have the skills and experiences to work in a variety of applied and clinical settings, including college, community, and behavioral mental health.