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Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship

UHS Mental Health Services postdoctoral training program provides a comprehensive experience within a practitioner-scholar model of training to facilitate each postdocs’ development as an independent professional psychologist. Our unique program offers generalist training with traditional college mental health service delivery experiences, as well as advanced training in one of four clinical specialty emphasis areas (i.e., behavioral health, group counseling and program development, assessment, and supervision and training). Program flexibility allows postdocs to individualize their experiences and integrate these experiences with past training to solidify their professional identities as psychologists.

Learning occurs in a supportive, collegial, multidisciplinary, multicultural environment that provides a balance of service delivery with supervision and autonomy. Postdocs receive weekly individual and group supervision by experienced multidisciplinary senior staff, including psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and other specialized health care professionals. UHS is committed to diversity and to providing an environment that supports individual and cultural similarities and differences.

UHS provides an integrated model of medical and counseling care, as well as wellness services and prevention programs aimed to create a healthy campus climate. Services provided at MHS include multiculturally-competent crisis intervention, behavioral health, psychiatry, individual and group counseling, assessment, stress management, yoga, meditation, and healthy eating services.

Postdocs provide at least 20 hours/week of service delivery, which can also include behavioral health, outreach/consultation/liaison to a campus program, and group counseling. Postdocs also spend up to six hours per week (300 total hours) in an emphasis area, which often includes service delivery. This is a unique dimension of our training program, such that postdocs develop particular experience in a content area (i.e., behavioral health, group counseling and program development, assessment, or supervision and training).

Application Deadline

Please submit applications electronically by Friday, January 10, 2020.

Applications will be reviewed after January 10 by the selection committee, who will then contact select applicants to schedule phone interviews.

Please contact Jeff Hird, PhD, at jhird@wisc.edu for additional questions.

Jeffrey S. Hird, PhD, Postdoc Program Coordinator

Application & Selection Process

The selection process occurs in January and February and is conducted by the Postdoc Program Coordinator, training staff, and current postdocs. Current postdocs participate in the applicant interview phase of the selection process, and field questions from applicants about the program and their experiences.

 Requirements

  • Completion of an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship program. Internship must be completed no later than July 31 to start the fellowship on August 1.
  • Strong interest in providing brief intermittent multiculturally-competent counseling to a diverse college student population.
  • Demonstrated experience in college mental health, as indicated by at least one supervised practicum, internship, or other work experience in a college student mental health setting.

Our selection committee seeks applicants who meet the application requirements, and who ideally have both college and community mental health experiences. An ideal applicant will also demonstrate experience in brief individual and group therapy, behavioral health, triage, case management, campus-based services, providing supervision, and multidisciplinary consultation.

A successful candidate must demonstrate strong interest in and experience with college mental health, ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, and desire to serve a diverse student population.

Required Application Materials

  • Cover letter describing your interest, fit with the program, and rank order of your top four areas of emphasis
  • Curriculum vita which includes your anticipated graduation date
  • Two letters of reference from those who are knowledgeable about your clinical experience

Application Deadline

Please submit applications electronically by Friday, January 10, 2020.

Applications will be reviewed after January 10 by the selection committee, who will then contact select applicants to schedule phone interviews.

Please contact Jeff Hird, PhD, at jhird@wisc.edu for additional questions.

Postdoc Training Information

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.

MHS offers postdocs the education, training, and experiential preparation they need to succeed in their professional practice of psychology. Within the context of the practitioner-scholar model, MHS’s goals are to produce entry-level psychologists who:

  1. Practice from a consolidation of core professional competencies
  2. Apply the cultural competence that underlies professional psychology
  3. Demonstrate ethical principles and practice
  4. Develop a professional identity as a psychologist

These goals are accomplished by providing postdocs with individual and group supervision, consultation with senior staff, and other training experiences where they deliver psychological services (e.g., assessment, intervention, and consultation) to diverse client populations. MHS postdocs receive a broad range of professional learning experiences in several domains of knowledge and practice.

The foundation of the postdoc experience is guided by a set of competencies, such that postdocs will demonstrate clinical and professional competence when they complete their postdoc experience. These competencies are based on the competency benchmarks in professional psychology first described by Fouad et al. (2009) and reframed by Hatcher et al. (2013). These competencies also serve as the framework for postdoc evaluation.

Foundational Competencies

Professionalism

  • Professional Values and Attitudes: as evidenced in behavior and comportment that reflects the values and attitudes of psychology.
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity: Awareness, sensitivity and skills in working professionally with diverse individuals, groups and communities who represent various cultural and personal background and characteristics defined broadly and consistent with APA policy.
  • Ethical Legal Standards and Policy: Application of ethical concepts and awareness of legal issues regarding professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations.
  • Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care: Practice conducted with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection; with awareness of competencies; with appropriate self-care.

Relationships

Relate effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups, and/or communities.

Science

  • Scientific Knowledge and Methods: Understanding of research, research methodology, techniques of data collection and analysis, biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, and development across the lifespan. Respect for scientifically derived knowledge.
  • Research/Evaluation: Generating research that contributes to the professional knowledge base and/or evaluates the effectiveness of various professional activities.

Application

  • Evidence-Based Practice: Integration of research and clinical expertise in the context of patient factors.
  • Assessment: Assessment and diagnosis of problems, capabilities and issues associated with individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
  • Intervention: Interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
  • Consultation: Consultation: The ability to provide expert guidance or professional assistance in response to a client’s needs or goals.

Education

  • Teaching: Providing instruction, disseminating knowledge, and evaluating acquisition of knowledge and skill in professional psychology.
  • Supervision: Supervision and training in the professional knowledge base of enhancing and monitoring the professional functioning of others.

Systems

  • Interdisciplinary Systems: Knowledge of key issues and concepts in related disciplines.  Identify and interact with professionals in multiple disciplines.
  • Management-Administration: Manage the direct delivery of services (DDS) and/or the administration of organizations, programs, or agencies (OPA).
  • Advocacy: Actions targeting the impact of social, political, economic or cultural factors to promote change at the individual (client), institutional, and/or systems level.

The postdoctoral fellowship at MHS has a strong emphasis on service delivery. In addition, postdocs may have opportunities to participate in assessment (e.g., substance abuse, ADHD, personality, and/or eating disorder assessments), research, consultation and liaison development, Let’s Talk, interdisciplinary collaboration, and wellness/positive psychology consultations. A sample of a postdoc’s typical weekly schedule is below. Postdocs’ schedules will vary, however, depending on their choices of different service delivery options, choice of emphasis area, as well as agency need and resources. The opportunity to work until 7:00 on Mondays and Tuesdays provides some scheduling flexibility.

Direct Clinical Service (60%) Hours
Individual counseling 12-13
Group counseling (2-3 groups) 4-6
On-Call/triage 2
Behavioral health (optional) 2
Outreach/consultation/liaison (optional) 2
Let’s Talk (optional) 2
Subtotal 20.5
Supervision
Individual (clinical) 1.5
Individual (emphasis area) 0.5
Group (with other postdocs) 1
Subtotal 3
Administrative Activities
Documentation/paperwork/case notes 7
Staff meeting 1
Team Meeting 1
Steering committee 0.5
Professional development 1
Subtotal 10.5

In collaboration with the Postdoc Program Coordinator, postdocs may develop and/or select an emphasis area designed to deepen clinical or professional knowledge and skills. Six hours/week (300 hours/year) are designated for emphasis training. Three of the emphasis areas involve about 4 hours/week of additional direct service (the supervision and training emphasis does not). Weekly supervision of the emphasis area is provided by a licensed professional. Below are examples of how emphasis areas may be operationalized.

Behavioral Health

  • Provide behavioral health services in primary care, including service delivery to students and consults with primary care providers
  • Co-facilitate parts of the Intern Behavioral Health Seminar
  • Participate in weekly BH consultation meetings
  • Participate on Behavioral Health Project Team

Group Counseling and Program Development

  • Co-facilitate at least two groups per semester (interpersonal process, support, psychoeducational, or wellness)
  • Co-facilitate group therapy supervision for practicum students
  • Receive supervision from Group Program Coordinator (learn about administrative aspects of developing and running an effective group program in a university setting)
  • Participate on Group Steering Committee

Assessment

  • Co-facilitate parts of the Intern Assessment Seminar
  • Provide brief assessments with the purpose of supporting ongoing treatment and/or guiding treatment planning
  • Provide consultation about diagnosis and case conceptualization
  • Write reports within agency’s context
  • Apply a collaborative/therapeutic assessment model for a subset of clients
  • Respond to common assessment questions including ADHD screenings, autism spectrum screenings, mood disorder differential diagnosis, and psychosis differential diagnosis

Supervision and Training

  • Co-coordinate (with Practicum Coordinator) in-service training for practicum students
  • Co-facilitate Intern Supervision of Supervision Seminar
  • Participate on Training Steering Committee
  • Assist and Co-facilitate Postdoc, Internship, and/or Practicum Selection Processes
  • Shadow Director of Training to learn role and responsibilities of position
  • Assist development of outcome data for annual reports

The postdoctoral program at MHS provides postdocs with opportunities to participate in supervisory experiences, didactic training, campus-based consultation and outreach experiences, behavioral health, as well as case conferences and staff development activities as part of their training. In addition, postdocs receive supervision in different contexts (e.g., individual, group), and have opportunities to learn from different staff members about their approaches to clinical and consultation work at a university counseling center.

Orientation

The first two weeks of the fellowship are designed to familiarize postdocs with the daily operation of MHS and UHS, and to facilitate transition to Madison and UW–Madison. A major focus of orientation is for postdocs to get to know MHS staff and supervisors, to feel a part of the agency, and to begin to develop individual schedules. Postdocs are introduced to different MHS functions, including campus-based services, psychiatry, administrative support, triage services, behavioral health, and Let’s Talk. In addition, postdocs are provided with didactic training, including sessions on initial consultation and assessment, crisis assessment and intervention, as well as risk assessment and legal and ethical issues. Postdocs also visit and learn about campus and student services at UW-Madison.

Individual Counseling

UW–Madison students are eligible for individual and couples counseling at Mental Health Services. Staff work in a short-term (10-sessions/year, 20 sessions/degree) intermittent model of service delivery.

Group Counseling

MHS offers numerous groups over the year, including interpersonal process, support/theme (e.g., LGBTQ support, adult children of alcoholics, grief), and psycho-educational (e.g., mindfulness for anxiety, social skills, DBT) groups. All of these groups are co-facilitated.

On Call Coverage

Postdocs currently provide two hours/week of on call/triage coverage. Students can “drop-in” and meet with an on call/triage provider for a brief consultation. Students discuss their concerns, and then are assigned internally (e.g., 60-minute scheduled consultation/intake or single session appointment) or referred out.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral health providers (BHPs) work with medical providers and students to consider the physical, emotional, and behavioral aspects of health and determine therapeutic courses of action. BHPs help students develop behavioral change plans for tobacco cessation, weight loss, alcohol use, exercise or other lifestyle modifications. BHPs also help develop skills to effectively manage emotional or behavioral difficulties such as stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, anger, and relationship problems.

Outreach/Consultation/Liaison

Postdocs can establish a liaison relationship with a UW-Madison department, student service organization, or campus group. Postdocs are consultants and provide presentations/workshops on mental health topics for students or staff within the organization they work with. Postdocs participate in at least four outreach requests for programming throughout the year.

Let’s Talk

Let’s Talk are no-cost, informal, drop-in confidential consultations at locations around campus that are available to students throughout the academic year. Let’s Talk counselors can help provide insight, support, and information about other resources. Let’s Talk is not a substitute for formal counseling and doesn’t constitute mental health treatment, but gives students an opportunity to address concerns, explore solutions, and understand how counseling might be helpful.

Team meeting

Postdocs meet weekly with staff in one of several teams to consult about on-call service delivery, challenging clinical experiences, treatment plan options, and personal or professional development.

Staff meeting

All MHS staff meets weekly to talk about the agency, including service delivery, training considerations, counseling center partnerships, and self-care. Professional development training opportunities are provided to all staff once a month. Past trainings include multicultural counseling, DSM-5, multicultural supervision, threat assessment, and sex therapy.

Committees

Postdocs can participate on one of several steering committees that meet throughout the year. Committees include Training, Campus-Based Services, Professional Development, Quality Improvement, Technology, and Clinical Services. Additional UHS committees include Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity and Healthy Eating Services.

Supervisory Assignments

At the beginning of the year, supervisory assignments are made by the Postdoc Coordinator and the supervisory staff. Prior to the beginning of the fellowship year, each postdoc is asked to submit a written statement about their goals and needs in supervision, including but not limited to theoretical orientation and supervisory style. These written statements are used by the supervisory staff to make initial supervisory assignments. Multiple factors are considered, including the postdoc’s skill level, theoretical orientation, training needs, goals and interests, as well as the interests, strengths, skills and preferences of supervisory staff.

Individual Supervision

Intensive individual supervision is provided throughout the postdoctoral year and is considered a core component of training. In supervision, postdocs receive support for their growth and development as professional psychologists as well as ongoing feedback regarding their strengths, goals for training and areas for improvement. Supervisory functions include monitoring client welfare, promoting and enhancing clinical and consultation skills, encouraging personal and professional growth and evaluating postdoc progress in each of these areas. The supervisory relationship is a core aspect of each postdoc’s training experience during the postdoctoral year.

Postdocs receive 2.0 hours/week of individual supervision, 1.5 hours/week with a psychologist and .5 hours/week with the emphasis area supervisor. Additional consultation is arranged on an as-needed basis. Supervisors are responsible for overseeing each postdoc’s individual client caseloads. Supervisors are available for consultation with supervisees at times other than regularly scheduled supervision times.

Individual Emphasis Area Supervision

Postdocs experience .5 hours/week of individual supervision related to their emphasis area. Supervision is provided by senior staff dependent on the emphasis area (i.e., behavioral health, group counseling and program development, assessment, and supervision and training).

Group Supervision

Each postdoc also participates in 1 hour/week of group supervision with a two psychologists and the other members of the postdoc cohort. Group supervision is an opportunity to present and review individual cases, to process feelings and reactions, and to seek consultation and feedback.

Supervision of Group

Postdocs meet with their group co-facilitators to debrief for 30 minutes after each weekly group session. Topics of conversation include dynamics of individual group members and the group process, administrative considerations, and roles and processes of the group co-facilitators.

The primary mission of the MHS postdoctoral training program is to offer advanced professional training for postdoctoral fellows. The program includes the following characteristics:

  • Postdocs are expected to participate in at least 20.5 hours/week of service delivery, approximately 13 hours of which will be individual counseling.
  • Each postdoc will receive at least 2.0 hours of individual supervision/week.
  • Postdocs are expected to receive satisfactory performance evaluations on the Postdoc Evaluation Form as completed by their supervisors. Satisfactory performance is defined as an evaluation of 3 or higher on all dimensions of a particular competency. An evaluation below 3 on a competency dimension may require remediation, additional supervision, or application of the UHS due process procedures.

Evaluation Procedures

Evaluation is an important and integral part of the training experience. The MHS training staff is committed to providing ongoing feedback and evaluation of postdocs’ performance in order to facilitate professional growth and development. Postdocs also informally evaluate their supervisors and the postdoctoral program throughout the year, and more formally every six months.

Evaluation of postdocs begins during the orientation period when each postdoc and supervisor review the evaluation form and establish priorities for supervision, identify specific interests, training needs, and training goals and objectives. Postdocs receive informal feedback regarding their progress during regularly scheduled individual supervision sessions such that feedback and discussion are an ongoing process throughout supervision.

Formal written evaluations are completed quarterly by supervisors and are then submitted to the Postdoc Program Coordinator and Director of Training. Strengths, areas for growth, and specific suggestions for the postdoc’s further professional training are identified and recorded in these evaluations. Written evaluations are discussed and signed by both supervisor and postdoc. The evaluations are reviewed by the Director of Training and then placed in the postdoc’s personnel file.

Evaluation of the Training Program

Postdocs provide informal feedback about the training program throughout the fellowship year. Special requests, recommendations, or suggestions may be addressed with a supervising staff member, the postdoc’s supervisor, the Postdoc Program Coordinator, or the Director of Training. In addition, the following procedures are in place to ensure that postdocs’ concerns and needs are addressed.

  • Postdocs formally evaluate their supervisors in writing every six months with the Evaluation of Supervision Form.
  • At the end of the training year, postdocs evaluate in writing all aspects of the postdoctoral experience with the Final Evaluation of Postdoctoral Training Program. This evaluation focuses on specific areas of strength and weakness of the program, including suggestions for improvement. Postdocs’ evaluations are reviewed by the Postdoc Program Coordinator and the Director of Training and are used to explore and implement appropriate changes in the program as appropriate.

Final Evaluation of Postdoctoral Fellowship (Document)
Postdoctoral Fellowship Quarterly Evaluation (Document)
Postdoctoral Fellow Evaluation of Supervision (Document)
Postdoctoral Fellow-Supervisor Supervision contract (Document).

In order to successfully complete the training program, each postdoc must meet the following exit criteria:

  1. Commit no ethical violations.
  2. Complete at least 25% (500 hours) of face-to-face client contact.
  3. Demonstrate minimal competence in foundational and functional competencies identified on the Final Postdoc Evaluation. In particular, postdocs will have:
    1. Received a rating of “3” or “competence at expected level of development” or higher by individual supervisors on the Postdoc Evaluation Form for identified competencies by the end of the postdoctoral fellowship.
    2. Received a rating of “3” or “competence at expected level of development” or higher by group supervisor on the Postdoc Evaluation Form for identified competencies by the end of the postdoctoral fellowship.
  4. Complete all written documentation, including scheduled consultations, progress notes, and closing summaries.
  5. Complete and submit the following to the Postdoc Program Coordinator:
    1. All Postdoc Evaluation Forms
    2. All Supervisor Evaluation Forms
    3. Final Evaluation of Postdoctoral Fellowship
    4. Log of hours accumulated over the year (i.e., four three-month logs)
  6. Complete the exit interview with the Director of Training.

Postdocs who successfully complete all 2000 hours of the fellowship will receive a “Certificate of Completion” at the end of the year.

The fellowship is a 100% fixed-term 2000-hour appointment with a full-time equivalent annual salary of $38,000 plus group health insurance and life insurance. Additional benefits include 192 personal time off (PTO) hours (24 days total), legal holidays observed during the year, a technologically-equipped office, and other university privileges. Postdocs can also take up to 10 days to use as professional development, which includes time to study for the EPPP, attend conferences, or interview for jobs. Flex time may also be accumulated by postdocs who are engaged in direct service activities that require attending after-hours campus events as a UHS representative (e.g., LGBTCC graduation, Red Folder presentation). Postdocs also receive $600 for professional development monies. This is a 12-month 2000-hour (40 hours/week) full-time fellowship that begins August 1 and ends July 31 of the following year.

UHS promotes a work and service environment that is respectful of each customer and employee, and free of harassment of any kind. Each employee shares this responsibility. UHS provides reasonable accommodation for qualified employees with disabilities.

ALL NEW EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN ARE REQUIRED TO SUCCESSFULLY PASS THE STATE OF WISCONSIN’S BACKGROUND INFORMATION DISCLOSURE AS A CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT.

2019–20 Postdoctoral Residents

headshots of the four new postdoctoral residents

Postdoctoral residents, from left to right: Kallie Kobold, PysD, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology; Jamie Welch, PhD, University of Maryland; Corinne Werner, PsyD, Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Kathy Wierzchowski, PhD, Purdue University