Postdoctoral Psychology Residency Training Program
UHS Mental Health Services postdoctoral training program provides a comprehensive experience within a practitioner-scholar model of training that will facilitate postdocs’ development as independent professional psychologists. Our unique program offers generalist training with traditional counseling center service delivery experiences, as well as advanced training in one of several clinical specialty areas (behavioral health, group counseling and program development, campus-based services, and supervision and training). Program flexibility allows trainees 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 licensed psychologists and other multidisciplinary senior staff, including psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and other specialized staff. UHS is committed to diversity and to providing an environment that supports individual and cultural similarities and differences.
Mental Health Services provides an integrated model of medical and counseling care, as well as wellness services and prevention programs aimed to create a healthy campus climate. Program services include: crisis intervention, behavioral health, psychiatry, multiculturally-competent counseling, group counseling, stress management, yoga, meditation, and healthy eating services.
- At least 24 hours/week of service delivery, which can include scheduled consultations
- Four-hour triage/on call or behavioral health shifts
- Consultation/liaison to a campus program
- Individual, group, and couples counseling. At least 13 hours/week will be individual counseling.
Postdocs also spend up to six hours per week (300 total hours) in a specialty area, which often includes service delivery. Further, the fellowship offers the possibility of teaching an academic course in an area of professional interest through the Department of Counseling Psychology.
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 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 culturally-competent, clinically-skilled, and ethically-sound psychologist.
Mental Health Services is committed to diversity and the richness of human differences, to provide postdocs with role models from diverse backgrounds, and to provide 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 sensitivity and competence in service delivery to clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Supervision and other training activities are designed to facilitate postdoc exploration of assumptions and biases and their influence on clinical practice. Postdocs are exposed to diverse clients and develop self-awareness, appreciation of differences, and understanding of the different sociocultural contexts in which people live.
In summary, the model of training at Mental Health Services 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 Mental Health Services will have the skills and experiences to work in a variety of applied and clinical settings, including college, community, and behavioral mental health.
Goals & objectives
Mental Health Services 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, Mental Health Services’ goals are to produce entry-level psychologists who:
- Practice from a consolidation of core professional competencies
- Apply the cultural competence that underlies professional psychology
- Demonstrate ethical principles and practice
- Develop a professional identity as a psychologist
These goals are accomplished by providing postdocs with individual and group supervision, didactic and experiential seminars, consultation with senior staff, and other training experiences where they deliver psychological services (e.g., assessment, intervention, and consultation) to diverse client populations. Mental Health Services postdocs receive a broad range of professional learning experiences in several domains of knowledge and practice.
The foundation of the postdoc experience at Mental Health Services is guided by a set of competencies, such that Mental Health Services 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.
- Professional values and attitudes: Postdocs will integrate a professional identity such that their behavior and comportment reflects the values and ethics of psychology, integrity, and responsibility.
- Individual and Cultural Diversity: Postdocs will be aware (of self and others), knowledgeable (of self and others), and skilled in their work with culturally-diverse individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Ethical Legal Standards and Policy: Postdocs will apply ethical concepts and an awareness of legal issues in their professional activities with individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Reflective Practice/Self-Assessment/Self-Care-Practice: Postdocs will demonstrate personal and professional self-awareness and self-reflection in their professional practice.
Postdocs will relate effectively and meaningfully with individuals, groups and/or communities.
- Scientific Knowledge and Methods: Postdocs will understand the foundations and methods of research, including research methodology, techniques of data collection and analysis, empirically-supported research, and biological, cognitive, and affective bases of behavior.
- Research/Evaluation: Postdocs will generate research that contributes to professional knowledge and/or evaluate the effectiveness of various professional activities.
- Evidence-Based Practice: Postdocs will integrate research and clinical expertise in the context of client factors.
- Assessment: Postdocs will assess, diagnose, and evaluate problems, capabilities, and issues associated with individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Intervention: Postdocs will select and implement interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Consultation: Postdocs will provide expert guidance or professional assistance to individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Teaching: Postdocs will provide instruction, disseminate knowledge, and evaluate acquisition of knowledge and skill in professional psychology.
- Supervision: Postdocs will demonstrate a professional knowledge base of enhancing and monitoring the professional functioning of others.
- Interdisciplinary Systems: Postdocs will become skilled members of an interdisciplinary team and effectively collaborate with professionals from other disciplines.
- Management-administration: Postdocs will manage the direct delivery of services to individuals, groups, and/or organizations.
- Advocacy: Postdocs will engage in actions that promote social, political, economic, and/or cultural changes in individuals, institutions, and/or systems.
The postdoctoral fellowship at Mental Health Services has a strong emphasis on service delivery (i.e., individual counseling, group counseling, and mental health triage). In addition, postdocs may have opportunities to participate in substance abuse and eating disorder assessments, research, consultation and liaison development, the Let’s Talk program, interdisciplinary collaboration, and wellness/positive psychology consultations. A sample of a postdoc’s typical weekly schedule for Fall/Spring is below. Postdocs’ schedules will vary, however, depending on their choices of different service delivery options, choice of specialty area, as well as agency need and resources.
|Direct Clinical Service (65%)||Hours|
|Triage or Behavioral Health||4|
|Group counseling (2-3 groups) (optional)||4-6|
|Supervision of practicum student (optional)||2|
|Let’s Talk (optional)||2|
|Specialty area (optional)||4|
|Individual (specialty area) (optional)||0.5|
|Group (with other postdoc)||1|
|Supervision of Supervision (optional)||0.5|
In collaboration with the Postdoc Program Coordinator, postdocs may develop and/or select a specialty areas designed to deepen clinical or professional knowledge and skills. Six hours/week (300 hours/year) are designated for specialty training. Often the specialty areas involve direct service. Weekly supervision of the specialty area is provided by a licensed professional. Below are examples of how specialty areas may be operationalized over the year.
- Participate in Behavioral Health Seminar
- Participate in Behavioral Health Project Team
- Provide behavioral health services
- Provide wellness services
Group Counseling and Program Development
- Co-lead at least two Interpersonal Process Groups per semester
- Co-lead a support/psycho-educational group
- Participate in weekly Group Seminar
- Supervision with Group Program leader(s) to learn about administrative aspects of developing and running an effective group program in a university setting.
- Co-facilitate the Campus-based Services Seminar
- Serve as a Health Ambassador to campus partner(s) (e.g., Multicultural Student Center, LGBTQ Campus Center)
- Develop and provide programming to campus community
- Advise student organizations (e.g., Active Minds, Suicide Prevention, NAMI) on campus
- Provide consultation to students at Let’s Talk
- Participate in Diversity Dialogues on campus
Supervision and Training
- Co-coordinate In-Service Training Program for practicum students
- Coordinate professional development for staff
- Shadow Director of Training to learn role and responsibilities of position
- Participate on Training Committee
- Assist and Co-facilitate Postdoc Selection Process
- Assist development of outcome data for annual report
The postdoctoral program at Mental Health Services provides postdocs with opportunities to participate in supervisory experiences, didactic training, consultation and outreach experiences, 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 engage in several training seminars. Additional learning experiences offer postdocs opportunities to learn from different staff members about their approaches to clinical and consultation work at a university counseling center.
Individual and Couples Counseling
UW-Madison students are eligible for individual and couples counseling at Mental Health Services. Staff work in a short-term (10-sessions/year) intermittent model of service delivery.
Mental Health Services 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. Typically, postdocs also facilitate a weekly resilience group during the fall or spring semester, which is a CBT-, DBT-, or ACT-themed group that provides additional counseling support to students.
Postdocs provide four hours/week of triage or on-call coverage. Students can “drop-in” and meet with a triage provider for a brief consultation. Students discuss their concerns, and then can either be assigned internally (e.g., 60-minute scheduled consultation/intake appointment) or referred out.
Postdocs 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 also respond to other outreach requests for programming throughout the year.
Postdocs may provide 2 hours/week of supervision to a practicum student from the Department of Counseling Psychology. Focus of supervision includes client conceptualization, treatment planning, dynamics in the therapeutic process, administration, and personal and professional development.
Postdocs have the opportunity to teach one of several academic courses offered through the Department of Counseling Psychology. Courses include stress reduction/relaxation, career strategies, transition to college, and wellness.
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.
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 fellow 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 three-year post-licensure psychologist and .5 hours/week with the specialization area supervisor. (In order to satisfy licensing requirements across different states, postdocs receive at least 2 hours/week of individual supervision from a supervisor who is three-years post-licensure.) 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 Specialty Area Supervision
Postdocs experience .5 hours/week of individual supervision related to their specialty area. Supervision is provided by one senior staff dependent on the specialty area (i.e., behavioral health, group counseling and program development, campus-based services, supervision and training).
Each postdoc also participates in 1 hour/week of group supervision with a three-year postlicensure psychologist and the other postdoc. 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 Group Seminar is 1.5 hours/week, and offers consultation and supervision on current groups, didactic instruction on group issues, and/or other group professional development topics.
Supervision of supervision seminar
Supervision of supervision occurs for 1 hour every other week, and is devoted to didactics, supervision, administrative issues, and professional development relative to postdocs’ roles as supervisors to practicum students.
The first two weeks of the fellowship are designed to familiarize postdocs with the daily operation of Mental Health Services and University Health Services and to facilitate transition to Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A major focus of orientation is for postdocs to get to know Mental Health Services staff and supervisors, to feel a part of the agency, and to begin to develop individual schedules. Postdocs are introduced to different Mental Health Services 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.
Postdocs meet weekly with staff in one of several case conference groups to consult about challenging clinical experiences, treatment plan options, and personal or professional development. Available consultation groups include general case consultation, healthy eating, psychiatry, Let's Talk, and behavioral health.
All Mental Health Services staff meets weekly to engage in conversations about agency issues. Each meeting begins with a brief wellness activity, followed by staff acknowledgements and appreciations, and then administrative items and topics are discussed.
Postdocs can participate on one of several committees that meet throughout the year. Committees include the Research, Training, Behavioral Health, Equity & Diversity, Quality Management & Improvement, Campus-Based Services, and Healthy Eating Services.
Professional development training opportunities are provided to all staff once a month. Past trainings include multicultural counseling, DSM-V primer, multicultural supervision, threat assessment, and sex therapy.
Expectations & evaluations
The primary mission of the Mental Health Services postdoctoral training program is to offer advanced professional training for postdoctoral fellows. The program includes the following characteristics:
- Postdocs are expected to participate in 24 hours/week of service delivery, 13 hours of which will be individual counseling.
- Postdocs are expected to participate in seminars and other training experiences that are an integral part of their training experience.
- 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 is an important and integral part of the training experience. The Mental Health Services 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 fellow 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.
In order to successfully complete the training program, each postdoc must meet the following exit criteria:
- Commit no ethical violations.
- Complete at least 25% (500 hours) of face-to-face client contact.
- Demonstrate minimal competence in foundational and functional competencies identified on the Final Postdoc Evaluation. In particular, postdocs will have:
- 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
- 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
- Complete all written documentation, including scheduled consultations, progress notes, and closing summaries.
- Complete and submit the following to the Postdoc Coordinator:
- All Postdoc Evaluation Forms
- All Supervisor Evaluation Forms
- Final Evaluation of Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Log of hours accumulated over the year (i.e., four three-month logs)
- 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.
Salary & benefits
The fellowship is a 100% fixed-term 2000-hour appointment with a full-time equivalent annual salary of $35,000 plus group health insurance and life insurance. Additional benefits include 10 vacation, sick, or personal days, legal holidays observed during the M-F work week, 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.
University Health Services 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. University Health Services 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.
Application & selection
The selection process for new postdocs takes place 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 also field questions from applicants about the training program and their experiences.
- Must have completed all requirements for doctoral degree from an APA-accredited institution in clinical or counseling psychology, including dissertation, by June 1. Applicants must provide documented verification of completion of all doctoral program 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 described above, 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 serving a diverse student population.
Required Application Materials
- Cover letter describing your interest, fit with the program, and rank order of your top four specialty areas
- Curriculum vita which includes your anticipated graduation date
- Two letters of reference from those who are knowledgeable about your clinical experience
Please submit applications electronically in a single Word or .pdf file by January 16, 2017 to:
Beth Galantha, Medical Program Assistant
Counseling and Consultation Services
University of Wisconsin-Madison
333 E. Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53715-1381
Applications will be reviewed after January 9th by the selection committee, who will then contact select applicants to schedule phone or Skype interviews.