Postdoctoral Fellowship in College Mental Health - Westchester Campuses

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP IN COLLEGE MENTAL HEALTH
Westchester Campuses

 Introduction

The Counseling and Personal Development Center at Pace University, Westchester Campuses, offers both a postdoctoral fellowship and, if circumstances permit, a predoctoral externship program in professional psychology. Trainees are considered part of the staff and perform, under supervision, many of the functions of the senior psychologists on staff. In addition to providing excellent training for those who wish to pursue a career within a University Counseling Center, our setting also provides clinical training for graduate students seeking to pursue other career paths.  A particular strength of our training program is our ability to offer fellows the opportunity to engage clients in short term and longer term psychotherapy.


Training Site and Population

The Pace University Counseling and Personal Development Center, Westchester Campuses, is located on the Pleasantville campus (50 minutes north of New York City) and serves the Pleasantville and White Plains campuses, providing services to graduate and undergraduate students, as well as consultation to staff and faculty.

The student, staff, and faculty population at Pace University is diverse in terms of ethnic background, age, and socioeconomic status. Clients who utilize our services exhibit a wide range of psychopathology ranging from adjustment difficulties and test anxiety to psychosis and major depression. Anxiety, depression, interpersonal difficulties, and substance abuse are among the most frequent presenting problems. The main aim of the Center is to encourage members of the University community to reach their desired academic, intellectual, social and personal developmental goals.


The Staff

The staff of the Center utilizes a variety of theoretical orientations and represents a wide range of interests which include the following: group psychotherapy; alcohol/substance assessment; clinical hypnosis; bereavement and loss; attachment, intimacy, identity, and separation/individuation issues; stress and anxiety management; working with ethnically diverse populations; and disability accommodation issues. Staff members share a commitment to training and all contribute to the trainees' personal and professional development.

In addition to providing psychological services and supervision to trainees, staff members serve as consultants to faculty and administrative staff at the University. Consultations could involve dialogue about a distressed student, outreach programming, training seminars, or participation on a University-wide task force.

Rosa B. Ament, Ph.D.
Director of Counseling Services
Counseling, St. John's University
Advanced Training/Supervision, Milton H. Erickson Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis

Andrea M. Winters, M.A., M.Ed.
Associate Director of Operations
Alcohol and Other Drug Specialist
Counseling Psychology, Teacher's College, Columbia University

Amanda Michael, Psy.D., LADC, CGP
Assistant Director and Director of Clinical Training
Clinical Psychology, Antioch New England Graduate School

Lauren Saler, Psy.D.
Assistant Directo and Senior Staff Psychologist
Clinical Psychology, Yeshiva University Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology

Mariesa Cruz-Tillery, Ph.D.
Staff Psychologist and Coordinator of Outreach
Counseling Psychology, Temple University

JR Lombardo, LCSW
Clinical Care Referral Coordinator
Group Supervisor
Social work, New York University

Elisse M. Geberth
Coordinator of Disability Services
Human Relations, Pace University

Ilene Zwirn, M.D.
Consulting Psychiatrist
Hahnemann University School of Medicine

Noboko Meaders, CSW
Psychological Consultant
Social Work, University of Texas, Arlington


The Fellowship Training Program

Fellows have the opportunity to receive training and experience in the following areas:

  • Intake Interviewing and Assessment
  • Psychotherapy (including brief and longer term cases)
  • Psychoeducation
  • Disability Accommodation Evaluation
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Outreach Programming
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Assessments
  • Consultation
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Ethical and Professional Issues

Our training environment strongly encourages and supports trainees pursuing particular areas of interest and/or expertise which coincide with our Counseling Center mission and goals. In the past, for instance, trainees have developed programs or specialties in various areas, including peer education, international student outreach, and program evaluation and assessment. In addition to the Specialty Rotations detailed below, fellows are encouraged to identify and develop areas of interest that are appropriate to our University population. These might include multicultural/racial and ethnic diversity issues or sports psychology, to name a few.

Individual Psychotherapy

Fellows ongoing case loads average 12 hours per/week. Every effort is made to assign trainees a broad range of patients, providing them with the opportunity to employ a wide range of clinical methods. Although most cases are considered short-term, trainees are also assigned cases that will enable them to gain experience in longer-term psychotherapy.

Group Psychotherapy

Fellows are involved in our group therapy program and have opportunities to participate as a co-leader of our psychotherapy groups. There are also opportunities to develop new groups. 

Crisis Intervention

When students come to the Center in crisis, fellows may be called upon to meet with them, assess the circumstances, and determine the best course of action. Senior staff will be available at these times for immediate supervision and feedback if needed. In addition, fellows will be responsible for after-hour beeper duty approximately every six weeks. Fellows rotate this responsibility with senior staff and will always have senior staff back-up should this be needed. Beeper duty entails phone consultations in case of after-hour campus emergencies in the dorms or classrooms. Fellows begin their beeper rotation after training in crisis intervention with senior staff.

Specialty Rotations

Under the supervision of Dr. Ament, fellows may participate in one of two speciality rotations throughout the course of the training year which are described below. Fellows will be asked to rank order their preference of rotations before the start of the training year and Dr. Ament will consider preferences when making these assignments.

  • Alcohol and Other Drug Services Rotation (AOD)

In this rotation, Andrea Winters, M.A., M.Ed provides training in the Alcohol and Other Drug Limited Assessment process in which the fellow learns to conduct individual assessments related to Alcohol and other Drug referrals, facilitate Alcohol and Other Drug assessment groups and make recommendations that are appropriate for students regarding further AOD services. In addition, fellows also have the opportunity to facilitate the "Drinking Game" in U101 classes and through other campus groups and organizations. “The Drinking Game” is a creative, fun, interactive game created by Andrea Winters, M.A., M.Ed. as an innovative education and prevention tool for the University student population. 

  • Disability Services

In this rotation, Elisse Geberth provides education and training in the process of assisting students with disabilities in the college environment. The fellow has the opportunity to assist students with disabilities to obtain the services needed to support the achievement of their academic potential. Fellows meet with students, assess documentation, review cases with Ms Geberth and provide information regarding individual disabilities and the services that may be helpful in college. Services provided include determining and implementing appropriate accommodations, as well as aiding in the development of compensatory and self advocacy skills through short-term supportive interventions.

Supervision

Fellows receive at least two hours of intensive individual clinical supervision per week.  Additional supervision for group psychotherapy, as well as discussion of cases in hypnotherapy and brief relational treatment seminars, and consultations related to outreach programing are ongoing throughout the course of the training year.  In addition, fellows' participation in Case Disposition and Case Conference seminar meetings affords them the opportunity to receive feedback and supervision from the entire staff.

The supervision and training received during the Fellowship year meets psychology licensure requirements for New York State. If an applicant is interested in applying for licensure in another state, it is the individual applicant's responsibility to find out the requirements for that state and to determine whether our training experience meets those requirements.

Outreach and Consultation

Under the leadership and supervision of Dr. Cruz-Tillery, outreach programming and consultation to residential life and academic departments are a critical function of the Counseling Center. Fellows participate in consultations with students, staff, and faculty or parents who have some questions or concerns about a student.  Fellows are encouraged to take a leadership role in the coordination, development, and delivery of wellness and prevention workshops. Trainees are encouraged to develop and offer programs on topics of particular interest to them. To meet the scheduling needs of our University students, these programs are often during evening hours.

Fellows are expected to participate at least one campus-wide committee, such as the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Taskforce or Diversity Taskforce. Involvement in other campus committees is also possible. In addition, each fellow acts as a liaison and consultant to one or two dorms and sometimes to a particular school within the University (e.g. Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Law, School of Education, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Lienhard School of Nursing). In this role, they are available to the Resident Advisors, Resident Directors, staff, and faculty to discuss any issues or concerns that arise in the dorm or classroom or to schedule and present programs.

Training Seminars

During a week-long training at the beginning of the fellowship year, fellows participate in seminars led by Center staff members that are designed to orient them to our office and the clinical and other work they will be doing. Ongoing training seminars throughout the year include more focal and intensive training in several therapeutic modalities.  Our Director, Dr. Rosa Ament, facilitates a bi-monthly Hypnotherapy Training Seminar which teaches the utilization of hypnosis in stress management and the integration of hypnotic techniques into psychotherapy.    Our Director of Clinical Training, Dr. Amanda Michael, facilitates a Brief Relational Therapy seminar, which includes training in therapeutic alliance rupture resolution through the use of video tape review.  Outside experts in the fields of psychology and psychiatry also occasionally present topics of interest to the staff and our psychology trainees. Topics of past seminars have included: eating disorders; sexual abuse; psychopharmocology; applied sports psychology; bereavement and grieving; assessment and treatment of substance abuse; psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients; culture and gender issues in suicide; legal and ethical issues in psychotherapy; multiculturalism and domestic violence; Schema-Focused Therapy; Ericksonian Hypnotherapy; Klerman and Weisman's Brief Interpersonal Therapy; and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Case Conference 

Throughout the year, trainees participate in monthly Case Conferences together with senior staff.  Cases are presented by either trainees or staff and these sessions are facilitated by an outside psychoanalyst consultant, Noboko Meaders, CSW.  

Case Disposition

Each week, staff and trainees meet in a Case Disposition meeting to review recent intakes, determine disposition and develop treatment recommendations, as well as consult on ongoing cases.

Administrative Staff Meetings

Trainees also attend weekly administrative staff meetings throughout the year. These meetings are used to develop and plan all Counseling Center activities other than psychotherapy.

Process Group
The entire staff, including externs and fellows, participate in a process group.  This group provides an opportunity for the staff to get together and process issues arising in the Counseling Center work environment, including the process of creating and building a team, staff roles, interpersonal conflicts, and transitions to and from the Counseling Center.

Trainees are also encouraged to meet with each other regularly to touch base and discuss together professional, training, team, personal, and other issues which may be impacting their training experience.

Feedback and Evaluation

Informal feedback between trainee and supervisor occurs and is actively fostered throughout the training year. Written, formal evaluation of the trainee's progress is conducted twice a year, as is trainee feedback about the supervisory experience. In addition, following the completion of each training seminar, feedback is requested. These opportunities for formal and informal mutual feedback are intended to nurture and guide the supervisory experience and the trainee's progress towards meeting his/her training needs, goals, and expectations. At the end of the training year, fellows and externs formally evaluate their training experience and the training program. This feedback is highly valued and is incorporated into future program developments.

Post-doctoral Fellowship Philosophy

The philosophy of our program is that skill development is best attained by extensive experience with a broad range of patients and activities. Fellows are encouraged to employ a wide range of clinical methods and theoretical perspectives in their clinical work. Their outreach and wellness programmatic work is also intended to advance intensive, creative, and effective approaches to promoting prevention and health in our college community. Fellows' work in the area of disabilities and AOD services offers them a unique set of skills in rapidly expanding areas of specialization.

The training program strives to increase the sense of professionalism of fellows. The goal is not only to increase clinical and outreach skills but also to address the trainee's role as a psychologist in general and in a university counseling center, their commitment to the practice, and their adherence to the core of ethical principles held by the profession.

Fellowship Details and Application Process

Our fellowship offers a one year, full-time, paid clinical training experience. There are two openings each year. The fellowship begins in late August and carries with it a salary of approximately $35,000 and a competitive benefits package.

Qualifications:

1) Psy.D./Ph.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology from an APA-approved program (ABDs will be considered)

2) Completed predoctoral internship (APA internship preferred)

3) Demonstrated commitment and skill in college mental health issues (preferred)

4) Hospital based clinical experience and/or experience with DSM diagnostic formulation

Applications from interested applicants should include:

  • detailed statement of interest, goals and relevant experience
  • curriculum vitae
  • official transcript (unofficial copy attached to email and an official copy mailed)
  • three letters of recommendation (PDF file or copy of original letter may be sent by applicants by email but an official copy will also need to be sent either directly from your reccomenders as an email attachment or in sealed envelopes by mail, at least two from clinical supervisors)
  • letter from your academic program outlining your status in the program, including the status of dissertation progress if not completed at time of application
  • any other supporting materials (i.e. samples of programs you have developed, a case summary, or anything else that might highlight your work)

For priority consideration, prospective applicants should first EMAIL and attach  a copy of all of the above items, in one email correspondence by January 7, 2014 to: amichael@pace.edu.  In addition, applicants will need to fill out an online application and mail an official transcript.

To complete the Pace University Human Resources on-line job application:
1) go to www.pace.edu/hr
2) click on the "Careers at Pace" tab on the right
3) locate post-doctoral fellowship among Pleasantville campus job listings
4) click on the description and follow instructions to submit the online application directly to Human Resources

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and will be accepted until positions are filled. Applicants for final consideration will be invited for a personal interview. Full day interview dates for the 2014 year are: January 22, 24, 28, 29 and February 5 with a snow date of February 7.  Phone interviews may sometimes be conducted in special circumstances in order for the applicant to gather further information about our site and decide whether they will attend the required in-person interview. Unfortunately, the Center does not have sufficient funds to cover travel costs for applicants. 

Amanda Michael, Psy.D., Director of Clinical Training
Counseling and Personal Development Center
861Bedford Road
Pleasantville, NY 10570
(914) 773-3710
(914) 773-3639 (fax)
Email: amichael@pace.edu