APA Program-The Common Experience

All Harbor-UCLA Postdoctoral Fellows in Clinical Psychology  receive common training that embeds their particular area of emphasis in a broader context.  This overall context should serve fellows in their future endeavors as specialties in the marketplace wax and wane and as new applications are developed.  We expect that Harbor graduates will become leaders in the psychological practice community, whether through expert individual work with patients, through academic and research institutions, as directors of clinics and agencies, as advocates of the severely mentally ill, the homeless, the incarcerated, or the not yet acculturated immigrants.

The program has a logical sequence both in its broad training and in each of the focused areas of emphasis.  In September, all fellows are oriented to the setting: the medical center, California licensing laws, review of ethics, commitment and mandatory reporting laws.  Each of the areas of emphasis reviews the fellow’s level of expertise, assigns supervisors, determines course work and monitors clinical cases.  As the year progresses, technical skill level courses (assessment, child development, clinical supervision), and other didactics on clinical experiences (psychopharmacology, cultural diversity issues) are offered to increase  knowledge and clinical responsibilities (supervision of practicum students, clinically complicated cases).  By year end, each fellow will have completed training to meet defined exit criteria and most criteria for California licensure requirements.

The minimum number of hours required to complete our postdoctoral fellowship: 1,800 hours

General Contract Between Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Individual Fellows

The training year for fellows in the Traditional practice Clinical Psychology Program begins the first working day after Labor Day in September and continues to late August of the next year.  The commitment is for the full year.

Postdoctoral fellows are committed to a minimum of a forty hour work week.  Individual programs have specific requirements for attendance at rounds, seminars, conferences, supervision, and patient contact.

The core training requirements are as follows:

  • Fellowship Program Orientation
  • DMH New Employee Orientation
  • DHS Contract Employee Orientation
  • IBHIS Training (DMH electronic medical record system)
  • ORCHID Training (DHS electronic medical record system)
  • County HIPAA Training
  • County Sexual Harassment Training  (online learning system)
  • County Policy of Equity Training (online learning system)
  • CITI Training
  • Psychology Case Conferences
  • Scientific and Scholarly Activities Lab
  • Ongoing Protected Scientific and Scholarly Activities Time
  • Five supervisor approved training days (DMH or other)
  • Licensure Courses =
    1. Human Sexuality
    2. Child Abuse
    3. Substance Abuse
    4. DV/IPV
    5. Aging/Long-term Care

Training Components

Therapy – Although formal requirements for specific numbers of psychotherapy cases vary across emphasis areas, fellows  carry outpatient individual, family, and/or group therapy cases throughout the year in their respective tracks.  All emphasis areas favor evidence-based psychotherapies.

Assessment – Assessment techniques vary across areas of emphasis.  Fellows are expected to become proficient in assessment methodologies emphasized in their respective areas of emphasis.  They have direct contact with patients with a wide range of psychological conditions and present to interdisciplinary teams of professionals as well as to the Psychology Division.

Supervision – In accordance with APA’s postdoctoral residency standards and the California Board of Psychology’s requirement for the accrual of postdoctoral hours, all fellows receive a minimum of two hours of individual supervision and the equivalent of 10% of the total supervised professional experience (e.g., 4 hours out of a 40 hour work week.)

Each fellow is assigned one primary supervisor, plus additional therapy and assessment supervisors  as required by each emphasis area. Supervisors are licensed psychologists or board certified psychiatrists from the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Psychiatry Department.  Additional supervision and consultation is provided by faculty and staff on the fellow’s service.  Group supervision and special courses on assessment are offered throughout the year by psychologists with expertise in particular areas of testing, and course work in cognitive and behavioral approaches to therapy are offered early each year.

Responsibility for maintaining contact with the supervisor resides with both the supervisor and the fellow.  Cancellations for illness, vacation, or other reasons should be made up.  Additional consultation with other faculty in the Psychology Division is always available in emergencies.  Should problems occur in supervision, fellows are encouraged to attempt resolution in the context of the supervisory relationship.  If such attempts are unsuccessful, trainees are encouraged to contact the Training Director for assistance in problem resolution.  Supervisor may also contact the Training Director in cases of unresolved supervisory conflict or problems.

Conferences/Seminars – Required psychology conferences consist of presentations by faculty, postdoctoral fellows or invited speakers on clinical cases, research, and professional issues. Additional seminars and workshops are scheduled periodically to provide an opportunity for the psychology fellow to increase his/her clinical skills.  Examples of topics covered held in recent years include cognitive treatment of anxiety disorders, cross-cultural treatments, managed care issues, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychopharmacology and supervision.  Courses required for California licensure in human sexuality, child abuse reporting,  and spousal abuse,  and aging and long-term care are available each year. Interdisciplinary conferences on the various services may also be required by the psychology fellow’s emphasis area.  Specific seminars and courses are also required on most emphasis areas.

Ethics – All psychology fellows are expected to be familiar with the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct prior to beginning work at Harbor-UCLA, and additional ethics training will occur during the fellowship.  Ethical issues arise continuously at Harbor, and they should be actively discussed between fellows and supervisors.

Evaluations

Evaluation takes place according to the following schedule:

      1. Mid-fall informal feedback from immediate supervisors
      2. Mid-year formal evaluations from supervisors
      3. Mid-spring informal feedback from immediate supervisors
      4. Final evaluation for immediate supervisors

Common Goals For Fellows

At the completion of the fellowship year fellows will be able to practice at an independent practitioner level in the areas of:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Psychological Assessment.
  • Research/Scholarly Activity/Program Evaluation
  • Evidence-Based Treatments
  • Teaching/Training
  • Consultation/Interdisciplinary Collaborations
  • Diversity
  • Ethics
  • Metacompetencies/Self Management
  • Leadership Skills
  • Supervisory Skills

Satisfactory Progress

Expectations for satisfactory progress are clarified by program supervisors.  Sometimes this entails a set number of cases, batteries, or procedures in a specified time with clear criteria for standards.  Fellows falling below the standard are counseled and the individual fellow, supervisor, track supervisor, and training director meet to determine steps for remediation or termination.  These meetings will result in written documentation of the problem, the agreement for remediation, and time to reevaluation.  A probationary period may be designated for the trainee to correct the problem or to progress to another level of competence.  Fellows who fail to meet expectations for completion of their postdoctoral training (e.g., who are found to be deficient in one or more domains of competence) may have this fact noted in verification of experience for application for State licensure.

Clinical Supervision

A 20-hour course over the year in clinical supervision is offered to aid fellows in their supervision of field-placement students at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Case Conference in Psychology

1½ hours per week throughout the year, attended by all fellows, and as an elective for other trainees, faculty and professional staff in the Psychiatry Department.  This conference serves as a venue for administrative announcements and formal presentations of cases by faculty or fellows, topical faculty presentations, professional and research presentations by outside guest speakers and Psychiatry Department faculty, and professional development discussion.  Each fellow is mandated to present the assessment and treatment of a Harbor case within the context of the area of emphasis in which they work.

Required experiences by all fellows, and applied in the areas of emphasis include:

  • Leadership role in facilitating small groups
  • Work on an interdisciplinary team as a primary treating professional
  • Presentation of clinical cases to interdisciplinary colleagues on the emphasis tracks
  • Supervision of practicum students (externs)
  • Complex assessments, with interdisciplinary referrals
  • Case management or direct interventions with clinical populations
  • Charting cases in medical records, and outside reports to courts, schools, or other agencies
  • Completion of an individual program evaluation project.

Socialization as a Class

  • Free lunches in the Doctors’ Dining Room to informally gather with fellows and faculty
  • Class study group for national licensing exam
  • Classes typically decide each year on other social activities

Elective Opportunities

Elective experiences are negotiated between individual fellows and their track supervisors to expand exposure to psychology training in different settings.

Psychology Research Projects

Research projects generally are underway at any time within the Division of Psychology and/or the Department of Psychiatry. Postdoctoral Fellows may participate either as research assistants, or co-investigators.