Bronx TASC Mental Health Court Program

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UPDATE 2/23/2017: BRONX TASC MENTAL HEALTH COURT WILL BE ACCEPTING EXTERNSHIP APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2017-2018 YEAR. APPLICATIONS WILL BE CONSIDERED ON A ROLLING BASIS.

The Bronx TASC Mental Health Court Program is the service provider for the Bronx Mental Health Court. It is an alternative to incarceration program designed to clinically assess defendants charged with both felonies and misdemeanors for the presence of a psychiatric and a substance abuse disorder, refer defendants to treatment in the community and monitor their progress in the Bronx Criminal Justice System. Bronx TASC Mental Health identifies and diverts individuals with serious mental illness from current or potential incarceration. Working in collaboration with the Bronx District Attorney’s office, the defense bar, and the Judicial Diversion court part, Bronx TASC Mental Health provides in-depth diagnostic evaluation of the defendant including violence risk assessment, and identifies appropriate treatment resources that can meet the needs of the offender. Defendants referred to Bronx TASC Mental Health Court Program have been charged with a variety of violent and non-violent offenses. In addition, they present with a variety of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders.

Psychology Externship Position: Psychology externs will be part of a clinical team of forensic case managers and consulting psychologists/psychiatrists. They will conduct forensic psychological evaluations for the courts, present cases during clinical meetings and supervision, perform some psychological assessments when needed and become involved in treatment planning. In addition, once a defendant has been accepted for diversion, externs may be responsible for making referrals to treatment providers, monitoring defendants for compliance, and providing the courts with regular written updates on treatment progress. Most of the evaluations take place in the Supreme Court building in the court basement cells and in the TASC office.

Decisions about eligibility for diversion are made based on a variety of factors, such as the presence of a major mood or psychotic illness diagnosis, malingering, level of violence and recidivism risk, competency to make decisions regarding treatment, and motivation for treatment. Externs will gain knowledge in the areas of public mental health and criminal justice systems. In addition, they will learn to conduct clinical interviewing, personality assessment, and psychosocial assessments, as well as to formulate, conceptualize and present cases, and make appropriate treatment recommendations based on the defendants’ level of risk and severity of mental illness and substance abuse. In addition, externs may choose to work with one or two clients to do weekly supportive counseling (not guaranteed) and CBT journaling to address criminogenic thinking. Externs will work directly under the supervision of a clinical psychologist with some interviewing with consulting psychiatrists.

Contact Information

Name of Externship: Bronx TASC Mental Health Court Program

Name of Director/Coordinator: Melodie Foellmi, PhD and Edward Fernandez, PsyD

Street Address:

1020 Grand Concourse - North Professional Wing
Bronx, NY 10451


Telephone: 718-538-7416 x229

Fax: 718-590-5402

Email: Dr. Melodie Foellmi

Webpage: http://www.eacinc.org/bronx-tasc-mental-health-court-program

General Information

Start Date: July
End Date: June

Appropriate for:

Clinical

Scheduling (e.g., required/optional days of week, # hrs per day, total hours per week, flexibility in scheduling):

2 days a week, 8 hrs per day, flexibility in scheduling

Required level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for applicants):

Any year

Preferred level of readiness(any prior experiences preferred for applicants):

Completion of clinical interviewing and assessment courses

Is there a stipend for externs?

No

Application Process

Additional dates for applications?

Applications not accepted before agreed NYC/NJ date

What materials need to be submitted?

  • Letter of application
  • CV
  • One sample of written clinical material (preferably evaluation/intake)
  • Letter of readiness
  • Two recommendations

How should it be submitted?

Email to Dr. Foellmi at mfoellmi@nyctasc.org and Dr. Fernandez at efernandez@nyctsac.org

Any details of the application process (e.g., interviewing, time frame, how decisions are made):

PLEASE SPECIFY WHICH DAYS YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME IN YOUR COVER LETTER - this is not binding, and can be finalized at a later date if schedules change.

Description of Externship

Populations commonly served:

Forensic
Some Adolescents
Primarily Adults

If any of these populations are only available to students under certain circumstances, please indicate:

Must apply for a SecurePass in order to gain access to Bronx Court pens which involves criminal background check - application to be submitted at beginning of externship.

Training models offered:

CBT
Integrative
Psychodynamic

If any of these models are only available to students under certain circumstances, please indicate:

This is primarily an assessment/evaluation-based externship. Supervision for any individual therapy / supportive counseling is integrative.

Intervention training experiences commonly offered:

Individual Psychotherapy with one client (offered though not guaranteed)
Groups based on CBT journaling interventions to address criminogenic thinking

If any of these intervention experiences are only available to students under certain circumstances, please indicate:

We try to arrange to have the externs meet with one client on a weekly basis for therapy / supportive counseling. However, due to the nature of court monitoring and court-mandated substance abuse treatment, this cannot be absolutely guaranteed as there are many client variables at play that may interrupt treatment.

Expected number of cases seen at any one time: Not specified


Assessment training experiences commonly offered:

Forensic Assessment (e.g violence risk assessment, malingering)
Diagnostic Assessment
Forensic Report Writing
Personality Assessment
Mental Status Exam
Cognitive Assessment
Neuropsychological Assessment (screening)

Expected number of full assessment batteries completed during externship (defined as administration of a battery of standardized tests):

Approx 3 (may be up to 6)

Expected number of assessment reports completed during externship (defined as writing reports based on a battery of standardized tests):

See above

Supervision:

Estimated hours/week of individual supervision: 1
Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 1


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