Gouverneur is a New York City Health+Hospitals facility located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The facility houses a large ambulatory care center and a skilled nursing facility. The ambulatory care side of the facility includes several medical departments as well as the Department of Behavioral Health. The facility has a history going back to the 19th century of serving the community of lower Manhattan, including many generations of immigrant families and a low-income population living in nearby housing projects.
The Gouverneur psychology externship training program, located within the Department of Behavioral Health, offers psychology externs an intensive and wide-ranging clinical and educational experience firmly rooted in multicultural values and community service. Under close supervision and support, psychology externs gain clinical experience with a variety of psychotherapy modalities (individual, group, family, and couples) as well as psychological and neuropsychological assessments, while serving a population that encompasses a broad variety of ages, cultures, illnesses, and levels of functioning. The program places a value on encouraging externs to communicate and pursue their clinical interests as available in the department.
Further, a key educational component of the training program is working as part of a multidisciplinary team. Externs have the opportunity to interact regularly with psychiatrists, social workers, and primary care staff to coordinate care for their patients. Staff in the department welcome collaboration with trainees -- via electronic communication, in person discussion, and in team meetings.
Externship overview: The externship program comprises of 8 positions in 6 tracks: the Asian Bicultural Clinic (ABC) Trauma track, the Dialectical Behavioral Therapy track, the Health Psychology track (2 positions), Family/Couples Therapy track (2 positions), the Severe Mental Illness track, and the Trauma track. The tracks reflect specific treatment modalities and/or the population the extern will be working with. The tracks do not exclude opportunities to work with patients with other psychopathology, age groups, and other diversities. For instance, externs in the DBT track will co-lead a weekly DBT skills-training group with a psychologist and participate in a weekly DBT consultation team meeting but will also be assigned patients from a wide array of backgrounds and psychopathology from the general adult clinic. Detailed description of the tracks follows:
Asian Bicultural Clinic trauma track: The extern in this track will be assigned monolingual Chinese-speaking patients whose diagnoses range from mood disorders to schizophrenia and other psychotic spectrum diagnoses. Working with Dr. Chen, the extern can expect to learn about immigration trauma experienced by many undocumented Chinese patients, the impact of such trauma on the development of psychiatric illnesses, the influence of attitudes about mental health treatment in the Chinese community, strategies to overcome treatment obstacles in the cultural context, strategies to build insight and increase treatment adherence, and rehabilitation of patients into the community. The extern will have the opportunity to co-lead an emotion regulation group in Chinese, adapted from Linehan’s DBT model. In addition, the extern will be assigned individual patients from the general adult clinic with histories of trauma and will have an opportunity to co-lead a trauma recovery group using modalities of mindfulness and chair yoga. Extern applicants with Chinese language proficiency will be given priority.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy track: The extern in the DBT track will co-lead a DBT skills group and attend a consultation team meeting on a weekly basis. Externs participate in this meeting by taking a turn along with other members in leading mindfulness, observing group process, taking notes, and teaching the group. The extern will be assigned at least one DBT patient for individual therapy and will also be assigned patients in the general adult clinic. Supervision with general clinic patients will focus on integrating DBT techniques with other theoretical orientations and approaches. Additionally, externs in other tracks may have the opportunity to co-lead a DBT skills group and/or participate in a DBT consultation team for trainees. This is determined on a case by case basis. If interviewing for another track, please let your interviewer know about your interest in this opportunity.
Health psychology track (2 positions): The focus in this track is on integrating traditional psychodynamic, cognitive, and behavioral therapy techniques with relaxation techniques such as breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, yoga, and meditation. These approaches are used in various combinations to address psychiatric and medical issues in accordance with specific patient needs. Examples include patients with panic attacks, PTSD, depression, and a variety of medical disorders including, chronic pain, lupus, diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. Externs with training in yoga, meditation, and/or nutrition are especially encouraged to apply. There are 2 positions available in this track: 1. Behavioral Health Position: The extern on this track will see individual patients in the Department of Behavioral Health. They will also co-lead three groups with Dr. Barron. Two of the groups involve stress and pain management and integrate psychotherapy, yoga, and meditation. The third group focuses on the interaction of psychiatric and medical disorders with nutrition and lifestyle factors. 2. Primary Care Position: The extern will be primarily situated in Primary care. They will see individuals for short term therapy. They will also run health related groups for stress management, coping with chronic illness, and weight management. Some of the groups will be co-led with a yoga instructor. The extern may also see longer term patients in Behavioral Health if they have availability.
Family therapy track (2 positions): The externs in this track will participate in a family and couples therapy seminar with Jennifer Press, LCSW, the family therapy coordinator in the department. Externs in this track will meet 1 1/2 hours a week for group supervision with other trainees and participate as part of a treatment team. The seminar includes a review of theory, working with families in front of a one-way mirror with live supervision, review of cases, review of video recordings, and team consultation. Externs in this track typically take on 2-3 family or couples cases as well as 3 or more individual adult psychotherapy cases, to be supervised by a psychologist. Individual psychotherapy cases have typically involved a range of presentations, from mood and anxiety disorders to personality disorders.
Severe Mental Illness track: In this track, the extern can expect to work with patients with personality disorders and severe mental illnesses. Working with Dr. Collins, externs will develop their understanding of psychotherapeutic strategies drawn from DBT, schema therapy, and experiential approaches. Externs may also expect to learn about resources and strategies of working patients with severe mental illnesses, such as working with clubhouse programs, vocational rehabilitation, case management, supportive housing, and other services. The extern in this track has the opportunity to co-lead a weekly supportive psychotherapy group for male patients diagnosed with a psychotic spectrum illness.
Trauma track: Within this track, working with Dr. Diana Chen, the extern will be assigned individual adult patients with significant histories of trauma and will be guided in applying integrative treatment interventions for trauma including Prolonged Exposure, chairwork, expressive therapies, etc. Spanish-speaking candidates are encouraged to apply, as there are opportunities to see Spanish-speaking patients with histories of trauma.
In collaboration with supervisors, externs may also have the opportunity to conduct intake assessments and write up comprehensive intake assessment reports. Externs can expect to be assigned to work with adult and geriatric outpatients who present with wide-ranging emotional concerns. Externs are encouraged to express their training needs and interests, as well to communicate any particular projects they would like to undertake, such as forming a new group to address a specific problem area (e.g., a relaxation skills group for patients with panic disorder).
Opportunities for training in testing:
Depending on their particular interests and training needs, externs may receive psychological or neuropsychological testing assignments, through which they will refine their respective skills in clinical observation, interviewing, cognitive testing, and assessment of personality and emotional functioning. Further, the dynamics of the testing patients’ problems are explored and integrated in the context of familial, cultural and political factors. Externs may be assigned testing cases from any of the clinic units and may have opportunities to evaluate children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Often referral questions for assessment are wide-ranging and complex, including evaluation of a range of neuropsychological problems, learning disabilities and ADHD, and presentations of psychopathology. Supervision on testing cases is provided through a weekly group testing supervision conducted by Dr. Xinyou Zeng. The weekly group supervision also features some didactic presentations on testing materials available for use in the department. Externs may also occasionally arrange individual supervision on testing cases as needed and according to supervisors’ availability.
Externs are required to participate in one hour of weekly group supervision as well as one hour of weekly individual supervision with their assigned primary supervisor. The weekly group supervision is a case conference format that provides externs with opportunities to present cases and obtain feedback from peers throughout the year. Within individual supervision, externs’ primary supervisors work closely with each extern to develop and monitor training goals. Additional supervision, including consultation on particular cases, may be arranged as needed. Primary supervisors provide ongoing feedback to externs throughout the semester, and formal evaluation is provided at the end of each semester as required by externs’ doctoral programs. Additionally, externs are encouraged to make use of video recording equipment to record sessions for review in their individual supervision. For those who are interested in conducting research with the patient population at Gouverneur, opportunities may be available as well.
General information about externship site:
Director of the Program: George Collins, Ph.D.
Training Director, (degree): George Collins, Ph.D.
URL for Externship Brochure:
Length of externship (in months): 12
Start Date: 1st Monday after July 4th
End Date: June 30th
How many hours a week are expected of extern?: 16
Specialty tracks: DBT, Severe Mental Illness, Trauma, Asian-Bicultural, Health Psychology (2 positions), Family Therapy (2 positions)
# of externs to be accepted for 2019-20: 8
Minimum level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for applicants: 1 previous externship placement
Preferences: 3rd and 4th year doctoral students from clinical, counseling, health psychology, or school-clinical psychology programs
Do you provide a stipend? If so how much?: No
When do you expect to begin interviews? (Applications can be submitted no earlier than Jan 22): First week of February
Interview process (provide information about interview process- time frame, how decisions are made) Also, do you conduct individual and/or group interviews; case presentation, other information?: Applications are reviewed by supervising psychologists for their track. Candidates for interviews are identified based on their prior experiences, goals, and match of their training needs with the experiences offered at our site. Interviews are generally conducted in the first two weeks of February. If not all positions are matched in the initial round, we will proceed in the secondary match until all positions are filled.
What application materials are required (i.e., cv, transcript, how many reference letters, case summary, test report, other?:
Cover letter/statement of interest in our site
Intervention and Assessment:
Intervention training experiences offered: Estimate average number of individual patients that students will carry; estimate number of groups and other types of interventions. Offer description: Externs typically see 8-10 individual patients and co-lead one group with a psychologist. Externs in the family therapy track typically see 2-3 families over the course of the year.
Assessment training experiences commonly offered. Describe: Externs have the opportunity to conduct psychological evaluations, to be supervised by their regular clinical supervisor or through a year-long group supervision seminar. Test batteries may address a variety of referral questions, such as assessment of ADHD, clarification of diagnosis, and limited neuropsychological evals.
Expected number of full assessment batteries completed during externship (defined as administration of a battery of standardized tests): 2-3
Estimate # of integrated assessment reports per year: 2-3
If offering Rorschach, which scoring systems used: Exner
Estimate hours/week of individual supervision: 1+
Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 1+ (more for family track externs)
Estimated hour/week of didactics: 1
Estimated co-therapy hours with supervisors: 1
Context of didactics (seminars, Grand Rounds): orientation seminars at the beginning of the training year, didactic series on a variety of topics, typically related to staff interests (e.g., working with trauma, schema therapy, case managment, intro. to psychopharm, etc.). 4+ Grand Rounds presentations over the course of the year, typically with outside speakers.
Estimated informal open door "curbside" supervision: as needed. Supervisors and staff are definitely open to supervising trainees as needed. Our site is very invested in training, with programs for social work interns and psychiatry residents in addition to the psychology externship.
Describe direct supervision: weekly hour-long meeting in which supervisors review progress with individual psychotherapy cases, review documentation, and devote more in-depth discussion to cases in which externs need input. Supervisors make an effort to tailor supervision to each extern's training needs and goals. Additional supervision may be scheduled to review experiences co-leading groups and to go over psychological testing data and reports.
There is also a weekly hour-long group supervision with training director that addresses administrative needs (first few minutes of the meeting), followed by group supervision on individual psychotherapy cases.
Specify if observation occurs during intervention, assessment, consultation (audio, video, live in person (in treatment room, one-way mirror, live video stream): Observation is available from supervisors through co-leading groups and video-recorded review of sessions. Our facility has 4 conference rooms with video recording equipment and monitors. We also have rooms with one-way mirrors, typically used for group supervision of family therapy sessions.
If you have only one extern, would you be to have the extern participate in a peer support consortium with other sites- live or "SKYPE"?: n.a.
Is the agency readily accessible through public transportation?: yes, accessible by bus and subway (close to the East Broadway stop on the F train).
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Are home visits required as part of the trainee's duties?: no
Is a transportation stipend provided?: no