Description of Externship:
Mount Sinai's World Trade Center Mental Health Program (WTCMHP) is located at 345 East 102nd Street in Manhattan. It is part of the larger WTC Health Program, offering free comprehensive and confidential medical examinations, ambulatory and inpatient treatment, and benefit counseling services to WTC responders who participated in rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts after the September 11, 2001 attacks. It has now been well-documented that 9/11 workers and volunteers, including both first and general responders, were exposed to substances and psychological stressors that put these individuals at increased risk for certain conditions. The World Trade Center Health Program General Responder Consortium provides specialized medical care, mental health care, and benefits counseling to this group of people. In addition, the program performs health surveillance on 9/11 workers and volunteers, to track the illnesses suffered by them over time. The majority of the patients served are English-speaking, and a significant portion of our patient population speak Spanish or Polish as their primary language.
While most of the patients served by the WTCMHP carry trauma-related diagnoses, presenting problems often include comorbid medical illnesses and/or personality pathology. The WTCMHP Externship Program has an emphasis on psychodynamic treatment approaches, with the additional opportunity for interested trainees to join our Dialectical Behavior Therapy Treatment Team. Trainees will also have the opportunity to be exposed to additional treatment modalities offered at our site, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Transference Focused Therapy, and specialized services for patients managing complex medical conditions. All externs will conduct intakes and psychological testing. Externs are integrated as valued members of our treatment team, and as a result have the opportunity to develop skills to coordinate and collaborate with staff psychologists, social workers, and MDs at our site.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Agency Mission:
Mount Sinai's Psychiatry Department serves patients with a wide range of psychiatric disorders who come from different age groups, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. The Department has a reputation for distinction in clinical research, and supports a variety of research activities. Training programs already established within the Department include the accredited Residency Training Program in Psychiatry, the accredited Training Program in Child Psychiatry, and several fellowship programs in psychiatry. In addition, the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has offered a Child Psychology Externship Program for years, and has begun a clinical Psychology Internship program. The Department is pleased to extend its commitment to excellence in academic training to students in adult psychology through the Psychology Externship Program at the WTC Mental Health Program.
General information about externship site:
of the Program: Sandra Lowe, M.D., Medical Director
Training Director: Peter Glick, Ph.D.
Length of externship: 12 months
Start Date: July 1, 2019
End Date: June 30, 2020
Scheduling and expected hours:Externs will be on site 2.5 days per week (approximately 20 hours). All externs are required to be on site on Wednesdays from 9 am through 2:15 pm. Externs are incorporated as integral and valued members of our treatment team, and as a result must be on site Wednesdays from 9am-2:15 pm in order to participate in the intake and treatment-planning conference, staff meeting, didactics, and a group extern supervision. Outside of this time, we will do our best to accommodate trainees' scheduling requests when possible.
Specialty tracks:Externs may request to be a part of the DBT Treatment Team.
Number of externs to be accepted for 2019-20: 4
level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for
applicants):This site is appropriate as a second, third, or fourth-year
externship site. Applicants should have a
minimum of 1-2 years of experience conducting individual psychotherapy, and
preferably some experience conducting group psychotherapy. Applicants must have had some experience with
psychological testing, and exposure to administering and scoring the Rorschach
Inkblot Method using the Exner Scoring System.
Expected Interview Dates: -TBD
Interview process:Selected applicants will be invited for interviews from 9 am through 12 pm on Wednesdays. During this block of time, applicants are provided with an overview of the training program and meet and interview with multiple members of the psychology staff.
Materials:CV, 2 letters of recommendation, 1 sample testing report (please
be sure to de-identify), and letter of readiness from DCT.
Intervention and Assessment:
Intervention training experiences offered:Externs at our site will develop clinical skills for conceptualizing and treating patients who are presenting with simple and complex trauma histories, co-morbid medical illnesses, and personality disorders. All externs will carry a caseload of 4-5 individual therapy cases in addition to co-leading a group (either interpersonal process or Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills group) with a staff clinician. Externs will additionally conduct weekly intakes in coordination with an M.D.
Assessment training experiences offered:
Externs at our site participate in conducting
psychological testing with patients whose presentations require more
comprehensive evaluation or who do not seem to be adequately benefitting from
their current treatment plans.
Psychological testing at the
WTCMHP is provided to aid in evaluating the impact of 9/11-related response
activities on current psychological functioning, diagnostic
clarification, assessing the presence of personality disorders, evaluation of
cognitive functioning, and treatment planning.
Our site utilizes a range of self-report, projective, and cognitive
measures, and externs receive training in therapeutic assessment and feedback
techniques. On average externs complete
3 integrated assessment reports during the training year. Our site uses the Exner
Scoring System (Comprehensive System) for coding the Rorschach - some
familiarity with this system is required.
Estimate hours/week of individual supervision: 1.5 (psychotherapy supervision with licensed psychologist and intake supervision with a psychiatrist)
Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 2
Estimated hour/week of didactics: 1
Estimated co-therapy hours with supervisors: 1
Context of didactics (seminars, Grand Rounds): weekly seminars
Estimated informal open door "curbside" supervision: All of our staff psychologists and MDs have an "open-door" policy with our externs. We strongly encourage externs to check-in as much as needed, and encourage a collaborative atmosphere between externs, staff psychologists, social workers, and MDs.
Describe direct supervision: After externs have the opportunity to observe a staff member conducting an intake assessment, they are observed conducting multiple intakes in order to provide additional support and supervision on clinical interviewing and risk assessment techniques. Externs additionally co-lead psychotherapy groups with staff clinicians for the duration of the year.
Is the agency readily accessible through public transportation?: Yes - our clinic is located a short walk from the 96th St. Q train and the 102nd St. 6 train, as well as the M15, M96, and M106 bus lines.
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Are home visits required as part of the trainee's duties?: No
Is a transportation stipend provided?:No
It is anticipated that many of the students enrolled in the WTCMHP Externship Program may be interested in becoming involved in ongoing research in the Department and possibly in developing projects for doctoral research. While research is not a specialized aspect of the externship, we anticipate the Externship Program will expose trainees to current research within the Department. A goal of the Externship Program is to encourage students to become involved with research projects within the Department, and to use any hours which they may have free during their time here to seek out such contact. The program staff will help facilitate contact between staff with ongoing research projects and the externs.