Per Florida Laws and Rules, the postdoctoral fellowship is a 2,000 hours clinical training program with at least 900 hours in activities related to direct client contact (individual, couples, group, clinical assessment, supervision of student trainees’ provision of direct clinical services, consultation with clients and others significant to clients’ care permitted by laws).
After an initial assessment of the fellows’ needs, supervisors work with each fellow to garner cases that will facilitate development in particular areas. Cases are received through triage. The Counseling and Wellness Center endorses a brief psychotherapy model and incorporates a variety of theoretical orientations, such as humanistic, feminist, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioral. All fellows will see a range of cases that include work with individuals who require short term (1-6 sessions) as well as brief psychotherapy (7-12 sessions) involving more complex therapeutic interventions. The average number of sessions that students receive is 6-7; and sometimes in certain instances we might see a student up to 12 sessions if the situation is warranted. Fellows receive supervision from their individual supervisor each week. The individual supervision provides ongoing monitoring of case conceptualization, treatment planning, and intervention.
The CWC has a robust group therapy program which provides various group therapy training opportunities each semester, including interpersonal process, support, skills training, and psychoeducational groups. Dependent on fellows’ training goals and level of competency, fellows may lead a group with a senior staff member, intern, advanced practicum student, another fellow, or independently. Fellows will work with their individual supervisor and/or the group coordinator, when leading a group on their own or with other trainees. In these circumstances, their individual supervisor or the group coordinator will serve as their group supervisor. If co-leading a group with a senior staff member, this co-leader will serve as the fellow’s group therapy supervisor. Group supervisors will work with fellows to determine the appropriate amount of group supervision time.
Group co-leading assignments are based on the following training hierarchy and trainees’ appropriate levels of competence: fellows of specialized training, doctoral psychology interns, advanced practicum trainees/group therapy only advanced practicum trainees/master’s specialist interns, and psychiatry fellows. Prior to the Fall semester, the group coordinator will provide a list of groups available to co-lead. The interested fellows will rank their preferences. The group coordinator, postdoctoral training coordinator, and co-leaders will work together in finalizing placement with a group(s). Placement with a co-leader may include an interview between the fellow and potential co-leader to ensure a good fit.
Fellows are required to attend the group therapy case consultation meetings that are held bi-weekly during the Spring semester. Fellows will individually present a ten-minute case presentation during a group therapy case consultation meeting. The presentation will address a current group related situation and/or any group topic of their choice (e.g., here-and-now, providing feedback, conflict, termination).
Fellows will receive ongoing and direct feedback throughout each term and official written feedback at the end of each term from their group supervisor(s). This feedback will be shared with the postdoctoral training coordinator and the training director via the Fellow Competencies Form-Group. Fellows also provide feedback about their group supervisors through the Group Co-leader Form.
The first method of assessment is the triage. Clients are assessed for severity, appropriateness for Center services, recommended mode of treatment (individual, couples, group counseling, etc.), and referral options. If the client remains at the Center for individual counseling, a new client appointment is scheduled in which continued assessment of the presenting issues takes place. Fellows receive training on how to do triages and new client appointment assessments. During the first week of classes, fellows shadow triagers. Triage appointments are not video recorded.
The CWC has decided to no longer diagnose, unless needed for external uses (e.g., accommodations) by clients. Nonetheless, fellows are expected to demonstrate proper competency in providing diagnoses. Fellows spend time with their supervisors in supervision discussing appropriate diagnoses for their clients. In addition, they attend Continuing Education programs on assessment and diagnosis when offered.
Fellows may receive training in psychological assessment via a series of assessment seminars. In these seminars, fellows are introduced to various approaches of assessment. In addition, fellows may gain experience using various psychological assessment tools for use in therapy. Fellows who select assessment as their area of specialized training will receive advanced training in test administration, diagnostic clarification, treatment recommendations, report writing, consultation/feedback provision, and supervision of interns and/or assessment advanced practicum students. The designated assessment supervisor will review each report, meet with the fellow for supervision of the report, and complete an Evaluation of Fellow Competencies-Assessment.
Fellows provide both day on-call and after hours on-call emergency services. Fellows will begin shadowing their supervisors and other clinicians during orientation to prepare for being on-call starting in the beginning of Fall semester. Fellows receive training during orientation and over the course of the fellowship with regard to assessing and responding to varying levels of crisis situations. A clinician is always available for crisis consultation.
Fellows are expected to develop referral skills as an appropriate extension of assessment and counseling techniques. During orientation, the fellows become familiar with the supportive resources available on campus and in the community. A directory of such services is made available, and the procedure for referral is discussed. All fellow referrals are monitored by the individual supervisor.
Specialty Service Activities
Three specialty areas of service training are designed based on the reported increasing mental health needs of college students and the areas of expertise of the CWC faculty.
- Comprehensive Assessment: enhancing abilities to conduct LD/ADHD assessment and to use assessment to help early detection, diagnostic clarification, and treatment planning, especially for students who may be in the prodromal stage of a severe psychiatric disorder or who seem treatment-refractory
- Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies: enhancing abilities to serve traditionally under-served cultural minority groups, including racial/ethnic minority, LGBTQ, first generation, and international students
- Intensive Support: enhancing abilities to identify, serve, and support high-risk students, including students with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, disability, and chronic mental health issues
The postdoctoral fellow would become specialized in assessment through a sequenced learning experience that includes didactic training, observation of standardized administration, supervised administration, independent administration, receiving individual and group supervision on scoring and interpretation, and provision of supervision to advanced practicum students and interns doing their assessment training. The common measures used at the CWC include the WAIS, WIAT, MMPI, TOVA and TAT. The fellow training may include, but not be limited to, the following activities:
1. Attending the four assessment seminars: General Assessment and Report-Writing Overview; ADHD/LD Assessment; Personality Assessment-Objective; Personality Assessment-Projective;
2. Observing an Advanced Assessment Practicum student during standardized administrations;
3. Being observed and supervised by licensed assessment faculty during standardized administration of cognitive, achievement, personality objective and projective measures;
4. Participating in the Assessment Team weekly supervision meetings;
5. Receiving individual supervision weekly; and
6. Providing first round of supervision to Advanced Assessment Practicum students and interns doing their assessment requirements as appropriate.
The purpose of the multicultural and social justice counseling competencies specialization area is to provide fellows with advanced training and experience in evidence-based culturally responsive counseling services for emerging adults. Fellows gain proficiency in addressing issues related to race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical functioning, and other aspects of identity and the opportunity to hone their personal and professional identities as social justice advocates for underserved student groups. It will consist primarily of experiential training and be supplemented with didactic material (i.e., seminars, readings). Specific components may include but not be limited to:
- Carrying a diverse caseload of clients from different cultural identities (i.e., racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQ students, international students, religious minorities, etc.), with supervision focusing on multicultural issues and development as a social justice advocate;
- Co-facilitating or facilitating at least two psychotherapy groups focusing on multiculturalism/diverse populations during the year. Specific examples include:
- First Generation Empowerment,
- International Student Support – English or Mandarin,
- Invincible Black Women,
- ¿Cómo estás? – Spanish process group,
- LGBTQ Empowerment,
- Trans Empowerment;
- Providing outreach activities each semester addressing multicultural and social justice issues;
- Developing a consultation project with a diversity office(s) on campus (e.g., Institute of Black Culture, Institute of Hispanic/Latino Cultures, LGBTQ Affairs, Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs, Disability Resource Center, UF International Center) where the fellow conducts a needs assessment in collaboration with the office and implements a program to help ameliorate a specified need;
- Attending a conference/training focusing on social justice, multiculturalism, and diversity;
- Providing training and supervision to practicum students, advanced practicum students, and/or interns on service activities related to social justice, diversity, and multiculturalism;
- Facilitating a training regarding use of Intergroup Dialogue as a tool for social justice for practicum students, advanced practicum students, interns, and/or CWC staff; and
- Updating and/or creating website and social media efforts related to social justice, such as the online training, BAM! – Best Allyship Movement.
The purpose of the eating disorder specialization area is to provide fellows with advanced training and experience in assessment, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders in the college student population. It will consist primarily of experiential training and be supplemented with didactic material (i.e., seminars, readings). Specific components may include:
- Working with 5-6 individual clients presenting with eating disorder concerns each semester;
- Leading or co-leading at least one eating disorder related group. This may include the Making Peace with Food group or any other group of their choosing that focuses on this population’s concerns;
- Participating in and/or possibly coordinating the biweekly eating disorders case consultation meetings;
- Participating in at least one outreach activity related to eating disorders or body image concerns (e.g., partnering with GatorWell on eating disorder awareness week/month activities);
- Providing supervision to an intern who chooses eating disorders as their focus area or intern/advanced practicum/practicum trainees who will co-lead or observe a group related to eating disorders or body image with the fellow; and
- Participating in at least one training or professional development activity related to eating disorders treatment. (Both the Renfrew Center and IAEDP provide in-person and webinar trainings throughout the year and have annual conferences. Other professional development opportunities will be publicized, as they are known.)