Psychology Practicum Training

Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare offers training in neuropsychological assessment, rehabilitation psychology, and clinical/health psychology within continuum of medical-surgical and rehabilitative care, including featured programs in Brain Injury, Stroke, and Spinal Cord Injury. Casa Colina is committed to a strong interdisciplinary model of treatment planning, spanning across disciplines of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, neuro/clinical psychology, nursing, medicine, spiritual counseling, and dietary. Casa Colina’s Department of Neuropsychology and Psychology plays a critical role within the interdisciplinary treatment teams across our care continuum.

Our continuum of care includes a 68-bed Acute Rehabilitation Wing, 31-bed Medical-Surgical Wing, Outpatient Center, and short-term residential rehabilitation unit specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of catastrophic illness and injury. Casa Colina Hospital provides inpatient rehabilitation and medical-surgical services, ICU, outpatient, and post-acute rehabilitation and residential services, all utilizing physician-led, interdisciplinary care teams.

About the Program
Students accepted to our one-year Psychology Practicum Training will spend the majority of their training in one of the following three primary treatment tracks:

Inpatient Clinical/Rehabilitation Psychology Track
One to two students will focus, under the direct supervision of a Clinical Psychologist, on providing team consultation, consultation/liaison diagnostic services, individual and group psychotherapy with physically disabled and medical patients utilizing brief symptom focused therapy emphasizing mind/body dynamics. Focus will also be on promoting wellness behaviors while at the same time treating common psychological disorders.

Student will co-lead group therapy, which will emphasize the mindfulness approach to acute and chronic pain treatment. The student will carry a patient load of approximately 4 to 6 patients at any one time. Trainee will be involved in consultation/liaison, provision of individual and group psychotherapeutic treatment, and staff consultation. Students may have the opportunity to consult not only on the Acute Rehabilitation Wing, but also in the ICU and Medical-Surgical Wing.

Inpatient/Outpatient Neuropsychological Assessment Track
Three to four students will focus on neuropsychological and psychological assessment under the supervision of a Clinical Neuropsychologist. Time will be divided between our our Acute Rehabilitation Wing and Medical-Surgical Wing, where screenings and brief evaluations are performed, and our Outpatient Neuropsychology and Psychology Clinic. Outpatient evaluations are predominantly comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations. Patients present with primary diagnoses that include dementia, mild cognitive impairment, vascular cognitive impairment, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and movement disorders.

We see a significant number of traumatic brain injury patients in the context of their workers’ compensation cases, which is great experience for students interested in medical-legal work. Students will gain a great deal of experience in neurobehavioral and psychodiagnostic interviewing and are expected to become proficient in the administration and interpretation of a wide range of neuropsychological and psychological measures. There is a strong emphasis on comprehensive report writing, as well as the opportunity for participation in feedback to patients and families and the interdisciplinary teams.

Transitional Living Center: Rehabilitation Neuropsychology/Health Psychology
(Short-term residential and day treatment programs)
Under the supervision of a Clinical Neuropsychologists, 1-2 students will gain experience in neurobehavioral interviewing and neuropsychological testing, including flexible battery approach with opportunities to gain experience in a wide range of neuropsychological assessment measures and some psychodiagnostic measures. Students will co-lead group education and psychotherapy. Current groups that meet throughout the week include brain injury education and support, spiritual support, executive functioning, relaxation strategies, and mindfulness/awareness. However, which ones the student co-leads would be based upon which days s/he is present.

There are also opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary team conferences and in feedback sessions with patients and families. This rotation is an excellent opportunity to become familiar with treatment paradigms in neuropsychological rehabilitation.

SCAPTP Member
No, but we abide by uniform notification policies.

Openings
1-2 Inpatient Clinical/Health Psychology, 3-4 Inpatient/Outpatient Neuropsychology, 1-2 Transitional Living Center

Practicum Length: 12 months

Approximate Start and End Date
August 2, 2021 through July 29, 2021. There is opportunity for interested students to have an earlier summer start date, if desired.

Total Hours per Week
16-20 hours; 2 full days preferred. Students wishing for a supplemental practicum position of 8-10 hours (1 full day) may be considered after all other positions have been filled.

Patient Contact Hours per Week: TBD

Mandatory Days/Hours
Mondays are mandatory plus one additional day, with both days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Patient and Services Provided
Patients have a medical diagnosis—e.g. traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, stroke, and other neurological disorders. The population is also very diverse in terms of cultural and linguistic background and levels of physical and cognitive ability. Ages range from 16-90+ in the inpatient and outpatient units and are generally 18-65 at the Transitional Living Center. Specific tasks/services provided depend on the track and are described above. All students will have the ability to work with an interdisciplinary team, in conjunction with physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, and case managers.

Most Frequent Diagnostic Categories
Traumatic brain injury, dementia, acquired brain injury, orthopedic injury, spinal cord injury, brain tumor, mild cognitive impairment, and other neurological disorders, as well as those with acute/chronic pain. Patients often have cognitive/neuropsychological deficits and co-morbid psychological or psychiatric disorders, (e.g. depression, anxiety, adjustment to disability and occasional delirium/psychosis and somatic symptom disorders).

Supervision
Onsite psychologists provide both individual and group supervision, which are provided formally and informally a minimum 1.5 hours per week. Members of the Neuropsychology and Psychology faculty also provide a mandatory weekly group didactic seminar (Mondays).

Minimal Requirements
Experience, training, or strong interest in neuropsychology, health psychology, or rehabilitation psychology is required. Academic history with courses in neuropsychology, brain anatomy, health psychology, clinical interviewing, and psychopathology is helpful. Training in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of neuropsychology batteries is beneficial but not absolutely necessary. Further training will be provided. Bilingual students highly encouraged to apply.

Application Guidelines
Interested students should send an email including the following: a cover letter with their stated interest in the practicum and their preferred training track(s), CV, 2 or 3 letters of reference, and a de-identified psychological or neuropsychological evaluation report. We invite a limited number of applicants to interview. If a student agrees to interview at this site, they are not obligated to accept an offer for placement.

Application Deadline
January 22, 2021 (same as SCAPTP deadline for captive site applications)

Notification Date
February 12, 2021 (same as SCAPTP captive site notification date)

Contact
Elizabeth Preston Cisneros, PhD
Clinical Director of the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychology
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare
255 E. Bonita Ave.
Pomona, CA 91767

Phone: 909/596-7733, ext. 3525
Fax: 909/593-0096
Email: ecisneros@casacolina.org