Post-Doctoral Associate in Professional Psychology

* RHS-CAPS will NOT be offering Post-Doc postions for the 2016-2017 year*
* We hope to offer post-doctoral positions again in the near future – stay tuned *

Program Overview

The postdoctoral training program at CAPS is designed to build on the foundation of general clinical skills developed in the pre-doctoral internship year. The post-doctoral year focuses on areas of specialization selected by the student. Post-Docs may acquire the supervised postdoctoral training necessary for licensing eligibility as well as the advanced clinical skills needed for work as an independent psychologist.

Goals and Objectives

The postdoctoral training program is committed to providing comprehensive training experiences that will facilitate a postdoctoral trainee’s development as an independent professional psychologist. A primary goal of the program is to assist post-docs in strengthening and consolidating their clinical and professional skills and integrating these skills into their professional identities as psychologists. The postdoctoral year marks a significant developmental transition of individuals from trainees to well-rounded, independent professionals. It is expected that post-docs will be able to function competently and autonomously by the end of the training year.

Special focus is given to post-doctoral trainee development in the following areas

A. The consolidation of core professional competencies in clinical/counseling psychology including the attitudes, theoretical knowledge and applied skills necessary for work with a broad range of client issues and problems. Core skills include: (1) initial consultation and assessment skills; (2) crisis assessment and intervention skills; (3) individual counseling/therapy skills; (4) group counseling skills; (5) ethical decision making; and (6) consultation and prevention skills.

B. The consolidation and integration of knowledge, awareness, appreciation and skills for work with diverse populations. Postdoctoral trainee’s are encouraged and mentored to examine and explore their knowledge of and attitudes toward cultural, racial, sexual, religious, physical and age differences as part of this development.

C. The consolidation of knowledge, understanding and application of ethical principles and practices in clinical work. This includes knowledge of laws and regulations as well as the awareness of challenges, recent developments and trends in the field of psychology. This also involves the commitment on the part of postdoctoral trainee’s to ongoing, lifelong learning and development, both personally and professionally.

D. The development of a professional identity as a psychologist, and the evolution of self-identity from student to professional. This process involves the integration of knowledge of oneself with the ability to work clinically with richly diverse populations. This also involves being able to assume professional and personal responsibility for one’s work.

E. While the overall post-doctoral training year is focused on the core duties of a psychologist in a university counseling center setting, postdoctoral trainee’s are encouraged to develop individual areas of interest and expertise. Post-docs are encouraged to maintain flexibility in their thinking and approaches to learning. This flexibility will enable trainee’s to develop clinical and consultation skills that are generalizable to other settings, such as outpatient mental health and hospital settings.

In order to facilitate these goals, intensive supervision, consultation with senior staff and on-going feedback are provided. The primary objective of the postdoctoral training program is to help trainee’s reach advanced professional competency in preparation for licensure upon completion of the program. Competency requirements assume integration of academic knowledge and clinical skills into the professional role of a psychologist.

Components of The Post-Doctoral training program at CAPS

Psychotherapy

Post-Docs will build their caseload over the course of their first month or two at the center. This caseload mix will typically be comprised of a diverse range of individual clients with an equally wide range of presenting problems. The individual work will be supplemented with couples work and group psychotherapy experiences. Twelve to fifteen hours of psychotherapy per week are expected with two hours of individual supervisors assigned. Supervision is one hour weekly with each supervisor.

Assessment/Triage

Training in comprehensive assessment and diagnosis skills will be provided to post-doctoral trainee’s both during the initial training phase of the program, and throughout the training year. Post-Docs will also acquire specialized training in psychological triage, a cutting edge intake system designed to facilitate rapid assessment, evaluate psychological risk factors and to develop an individualized treatment plan for each student seeking services at CAPS. Assessment is an ongoing process at CAPS that continues throughout treatment.

Curriculum/Clinical Topics Seminar

A year long (2-hour) clinical topics seminar forms the nucleus of the didactic curriculum for the post-doctoral training at CAPS; these are supplemented by the monthly departmental professional development seminars and other lectures offered at the weekly continuing medical education meetings. Additionally, the post-doctoral trainee will participate in a weekly multidisciplinary case conference attended by all CAPS staff.

Supervision

Postdoctoral Trainee’s and Interns meet weekly (2-hour) as a group with the Associate Director for Clinical Training to discuss cases, review treatment plans and to strengthen case conceptualizations and treatment effectiveness. In addition, a minimum of two supervisors (New Jersey licensed psychologists) are assigned to each Post-Doctoral Trainee for the year. Each Post-Doc is given two hours of individual supervision weekly, in accordance with the standards for licensure in the state of New Jersey.

Outreach

Post-Docs are required to actively participate in the outreach component of the post-doctoral training program. Post-Docs are encouraged to develop an ongoing outreach project at the university and work closely with the outreach coordinator at the center and their individual supervisors to refine their outreach and consultation skills and to define a personal area of clinical interest. Our goal is to provide the support necessary for the fellow to graduate from the program with an advanced set of clinical and outreach/consultation skills and to be fully prepared to secure the position of her or his choice.

Clinical Competency Evaluations

Documentation of clinical competency is necessary for the successful completion of the post-doctoral training program. The post-doctoral trainee will be formally evaluated by both individual supervisors on three separate occasions over the course of the year (at the end of the fall and spring semester and upon completion of the Post-Doctoral Training Program. The post-doc is required to demonstrate an advanced and sophisticated understanding of diagnosis, assessment, and psychotherapy as well as an ability to critically and sensitively use information derived from the empirical literature to guide the development of the treatment plan and selection of clinical interventions.

The clinical competency evaluation completed at the conclusion of the training year will cover all areas of clinical competencies involved in the work of a university psychologist including individual and group psychotherapy, assessment and diagnosis, emergency and crisis intervention skills, outreach and consultation skills and professional development.

Qualifications

Applicants must have a completed doctoral degree from a [regionally/APA accredited] program in counseling or clinical psychology prior to the training program starting date (NOTE: The candidates must have completed their dissertation prior to starting the post-doctoral fellowship.). A completed pre-doctoral internship [from a regionally/APA accredited site] is also required. Qualified candidates should have strong clinical skills in differential lengths of treatment, assessment, crisis intervention, and supervision of trainees. It is preferred that candidates have counseling center experience and that they understand outreach and consultation programs, and have specialized experiences in an area of clinical specialization such as the assessment/treatment of eating disorders, treatment of trauma, LGBTQ issues, working with student athletes, and/or substance abuse issues.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for the postdoctoral fellowship year is $32,000 plus health benefits, and includes two weeks vacation, plus university holidays.

Application Procedure

To apply for a post-doctoral associate position at CAPS please send a cover letter, resume and three (3) letters of recommendation to the Associate Director for Clinical Training at the address listed below.  We start accepting applications on December 1 for the following training year.  Application deadline is February 20.

For Further Information

Steven Sohnle, Psy.D., ABPP.
Associate Director for Clinical Training
Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services
17 Senior Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 932-7884
Steven.Sohnle@rutgers.edu