Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine / Clinical Psychology
Houston Methodist Behavioral Health (2019-2020)
Houston Methodist Behavioral Health is a tertiary care, specialty clinic with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, rehabilitation specialists and trainees that provides comprehensive assessment and mental health/behavioral health care for patients with complex, difficult-to-treat myriad psychiatric concerns often in the context of chronic medical comorbidity. Our model is a team-based approach with significant time to interact with patients, families, as well as colleagues to develop and implement personalized plans of care addressing the whole person. Our catchment area serves patients from across the globe, allowing for an experiential, culturally-competent and contextually-specific training opportunity.
Fellows will develop increasing autonomy as they contribute to our highly individualized treatment programming, including 1) a comprehensive therapeutic assessment, 2) a first of its kind Functional Rehabilitation Program, and 3) an Intensive Outpatient Program. Inpatient experiences in an acute-care psychiatric as well as medical/surgical setting can be made available for interested fellows.
The therapeutic assessment takes approximately 7 to 10 business days and is informed by different assessment models while maintaining a humanistic and patient-centered approach. The assessment is personalized to each individual’s needs (e.g., personality testing, neuropsychological testing) and when beneficial includes consultation from specialized mental health providers from within the community (eating disorders specialists, OCD specialists) as well as other medical expertise available within the Texas Medical Center. Customized therapeutic feedback on assessment results is given to patients with a focus on facilitating understanding of presenting symptoms with greater depth and compassion.
Our Functional Rehabilitation Program is designed for individuals with chronic psychiatric and/or medical conditions that have left them unable to engage fully with their lives. This program spans 5 to 8 weeks (M-F, 800-400) but can be extended when clinically useful. Uniquely, patients receive at least 10 hours of individual psychotherapy per week and will meet with their physician several times per week. All patients participate in group therapies offered in conjunction with the Intensive Outpatient Program.
The Intensive Outpatient Program (M-F, 800-1200) is composed of psycho-educational and experiential/process-based groups, including: yoga, art therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), compassion-focused therapy (CFT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), mentalization based therapy (MBT), as well as designated programming emphasizing family dynamics.
Admission requirements include completion of all professional doctoral degree requirements from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or an American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited program and a pre-doctoral internship meeting Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) standards. This requirement is defined as "having on the first day of the fellowship either the diploma in hand or a letter from the director of graduate studies verifying the completion of all degree requirements pending institution graduation ceremony." Previous experience working in an inpatient psychiatric setting and/or medical setting is preferred, though not required. Experience with, but at least an openness to, projective measures also is preferred.
The Fellowship is 1-year with the option of a 2nd year pending agreement between the Fellow and the Fellowship Directors. The decision to stay on for a 2nd year should be made no later than 6 months into the 1st year. The Fellow may receive training and supervised clinical experience in consultation, assessment, testing, individual psychotherapy, couples/family therapy, and group therapy. Patient populations include, but are not limited to, individuals with chronic psychiatric illness (e.g., treatment resistant depression, borderline personality disorder), somatic symptom disorder (e.g., non-epileptic events, psychogenic movement disorders), as well as chronic pain and opioid dependence.
Didactics and Supervision:
The Fellow will be required to attend all Grand Rounds offered through the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), available via live-streaming in our clinic as well as appropriate Grand Rounds offered through various departments within the Houston Methodist Hospital System. Fellows will work closely with team members and engage in a minimum of two hours of direct supervision per week with a licensed clinical psychologist. Fellows will be expected to attend all team meetings. A team of licensed clinical psychologists provides supervision allowing for exposure to various theoretical perspectives (ACT, CBT, MBT).
Interested Fellows will have opportunities to collaborate on ongoing research projects as well as develop independent lines of clinical research.
Clinical and Research Competency Evaluations:
Documentation of clinical and research competency is necessary for the successful completion of the fellowship. The fellow presents a diagnostic evaluation, including original data, and a written case formulation prepared on a patient seen during the past 12 months. A faculty committee reviews these materials and discusses with the fellow. The fellow is required to demonstrate a 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. Research competency is demonstrated at the conclusion of the fellowship year by the submission of an empirical or theoretical article to a refereed journal.
To apply for the Fellowship, the only materials requested are a (1) letter of interest and (2) current curriculum vitae.
Interviews and start date:
We plan to invite candidates for in-person interviews until the position is filled. The fellowship begins at a mutually agreed upon date between July 1, 2019 and September 1, 2019.