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Traumatic Stress Track (155212)

The Traumatic Stress track offers unique opportunities to work with both military and civilian populations. Treatment settings are diverse and include a Veterans Administration Medical Center, a hospital-based outpatient clinic, a community child advocacy center, and variety of community-based outreach settings.  Applicants with interests in either adult or child traumatic stress are welcome.

 

Community Outreach Program — Esperanza (COPE)

The Community Outreach Program — Esperanza (COPE) is a specialty clinic within the National Crime Victims Research & Treatment Center. COPE provides community-based assessment, referral, and treatment services to children who have been victimized by crime (e.g., sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence) or have experienced other traumatic events (such as a natural disaster or a serious accident). Services are provided in the child's community (e.g., home, school). COPE attempts to reach victim populations that have traditionally been underserved by office-based mental health care programs, especially rural populations and racial/ethnic minorities.

Although open to children from all racial/ethnic minority groups, a significant proportion of referrals involve children of Hispanic descent. In addition to direct services, COPE offers consultation and in-service training to local and state service agencies (e.g., Department of Social Services, public health centers, schools) in order to increase community awareness of the special needs children who have been victimized. Interns have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of COPE services. Clinically, interns are trained in behavioral and cognitive behavioral treatment interventions, with a particular focus on adapting evidence-based interventions for use in community settings. Interns develop expertise in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders. Finally, interns are encouraged to become involved in ongoing research and/or to participate in related research endeavors.

After completing the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Accurately identify trauma-related symptoms and diagnose trauma-related disorders among child victims of civilian trauma in community-based settings.        
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for addressing trauma-related problems among adult and child victims of civilian trauma within community-based settings.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems (specifically, TF-CBT, Prolonged Exposure, and Cognitive Processing Therapy) within community-based settings.
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
  • Identify relevant social service systems that serve civilian trauma victims and advise patients effectively about those services.

Location of Rotation

National Crime Victims Research & Treatment Center, MUSC

Faculty

 

Dee Norton Children’s Advocacy Center (DNCAC)

A freestanding children’s advocacy center, DNCAC has a multidisciplinary staff representing psychology, social work, case management, and forensic interviewing. We also have co-located physicians, nurses and fellows from the MUSC division of child abuse pediatrics. Each year, the DNCAC provides direct services to over 1,500 child maltreatment victims, including both forensic and clinical (i.e., assessment and/or treatment) services. Children served at our program identify as African American (42 percent), Caucasian (33 percent), mixed race (6 percent), Hispanic/Latino (8 percent), and other/unknown (11 percent). Approximately half (59 percent, N = 690) of the children we serve have experienced child maltreatment, including physical abuse (31 percent), exposure to domestic violence (20 percent), and sexual abuse (16 percent).

Psychology interns receive didactic and experiential training in evidence-based assessments and treatments for children who have experienced child abuse or trauma. The treatments provided at DNCAC include Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Sexual Behavior Problem — Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (SBP-CBT). Psychology interns predominantly conduct mental health assessments and provide AF-CBT and PCIT. Interns have the opportunity to observe forensic interviews. Psychology interns on this rotation collaborate with many multidisciplinary partners, including pediatricians, social workers, child protective services, law enforcement, and prosecutors. There are also shared training activities with interns from social work and clinical counseling programs. 

By the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Accurately assess clinical symptoms commonly associated with trauma exposure in children and adolescents. 
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for addressing trauma-related problems among adult and child victims of abuse and trauma.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems [specifically, Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)].
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
  • Effectively provide evidence-based treatments to underserved populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and those families at economic disadvantage, and overcome barriers to the implementation of evidence-based treatments in community settings.

Location of Rotation

Dee Norton Children's Advocacy Center, Charleston, South Carolina

Faculty

 

Pediatric Primary Care (PPC)

Interns function as part of an integrated behavioral and physical health team that serves children who are currently in foster care placements in Charleston and Dorchester Counties. Interns perform a variety of duties, including consultation with pediatricians on behavioral health issues; brief, targeted psychological assessments; provision of evidence-based interventions (e.g., Trauma Focused-Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy); and short-term crisis stabilization counseling (using the Child-Family Traumatic Stress Intervention) with foster children and their families. Interns participate in case staffings with the FCSC team (pediatrician, nurse-practitioner, social worker, and psychologist), which will jointly determine the service plan for each child. Interns round with pediatricians and nurse practitioners to provide some brief interventions “on-the-fly” during clinic and also have scheduled clinics in which they provide more traditional outpatient psychotherapy (based on referrals and case needs from the FCSC team).

The rotation also provides an excellent opportunity to develop skills for effective interaction with community and public agencies, like the child protection and foster care service systems.

At the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Effectively screen for disruptive behavior problems, parenting concerns, and trauma-related symptoms in underserved, trauma-exposed youth living in out-of-home care.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based and best practice interventions to facilitate improvements in behavioral adjustment, depression, and PTSD symptoms.
  • Interact and consult effectively with a multidisciplinary (pediatrician, nurse practitioner, social worker) treatment team within a primary care setting.
  • Educate multidisciplinary health care providers about behavioral health factors that affect health care delivery.
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's MUSC electronic medical record.

Location of Rotation

Medical University of South Carolina

Faculty

 

National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC)

The population served by the NCVC includes victims of a variety of crimes and traumatic events (sexual/physical assault, robbery, burglary), sexual and physical assault, domestic violence, witnesses to violence, and family members of homicide victims. Interns develop expertise in the assessment of traumatic events in the client's history and post-trauma adaptation, including post-traumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, and affective disorders. As a therapist, the intern works with victims (and their families) utilizing evidence-based therapeutic techniques including Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Prolonged Exposure. Interns see patients in both the adult clinic and family and child clinic, and have separate clinical supervisors for each clinic. Interns may, if their schedule permits, co-lead a support group for surviving family members of homicide victims. Because this rotation serves a cross-section of the community, interns are expected to be available to work in an evening clinic one day per week (currently Wednesday) until approximately 8 p.m. Their remaining work schedules are adjusted to accommodate for this evening clinic requirement.

Research opportunities are available for interns interested in understanding innovative service and training methods for trauma populations; the application of innovative technologies in the treatment of trauma victims and the training of clinical professionals; the epidemiology of trauma and its consequences; and the physiological and genetic determinants of trauma-related psychopathology.

After completing the NCVC rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Accurately identify trauma-related symptoms and diagnose trauma-related disorders among adult and child victims of civilian trauma.
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for addressing trauma-related problems among adult and child victims of civilian trauma.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems.
  • Document the delivery of, and patient response to, services in each patient's medical record.
  • Identify relevant social service systems that serve civilian trauma victims and advise patients effectively about those services.

Location of Rotation

MUSC Institute of Psychiatry outpatient clinic

Faculty

 

PTSD Clinical Team Service (PCT)

This rotation provides an opportunity to work with veterans who were exposed to combat and other military trauma. The PCT is an outpatient multidisciplinary team consisting of psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, and trainees. The emphases are on evidence-based evaluation, innovative treatment modalities, and individual evidence-based therapy utilizing exposure and other cognitive-behavioral treatment protocols. Interns may also have the opportunity to provide treatment to veterans via telehealth and/or lead groups focused on psychoeducation about common reactions to trauma in an inpatient setting.

The intern functions as an integral part of the treatment team and is involved in every aspect of patient care. Specifically, the intern participates in the evaluation and diagnosis of PTSD and other psychological conditions using a multi-dimensional assessment approach; implements individual cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches, including exposure therapy and cognitive processing therapy; gains an understanding of systemic issues related to PTSD in the VA system (such as iatrogenic effects, secondary gain, or malingering); participates in ongoing clinic program evaluation efforts, primarily through collecting and entering data on PCT treatment initiation and primary and secondary outcome measures.

Opportunities for engagement in productive clinical research are present through on-going studies or the development of new projects. At the end of the rotation, trainees will be able to:

  • Accurately identify and diagnose trauma-related disorders among veterans.
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for trauma-related problems among adult veterans.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems (specifically, prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy for PTSD, supplemented with behavioral activation/grief processing/or other anxiety disorder treatments as needed).
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
  • Accurately track and interpret ongoing progress in treatment over the course of therapy with weekly self-report measures combined with a synthesis of all other clinically relevant information.
  • Participate regularly and deliver clinical feedback effectively during video-based group clinical supervision of prolonged exposure therapy.

Location of Rotation

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center

Faculty

 

Stall High School Mental Health Clinic (Stall)

This rotation is school-based and offers broad clinical opportunities working with adolescents with internalizing and externalizing problems, trauma symptoms, and emotional regulation difficulties. Services are provided during school hours; however, interns are encouraged to meet with students’ parents as necessary before or after school. Interns on this rotation will have the opportunity to work with traditionally underserved populations, as Stall High School serves largely African American and Hispanic communities. Clinically, interns are trained in behavioral and cognitive behavioral treatment interventions, with a particular focus on adapting evidence-based interventions for use in school settings. Opportunities for group therapy are available and highly encouraged. Interns work directly with teachers and other school officials to develop treatment plans that are applicable to the classroom setting and that will address school behavior. In addition, interns are welcome to become involved in ongoing research and/or to participate in related research endeavors.

After completing the Stall High School rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Assess internalizing, externalizing, and trauma symptoms utilizing evidence-based, standardized assessment measures, in a culturally competent manner.
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans utilizing assessment results.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, and monitor the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and/or disruptive behavior.
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
  • Function effectively in the school setting by providing consultation and in-service training/psychoeducation to teachers and school personnel as necessary.
  • Tailor evidence-based treatment interventions to meet the needs of each student utilizing a culturally competent and linguistically appropriate approach.

Location of Rotation

Stall High School, North Charleston, South Carolina

Faculty

 

Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program (TRRP)

The Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program is a multidisciplinary experience that provides an opportunity to work with children and adults who experienced traumatic injury. Once enrolled in our service via our level-1 trauma center, these patients are monitored for emotional recovery and offered mental health assessment and treatment as needed. PTSD and depression are prevalent in this population. Interns provide psychoeducation in our acute care setting, assist patients in remote monitoring of emotional recovery, and conduct telehealth-based assessment and treatment for patients who develop PTSD or depression. Exposure-based treatments, behavioral activation, and other best practice interventions are used most often.

The intern functions as an integral part of the treatment team and is involved in every aspect of patient care. Specifically, the intern participates in assessment and diagnosis of PTSD, depression, and other psychological conditions using a multi-dimensional assessment approach, and then implements individual and family behavioral treatment approaches, such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and stress management techniques, as indicated. Interns also gain an understanding of systemic issues related to continuity of care and interdisciplinary management of clinical cases. Participating interns may be involved in pilot studies and clinical trials, if appropriate, and programmatic development of the telehealth service for trauma patients.

Note: this rotation is considered both a Behavioral Medicine and Traumatic Stress track rotation.

At the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Identify trauma-related symptoms and accurately diagnose trauma-related disorders among child and adult survivors of serious traumatic injury using psychometrically valid interview-oriented measures.
  • Track and accurately interpret patient mental health recovery following their discharge using psychometrically validated approaches to determine need for services and monitor progress in telehealth treatment.
  • Deliver with fidelity best-practice treatments for PTSD and depression, such as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Behavioral Activation (BA).
  • Document the delivery of assessment and telehealth treatment services and patient responses to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.

Location of Rotation

MUSC Emergency Department and Department of Psychiatry

Faculty

Helpful Links

Charleston Consortium Brochure 2017-2018 (PDF)

American Psychological Association
Office of Program Consultation & Accreditation
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
202-336-5979
202-336-5978 (fax)
APA website
apaaccred@apa.org

APPIC Central Office
17225 El Camino Real
Onyx One - Suite #170
Houston, TX 77058-2748
832-284-4080
832-284-4079 (fax)
appic@appic.org

 

 

 
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