Training Program

The post-doctoral program in psychology is a forty hours per week program that runs for 24 months. In addition to clinical work, all fellows will participate in the following:

Weekly:

  • 3 hours individual supervision
  • 1.5 hours clinical team meeting
  • 3.0 hours Core Seminar, led by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. and Trauma Center faculty
  • 1+ hour specialty project meeting(s) (dependent on current grant funding)
  • 1 hour research meeting (if relevant)

Monthly:

  • 1.5 hour Lecture Series
  • Professional Development seminar

Note: Fellows may participate in additional seminars or meetings, dependent on specialty track, availability of advanced seminars, and/or participation in grant-funded projects.

The Core Curriculum

Core Seminar - Held Monday mornings from 9:30-12:30, this weekly seminar provides fellows with a theoretical framework for trauma treatment, as well as a rich case study population drawn from the experiences of a diverse practitioner pool. Faculty and guest lecturers are invited to speak on a wide range of theoretical approaches and treatment options. This seminar is led by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., Margaret Blaustein, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D., and includes presentations by many of the Trauma Center faculty.

Monthly Lecture Series - As Medical Director, Dr. van der Kolk either speaks personally on his research or trauma theory, or invites colleagues in the trauma field do the same. These lectures occur once a month on Thursday afternoons between 12:00-1:30 and draw a wide audience from the Boston psychological community.

Additional seminars are often offered through The Trauma Center's Training Institute, and fellows are encouraged to participate in advanced trainings and consultation opportunities throughout the year. In year 2 of the Fellowship, the Core Seminar is replaced by advanced clinical seminars and consultation groups.

Supervision

Each fellow will be assigned a minimum of two clinical supervisors and one “track” supervisor (research or clinical specialty), one of whom will be designated a primary supervisor. Additionally, each fellow will meet individually on a quarterly basis with the Director of Training and also periodically in a group format with other fellows.

Consultation - Opportunities for consultation on dissociative disorders, EMDR, childhood trauma, and other areas are also available.

Fellowship Tracks

These full-time positions are funded against a prorated base salary of $45,000 FTE in the first year, with full-time benefits. Fellows will be salaried for 24 or more hours per week as specified below. The remaining time will be funded via fee-for service clinical assignments, including therapy and evaluation sessions; fellows may anticipate earning at least $12,000 FFS income during their first year, with increased fees typical during the second year. Fellows receive a salary increase in the second year of the position, and there may be opportunity for increased salaried hours during year two.

Track #1 Description – Mind-Body Fellow, Clinical Researcher

The fellow in this track will receive 24 hours salary per week in addition to fee-for-service clinical revenue. The central goal of this fellowship position will be to examine the effectiveness of alternative treatments by utilizing single-case and analog studies to establish feasibility, refine procedures, and implement interventions in settings for which and with populations for whom these innovative methodologies have not been used previously. Primary tasks will include project coordination, development of treatment-related products, program evaluation, manuscript preparation, delivery of training and technical assistance, and other relevant activities. Occasional travel to support implementation and sustainability efforts may be required. In addition, the fellow will become an active participant in the center’s grant-writing team (four hours / week).

The remainder of the fellow's time will involve clinical assessment and treatment, as well as the array of training experiences described above.

Track #2 Description – Mind-Body Fellow, Research-Minded Clinician

The fellow in this track will receive 24 hours salary per week in addition to fee-for-service clinical revenue. The fellow in this track will be funded 24 hours per week. Twenty hours of funding will be utilized to support the ongoing development, evaluation, and refinement of alternative mind-body interventions. Primary tasks will include providing both brief and long-term treatment to trauma-impacted individuals and implementing these alternative interventions in individual and group therapy settings. Additional responsibilities of this postdoctoral fellowship/advanced clinical position will include evaluation of readiness for treatment, assessment of needs, case management, and consultation with community agencies. In addition, the fellow will become an active participant in the center’s grant-writing team (four hours / week).

The remainder of the fellow's time will involve clinical assessment and treatment, as well as the array of training experiences described above.

Track #3 Description – Trauma Center at JRI / van der Kolk Center

The fellow in this track will receive 24 hours salary per week in addition to fee-for-service clinical revenue. The fellow in this track will be funded 24 hours / week. This fellow will spend 2 days (20 hours) per week working in our partner residential program administered by the Justice Resource Institute (van der Kolk Center at Glenhaven Academy), with emphasis on development and sustainability of trauma-informed practices through provision of clinical care, consultation, and training in a residential treatment setting for adolescents with a history of exposure to complex traumatic stress. In this setting, the fellow will function as part of a multi-disciplinary team, and will have additional opportunities for trauma-informed psychological evaluation, intensive clinical treatment, group treatment, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The applicant for this position need not have prior experience working in residential settings; however, clinical experience with adolescents is desirable.

In addition, this fellow will be an active member of the Trauma Center grant-writing and research team, with four hours of funding allotted to this task. The remainder of the fellow's time (2 days/week) will involve clinical assessment and treatment in the outpatient clinic of the Trauma Center at JRI, as well as the array of training experiences described above.

Track #4 Description – Clinical Treatment Outcome Project Coordinator

The fellow in this track will be receive 32 hours salary per week in addition to fee-for-service clinical revenue. Twenty-eight salaried hours will support primary coordination of a randomized controlled community-based effectiveness trial of an evidence-based complex trial intervention. Primary tasks may include project coordination; statistical analysis; support for program evaluation; conduct of diagnostic interview batteries; manuscript preparation; delivery of training and technical assistance; and other relevant activities. In addition, the fellow will become an active participant in the center’s grant-writing team (four hours / week). Applicants for this position should have exceptional writing and organizational skills, and will be expected to collaborate in producing a minimum of two manuscripts per year for peer-review publication; the fellow will have an opportunity for first-author publication in year two following successful completion of year one expectations. Experience working as a research assistant, project coordinator or equivalent, and familiarity with statistical analysis and database organization are strongly preferred for this track. The remainder of the fellow's time will involve clinical assessment and treatment in the outpatient clinic at the Trauma Center, as well as the array of training experiences described above.

To learn how to apply:

An additional two Postdoctoral Fellowship positions will be available at the MetroWest Behavioral Health Center (MBHC) in Acton, MA. For MBHC positions, please click here.

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