Vanderbilt Psychological & Counseling Center (PCC)

Site Training Director: Monica Muhomba, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Email: monicah.muhomba@vanderbilt.edu

Positions: 3

Salary: $25,000

Term: July 3, 2017 - June 29, 2018

National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 156617

Overview

The Vanderbilt University Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC) is a large and well utilized counseling center, with a staff of approximately 30 full and part-time mental health professionals. Our staff is active and multidisciplinary in nature, consisting of psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse-practitioners. The PCC is also a multidisciplinary training center. In addition to psychology interns, graduate level practicum students from a variety of mental health disciplines train at the center, as do psychiatry residents and post-doctoral fellows in psychology. Working in this multidisciplinary setting provides interns with opportunities to cultivate and sharpen clinical consultation skills with a variety of mental health professionals. The overall depth and breadth of training experiences offered make the PCC an excellent fit for those seeking a career in a variety of outpatient settings.

As a training site within the larger consortium, the PCC provides a comprehensive program that involves opportunities in:

  • Short-and long-term Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Support Groups
  • Diagnostic interviewing
  • Assessment (cognitive and psycho-educational)
  • Supervision
  • Crisis intervention (triage and on-call)
  • Outreach and consultation

Potential for Program Change: There are no foreseeable, significant changes anticipated for this training program. Any significant changes that directly affect the structure and/or training offered at the PCC will be made public when and if they emerge.

The purpose of the Vanderbilt Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC) internship training program is to prepare doctoral level interns to function broadly, effectively, competently and autonomously as professional psychologists in a wide variety of clinical settings. Some specific objectives of the PCC training program include:

  • Initial interviewing, diagnostic assessment, treatment planning and case formulation
  • Psychological assessment: Administration, scoring, interpreting a variety of cognitive, personality & other assessments to address varied referral questions.
  • Ability to write comprehensive integrated reports
  • Proficiency in implementing a broad range of psychological interventions  including evidence-based approaches (e.g. CBT, DBT, interpersonal) in short and long term individual therapy
  • Establishing effectiveness in forming therapeutic relationships and appropriately identifying therapeutic limits
  • Working effectively with persons from diverse backgrounds
  • Development of a professional identity as a psychologist that includes the integration of science, theory, local evidence and professional ethics into professional practice
  • Effectively communicating psychological concepts to non-psychologists  through ongoing consultation and collaboration with multidisciplinary staff

The primary focus for interns includes individual & group psychotherapy and psychological assessment with Vanderbilt University undergraduate, graduate students, and professional students. Psychotherapy training at the PCC is grounded in empirically-supported treatments, including (but not limited to) CBT, DBT, psychodynamic, and interpersonal approaches. PCC clients reflect the diversity of the campus population. They present with a wide range of issues and severity. As such, interns can expect to develop rich caseloads that vary in terms of presenting concern, cultural issues, complexity, and duration of treatment. Decisions regarding treatment modality are determined through needs assessment based on accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Full-time interns at the PCC can expect to engage in an average of 18 direct client contact hours per week. Additionally, although emphasis is placed on producing skilled generalist-practitioners, opportunities for specialization are made available through participation in various treatment teams (Alcohol/Other Drugs, Trauma, and Eating Disorders), exposure to additional treatment modalities such as biofeedback, and interventions to specific populations through the numerous therapy groups and workshops  (DBT, LGBTQI, coping skills, ADHD, students of color, graduate process, undergraduate process, women’s health, grief , etc.). Interns also have the opportunity to participate in a few outreach programs and work with various campus partners such as the Student Health Center and Residential Education Office among others.

Interns also participate in a number of structured training/learning activities on and off site. These include a weekly assessment seminar and case conference (on-site), as well as Friday morning case presentations/didactic meetings (off-site). Additional training experiences take place throughout the year and are determined by specific training needs, as well as center and campus requests. The PCC is also engaged in collaborative research with academic programs on campus. Interns experience an educational setting in which there is active learning and curiosity, generating opportunity for dialogue in a challenging learning environment.

All interns participate in structured training activities to ensure development of core competencies. The required activities include:

  • Direct clinical service (individual and group therapy)
  • Conducting new client evaluations and generating written reports
  • Assessment, including attending assessment seminar
  • Receiving and providing individual clinical supervision
  • Participating in supervision of supervision
  • Attending weekly staff meetings
  • Attending weekly case conference meetings
  • Participating in on-call service

All full-time PCC interns train at the center Monday through Wednesday during regular work hours (8am-5pm), and are off-site, all day, on Thursday for their secondary placement. Friday mornings are devoted to the case presentation/didactic meetings (off-site) with interns returning to the PCC for the second half of the day.

We are committed to an ongoing dialogue about individual differences in order to work effectively with the entire student body at Vanderbilt. We offer culturally competent and empirically supported services in a safe and affirming space. Our therapeutic, assessment, outreach, and educational programs are delivered in a caring and compassionate manner that recognizes the unique characteristics and experiences of the individual student. We support and challenge each other’s understanding of our own biases and experiences through active reading and dialogue.

Interns can participate in or create team research relevant to Center operations. The amount and focus of such research varies from year to year. The Center is becoming increasingly involved in research collaborations with academic departments within the University. 

The PCC offers no inpatient services. Center interns are encouraged to seek such experiences through their secondary placements.

Only applicants from APA-Accredited Counseling or Clinical Psychology doctoral programs will be considered eligible for internship positions within the Consortium.  Applicants must have defended their dissertation proposal by ranking deadline.  Consistent with the other agencies in the Consortium, applicants to the PCC must have a minimum of 550 total hours, of which at least 130 must be assessment hours.

Mary Clare Champion, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Interests: Women’s health; health psychology; supervision/student development; individual psychotherapy

Nalini Connor, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Interests: Interpersonal/relationship problems; depression; anxiety; identity issues; and clinical supervision. Psychotherapy orientation is integrative, primarily using CBT, interpersonal-focused therapy, and insight oriented therapy.

Catherine Fuchs, MD.
Center Director, Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Interests: Children and adolescents; adolescent mood disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; and eating disorders

Divya Kannan, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Interests: Trauma and PTSD, sexual assault, international student adjustment, using integrative approach with particular emphasis on cognitive and emotion-focused interventions.

Monica Muhomba, Ph.D., HSP
Training Director, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Interests: Training and supervision, DBT skills training, trauma/PTSD, broad range of identity struggles, interpersonal problems, couples therapy, adjustment issues, multicultural issues. Psychotherapy orientation is eclectic, primarily using interpersonal and DBT approaches.

Frances Niarhos, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Assessment Coordinator
Interests: Neurocognitive assessment, LD and ADHD, health psychology and adjustment to chronic illness

Melissa Porter, Psy.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Practicum Student Intake Assessment Coordinator, Case Assignment Coordinator
Interests: individual, group, and family therapy regarding women's issues, trauma, adjustment issues, depression, assessments, and crisis assistance. Interventions predominately utilize CBT, trauma focused CBT, and supportive therapy along with EMDR.

David Sacks, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Interests: personality/interpersonal issues, systems-based practice, supervision, and psychological aspects of performance.

Anabella Pavon Wilson, Ph.D., HSP
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Interests: individual, group, and family therapy, adjustment issues, identity development, multicultural issues, anxiety and depression, predominately utilizing CBT and supportive therapies.