Wellness Center Practicum
High school site-based clinical training programs designed to provide Marriage Family Therapy and Clinical Social Work interns new skills by working in a school setting.
RAMS, inc. (Richmond Area Multi-Services) offers a high school site-based clinical training program designed to provide Marriage Family Therapy, and Clinical Social Work interns and trainees with the generalized professional practice skills of a behavioral health counselor in a high school setting. We are accepting clinicians-in-training into our program, giving preference to students who have an expressed interest in cultural competence and the vision of working long-term with adolescents in a school milieu.
Trainees/interns will have the opportunity to develop individual and group counseling skills, in both mental health and substance use issues through the high school Wellness Centers In addition, students will learn intake/assessment, case management, and crisis intervention skills as well as gain familiarity of the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) system and youth services in San Francisco.
Located in 19 public high schools, the Wellness Center programs are a joint project between SFUSD, SFDPH, and RAMS. The Wellness program is responsible for serving, primarily non-academic needs of the students and is comprised of a core staff typically including a Wellness Coordinator, a school health nurse, a CHOW (Community Health Outreach Worker), and RAMS Behavioral Health Counselor. The Wellness Center team provides counseling and other health services, but also works to link students and their families to resources outside of school, and to bring community based organizations on campus. The vision of Wellness purports that a well supported student has the best chance for academic and personal success. For more information on the Wellness Initiative, please visit their website at www.sfwellness.org
Training & Role
Our trainees/interns function as integral members of RAMS Behavioral Health Counseling team of the Wellness Centers Program. Because of the rich diversity of the client population and treatment team, trainees/interns have the opportunity to hone their clinical skills while developing professional sensitivity to issues of adolescents, culture, ethnic identity, religion, class, disability, gender, and sexual orientation. Trainees/Interns will also have both didactic and supervisory training. Our licensed clinical supervisors have extensive experience as high school-based therapists and each student will receive 1 hour of individual and 2 hour of group supervision weekly. They will also be mentored by RAMS senior behavioral health counselors, and provided administrative support by the Program Director.
As part of our commitment to maintaining and further enhancing the professional development and cultural competence of staff, interns, and trainees, RAMS coordinates various clinical trainings, presentations, case conferences, didactic seminars, and group discussions at which local, national, and internationally renowned experts present on various clinical and cultural topics. Interns/trainees have the opportunity to participate in such events as part of the Wellness internship/traineeship program.
Because RAMS employs over 400 employees in 30 programs, trainings at RAMS have a wide breadth. Trainees/Interns are invited to the majority of these trainings in addition to attending specific trainings geared toward the Wellness Trainee/Intern program. Examples of trainings in 2016 from both the Wellness Program and RAMS at large include:
- “Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy,” Hannah Levenson, PhD
- “ Reading Body Language in Youth, “ Gabriel Kram, Applied Mindfulness
- “Trauma, Grief & Loss Issues in Adolescents,” Babe Kawaii-Bogue, PhD
- “Clinical Boundaries in Schools,” Richard Zevin, LCSW
- “Countertransference in a School-Based Setting,” Talia Korenbrot, MFT
- “Brief Intervention System,” Kevin Gogin, MFT
- “ “Motivational Interviewing & Stages of Change,” Cynthia Hoffman, MFT
- “Using Alternative Therapies With Teens,” Caya Schaan, ASW
- “Group Counseling with Teens”, Dennielle Kronenberg, LCSW
- “Working with African American Youth,” David Shepard, PhD
Roles/Functions of the Behavioral Health Intern/Trainee
The RAMS Behavioral Health trainees/interns will generally provide ongoing weekly counseling to students who are unable or unwilling to go off site for counseling due to monetary, academic, or other support challenges. Caseloads range from 8 – 12. Some students are dealing with typical developmental adolescent issues such as concerns about school, friends and individuation. More often, however, students being seen on-going by RAMS have experienced multiple traumas related to issues such as immigration, family, community violence; sexual, physical abuse and/or substance abuse within their families. The length of time that a student is seen by a RAMS counselor varies depending on the presenting problem, the needs of the student, and the demands made on the time of the therapist.
RAMS facilitates one or more prevention groups at each site every year to address substance abuse related topics. Clinicians are creative in what that group looks like -structure, theme, members, etc. and taper the group to the culture and need of the school. Groups are about 6 weeks in length, but can vary. Interns/trainees may have the option to run or co-facilitate a group during the 2nd semester depending on availability of space.
Each Wellness Center receives referrals from teachers, counselors, parents and students about various concerns about students. Interns/trainees may be given referrals to provide a behavioral health assessment. In an assessment, we concentrate on building rapport with students and getting them comfortable with Wellness services. We look at a student’s risk-factors and gather history to assess for mental health and/or substance abuse issues. We help student’s figure out what their strengths are and what they need to succeed both in school and in their lives. We then determine with the student and their family what services best meet their needs and assist them in accessing those services. RAMS counselors know that every student and family has unique needs dependent on culture, socio-economic background, language, and learning style. We will utilize Wellness, school, family, or community support services to best match the needs of the student.
There are many different kinds of crises that can arise in a school setting, such as suicidal/homicidal threats, child abuse, or community violence. An intern/trainee may run into such a crises on their caseload. RAMS and the other members of the Wellness Team at each site works closely with family, school administration and community resources, such as Child Crisis or CPS, to stabilize crises. Interns/trainees will not be expected to handle crises alone, but will be able to utilize our on-call crisis supervision, RAMS and Wellness staff as support.
Application & Selection
For 2023-2024 our clinical practicum program will offer a total of 6 positions for students.
Each application package should include:
- A letter of interest and intent (where applicants need to explain why they are interested in our training and point out their appropriate qualifications);
- Curriculum vitae
- Two letters of recommendation, preferably, from people who know the applicant’s clinical work.
The deadline for submission is Friday, February 17, 2023. First and second interviews will be conducted between February 21 and March 24. Offers made no later than March 31. Acceptance required by April 14.