Outpatient Clinical Practicum

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  • General Information

    RAMS Outpatient Clinical Practicum is opened to students in professional mental health training programs: psychology, social work, and marriage & family therapy.

    The Training Center is located at the site of the RAMS Outpatient Clinic, a free standing mental health facility contracted by the City and County of San Francisco to provide community-oriented mental health services to families and individuals throughout their life span. While receiving didactic and supervisory training, practicum trainees function as integral members of the Outpatient Clinic’s diverse multidisciplinary and multicultural treatment team.  

    Our clinical practicum is designed to provide trainees with the generalized foundational professional practice skills, and the expectation is that proficiency will be established for the clinical evaluation and assessment, conduct of psychotherapy (individual, family, dyadic & couples) across the lifespan, as well as intervention with the more disturbed and chronically troubled patient. 

    Trainees will learn to search for clients’ strengths and liabilities and make the evaluation data relevant to functional life skills. Because of the nature of the client population, in addition to developing their general clinical acumen, trainees will also learn to work with trauma, grief, and adaptation to major life changes. Thanks to the rich cultural diversity of both clients and staff, trainees have the opportunity to hone their skills while developing keen clinical sensitivity to issues of diversity: cultural, religious, ethnic, disability, sexual orientation, gender and class.

    We seek students who have an expressed interest in cultural competency training and the vision of working with minority populations.

    Training Program

    RAMS Clinical Practicum Program offers 12-14 positions for doctoral-level psychology practicum students and masters-level counseling and social work interns.

    This clinical training requires a 20-hour per week time commitment for twelve months: from the beginning of September until the end of August. There is no stipend; each trainee is entitled to 80 hours of time off (combined vacation and sick leave).

    Work schedule is flexible. However, all trainees need to attend weekly seminars and team meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and mandatory group supervision on either Thursday morning or Tuesday afternoon. There are also two elective training experiences: Group Consultation on Working with Children and Families (Monday afternoon) and Psychodynamic Conceptualization in Working with the Severely Mentally Ill Adults (Wednesday afternoon).

    Trainees work with a caseload of approximately 8-10 clients, including children, families, couples, and adults (the exact percentage of each is based on the actual cases referred to RAMS and varies from year to year) . There is an expectation of 10 hours of direct client contact per week, including a clinical intake hour.

    Every week, trainees receive one hour of individual supervision with a licensed mental health professional (for brief Supervisor Bios, click here). Additionally, all trainees attend at least one 1.5 hour group supervision session per week (up to three and a half hours of group supervision including electives).

    Training is predominantly psychodynamic in approach and emphasizes object relations and contemporary relational perspectives on working with severely disturbed clients. It also features a strong emphasis on cultural competency, especially in regard to Asian, Pacific Islander, and Russian-speaking ethnicities. Students can expect to receive considerable didactic and experiential training in these areas and cultural competency in general.

    The training year starts with an intensive three-week-long Orientation Program. During these three weeks trainees are expected to attend orientation trainings 9am through 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. After that, there are two weekly Didactic Training Seminars. One, which is held on Tuesdays, is for practicum students and doctoral psychology interns only. During the second half of the training year, a case conference format is utilized for this seminar. The other seminar is our Wednesday In-service Training for the entire Outpatient Services staff. Additionally, trainees are welcome to attend agency-wide “feature trainings” such as the RAMS Psychoanalytic Scholar Series held throughout the year (for RAMS Training Sessions, click here).

    Orientation Schedule

    Weekly Practicum Schedule

    For doctoral-level psychology practicum trainees who are applying through the Bay Area Practicum Information Collaborative (BAPIC), the application deadline is February 21, 2020 (postmarked by 11:59 pm) with interviews held shortly thereafter. Selection of psychology practicum students from the BAPIC-affiliated programs will be done through the BAPIC Electronic Practicum Match and will follow procedures accepted by the Bay Area Practicum Information Collaborative. Results of the BAPIC Match will be announced on April 8, 2020. For more information, please visit BAPIC’s website.

    Applications from masters-level interns and doctoral-level psychology practicum trainees who are not applying through the BAPIC (supplemental practicums and non-BAPIC-affiliated programs) are accepted until all placement positions are filled. Please see the application page for more details.

  • Practicum Core Training Activities

    Weekly Practicum Schedule

  • Application

    Our clinical training program offers 10 to 12 positions for doctoral-level psychology practicum students and masters-level clinicians-in-training (counseling, marriage and family therapy and social work trainees and interns).

    Each application should include the following:

    1. A letter of interest and intent (What applicant hopes to learn through RAMS outpatient practicum and what qualifies him or her as a good fit)
    2. Curriculum vitae (Please provide detailed information about all supervised professional experiences, including types of settings, clinical services provided, clinical and cultural populations served, and theoretical orientation of supervision. Additionally, we are asking all applicants who speak languages other than English to provide information on their fluency in these languages – “receptive skills only”; “minor to intermediate conversation skills”; “intermediate to fluent”; “fluent to very fluent”; “native speaker”)
    3. Three recent letters of recommendation (Strong preference is given to recommendations from professionals who are familiar with applicants’ clinical work, as opposed to letters that highlight applicants’ academic achievements.)
    4. A brief clinical case write-up, with all identifying data removed. (We have no preference regarding clinical setting and/or type of client (age, cultural identity, diagnosis, etc.), Simply select any clinical case that showcases your clinical skills at their best. Please keep in mind that extended clinical intake write-ups and/or assessment reports are not ideal for this purpose: Typically, they only show your diagnostic and treatment-planning skills, but not your ability to deal with clinical dynamics. If you would like to see an example of a write-up structure, you may refer to our Case Presentation Format.)

    For doctoral-level psychology practicum trainees who are applying through the Bay Area Practicum Information Collaborative (BAPIC), the application deadline is February 20, 2019. For more information about the BAPIC Match, please visit the BAPIC website: https://bapic.info/. Applications from masters-level interns and doctoral-level psychology practicum trainees who are not applying through the BAPIC (supplemental practicums and non-BAPIC-affiliated programs) are accepted until all placement positions are filled. With inquiries, please email Dr. Alla Volovich (allavolovich@ramsinc.org).

    INTERVIEW PROCESS

    Usually, the Director of Training and one of the clinical supervisors conduct interviews. An average interview takes about an hour, and is rather informal.

    Applicants are asked about their past training and clinical experience, as well as career goals. They are expected to be ready to present clinical cases or to illustrate their style of clinical work with examples. Other topics of the interview may include applicants’ experience in working with severely disturbed patients and their knowledge of psychiatric medications. Applicants’ experience with clients of diversity and understanding of their own cultural identity is often discussed.

    SELECTION OF APPLICANTS

    RAMS, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, culture, religion, ethnicity, physical ability, gender, or sexual orientation. While we prefer bilingual applicants, we accept monolingual English speaking students who are interested in cultural competency training.

    The criteria listed below are those that are typically used for rating applicants during the interview and considered in our ranking of the applicants. This information is provided to you in hope that it will help reduce the interview stress. It is not necessary that all areas apply to each applicant.

    SELECTION CRITERIA FOR PRACTICUM

    Cultural/Diversity Sensitivity

    • Sense of own ethno-cultural identity.
    • Sensitivity to issues regarding Diversity (Emotional/Counter transference Skills).
    • Knowledge regarding Cultural Diversity (Cognitive Skills).
    • Commitment or dedication to Culturally Competent Professional Work.
    • Commitment to professional working with Asians, refugees, Asian-Americans.
    • Bilingual Skills.

    Case Formulation:

    • Presentation of relevant History, Background
    • Presentation of MSE and relevant assessment information
    • Ability to diagnose according to DSM-IV Criteria.
    • Case Formulation is relevant to history, MSE, clinical data, and diagnosis.
    • Case Formulation is coherent and consistent with theoretical approach.
    • Treatment plan matches case formulation
    • Working knowledge of psychodynamics.
    • Awareness of transference and impact on his/her functioning as therapist
    • Awareness of counter-transference and impact on the client.
    • Knowledge of Medication.

    Personal Characteristics

    • Ability to Express Self: understand questions, communicate effectively
    • Extra-training experiences that enhance application e.g. professional presentations and publications, teaching, prior relevant degree or life experience
    • Emotional Sensitivity as evidence of use of self in clinical work
    • Capacity to be direct, self-assertive, candid
    • Capacity to tolerate stress, work pressure, work demands.
    • Commitment to own personal growth as an aspect of professional development
    • Awareness of counter-transference as impacting clinical work and able to talk about it.
    • Unique skills that would benefit a placement here
    • Unique Interests that could be met at a placement here

    Previous Experience

    • Previous practicum experience
    • Previous clinical experience with similar clinical populations (severely and chronically mentally ill, trauma, minorities, immigrants.)

    Recommendations:

    • Settings (populations served, services provided and approach to training – similarity to RAMS)
    • Recommendations

    Send applications to:
    Alla Volovich, Ph.D.
    Director of Training RAMS, Inc.
    3626 Balboa Street
    San Francisco, CA 94121

    For additional information, you may contact Alla Volovich (allavolovich@ramsinc.org)

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