Behavioral Medicine


Astrid Reina, Ph.D.                                                                                                     Supervisor

Nature of Setting and Population Served

This practicum provides training in psychotherapy and brief psychodiagnostic assessment (as available) in behavioral medicine, specifically with outpatients seen on HIV Mental Health Services and the Women’s Behavioral Health Service.  Opportunities for brief Consultation/Liaison experiences with patients from the main hospital will also be available.

Externs provide behavioral medicine treatments to medical patients presenting with primary psychiatric conditions and/or psychiatric sequelae impacting their illnesses; presenting problems range in severity from minor adjustment distress to major psychiatric disorder. This practicum serves poverty medicine patients in inter and multidisciplinary settings.  The ethnic backgrounds of the patients seen reflect the diversity in Los Angeles County.

Direct/Indirect Services

The practicum focuses on delivering outpatient psychotherapy (individual and group), brief psychodiagnostic assessment, and behavioral medicine treatments to patients from the following services:

  • HIV Mental Health Service: A mental health clinic for patients infected with HIV, who range in illness from asymptomatic HIV seropositive to patients facing death from their illness. Patients include gay men, injection-drug users, and women across the age spectrum.
  • Women’s Behavioral Health Service:       A mental health service for female patients referred from among the following medical services:
      • Chronic Pelvic Pain Clinic
      • Tumor (Gynecologic Oncology [Gyn-Onc]) Clinic
      • The Medical Foundation, Inc. (MFI) Obstetrics (OB) Clinic/Low-Risk Obstetrics
      • Special Obstetrics Program (SPOB)/High-Risk Obstetrics
      • Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Clinic (REI)
      • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) Inpatient Wards
      • Women’s Health Clinic
  • Family Medicine: Consultation services are also provided to primary care patients from the Department of Family Medicine.

Supervision and Training

Primary supervision and training is provided by licensed clinical psychologists with specialties in health psychology and behavioral medicine, as well as postdoctoral fellows undergoing specializations in these areas. Trainees will receive both individual and group supervision.  Externs will also interact with physicians and other medical staff who will act as preceptors.

Focus of training is on the provision of behavioral medicine treatments using empirically validated modalities and brief therapies. Additionally, externs will be expected to train in applicable psychodynamic approaches.  Externs will be required to attend a two-day empirically-based trainings (e.g., DBT, ACT) at the beginning of the year along with other County and Hospital trainings.  Other required seminars and courses will be announced over the course of the training year.

Required Days

Externs are required to be on site 20 hours per week. Required days are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Schedules will be arranged on the need of the program and student’s availability.

Additional Information

Fluency in Spanish is highly desired for one position. Students applying to this position should have prior experience in providing direct services to adults and good oral and written communication skills. A TB test will be expected.