TIES: Psychological Assessment & Therapy


Larisa Litvinov, Ph.D.  and Karen Rathburn, Ph.D.

Track Supervisors

Nature of Setting and Population Served

TIES for Families South Bay is a Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health clinic located within a mile of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in an office suite setting.  The population of children served includes children (0-18 years) with a history of Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) involvement, either currently or in recent past.  Most children are in foster or adoptive placement and present with special needs, including prenatal substance exposure and histories of neglect or abuse.  The program is affiliated with and based on the community-defined practice, UCLA TIES Transition Model (TTM), which promotes the successful adoption of foster children when return to their biological parents or a relative is not possible.  Externs will gain experience in working with children within a system of care that includes DCFS, Regional Center, medical centers, and schools.  Externs learn about clinical issues related to trauma, attachment, foster care and adoption as well as legal and systems issues related to children who are wards of the court.  Additionally, externs will have opportunities in infant mental health, both through didactics and practice, in these areas.

Direct and Indirect Services

Psychological Assessment:  Externs will have opportunity to administer, score and write test reports for 5-7 standard batteries of psychological tests (cognitive, academic achievement, personality, social emotional, and neuropsychological screening).  As part of the TIES Transition Model, each extern will coordinate at least one multidisciplinary team consultation with prospective adoptive parents and DCFS social workers that includes history gathering, psychological assessment, and report writing.  Additionally, Externs will have exposure to the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-III and possible opportunities to administer and score infant/toddler assessments.

Treatment:  Students will have opportunity to conduct individual, family, and possibly group interventions with children and their families.  Caseloads at TIES-South Bay are generally between 4-5 clients per week.  This includes significant amount of family work, possibly school and home visits, and collaboration with various systems involved in children’s lives.

Supervision and Training

Drs. Litvinov and Rathburn provide individual and group supervision.  Didactics on psychological assessment, systems of care, and infant mental health and assessment will also be provided.  Supervisors and multidisciplinary staff provide group supervision and case conferencing.  Training topics include Infant and Early Child Development and Assessment, Foster Care and Adoption, as well as others.  Exposure to various Evidence-Based Practices includes Reflective Parenting and Mindful Parenting Groups, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Child Parent Psychotherapy, Incredible Years, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Time Required

Training begins the first week of September and ends the second week in August. Students are required to be on site for a minimum of 16 hours a week, however, time spent preparing and writing test reports will be additional.  Required days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Specific schedule to be arranged based on program need and student’s availability.