APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Postdoctoral Program

All postdoctoral fellows in the APA-accredited Traditional Practice Program receive core training that embeds their area of emphasis/major area of study in a broader context.  We expect that Harbor-UCLA psychology fellow graduates become leaders in the field of psychology, whether through individual treatment of patients, in academic/research/scholarly activities, as administrators/directors of clinics and agencies, and/or as advocates for mental health parity, equity, and inclusivity.

The APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Postdoctoral Program has a logical sequence both in its broad training and in each of the areas of emphasis/major areas of study.  The core Program’s didactic series includes orientations to the LAC Department of Mental Health and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, California Board of Psychology pre-licensure courses, review of pertinent reporting law and ethics, focus on diversity, equity, and inclusivity, and mandatory county trainings. Each emphasis area/major area of study evaluates the fellow’s level of competency, assigns supervisors, provides additional didactics, and monitors clinical cases.

The minimum number of hours required to complete the APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Postdoctoral Program is 2,000 hours

The training year for fellows in the APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Clinical Psychology Program begins the first working day after Labor Day in September and continues to late August of the next year.  The commitment is for the full year (12 months).

Postdoctoral fellows are committed to a minimum of a forty hour work week.  The overall program and each emphasis area have specific requirements for clinical training assignments, seminars, conferences, supervision, and projects.

APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Program Core Training Components

Competencies

By completion of the fellowship year, all fellows will be expected to meet the minimum level of achievement of advance competency to practice at an independent level in:

  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Psychological Assessment.
  • Research/Scholarly Activities
  • Ethics
  • Evidence-Based Treatments
  • Teaching/Training
  • Consultation/Interdisciplinary Collaborations
  • Diversity/Inclusivity/Equity
  • Supervisory Skills
  • Metacompetencies/Self Management
  • Leadership Skills

The core APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Postdoctoral Fellowship Program evaluates fellows on these competencies globally for overall performance and specifically to each emphasis area/major area of study.

Therapy

Although formal requirements for specific numbers of psychotherapy cases vary across emphasis areas, fellows carry outpatient individual, family, and/or group therapy cases throughout the year.  Inpatient cases may also be required by specific emphasis areas/major areas of study.

Assessment

Assessment techniques vary across areas of emphasis.  Fellows are expected to become proficient in assessment methodologies emphasized in their respective area of emphasis/major area of study.

Supervision

In accordance with the APA Commission on Accreditation Standards of Accreditation and the California Board of Psychology requirement for Supervised Professional Experience, all fellows receive supervision equivalent to 10% of the total hours worked including two hours of scheduled, individual, face-to-face supervision.

Each fellow is assigned a primary supervisor, plus additional therapy and assessment supervisors  as required by each emphasis area/major area of study; supervisors are licensed psychologists.  Additional supervision and consultation is provided by faculty and staff from the Psychology Division and the Department of Psychiatry.

Responsibility for maintaining contact with the supervisor resides with both the supervisor and the fellow.  Cancellations for illness, vacation, or other reasons must be made up in order to ensure the required number of individual face-to-face supervision.

In addition to their own supervision, the core APA-Accredited Traditional Prractice Postdoctoral Fellowship Program requires all fellows receive training in and provide supervision to practicum students.  Fellows are supervised on their supervision of students with each fellow participating in weekly group supervision of supervision provided by their respective emphasis area/major area of study.

Should challenges arise in supervision, fellows are encouraged to attempt resolution in the context of the supervisory relationship.  If such attempts are unsuccessful, fellows should contact the Chief Psychologist and Training Director for assistance in problem resolution. the emphasis area/major area of study clinical supervisor may also contact the Chief, Psychological Services/Training Director in cases of unresolved supervisory conflict or problems.

Ethics

All psychology fellows are expected to be familiar with the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct prior to beginning work at Harbor-UCLA; additional ethics training is provided during the fellowship.

Evaluations

Competency-based evaluations, including direct observations, take place according to the following schedule:

  1. Baseline (November): Self and supervisor
  2. Midyear (February): Self and supervisor
  3. Final (August): Self and supervisor

Minimum Level of Achievement

The APA-accredited Traditional Practice Postdoctoral Fellowship Program evaluates all fellows using competency-based evaluation tool and six-point rating scale: (1) Below expected competency, (2) early competency, (3) intermediate competency, (4) proficient competency, (5) advanced competency, and (6) expert competency. The minimum level of achievement (MLA) set by the Program for all fellows by completion of the postdoctoral year is performance at an advanced competency level.

For fellows not progressing towards the MLA, the Program, fellow, and supervisors will follow the appropriate Program policy to determine any necessary plans for remediation and/or discontinuation/termination.  Fellows who fail to meet the MLA and/or all Program requirements may have this fact noted in the Verification of Experience form in their application for State licensure.

Research/Scholarly Projects

The APA-accredited Traditional Practice Program requires fellows to complete a research or scholarly project during the postdoctoral year. Prior projects have included secondary data analysis of the dissertation, program evaluation, emerging theoretical papers, and participation in an emphasis area’s ongoing projects.

Past fellows who successfully met this requirement held experiences in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and data analytic techniques, research lab/project management and participation, grant writing and management, manuscript preparation and submission, conference presentations, and program implementation, dissemination, and evaluation, among other scholarly activities.

Conferences/Seminars

All fellows are required to attend two weekly didactics for the core APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Research and Scholarly Activities Lab and Psychology Case Conference. Specific seminars and courses are also required in each emphasis area/major area of study.

Additionally, all fellows are required to complete the following trainings, as well as any others announced by LAC DMH or the Psychology Training Program during the training year:

  • Fellowship Program Orientation
  • DMH New Employee Orientation
  • DHS Contract Employee Orientation
  • IBHIS Training (DMH electronic medical record system)
  • ORCHID Training (DHS electronic medical record system)
  • County HIPAA Training
  • County Basics of Just Culture Training (online learning system)
  • County Sexual Harassment Training  (online learning system)
  • County Policy of Equity Training (online learning system)
  • County Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (online learning system)
  • County Implicit Bias and Cultural Competency (online learning system)
  • CITI Training
  • Psychology Case Conferences
  • Scientific and Scholarly Activities Lab
  • Ongoing Protected Scientific and Scholarly Activities Time
  • Five supervisor approved training days (DMH or other)
  • California pre-licensure courses =
    1. Human Sexuality
    2. Child Abuse
    3. Substance Abuse
    4. DV/IPV
    5. Aging/Long-term Care
    6. Suicide Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention

Required LAC DMH Clinical Experience

All fellows in the APA-Accredited Traditional Practice Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will receive training in larger systems-focused services for LAC DMH.  Examples may include direct clinical training experiences with focal populations (e.g., justice involved, HIV/AIDS, specialized child populations), providing teaching and trainings to the broader DMH workforce, and offering specialized clinical consultation services (e.g., gender health, neurodiversity.)  Additionally, other system-focused training opportunities may develop over the course of the fellowship year based on the needs of the clinical populations served and the public mental health system.

Socialization as a Class

  • Two retreats (one in the late fall to early winter and a second in the spring) are planned and scheduled for the fellows.
  • Graduation celebration in August to mark the completion of the fellowship training year.

Elective Opportunities

Elective experiences are negotiated between individual fellows and their emphasis area/major area of study clinical supervisors.