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Under the Rainbow: Clinical Training Program

 

HISTORY OF UNDER THE RAINBOW

The Under the Rainbow (UTR) program began in spring of 1992 as an inpatient pediatric ecology program that focused on comprehensive forensic assessments of children and adolescents that were referred for child abuse and/or neglect.  The multi-disciplinary assessment team included pediatricians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, specialized forensic interviewers, and child developmental specialists.  In the summer of 1998 the inpatient multi-disciplinary assessments were all shifted from inpatient to the current outpatient setting.  At that time, the Under the Rainbow program was shifted from the department of pediatrics to the department of psychiatry and merged with a small outpatient community mental health clinic.  In the years following, UTR continued specializing in assessing and treating youth with histories of neglect, abuse, and other traumas while expanding their services to include youth challenged with all mental and behavioral health issues.  The UTR multi-disciplinary team included child psychologists, social workers, and psychiatrists, and added medication management and group psychotherapies to its range of services.  UTR staff learned from their years of working with traumatized youth that early assessment of childhood trauma is key in addressing and treating the children.  As a result, since 1999 UTR has prioritized psychoeducation and prevention in their work with children, adolescents, and their families.  UTR staff, since 1999, provides early educational and preventative awareness and assessment through UTR integrated services in the community and within Mount Sinai Hospital.  Under the Rainbow staff has assured that quality “clinicians for the future” will be available to serve UTR clients and their families by maintaining a doctoral-level psychology externship program from 1992 till present, and recently added a social work internship program to continue to foster a multidisciplinary environment.

SERVICES PROVIDED AND WHO WE SERVE

Intake/Mental Health Assessment                               
This is a two hour appointment in which the mental health professional will complete a thorough assessment of the presenting problems and gather background history. During this initial appointment, the presenting problem is identified, a risk assessment is completed, and an assessment of needs and appropriateness of service is determined. Guardians will leave this appointment with a preliminary diagnosis, recommendations for treatment, and/or referrals if needed, and a scheduled next appointment to continue services. Please call 773-257-4750 to schedule an intake.

Individual Therapy/Play Therapy

As children communicate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences through play, this type of developmentally congruent therapy involves the use of toys, blocks, dolls, puppets, sand-tray, drawings and games to help the child recognize, identify, verbalize and process through their feelings.  Through a combination of talk and play the child has an opportunity to better understand and manage their conflicts, feelings, and behavior (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012). The clinician observes how the child uses play materials and identifies themes or patterns to understand the child's problems.

Family Therapy
The participation of family members in the assessment and treatment of infants, children, and adolescents has been shown to be integral to positive clinical outcomes. Family therapy will incorporate family members and dynamics to utilize a family approach to the presenting problem. In the care of young children, work with parents is always necessary. Extended family members, foster parents, or guardians also participate in assessment and treatment when they are the primary caregivers or prominent figures in the child's life (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2012).

Group Therapy
Children and adolescents often benefit by receiving feedback from same-aged peers, as opposed to parents, teachers or therapists. Within a group setting, children can learn and practice new and more appropriate social skills, including problem solving, conflict resolution, giving/receiving feedback, sharing and cooperation. The group setting offers a safe, therapeutic space to learn or better develop healthy emotional and interpersonal skills. UTR offers a vast number of different group options for children, adolescents, parents and entire families. Some examples of therapy groups offered at UTR:

  • Social Skill Groups for all ages (5-18)
  • Play-Based Groups
  • Parent Support/Education Groups
  • Teen Groups
  • ADHD Groups

Psychiatric Evaluation/Medication Management
UTR offers a variety of therapeutic services all on one floor, including psychiatry. UTR is staffed with 2 child psychiatrists, who have extensive training in the realm of psychotropic treatment for children. Psychiatry staff values collaboration with clinicians and guardians to assure best practice and high quality services. 

UTR Summer Program
The summer program at UTR is a six-week social skills program that provides a safe place for children to meet peers and learn to build and maintain healthy social relationships, practice skill-building in a therapeutic environment, resulting in a reduction of social isolation in marginalized communities.  Added benefits to the program include excursions outside of local communities to explore all of the benefits that the Chicago-land area has to offer, such as horseback riding, zoos, museums, and Millennium Park. The program additionally integrates multi-sensory interventions into its weekly curriculum, including arts and crafts, food experiments, gross motor development, and more. We also offer support groups and workshops for parents.

UTR Special Programs
UTR also offers special programs and events for families to acknowledge holidays and engage in cultural traditions. Emotional distress often hinders or challenges a family’s ability to experience joy and a sense of belonging. Therefore, UTR offers events, programs and opportunities to reduce social isolation and enhance cohesion and fun within the family unit. We offer programs at no direct cost to families throughout the year. We encourage parental participation in games and promote leadership in the older children when involved with activities with larger groups.

Case Management/Consultation
UTR staff strives toward integrated care. Staff ensures professional communication between providers of care, including UTR staff, professionals of other agencies, and systems that are involved in providing services to a client.  Likewise, clinicians make great efforts to coordinate, support and advocate for social, vocational, educational, child welfare, and other community services and resources that may be needed by the client and family.

SASS Services
SASS (Screening Assessment and Supportive Services) is a twenty-four (24) hour, seven days (7) a week community-based program.  The target population served is children and adolescents age 17 and younger who are experiencing a psychiatric crisis and whose ability to function adequately at home, school, or in the community is greatly impaired.  These children may be at risk of being placed in a more restrictive setting, such as a psychiatric hospital or a residential treatment center. The needs of the children and families are met through a variety of methodologies that include a risk assessment, recommendation for outpatient or inpatient services, individual, family, group therapy, school monitoring, hospital monitoring, etc.  SASS clinicians also provide outreach services, including telephone contacts, home visits, collateral contacts, and linkage with teachers, social workers, counselors and other appropriate agencies. Children served by our SASS program reside in the Pilsen and Little Village communities. SASS services may be provided for up to 90 days.  

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

To make a referral or initiate services, please call 773-257-4750 and ask to schedule an intake appointment.

UTR is located on the 5th floor of the Nurses Residence building, which can be accessed by using elevator ‘D’ of Mount Sinai Hospital.

 

LOCATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Mount Sinai Hospital

Under the Rainbow Program

1500 S. California Avenue

Nurses Residence, 5th Floor

Chicago, IL.  60608

Phone: 773-257-4750

Fax: 773-257-4753

 

CLINIC HOURS

Monday thru Thursday 9am – 7pm

Fridays 9am – 6pm

 

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UTR TRAINING PROGRAM

Under the Rainbow (UTR) is an outpatient therapy program for children, adolescents and their families.  Direct services are provided by psychologists, social workers, child development specialists, psychiatrists, and psychology externs. UTR evaluates and treats most psychological disorders of children and adolescents and provides outpatient mental health services for children between the ages of 0 and 18. UTR has historically specialized in the treatment of complex trauma. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.

UTR offers a range of services to children and their families, including: evaluation of the need for psychological services; individual therapy; play therapy; family therapy; group therapy; psychiatric evaluation; psychotropic medication management and consultation; ADHD assessment and treatment; case management; ongoing child advocacy; liaison with private and public child welfare agencies; and crisis intervention.  Within the community, UTR provides consultations and interventions within the public school system, and facilitates a variety of youth mentoring programs. Within the hospital setting, UTR provides consultations to a variety of clinics and programs, and is actively involved in the hospital's Care for the Caregiver initiatives.

Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center is a large treatment, training, and research center located on the west side of the city of Chicago.  In accordance with the hospital's mission to develop future generations of health care professionals, we provide clinical therapy externships in child and adolescent mental health for clinical psychologists-in-training.  A total of eight psychology doctorate and two social work positions are typically available each year.

These externships begin in August and end the following June. Clinical psychology externs spend approximately 22 hours per week addressing their clinical responsibilities.  Time off is provided during this period and it is expected that externs will arrange this time off with their supervisors, taking into account patient and service needs.  Training evaluations will be coordinated with the extern's graduate program.

The therapy practicum emphasizes the psychotherapeutic treatment of children, adolescents and their families, with a particular emphasis on the assessment and treatment of complex trauma.  Careful intake screenings, psychodiagnostic interviewing, and treatment planning are expected.  Treatment plans typically include individual and systemic interventions including play therapy, family therapy, and group therapy.  Extensive supervision is provided in both individual and group formats.  Externs will be expected to coordinate treatment planning with other health care professionals, schools, and community programs.  Sensitivity to culture, gender and social class issues is highly valued and is viewed as fundamental to establishing the therapeutic alliance.  Externs are expected to attend team meetings, weekly supervision (both individual and group supervision), didactic seminars and case conferences. Externs are also required to videotape their sessions and then review a specific number of tapes both with their individual and case conference supervisors. All externs also receive live supervision of their therapy cases and mental health assessments.

The training program has developed into a competitive site, receiving approximately one hundred applications yearly for eight positions. Externs have come from a variety of different schools and disciplines (Psy.D. and Ph.D.), including:

Illinois School of Professional Psychology (Chicago and Northwest campus)

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Wheaton College

Loyola University (Clinical and Counseling programs)

DePaul University

Adler University

Midwestern University

Illinois Institute of Technology

University of Illinois at Chicago

Roosevelt University

ROTATIONS

Supplemental clinical rotations may be available, but are highly dependent on the ancillary programs/grants that UTR clinicians are involved in at the time. Some possible rotations include:

  • SASS
  • Elementary School Program
  • Early Childhood
  • Family Therapy
  • Parenting Groups
  • Community Prevention

EXTENSIVE SUPERVISION

         Individual Supervision (1 hr weekly)

         Case Conference (1 hr weekly)

         MHA Supervision (2 hrs weekly)

         Group Supervision (1.5 hrs weekly)

         Rotation Supervision (1-4 hrs weekly)

Training Year

  • mid August through mid June each year
  • 22 hours per week (average)
  • Fridays are the only mandatory days (9am-3:00pm); externs choose 2 other days

Caseload

  • 8-10 individual or family therapy hours per week
  • 1 group therapy hour per week

Rotation

  • 1-4 hours per week

Individual Supervision

  • 1 hour per week – More as needed

Case Conference

  • 1 hour per week

Group Supervision of Group Therapy

  • 1.5 hours per week

MHA Clinic

  • 2 hours per week

Didactic Seminars*

  • 1.5 hours per week (*Externs will present/facilitate one didactic seminar during the training year.)

"Business Meeting"

  • 1/2 hour every week

Supervision
Externs will be assigned to a doctoral level staff clinician for individual supervision.  Additional supervision will be provided when the staff and extern determine it is advisable.  One supervisor will serve as the extern’s primary supervisor.  S/he will be responsible both for integrating the extern into their respective training program and for coordinating his/her experience at Mount Sinai with their respective graduate program. Supervisors will be responsible for assessing the extern’s learning needs and will facilitate learning experiences appropriate to those needs in the areas of clinical theory, clinical practice, ethics, and professional development.  The primary supervisor will also provide mentoring for the extern in establishing a schedule that allows for participation in required clinical and training activities.  Further, supervisors will monitor the timeliness of completion of charting, assessments, treatment plans, and treatment summaries.  In addition to individual supervision, externs receive supervision of the groups they co-lead. This supervision is in a group setting and is facilitated by two staff members.

Clinical supervision can be an illuminating, yet at times, anxiety-provoking experience.  One aspect of the learning experience is the processing and understanding of the trainee's interactions with clients and staff.  In a training setting such as ours, which often focuses on exploring issues of trauma and abuse, powerful feelings may be evoked in all members of the clinical team.  Your supervisors are here to facilitate your understanding of clients, theory, and in addition, your persona reactions to your training experiences.

Evaluation
The extern's performance with respect to clinical functioning, clinical skill, professionalism, and openness to learning will be evaluated primarily by their individual supervisor with collaboration and integration of the entire training team. Careful attention to the strengths and weaknesses of each trainee is an integral part of focusing training experiences that are attuned to individual needs.  Supervision is viewed as involving an ongoing feedback and learning process.  Formal written or oral evaluations will be conducted two times during the training year.  Graduate program evaluations will be completed per the requirements of the trainee's particular program.  Any questions or concerns about the evaluation procedure should be directed to the supervisor.  Every effort will be made for these evaluations to be fair, substantive and in the interest of the trainee's continued personal and professional development.

Externs will also have an opportunity to evaluate the training program and the degree to which it meets the externs' needs during the year.  We do encourage externs to provide us with ongoing informal feedback as well.

 

WHAT MAKES THE UTR TRAINING PROGRAM UNIQUE?

UTR’s dedication and commitment toward training psychology externs is exceptional. The training program is designed to provide externs with a wide range of experiences to enhance their clinical and professional skills. UTR training program utilizes an ‘open door’ policy in which externs are provided the support and guidance they need while given the opportunity and independence needed to find their clinical voice and identity.  Externs benefit from a collaborative, supportive, and team-approach within a community mental health center. Externs also receive live supervision with their therapy and assessment cases. This type of supervision, while intensive in nature, is a highly beneficial and rewarding experience. Additionally, externs provide long-term outpatient therapy to children, adolescents and their families who present with a wide range of problems and diagnoses, with a specific emphasis on complex trauma.

 

How to Apply: Psychology Therapy Practicum

Our training program abides by the ACEPT Practicum Application and Notification Guidelines.

In order to apply for a psychotherapy practicum, the following information is needed:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcripts

UTR accepts only electronic applications. No paper applications are accepted. Please keep in mind that UTR is a therapy practicum and not a diagnostic site.

Interested applicants should email their application materials to Program Supervisor and Director of Training, Greg Staszko, Psy.D. at greg.staszko@sinai.org.

All applications should be uploaded within 5 business days of the day that ACEPT permits students to send their materials. Applications received after this date may not be considered.  Applications must include all materials (limit to 2 letters of recommendation, Cover Letter, CV, Transcripts).  Applications that are missing materials may not be considered.

 

 

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP

In addition to the psychology externship, UTR also offers a post-doctoral fellowship. The job responsibilities of the post-doc position include completing weekly mental health assessments, providing therapy for clients and their families, training and supervision of doctoral-level psychology externs and social work interns, and providing psycho-education and consultations in multiple hospital clinics and departments as well as neighborhood schools.

Mount Sinai compensates the post doc with a competitive salary and benefits package.  The post doc receives weekly clinical supervision from a licensed clinical psychologist and meets all the state's requirement for the post-doc’s licensure eligibility. The position will be filled by a clinician who has completed all the requirements (by September start date) for their Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree in psychology and who has at least 3 years of experience with providing mental health services to children, adolescents, and their families.

Post-doc applications are to be submitted by January 31st, as our program will  abide by the new APPIC guidelines. Offers will be made on the APPIC Uniform Notification Day, 2.25.19. Interviews will therefore take place in February with a start date of first week in September.

More info can be found on the APPIC Universal Psychology Postdoctoral Directory at https://www.appic.org/Postdocs/Universal-Psychology-Postdoctoral-Directo....

Interested applicants should forward all application materials to the UTR Program Supervisor, Dr. Greg Staszko at greg.staszko@sinai.org. All applications must include the following:

Cover Letter, Curriculum Vitae, Two (2) Letters of Recommendation (letters may be submitted directly from the writer or from applicant)

Only electronic applications are accepted.