Clinical Training at Florissa
At Florissa, we believe in the importance of training the next generation of passionate child psychologists who will provide services to children and contribute to the field throughout their careers. We seek to develop proficient and professional child psychologists who appreciate the uniqueness of childhood, work to help children’s experiences be understood, and desire to provide services to underserved children who live in rural areas. Therefore, we maintain a clinical training program for clinical psychology doctoral students. Clinical training opportunities include year-long diagnostic externship/ practicum, advanced practicum/clerkship. Our clinical trainees engage in psychosocial evaluation, multidisciplinary evaluation, group therapy, and individual/family therapy services under the supervision of licensed clinical psychologists.
Clinical Training Opportunities
Psychological evaluations: The evaluations conducted at Florissa include psychosocial assessments for ADHD, learning disabilities, mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, and disruptive disorders. As one of the sites for The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP), we also conduct comprehensive multidisciplinary assessments for autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders. These assessments involve a pediatrician, a speech/language pathologist, an occupational therapist, and a child psychologist. Trainees are expected to evaluate a child’s functioning across contexts and measurement through a comprehensive assessment approach and collaboration with the family, referral sources, and collateral contacts, particularly within the school context. We have developed strong working relationships with local special education cooperatives and schools in order to provide comprehensive assessments in our communities.
Psychotherapy: Florissa provides individual, family, and group therapy across a range of child mental health problems. Trainees have the opportunity to provide these types of therapy to the children and families with whom we work.
Clinical Training Expectations
Our hope for our trainees is to see them thrive professionally and personally. We believe psychologists-in-training learn best in an atmosphere of trust (where it is safe to bring up questions, uncertainties, and mistakes), solid support and teaching, and recognition of personal competencies and successes. Trainees will likely have periods when they feel stretched and times when they feel comfortably competent; this is to be expected as the clients we serve face many complex challenges and as trainees develop confidence in working in this setting. We maintain high standards for our testing, as we feel strongly about providing excellent care for all of our clients.
Supervision: We take a mentorship approach to supervision, one that addresses conceptualization of cases and teaches best practices in the field, yet also focuses on emerging professional identity and competencies. Trainees will meet with a licensed clinical psychologist at least 1 hour each week for individual supervision. There will also be times trainees and psychologists work on cases together and thus meet with the client or together more frequently. Trainees will have the opportunity to observe assessments at the beginning of the training year, and to have live supervision during the placement. Additionally, externs/practicum students will receive ongoing
Multidisciplinary Evaluations & Meetings: Because we value comprehensive evaluations that are best practice in the field, trainees will be part of a multidisciplinary team for some of their cases if they are scheduled at the clinic on Wednesdays. Trainees are expected to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalismin the interdisciplinary collaborationwith these other professionals.
Time Commitment: It is expected externs/practicum students will work at Florissa 20 hours per week (2 days per week) for the entire training year (typically July 1through June 30).
During orientation, a schedule will be set, including specified time off (equivalent to two weeks). Approval in advance is required for trainees who would like to vary their hours on any given week. Sick time is provided on an as-needed basis and these hours should be made up during the training year. Due to our waitlist for evaluations and the goal that trainees turn around reports within 30 days, trainees should expect to easily exceed the number of assessments needed for their doctoral program’s clinical training requirements while also learning best practices in the assessment of children and adolescents across a range of presenting problems.
Values of Florissa’s Testing Program
Collaborative: We believe that the best way to serve our clients and their families is to partner with them by serving them with professionalism through good communication and timely feedback. When the family gives permission, we also seek to develop strong communication lines with our referrals (e.g., physicians, schools, therapists) in order to promote more effective, holistic interventions for our clients. This communication involves thorough, comprehensible discussions with the family and other service providers regarding assessment results and making ourselves available to answer any questions they may have. We also believe in the value of a multisetting, multi-informant, and multimethod evaluation; thus, we evaluate a child’s functioning across contexts and measurement through a comprehensive assessment approach and collaboration with the family and collateral contacts.
Current: We believe that in order for evaluations to be helpful, they must be informed by recent research regarding best practices in child assessment. We will only use the state-of-the-art approaches and most effective assessment tools available for psychological evaluation of the presenting problems we see.
Customized: We believe that psychological assessments are most effective when the client’s unique needs, those of his/her context, and the interactions between them are understood and addressed. Our approach considers strengths and competencies, as well as areas for growth. Further, we seek to advocate for our clients and to help them advocate for themselves.
Cost-effective: We believe that all families should have access to getting the services they need. Thus, we will serve clients who are able to utilize their health insurance as well as clients who experience financial hardship through various grants and scholarships. We will work with the clients to make our services possible.