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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ~ Clinical Psychology Internship ~ Adult Track~ Clinical Training

 

Clinical Experiences and Other Training Opportunities

Click on a facility name to learn the details of training at each facility.

Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System (ELMHS)

Tulane’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has partnered with Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System (ELMHS) to provide psychiatric and forensic services to adults, and in turn, provide Tulane trainees an opportunity to learn and practice clinical and forensic skills in an inpatient facility. Located in Jackson, Louisiana, ELMHS is the only inpatient psychiatric facility in Louisiana which specializes in the custody, care, evaluation, and treatment of forensic patients. ELMHS is operated by the Louisiana Department of Health and the Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health.

ELMHS is an integrated system of mental health care designed to provide a wide array of services within a multi-faceted system. Maintained within ELMHS are 573 licensed inpatient psychiatric and forensic beds, affiliated community residential settings with over 261 licensed and residential beds, and an array of forensic outpatient services. ELMHS is accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organization and certified by the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. The hospital is comprised of two divisions: the East Division and the Forensic Division. The East Division, which houses a number of forensic patients, has 334 beds and the Forensic Division is comprised of 239 beds.

Inpatient services are staffed by multidisciplinary treatment teams comprised of board-certified forensic psychiatrists, social services, and nursing services. Each patient participates in a treatment program based on their individual needs and interests which may include psychiatric medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, substance abuse treatment, competency restoration, individual and/or group therapy, sex offender treatment, work therapy, and assistance with permanent supported housing upon discharge.

The psychology intern will train in two inpatient facilities within ELMHS. The East Division of ELMHS consists of two units providing care to civilly committed patients requiring long term psychiatric care, three Adult Community Group homes, and two units that house forensically-involved patients, including pretrial and adjudicated (NGRI) patients. The Forensic Division of ELMHS is a 239-bed inpatient adult forensic psychiatric hospital. The Forensic Division provides evaluation and treatment, including competency restoration of pretrial forensic patients and insanity acquittees. ELMHS-Forensic consists of three specialized units: 1) The Admissions and Special Security Area 2) the Intermediate Treatment Unit, and 3) the Crossroads Rehabilitation Unit.

The intern will be expected to provide the following services under the supervision of a licensed psychologist:

  • Forensic evaluations and assessments, including initial psychological screenings, competency to stand trial, malingering, violence risk, intellectual, personality, and psychopathology
  • Produce integrated forensic reports suitable for use in court
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy, when clinically indicated
  • Psychological consultations
  • Participate in treatment teams
  • Work as a member of a multidisciplinary team

The intern on the Adult Track will spend two days per week at ELMHS throughout the year.

Primary Supervisors: Dr. Gina Mire and Dr. Amanda Gallagher

New Orleans Forensic Aftercare Clinic (FAC)

The New Orleans Forensic Aftercare Clinic (FAC) is an outpatient forensic clinic located just outside the Central Business District of New Orleans and near the Orleans Parish Criminal Court complex. FAC is a multidisciplinary forensic clinic that operates under the administration of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’, division of Community Forensic Services. It is the only free-standing outpatient forensic treatment facility in the state of Louisiana. FAC is an independent and separately functioning clinic but shares administrative and support personnel with ELMHS in Jackson, Louisiana. FAC and ELMHS provide inpatient and outpatient mental health services to forensic patients in Louisiana in order to provide a continuum of care and varying levels of supervision. FAC is staffed by a full-time psychiatrist who also serves as the Medical Director, a staff psychologist and the clinical training supervisor, who is a Tulane University School of Medicine faculty member and who is board certified in Forensic Psychology, a psychiatric nurse, two board-certified social workers, one of whom specializes in individual and group treatment of sex offenders, a substance abuse counselor, and two competency restoration specialists.

FAC provides a comprehensive array of outpatient mental health services to insanity acquittees released from the forensic hospital and to individuals deemed incompetent to stand trial. Clients are either committed to outpatient care after being placed on supervised probation/conditional release or they are under civil commitment for the purpose of competency restoration. Louisiana is one of the few states that allows for outpatient competency restoration (Gowensmith, Frost, Speelman, & Therson, 2016). Individual and group treatment, including medication management, case management, substance abuse treatment, assistance with benefits and transportation, and linkages with community resources are provided to clients by a multidisciplinary treatment team. Clients are over 18 years of age (average age 38 years) and have a primary diagnosis of a mental illness or substance abuse disorder or developmental disability. Seventy-eight percent of clients are male and 79% are African-American. Most are single (79%) with approximately 10 years of education. Most receive social security disability for a diagnosis of mental illness or intellectual disability. Forty-two percent are intellectually disabled. The primary clinical diagnosis of clients is schizoaffective disorder. Comorbid substance use disorders are prevalent. Sixty-seven percent are referred to FAC from jail and approximately one-third are referred from long-term forensic psychiatric hospitalization and have been adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity. Sixty percent of patients are admitted for a non-violent index offense.

The forensic intern will receive training in performing assessments of individuals in an outpatient forensic setting. This includes training in specialized violence risk assessments, administering forensic assessment instruments to evaluate competency to stand trial, assessing malingering, and performing psychological and intellectual evaluations to inform treatment. At FAC the intern will perform forensic assessments of individuals in an outpatient setting. The primary function of the forensic intern will be to conduct violence risk assessments of forensic clients at FAC. In addition to performing violence risk assessments, other types of forensic assessments will be requested at times, including competency to stand trial evaluations, malingering evaluations, as well as traditional psychological evaluations needed to inform outpatient treatment of clients at FAC. The intern’s level of independence in these tasks will be governed by his or her clinical background and forensic experience. The intern will observe many of the typical functions of the clinical psychologist initially and then progress to more independent clinical functions over the course of the year. It is expected that by the end of the training year, the intern will be functioning relatively independently (i.e., participating in weekly treatment team meetings, performing independent risk assessments, carrying an individual case load of 2-3 clients, performing administrative functions and conducting one group), all under the supervision of the licensed forensic psychologist.

As part of this clinical training experience, the forensic intern will:

  • Gain experience working with a diverse adult forensic outpatient population.
  • Understand and learn to apply relevant theory and research regarding violence risk assessment.
  • Perform violence risk assessments and develop empirically-based risk management plans.
  • Become familiar with and operate as a member of a multidisciplinary treatment team in a forensic setting.
  • Develop group therapy modules and conduct group therapy based on best practices with forensic patients from diverse backgrounds.
  • Conduct short-term and long-term individual therapy with forensic outpatients.
  • Perform intellectual and psychological assessments, including personality assessment and the administration of forensic assessment instruments.
  • Participate in research in forensic psychology and have the opportunity to develop independent research opportunities, as desired and feasible.
  • Understand and appreciate the role of professional ethics, particularly the Specialty Guidelines in Forensic Psychology as they relate to the intern’s professional duties.

The intern on the Adult Track will spend two days per week at FAC throughout the year.

Primary Supervisor: Dr. Gina Mire