Post-Doctoral Psychology Training Program

SCS, ranked one of the best College Counseling Centers in the nation by the Gourman Report (1997, 1998) and in operation for over 50 years, is a comprehensive student mental health clinic that is available to all undergraduate and graduate students matriculating at The University of Chicago. We provide individual, couple and group counseling, crisis intervention, academic skills assessment, alcohol/drug abuse intervention, psychopharmacology, consultation to faculty and staff, and 24-hour/365-day emergency on-call phone service.

Students served are adolescents and adults who bring with them a range of psychological difficulties that are very similar to what one would see in a standard outpatient clinic. And as a highly competitive, internationally recognized university, there is a great deal of ethnic diversity within the student body and the students seeking services at the clinic.

SCS offers training opportunities to pre-doctoral clinical psychology trainees seeking an advanced psychotherapy externship or post-doctoral fellowship. The goals & objectives of the training program are as follows:

1. To prepare trainees for a career in clinical psychology via mentorship and role-modeling.

2. To expose trainees to a wide variety of clinical experiences and interventions in keeping with a generalist model of clinical psychology.

3. To immerse trainees in the range of activities typically encountered at a college counseling center in preparation for working in a college setting in the future. 

4.  To enhance trainees’ clinical competence and knowledge in working with a diverse population through didactic & training experiences.  

Since trainees are not expected to provide the bulk of services at SCS, they have the opportunity to be immersed in a supportive, nurturing and intellectually challenging environment that will serve as an excellent segue to future professional life.  The staff at SCS possesses a wide variety of clinical interests and theoretical orientations, and is deeply committed to providing an enriching and comprehensive clinical experience to trainees.    

Direct Service Activities for Post-Doctoral Training

Psychotherapy (12–15 hrs per week)

Given the amount of students served at SCS, a brief treatment model is the norm, with approved exceptions made when clinically appropriate. However, post-docs will be allowed to carry 3 extended psychotherapy cases as a way of gaining a more intensive clinical experience. Selecting good long-term cases will be determined collaboratively between the post-doc and his/her primary supervisor. 

ADHD Screening Protocol (4-5x/qrt) 

Post-docs at SCS will be expected to have skills in administering basic assessment tools used for the diagnostic screening of ADHD.  The psychologist who runs this program will offer instruction and supervision on utilizing the testing material, interpreting data and writing a comprehensive report.   

Intake (3–5 hrs per week)

Intake assessments are performed on every student seeking services at SCS for the purpose of getting a rough diagnostic impression and making appropriate dispositions. This activity will help post-docs get acquainted with the diagnostic spectrum seen at SCS, as well as the clinical specialties of SCS staff members. Additionally, with SCS serving as the gate-keeper to students seeking long-term treatment through the University Student Health Insurance Plan (USHIP), post-docs will become familiar with SCS’s referral process and extensive referral network.

“Let’s Talk” Counseling Services (2-3 hrs per week)

Adopted from Cornell University’s Counseling Center, this innovative program involves the creation of 3 drop-in offices on campus to assist students who might be reluctant to seek psychological services through traditional means by offering more informal contact that may serve as a prelude to seeking services at SCS. This program is run by SCS and is available to trainees on a rotating basis at the discretion of the staff member who runs the program.

Group Psychotherapy (varies)

While individual/couple psychotherapy is predominant at SCS, there are a variety of opportunities for trainees to co-lead groups with staff or another trainee.  Post-docs will be required to participate in 2 groups over the course of the academic year, one of which he/she will be responsible for developing, marketing and leading.

Secondary Supervision of Extern (5–15 hrs per year)

Post-docs will have the opportunity to provide an extern with 1 hour of weekly secondary supervision in order to become acquainted with having a supervisory role and responsibilities. This supervision will be monitored by the post-doc's primary supervisor.

Day-Call Emergency Coverage (2 qrts/year)

Post-docs will be part of the rotating staff on-call system, setting aside time to see emergency walk-in appointments during standard business hours.

Outreach (varies)

SCS is committed to doing more outreach on campus in order to increase our visibility and accessibility to those who might be reluctant to seek help from SCS. With the assistance of staff, post-docs will be expected to assist at pre-planned presentations and “tabling events”, as well as to develop 1 outreach program on his/her own to be completed during the winter or spring quarters. Additional supervision will be provided as needed.

Administrative Time (2–3 hrs per week)

Time will be allotted for post-docs to complete necessary paperwork: progress notes, termination summaries, referrals, etc…

Participation on Training Committee (varies)

Post-docs can assist the Director of Training in reviewing application material, interviewing and selecting trainees for the following academic year.

Clinical Training Activities

Individual Supervision (2 hrs per week)

Post-docs will receive 2 hours of individual supervision per week, 1 by a primary supervisor and 1 by a secondary supervisor. The primary supervisor will track the post-doc’s experience for the entire 12 month commitment, while the secondary supervisor will be a “rotating” supervisor who will provide specialty supervision in clinical areas of interest. Post-docs are encouraged to receive secondary supervision from a variety of staff in order to increase their breadth of experience at SCS.

Treatment Team Seminar (1.5 hrs per week)

Post-docs will meet weekly with an assigned cohort of SCS staff consisting of psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers to discuss clinical cases.

ADHD Consultation Group (3x/quarter)

Post-docs will be part of a subgroup of SCS staff, including psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists who review case material for determining dispositions when students seek help for ADHD.  The group determines whether testing or a medication consultation is warranted.  This group also meets monthly with University of Chicago neuropsychologist Scott Hunter, PhD, as a consultant. 

Application Process

The application process for post-doctoral applications is handled through the University of Chicago Human Resources Department at  The position will be listed (in December/January) as a Clinical Psychology Trainee position, but it is a post-doctorate position.   

The post-doctoral position comes with a 12-month salary of $30,000 with benefits. The post-doc will have his/her own office with a phone, computer, and University e-mail address. Training with respect to our electronic medical record system and scheduling program will be provided.  The post-doc starts September 1st and concludes August 31st. Working 40 hours per week, the post-doc will accumulate approximately 2000 hours of supervised experience that is required to sit for the State licensing exam.

Trainee Evaluation, Grievance & Due Process Procedures

At the end of each quarter, the trainee will receive a formal written evaluation on his/her performance in all areas of training by his/her primary supervisor. Performance evaluations will be discussed by the SCS Training Committee to insure that high ethical & clinical standards are being maintained and that all trainee expectations are being met. In the event that there is a problem with a trainee’s performance, SCS has in place Grievance and Due Process Procedures that clarify remediation steps. These procedures are in place to insure fair and equitable treatment of all trainees and staff at SCS. All trainees are expected to be acquainted with SCS policies & procedures as outlined in our Policies & Procedures Manual that is distributed at the Trainee Orientation.

Additionally, trainees will evaluate their primary supervisor at the end of each quarter so as to insure that their expectations are being met. In the event that there is a problem with a supervisor, the Director of Training will first attempt to resolve it by informal means and, if necessary, a Grievance and Due Process Procedure.