Advanced Mental Health Resident

University Counseling Services (UCS) provides a one-year, full-time, (12 months, 40 hours/week) intensive postgraduate experience with the primary goal of preparing an entry-level clinical professional for licensure and practice.  The Advanced Mental Health Resident (AMHR) position is available for individuals who have completed their Masters degree in Social Work or doctoral degree in Psychology.

AMHR Training Activities

University Counseling Services has offices on the VCU Monroe Park and Medical Center campuses.  AMHRs have opportunities to see clients from both campuses.  When working in-person, AMHRs may work full-time on one of the two campuses.

Intervention (Direct Service) Training

  • Individual psychotherapy: Individual treatment at UCS is conducted primarily from a brief treatment model. AMHRs may develop special emphases or areas of clinical expertise via client selection (e.g., working with health professional students, particular communities/identities, or presenting concerns; specialization in providing training, etc.). AMHRs are encouraged and supported in developing multicultural competence and awareness and acknowledgment of systems of oppression through work with clients with a variety of identities.
  • Interpersonal Process Groups: AMHRs will co-lead at least one interpersonal process psychotherapy group per semester with a senior clinical staff member.
  • Support/Skill Groups (optional): AMHRs may also have the opportunity to co-facilitate a Reclaim Your Life from Anxiety Group or a support group during their training year.
  • Couples therapy (optional): AMHRs have the opportunity to provide couples therapy. Couples are eligible for therapy at UCS as long as one partner is enrolled at VCU.
  • Crisis Intervention: AMHRs serve on the after-hours on-call rotation. Each staff/trainee is on call for one week each semester (3 times during the training year, including summer). AMHRs also provide crisis intervention during office hours.
  • Referral and Assessment Meetings: AMHRs provide 4 – 5 hours per week for triage/consultation, termed referral and assessment meetings (RAMs). The purpose of these meetings is to assess the student’s presenting concerns, needs, and level of risk, and then make the appropriate referral for treatment while considering social justice factors and their impact on access to services. UCS has a strong commitment to social justice and strives to be affirming to all members of marginalized groups.

Outreach Programming and Consultation

  • Outreach: All UCS staff and trainees are involved in outreach programming. AMHRs have the opportunity to lead or co-conduct workshops with other trainees and/or senior staff as developmentally appropriate.
  • Consultation: AMHRs provide professional consultation to other members of the University community on an as-needed basis. This often entails consulting with University staff about students of concern.

Professional Instruction and Supervision of AMHRs

  • Supervision: During the orientation period, AMHRs have the opportunity to meet the training staff. Supervision assignments are made each semester by the Associate Director for Training based on AMHRs training goals, staff assessment of AMHR needs, and the best utilization of training staff resources. Supervisor assignments are made for the calendar year. AMHRs receive 1.5 scheduled hours of individual supervision by a licensed psychologist weekly and are encouraged to consult at other times as needed. As part of supervision, AMHRs are expected to participate in exploration of their identities in order to better understand themselves as both people and professionals. Discussion of the intersection between clients’ identities and their clinical presentation takes place in supervision, as well as throughout their work in the agency.
  • Group Supervision of Group Psychotherapy: AMHRs participate in 1.5 hours of weekly group supervision. Supervision of groups typically occurs in a group format consisting of 4-5 co-therapist dyads or triads.
  • AMHR Cohort Supervision: AMHRs have the opportunity of bi-weekly cohort supervision meetings with the Associate Director for Training. The focus of these meetings is to facilitate cohesion, support, and professional development.
  • Trauma Supervision (optional): AMHRs have the opportunity to participate in weekly trauma supervision with staff members.
  • Organizational, Clinical Staff, and University-Wide Meetings: AMHRs will participate in various all-staff meetings as appropriate.
  • Committee Work (optional): UCS runs a variety of committees, including training committee, clinical services committee, and outreach committee. AMHRs have the opportunity to participate in these committees.

Potential Provision of Supervision and Teaching Opportunities (dependent on availability, agency need, and AMHR interest)

  • Providing Supervision (optional): AMHRs may have the opportunity to provide supervision to one doctoral-level practicum student, depending on availability and need.
  • Teaching or Co-Teaching an Intern Training Seminar (optional): UCS facilitates weekly training seminars for psychology interns and social work interns on a variety of topics. AMHRs may have the opportunity to teach or co-teach a training on a topic of interest.
  • Co-facilitating Friday Clinical Consultation (FCC) (optional): UCS facilitates weekly clinical concentration groups for all levels of trainees (practicum trainees, social work interns, and psychology interns). AMHRs may have the opportunity to co-facilitate this consultation space with a senior staff member, depending on availability and need.

Average Weekly Training Activities

Direct Services

  • Individual and couples therapy: 16 – 18 hours
  • Interpersonal Process Group: 2 hours
  • RAM (initial contact) and crisis coverage: 4 – 6 hours

Administrative Time

  • Staff meeting: 1 hour (twice per month)
  • Paperwork: 4 – 5 hours

Consultation and Outreach

  • Consultation and outreach programming: variable

Supervision and Teaching

  • Individual supervision: 1.5 hours
  • Group Supervision of group therapy: 1.5 hours
  • Disposition team meetings: 0.5 hour
  • Friday Clinical Consult Team meetings (optional): 1 hour
  • Trauma supervision (optional): 1 hour biweekly