Community Placement

During the 4th year of clinical training at UWM, students are required to do 12-16 hours per week of clinical work at a community placement site. Some students also complete community placement practicum work in their 5th year. Students match their emerging clinical interests with the activities available at the site. The UWM Clinical Program has arrangements with various sites around the greater Milwaukee area. Below are descriptions from some of our common community placements, arranged alphabetically:

Center for Behavioral Medicine
External Link The Center for Behavioral Medicine is a private-practice mental health clinic that specializes in providing comprehensive and state-of-the-art Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for clients with Borderline Personality Disorder, or clients with many symptoms common to Borderline Personality Disorder. There are also services for patients with anxiety disorders, patients wanting couples therapy, and family skills training which provides tools for individuals coping with chronic mental illness in a loved one. Students at this placement get experience in understanding the theoretical background behind DBT. Students gain experience by observing and providing individual therapy, co-facilitating group skills training, and conducting diagnostic assessment, and also provide on-call consultation. Usually practicum students have 2-3 individual clients and co-facilitate 1-2 groups. There are also opportunities to co-facilitate a skills training group for family members of individuals with emotion dysregulation difficulties (primarily with a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis). CBM collects data on its patients, and development of research presentations about DBT and emotion dysregulation is welcome and encouraged. The practicum requires a 1-year commitment, usually starting in May, and has ample supervision.
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin - Pediatric Psychology
External Link Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin offers practicum training for doctoral students interested in pediatric psychology and general clinical child psychology. During this experience students have the opportunity to work with a variety of programs to develop skills essential to the clinical practice of clinical psychology. A wide variety of training experiences exist which may include assessment, intervention, and research. By the end of the experience each practicum student should accumulate 150 or more hours of direct patient contact. These hours may be comprised of a variety of experiences ranging from traditional outpatient therapy, to consultation liaison services, and testing and assessment. On site supervisors have a variety of theoretical orientations; however, behavioral and cognitive behavioral approaches are typically employed. Typically, students are placed in one primary clinic but on occasion may spend their time between two different clinics. There are attempts to match students with their particular area of interest. Throughout the practicum, students: Provide intake assessments; Have weekly supervision with a licensed psychologist; Develop a caseload under the direct supervision of a primary supervisor; Provide direct services to children, adolescents, and their families; Complete a series of weekly didactic experiences to develop a working knowledge of providing psychological services within the context of a hospital; Gain exposure to consultation and liaison services; Develop testing and report writing skills using a wide variety of psychological instruments. Clinics include: The Asthma Plus Clinic, Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic, Gastroenterology (Feeding Team, Elimination Disorders Clinic, Functional Abdominal Pain Clinic, General Child Clinical, Hematology/Oncology/Blood Marrow Transplant, Jane B. Pettit Pain and Headache Clinic, Trauma Team (Trauma-focused CBT, PCIT)
Clement J Zablocki VA Medical Center
External Link The Zablocki VA offers experience with both inpatient and outpatient populations across a variety of rotations focused on addressing Veterans’ mental health concerns. Rotations include: Emergency Department, General Outpatient Mental Health, Geropsychology, Inpatient Mental Health, LGBT Healthcare, Neuropsychology, Postdeployment Transition Program, Postdeployment Mental Health Palliative Care, Primary Care Mental Health Integration, Residential Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury and Women Veterans’ Health. Depending on the specific rotation, opportunities for assessment, brief and longer-term intervention, individual, group, and family therapy, rehabilitation, and consultation are available within an interdisciplinary context. Some of the therapy approaches that our students have learned used in this setting include Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and elements of Dialectical Behavior Therapy.
Medical College of Wisconsin – Adult Clinical Health Psychology
This Clinical Health Psychology program at MCW provides students with training in assessment, intervention, educational, consultative and research experiences in clinical health psychology. Students have a primary supervisor in one of their areas of emphasis, and minor experiences in two areas. The students engage in didactic experiences and supervised clinical work, including consultation, assessment, and psychotherapy. Optional research activities aimed at introducing students to the field of Health Psychology are available. Through their work, students explore a range of assessment and intervention techniques, with inpatient and outpatient adult populations, and learn about the psychosocial aspects of various health issues and medical diagnoses. Clinical health psychology rotations include: Plastic Surgery, Pain Management Service, and Trauma Surgery Psychological Service. Students may attend department gran rounds across many disciplines including: psychiatry and behavioral medicine, surgery, plastic surgery, and neurology. Research experiences are available for studying the psychopathological and quality of life outcomes following acute and chronic illness and health related stress.
Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) – Adult Clinical Neuropsychology
The External Link Adult Neuropsychology Practicum in the MCW Department of Neurology offers wide training opportunities and a supportive learning environment, thus drawing pre-doctoral students from local universities. Faculty and neuropsychology post-doctoral fellows together provide frequent individual supervision and consultation with an open-door policy; most faculty are also ABPP-certified in clinical neuropsychology. Initially, practicum students are trained on administration and scoring of an extensive number of neuropsychological tests. Such training is split into three tiers according to frequency of test admiration. Practicum students first observe test administration and then practice among themselves, with psychometricians or postdoctoral fellows until they are deemed ready to administer tests to inpatients or outpatients under supervision. To become independent under supervision, practicum students must accurately administer a test(s) to a psychometrician, who will simulate a difficult case. Practicum students are exposed a diagnostically diverse patient population including individuals with various neurologic (e.g., epilepsy, TBI, neurodegenerative conditions, and tumor) and psychiatric conditions. Opportunities to observe feedback sessions and conduct intake interviews under supervision when considered appropriate are available. Report writing is expected and feedback is provided by faculty and post-doctoral fellows. There are a large number of weekly didactics (e.g., neuropsychology seminars, journal club, fact-finding case conferences, and neurology grand rounds), which practicum students are encouraged to attend. There are also several lines of research that practicum students can get involved in, including research in epilepsy, TBI, and neuro-oncology.
Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) – Pediatric Neuropsychology
The Pediatric Neuropsychology practicum at MCW provides students with experience in pediatric neuropsychological assessment. Practicum experiences include administering and scoring a wide range of neuropsychological measures, participating in case conceptualization, and attending case conferences/didactics with faculty and post-doctoral fellows (when available). Students gain experience working with children across the lifespan (from age 2 to 17) and see children with a wide variety of medical/neurodevelopmental concerns (e.g. epilepsy, brain tumor, ASD, genetic disorders, etc.). Additionally, the supervisors, including the technicians, post-doctoral fellows, and pediatric neuropsychologists, are available for hands-on assistance in test administration and case conceptualization. While the environment is fast-paced and full of rich opportunities, it is designed to be supportive of practicum students.
Rogers Memorial Hospital Eating Disorder Center
External Link The Eating Disorder Center of Rogers Memorial Hospital of Oconomowoc WI, is a residential treatment facility that treats both adolescent and adult male and female patients with eating disorders. The Eating Disorder Center has both a CBT and group DBT track. Patients with co-occurring anxiety disorders are placed into the CBT track. The role of the practicum student is to help the Behavioral Specialist implement a variety of CBT interventions to patients on the CBT track. Practicum students will learn to implement primarily exposure and response prevention for eating disorder symptoms and OCD symptoms. Additionally, practicum students can also learn to implement CBT for social anxiety disorder, CBT for panic disorder, CBT for generalized anxiety disorder, and behavioral activation for depression. Students can also have opportunities to be involved in more consultative roles including interviewing patients to determine what maybe their primary needs while on the CBT track and to make subsequent recommendations to the treatment team. Practicum students can also initiate opportunities to be a co-therapist in daily process/topic group therapy sessions.
Rogers Memorial Hospital OCD Center
Practicum students train two days per week for one academic year in an adult residential unit specializing in External Link OCD and anxiety disorders. The unit serves individuals with severe obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, including OCD, tic disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder), and excoriation (skin-picking) disorder. Additionally, some residents have a primary diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia or major depressive disorder. Students implement exposure and response prevention for OCD, interoceptive exposures for panic symptoms, behavioral activation for depressive symptoms, worry scripts/exposures for generalized anxiety and social phobia, and behavioral interventions for tic disorder, hair pulling and skin picking. Every week, students receive individual supervision (1 hour and as needed) and attend weekly interdisciplinary team meetings. Students also have the opportunity to shadow the master’s level therapists who conduct individual and family therapy.
Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers (SSCHC), Behavioral Health Services
The External Link SSCHC is an urban community health center that provides services to low-income members of a diverse and predominantly Latino enclave and surrounding communities. It operates within an integrated care model, in which primary care is a gateway for individuals with behavioral health needs. Students have opportunities to provide individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults as well as opportunities to conduct group interventions using mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy approaches with elderly Latinos. A behavioral health consultation (BHC) primary care rotation is also available. Supervision is conducted by both masters-level and Ph.D. level clinicians. Treatment modalities include Behavioral Activation, Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Opportunities to conduct differential diagnostic assessments are also available. Services are provided in both Spanish and English.