Postdoctoral Training in Psychology
University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry

Program Description

Our postdoctoral training program in clinical psychology offers training in an academic medical clinic setting that emphasizes evidence-based treatment while offering a wide variety of clinical opportunities. Adjunct Clinical Postdoctoral Associates (“Post-docs”) work with Psychology faculty as well as Department of Psychiatry faculty and other post-docs to provide services in the Springhill clinic (child/adolescent and adult outpatient services) and Vista Psychiatric Hospital (child/adolescent and adult inpatient services).

UF Health Springhill 2
Division of Psychology at Springhill 

Our Springhill clinic provides comprehensive outpatient care for children, adolescents, and adults in the greater North Central Florida area who are facing mental health issues. Services include: individual, group, and family psychotherapy, parent education and support, psychoeducational testing, school consultation and advocacy, and diagnostic clarification. Demographically, our outpatient clinic population is fairly representative of the surrounding Alachua County population which is about 70% Caucasian, 8% Hispanic or Latino, 20% Black or African American, and 5% Asian (as of 2010). The clinic serves patients with private insurance, but also Medicaid and Medicare. Diagnostically, the clinic serves a wide range of presenting concerns, including mood disorders, behavior problems, personality disorders, adjustment problems, autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders, and trauma.

UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital
UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital

The UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital (also known as Vista Psychiatric Hospital) is located adjacent to our Springhill outpatient clinic in a standalone hospital. We provide brief psychotherapy services on the child/adolescent (South) and adult (North) units. Patients are seen for therapy during hospitalization regardless of insurance coverage, and a wide range of SES is represented by the hospital patient population. Patients may present with issues related to suicidal behavior, conduct problems, severe mood disorders, trauma, substance use, psychosis, and personality disorders.

All Post-docs receive training in the assessment and treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) using Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP) through participation in the OCD intensive treatment program two mornings per week. All Post-docs also participate in the Vista inpatient treatment program two mornings per week and complete one psychoeducational testing case per week (one full day). The rest of their schedule is tailored with individual or family therapy cases seen through the outpatient clinic, which also offers additional, optional training opportunities such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), eating disorders, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, mindfulness-based treatment approaches, and group therapy.

All Post-docs receive training with children/adolescents and adults through our OCD program, the inpatient psychiatric program, psychoeducational assessments and general outpatient therapy cases. However, depending on each Post-docs training goals and objectives, the ratio of youth to adults can be tailored within their general outpatient therapy caseload. Post-docs work with their primary supervisors to determine their training goals at the beginning of the training year and work with them throughout the year to make sure that goals are being met. Formal evaluations are completed in December and May of each training year (Months 3 and 9) with feedback provided to post-docs.

All post-docs receive 2 hours of individual supervision with a licensed faculty psychologist per week. They also participate in two hours of didactics every Tuesday morning that includes lectures and other presentations on professional development, assessment and diagnosis, therapy, ethics, advocacy and diversity, education, and the scientific bases of psychological practice. Post-docs are also encouraged to watch via streaming the weekly Grand Rounds presented by the Department of Psychiatry on Fridays from 12-1. These didactics are supplemented by optional, targeted staffings, group supervision meetings, and case conferences focused on specific patient populations or treatment modalities including OCD, Inpatient psychotherapy services, family therapy, neuropsychological assessment, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Eating Disorders that post-docs may attend based on interest and caseload.

Melanie Nelson, PhD
Melanie Nelson, PhD
Training Director