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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Child Psychology

Our APPIC-accredited program provides advanced clinical training opportunities at a child and adolescent outpatient clinic within the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services.  For the 2015-2016 academic year, the Department is pleased to announce openings for two postdoctoral clinical fellowship positions beginning on September 15, 2015.  Fellows will receive training in individual, family, and group therapy, psychological assessment, and consultation.  The positions will remain open until filled with an application deadline of January 9, 2015.  Early application is encouraged, and applications will be reviewed as they are received.  We will be holding two interview dates on Monday, February 2, 2015 and Friday, February 6, 2015.  Our notification process will begin on Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Fellows receive a stipend of $44,000 for the training year and approximately 19 days of paid time off (PTO) during their training year, which can be used for vacation and sick leave.  In addition, fellows will receive approximately 5 days of extended sick leave that is available in the event of an extended absence due to illness or medical reasons.  Because fellows work in Sacramento County facilities, they also have approximately 12 days off per year for state and federal holidays.  We are proud to offer our fellows the same retirement and medical benefits provided to our faculty.  Fellows may choose their medical and dental insurance from several providers and are given free vision and dental insurance.  Fellows also qualify for life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, and additional university plans.

How to apply

Our program adheres to the requirements for psychology licensure in the state of California.  As part of the postdoctoral fellowship, our trainees receive 1,900 supervised clinical hours.  Trainees participate in three to four hours of individual and group supervision each week with three different licensed psychologists. At least one hour of supervision each week is individual and face-to-face with a primary supervisor. In addition, trainees meet with individual and group supervisors regarding their psychotherapy and assessment cases. It is our goal that at the end of their postdoctoral fellowship, fellows will have obtained the necessary professional competencies to practice autonomously with respect to psychotherapy and psychological assessment in various multidisciplinary settings.

All applicants must have:

  • Attended an APA-accredited doctoral program
  • Completed an APA-accredited internship
  • Completed all requirements for their doctoral degree prior to September 1, 2014

To apply, submit the following in one complete packet:

  • An application (PDF)
  • A cover letter specifying the position for which you are applying and your aims
  • Three letters of recommendation in sealed envelopes with the writer’s signature across the envelope's seal
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A comprehensive psychological assessment report with all client/patient identifiers removed

 if you have any questions, please contact the Training Office at (916) 734-2614. 

Please send your application packet to:

Stacey Peerson, Ph.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
UC Davis Health System
2230 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817-1419
E-mail: stacey.peerson@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu 

Program structure

The UC Davis Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is located in Sacramento, California, approximately 20 miles east of the main UC Davis campus, in Davis, California.  It has a well-established postdoctoral fellowship program administered by full-time psychologists on the faculty under the direction of Stacey Peerson, Ph.D. The department has a strong collaborative relationship with Sacramento County’s Department of Health and Human Services. Many of our faculty and trainees conduct clinical work at one of the County’s many inpatient treatment facilities and/or outpatient clinics. Such a unique relationship not only provides our clients with superior mental health treatment but allows our faculty and trainees exposure to clients of wide-ranging backgrounds and complex clinical presentations. Our program offers postdoctoral fellows the best of both worlds, training from a strong academic approach that emphasizes evidence-based treatment within the context of complex clinical work in a county outpatient setting.

Clinical training

Sacramento County Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
The CAPS clinic, a 10-minute drive from UC Davis’ Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, is an outpatient clinic for children and adolescents (ages 0 to 21-years-old).  Robert Horst, M.D. serves as the medical director for the CAPS clinic, which is staffed by full-time UC Davis faculty psychologists and psychiatrists.  It is the primary training site for our postdoctoral fellows in psychology as well as UC Davis’ child and adolescent psychiatry fellows.  Medical students and residents in psychiatry also complete rotations at the CAPS clinic.  As with all of our training sites, there is a strong collaborative atmosphere and emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork.  Our fellows develop strong working relationships with a number of professionals within the community that last beyond their training year.

The CAPS Clinic solely serves children and adolescents who have mental health coverage through California’s state-funded health care program, Medi-Cal.  These clients present with a wide range of complex diagnostic concerns.  Most of our clients and their families struggle with multiple environmental stressors including low income, unemployment, poor social support, and/or family history of mental health or alcohol/substance abuse problems.  Oftentimes, our clients and their family members have also experienced neglect or abuse and may be involved with Child Protective Services (CPS).  Clients represent diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds such as African American, Asian, Caucasian, and Latino who may be first- or-second-generation immigrants.

Fellows at the CAPS clinic provide several important services to our clients.  Following a systems approach to client care, fellows often take the lead in coordinating and collaborating with several professionals involved in a client’s care, including those working in the mental health, medical, academic, and legal domains.  The County has a deep commitment to providing treatment that “meets clients where they are,” which allows providers to tailor their interventions to each client.  Fellows provide short- and long-term individual and family therapy, which if appropriate, may be conducted in the client’s schools or homes.  Fellows also conduct extensive psychological assessments that typically involve school observations, interviews with caregivers, treatment providers, and teachers, and the administration of objective and projective personality measures.  During the course of their training year, fellows also participate on and have the chance to lead the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (CMAT) that is facilitated by our faculty psychologists at the CAPS clinic. Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in an ongoing social skills group for adolescent males that is facilitated by Shelby Hyvonen, Psy.D. In addition, fellows will have opportunities to provide consultation within the county and with outside providers.

Educational opportunities

Core seminars

All of our core seminars meet on a regular basis throughout the entire postdoctoral training year.  As part of the fellowship, we are committed to providing our postdoctoral fellows with opportunities to learn from psychologists who have experience with a wide range of clients in a variety of treatment settings.  As such, our seminars are facilitated by the program’s attending psychologists as well as several volunteer clinical faculty members who are employed throughout the Sacramento area.

Assessment Case Conference
This seminar meets twice per month and is facilitated by two of our volunteer clinical faculty psychologists, Steven McCormick, Ph.D. and Candace Adams, Ph.D.  As part of the seminar, each postdoctoral fellow presents and leads a discussion on one of their current assessment cases in detail.  Discussions focus on referral questions, assessment measures, case conceptualization, and treatment planning.  Each member of the seminar is invited to ask questions, make suggestions, and provide their insights into each case.  This seminar offers the postdoctoral fellows a unique opportunity to collaborate with other professionals in the practice of psychological assessment who work in a variety of settings, including inpatient psychiatric facilities, outpatient clinics, and private practice.  It also provides each fellow the opportunity to learn about psychological assessment with clients of diverse backgrounds who present with a range of presenting problems.

Developmental Seminar
This seminar meets once per month and is facilitated by one of our volunteer clinical faculty psychologists, Lisa Farquhar, Ph.D.  Dr. Farquhar lends her expertise in child and adolescent development to help our fellows gain a better understanding of their client’s clinical presentation and treatment within the context of their development. 

Group Supervision
Group supervision meets once per month and is facilitated by Stacey Peerson, Ph.D., who is the director of postdoctoral training for our program.  In our commitment to providing our fellows with support and guidance as they transition from students into professionals, fellows are encouraged to use these meetings as opportunities to discuss a range of topics.  Many fellows have used the time to discuss issues related to their training, balancing their work and professional life, or professional development and career choices.

Special Topics Series
This seminar meets twice per month.  As part of our program’s dedication to providing fellows with exposure to new perspectives, we invite psychologists and other providers from the community to discuss their work in a variety of settings with a diverse range of clientèle.  These seminars are designed to provide fellows the opportunity to learn about potential career paths as well as to develop working relationships with other professionals in the field. Common topics include preparing for the EPPP and licensure, starting a private practice, culture and psychology, vicarious traumatization and self-care, early identification and treatment of psychosis, mental health and juvenile delinquency, Child Protective Services, law and ethics, and family  therapy. 

Rorschach Seminar
Core clinical psychologists, Shelby Hyvonen, Psy.D. and Andrea Hindes, Ph.D. lead this weekly seminar for the first four months of the training program.  Because we recognize that not all postdoctoral fellows will have familiarity with the Rorschach, this course aims to provide our fellows with the basic foundation for the administration, scoring, and interpretation of the Rorschach.

Therapy Case Conference
This seminar meets once per month and is also facilitated by Lisa Farquhar, Ph.D. and one rotating clinical faculty member. The structure of this seminar is such that one of the fellows presents an ongoing therapy case to the group, highlighting challenges and difficulties with the case and allowing for discussion of clinical issues that are related to the therapy process. Such structure allows fellows to gain exposure to a variety of models for conceptualizing, diagnosing, and treating a range of clients with multiple demographic backgrounds and presenting problems in varying treatment settings.

Zero to Five Seminar
Our training director, Stacey Peerson, Ph.D. leads this seminar, which focuses specifically on the unique developmental needs and key issues affecting young children and their families. Topics may include: brain development, relational needs, behavioral and mental health concerns, language and literacy development, the role of screening and early intervention, cultural influences, and the specific impacts of maltreatment on early childhood development.

Additional educational opportunities

Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (CMAT)
This team is based out of the CAPS clinic.  Members of the team include two psychologists and a psychiatrist, as well as fellows in psychology and psychiatry and rotating medical students.  The team’s psychologists take the lead in conducting live, comprehensive psychological assessments behind a two-way mirror.   These assessments are conducted with children and adolescents with extremely complex presentations who are referred to the team by mental health and medical professionals within the community.  Oftentimes these clients’ clinical presentations are complicated by serious medical problems and/or severe environmental stressors.

Grand Rounds
Fellows attend the Department’s bimonthly grand rounds.  In addition to attending grand rounds, every year one of our fellows is invited to present a topic at grand rounds.  Typically, fellows have presented on their dissertation research.  Our fellows’ presentations have been well-received by the Department and typically draw in professionals from other departments and the community as well.

Interpersonal Process Group
Psychology fellows are invited to join psychotherapy process groups with other postdoctoral fellows and residents in psychiatry.  These groups are facilitated by Martha Gilmore, Ph.D. and three other volunteer clinical faculty, and meet once per week for the entire training year.  They provide the unique opportunity for members to gain considerable insights into their own ways of relating to others as well as the interpersonal dynamics that arise in a group setting.  Many of our fellows who have participated in these groups have greatly valued their experience and the opportunity to develop long-lasting relationships with other group members.

Psychiatric Interviewing Skills
Each year our fellows and psychologists are invited to lead a six-week training in psychiatric interviewing for UC Davis’ medical students.  As part of the training, our fellows lead a small group of medical students through live interviews with adults who are inpatients in a psychiatric facility.  Our fellows have been highly regarded by the medical students and the Department for their ability to educate and support medical students with their first exposure to individuals suffering from severe mental illness.

Our faculty

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences has over 80 faculty members, including 10 psychologists. Psychologists in our department represent a wide array of clinical and research interests and expertise.  Several psychologists within the Department participate in federally funded research programs that investigate the basic mechanisms of brain function, neurodevelopment, clinical studies in child and adult psychiatry, and specific psychiatric disorders, such as autism and psychosis.

Three attending psychologists participate in the postdoctoral training program in clinical psychology.  These psychologists represent an array of theoretical approaches, including family systems, psychodynamic, interpersonal, and cognitive-behavioral.  Clinically, they have expertise in psychotherapy and comprehensive psychological assessment with children, adolescents, and adults from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds who present with complex Axis I and Axis II disorders.

For more information about our full-time faculty, please click on the links below:

Stacey Peerson, Ph.D., Training Director
Andrea Hindes, Ph.D.
Shelby Hyvonen, Psy.D.

In addition to our full-time faculty, our program includes several volunteer clinical faculty members representing a wide range of training and experience in areas including law and ethics, development throughout the lifespan, relational psychoanalysis, psychological evaluation of special populations, multicultural competence, and forensic psychology.  These psychologists practice in private, community, and educational settings and provide clinical supervision to both child and adult psychology and psychiatry fellows and residents.

  • Candace Adams, Ph.D. is an associate clinical professor and co-leads our assessment case conference seminar.
  • Lisa Farquhar, Ph.D. is a clinical professor and co-leads our therapy case conference seminar.  Her clinical background has primarily focused on development across the lifespan.
  • Steven McCormick, Ph.D. is an assistant clinical professor and provides training in psychological assessment at our assessment case conference. He has a private practice in the community that focuses on providing evaluation and treatment for persons with acquired cognitive dysfunction, chronic pain syndrome, and psychological disturbance secondary to traumas. He received his B.S. in psychology at Oregon State University and obtained his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in Berkeley. He has research publications in the area of traumatic brain injury and is a member of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, APA Division of Clinical Neuropsychology, and the American Academy of Pain Management.