Internship for Social Work Master’s students:
UIC Women’s Mental Health Program
The Women’s Mental Health Program in the Department of Psychiatry offers one field placement for an advanced social work masters student per academic year. The placement is primarily clinical as the student’s main responsibility will be to develop and maintain a caseload for individual, couples, and family psychotherapy.
The Women’s Mental Health Program is designed to serve the needs of women with psychiatric disorders, providing optimal treatment by taking into account reproductive and gender influences on mental illness and treatment response. Patients served include:
- Women whose symptoms vary over the course of the menstrual cycle
- Women who are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy
- Women with infertility problems
- Women who have had a pregnancy loss (e.g. miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion)
- Women who are postpartum
- Women who have psychiatric symptoms during perimenopause
- Women who have psychiatric symptoms in the context of gynecologic illness or procedures (e.g. breast cancer, hysterectomy, endometriosis)
- Women who have psychiatric sequelae of rape or sexual abuse
- Women who have psychiatric sequelae of domestic violence
The Women’s Mental Heath program provides opportunities to learn about:
- Effects of reproductive cycle events and gender on psychopathology
- Effects of gender on psychopharmacology – e.g. pharmacokinetics and risk/benefit analysis
- Tracking symptoms across the menstrual cycle, treating menstrually-linked psychiatric symptoms
- Discussing family planning in the context of mental illness
- Optimal psychiatric treatment during pregnancy
- Optimal psychiatric treatment postpartum, including during breast feeding
- Effects of mental illness and psychotropic medications on parenting
- Effects of perimenopause on the expression of psychiatric symptoms, and treating psychiatric symptoms during perimenopause
- How exogenous sex hormones can influence psychiatric symptoms
- Being efficient, yet thorough, in clinical practice
These objectives are achieved through the intern’s participation and involvement in multiple clinics in the Women’s Mental Health Program, developing their own caseload of patients for psychotherapy, and attending weekly lectures in the department of Psychiatry. In addition, interns are provided with both weekly individual supervision, and group supervision to discuss and review their clinical work. Upon completion of the internship, students will gain both specialized knowledge in women’s mental health and a comprehensive set of skills in psychotherapy including its provision, documentation, and billing.
The Women’s Mental Health Program aims to provide optimal health care and believes this is best achieved through teamwork among health care providers and patients. Such teamwork requires mutual respect, clear communication, and collaboration. Optimal treatment includes understanding the meaning of symptoms to the patient, cultural attitudes toward mental health, and the impact of the relationship between the clinician and patient in the patient’s response to treatment. The Women’s Program also aims to incorporate research findings into its clinical practices, while recognizing that clinicians are often called upon to make treatment decisions about conditions for which there are limited data, and/or to take into account individual circumstances that influence treatment decisions.
This internship is directed and supervised by Nikki Lively, LCSW (click here for staff profile). For more information or to schedule an interview (interviews are generally held in April and May for the coming academic year) please call 312.355.4387.