Specific Training Opportunities

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Specific Training Opportunities

Below are various training opportunities available to our interns. Regardless of whether you are applying for the Adult or Child track, interns may combine training experiences from any of the clinical and research rotations below. This list is not exhaustive, as past interns have frequently incorporated training experiences with other affiliated faculty members (see Our Faculty) and within other research centers in our department.

Please note that there are multiple opportunities to provide services, and receive supervision, in Spanish. These experiences include intervention, assessment, and advocacy with children, families, and adults. 

The ACCESS for Mental Health team (Advancing Community Capacity to Empower Service Systems for Mental Health) is focused on alleviating disparities in access to mental health services for children and families, with a focus on vulnerable populations (e.g., urban poverty, ethnic/racial minorities, social determinants of health). We aim to develop culturally responsive, alternative models of mental health services for children and youth, with a focus on workforce development to enhance the capacity of community organizations to promote children’s and youth's well-being and mental health. This work leverages natural resources (parents, teachers, staff, paraprofessionals) to take advantage of teachable moments in settings critical to children’s development and mental health (home, school, after-school). 

Currently, the team is collaborating with several community organizations to enhance their ability to support their staff and the participating youth’s well-being through recreation. 

Current collaborations

Roles for Interns: 

  • Participation in community meetings 
  • Consultation with community partners and ongoing evaluation
  • Gain experience and exposure to the role of a recreation workforce in promoting children’s mental health
  • Learn about the role paraprofessionals play in enhancing and promoting children’s mental health
  • Grant and manuscript preparation
  • Secondary data analysis 
     
Supervisor(s)

The University of Illinois at Chicago Internship is currently offering a rotation to offer clinical experience with children, adolescents, families, and emerging adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behavioral problems. The rotation is comprised of experiences in the SUCCEEDS Clinic (directed by Dr. Michael Meinzer; https://www.uicadhd.org/succeeds) and the Comprehensive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Clinic (directed by Dr. Christine Lee; https://www.psych.uic.edu/clinical/child-and-adolescent-services/comprehensive-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-clinic). Drs. Lee and Meinzer are licensed clinical psychologists and will provide supervision. Interns will have the opportunity to engage in a range of assessment and intervention opportunities: 

  • Complete diagnostic evaluations for children and adolescents with ADHD and related behavior problems
  • Implement behavioral parent training with families, including caregivers 
  • Opportunities to observe and participate in cognitive and academic testing for children and adolescents 
     

Overview
In this rotation, interns will spend 1 half-day a week shadowing family medicine residents during primary care clinics. Interns shadow one resident physician a week, going into the exam room to observe the medical interview and non-sensitive exams. Some patient visits may be through telehealth, or through video conferencing lines within the clinic rather than being in the exam room with a patient if the patient presents with a suspected contagious illness (e.g. COVID). The intern will provide feedback to the resident on behavioral medicine skills according to the resident’s curriculum year. The intern may also provide brief interventions with patients to model appropriate skills or as requested by the physician. This rotation provides experience in teaching and supervision, as well as development of clinical skills such as motivational interviewing and other brief interventions.

Interns will learn:

  • How to precept (supervise) family medicine physician residents
  • How to teach core skills, including agenda setting, structuring the medical interview, asking sensitive questions, the BATHE technique, SBIRT, Motivational Interviewing, patient-centered physical exams
  • How to teach about appropriate diagnosis and treatment for a variety of mental and behavioral health conditions
  • Communication skills for busy primary care setting
  • How to incorporate medical culture and psych culture for better integrated care
  • Barriers to evidence-based practice
CAPACITY Lab

Our mission is to promote mental health by harnessing community-partnered research and implementation science to build mental health service capacity within the community organizations that serve vulnerable youth. Learn more about our lab on our website. Prospective interns can mix and match clinical and clinical research experiences. We offer 6 and 12-month rotations (note that clinical options are uncertain for Spring 2023 but research will be available all year). This rotation is ideal for interns interested in working with parents who have young children with ODD or ADHD, and who are interested in learning about community-based research focused on health equity, justice reform, implementation science, as well as qualitative and mixed methods research.

Family and Child Clinic (Family Clinic) Rotation (Tuesdays).

  • Traditional Psychotherapy: The family clinictreats disruptive behavior disorders and ADHD symptoms using parent management training and family interventions.
  • New Evaluation and Brief Consultation Pilot: A large demand for services nationwide along with a shortage of mental health providers has led to long waitlists for children and families. The traditional model of evaluation and a full course of therapy for each family may need to be supplemented with other types of services to move the needle on children’s mental health. In the fall of 2022, the family clinic is piloting a new model of care. The goal of this pilot is to preliminarily evaluate if providing families with a comprehensive mental health evaluation, recommendations for treatment (including school recommendations and providing letters in support of a 504 plan or IEP), and brief consultation regarding their primary concern for treatment is feasible and provides relief for families on the waitlist. We will be conducting program evaluation of this model while we execute.
  • Interns are expected to schedule approximately 4 psychotherapy sessions per week, conduct two evaluations for the eval and brief consultation pilot per month, and attend 1 hour of weekly supervision. Previous experience with parent management training is not required – support is scaffolded per previous experience (interns without parent management training experience may start by conducting co-therapy and transition to independence by the end of the rotation; interns with previous experience may immediately start seeing patients independently).

CAPACITY Lab Research Rotation (Monday morning lab meeting + Thursdays).
Ongoing research projects:
Development and Evaluation of the Family Law Navigation Model (Indiana Supreme Court Funding; PI: Rudd). Parental divorce and separation are common adverse childhood experiences linked to psychosocial problems. Partnering with family law stakeholders, who serve these families as they develop co-parenting and child support arrangements, is an opportunity to identify these families and connect them to appropriate care. The goal of the current study is to develop an empirically informed, contextually tailored method of screening parents seeking family law services for need and connecting them to appropriate care and preliminarily evaluate it. We have partnered with a family law judge in Floyd County Indiana to engage in this work. This project has three aims:
Aim 1. Using qualitative methods, evaluate the current context for Floyd County family law cases to understand: (a) current legal pathways for family law cases, (b) how decisions are made about these pathways, and (c) the opportunities to pragmatically integrate a comprehensive triaging model (data collection for this Aim is ending Summer 2022).
Aim 2. Using results from Aim 1 and the Evidence-Based Quality Improvement process, which is a community-partnered approach to shared decision-making, (a) finalize the Floyd County family law triaging model and (b) select and operationalize implementation strategies (this will occur summer/fall 2022).
Aim 3: Evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of the Family Law Navigation Model in three counties in Indiana (we hope to launch by winter 2022).
Roles for interns:

  • Analyzing qualitative results and coauthoring papers
  • Joining the EBQI meetings and helping to develop the model
  • Supporting Aim 3 execution including supporting the family law navigator

Evaluating equity in civil case processing across Indiana (PI: Rudd). Our team has been collaborating with legal stakeholders throughout Indiana to assess potential inequities and disparities in Indiana’s legal processes. We are part of a Case Processing Equity Committee housed within a larger task force. We proposed a two-year mixed method project to evaluate whether there are inequities in civil case processing. We should hear if that grant is funded any day. If it is not funded, we will stay on board as consultants.
Roles for interns:

  • If the grant if funded, support the execution of project, including survey data analysis, qualitative interviewing and analysis, and co-authoring of reports and publications
  • If grant is not funded, join the work group meetings to learn about supporting policy change

 

Mile Square Contingency Management Study (CCTS Pilot Grant; PI: Wardle; Co-I Rudd).
This study is a collaboration with the UIC’s Mile Square Health Center. This study aims to develop and pilot a contingency management program focused on supporting patient-centered goals in Mile Square’s buprenorphine clinic. During Aim 1, data will be collected via qualitative interviews with Mile Square Health Center stakeholders and folks who are recovering from opioid over-use (this data collection will launch any day!). Those data will then be used to develop the model (this will occur during the fall). During Aim 2, the model will be piloted for one year (this will occur in 2023).
Roles for interns:

  • Conducting interviews for staff and patients
  • Helping to analyze the qualitative data

Suicide Prevention in Juvenile Detention
Our lab has led several qualitative and mixed methods studies related to suicide prevention in juvenile detention. There are opportunities to get involved in analyzing those data and coauthoring papers. Note: I have an NIMH K23 related to suicide prevention in juvenile detention that is within the funding range. Should it be funded, the project would start late 2022 or early 2023. The study’s first aim is a qualitative study to understand the lived experiences of Black young adults with prior lived experience in juvenile detention.
Roles for interns:

  • Help with data analysis and paper-writing
  • Help with interviewing if K23 is funded
Supervisor(s)

PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
IN HIV/AIDS, DRUG USE PREVENTION, AND IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE FOR YOUTH, ADULTS, AND FAMILIES

Program Summary

The Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science (CDIS) and the Healthy Youths Program (HYP) are involved in basic and applied research. The primary focus areas of the Center include, but are not limited to, community empowerment, mental health, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, substance use, aging, homelessness, intimate partner violence, and urban and global health.

General Intern Opportunities

Works-in-progress (WIPS) are seminars where faculty, staff, students, and others interested in dissemination and implementation-related research can share their work, receive feedback about ideas, and explore potential partnerships. Presentations occur on the first Monday of the month from 12-1:00pm.

Consultations are seminars where faculty, staff, students, and others interested in dissemination and implementation-related research can share their work, receive feedback about ideas, and explore potential partnerships. Presentations occur on the first Monday of the month from 12-1:00pm.

Professional Development Group is a space for students, postdocs, junior faculty, and researchers in training to discuss issues related to professional growth and development. It meets on the third Monday of the month from 11-12:00pm.

Colloquia are held 3-4 times a year and feature an invited presenter who is an expert in the field of dissemination and implementation and/or is carrying out work within one of the CDIS’s content areas.

Grant Writing opportunities exist throughout the year, both for individual and center grants.

Current ongoing data collection and study implementation opportunities

Cannabis, Opioids and Benzodiazepines Use by Older Veterans in Illinois
Supervisor: Julie Bobitt, PhD
        Veterans often struggle with disabling conditions, such as chronic pain and PTSD, that tend to worsen as they age. Common treatments for these conditions include the use of opioids and benzodiazepines, yet these medications tend to have unwanted side effects and can even result in addiction. Meanwhile cannabis use in the US has increased significantly over the past decade and a growing number of research studies have highlighted the benefits derived from taking cannabis for medical purposes. Previous studies with older adults have found that individuals are reportedly using cannabis to replace or reduce reliance on opioids and benzodiazepines, however, no research has looked at cannabis relative to opioids and benzodiazepine use in older Veterans. The goal of this study is to develop a deeper understanding of cannabis use in older Veterans who are using it as a substitute or complement for opioids and/or benzodiazepines. Using data collected from older Veterans enrolled in the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program we will identify individual level variables and compare self-reported outcomes associated with using cannabis as a complement or substitute for opioids and/or benzodiazepines. We will also conduct 30 interviews with a sub-set of Veterans who respond to our surveys to discuss cannabis use as a complement or substitute for opioids and/or benzodiazepines.

IDPH Medical Cannabis and Older Persons Survey and Opioid Alternative Pilot Program
Supervisor: Julie Bobitt, PhD
        Data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed past-year cannabis use climbed from nearly 3% in 2003 to just over 9% by 2014 in adults age 50-64 and from .2% – 2.1%—a tenfold increase—in adults over age 65. While the number of older adults who use cannabis has been increasing, little is known about the reasons why older adults use cannabis and the outcomes for when they do. We sent surveys to the 16,000+ individuals age 60 and older enrolled in the Illinois Medical Cannabis program to learn about what motivates cannabis use (i.e. chronic pain), describe how cannabis is used, and identify both positive and negative outcomes of cannabis use (i.e. ability to stay active or increased falls risk).

Wits Wellness Program Evaluation
Supervisor: Julie Bobitt, PhD
        Research has shown that lifestyle changes such as participating in regular physical activity, staying socially engaged, and managing stress and diet make a positive difference that can delay or reduce cognitive decline. Wits Wellness is a holistic, 12-session (60-minute per session), multi-modal workshop series that offers adults ages 50 and older facilitated, interactive dialogue and activities about healthy behaviors that promote health including, stress management, the importance of physical activity, healthy diet, good sleep, and socialization. We will deliver Wits Wellness to 240 participants in locations throughout Illinois, and conduct a mixed-method evaluation of Wits Wellness using a two-arm randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and acceptability of Wits Wellness and examine the preliminary efficacy of Wits Wellness on changes in cognitive function, self-efficacy, socialization, sleep, stress and physical activity levels at 3 and 6 months.

Preventing HIV/AIDS Among Teens (PHAT LIFE): Implementation Study
Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A., Dan Woznica, PhD.
        PHAT Life is an HIV and alcohol/drug use prevention program, for urban 13 – 17 year-old male and female juvenile offenders. In the original efficacy trial, youth were recruited from juvenile probation settings and participated in an 8-session program (either PHAT Life or a health promotion intervention) over two weeks. Teens completed baseline, 6- and 12-month interviews, and they were tested for biological STIs at baseline and 12-month follow up. Treatment was provided for all participants who test positive. The current study is designed to identify an implementation strategy that is both sustainable and cost-effective by comparing peer-led vs. probation staff-led PHAT Life in juvenile probation’s Evening Reporting Centers. Opportunities for psychology interns: data analyses and manuscript preparation.

Informed Motivated And Responsible about AIDS (IMARA): Community Dissemination
Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A., Brianna Griggs, MPH
        IMARA is an HIV prevention program for women and their African American daughters. In the original trial, families are recruited from outpatient mental health clinics and street outreach in Chicago. Mothers and daughters participated in a two-day workshop, randomized to either IMARA or FUEL. IMARA targeted sexual behavior, emotion regulation, substance use, healthy relationships, HIV-risk, mother-daughter communication and mother-daughter relationships. Mothers and daughters completed baseline, 6-, and 12-month interviews to evaluate treatment outcomes and they were tested and treated for biological STIs at baseline and 12-months. The current study is examining how best to integrate IMARA into community-based organization – COIP – and expand services to include a brief substance use computer-based intervention, HIV testing and counseling, and Hep C testing. Opportunities for psychology interns: (1) conduct assessments if female, (2) deliver substance use intervention, and (3) write manuscripts.


Multilevel Comprehensive HIV prevention for South African Adolescent Girls and Young Women (IMARA South Africa)
Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A., Erin Jaworski, MPH
        This study is proceeding in two phases. In Phase 1 (UG3), this study is using the ADAPT-ITT model to systematically tailor IMARA for the South African (SA) context. In Phase 2 (UH3), we will conduct a 2-arm RCT to examine the effects of IMARA on STIs, HIV incidence, and PrEP and HTC uptake among 525 15-19 year-old adolescent girls and young women and their female caregivers. This study is part of a larger consortium (PATC3H) that includes 8 other projects taking place in Africa and Brazil.

PHAT Life Plus- Technology-based Training Tool for an Empirically Supported Group-Based HIV and STI Prevention Intervention for Juvenile Offenders
Supervisors: Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A, Nyssa Snow-Hill, PhD
        Youth under age 18 involved in the criminal justice system are disproportionately minorities and affected by substance abuse, mental illness, and HIV/STI. Most young offenders are released on community supervision without the STI, mental health, or substance use screening, diagnosis, and treatment afforded detained youth, despite similar rates of risk behavior. Their long-term trajectory is poor, the costs to society are high, and lasting effects on community well-being and individual employment prospects are profound. Altering this trajectory is a public health priority. Preventing HIV Among Teens (PHAT) Life is an evidence-based program that meets the need in juvenile justice to address youths’ co-morbid health problems. The next––and perhaps most critical–– step in ensuring that this decade-long line of research produces actual, real-world improvements in the lives of probation youth is to develop a PHAT Life training strategy that is effective, cost-effective, and sustainable within juvenile justice settings. This private/public collaboration between Oregon Research Behavioral Intervention Strategies and the University of Illinois at Chicago will leverage existing resources and competencies to create a commercially viable technology-based training tool for PHAT Life with great potential for sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Building on SBIR Phase I research, in this Phase II application proposes to use a formative process to refine, enhance and complete the technology-based training tool to include: (a) an interactive multimedia web browser and mobile application, (b) dynamic multimedia presentations and interactive queries, (c) video examples of mock intervention delivery, (d) audio narration along with scripted language, (e) brief quizzes to ensure comprehension and knowledge acquisition, (f) opportunities to “learn more” by clicking on tabs for supplemental information, (g) targeted referrals to appendix materials, (h) games to promote engagement, and (i) other adaptations based on Phase I feedback. The proposed technology-based training tool should be highly sustainable, because it (a) relies on “indigenous” personnel to deliver the intervention, (b) is likely to prove cost-effective since we will utilize a technology that can deliver training at scale, and (c) will improve fidelity by leveraging technology to provide consistent training experiences to para-professionals. We will evaluate the training tool via a 2-arm RCT with 130 individuals who work with justice-involved youth. All trainees will receive the technology-based training tool and half will be randomized to receive supervision prior to real-life delivery. We will evaluate facilitator knowledge and satisfaction, and fidelity to PHAT Life following real-time intervention delivery. We will assess key implementation outcomes, including cost, feasibility, acceptability and sustainability. The proposed study is highly significant with strong commercialization opportunities for a scalable training solution that supports implementation fidelity and program sustainment addressing a key public health imperative.

Mi QUIT CARE (Mile Square QUIT Community-Access-Referral-Expansion
Supervisor: Geri Donenberg, PhD
        Demonstrating the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of electronically delivered smoking cessation interventions via patient portals in Federally Qualified Health Care (FQHC) settings has the potential for wide-spread dissemination and significant public health impact. on patient populations with demonstrated high rates of smoking. The specific aims of are to: UG3: Aim 1. Examine the burden of tobacco use and its influence on pulmonary health disparities (lung cancer, COPD, and asthma) in the patient population and the economically disadvantaged and racially segregated catchment areas of Mile Square Health Centers. Aim 2: Evaluate knowledge, attitudes, barriers and facilitators to: smoking cessation, engagement with the tobacco quit line, linkage to the tobacco quit line via a patient health portal and receipt of patient navigation to facilitate access to the tobacco quit line among MSHC patients and health care providers. Aim 3: Evaluate the use of community engagement strategies to increase uptake of the UI Health Patient Portal among low-income patients receiving care at Mile Square Health Center. Aim 4: Test the acceptability, feasibility, and capacity of Mile Square Health to deliver Mi Quit CARE, an evidence-based and multi-level intervention to increase engagement with the quit line via the UI Health Portal. UH3: Aim 1: Determine the effectiveness Mi Quit CARE compared to standard of care in increasing patient engagement with the Illinois tobacco quitline and subsequent smoking cessation outcomes. Aim 2: Evaluate the scalability of Mi Quit CARE to multiple sites within the UI Health FQHC Mile Square clinic network and by translating the intervention to Spanish. Aim 3: Examine the cost effectiveness of Mi Quit CARE on smoking cessation outcomes compared to standard of care among a high risk FQHC population.

Project AIM (Action In Mindfulness): Adapting and Implementing a Meditation App for Justice-Involved Youth Placed on Probation
Supervisor: Ashley Kendall, PhD
        Young people placed in the justice system experience important health disparities compared with non-justice-involved peers. Meditation may promote mental and physical health, and can be delivered by smartphone app, reaching youth in their daily lives. In the K99 phase of this NIDA-funded K99/R00 study, we partnered with justice-involved youth and a range of community stakeholders–including a Youth Advisory Board, meditation experts, juvenile justice officers, and professional app programmers–to guide the adaptation and implementation of a meditation app for use by youth placed on probation. In the R00 phase, currently underway, we are conducting a longitudinal randomized controlled trial with youth currently placed on probation in the Chicago area to evaluate both clinical and implementation outcomes associated with the adapted meditation app.

Feasibility Trial of a Mindfulness-based mHealth Intervention to Mitigate the Effects of Chronic Workplace Stress among Juvenile Justice Officers
Supervisor: Ashley Kendall, PhD
        Juvenile justice officers (JJOs) face high chronic workplace stress. This stress is implicated in a constellation of adverse outcomes underpinned by emotion dysregulation: depression, anxiety, and workplace burnout. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) target emotion dysregulation and show reductions in depression, anxiety, and burnout. Mobile health (mHealth) technology can be harnessed to deliver and tailor MBI content to JJOs during their workdays, presenting a platform that is both scalable on the macro level and responsive to the variability in each JJO’s schedule on the micro level. For the present NCCIH-funded R34 study, our team is adapting an existing MBI app, Bodhi, according to empirically-supported adaptation targets and conducting a feasibility clinical trial in the Chicago Cook County juvenile justice system.

Evidence-based sexual and reproductive health intervention using a multiphase optimization strategy
Supervisors: Kate Merrill, PhD; Geri Donenberg, PhD
        Latina adolescents in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS/sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and other adverse consequences of risky sexual behavior. The home environment is recognized to shape adolescents’ health outcomes, but only one Latina mother-daughter sexual health program was identified in the literature. IMARA (Informed, Motivated, Aware, and Responsible Adolescents and Adults) is an evidence-based intervention for African American adolescent girls and their mothers, which is well-suited to be adapted for Latinas. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Chicago, the program reduced the risk of new STIs by 45% compared to the control group among 14-18-year-olds. In this study, we will adapt IMARA to a Latina audience and pilot an optimization trial within community-based organizations (CBOs) in Chicago, using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST). MOST is a methodological framework for developing an optimal intervention package by assessing the effectiveness of an intervention’s components prior to subjecting the intervention to an RCT. This study focuses on the preparation phase of MOST, using an implementation science approach and drawing on community-based participatory research principles. Findings will form the basis for a fully-powered optimization trial to test intervention component impacts on STI incidence among Latina adolescents. The long-term goal is to generate an efficient, sustainable adapted intervention with potential for scale-up with CBOs serving Latinas.

Cook County Opioid Date2Action Qualitative Needs Assessment
Supervisor: Monte Staton, PhD
        The study aims to gather and analyze qualitative data from persons using opioids, family members of persons using opioids, and providers of treatment to persons using opioids, to help increase public health officials’ understanding of opioid use and overdose risks in suburban Cook County, how it impacts opioid users and their family members, and how local health/social service providers are responding to the needs of community members impacted by opioid use and overdose.

GIRLTALK
Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A.
        GIRL TALK tests a framework of HIV-risk that emphasizes the interplay of family, peer and partner mechanisms and proposes that family processes (mother-daughter relationships and communication, maternal attitudes and beliefs, mothers’ risk behavior and partner relationships) influence sexual risk behaviors directly and indirectly through peer and partner relationships among AA 12-18 year old girls seeking psychiatric care. Mothers and daughters (N=266) were recruited from seven urban mental health clinics in Chicago and followed for 2 years (baseline, 6, 12-, 18-, and 24-months). Participants complete questionnaires, participate in interviews, and engaged in three structured videotaped interaction tasks. Data collection and entry are complete. Opportunities for psychology interns: data analysis and manuscript preparation.

Project BALANCE
Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A.
        Project Balance was a 3-arm randomized controlled trial for adolescents in therapeutic day schools. Participants (N=418) were adolescents with psychiatric disorders in Rhode Island and Chicago. Project Balance evaluated an affect management and a skills-based intervention and compared the efficacy of these treatment conditions to a general health promotion control group. The Affect Management intervention included non-cognitive factors to target distress in sexual situations. Each intervention involved 12 45-minute sessions delivered in a classroom setting and co-facilitated by trained research assistants. The intervention used role-plays, games, videos, discussions, and specially tailored experiential activities to delay sexual debut and reduce risky sexual behavior. Assessments were conducted at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-months post intervention. A booster session was implemented one month after the 12th session. Data collection and entry are complete. Opportunities for psychology interns: data analysis and manuscript preparation.

CARES
Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A.
        CARES explores HIV/AIDS risk determinants among 325 ethnically diverse teenagers seeking outpatient mental health services. Study aims were to (a) determine rates of risky sexual behavior and drug use among youth in psychiatric care and compare these rates to rates among teens in the general population; (b) test and compare the utility of two theoretical models in explaining HIV-risk -- the Information-Motivation-Behavior model (Fisher & Fisher, 1992) and a social-personal model (Donenberg & Pao, 2003); and (c) test and compare the two models for theoretically important subgroups of youth (internalizing, externalizing, substance abusing). Teens and parents were recruited from four outpatient mental health clinics and interviewed at baseline, 6- and 12-months. Family members completed a combination of interviews and questionnaires to assess HIV/AIDS information, motivation, and behavioral skills, and teens' personal attributes, relationship concerns, and risky sexual behavior and substance use. Parents and teens also participated in two structured videotaped interaction tasks. Opportunities for psychology interns: data analyses and manuscript preparation.

South Africa STYLE
Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A.
        This developmental study is adapted and pilot tested an HIV and alcohol/drug use prevention program for South African caregivers and their teens receiving outpatient mental health services. Stage 1 included extensive formative work (e.g., focus groups, feedback groups, in-depth interviews, theater testing) followed by curricular revisions. In Stage 2, we piloted the revised intervention with two groups of 14 – 18 year old parent-teen dyads receiving mental health services. Teens were male and female from all ethnic groups. In Stage 3, we tested the revised program with 90 parent-teen dyads randomly assigned to SASTYLE versus a control group and re-interview families at 3-, 6-, and 9 months. Opportunities for psychology interns: data analyses and manuscript preparation.

Improving ART adherence and mental health among Rwandan youth living with HIV
Supervisors: Geri Donenberg, Ph.D., Erin Emerson, M.A.
        This project implemented a 2-arm RCT to test and compare the efficacy of adherence-enhanced TI-CBT (i.e., TI-CBTe) to usual care in increasing ART adherence among 350 Rwandan 14 – 21 year olds from the two clinics caring for the largest number of youth with HIV in Rwanda. Based on the Indigenous Leader Outreach Model, Youth, caregivers, and youth leaders completed baseline, 6-, 12, and 18-month follow-up assessments to assess effects on adherence and important mediators (trauma, depression, gender-based violence). Opportunities for psychology interns: data analysis and manuscript preparation.

The Neuropsychology Rotation is designed to provide a primary, comprehensive training experience in neuropsychological assessment for interns interested in pursuing a career in the specialty of clinical neuropsychology. As such, a yearlong neuropsychology training experience is the standard training rotation, although 6-month rotations are offered as well depending on the training needs of the intern. The Neuropsychology Program adheres to the Houston Conference guidelines for internship training in clinical neuropsychology, and is designed to prepare the intern for advanced postdoctoral residency/fellowship training in the field and eventual board certification in clinical neuropsychology. The UIC Neuropsychology Service is a lifespan service, with opportunities to provide timely and high-quality neuropsychological evaluation to children, adolescents, and adults. We currently offer two training options that can be tailored to the intern’s interest/training goals: (1) the standard, adult-focused training option, and (2) a lifespan training option in which the intern will have the opportunity to see a mix of both adult and pediatric cases throughout their training rotation. The pediatric arm of the program currently receives referrals from select disciplines, including the Pediatric Neurology, Hematology/Oncology, and Sickle Cell Clinics.
 

Clinical Training Experiences: UIC has a single, integrated lifespan Neuropsychology Service that houses all of the faculty neuropsychologists and provides neuropsychological consultation services for all departments within the UI Health System as well as for the surrounding community. Our service provides comprehensive clinical care to patients by evaluating cognitive, psychological, and functional complaints, clarifying differential diagnostic considerations, informing and directing treatment/rehabilitation planning, and providing pre/post-neurosurgical intervention (e.g., cerebral bypass; resection surgery), alongside our colleagues in Psychiatry, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, and General and Specialty Medicine. We frequently receive referrals from external sources, including outside physicians/hospitals, schools, and other agencies, including the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services and multiple state consent decrees. This affords interns with wide-ranging and rich training opportunities to comprehensively evaluate the full range of neurological, neuromedical, and neuropsychiatric conditions, including but not limited to dementia/neurodegenerative conditions, cerebrovascular disorders, rare neurosurgical populations (e.g., moyamoya disease), tumor, infectious diseases, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, acquired brain injury, systemic medical conditions, ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders, complex psychiatric conditions, and select pediatric conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease; pediatric hematology/oncology). The intern’s primary role is to participate in provision of clinical services in the Outpatient Neuropsychology Clinic, although opportunities to provide bedside evaluation via the Neuropsychology Inpatient Consultation Service exist. UIC is urban, community-based hospital/medical center that serves the people of Chicago and surrounding communities. Our patient population is multiculturally diverse with a substantial portion coming from areas that have been systematically under-resourced and socio-economically disadvantaged. Within this context, interns have ample opportunities to gain competency in provision of neuropsychological services to culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Interns receive supervised experience in test selection, administration/scoring, and interpretation, implementing, and writing up integrative neuropsychological evaluations using a broad range of tests and procedures, as well as oral communication of test results to patients, family members, and referral sources.
 

As part of the standard clinical training experience in the neuropsychology rotation, the intern attends 3 weekly intensive Neuropsychology Didactics: 1) Neuropsychology Case Conference;  2) Fundamentals of Clinical Neuropsychology; and 3) Functional Neuroanatomy. Other optional seminars of interest to those on a career trajectory in neuropsychology include Psychiatry and Neurology/Neurosurgery Grand Rounds.

Interns completing rotations in the Neuropsychology Program will master the following specific competencies:

  • Assessment of neurobehavioral and psychological disorders stemming from cognitive, psychiatric, and medical disability 
  • Selection, administration, scoring, and interpretation of neuropsychological tests 
  • Case conceptualization through integration of history, test data, and behavioral observation 
  • Communication of test results through written reports and oral presentation 
  • Development of a working knowledge and experiential base in neurological and psychiatric diagnosis 
  • Capacity for neuropsychological consultation to medicine, neuropsychiatry, neurosurgery, neurology, other medical services, schools, and other referral sources 
  • Provision of feedback to patients and families
  • Conducting neuropsychological research (if interested)

Our mental health services research team at IJR works to identify new service models to address the needs of families living in urban poverty. This emphasizes the importance of integrating mental health with the goals of settings that families naturally access (such as schools, after-school, community organizations) and strengthening the ways that people in these settings (such as staff, teachers and parents) can support increasing numbers of youth and families in need.

Center for Clinical and Translation Science (CCTS). In August 2016, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) at UIC was awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health. For more details: http://www.ccts.uic.edu/news/nih-awards-177m-uic-center-clinical-and-translational-science.  Dr. Atkins is Director of Community Engagement and Collaboration Core of the CCTS, which also includes Drs. Mehta, Rusch, Walden, and Rudd. consultations recruitment and retention and Dissemination and Implementation Science. The mission of the CEC is to support UIC researchers to promote successful and equitable university-community-policy partnerships focused on dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health programs and services. Drawing on theories of organizational and community context to promote effective and sustainable health policies and practices, we target our programs and services to UIC research investigators, educational & community organizations, and key policy stakeholders to improve the health of the community, with a special focus on effective health services for urban youth.  The CCTS provides opportunities for interns to learn more about how clinical and translational health research and how our team participates in ongoing collaboration with other local university CCTS hubs to promote innovative community-engaged science in the Chicagoland area.  

Roles for Interns:

  • Participation in ongoing CCTS meetings
  • Participation in grant preparation and consultation services related to Dissemination and Implementation Science
  • Learn about our team’s ongoing collaboration with community and policy stakeholders to identify behavioral health indicators for youth. Current collaborations include:
    • Chicago Department of Public Health
    • Mile Square Federally Qualified Health Center
    • NAMI Chicago
    • Circuit Court of Chicago Restorative Justice Court
       

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills group clinic rotation provides interns with experience co-leading a weekly DBT skills group with Dr. Tory Eisenlohr-Moul. Patients (18 years +) are referred from providers throughout Psychiatry to learn skills to improve transdiagnostic difficulties with emotion regulation and related behavioral concerns. Because the DBT skills group operates on a rolling admission basis, the skills group is always active.

Clinical Opportunities (~3 Hours/Week): If an exclusively clinical experience is desired, the rotation will require 3 hours of time per week for DBT group preparation, skills group sessions, documentation, and supervision. If desired, there are opportunities for the intern to supervise medical residents (e.g., supervising a medical resident as they learn to lead a basic mindfulness exercise, or as they learn to conduct a DBT group orientation session).

Clinical + Research Rotation (~5 Hours/Week): Interns are welcome to expand this rotation to include a research component. The intern would write a research paper focused on mechanisms relevant to DBT (using existing or new data collection from DBT patients). This would add roughly 2 hours of time per week, for a total of 5 hours for the full rotation.

The Health Psychology rotation offers training in a variety of behavioral health roles in bariatric surgery. Interns will be part of a multidisciplinary team with a predominantly low income and ethnically diverse patient population.

Training opportunities include:

Clinical:

  1. Conduct pre-bariatric surgery psychological evaluations to assess patient readiness for and understanding of bariatric surgery. This experience will include specialized training in the assessment of disordered eating with this population.
  2. Complete follow-up appointments with pre-operative patients to address issues impeding surgical readiness. These appointments may be brief (1-2 sessions) or ongoing.
  3. Co-lead bariatric surgery support groups, available.
  4. Provide health behavior interventions to post-operative patients, as available. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational enhancement, and mindfulness are utilized. 
  5. Attend monthly multidisciplinary bariatric surgery team meetings.
  6. This training opportunity occurs virtually via telehealth and in person in the Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI). 

Didactics:

  1. Didactic opportunities include weekly Psychiatry grand rounds and Neuropsychology lectures.

*Modification to the above activities may occur due to the current COVID-19 pandemic”

Immigrant Family Mental Health Advocacy (IFMHA) Program

Director: Dana Rusch, PhD

The Immigrant Family Mental Health Advocacy (IFMHA) Program aims to strengthen research-practice-policy connections to address the mental health needs of immigrant children, families, and communities. This rotation is ideal for interns whose programmatic work aligns with our mission to:

  • Advance clinical care and treatment outcomes
  • Provide clinical education and training opportunities grounded in policy advocacy
  • Foster community capacity building and collaborative partnerships
  • Generate community-engaged research focused on empowerment and systems change
  • Mobilize advocacy and policy efforts to address inequity

About Our Clinical Services

The IFMHA Program clinic is committed to providing outpatient services that meet the complex mental health needs of immigrant communities. Although clinical services are not limited to serving majority Spanish-speaking Latino/x/e families, this is our primary patient population. We draw from evidence-based interventions with responsivity to cultural and contextual context, and adaptations that reflect the needs and preferences of the families we serve. Clinical supervision will focus on the integration of advocacy principles and empowerment strategies in clinical care, as well as how to serve as policy advocates in our work outside the clinic. Interns will often have opportunities to learn more about consultation with immigration lawyers, providing advocacy and support to individuals/families seeking immigration relief, and school-based advocacy for children of immigrants and English language learners. Interns typically follow 2-3 cases, depending on presenting concerns, case management demands, and number of trainees. Trainees will attend weekly 1-hour clinical supervision.

Who We Serve

  • Children and adolescents from immigrant mixed status families with varying diagnoses (anxiety, depression, inattention, behavioral issues, learning difficulties)
  • UIC students affected by DACA, detention or deportation of family member, pending asylum status, or other immigration-related stressors
  • Young adult asylum seekers who arrived as unaccompanied minors and are awaiting adjudication of their asylum claim

Policy and Advocacy Activities

IFMHA Program activities focus on raising awareness of policy issues, synthesizing the research on the mental health impact of immigration policies, and disseminating information via policy updates/briefs, infographics, and guides/tip sheets for key stakeholders. Dr. Rusch is involved in several committees/collaborations focused on immigration policy and advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national level. She serves as Chair of the Policy and Advocacy Workgroup and Core Leadership Team for the Coalition for Immigrant Mental Health (CIMH; https://ourcimh.org/). Trainees with clinical cases are expected to participate in policy and advocacy work because it is an integral component to the IFMHA clinical care model and can do so through a variety of experiences:

  • Participation in CIMH meetings and initiatives
  • Preparation of policy updates and resources for dissemination
  • Preparation of public comments related to federal rulemaking and regulatory changes
  • Development of an IFMHA Program resources for community partners
  • Provide support to UIC Office of Diversity, Equity and Engagement on student inclusion initiatives for undocumented students 

Research Activities

Interns may also elect to participate in research initiatives sponsored by the Community Engagement and Collaboration (CEC) Core of the CCTS (Dr. Rusch is a faculty member of the CEC) focused on community-engaged research that addresses health equity for immigrant and refugee communities, as well as other priority populations defined by the NIH. Interns will also be involved in ongoing research projects and grant activities that respond to the needs and concerns of community stakeholders and those impacted by immigration policy. Interns will be involved in the creating research briefs to disseminate research findings to the CIMH listserv and community-based organizations in Chicago. Research activities may also include contributing to policy statements, preparation of community trainings, and conference presentations with local and national collaborators.

Supervisor(s)

In November of 2013, the Memory and Aging Clinic opened at UI Health. We are located in the UIH Outpatient Care Center at 1801 West Taylor Street and the team is directed by Dr. Laura Pedelty of Neurology. The Memory and Aging Clinic provides a team approach to caring for patients with atypical or complicated memory and other cognitive disorders due to stroke, all forms of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other medical and neurological conditions.

For more information, please click HERE.

Supervisor(s)

Description 
The faculty members affiliated with the clinic offer our trainees supervised training in cognitive behavioral treatment (or more generally, empirically supported treatments) for adults with depression and anxiety diagnoses. Within the scope of the clinic, all new patients are evaluated using a structured diagnostic screening interview and patients complete diagnosis-specific self-report measures that are part of the evaluation. These measures can then be used as a means of gauging treatment progress as well as forming the foundation for a multiple baseline assessment. Interns are encouraged to utilize established treatment manuals for the basis of their treatment intervention(s) and, with the input of their supervisor, to adapt the manual to the specific needs of their patient. While the primary mode of treatment is individual CBT, group treatment is also offered. Depending on staffing availability, intensive outpatient and, on occasion, inpatient experiences are available. 

Intern’s Role
Interns participate in all aspects of the treatment process. If they are not already familiar with structured clinical interviewing, they will acquire skills in this area. In addition to individual and group treatment, interns can be involved with a team approach to intensive outpatient and inpatient treatment should we have patients that are in need of these latter forms of treatment. Prospective interns should note that the primary theoretical orientation that they will be expected to use is cognitive behavioral (and can include extensions of this model such as mindfulness, ACT, etc.). Because the clinic strongly endorses an empirically oriented approach, there are numerous opportunities to engage in treatment outcome research, especially in the area of effectiveness research and N = 1 studies. Interns are expected to attend and participate in clinic meetings the content of which reflects research and administrative issues as well as clinical case presentations.

Opportunities/expectations for the rotation
Interns will provide individual CBT psychotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders in an outpatient setting. Typical presentations seen in the clinic include depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic, OCD and PTSD. An intern will learn manualized protocols as well as general CBT techniques. Attempts will be made to give interns the type of patients they have the most interest in seeing, but they will see patients diagnosed with a range of disorders.

  • May have the opportunity to learn and implement aspects of ACT, DBT and/or RO DBT, depending on patient needs. 
  • Up to an hour of individual weekly supervision will be provided.
  • Patients will primarily be seen at NPI, 912 S. Wood St on the UIC Medical Campus, with the possibility to provide telehealth services in specific cases
  • May have opportunities to work on technology-based intervention and/ or substance use treatment and attitudinal change research if interested (but not required)

The Craniofacial Center, established in 1949, is one of the oldest and largest facilities in the country. It is a unique facility where patients with craniofacial conditions receive comprehensive multidisciplinary care by a group of experienced medical and dental specialists and other allied-health professional. Patients undergo several surgical procedures from birth to adulthood to achieve total functional, aesthetic and psychological normalcy. Our team includes, but is not limited to, surgeons, nurses, speech pathologist, psychologist, audiologist, orthodontist, dentist, geneticist, and pediatrician. The clinic's goal is to provide an improved quality of life for each of our patients.

The psychology team provides psychological consults for patients and their families as part of the patient’s routine team visit. They address the patient’s coping with ongoing changes in facial appearance, concerns with teasing and stigmatization, and preparing psychologically for surgery procedures. During these consults, the patients’ developmental, social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning will be assessed through the use of interview and assessment tools. The psychology team also administer developmental evaluations for infants as well as comprehensive psychological assessments for children and adolescents. Finally, individual and family therapy services as well as parent training are provided for the children and families to address internalizing and externalizing issues, such as self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and oppositional behavior.

Conditions Treated:

  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Craniofacial Syndromes (Apert's, Crouzon's, Treacher Collins, Pfeiffer's)
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Facial Clefts
  • Giant Nevi
  • Head and Neck Tumors
  • Hemifacial Microsomia
  • Micrognathia and other jaw deformities
  • Microtia
  • Oral Tumors
  • Pierre Robin Sequence
  • Traumatic Craniofacial Injuries
  • Vascular Malformations

For more information, visit the Craniofacial Center website.

Description: The Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic (PMDC) at UIC is the premier specialty clinic for pediatric mood disorders in the greater Chicago area and in the state of Illinois. The clinic treats children and adolescents aged 3-18 with mood spectrum disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, severe mood dysregulation, adjustment disorder with mood symptoms, bereavement, and traumatized children with mood symptoms. Many of the children treated in our clinic have complex symptoms presentations, with comorbid disorders such as ADHD, ODD, generalized anxiety, and PTSD. Children and families are offered a range of services, including comprehensive diagnostic assessment, individual and family therapy, manual-based group therapy, and medication evaluation and monitoring. The clinic is comprised of an interdisciplinary team – a child psychologist, child psychiatrists, a doctoral-level psychiatric nurse, a clinical social worker, psychology externs, psychology interns, and psychiatric fellows.

Intern’s Role: For a clinical rotation, interns will conduct diagnostic assessments, carry a therapy caseload (usually from 2-7 patients depending on the complexity of cases and intern’s time commitment), and participate in our manual-based 12-session group treatment, called RAINBOW, for pediatric bipolar disorder. Interns will be trained on the RAINBOW manual and deliver the treatment with individual/family patients and in a group therapy setting. There are also opportunities to facilitate an adolescent girls’ depression group. Interns have weekly supervision and participate in didactics and team meetings.

Clinic: Pediatric Mood Disorders Clinic

Supervisor(s)

The Pediatric Neuropsychology Rotation is designed to provide a training experience for individuals who are interested in the neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents referred from Neurology, Hematology/Oncology and Sickle cell Services at UIC Department of Pediatrics. This rotation is geared toward refining skills in the neuropsychological assessment of pediatric outpatients with complicated medical history. Interns receive supervised experience in planning test selection, implementing, and writing up neuropsychological evaluations using a broad range of tests and procedures, as well as oral communication of test results to referral sources, patients and families. 

Supervisor(s)

The Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Clinic (PSADC) specializes in early identification, comprehensive evaluation, and evidence-based treatment of anxiety disorders in diverse youth from age 4 years through older adolescents.

For more information visit the Pediatric Stress and Anxiety Disorders Clinic (PSADC).

Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul’s CLEAR Lab uses a combination of mechanistic hormone experiments (RCTs) and observational studies to clarify how normal hormone changes (menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, puberty) impact daily transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms (especially suicidal thoughts and behaviors) among female outpatients. Since not all females are “hormone-sensitive” to the neurobiological effects of hormone changes, we also emphasize the use of multilevel models to explain these between-person differences in hormone sensitivity. We use a transdiagnostic, symptom-specific approach informed by both the RDoC and HiTOP frameworks. Primary outcomes of interest include daily self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (suicidality and NSSI), as well as daily symptoms of alcohol use disorder, ADHD, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder. With respect to the DSM-5 framework, we study transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying “premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)” and mood disorders “with peripartum onset”. While we primarily focus on the menstrual cycle, we also study perinatal, perimenopausal, and peripubertal effects of hormones on psychopathology.

Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul is primarily interested in training research-focused interns in the use of clinical trials to clarify the pathophysiology of transdiagnostic hormone-related symptoms. Should the intern develop a longer-term interest in this work, she is able to serve as a postdoc mentor on several institutional postdoctoral fellowships at UIC. She is also interested in training clinically-focused interns on the use of standardized assessment methods for acute suicide risk, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and premenstrual exacerbation of chronic disorders.
 

Active Grants in Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul’s Laboratory:

  • NIMH R01-120843 (PI: Eisenlohr-Moul): Cyclical Neuroactive Steroid Changes, Arousal, and Proximal Suicide Risk: An Experimental Approach.
  • NIMH R01-122446 (Co-PIs: Eisenlohr-Moul, Nock, & Prinstein): Adolescent Girls’ Risk for Suicide Across the Menstrual Cycle: Examining Stress and Negative Valence Systems Longitudinally
  • NIMH K99/R00-109667 (PI: Eisenlohr-Moul); Ovarian Hormone Withdrawal and Suicide Risk: An Experimental Approach.
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (PI: Eisenlohr-Moul): Neurosteroid and immune mechanisms of steroid-regulated suicidality in a mechanistic clinical trial.
  • NIMH R01-119119 (PI: Martel): Estrogen Effects on ADHD and Cognition.
  • NIAAA R21 (PI: Childs): Influence of Synthetic Sex Hormones on Alcohol Effects and Consumption in Women.
     

Training/Research Themes:

  1. Use of clinical trials to clarify how ovarian hormones (estrogen, progesterone) influence female psychopathology and suicidality, including mechanisms such as immune signaling (e.g., inflammatory gene network expression, cytokines) and GABAergic neurosteroid metabolites (e.g., allopregnanolone).
  2. Suicide risk assessment in clinical trials with chronically suicidal patients and participants.
  3. State-of-the-art methods for diagnosing DSM-5 premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual exacerbation of chronic psychopathology (PME) across the menstrual cycle in female patients and participants.
     

(Themes 1 & 2): Building on years of evidence for heightened perimenstrual risk of suicide and hospitalization in females, Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul’s current NIMH-funded research program uses intensive crossover randomized controlled trials of hormone stabilization in women with chronic suicidality. These trials investigate the role of cyclical ovarian hormone changes in acute risk for emotional crisis and suicide. Studies also focus on downstream mechanisms of ovarian hormone changes in female psychopathology, including changes in GABAergic Neurosteroid metabolites, inflammatory gene expression, and inflammatory signaling markers.  Daily and weekly suicide risk interviews are repeated within the same participant over 6-9 months. 

  • Research Opportunities: Research roles in these projects will vary widely depending on the level of interest in ovarian hormone mechanisms in psychopathology, but could include literature reviews and other writing tasks for co-authorship on primary or secondary trial outcome manuscripts. Exceptionally interested interns may have the opportunity to develop a first-author manuscript using the repeated measures data from the trials.
  • Clinical Opportunities:  Optional clinical opportunities in these projects could involve learning to conduct the SCID-5 as well as suicide risk assessments with participants (daily over the phone, and/or weekly in the laboratory) with highly standardized interview protocols and close supervision from Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul.

(Theme 3): Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul is an expert in the diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and has recently published the first computerized scoring system for making a reliable diagnosis of PMDD using 2 months of daily mood ratings (the “C-PASS”; Eisenlohr-Moul et al., 2017, Am J Psych). However, this work has also identified transdiagnostic subtypes of hormone sensitivity that require further investigation, and which call into question the presence of a heterogeneous “PMDD” diagnostic category.

  • Research Opportunities: Research roles in these projects will again vary widely depending on intern interest, but could involve work to collect data in our large PMDD diagnostic registry study, and coauthorship on associated papers aimed at validating subtypes of hormone sensitivity and updated clinical diagnostic procedures.
  • Clinical Opportunities:  Optional clinical opportunities on these projects would involve learning to make reliable and valid diagnoses of DSM-5 PMDD using prospective daily ratings from patients in the context of our ongoing diagnostic registry studies. Additionally, you would learn to conduct SCID-5 interviews with participants who have met prospective criteria for PMDD to identify comorbidities.
     

For prospective interns, the rotation can be fully research, fully clinical, or a mix of both. Involvement should last a minimum of 6 months for clinical roles, and the full year for research roles.

The REWARD lab, led by Dr. Natania Crane, PhD, performs Research Examining What drives Addiction Risk and comorbid Depression. We seek to better understand the brain and behavioral risk factors for Substance Use Disorder and co-occurring mental health disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety). Our lab uses multi-modal imaging techniques (fMRI and EEG), neuropsychological measures, self-report measures, and acute drug administration studies. The goal of our studies is to identify neurobehavioral risk factors that can be targeted for prevention strategies among individuals at risk for Substance Use Disorders and for treatment strategies among individuals diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders.

We currently have one active funded study that interns can be involved with:

  • Brain-Behavior Markers of Reward and Cannabis Abuse Risk In Young Adults: This study combines pharmacological challenge, pharmaco-fMRI, pharmaco-EEG, and self-report measures to characterize individual differences in subjective reward response and neural reward processing to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, among healthy young adults who may be at-risk for problematic cannabis use.

Intern Opportunities:
For prospective interns, the rotation is a mix of clinical/research activities. We prefer involvement that spans across the entire 12 months of internship.

Conduct diagnostic assessments with young adults; Learn and conduct behavioral, EEG (ERPs), and fMRI data analyses; prepare manuscripts for peer-review publications as lead or 2nd author. Interns have weekly supervision and participate in team meetings

https://www.psych.uic.edu/research/lab-directory/reward-lab/about-us/reward-lab

Supervisor(s)

UIC Recovery Clinic

Description:The UIC Recovery Clinic provides comprehensive, outpatient psychiatric services for individuals with substance use disorders and co-occurring psychopathology. We believe that patients are most likely to recover from addictive and psychiatric disorders when they are addressed simultaneously, in particular, with multiple complementary techniques. Treatment approaches are therefore individualized, and flexible, and may include diagnostic evaluation, medication management, weekly psychotherapy, and coordination of referrals to outside care. The Recovery Clinic itself is multi-disciplinary and includes an addiction psychiatrist, clinical psychologists, a pharmacist, and several in-training psychiatrists and psychologists.

Intern’s Role
Clinical psychology interns are offered the opportunity to receive structured training in substance abuse, and psychiatric comorbidity, while providing supervised, individual, empirically-validated treatments to patients. Interns will be trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for substance use disorders as well as other well-supported techniques such as motivational interviewing and mindfulness. A typical intern caseload includes four to five weekly patients; though this is flexible based on the intern’s training goals. There is a clinic team meeting each week which includes didactic seminars, case presentations, discussion of administrative issues, and review of new scientific literature, which interns are expected to attend and participate in each week.

The Families, Affective Neuroscience, and Mood Disorders Research Rotation offers interns the opportunity to participate in research aimed at identifying behavioral-brain risk markers and preventive interventions for child and adolescent depression.

We currently have two active funded studies that interns can be involved with:

Pathways Linking Maternal Depression to Mental and Physical Health Outcomes among Offspring during Early Childhood 
PI Jennifer Suor, Ph.D

This pilot study explores brain-behavioral mechanisms through which maternal depression eventuates in psychopathology and poor physical health among offspring during early childhood (ages 5 to 6). The mechanisms being explored in the current study (affect regulation, executive functioning, parenting) represent potential malleable risk markers, which may serve as promising prevention targets for future projects.

Early Life Adversity and Neurobiological Pathways to Mental Health Outcomes in Early Childhood
PI Jennifer Suor, Ph.D.

The goal of this project is to use a novel multiple levels of analysis approach to explicate if brain-behavioral indicators of EF and biomarkers of inflammation mediate relations between early life adversity (ELA; poverty, trauma, harsh caregiving, family stress) and early childhood mental health problems, and evaluate specificity in etiologic pathways. The project also seeks to identify how maternal parenting practices could mitigate the toxic effects of ELA on these mechanisms, which could help to identify objective (neuro)physiological targets for preventive parenting interventions for children living in adverse family contexts.

Predicting and Preventing High-Risk Adolescent Behavior
PI Jennifer Suor, Ph.D.

The goal of this project is to delineate whether enhanced reward positivity (RewP) ERP component, an indicator of heightened sensitivity to reward feedback, predicts increased risky sexual behavior (RSB) over an 18-month follow-up period in a sample of 80 adolescent girls (ages 12-16); half of the sample have mothers with histories of major depression. The study is also focused on identifying how maternal parenting styles influence adolescent RSB trajectories, with the goal to identify parenting factors that might increase or decrease risk for RSB among adolescent girls who have neural vulnerabilities to engage in risky sex.

Brain-Behavioral Predictors of Interpersonal Stress Generation and Depression Risk in Adolescent Girls
PI: Cope Feurer, Ph.D.

This project utilizes fMRI and ecological momentary assessment to examine negative affective reactivity within negative social interactions as predictors of interpersonal stress generation and depression in at-risk adolescent girls (ages 13-15). Participants complete baseline fMRI, EEG, and EMA assessments, and then are re-assessed every 3 months for one year to assess depression symptom changes and the occurrence of stressful life events.

Intern Opportunities:
For prospective interns, the rotation is a mix of clinical/research activities. We prefer involvement that spans across the entire 12 months of internship.

Learn to deliver an evidence-based family CBT prevention program; Conduct diagnostic assessments with children and adolescents; Learn and conduct behavioral, EEG (ERPs), and functional neuroimaging data analyses, and prepare manuscripts for peer-review publications as lead or 2nd author. Interns have weekly supervision and participate in team meetings

https://www.psych.uic.edu/research/lab-directory/families-affective-neuroscience-and-mood-disorders-fam-lab

The Urban Youth Trauma Center (UYTC) is a SAMHSA funded Treatment Service Adaptation Center and a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. The program is meant to promote and disseminate comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated care for multi-problem, high-risk youth affected by trauma and community violence.

For more information, visit the Urban Youth Trauma Center (UYTC) website.

DBT SKILLS GROUP CLINIC

The Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills group clinic rotation provides interns with experience co-leading a weekly DBT skills group. Patients (18 years +) are referred from providers throughout Psychiatry to learn skills to improve transdiagnostic difficulties with emotion regulation and related behavioral concerns. The DBT skills group operates on a rolling admission basis.

Clinical Opportunities (~3 Hours/Week): The rotation will require 3 hours of time per week for DBT group preparation, skills group sessions, documentation, and supervision. If desired, there are often opportunities for the intern to supervise medical residents (e.g., supervising a medical resident as they learn to lead a basic mindfulness exercise, or as they learn to conduct a DBT group orientation session).

Note: This availability of this rotation is dependent upon sufficient intern interest, since two leaders are required to run the group. 

 

REPRODUCTIVE PSYCHIATRY AND SUICIDE ROTATION

Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul’s CLEAR Lab uses a combination of mechanistic hormone experiments (RCTs) and observational studies to clarify how normal hormone changes (menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, puberty) impact daily transdiagnostic psychiatric symptoms (especially suicidal thoughts and behaviors) among female outpatients. Since not all females are “hormone-sensitive” to the neurobiological effects of hormone changes, we also emphasize the use of multilevel models to explain these between-person differences in hormone sensitivity. We use a transdiagnostic, symptom-specific approach informed by both the RDoC and HiTOP frameworks. Primary outcomes of interest include daily self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (suicidality and NSSI), as well as daily symptoms of alcohol use disorder, ADHD, eating disorders, and borderline personality disorder. With respect to the DSM-5 framework, we study transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying “premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)” and mood disorders “with peripartum onset”. While we primarily focus on the menstrual cycle, we also study perinatal, perimenopausal, and peripubertal effects of hormones on psychopathology.

Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul is primarily interested in training research-focused interns in the use of clinical trials to clarify the pathophysiology of transdiagnostic hormone-related symptoms. Should the intern develop a longer-term interest in this work, she is able to serve as a postdoc mentor on several institutional postdoctoral fellowships at UIC. 

Active Grants in Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul’s Laboratory:

  • NIMH R01-120843 (PI: Eisenlohr-Moul): Cyclical Neuroactive Steroid Changes, Arousal, and Proximal Suicide Risk: An Experimental Approach.
  • NIMH R01-122446 (Co-PIs: Eisenlohr-Moul, Nock, & Prinstein): Adolescent Girls’ Risk for Suicide Across the Menstrual Cycle: Examining Stress and Negative Valence Systems Longitudinally
  • NIMH K99/R00-109667 (PI: Eisenlohr-Moul); Ovarian Hormone Withdrawal and Suicide Risk: An Experimental Approach.
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award (PI: Eisenlohr-Moul): Neurosteroid and immune mechanisms of steroid-regulated suicidality in a mechanistic clinical trial.
  • NIMH R01-119119 (PI: Martel): Estrogen Effects on ADHD and Cognition.
  • NIAAA R21 (PI: Childs): Influence of Synthetic Sex Hormones on Alcohol Effects and Consumption in Women.
     

Training/Research Themes:

  1. Use of clinical trials to clarify how ovarian hormones (estrogen, progesterone) influence female psychopathology and suicidality, including mechanisms such as immune signaling (e.g., inflammatory gene network expression, cytokines) and GABAergic neurosteroid metabolites (e.g., allopregnanolone).
  2. Suicide risk assessment in clinical trials with chronically suicidal patients and participants.
  3. State-of-the-art methods for diagnosing DSM-5 premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and premenstrual exacerbation of chronic psychopathology (PME) across the menstrual cycle in female patients and participants. 

(Themes 1 & 2): Building on years of evidence for heightened perimenstrual risk of suicide and hospitalization in females, Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul’s current NIMH-funded research program uses intensive crossover randomized controlled trials of hormone stabilization in women with chronic suicidality. These trials investigate the role of cyclical ovarian hormone changes in acute risk for emotional crisis and suicide. Studies also focus on downstream mechanisms of ovarian hormone changes in female psychopathology, including changes in GABAergic Neurosteroid metabolites, inflammatory gene expression, and inflammatory signaling markers.  Daily and weekly suicide risk interviews are repeated within the same participant over 6-9 months. 

  • Research Opportunities: Research roles in these projects will vary widely depending on the level of interest in ovarian hormone mechanisms in psychopathology, but could include literature reviews and other writing tasks for co-authorship on primary or secondary trial outcome manuscripts. Exceptionally interested interns may have the opportunity to develop a first-author manuscript using the repeated measures data from the trials.
  • Clinical Opportunities:  Optional clinical opportunities in these projects could involve learning to conduct the SCID-5 as well as suicide risk assessments with participants (daily over the phone, and/or weekly in the laboratory) with highly standardized interview protocols and close supervision from Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul.

(Theme 3): Dr. Eisenlohr-Moul is an expert in the diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and has recently published the first computerized scoring system for making a reliable diagnosis of PMDD using 2 months of daily mood ratings (the “C-PASS”; Eisenlohr-Moul et al., 2017, Am J Psych). However, this work has also identified transdiagnostic subtypes of hormone sensitivity that require further investigation, and which call into question the presence of a heterogeneous “PMDD” diagnostic category.

  • Research Opportunities: Research roles in these projects will again vary widely depending on intern interest, but could involve work to collect data in our large PMDD diagnostic registry study, and coauthorship on associated papers aimed at validating subtypes of hormone sensitivity and updated clinical diagnostic procedures.
  • Clinical Opportunities:  Optional clinical opportunities on these projects would involve learning to make reliable and valid diagnoses of DSM-5 PMDD using prospective daily ratings from patients in the context of our ongoing diagnostic registry studies. Additionally, you would learn to conduct SCID-5 interviews with participants who have met prospective criteria for PMDD to identify comorbidities.
     

For prospective interns, the rotation can be fully research, fully clinical, or a mix of both. Involvement should last a minimum of 6 months for clinical roles, and the full year for research roles.