Thank you for your interest in our training program. Currently, our training program is designed to accept one post-doctoral fellow from any university/college and one social work intern from Smith College's School for Social Work.
For the post-doctoral fellowship, we typically accept application during the spring semester. Please visit Vassar College Human resources to see open post-doctoral fellow position.
Philosophy of Training
VCCS functions as an integral part of the college, particularly in the Dean of the College Division. Our clients are matriculated students, most of whom are young adults undergoing life transitions and developmental change. Our role as a College Counseling Service is to attend to the academic, psychological and developmental aspects of students' concerns. The VCCS training program is dedicated to preparing clinicians to facilitate culturally relevant and psychologically appropriate development of students, individually and in groups.
Objectives of the Training Program
The objectives of the VCCS training program are to prepare training staff in the following areas:
to focus on the development of college students, as well as on their assets and strengths, their psychoeducational and preventive needs as well as attending to pathology;
to intervene in appropriate arenas within the institution;
to be self-aware and sensitive to social constructions, to issues related to identity, group membership, and to participate in variety of settings with diverse populations;
to integrate theory, practice, and research;
to develop identities as ethical counselors who are socialized into the profession and contribute to the profession and to society.
By the end of the training program, training staff will demonstrate growth in the following areas:
- Psychotherapy and assessment
- Crisis (and on-call intervention for Postdoc)
- Outreach and consultation
- Professional identity
- Understanding of cultural and individual differences & diversity
Components of the Training Program
- Individual supervision is provided to enhance training staff' clinical skills. Given that individual psychotherapy is training staff' primary clinical duty at VCCS, supervision is viewed as an integral part of the training experience. In order to provide exposure to varying theoretical styles and approaches of supervisor a training staff may have two primary individual supervisors.
- Clinical Consultation is a time when the entire staff comes together to focus and discuss a particular case selected by the presenter. Clinical Consultation is a time when training staff are encouraged to give feedback to staff presenting cases; this is a primary setting in which training staff begin to view themselves as colleagues as well as training staff. Additionally, these bi-weekly meetings provide training staff with an opportunity to develop a greater sense of self and cultural awareness, and how this impacts their capacity to integrate issues of diversity into their work and their professional identities as clinicians.
- Supervision of group therapy is provided for each group the training staff facilitates. This experience facilitates the training staff's development of effective group therapy skills. Because all groups are co-facilitated by a senior staff member who also serves as a supervisor, training staff' group skills are observed in a live format. One hour of supervision per group is typically provided, often in the form of one half hour of group preparation and one half hour of post-group discussion.
- Group Consultation occurs bi-weekly with the entire staff and serves as an opportunity for group facilitators to discuss group experiences, dynamics, and formulations. Training staff are encouraged to give feedback to presenters, as well as participate in group case presentations to the group.
- Meeting with the Coordinator of Training occurs weekly to allow training staff and the Coordinator of Training the opportunity to discuss emerging issues and training needs. Use of this meeting varies according to the needs of the training staff group.
Additional supervision and consultation is available from all staff as needed.
Current Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Dr. Shamima Akhter, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Previous Post-Doctoral Fellows and Social Work Interns
- Robin Shutinya, Social Work Intern
- Dr. Michael Infranco, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Dr. Stephanie Bowlin, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Dr. Shenette Scille, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Dianne Gallo, Social Work Intern
- Dr. Michelle Wiltshire, Post-Doctoral Fellow
- Louis Scuderi, Social Work Intern
- Heather Shaughnessy, Mental Health Intern