Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS), Toronto, ON, Canada - 1 postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology

Overview:  CHIRS is a registered no-for-profit charitable organization primarily funded by the Central Local health Integration Network and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. CHIRS provides support services to over 300 people with moderate to severe acquired brain injury with diverse and complex needs and maintains active research and clinical partnerships with the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH), an academic and clinical research health centre as well as community based agencies addressing homelessness and severe mental illness.

Neuropsychological services at CHIRS are dedicated to providing evidence-based, client-centered programming to pursue our mission of enhancing the lives of people who have been affected by acquired brain injury. At CHIRS we seek to exploit the best of evidence-based practices, implemented in the community with a focus on meeting clients’ personal goals.

Training provided at CHIRS conforms to the Houston Conference guidelines for Specialty Education and Training in Clinical Neuropsychology. We promote a scientist-practitioner model. Trainees are provided with supervision and experience intended to prepare them for registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO) and board certification in clinical neuropsychology through the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN), a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).

Goals:  The goal of our program is to prepare fellows for independent specialty practice in adult Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology. Although the focus is on acquired brain injury, fellows will get extensive exposure to a variety of medical conditions including anoxia, brain tumour, toxic exposures and serious mental illness.

In the first year, fellows will focus on developing an understanding of CHIRS clinical model and the role of neuropsychological assessment in the community-based care of people living with brain injury and complex co-morbid conditions. Fellows will complete assessments with newly injured older adolescents and adults as well as those who have been living with their injuries for several decades. All referrals have history of acquired brain injury, but those from our community partners may also have complex co-morbid conditions. This population provides exposure to the neuropsychology of substance use disorders as well as serious mental health. Participation in ongoing programming including our residential program and outreach programs will be provided. In the first year fellows also participate in the delivery of psycho-educational and clinical group programs, assisting experienced clinical team members in service delivery. Fellows will be provided with introductions to settings outside of CHIRS where clinical experiences may be developed for the second year of service.

In the second year, Fellows will participate in the development and implementation of group-based clinical services, provide clinical consultation and support program growth according to their interests and program needs. Fellows with enough supervision hours will obtain registration as a psychologist. They may spend one day per week off site getting exposure to another population of interest. Another goal of the second year is to complete the eligibility requirements for board certification (ABCN). Graduates of our program have entered into positions in academic medical centers, private practice and multi-disciplinary community clinics.

Training Activities: Post-doctoral fellows are expected to provide direct clinical service for at least 70% of their time and participate in research and/or educational activities for the remaining 30% of their time. Educational time includes attending rounds, participation in research projects or a focused review of literature relevant to cases seen in the assessment or treatment clinic. Training will include comprehensive neuropsychological consultation, functional neuroanatomy, ethical practice, cultural diversity, writing reports specific to community-based, medical and medical-legal consumers, the psychologists’ role in trans-disciplinary teams, and clinical research. Fellows will receive feedback and training regarding administration of examinations, provision of feedback to family members, clinical teams, and paraprofessional service providers.

Other Training Opportunities:
• Motivational Interviewing (with observed, supervised practice)
• Development and delivery of training for CHIRS staff members or for community groups
• Supervision of practicum students during the second year of the fellowship
• Cognitive-Behavioural and Family intervention after brain injury
• Neuropsychological assessment in the context of Addictions and Mental Health

Supervision: Fellows can expect to have 2 hours per week of face-to-face supervision, in addition to accompanying supervising psychologists in various clinical activities. Topics addressed in supervision will include neuropsychological assessment and clinical conditions in addition to the complex ethical and psychosocial issues that arise in the context of psychological practice. Professional standards and ethics will be emphasized.

Didactics: The Fellow is required to participate in a variety of formal and informal educational opportunities.  Clinical reading as required to maintain evidence-informed practice. The supervisor may suggest Readings. Fellows are encouraged to attend formal round to ensure a broad knowledge base in Clinical Neuropsychology, and include:

  • Weekly Baycrest Neuropsychology Rounds (required)
  • City-Wide Behavioural-Neurology rounds (optional)
  • Rehabilitation rounds University of Toronto (optional)
  • Center for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) (optional via EENet)

Eligibility: Applicants should be graduates of CPA/APA accredited clinical psychology programs and have completed a CPA/APA accredited internship in clinical psychology. It is expected that applicants will have internship-level training in neuropsychology. Applicants with prior coursework in Functional neuroanatomy, Clinical Neurology, Basic Neuroscience, and/or Neuropathology are preferred. Applicants who bring diversity to the program (e.g., fluency in in a second language or experience with under-served populations) are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are expected to defend their dissertation within the first three months of fellowship in order to qualify for registration with the College of Psychologists of Ontario for supervised practice.

Application: The following application materials should be submitted electronically by March 1, 2014:
  • Letter of interest including training goals.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Official graduate transcripts listing courses, grades and degrees.
  • Three (3) letters of reference
  • A letter or e-mail from the internship Training Director confirming that a internship will be completed by September 3, 2014.
  • A letter or e-mail from the CPA/APA-accredited graduate program Training Director confirming that the requirements for the doctoral degree are completed and defence is anticipated before January 2015
Application materials should be sent electronically to:
Carolyn Lemsky Ph.D., C. Psych., ABPP-CN
Community Head Injury Resource Services of Toronto (CHIRS)
62 Finch Ave. West, North York, Ontario Canada M2N 7G1