Neuropsychological & Psychological Assessment Service

APPIC #118327

Overview

The Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessment Service handles referrals from all adult divisions of CMHC, i.e. inpatient, outpatient, triage, and the Clinical Neurosciences Research Unit. Though CMHC is a psychiatric facility, most referrals embody neuropsychological concerns. This reflects recognition by clinicians that most psychiatric conditions are accompanied by neuropsychological characteristics that have relevance to patient management, disposition, and an understanding of the patient’s perception of their world. Other conditions are, at their core, neuropsychiatric in nature (e.g., ADHD; dementia). In addition, most CMHC patients are from impoverished circumstances, and many have suffered threats to brain integrity or the development of normal abilities (e.g. compromised prenatal care; maternal alcohol and substance abuse; perinatal complications; limited engagement in schooling and impoverished educational environments; substance abuse; head trauma; components of metabolic syndrome). The Assessment Service also responds to referral questions pertaining to emotional adjustment, personality, psychosis, and differential diagnosis.

Placement Options

PRIMARY PLACEMENT - A full year, 30 hour per week primary placement which is always combined with a 15 hour per week outpatient placement at Adult Community Mental Health Services / 34 Park Street.

SECONDARY PLACEMENT - The Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessment Service is not offered as a secondary placement.

Number of Fellows

Primary Placement: 1

Secondary Placement: None

The Setting

The Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) is one of the oldest community mental health centers in the United States. As an enduring collaboration between the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services and the Yale Department of Psychiatry, CMHC provides recovery-oriented mental health services for 5,000 people in the Greater New Haven area each year. It is also a center for scientific advancement in the understanding and treatment of mental health and substance abuse disorders. CMHC is a major training site for psychiatrists and psychologists from the Yale Department of Psychiatry.

The Internship

The major focus of this internship placement is on the development of neuropsychological assessment and consultation skills. This involves liaison with multidisciplinary teams, integration of diverse clinical data (patient history, medical, interview, and test results), and the communication of findings/recommendations. Consultations involve both inpatient and outpatient cases. Fellows may also participate in the neuropsychological components of research studies within CMHC, the Yale Department of Psychiatry, and neighboring research institutions.

After completion of the year at Yale, fellows have typically gone on to neuropsychological postdoctoral placements in either neurological or neuropsychiatric settings. Some have remained as research postdoctoral fellows at Yale. Several now hold faculty appointments at various universities (e.g., Yale, Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth, among numerous others).

Evidence-Based Practices

A wide variety of evidence-based assessment instruments are used within this placement. Fellow exposure to and experience with these instruments is influenced by the clinical cases that present for evaluation. The instruments available within the placement are listed in this document that can also be downloaded from the right-hand column of this page.

Diversity

Patients referred for assessment are diverse with regard to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, culture, country of origin, and disability status. Fellows receive training and supervision directly tailored towards the appropriate professional and ethical consideration of diversity in all forms. The specific implications of diversity for patient attitude regarding the assessment, the selection of appropriate procedures, and the interpretation of findings within the context of the specific and unique characteristics of the patient receive particular attention during the internship year.

Scholarly Activity

The nature of scholarly activity varies according to funded research at the time of the internship, but typically includes the opportunity to analyze existing datasets and participate in the publication of findings. Collaborations on literature reviews or meta-analyses on topics of mutual interest to the fellow and supervisor are an additional possibility.

Faculty

Keith Hawkins Psy.D., Senior Neuropsychology Supervisor
Allison Ponce, Ph.D., Primary Advisor
Tim Belliveau Ph.D., ABPP-CN Supervisor
Anna Resnick Ph.D., Neuropsychology Supervisor

Supervision

Intensive supervision of all neuropsychological and psychological assessment activity is provided. Fellows receive ongoing feedback during the internship from their advisor and supervisors.

Seminars

In addition to the core seminar series, Neuropsychological & Psychological Assessment Service fellows participate in a neuropsychological seminar throughout the year at a neighboring institution. Fellows also typically attend elective seminars within the School of Medicine (e.g., on dementia, neuroimaging, or in neuropsychiatry and psychopathology more broadly), and may attend human brain dissection sessions with Yale neuropathologists.

Applicant Qualifications

Applicants should have a strong (preferably primary) interest in psychiatric conditions.

For Further Information

For information about the combined Neuropsychological & Psychological Assessment / Adult Community Mental Health placements contact Dr. Ponce (allison.ponce@yale.edu) or Dr. Hawkins (preferably by telephone at (203) 974-7831, or by email at keith.hawkins@yale.edu).

For questions specific to the Neuropsychological & Psychological Assessment Services experience contact Dr. Hawkins.