The postdoctoral fellowship at Iowa State University (ISU) Student Counseling Services affords the postdoc the opportunity to work in a dynamic university counseling center. The postdoctoral fellowship year focuses on the integration of clinical, supervisory, outreach and professional skills in a supervised environment in preparation for licensure and professional work. Under the supervision of a Licensed Psychologist, the postdoc will provide individual and group therapy from a brief therapy model, conduct intake evaluations, crisis assessment and intervention, participate in weekly multi-disciplinary staff meetings, engage in monthly Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) activities, and provide outreach programs and consultation to the campus community. Postdocs also supervise a practicum student or clinical Graduate Assistant from the Department of Psychology for 1.5-2 hours each week (depending on the developmental level of the supervisee).
The 2023-2024 Post-Doctoral Fellowship will begin August 1, 2023
Philosophy of Training
Our philosophy of training is grounded in the practitioner-scholar mode, emphasizing “learning by doing” through a developmental perspective and proactive approach. We offer an interactive process-oriented learning experience coupled with presentations of up-to-date research and theory. Postdocs practice and develop the multiple roles of a counseling center psychologist including individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, training and supervision, assessment, research, and outreach/consultation. We work to tailor our training experience for each postdoc to develop a strong foundation for an emerging professional identity. We are primarily preparing postdocs for practitioner careers in counseling centers and private practice, and secondarily for faculty positions.
At ISU Student Counseling Services, we welcome and affirm all identities. We recognize the impact of discrimination and oppression and strive to provide an inclusive and healing space. Staff are encouraged and challenged to continually examine their awareness of privilege, oppression, prejudice, and diversity. These values are woven throughout the training program in an effort to facilitate growth as staff while leaning into advocacy and empowerment for all individuals in our community.
Staff members strive to provide a collegial atmosphere in which postdocs are offered opportunities to provide leadership. Postdocs work collaboratively with staff members and campus agencies to provide a variety of counseling and consultative services. Ultimately, we seek to facilitate skill acquisition and professional maturity resulting in persons capable of self-regulated, ethical, and sophisticated work as psychologists.
Postdoc training at ISU Student Counseling Services aims to facilitate a smooth transition from training to the role of an early career professional. This is done by providing a balance between direct service, professional development support, and training. Below is an example of a typical weekly postdoc schedule. This weekly schedule may vary.
POSTDOC ACTIVITIES WEEKLY SCHEDULE
|Counseling (individual, career, assessments)||14 hours||Weekly|
|Group Counseling||1.5 hours||Weekly|
|Initial Appointment Coverage||6 hours||Weekly|
|Supervision of Practicum Student or GA||1.5 hours||Weekly|
|Supervisor’s Meeting||.5 hours||Weekly|
|Professional Development/Time with TD||1 hour||Weekly|
|Individual Supervision||1.5 hours||Weekly|
|Supervision of Group (Received or provided)||.5 hours||Weekly|
|Team Meeting||1 hour||Weekly|
|Special Emphasis Area Supervision||.5 hour||Weekly|
|Staff Meeting/Staff Professional Development||2 hours||Weekly|
|Case Management||4 hours||Weekly|
|Clinical Supervision Management||1 hour||Weekly|
|Special Emphasis Area:||4 hours||Weekly|
|Grand Total Weekly Hours||40 hours|
We believe that the greatest growth is facilitated via reciprocal and ongoing feedback in a supportive climate. We offer a broad range of supervision and training experiences to fit the individual and shared developmental needs of the trainees. We ask postdocs to indicate areas of known strengths as well as areas needing further refinement.
Supervision is a valued aspect of the training experience at Student Counseling Services (SCS) and occurs continually, throughout the entire postdoc year. Individual supervision is the main tenant of this experience. This is an opportunity for postdocs to receive support for both their personal and professional growth. Each postdoc receives clinical supervision from a licensed senior staff psychologist. Individual supervision is face-to-face for 1.5 hours per week. The postdoc’s individual supervisor will oversee the majority of their clinical work, and provide feedback regarding their strengths, areas of growth, and goals for the year.
Supervision of Group
Postdocs have the opportunity to co-facilitate groups and workshops at SCS. Each week, the postdoc and their group/workshop co-facilitator will meet for 30 minutes post-group to debrief. Debriefing typically includes discussing group dynamics, the co-facilitator relationship, and administrative tasks (e.g., documentation, emails, etc.).
Depending on the developmental level of a postdoc, they may have the opportunity to facilitate a group or workshop by themselves. In that case, postdocs will have a senior staff member that oversees this clinical work. The postdoc will meet with the senior staff member weekly, for 30 minutes post-group for support throughout the semester.
Special Emphasis Area Supervision
Senior staff at SCS hold a breadth of knowledge, specific skill sets, and passions. Special Emphasis Areas are an opportunity for senior staff to lean into this knowledge and feel recharged in their work. In doing so, it also allows for postdocs in our system to deepen their knowledge in a variety of areas. Postdocs will work closely with a senior staff member in supervision to support the SEA experience.
The supervisor’s meeting was developed to provide support for senior staff members who are providing individual supervision in our system. In an effort to support the transition to being an early career professional, postdocs also take part in this meeting. This is a space that emphasizes support and consultation for supervisors. Common topics that arise include: providing feedback to trainees, exploring approaches to supervision, video review, and reviewing SCS processes (e.g. mid-semester review, end-of-year evaluation). The supervisor’s meeting occurs for 1 hour every other week.
Special Emphasis Areas
Four hours per week each semester have been set aside for postdocs to individualize their training experience in the form of Special Emphasis Areas (SEAs). The goal of an SEA is to deepen the postdoc’s knowledge and skill in a specialized area. Postdocs will work closely with a senior staff member in weekly supervision to support the SEA experience. Each semester, postdocs will choose a content area from the list below or they can create their own unique area based on individual interests with the approval of the Training Director. Special Emphasis Areas may include:
Eating Disorders: Maintain at least 3 individual clients who have disordered eating or body image concerns on your caseload and participate in the Eating Disorders Treatment Team. Depending on availability, experience, and center need, the postdoc may co-lead one ED-focused group.
Grief and Loss: Maintain at least 2 individual clients with grief and loss concerns on your caseload, co-lead a grief group (depending on center needs), assist in facilitating campus debriefings after emergency situations, and present a grief and loss topic in practicum class, SCS staff training, or another department on campus.
Suicide Prevention: Develop and present suicide prevention outreach programming, assist in creating and updating the Suicide Prevention section of the SCS website, and offer mental health and suicide prevention training (e.g., RESPOND, QPR).
Diversity: Develop and present outreach programs that increase student or faculty and staff awareness, knowledge, and skills with multicultural interactions and topics, that reach diverse student groups on campus. The postdoc will also have the opportunity to join SCS’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives (DEI) Committee.
Group Therapy: Increase knowledge of group theory and practice and develop experience establishing, facilitating, and maintaining a therapy group. Postdocs in this SEA typically run 2-3 groups at a time.
Outreach: Gain experience developing outreach programming, working to promote center messaging, delivering additional outreach presentations, and promoting SCS connection with campus partners. The postdoc in this SEA will also join the Outreach Committee meeting on a bi-weekly basis.
Sport Psychology Services: Maintain at least 2 student-athlete clients on your caseload, attend sport psychology treatment team meetings, develop and participate in sport psychology outreach requests, and engage in readings and discussion regarding sport performance work, interventions, skills, etc.
Trauma-Informed Care: Maintain at least two individual clients seeking services resulting from exposure to an event or series of events that involve actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being throughout the semester, co-lead a trauma-informed professional presentation to SCS staff, complete and discuss reading assignments, and discuss how to practice self-care and self-preservation during trauma work through readings and personal reflection.
Training & Supervision: Co-instruct a doctoral-level practicum class, attend Training Committee meetings on a bi-weekly basis and support the Training Director with various tasks.
Application and Selection Process
The postdoctoral selection process occurs from December-February. This selection process is conducted by the Training Director, members of the Training Committee, and current postdoctoral fellows. Current postdoctoral fellows are available for questions from applicants about the program and their experience. They may also participate in the interview process.
Review of application materials will occur on a rolling basis and will continue until the position is filled.
Candidates must have completed the requirements for a doctoral degree in Counseling or Clinical Psychology and an APA-accredited doctoral internship by the position start date.
The selection committee seeks applicants who are knowledgeable of college student development, interested in working with a diverse university population and have experience with crisis assessment and intervention. Strong candidates will also have experience with intakes/triage, providing clinical supervision, and facilitating group therapy workshops.
Required Application Materials
- A cover letter that speaks to your experience, interest, and fit with our postdoctoral program, and ways that our program can support your goals and passion areas.
- Current CV
- Identify a minimum of two references that can speak to your clinical work, including one from your clinical supervisor from a predoctoral internship
Note: All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by federal and state law, ISU policies/procedures, official transcripts, and the successful completion of a background check.
Salary and Benefits
The salary is $49,440 for the 12-month, 2,000-hour appointment. University benefits include health and dental insurance, 24 vacation and 18 sick days, 9 days for University Holidays, 6 days of professional leave and $500 for professional development funds. Professional development leave and funds can be used for job interviews, EPPP, and attending conferences. The postdoc will work alongside senior staff and will have their own furnished counseling office that is equipped with a computer, phone, and video system.
About Iowa State and Ames
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Review of application materials will occur on a rolling basis and will continue until the position is filled.
If you have additional questions please contact:
Margaret Cowles, PhD
Student Counseling Services, Iowa State University
2223 Student Services Building, 3rd Floor
Ames, IA 50011-2223
Iowa State University is an Affirmative Action employer and will take action to ensure that employment practices are free of discrimination. Iowa State University is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Women and minorities are highly encouraged to apply for all employment opportunities. Inquiries or questions regarding our non-discrimination policy can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and ADA Coordinator, 3750 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011 or by phone at (515) 294-6458.