The Bexar County Juvenile Probation Mental Health Assessment and Triage Unit (BCJPD-MHAT) Residency is an APA-accredited internship site.
Our internship offers a 12 month, 2000 hour training program for qualified psychology doctoral students in a juvenile probation setting. The goals of this training program are to provide supervised training and expertise to doctoral residents in the areas of assessment, consultation, individual, family, and group psychotherapy with a particular focus on adolescents and juvenile probationers. Residents spend roughly 50% of their clinical time conducting, scoring, and writing up psychological assessments with youth who have been ordered into residential placement or are court-ordered to complete an evaluation. The other 50% of their time is spent in consultation, leading short-term theme, process, and experiential groups, carrying a weekly individual/family caseload between 4-8 clients, and supervision and training. Through their clinical activities, Residents provide a minimum of 12 direct, face-to-face clinical contact hours per week. A minimum of 4 hours of direct, face-to-face supervision is provided weekly, as well as 4 hours of didactic training per week. In addition, there are times set aside for staff meetings, seminars, and training workshops.
The Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department residency training program is divided into two semesters, which encapsulate 3 rotations. Residents participate in a variety of activities during each rotation. In general, Residents complete training within the Mental Health Assessment & Triage (MHAT) Unit during all of their rotations. The focus on the training experience in the MHAT unit varies between intervention, assessment, consultation, and training of probation officers. Additionally, Residents participate in the Stabilization, Treatment, and Evaluation Program (STEP), and with University Health System (UHS) in detention services for 1 rotation each. Residents also participate in the Weekend Program (WEP) for 3-4 4-weekend periods during their UHS rotation. Consultation services include working with probation officers for diagnostic clarification, providing recommendations for youth, conducting structured interviews with youth (when deemed appropriate), and writing up summaries for probation officers. The Equine Program offers the opportunity for Residents to participate in self-esteem and team building activities with youth on an outdoor course and co-facilitate process groups based on experiential activities. STEP is a detention-based program with a focus on the short-term evaluation, stabilization, & treatment of juvenile offenders and their families through which Residents will conduct psychological evaluations, and provide group and individual therapies. UHS oversees all detention services. While on the UHS rotation, Residents focus on assessment through completing evaluations for residential services and court purposes, observing forensic evaluations, and exposure to pre-employment screenings. The WEP is a program designed to deter youth from residential placement. The Residents working with the Weekend Program will co-facilitate themed, process, and structured groups, with the expectation of leading groups independently through the course of the year. During the Weekend Program rotation, the Residents will work 4 consecutive Saturdays per session.
Throughout the internship year, Residents are challenged to refine their theoretical knowledge, and hone conceptual, report writing, and therapy skills. They will also broaden their consultation skills through contact with clinical and legal professionals. Through their work with supervisors and staff, Residents gain knowledge and experience in various theoretical, assessment, and treatment models. Finally, the training prepares Residents to deal with a wide variety of clinical and professional situations they will encounter as professionals working with at-risk adolescents.
Please note that ours is not a traditional forensic setting; much of our work is therapuetic in nature, with an emphasis on meeting our youths' needs and providing recommendations. Forensic training is not a requisite, and students with a wide variety of training have done well with us for their internship year.
For additional questions, please email the Training Director, Dr. Mary Collins at Mary.Collins@Bexar.Org to obtain a copy of our training brochure.