Trinity Services, Inc. Behavioral Health Department. New Lenox, IL.U.S.A.

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Clinical Director: Mike Mecozzi, Psy.D.

Trinity Services, Inc. Behavioral Health Department. New Lenox, IL.

Ideal Applicants to the Program
Trinity Services, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help individuals with disabilities live full and abundant lives. Trinity is perhaps best known for being the largest provider of residential services for persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the state of Illinois. Trinity also has a large Behavioral Health Department for persons with a serious mental illness that first began in 1992, and it is within the Behavioral Health Department that students complete their externship. Currently the Behavioral Health Department serves over 120 individuals who have a serious mental illness and/or mild intellectual disability. These individuals attend one of three Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs (PSR) 5 days a week.

The PSR programs are all founded upon the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP). On Fridays students attend a didactic seminar and case consultation. In the didactic seminar students learn the principles of the aforementioned therapy models. In case consultation students then learn to apply these models to their clinical cases.

The ideal applicant therefore has an interest in ACT, DBT, and FAP or has an interest in working with persons with serious mental illness and/or mild intellectual disabilities. No previous training in ACT, DBT or FAP is necessary; the student just needs to be open to learning these therapy models. Further, program development and innovation are encouraged at our training site, and we have had several students develop manualized group interventions during their training experience.

At the Neurofeedback, Counseling, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Institute of Illinois (NCFII), we are proud of our student therapist training program. An Ideal applicant would be a student with clinical interest in children and adults diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and/or Specific Learning Disability. Clients are also typically diagnosed with co-morbid medical and psychiatric issues.

Supervision Philosophy of the Site

Students are assigned a primary supervisor upon beginning their externship. Students meet with their primary supervisor for an hour on a weekly basis. The primary supervisor holds the degree that meets the supervisee’s training requirements. Supervision with the primary supervisor frequently involves listening to audiotaped recordings of individual therapy sessions. In addition, supervisors promote the development of case conceptualization skills from a contextual behavioral therapy framework. In the past students have also developed manualized group interventions within individual supervision.

In addition to their primary supervisor, students are traditionally assigned a site supervisor. The student’s site supervisor typically holds a degree from a different professional background than the student. Site supervisors can provide “in-vivo” feedback to students regarding clinical interactions in the therapy milieu. In addition, site supervisors provide valuable feedback regarding paperwork and documentation.

The supervisory year begins with both the student and supervisor identifying goals for the supervisory relationship. Over the course of the training year students are encouraged to become more autonomous. Whereas in the beginning of the training year the supervisor may function more as a “teacher” and supervision is more actively structured by the supervisor, towards the end of the year the supervisor may serve more as a “collaborator” and the student more actively structures the supervision.

Research Opportunities

In the past students have completed their Clinical Research Project (CRP)/Dissertation while training at Trinity. Typically students who have completed their CRP/Dissertation initially completed a therapy externship at Trinity, and then stayed at Trinity for their advanced therapy externship. It is during the advanced therapy training that they conducted their research.

Students have also completed additional research projects unrelated to their CRP/Dissertation. There is much flexibility regarding diverse areas of research, as long as any interventions used are consistent with the contextual behavioral therapy models.