Saturday, April 19, 2014

Clinical Training Opportunities

Clinical Training Opportunities

Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC) is the Midwest’s largest health care organization that primarily targets the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ), and HIV-impacted adolescent and adult communities. Founded in 1974 to provide testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases within the gay male community, it has since expanded in its scope of services and communities served. Today, the community health center serves over 36,000 clients annually and includes the following programs: primary medical care, behavioral health services, case management, and research.

Behavioral Health Services (BHS)

The Behavioral Health Services of Howard Brown Health Center provides a range of diagnostic and psychotherapeutic services for the agency’s target population. The BHS staff works particularly closely with medical, psychiatric, and case management staff to provide comprehensive integrative care.

The typical presenting issues of clients who access BHS services include anxiety and depression, relationship problems, sexual identity, transgender identity, substance abuse, trauma, and domestic violence. As such, in addition to providing general services, BHS also offers the following specialized services:

  • The Recovering with Pride Program is licensed by the IL Department of Human Services and provides individual and intensive outpatient treatment for those dealing with substance, especially crystal methamphetamine, abuse.
  • The Violence Recovery Project provides services to survivors of all types of interpersonal violence that impact the communities served, including hate crimes and domestic violence.
  • The Youth Program works closely with the Broadway Youth Center and provides services to LGBTQ youth to the age of 25.

The distribution of HBHC clients by race/ethnicity is as follows: 63% Caucasian, 13% African-American, 9% Latino(a)/Hispanic, and 14% Other. The distribution by gender is 74% male, 21% female, and 5% transgendered.

BHS Clinical Training Program

Practicum training opportunities will be available to Master's in Social Work students and PsyD and PhD in Clinical Psychology students. For the 2013-2014 clinical training year, the plan is to offer two to three doctorate-level practicum positions and one to two masters-level internship positions.  (Please note that Howard Brown Health Center does not offer  Master’s in Counseling training positions and does not offer the training necessary for those focused on a specialization in working with Families and/or Children)

The 2013-2014 clinical training year will begin in mid-July. Practicum students will be expected to be on-site 20-24 hrs/wk. The end date is individualized depending on the practicum hour requirements of the academic institution of each practicum student as well as the practicum hour requirements of HBHC. Typically, practicum students complete their clinical training early- to late-June.

Direct Clinical Services

Practicum students will be expected to devote 50% of their practicum hours, or 10-12 hours, in the provision of direct clinical services. Typically, a practicum student’s weekly provision of direct clinical services will be distributed as follows:

  • 2 hrs initial assessments/phone screens
  • 6-8 hrs individual and couples
  • 1-2 hrs group therapy

The provision of direct clinical services can be tailored to the individual interests and training needs of the practicum students in conjunction with the agency needs.


Each practicum student will be assigned a primary supervisor, and will meet with that supervisor individually once or twice a week to address overall training needs. Weekly group supervision is also provided, in which all practicum students will meet as a group with a group supervisor different from the primary supervisor. Furthermore, all staff members with varied interests and specializations are also available as added resources, and single-case supervision can be arranged on an as-needed basis. This supervisory arrangement allows each practicum student exposure to a variety of clinical styles and approaches.

The clinical staff members of BHS are all licensed professionals in various disciplines and represent a diversity of theoretical orientations, sexual identities, and gender expressions. Some of the highlights of the staff include:

  • A combined total of more than 115 years of clinical experience
  • A combined total of over 40 years of experience supervising practicum students
  • Additional credentials (e.g., CADC, CGP) and training (e.g., EMDR, Domestic Violence training)


From mid-July to late-August, the practicum students of Howard Brown Health Center will attend weekly orientation on policies and procedures that are specific to HBHC, such as training on the department’s phone screen process, crisis intervention procedures, and the agency’s electronic health records system.

Training Consortium / Weekly Didactic Presentations

In early September, the practicum students of HBHC join the practicum students of Center on Halsted and Valeo/Lakeshore Hospital in a training consortium and attend weekly didactic presentations on topics that are of specific interest in working with the LGBTQ community. Some of the topics include: Racial/Ethnic Minority LGBTQ Issues, HIV Grief and Loss Issues, and Kink Issues in the LGBTQ Community. The training consortium is an excellent opportunity for students to network with students in other disciplines and from other schools. Presenters in the training consortium are local clinicians who are considered experts in working with the LGBTQ community. Exposure to so many other professionals provides additional networking opportunities for students, which have proven invaluable for students each year. We have seen these training consortium relationships support learning goals and assist students in accessing future career placements.

Weekly Staff Meetings

Lastly, as part of the BHS staff, practicum students are expected to attend weekly staff meetings. This will give the students exposure to administrative and other issues impacting the department, the agency, and the community and that will have direct bearing on their clinical services with their clients. Case and topic presentations are also included in the staff meetings.

Required Hours on Site

Students are required to be on site from 11-4 on Wednesdays. Students are also required to work at least one evening throughout the year (until 9 pm).  If the agency is open on Saturdays, students may be required to work Saturday shifts for at least half of the year.  (In the past, Saturday hours have been from 10-3.  The agency is currently not open on Saturdays).  The training year begins in mid-July and ends during the following June. Start dates and required hours on site are non-negotiable.

Application Procedure

Those who are pursuing a Master’s in Social Work or a PsyD or PhD in Psychology and are interested in pursuing training are encouraged to apply by submitting the following:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  3. Letter of readiness written by the Director of Training or the Field Placement Liaison at your school.  The letter should state that 1) you are a student in good academic standing with your school, 2) you have completed the necessary courses which allow you to do clinical work in the field and 3) your school is supporting your intent to access a training position. 
  4. Two (2) letters of recommendation from academic and/or clinical staff (preferably from clinical supervisors who have familiarity with applicant’s clinical skills)
  5. Any additional documents that will strengthen applicant’s application

Please submit the above paper documents, ideally in one application packet, to:

Michelle Emerick, PsyD.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist,
Director of Clinical Training
Howard Brown Health Center
4025 N Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60613

Interested applicants may also contact Dr. Emerick at (773) 388-8903 or

The HBHC BHS Clinical Training Program abides by the guidelines set forth by the Association of Chicagoland Externship and Practicum Training (ACEPT). As such, the following timetable will be followed:

  • Friday, February 7, 2013  – Practicum student applicants can begin to submit their applications
  • Monday, March 24, 2013   – Practicum student applicants will be given formal offers of practicum positions via email beginning at 9:00 am.  Please consult ACEPT website for further instructions on this year’s match process, which includes a Pre-notification day on Friday, March 21st.
  • ***(These are the dates for the 2014-2015 training year.  Dates for the 2015-2016 training year have yet to be announced.  Please check back in November 2013 for accurate dates.)

*Please know that Howard Brown Health Center is committed to training PsyD and PhD Clinical Psychology students and Master’s in Social Work students. Although MSW students are not required to follow the exact same application dates as Psychology students, MSW students are encouraged to send in their materials as early as February in order to increase their chances of accessing a training placement with Howard Brown Health Center.  MSW positions will be filled as soon as qualified applicants have been identified.

*For current Howard Brown employees and volunteers:

Current Howard Brown Health Center employees and volunteers who have contact with BHS clients will not be considered for internship or practicum with Behavioral Health Services. If a Howard Brown Health Center employee or volunteer has a high level of contact with Behavioral Health Services staff, but not BHS clients, the department will determine whether it can offer non-biased supervision during training.

If you are a current Howard Brown Health Center employee, please consider the following:

  1. Training positions within BHS are highly competitive and result in about 80 applications per year.  As a result, we try to respect everyone’s access to these positions and do not consider employment status within Howard Brown Health Center as an advantage.  
  2. Policies and Procedures of your employment would apply to all of your actions within Behavioral Health Services as well.  In addition, performance concerns raised during your training with BHS, if deemed relevant to your activities as a staff member, could affect your employment with Howard Brown Health Center.


Former & Current Practicum Students
Howard Brown Health Center
Clinical Training Program

Class of 2013-2014

Max Beshers
University of Chicago
Social Service Administration

Joey Metler
University of Illinois at Chicago
Jane Addams School of Social Work

Carl Saxton
Illinois School of Professional Psychology


Class of 2012-2013

Dan Flave-Novak
Roosevelt University

Hilary Hale
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Clare McBee
University of Chicago Social Service Administration

Imani Rupert
University of Chicago Social Service Administration

Ethan Webb
Illinois School of Professional Psychology


Class of 2011-2012

David Sgarbossa
University of Chicago Social Service Administration

Travis Munnerlyn
Adler School of Professional Psychology

Jeannie Lerch
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Sean Marquardt
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Class of 2010-2011

Ryan Dykes
University of Chicago Social Service Administration

David Hardley
Adler School of Professional Psychology

Kevin Hiner
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Jennifer Smith
UIC Jane Addams School of Social Work

Class of 2009-2010

John James Collins
Loyola University School of Social Work

Amy Rosenblatt
Adler School of Professional Psychology

Danielle Tipping
Argosy University/Chicago

Sean Welsh
Argosy University/Chicago

Class of 2008-2009

Julia Kamenetsky
Adler School of Professional Psychology

Aaron Schwartz
University of Chicago Social Service Administration

Sam Schwartz
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Jason Trautman
Argosy University/Schaumburg

Class of 2007-2008

Melisa Bailey
Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Holly Courtenay
Argosy University/Chicago

David Tredinnick
Argosy University/Schaumburg

Paul Wiemerslage
UIC Jane Addams School of Social Work

Class of 2006-2007

Marco Hidalgo
DePaul University

Colin Ennis
Argosy University/Chicago