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Grady Health System

The Grady Health System, the primary teaching facility of the Emory University School of Medicine, is a Level 1 Trauma Hospital that serves a primarily inner-city, minority, and low-income population from metropolitan Atlanta and Fulton and DeKalb Counties. The Grady Health System includes a general hospital (the largest in Georgia and among the largest in the country), as well as multiple outpatient clinics. Professional services at Grady Health System are provided under contract with Emory University School of Medicine and Morehouse School of Medicine, so that the hospital is a teaching hospital. Grady is involved in training for all the behavioral health disciplines: psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, occupational and recreational therapy. Thus, there are many opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary seminars and treatment programs. The behavioral health professionals based at Grady Health System have formed the Atlanta Behavioral Health Advocates, and postdoctoral residents at all sites are welcome to participate in this organized advocacy program. All postdoctoral residency positions based at Grady include an advocacy component. Emory University is located approximately 15 minutes driving time from Grady Health System. The psychology faculty includes 9 full-time licensed psychologists, 2 licensed psychologists who are based largely at Emory Healthcare but also provide training at Grady Health System, and one part-time licensed clinical psychologist who is based in the School of Public Health. In addition, there is an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited doctoral internship training program in health service psychology based at Grady Health System, which received initial accreditation in 1980 and most recently was re-accredited in 2014. This internship program also includes positions at the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine/Division of Neuropsychology and rotations at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the Pediatric Neuropsychology/Division of Neurosciences.

Adults with Serious Psychiatric Disorders. The following half-time positions (pending funding) can be combined with other half-time positions at Grady Health System. There will be the equivalent of two full-time positions devoted to work with adults with serious psychiatric disorders. In each of these positions, residents play an active role in supervision and teaching, as well as program development and evaluation. They can engage in ongoing research in several areas including suicidal behavior, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance abuse, as well as program evaluation.

Half-time primarily clinical positions are available in these services:

(1) Grady Outpatient Services – Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST) service, which provides psychosocial and psychiatric diagnostic assessments, group and individual adaptive functioning goal-attainment and recovery-focused evidence based treatment (EBT) interventions for adult individuals with symptoms of and/or diagnosed with serious mental illness (SMI) conditions.  The resident will take on the primary administrative, training, supervisory, clinical service delivery, program development, and clinical-research coordinator leadership roles for the service.

(2) Grady Outpatient Services - Bipolar Clinic and Research Program (BCRP), which provides comprehensive biopsychosocial and diagnostic assessments, treatment plans, and brief, goal-oriented individual therapy for adult outpatients diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The resident will take a leadership role in providing administrative and clinical services including a group therapy and participating in a clinical-research study examining the roles of genetics/epigenetics, adverse childhood experiences, as well as other risk/protective factors for suicidal behaviors in individuals with bipolar disorder. The resident will also conduct diagnostic assessments in patients presenting with a variety of serious mental illnesses and provide supervision to clinical psychology graduate students.

(3) Action In Recovery (AIR) is a psychosocial rehabilitation/peer program that offers psychosocial rehabilitation services for adults living in the community. In addition to taking a leadership role in providing administrative and clinical services (e.g., individual and group therapy, supervision) with an emphasis on recovery, community reintegration, and social justice advocacy aims, the resident will also participate in research and publication activities.

(4) Adult Short-Term Inpatient and Crisis Stabilization Units, which offer stabilization and brief treatment for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and/or acute psychiatric distress. The resident will be responsible for co-leading groups, creating behavioral plans, and providing interprofessional consultations to staff and trainees.

Nia Project. This one-year half-time position entails involvement on a comprehensive clinical program that includes participating in culturally informed clinical-research projects; conducting crisis evaluations; providing culturally-informed individual, group therapy (20 groups are offered each week), and couple/family interventions for African American suicide attempters and abused women; supervising practicum students; and developing, implementing, evaluating, and disseminating evidence-based interventions for this population. The therapy efforts are guided by a culturally-informed integrative theoretical model that incorporates interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, third wave cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, existential/humanistic, attachment-oriented, and systemic-based perspectives. The group therapy opportunities are diverse and include co-facilitating support groups (e.g., intimate partner violence, spirituality, suicide), evidence-based therapy groups (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion-Based Meditation, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Seeking Safety, Skills Training for Affect Regulation, Trauma Focused Yoga), and process groups (e.g., interpersonal, Women of Color Exploration). The resident is a member of an interprofessional team and is expected to take a leadership role in the clinical and research efforts of the team, which may include program implementation, community outreach and engagement, training of graduate and undergraduate students, data analysis, manuscript preparation, and grant writing. The Nia Project is a component of the Atlanta Trauma Alliance.

Grady Trauma Project. One full time position may be available in a combined clinical/research position working with individuals with chronic trauma exposure and trauma-related disorders (e.g., PTSD, depression, substance use disorders, suicidality). Currently funded grants focus primarily on PTSD, women’s health, pregnant and postpartum moms, and mindfulness-based interventions. The postdoctoral resident will be involved in the following clinical activities: conducting clinical assessments and suicide risk assessments (as needed), leading a mindfulness-based group intervention in medical settings (or virtually depending on need), and other individual/group therapy opportunities. For the research portion of the residency, the postdoctoral resident will engage in supervising/training, data analysis and management, and manuscript preparation. There may also be opportunities for grant writing. Research is ongoing in a number of areas for this project including trauma, PTSD, depression, substance use disorders, psychosis, suicidality, emotion dysregulation, personality pathology, resilience, racial discrimination, physical health outcomes, parenting behaviors and relational health, infant and child outcomes. Novel research techniques used in this project include: neuroendocrinology, psychoimmunology, psychophysiology, eye tracking, attention bias, neuroimaging, genetics, epigenetics, and mother-child interaction tasks. Applicants with prior scientific writing experience and peer-reviewed publications are strongly preferred. The Grady Trauma Project is a component of the Atlanta Trauma Alliance.

Consultation Liaison Service. One full time positon is available to serve on the interdisciplinary psychiatric consultation liaison service working with medically hospitalized adults with psychiatric diagnoses or other psychological challenges. On occasion, the resident also will be called upon to follow minors hospitalized following a medical trauma. The postdoctoral resident will be involved in the following clinical activities: participating in daily interdisciplinary rounds, conducting psychologically-oriented consultations for patients being followed by the service, developing and implementing behavioral plans, leading a weekly family support group for the Burn Unit, and co-leading weekly wellness groups (e.g., pain management, nutrition education) associated with the Nia Project. As a member of the interdisciplinary team, the resident is responsible for providing psychology-related input to other team members and healthcare providers throughout the hospital.

Forensic Psychology. Two full time positions will be available in forensic psychology. A substantial part of this postdoctoral residency focuses on developing competencies associated with evaluating competency to stand trial (CST) and criminal responsibility (CR). Residents will also be involved in a novel jail-based program designed to treat defendants found incompetent to stand trial who may not needed forensic psychiatric hospitalization.  Besides assessment, the training experiences will include intervention and research related to competency restoration. The psychology residents will also participate in a weekly forensic seminar with forensic psychiatry fellows, where cases are discussed and landmark court decisions related to mental health are studied.

In addition, forensic psychology residents have the following rotations:

  • At Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta, residents have a four-month, part-time, rotation providing evaluations and treatment for adult men and women who require forensic inpatient hospitalization. Residents conduct 90-day reevaluation of competency to stand trial, criminal responsibility evaluations, and participate in violence risk assessments.
  • At Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia, residents pend four days learning about the State’s maximum-security forensic hospital and participating in evaluations there. 
  • If residents are interested, they may also participate in a few outpatient forensic evaluations with juveniles with the State’s juvenile team.
  • Private practice:  Residents will be given an opportunity to work on mitigation evaluations with an experienced forensic psychologist in private practice, as well as receive supervision focused on expert testimony, malingering assessments, and professional development.  Residents may also the chance to do cases with other psychologists and psychiatrists in private practice the Atlanta area who specialize in different areas, such as psychosexual assessment and custody evaluations.
  • Depending in part upon factors related to COVID-19, residents will participate in the State’s annual forensic conference and may have an opportunity to attend national conferences.