Supervisor Veronica Cardenas, PhD
Facility UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
Address 3855 Health Sciences Drive # 0658, La Jolla, CA 92093-0658
Phone 858-822-1494
Placement Type Trainees will spend their time at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center (MCC) with the Psychiatry and Psychology Services team which offers primarily outpatient care at MCC with some occasional inpatient care at UC San Diego Thornton Hospital and Jacobs Medical Center (same campus as MCC).
Patient Type

Cancer patients throughout the cancer trajectory (at diagnosis; post-diagnosis; in active initial treatment; during survivorship or end-of-life) and their caregivers and/or family members.

The Psychiatry and Psychology Service at Moores Cancer Center is a full-service psychosocial oncology program. It provides psychiatric evaluation and medication management as well as evidenced-based individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy to cancer patients and their caregivers/families. The program also includes a holistic treatment component that may include yoga, art therapy, expressive writing, mindfulness training, relaxation/meditation, hypnotherapy, and state-of-the-art approaches to non-medication-based treatment of insomnia and other cancer related symptoms. MCC offers these services to any UC San Diego cancer patient in active treatment or during survivorship, and to their caregivers and family members.

Note: If operations have not returned to normal by July, 5, 2021, JDP student will be able to provide services through telehealth/telework.

Experience Type

Assessment and Treatment Opportunities:

The Patient and Family Support Service will train students on the delivery of evidence-based individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy to treat psychological issues that arise in a cancer setting. Practicum students will attend a ‘Cancer 101’ class so they have a basic understanding of medical aspects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. They will conduct intake interviews; develop treatment plans, implement treatment, and plan/implement treatment termination. Cancer patients present with issues specific to their disease, its treatment, and prognosis; however, given that cancer can be viewed as a major stressor, issues not specific to the cancer commonly present and are treated, as well. Existential issues are commonly evoked, such as those associated with significant changes to the body and its function, the possibility of a foreshortened future, and end-of-life planning. Trainees will have the opportunity to skills in the delivery of CBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, Dignity Therapy and Meaning Centered Therapy in a cancer setting. Trainees will learn to interact with multidisciplinary teams that may include medical, surgical and radiation oncologists; psychiatrists; pharmacists; nurses; social workers; genetics counselors. Interns will also learn to use the EPIC electronic medical record to communicate effectively with other members of the patient’s treatment team.

Number Of Students 1
Experience Necessary Trainees should have a minimum of one year of direct clinical experience having conducted standard intake interviews and delivering evidenced-based individual and/or group psychotherapy.
Time Commitment 10 hours per week
Practicum Length One-year
Start Date July 5, 2021
Limiting Factors

Required weekly Group Supervision session once a week from 9-10am (either Tuesday or Wednesday, to be determined) at the Moores Cancer Center. Other days and times are flexible and may depend on supervisor and space availability.

Other Issues

Didactics/Team Meetings: Practicum trainee at MCC will attend weekly group supervision and ad hoc didactic presentations and trainings.

Research Opportunities: As time and interest permits, interns may participate in research examining archival clinical data and/or any active investigations, and/or co-authoring manuscripts.

Description Revised 03/08/2021