Supervisor Joshua Ruberg, PhD; Benjamin Felleman, PhD; Samantha Rafie, PhD
Facility Mission Valley VA Outpatient Clinic,  Primary Care
Address 8810 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego CA 92108
Phone (619) 400-5195
Placement Type Primary Care Mental Health program at VA primary care clinic
Patient Type

Primary care patients with psychological complaints. Patients are adults of all ages (21 through 89, avg. age 50), primarily male with some women (25%-35%). Most common presenting issues: Depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance use disorders, suicidal ideation, loss/grief, cognitive decline, other stress, relationship issues, medical compliance issues, chronic pain, adjustment issues, and insomnia/sleep issues.

Experience Type

Practicum student will be located in Mission Valley Outpatient Clinic.  Practicum experience will include: (1) assessment and triage of primary care patients with mental health issues:  Typical assessments are interview-based with a few standardized measures, with some opportunity for brief neuropsychological screening. (2) Brief individual intervention (3-8 sessions, tapering to monthly or fewer) for a variety of psychological problems, primarily using mindfulness-based approaches, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The Behavioral medicine clinic has now been imbedded within the Primary Care Mental Health Integration team and as such students would also have opportunities for crossover training experiences in behavioral medicine (e.g. chronic pain group and smoking cessation group). There will also be ample opportunities for direct interaction and consultation with the entire PCMHI/BMED team which includes psychiatrists, nurses, postdoctoral fellows and interns as well as regular collaboration with primary care staff including physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers and clinical pharmacists. If schedule permits, trainee will be assigned to a primary care provider’s (PCP’s) panel to spend the year developing working relationship with PCP and his/her panel of patients. If schedule permits, trainee will also be able to attend weekly interdisciplinary case conference with PCPs and medical residents.

Number Of Students
Experience Necessary Interviewing skills, some experience with one-one psychotherapy, comfort working in medical environment
Time Commitment 10 hours
Practicum Length Full Year
Start Date 07/01/19
Limiting Factors Team meetings are on Mondays 12-1 p. It is preferred that the student attend at least one of the groups for part of the year. Student schedule can be changed during the year to attend groups. Student should be able to attend Behavioral Medicine Seminar (Thursdays 2:00pm – 3:30pm), which will meet at once per month, unless the student has attended this seminar as part of a prior practicum.
Other Issues  
Description Revised 04/12/2019