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Primary Care Behavioral Health Services

This externship opportunity involves providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents, young adults and families receiving services at community-based primary care clinics through Whole Bear Care (WBC): Primary Care Behavioral Health Services. Currently, WBC embeds psychologists alongside pediatricians and clinical staff within several community primary care clinics across the District of Columbia. As such, psychologists ensure timely identification of mental health problems within one trusted setting. Psychologists are co-located in these integrated care clinics and work with patients exhibiting a range of externalizing and internalizing disorders. Psychologists prioritize multidisciplinary communication and collaboration with multidisciplinary care teams as well as other key professionals internal and external to Children’s National (social workers, psychiatrists, medical specialists, school staff, community-based therapists).

The psychology externship with Whole Bear Care offers the opportunity to engage in the following experiences. We will work with externs to tailor the experience to their interests:

  • Consultation within primary care. The extern’s primary role is to provide consultation to patients and their primary care providers around a range of mental health issues. The extern will work closely with both the family and primary care provider during the triage and consultation process to ensure that issues are adequately
    addressed either within primary care or within the community.
  • Therapy within primary care. The extern will carry an ongoing caseload of 2-4 short- to medium-term therapy cases seen within the primary care clinic. Types of cases can be tailored to the extern’s interests. Some previous interests have included parent training, ADHD, anxiety and mood treatment, sleep interventions, and medication
    adherence.