Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship
Mind & Spirit Counseling Center is pleased to offer a full-time, one year, applied clinical and counseling Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Fellows will have many supervised clinical activities from which to choose, allowing for a truly custom experience as they work toward independent licensure.
It is expected that the fellow would complete an average of 25 hours per week of direct service activities to fulfill Iowa requirements for licensure and to adequately prepare the fellow for independent practice. These hours could include a mix of individual therapy across the lifespan, testing and assessment cases, health and behavior assessments and interventions, and couples and family therapy. Additionally, there may be opportunities to include group psychotherapy, teaching, outreach presentations, career counseling, and/or supervision of trainees to the fellow’s clinical activities. Contingent on the needs of the Center, there may also be some opportunities to learn more about administrative responsibilities and/or to conduct some limited research or data analysis.
The Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship program helps build the psychologist workforce in Iowa through the highest quality supervision, training, and clinical experiences.
Scott P. Young, PhD, MSCP
Director of Psychological Services & Fellowship Program
The Center’s clinicians approach their widely varied clinical tasks from an array of theoretical perspectives. The fellow will be able to learn more various theories beyond that of their individual supervisor’s particular orientation, including approaches used by non-psychologists.
This program will immerse the fellow in many of the consultation, case presentation, and didactic offerings available to senior staff clinicians. There may also be opportunities to participate in training offerings provided to the master’s level trainees in the Center’s Graduate Clinical Training Program as desired and appropriate for the fellow’s level of development.
Fellows will elect foci for their year of training. Rotations are for 6 months, and each fellow will select a single major and minor rotation for each half-year. While the rotations are designed as emphases for each 6-month period, it is not the intention that they be rigid. Thus, a fellow who elects to spend her first major rotation in an adult individual psychotherapy with a minor rotation in older adult services could see some youth therapy clients during that half-year, as an example.
Options for Training Rotations
Adult Individual Psychotherapy
Adult Individual Psychotherapy rotations, available as a major or minor rotation, emphasize practice and skill acquisition for adults 18-64 with a variety of presenting concerns. It is anticipated that the fellow would have a mix of demographic variables, with some cases potentially continuing throughout the training year.
Youth Individual Psychotherapy
Youth Individual Psychotherapy rotations, available as a major or minor rotation, emphasize practice and skill acquisition for children and adolescents, with the specific age range depending on the interests of the fellow and the comfort of the supervisor. In this rotation, the fellow can expect a variety of presenting concerns, exposure to expressive arts and play therapy techniques, and a reasonable number of Medicaid cases. It is anticipated that the fellow would have a mix of demographic variables, with some cases potentially continuing throughout the training year.
Older Adult Services
The Older Adult Services minor rotation emphasizes practice and skill acquisition for adults 65+ with a variety of presenting concerns. It is anticipated that the fellow would have a mix of demographic variables, with some cases potentially continuing throughout the training year. This rotation is only offered as a minor rotation due to inability to bill Medicare for the services provided by fellows. The fellow can expect this minor rotation to include some individual psychotherapy cases of their own, some shared cases done through co-therapy with another provider, and some geriatric and neuropsychological assessment cases.
Psychological Assessment rotations, available as a major or minor rotation, allow the fellow to cultivate skill and experience with one of the aspects of a psychologist’s identity that make us unique amongst mental health providers. The fellow should expect to complete testing cases with clients across the lifespan and with a variety of referral questions. Within the major rotation, it may be possible for the fellow to focus somewhat on a particular kind of assessment (e.g., ADHD evaluations, clergy evaluations, DDS evaluations, etc.), though the fellow should be prepared for an assortment of cases.
Couples and Families Therapy
The Couples and Families Therapy minor rotation offers the fellow an opportunity to gain experience working with relationship dynamics in a variety of family configurations. Fellows are likely to gain appreciation for the variety of reasons couples seek counseling, and also will have opportunity to learn more about theoretical practice models focused on couples and marital work (e.g., Gottman, Emotionally-Focused Therapy, CBT for couples, etc.). Fellows may also see families consisting of children and adults, all adult families, and individual therapy clients focused on family issues (e.g., caregiving, parenting concerns, adjusting to life after children, etc.).
Health and Prescribing Medical Psychology
The Health and Prescribing Medical Psychology minor rotation is an opportunity for the fellow to learn more about a developing specialty area for psychologists. This rotation will blend health and behavioral assessments/interventions (e.g., bariatric surgery evaluations, smoking cessation, chronic pain management, spinal cord stimulator evaluations, medication compliance issues, etc.) with some training and exposure to psychopharmacology. Iowa is one of only a handful of states to allow psychologists to acquire additional training in psychopharmacology in order to add pharmacotherapy to their treatment repertoire, and this component (psychiatric and psychopharmacology practice) of the minor rotation is not known to be available at any other postdoc in the state. The psychopharmacology component will include some didactic and observational experiences, and will help prepare the fellow to be a more active participant in their client’s pharmacotherapy.
Spiritually-Informed Psychological Services
The Spiritually-Informed Psychological Services major or minor rotation is another unique offering of the Center. As a pastoral counseling center with a rich mind-body-spirit model of care, this rotation will allow fellows to learn more about how to integrate spiritual and religious practices and beliefs into their clinical work. The rotation will include some psychotherapy and counseling cases with clients explicitly dealing with spiritual and psychological problems, and with clients who are seeking traditional psychotherapy but for whom a religious or spiritual identity is an important cultural identity and value. Fellows will also have the opportunity to learn and conduct clergy psychological evaluations for denominations with which the Center works.
Additionally, there will be ample opportunities for the fellow to be involved in consultation, teaching, coaching, and outreach through the Center’s Leadership and Spiritual Life (LSL) Program. Some examples of possible experiences the fellow might have partnering with LSL include: teaching a pastoral care specialist program class, community outreach presentations on mental health topics, developing training and resources to help clergy with referrals for their parishioner’s mental healthcare, mental health consultation services for clergy, etc.
- The fellow will receive a stipend of $45,000
- The option of participating in the Center’s individual health insurance and dental insurance policies
- Eligible to participate in the Center’s 403(b) retirement program at her/his discretion
- 2 weeks of vacation time and will accrue 1 day of sick leave per month.
- Time alotted during the fellowship for EPPP preparation and attendance at the Iowa Psychological Association Conferences
- Stipend provided toward licensure fees, and the fellow will be included in the Center’s professional liability insurance policy
- Long-term disability insurance is provided, and the fellow may elect additional insurance coverages (e.g., short-term disability, life, etc.).
Eligibility and Application Requirements
We are currently accepting applications for the fall 2023 Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship.
January – April
Applications received for next training year
May – July
September – May
- Cover letter that describes training goals for the fellowship year; how you envision this training will further your professional identity as a practicing psychologist; fit with the fellowship program, and interest in Mind & Spirit Counseling Center specifically; your theoretical orientation; and experience working with diverse populations.
- Current C.V. that includes a description of your internship rotations and anticipated graduation date.
- All graduate transcripts associated with training for your degree (master’s and doctoral) – unofficial transcript is acceptable.
- Three letters of reference including:
- A letter of reference from your internship director or primary internship supervisor describing your progress, clinical work, and anticipated completion date.
- A letter from the chair of your dissertation committee that details the status of your dissertation and the anticipated completion date of your doctoral training.
- A letter from a recent clinical supervisor familiar with your work.
- Work samples, including a case conceptualization and a psychological assessment report, deidentified according to HIPPA standards.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
For more information: Read the following FAQ and view our UPPD Program Listing. If you have additional questions, please email Scott Young, Ph.D., M.S.C.P., Director of Psychological Services or call him at 515-251-6673.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I come to Des Moines for my postdoctoral fellowship training?
The Des Moines Metro continues to be the fastest growing Midwest metropolitan area, with a surprisingly rich variety of professional and recreational opportunities. Forbes has named Des Moines the best city for business and careers, and TODAY designated Des Moines America’s Wealthiest City. U.S. News and World Report has also repeated ranked Des Moines in the top cities to live affordably. Yes, we do have corn fields…but just wait till you see what else we have!
OK, but why should I do my postdoc at Mind & Spirit Counseling Center, specifically?
With 50 years behind us, Mind & Spirit Counseling Center has one of the best-known reputations for high-quality mental healthcare in Central Iowa. We have a large group of psychologists, a multidisciplinary team, and specialty training areas you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. We also have a dedicated children’s wing, with a unique youth service we call C.O.O.L. for a reason! Plus, our building is almost as beautiful as the woods nearby…and the deer that regularly come to visit!
Your materials mention extensive consultation and seminar opportunities as a benefit. What does that mean?
Each week, the Center staff set aside at least 2 ½ hours for various professional development and consultation options. To name a few, we have an hour per month of dedicated psychiatric consultation and training, two hours per month of psychologist consultation and program meetings, 1 ½ hours of S.E.R.T. (Spiritual, Existential, Religious, and Theological) consultation, 1 hour of E.M.D.R. consultation, three hours of youth-focused consultation, etc. The Center also offers seminars for our master’s level trainees that can be attended by staff and fellows, along with a number of classes and CE trainings for clinicians, pastoral care providers, mindfulness practitioners, etc. All this means that, while we want you to spend most of your time refining your clinical work, there’s plenty of formal and informal consultation and learning time as well.
What qualities does the Center seek in potential postdoc fellows?
An ideal candidate will have a breadth of clinical training experience, in a variety of settings and with a range of populations. We value diversity, and would appreciate trainees who do likewise. Intellectual and professional growth is a high priority for our staff, and a fellow who is curious and eager to learn would be quite comfortable in our setting. Passion for specific foci of our postdoc program, for Iowa psychology, for our mission to help as many as we can regardless of insurance or means, and/or mind-body-spirit psychological care are all very important as well. Fellows MUST be eligible for (or have received) the Iowa provisional psychologist licensure.
What is the fellowship selection process?
We encourage any interested predoctoral intern or recently graduated Ph.D. or Psy.D. to review our UPPD program listing, all the information on this web page and to reach out to the Director of Psychological Services (Scott P. Young) with any questions. We see this as an important discernment process, on both the part of the potential fellow and the Center. So get to know us as much as you can, and explore for a possible fit with your career goals and developmental needs.
If you find there’s a good fit, please submit all the required application materials so we can get to know you better!
Our psychology faculty will review the materials, and communicate with all fellows offers to interview or not. The Director may reach out to candidates for individual phone or video interviews prior to extending offers for interviews with our faculty. Interviews with psychology faculty can be in person or virtual.
After interviews are completed, we will reach out with an offer of a postdoc fellowship placement to the selected candidate(s), and will hold the offer for two business days. Please note, that because this is a new program, we will not yet be following APPIC Selection Guidelines (including the Uniform Notification Date).
How is my supervisor selected?
Each fellow’s supervisor or supervisors are selected through the following considerations: rotations the fellow has elected, availability of a given supervisor, and fellow’s preferences.