Albany Unified School District - Middle School & High School

Keywords: adolescents, school-based
Website: http://www.ausdk12.org
Application deadline: rolling Feb-May
Application requirements: Contact Shelly Ball, sball@ausdk12.org
Best point of contact for inquiries: Shelly Ball, sball@ausdk12.org, or Rachel Gordon, 510-558-2526
Additional Information:

Q&A

Tell us your name, your role, the name of your site/agency.

Shelly Ball and Rachel Gordon co-coordinate the program at Albany Middle School, Albany High School, and the alternative high school (MacGregor HS) 

Give us a brief overview of the site, the population served, its philosophy and mission.

The Clinical Program at Albany Unified School District is designed to promote emotional development and resilience in youth, assist them in overcoming barriers to learning, and strengthen relationships with their families, peers, teachers, and communities.  Clinical services are provided on-site at the high school, the middle school, and the alternative high school.

Students and family members make over two thousand visits to the mental health program each year.  The spectrum of the Bay Area’s cultural, racial, and religious communities is represented in the client population.  Frequently, students are from homes in which English is the second language.

Students can request therapy or are referred to the counseling center by school counselors, teachers, administrators, peers, or parents for a wide variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, self-injury, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use and abuse, trauma, and low self-esteem. They may also be victims or perpetrators of bullying, violent behavior or child abuse.

What are the typical duties of a trainee? In particular, what are they responsible for beyond client work?

Trainees/Associates work 3-4 days a week for a $1500 yearly stipend.   They carry a caseload of 10-15 students for individual counseling, facilitate one group if they choose, meet with families, school personnel, and other providers, as appropriate.  Students write notes for all encounters, attend both supervisions (1-2 hours of individual supervision and two hours of group supervision each week), and do case presentations -- formal and informal.  

Services include assessment, crisis intervention, parent consultation and education, brief, long term, and group therapy, school consultation with teachers and counselors, advocacy, and case management with community providers.

How does the client assessment and referral process work at your site?

Students can request therapy or are referred to the counseling center by school counselors, teachers, administrators, peers, or parents for a wide variety of concerns including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, self-injury, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use and abuse, trauma, and low self-esteem. They may also be victims or perpetrators of bullying, violent behavior or child abuse.

What can you tell us about a typical caseload for trainees?

See question 3.  Beyond that, the majority of our clients are BIPOC, often from immigrant families, and/or LGBTQIA+.

How is supervision structured at your site?

Individual supervision is weekly for one hour, and is structured according to the individual needs and learning desires of the trainees.  Our group supervision is a combination of case discussion and training as determined by the group.  

How is training structured, and what kind of training is offered?

Training is woven throughout the year.  There are two days of full time training prior to the start of the clinical year.  Outside trainers are occasionally brought in for topics of interest to the team, and the supervisors provide training on topics within group supervision throughout the year.  

In your experience, what attributes contribute most to a trainee’s success? 

Typically, a love of teenagers (all kinds), curiosity, and good organizational skills.  

In your experience, what have trainees found most challenging at your site?

I think that the chaos and changing environment can be challenging -- juggling one’s own caseload plus responding to crises and other needs at the school.  In addition it can be challenging towork with collaterals (parents, school staff and outside providers).  This is not typical, protected therapy hours.  It is taking place in the context of a vibrant, often surprising and changing milieu.  

Is there anything else you’d like potential trainees to know?

The team we get each year is typically an amazing mix of trainees and associates from a variety of programs.  Also, clinical work with teens is an amazing opportunity - many interns who never thought they would continue on with teens devote their careers to it after trying it!  Feel free to call Shelly or Rachel to talk more about whether you are interested in applying!  (510-558-2526).

Stay Connected to CIIS