Psychotic Disorder Spectrum Externship

Psychotic Disorder Spectrum Externship

Supervisor: Sarah Keedy, Ph.D.

1 Position

This advanced practicum is offered for a student wanting to gain experience working with individuals from both the traditional psychotic disorder spectrum (schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depression with psychotic features), and the less traditional psychotic disorder spectrum but with known genetic and/or symptom-based overlap with psychotic disorders (ADHD, autism spectrum, OCD, borderline personality disorder, PTSD).  This practicum design reflects the work of the supervisor, Dr. Sarah Keedy, who is a clinical psychologist, trained heavily in neuropsychology, and is actively engaged in working on addressing questions around the dimensional and cross-diagnostic nature of psychosis, as well as the phenomenology and neurocognitive underpinnings of hallucinations.  Cases externs see will be characterized by combinations of hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, cognitive impairments, mood dysregulation, dissociation, trauma-based and medical comorbidities.  Externs will learn to work with a spectrum of functionality, symptom presentation, insight levels, and self-identified goals for therapy that this range of referrals presents in our major academic medical center psychiatry department setting.

The practicum experience centers on applying evidence-based treatments with 6-8 individual psychotherapy cases. The practicum also includes interacting with psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, or other medical center providers to coordinate care as needed. Externs may also co-lead a “Voice Hearers” group with Dr. Keedy.  The practicum can also include psychotic disorder assessment in the context of clinical research, where, approximately once per month, externs will observe or participate (depending on skill level) in diagnostic interviewing (SCID) and symptom assessment of psychotic disorders as part of ongoing clinical research in Dr. Keedy’s laboratory.  Externs may also attend consensus diagnosis meetings where the information from these interviews is reviewed for the purposes of clinicians coming to agreement on diagnosis. Such experiences are encouraged and broaden the trainee’s insight into the range of symptoms and life history of those diagnosed with psychotic disorders.

Individual supervision will be provided on a weekly basis by Dr. Keedy. Group supervision with Dr. Lindsay Brauer and her Serious Mental Illness program trainees will also be provided via monthly case conferences, attended by other faculty and trainees at different levels (externs, interns, postdocs).

One didactic seminar specific to the externship will be held on site August-November and February-May on Mondays.  Externs will also have the option to attend additional didactics amongst the many ongoing training activities in our department depending on which other day(s) they are onsite. These include Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Neurology Grand Rounds, Neuroscience speaker series, Pediatric Psychiatry Speaker series, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy seminar, multidisciplinary case conferences, and clinical psychology professional development seminars. 

Requirements: Please read the following list carefully to determine whether you are eligible to apply for this internship:

•             Available for 12-20 hours per week (1.5-3 days on site, including Mondays 11AM.)

•             Current enrollment in an APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology or, counseling psychology

•             Completion of a Master’s degree by time of start required

•             Completion of graduate coursework preferred

•             At least 1 previous practicum experience providing psychotherapy

•             Training year runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

Application: Students interested in applying for the Externship in the Psychotic Disorder Spectrum should send the following materials by electronic mail to Dr. Sarah Keedy ( by Nov. 16, 2018: 

1.            Letter of interest

2.            Current curriculum vita (CV)

3.            Copy of current academic transcript (does not need to be official)

4.            Two letters of recommendation (one letter must be from a current faculty member supervising your training).  Letters should be emailed directly or sent by mail to the following address:

Sarah Keedy, Ph.D.

The University of Chicago

5841 S. Maryland Ave, MC 3077

Chicago, IL 60637

Questions about the externship may be directed to Dr. Keedy via email.  Qualified candidates will be invited to interview. Interviews will be completed by Dec. 14.