Site: Outreach Community Ministries / Outreach Community Counseling Center
Outreach Community Ministries is a family of faith-based, community service organizations serving DuPage County. This not-for-profit organization has been called into existence by local churches to respond supportively to the needs of individuals and families within the community. Outreach is committed to providing excellence in human services and demonstrating compassion for the whole person. Located in diverse communities in the western suburbs of Chicago, Outreach Community Ministries offers services in Warrenville (Warrenville Youth and Family Services), Wheaton (Wheaton Youth Outreach) and Carol Stream (Outreach Community Center and Outreach Community Counseling Center).
Doctoral interns completing their rotations at OCM will work out of the Outreach Community Counseling Center in Carol Stream (OCCC); this is also where the CACTC Director is located. The OCCC counseling staff work from a systemic and relational theoretical perspective, a person-in-context approach. This context includes immediate and extended family, neighborhood, cultural, racial and religious groups. In addressing problems and issues with clients, staff are committed to finding and highlighting strengths, skills, areas of resiliency and resources that clients can build on in order to make changes.
OCCC provides outpatient therapy services in various modalities (individual, family and group) with a wide range of ages (children, adolescents, young adults, adults). Common issues include depression, anxiety, ADHD and conduct/behavioral concerns. Also, other issues include family conflict, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, divorce and other losses, trauma, and substance abuse. Interns receive training in a variety of evidence based practices known to be effective in treating these concerns. Interns also have the opportunity to co-lead with an OCM psychologist an adult trauma group; during this training experience, interns learn best practices in treating adult trauma and become more familiar with the professional literature in this area.
Outreach’s Psychological Testing Program is also located at OCCC and provides state of the art psychological evaluation and consultation services to a broad spectrum of persons, ages and presenting problems. The OCCC doctoral intern works on the Assessment and Consultation Team (ACT) with the OCM psychologist, staff and other doctoral students in order to learn and serve in a collegial and collaborative environment. Referrals are received from the community (community center, other counseling programs), local schools/colleges (both public and private), adoption agencies, medical clinics and police/probation departments and often are geared to clarifying diagnosis (i.e., ADHD, learning disabilities, mood disorders, behavioral/conduct, autism spectrum concerns, etc.), readiness for adoption, parenting capacity, level of functioning and so on. The testing program integrates aspects of the School Neuropsychological conceptual model for more complex cases which involve learning, memory and/or attention/executive function concerns.
Additionally, Outreach’s Psychological Testing Program has a partnership with 3 missions organizations (2 within the U.S. and 1 abroad) to provide consultations to missions organizations and psychological evaluations of the missionary candidates. Outreach also has strong partnerships with church denominational boards and provides clergy/ordained evaluations for those seeking greater involvement in ministry. Interns learn the best practice approaches in pre-field assessments/member care in work with these ministry partners. Interns also broaden their repertoire of assessment skills by receive training in providing cultural and wellness evaluations for students in a local high school Boarding Program (for international students and missionary kids attending high school in the U.S.)
OCCC Intern caseload responsibilities include approximately 15-20 hours of direct treatment/evaluation per week. (i.e., outpatient therapy services to children, adolescents, and adults; group therapy; psychological evaluations; consultation; and supervision of doctoral students). Interns typically split their time: 50% of time is spent in the testing program and 50% of time is spent working in the counseling program. Interns will also work with the psychologist/director on a program development project (either related to Outreach’s Psychological Testing Program or the CACTC training program) and will collaborate with their supervisor on administering the Psychological Testing Program (i.e., testing intakes, assigning cases, working with supervisor to supervise doctoral students).