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Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services

Devereux Pennsylvania Adult Services (AS) provides programs and supports for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) ranging from the borderline to the profound range of cognitive functioning. In addition, we serve a smaller population of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, mental health disorders (MHD), co-occurring disorders (I/DD, MHD) and brain injuries. Individuals receiving services reside on our campus or in community group homes throughout several counties. These individuals range in age from 21 years through end of life. Individuals served require support and assistance for the entirety of their lives. As such, admissions are more common than discharges. Interns are encouraged to tailor their internship experience to suit their clinical interests and collaborate with their supervisors to develop a challenging and rewarding intern year.

Devereux Pennsylvania AS provides a model for clinical interventions and supports using identified evidence-based practices. Core components of this model include functional and behavioral assessment methods, clinical hypothesis formulation related to specific assessment data, evidence-based interventions linking to the clinical hypothesis, and progress monitoring that informs data-based decision making. Clinical services are provided in campus-based homes, community group homes, apartment programs and in other community settings. In addition, pre-vocational services and specialized work skills and training programs are provided for individuals involved in these vocational/work programs.

Successful Applicants:

  • Experience with, and strong interest in, working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Interest in working within a social learning/behavioral model for clinical service delivery
  • Interest in functional behavioral assessment
  • Interest in, or experience with, a positive behavioral interventions and supports framework
  • Background in applied behavior analysis, cognitive behavior therapy
  • Experience working in an interdisciplinary team environment
  • Experience participating in applied research and willingness to learn and participate in research projects and related program development initiatives
  • Willingness to engage with, and develop, strong therapeutic relationships with clients
  • Ability to take initiative and think creatively 

Intervention:

Interns will carry a caseload of four to six individual cases and are required to run at least one group. Individual cases are selected with input from the intern; the caseload is tailored to meet the interests of the intern. Cases can vary greatly in clinical need and the treatment used to promote positive change.

Some of these interventions may include: identifying coping strategies, problem solving approaches, anger management training, relaxation technique training, and therapeutic cognitive-behavioral approaches. The principals of applied behavior analysis are heavily utilized. In addition, the intern will be exposed to, and participate in, Devereux’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (D-PBIS) framework. This model is new for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and has demonstrated successful and meaningful outcomes. D-PBIS for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been presented at local and national conferences. The intern will learn the skills necessary for implementation, and monitoring and coaching others in this approach.   

Assessment:

Assessment opportunities include, but are not limited to, adaptive skills assessment, sexual knowledge and consent assessment, suicidality assessment, trauma assessment, community safety assessment, and clinical behavior assessment. Cognitive assessments are primarily conducted on a case–by-case basis to demonstrate a continued need for services. Interns are provided instruction on how to conduct functional behavioral assessments that focus on identifying biological, social, affective and environmental factors that initiate, sustain, or end a particular behavior. Interns use the assessment process to formulate a clinical hypothesis, which is then used to select evidence-based interventions that are relevant to the presenting problems. A key aspect of clinical intervention is the teaching of alternative or functionally equivalent skills that relate directly to shaping more socially acceptable responses in place of the individual’s challenging behaviors.

Consultation:

Clinical consultation is widely used in the delivery of services. A behavioral consultative model is utilized at Devereux Pennsylvania  AS. Interns gain experience in indirect service delivery when working with individuals and their interdisciplinary teams. Interns will be provided with training in the D-PBIS framework, and will serve as a consultant to staff and supervisors in implementing that approach and monitoring the integrity of implementation.

Hours:

Activity

Hours

Behavioral Intervention Treatment

12

Consultation/ Training

5

Clinical Milieu Intervention/ Support

5

Admin/ Meetings

4

Clinical Notes, Documentation, Phone Calls

3

Assessment/ Report Writing

4

Research Project

2

Supervision

4

Didactic Seminars

3

Hours Weekly

40+

*This is an estimate. Hours will change week-to-week depending on project needs and seminar schedule.

Supervisors:

Stewart Shear, Ph.D. (Primary Supervisor)
Amara Haber, Psy.D.
Sandra Powell, MA