From 2007 to 2015 I served as a clinical supervisor for the Valley Community Clinic in North Hollywood. And from 2005 to 2009 I served as a clinical supervisor for the Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills. Both of these facilities offer affordable therapy to the community. And both serve as training grounds for aspiring clinicians.
Serving as supervisor was a privilege and a pleasure. It gave me an opportunity to work with therapists-in-training on the infinite subtleties of the clinical relationship. Together we explored the following questions: What is the patient feeling? What is the supervisee feeling? And how do these feelings inform their dynamic? By raising awareness of the emotional nuances, the supervision was designed to promote skillful therapy — a benefit to the budding therapist and a boon to the patient.
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
During the 2009 - 2010 academic year, I taught in the Doctoring 2 Program at The David Geffen School of Medicine. This program is designed to help second-year med students develop a holistic approach to their patients. In a typical class, an actor playing a patient arrives in distress. Along with a retired pediatrician and a fourth-year med student, I guided the class in taking a medical history, constructing a psychosocial profile, assessing the range of issues, developing a treatment plan, and writing up the case.
As the psychologist in the group, my primary role was to help the students think about their relationship with the patient. What is the patient saying? What is the patient thinking? What is the patient feeling? And how can the students engage with the patient as a whole rather than as a series of discrete medical puzzles? The program was transformative for both teachers and students. The teachers learned to foster emotional and conceptual intelligence, and the students learned to doctor with their hearts and their minds. From every point of view it was a rewarding experience.