​Medical Placement Partners

Would you like a free on-site psychosocial provider for your outpatient medical clinic? If so, here is a description of the services our medical family therapists provide, and what you can expect from an SPU behavioral health extern.


  • Experienced graduate or post-graduate-level psychosocial providers who have worked extensively in mental health settings with individuals, couples, and families and have dealt with a variety of psychosocial and psychiatric disorders.
  • Have studied the provision of psychosocial services in a medical setting, charting, medical culture, improving compliance, somatic conditions, doctor/patient relationship concerns, and how to successfully collaborate with attending providers.
  • Receive three hours a week of case supervision with the director of their program at SPU — requiring little time from the on-site clinic staff or provider.
  • Have their own liability insurance in addition to the liability insurance provided by SPU.

During medical rotation

Externs will:

  • Provide a range of psychosocial services, training, and support for patient/family and medical team — 10 hours in clinic each week.
  • Develop and implement assessment and treatment plans addressing a broad range of psychosocial and psychiatric concerns. These treatment plans will round out and support the biomedical treatment being provided by the attending physician or ARNP.

Externship goals

  • Expose each student to the spectrum of psychosocial patient needs in a medical setting.
  • Explore the nature of collaboration between multidisciplinary providers.
  • Provide on-site psychosocial intervention for patients whose presenting biomedical and psychosocial issues are complex and challenging.
  • Establish sound on-site referral mechanisms for the medical team.
  • Give psychosocial services free-of-charge to patients and families of the medical practice in exchange for the externship experience.

Length of an externship is nine to 12 months, beginning in late summer or early fall.

For more information, contact:

Tina​ Schermer Sellers

Director, Medical Family Therapy
PhD, Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality