Ozark Center/Freeman Health Systems
Message from Dr. AJ Whitmire
Match # 192515
Internship positions available: 2
Ozark Center is located in Joplin, Missouri, the fastest growing region of the State, and bridges both Jasper and Newton Counties. Ozark Center began as a rural mental health clinic in 1965 and has grown into an organization that employs 350 people and serves approximately 4,746 outpatient clients monthly. An integral component of Freeman Health System, Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults, and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Freeman Center has three inpatient units: Stephens Unit 1 – a 22-bed acute care adult inpatient psychiatric unit; Stephens Unit 2 – a 20-bed acute care inpatient psychiatric unit; and Senior Serenity – a 10-bed acute care geriatric inpatient psychiatric unit. The age of patients on the two acute care adult units ranges from age 18 to 65 years. The Senior Serenity Unit serves patients 65 years and over. The most common diagnoses seen at these locations include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder, Bi-Polar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and various Cluster B Personality Disorders.
Ozark Center’s vision is that those experiencing mental illness, addiction, or the pain of abuse will develop the skills essential to a life with dignity and purpose.
Site Training Director
A. J. Whitmire, Ph. D.
Dr. Whitmire, a licensed psychologist in the state of Missouri, is the Training Director for the Ozark Center/Freeman Health System internship site. He holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi, a M.Div. ministerial degree from Duke University, and an undergraduate major in biology from Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. Whitmire has held positions as a faculty member at a school of professional psychology, as a psychology training clinic director, and as a director of clinical training for a school of professional psychology. He has also worked in a large group practice. Whereas he maintains a very small outpatient practice at the Ozark Center, his primary position is to provide psychological services for the Stephens Unit at Freeman East.
Dr. Whitmire integrates cognitive-behavioral therapy and emotion focused therapy in his practice. Professional interests include chronic mental illness, adult survivors of childhood abuse, grief and bereavement, spiritual/religious aspects of psychological care, client directed, outcome informed (CDOI) clinical work, and clinical supervision and training. Currently he functions as a psychologist on an acute care adult psychiatric unit within a medical system. He also provides individual and group therapy and psychological assessment, along with supervision for psychology practicum students, master’s level interns, predoctoral interns, and a postdoctoral resident. As the Training Director for the Ozark Center, he oversees psychological training for the inpatient psychiatric units and for the outpatient facility.
Stephanie Terrell, Psy.D.
Dr. Terrell earned her Psy.D in Clinical Psychology in 2011 from The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. Dr. Terrell earned her Masters of Art in Clinical Psychology in 2009, from The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. Dr. Terrell is a fully Licensed Psychologist as of 2014 and has been employed at Ozark Center since 2010. She provides outpatient therapy and psychological testing to adults. She also provides services on the inpatient unit, which includes group therapy, individual therapy, psychological testing, and supervision of students and interns. Her areas of interest include psychological testing, individual therapy, and providing supervision. Dr. Terrell is a member of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Terrell is a co-author of a published peer reviewed article in the Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research.
Arlene Sadowski, Ed.D.
Dr. Sadowski received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1968, her Master’s degree in Psychology from University of Missouri-Columbia in 1971, and her Ed.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Arkansas in 1989. She has received training in Family and Marital therapy as well as Family Therapy Supervision. She is certified in Clinical Hypnotherapy and trained in use of hypnosis in psychotherapy. Dr. Sadowski specializes in the Outpatient practice of psychotherapy with adults, and the problems of depression, anxiety, chronic illness, bereavement. She has had experience as inpatient psychologist, and in the practice of child and family therapy. Her theoretical orientation is cognitive behavioral therapy and existential psychology and her current interests are in the practice of Mindfulness based Stress Management, Hypnosis in the treatment of depression, anxiety, habit control.
Eve Lueker, Psy.D.
Dr. Lueker received her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Argosy University and has received training and supervision from Dr. Rhonda Goldman regarding Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). She has also received specialized training related to treating domestic violence victims. Her research interests include self-compassion, experiential learning, spirituality and resiliency. Her theoretical orientation is Emotion-Focused Therapy.
Sooin Lee, Psy.D.
Dr. Lee received her M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and is interested in subjective experience of psychopathology, the impact of therapeutic relationship on how one relates to self and psychopathology, and what it means to be a human being regarding diversity. Her theoretical orientation is Existential.
Interns will engage primarily in inpatient group and individual psychotherapy with a rare opportunity for couple’s therapy. About 85 to 90 percent of their time will be spent working on one of the three inpatient units, Stephens Unit 1, Stephens Unit 2, or Senior Serenity. The other 10 to 15 percent of their time will be devoted to individual outpatient psychotherapy with adults through the Ozark Center.
Interns on the inpatient units participate in multidisciplinary Treatment Team Meetings which integrate science with their practice. Interns are considered an integral part of the therapeutic treatment team which includes a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, a case manager supervisor, and usually a medical student. They are encouraged to contribute within team meetings as valued members. During these meetings, interns provide input on patient progress and care with the multidisciplinary team. This setting also provides a unique training experience for interns to work with such a varied group of professionals. On each Tuesday except the first Tuesday of the month interns participate in a Journal Club. It is attended by the inpatient psychologists, predoctoral interns, the inpatient psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, and medical students. The interns, psychiatric residents, and medical students provide studies for the group to critique and distribute them several days before the meeting. It is a good opportunity for interns to critique ongoing research studies. Interns provide group and individual psychotherapy and psychological testing for patients in the two acute care adult psychiatric units as well as outpatient individual psychotherapy. Infrequently, interns might be asked to consult on general medical floors.
Interns provide some testing for psychiatric patients on the Senior Serenity Unit. There may be opportunities for psychological consultation on medical units within the hospital. Interns meet regularly with the treatment team to contribute to ongoing treatment planning for patients.
Example Training Opportunities:
- Individual Adult Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Consultation with other Professionals
- Crisis Intervention
- Supervision by Intern
- Intake Evaluation
- Psychiatric Assessment
- Suicide Assessment
- Cognitive Assessment
- Objective Assessment
- Projective Assessment
- Acute Inpatient Care
Intern Selection Process
The Training Director along with input from Postdoctoral Residents at the site, review all approved applications sent by the Executive Training Office. This site specifically looks for applicants with the following experiences and/or traits:
- Inpatient setting (or who sought inpatient experience)*
- Group therapy
- Some assessment
- Appreciation of diversity issues in practice
- Reasonable client contact hours particularly with the chronically mentally ill
- Highly ranked by their references
- Highly motivated to learn with a demonstrated work ethic
- Excellent therapeutic skills and the ability to create a strong therapeutic alliance
*Note: While inpatient experience is looked for, it is not required. This site welcomes applicants with no previous inpatient experience, but who are interested in learning about the inpatient work environment.
Applicants who meet these characteristics are placed on a list to interview either in person or by phone. Those applicants who could not interview in person were offered opportunities to interview by phone. The Training Director and Postdoctoral Residents compiled a list of interview questions to ask to make the interview process as consistent as possible. After all the interviews, the applications and interview responses are used to rank or eliminate applicants.
Ozark Center does conduct background checks on interns prior to orientation and will be unable to keep a matched intern who by statute, must be excluded due to results of a criminal background review. Ozark Center conducts the following reviews of all matched interns:
- Conduct a criminal background check with the state highway patrol or private investigatory agency,
- Check the Division of Aging’s employment disqualification list with the Department of Social Services,
- Check the Family Care Registry, and
- Check the Missouri Child Abuse or Neglect registry.
Note these key factors that could cause the site to release an intern from match:
- Unsatisfactory background check where actions and/or crimes which prohibit patient/client contact pursuant to state law and regulations of accrediting entities.
- Background check returned as disqualified from any of the agencies listed in the previous section.
- Found to be convicted of, guilty of, pleaded guilty to or nolo contendere to any of the following crimes:
- Physical abuse of Class I Neglect of a patient, resident, or client
- Furnishing unfit food to patients, residents, or clients
- Failure of a specified professional to report suspected abuse or neglect of a patient
- Found to be convicted of, guilty of, pleaded guilty to or nolo contendere to any of the listed felonies in the following document: Disqualifying Actions
- Found guilty or pleaded guilty to a violation of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving with Excessive Blood Alcohol Content and who is found by the court to be an aggravated (3 or more) or chronic (4 or more) violator.
- Found to be guilty of any felony drug offense.
- Found to be guilty of any equivalent felony offense.