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Psychology Internship Program

The goal of the internship program at Children’s National is to train professional psychologists who have a particular interest in child clinical and/or pediatric psychology. The program is designed to encourage the development of clinical competence with children and families, with sensitivity to, and facility with, cultural differences, ethical issues, interdisciplinary relationships, and the changing environment of health care, including funding issues.
Goals of training include:
  1. To provide experiential training in child clinical and pediatric psychology with a variety of populations in a variety of settings.
  2. To promote professional development of psychologists in the present era of healthcare, including the interface of psychology with managed care, in terms of consultation, program development and service delivery.

Science and practice are integrated within the internship program in a number of ways, including: didactic seminars on theories and techniques of assessment, theories and techniques of intervention, empirically supported treatments, theories and techniques of consultation, and current scientific knowledge regarding diagnostic classifications and special populations; discussions during supervision of clinical material in light of scientific literature; encouragement of critical thinking (and empirical hypothesis‐testing) in treatment and systemic consultation; encouragement of interns' use of the hospital library and periodical collections; and a required presentation for each intern at Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Grand Rounds.

Objectives of training include:

(I-1) Interns will develop facility with a range of diagnostic skills, including: interviews, history‐taking, risk assessment, child protective issues, diagnostic formulation, triage, disposition, and referral.

(I-2) Interns will develop further skills in psychological intervention, including: environmental interventions, crisis intervention, short‐term, goal‐oriented individual, group and family psychotherapy, exposure to longterm individual psychotherapy, behavioral medicine techniques, exposure to psychopharmacology, case management, and advocacy.

(I-3) Interns will develop facility with a range of assessment techniques, including: developmental testing (elective), cognitive testing, achievement testing, assessment of behavior/emotional functioning, assessment of parent‐child relationships and family systems, and neuropsychological evaluation (elective). Assessment training across domains will include both current functioning and changes in functioning.

(I-4) Interns will develop facility with psychological consultation, through individual cases and participation in multidisciplinary teams, including consultation to: parents, mental health staff (e.g., psychiatrists, social workers) medical staff (e.g., physicians, nurses, PT, OT, etc.), school systems, and the legal system. Consultation training occurs in both the inpatient and outpatient setting, both downtown and in the suburbs, and ranges from primary to tertiary care.

(I-5) Interns will learn the clinical, legal, and ethical issues involved in documentation of mental health services within a medical setting.

(I-6) Interns will learn to promote the integration of science and practice, related to the theories and 3 practice of assessment, intervention, and consultation. Interns are trained in empirically‐supported treatments (e.g., parent training groups, inpatient treatment protocols for school avoidance, eating disorders), behavioral medicine protocols (e.g., medical noncompliance, pain management, headache treatment, toilet training), and empirically‐supported assessment techniques. Interns are exposed to research in some of these areas by Children’s National faculty.

(II-1) Interns will be able to develop assessment batteries, treatment goals, and consultative relationships based on the clinical issues at hand, while also considering potential limitations imposed by managed care and other issues of third party or family payment for mental health services. Interns will appreciate the range of vehicles for service delivery (e.g., primary care versus specialty clinics), which allow access to a variety of populations with social, financial and other obstacles to mental health.

In summary, the program provides extensive training in the many roles and functions psychologists play in health care today. The intended result of this training is a broadly experienced child clinical/pediatric psychologist who can succeed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, universities or the broader community.

Former Interns:
    Initial positions of the 64 interns who have completed the program since 1997:

Post-Doctoral Fellowships
Return to University to Complete Dissertation
Research Position
Clinical Position  3
Teaching Position  2

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