Child Inpatient Psychiatry Externship
The Inpatient Psychiatry Externship is ideally suited for a trainee who enjoys working in a fast-paced, multidisciplinary team environment with youth with emotional and behavioral dysregulation. This externship opportunity involves providing therapeutic services to children and early adolescents (14 and under) while they are on a short-stay inpatient child psychiatric unit (CPU). The CPU is a 12-bed unit for children who have been deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Externs will also have an opportunity to work with patients on our Adolescent Psychiatric Unit (APU) who are 13 through 17. Patients generally have a history of self-injury, suicidal behavior, severe aggression, psychosis or difficulties with emotional and behavioral dysregulation. Externs will have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients with complex presentations. The average length of stay for patients is between 5-7 days.
The extern will collaborate with a dynamic multi-disciplinary team with psychiatry, medical trainees, child psychiatric specialists, child life, nursing, expressive therapy and social work. Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques are generally utilized to achieve stabilization and create safety plans. The extern will be directly supervised by the attending psychologist, Deborah Zlotnik, Ph.D., and postdoctoral fellow, and will also work closely with the attending psychiatrist.
The psychology externship with inpatient psychiatry offers the opportunity to engage in the following experiences:
- Carry a caseload of two patients. The extern will be responsible for conducting diagnostic interviews, short-term individual therapy, creating behavior plans, crisis management, safety planning and coordinating with our case management team. The extern will also have the experience of attending and participate in family meetings.
- The extern will attend patient rounds and have the opportunity to participate in the therapeutic milieu.
- The extern will lead or co-lead one to two groups teaching cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and social skills.
- The extern will have two hours of supervision.
- The extern will have an opportunity to learn DBT techniques.
This is a fast-paced externship requiring previous direct clinical experience with children and adolescents. Preference will be given to advanced doctoral students (third year or higher) with a strong knowledge of psychopathology and appropriate interventions. An ideal applicant will have familiarity with CBT and DBT skills.
One extern will be recruited for this externship.
Please email a letter of interest, curriculum vitae and at least two letters of recommendation to:
Deborah Zlotnik, Ph.D. | Email
Licensed Faculty Psychologist, Inpatient Psychiatry
Interested applicants should also complete this survey one time, regardless of how many externships you are applying for.
- Children’s National Hospital, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010
Sixteen hours per week from July to June, start date flexible. Specific days on-site to be coordinated with supervising psychologist.