The newly expanded Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, designed by patients, families and caregivers, is an environment that promotes children’s physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
Advanced Training for Predoctoral Psychology Students
Our psychology externship program is geared for advanced predoctoral students in clinical/professional psychology. Each year, approximately 10-12 positions may be offered, dependent upon the availability of opportunities and the match of interests between supervisors and externs. In the Division of Behavioral Health, we serve infants, children and adolescents who are hospital inpatients and outpatients, referred from other ambulatory services of the hospital or from the community.
Training & Rotations for Externs
The Division of Behavioral Health at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children offers a psychology externship for advanced predoctoral students in clinical/professional psychology. Within the Department of Pediatrics, the Division of Behavioral Health includes psychologists and psychiatrists. We have an APA-approved clinical psychology internship. In Psychology, there are currently 20 full and part-time doctoral-level licensed psychologists, eight psychology residents (interns), eight postdoctoral fellows and up to 12 extern students. We serve infants, children and adolescents in need of psychological evaluation and treatment.
The patient population includes hospital inpatients and outpatients referred from other ambulatory services of the hospital, or from the community.
Our externship positions typically last 9- to 12-months, depending on the needs of the student and clinic needs. There is no stipend available for practicum training. There is one position per rotation unless otherwise indicated. Externship rotations are one day per week unless otherwise indicated. Students seeking a two-day placement can apply for multiple rotations.
In addition to clinical experiences, externs will also be welcome to participate in other educational activities available through the hospital, including grand rounds.
Our externship program provides a rich variety of clinical intervention and evaluation experiences, in a range of settings, under supervision by our faculty. Rotations are organized by day of the week in order to help prospective externs select opportunities based upon their availability. If a rotation has flexibility for another day of the week, this will be noted in the description.
This externship focuses on providing brief therapeutic intervention, assessment and consultation with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners and other care providers in the Nemours duPont Pediatrics primary care office at Foulk Rd in North Wilmington. One full day is spent in clinic, focusing primarily on short-term, goal-oriented interventions. The patient population includes a wide variety of diagnoses including behavioral disorders, ADHD, learning disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, elimination disorders, developmental delays, as well as many concerns of early childhood including eating and sleeping difficulties. The experience also includes utilizing brief screening measures (e.g., Wide Range Intelligence Test, Wide Range Achievement Test-4, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2) as needed to clarify diagnosis and inform educational interventions. There may also be opportunities to participate in group treatments and presenting psychology lectures to office staff. This rotation can take place on either Monday or Tuesday. If more suitable to the potential extern, this rotation could take place at the Middletown location on Thursday or Friday.
This evaluation experience considers the complex diagnostic questions that arise when evaluating for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children aged 4 to 18 present with the question of ASD, but other diagnostic considerations such as anxiety/mood disorders, ADHD/behavior disorders, language disorders, cognitive/adaptive functioning, and psychotic disorders are explored as well.
The extern will gain exposure to comprehensive diagnostic interviews, ASD-specific measures (e.g., ADOS-2, CARS2), and standardized measures of cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social functioning.
Responsibilities will include conducting parent and child interviews, administration of assessment measures, report-writing and participation in parent feedback sessions. A strong emphasis will be placed on conceptualization considering differential diagnostic questions and a family systems approach.
This externship includes Early Childhood Psychological Testing with Dr. Sherman (2 evaluations per month) and Neurodevelopmental Testing with Dr. Chopko (2 evaluations per month). Early Childhood Testing provides a range of experiences with families with young children, generally 2 years through 7 years of age. Developmental, behavioral, emotional and social concerns are addressed diagnostically using a wide variety of assessment measures including the Bayley III, WPPSI-III, DAS-II, Stanford Binet-5 and a variety of adaptive behavior and social-emotional measures.
Extern responsibilities include participation in parent interview and child play, administration of standardized assessment measures, report writing and providing feedback to parents.
Neurodevelopmental testing evaluations with Dr. Chopko will assess developmental/intellectual functioning as well as adaptive behavior and social/behavioral concerns. Age range will vary and evaluations will likely focus on assessment of children with developmental disabilities, for example Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disability, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, chronic and severe medical conditions, etc. Externs will gain exposure to a variety of different assessment measures. Responsibilities will include participation in and administration of interview/assessment, scoring, writing of report and parent feedback session.
Externs on this rotation provide evidence-based psychotherapy services to young children (typically aged 2-6) and their families. Common reasons for referral include disruptive behaviors, anxiety, parent-child conflict, attention concerns and emotion regulation difficulties. Treatments provided may include Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety, parent management training using a family-systems approach and behavioral sleep/toileting interventions.
Externs see patients on Monday afternoons and receive live supervision via one-way mirror.
The Behavioral and Developmental Access Clinic (BDAC) provides experiences with a broad range of complex early childhood concerns including medical, behavioral, social, emotional, attentional and developmental challenges in children under the age of 7. Externs will be able to participate in consultation, follow-up, brief assessment screening, and feedback visits while learning how to conceptualize complex diagnostic presentations and identify appropriate interventions. This position takes place on either Tuesday or Thursday mornings, with an opportunity to do both days if interested and available to do so.
This rotation involves participation in the Concussion Clinic, a multidisciplinary outpatient clinic for evaluation of the cognitive and behavioral disruption from concussion. Population age is from 2-18, with a mix of etiologies including sports, falls, motor vehicle accidents, bike accidents and the like. Computerized neurocognitive testing is used primarily for the middle school population and older, with paper and pecil batteries and questionnaires for younger patients. The testing provides a monitoring tool in recovery process and contributes to managing return to activity, most notably school and sports.
Externs are involved in testing, providing feedback to families and devising return plans under supervision. An extern who can commit to a two-day placement is preferred, but applications for one day will be considered. Group therapy with adolescents in the Rehabiltiation program (survivors of catastrophic illness or injury) will also occur. The extern will assist the Postdoctoral Fellow in running an hour long group that is held three times a week, that is psychoeducational and diagnostic in nature.
This rotation requires two days and typically occurs on Tuesday and Thursday. Wednesday as the second day is possible.
This opportunity provides a range of experiences with families with young children, ages 2 years through 8 years of age. Externs will participate in Early Childhood Diagnostic Evaluations with Dr. Sherman, in which developmental, behavioral, emotional and social concerns for children ages 2-7 are addressed diagnostically using a wide variety of assessment measures including the Bayley III, WPPSI-III, DAS-II, Stanford Binet-5 and a variety of adaptive behavior and social-emotional measures. Responsibilities include participation in parent interview and child play, administration of standardized assessment measures, report writing and providing feedback to parents.
In the afternoon, externs on this rotation will participate in the Soiling, Toileting and Retraining Treatment (START) Group with Dr. Hughes-Reid. START is a group treatment program designed to address the needs of families with children with chronic constipation and encopresis ages 5-8. This program uses evidence-based interventions that include teaching specific behavioral skills along with review of medical and nutritional factors related to encopresis. The group offers an engaging platform for goal setting and discussion in a family-based group setting with caregiver and child components. The extern will co-facilitate the child group with the psychology resident. There may also be opportunities to assist the psychologist with conducting consultations for patients referred to the group.
This externship focuses on providing brief therapeutic intervention and consultation with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners, medical residents, nurses and medical students, in the Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Jessup Street primary care office, located in the city of Wilmington. One full day is spent in clinic, focusing primarily on short-term, goal-oriented interventions. The patient population includes a wide variety of diagnoses including behavioral disorders, ADHD, learning disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, elimination disorders, as well as many concerns of early childhood including eating and sleeping difficulties. The experience also includes utilizing brief screening measures (e.g., Wide Range Intelligence Test, Wide Range Achievement Test-4, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2) as needed to clarify diagnosis and inform educational interventions. There may also be opportunities to participate in resident/medical student teaching.
The Autism Behavior Consultation Clinic (ABC) is designed to provide brief, targeted behavioral services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other developmental disorders and their caregivers. Intervention focuses on empirically-based approaches to behavior management and addresses a wide range of behavioral and developmental concerns, including aggression, tantrums, compliance, self-help skills and toileting concerns. Appointments are 45 minutes and therapy focuses on evidence-based, short-term, goal-oriented techniques.
Externs see patients on Wednesday afternoons and receive live supervision via one-way mirror.
Externs on this rotation will spend a full day working within pediatric pain management in the multidisciplinary pain program providing individual and family therapy to youth experiencing chronic pain as well as collaboration with other disciplines (e.g., physical therapy, rheumatology, etc.). In the afternoon, the extern will co-lead the Stress and Pain Skills (SiPS) Group, which is a weekly, 60-minute education and skills-based group serving youth ages 13 and up with chronic pain. Extern responsibilities include conducting intake evaluations and individual therapy, co-facilitating the group and writing notes.
This rotation includes participation in weekly psychological testing evaluations of children presenting with behavioral, attentional and/or learning concerns with Dr. Harrison. Tests used include widely used measures of cognitive ability, memory functioning, academic ability, phonological processing and attention ability, as well as standardized behavior checklists. Externs are responsible for administering and scoring tests and writing comprehensive evaluation reports.
Additionally, externs will assist in the Parent Child Conduct Clinic on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, which includes concurrent child and parent group treatment. Responsibilities include gathering baseline data, participating as a co-therapist for child or parent groups and assessing outcome data.
Evaluations are conducted in the morning on Wednesday, scoring and writing occur in the early afternoon, and groups are at the end of the day (5-7 p.m.). Participation in Thursday group from 5-7 p.m. is also required. Individual and group supervision is provided.
There are multiple opportunities for participation in the Parent Child Conduct Clinic group program. Externs on other rotations who are interested in receiving additional intervention experience may elect to also participate in the Wednesday and/or Thursday evening group, as long as it does not conflict with an existing rotation.
This position offers the opportunity to provide therapy (individual, family and group), consultation (classroom teachers, nursing staff), and brief assessment services in a school-based setting for children with a variety of chronic illness conditions. The First State School at Wilmington Hospital (Christiana Care Health System) is one of the first and only hospital-based schools in the United States dedicated to providing integrated specialized medical and therapeutic care (e.g., nursing as well as psychological, psychiatric, occupational, physical and speech therapies) with traditional classroom schooling. Physicians may refer kindergarten age to high school age patients to the First State School because of medical necessity. Typical diagnoses of children attending the First State School include diabetes, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, HIV, kidney and liver disease, asthma, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders. Therapy is predominantly targeted towards medical adherence, adjustment to illness, coping with stressors and enhancing school academic and social functioning.
There will be opportunities for the extern to consult with the child’s medical team (hospital and school-based), classroom teachers and educational diagnostician (e.g., behavior plans; accommodation plans) and consulting psychiatrist.
Psychological/Neuropsychological testing evaluations may include assessment of intellectual functioning, academic achievement, attentional and executive functioning, and personality and behavioral variables that contribute to school, family, social and developmental difficulties. Assessment of neurodevelopmental functioning to assist in understanding the relationship between brain physiology and behavior is also offered. Participation is expected in testing and interviewing, as well as in providing feedback to families and other involved parties like outside professionals and schools. Case conceptualization, dissemination of findings and report writing will all be addressed. This rotation may take place on Friday instead of Thursday if that is desirable for the potential extern.
This rotation involves completion of neuropsychological testing with children and adolescents presenting with neurocognitive or neurobehavioral difficulties associated with medical, neurodevelopmental or genetic disorders. Test batteries typically include measures of intellectual functioning, attention, memory, language, executive functioning and psychosocial functioning. Externs would assist with test administration and scoring, report-writing and provision feedback to families.
One-on-one weekly supervision would cover test administration issues, case conceptualization with regards to neuroanatomy and development, and discussion of differential diagnoses. This rotation requires two days per week and one day must be Thursday; there can be some flexibility with the second day.
The Behavior Consultation Clinic (BCC) is designed to provide brief, targeted therapy services for children ages birth to 5 years and their parents for a wide range of behavioral and developmental concerns such as parent-child conflict, daycare problems, sleep problems, toileting concerns and sibling rivalry.
Appointments are 45 minutes and therapy focuses on evidence-based, short-term, goal-oriented techniques. There may also be opportunities to participate in resident/medical student teaching. Supervision is conducted via a one-way mirror. There are two positions available for this rotation.
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is like no other in the region — designed by families, for families.
About Our Hospital in Delaware
The duPont Hospital for Children is a multispecialty, tertiary care teaching institution located on a 300-acre estate in the scenic Brandywine Valley in Wilmington, Del.
As a program participant, you’ll have access to advanced computer systems for patient care activities, electronic mail, word processing, internet access and library research functions. Among the hospital’s amenities for all staff are:
- free parking
- park-like setting
- gym/fitness center
- on-site child care center for children of staff
- massage therapy
Meghan Lines, PhD
Director of Externship Training, Division of Behavioral Health
Email is the preferred method of contact.
Apply for Our Externship
Deadline: Jan. 15, 2016
- application form
- curriculum vitae
- two letters of recommendation
- sample diagnostic evaluation report (with all identifying information removed)