Psychology Externship

Training & Rotations for External Students

Advanced Training for Pre-Doctoral Psychology Students

Our psychology externship program is geared for advanced pre-doctoral students in clinical/professional psychology. Each year, approximately 10 positions may be offered, dependent upon the availability of opportunities and the match of interests between supervisors and externs. Externs are assigned to one of the core clinical experiences or evaluation rotations. 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 pre-doctoral 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 10 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.


Training Overview

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.

Externship Rotations

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 availablity.  

Monday

 
Autism-Focused, Differential-Diagnostic Evaluations

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.


Supervisor:
 
Child and Adolescent Personality Evaluations

The Child and Adolescent Personality Evaluation rotation serves children ages 6 to 18 years. In addition to measures of intelligence, achievement, memory, learning and attention, this evaluation incorporates standardized and projective measures of child and adolescent personality. Examples of such measures include: Millon Pre-Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MPACI), Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI) , Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescents (MMPI-A) , Children’s Apperception Test (CAT) , Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), and Rorschach Inkblot Test.

Externs will learn the administration, scoring and interpretation of instruments, and develop the skill sets necessary to write integrative reports with a large focus on understanding the patient within attachment, family systems and personality conceptualization frameworks.


Supervisor:
 
Early Childhood Diagnostic Evaluations

This opportunity 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.


Supervisor:
 
Early Childhood Psychotherapy

Externs on this rotation provide evidence-based psychotherapy services to young children (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, and parent management training using a family-systems approach.

Externs see patients on Monday afternoons and receive live supervision via one-way mirror. There are two extern positions available on this rotation.


Supervisor:
 
Pediatric Pain Management Consultation and Treatment

Externs on this rotation will spend a full day working with psychologists who specialize in the management of pediatric pain. Externs on this rotation will work in the multidisciplinary pain program with Dr. Salamon, providing individual and family therapy to youth experiencing chronic pain as well as collaboration with other disciplines (e.g., social work, physical therapy, and rheumatology). In the afternoon, the extern will work with Dr. Vigilante in the Stress and Pain Skills (SIPS) Group, which is a weekly, 60-minute education and skills-based group serving youths ages 8 and up with chronic illness-related pain. Extern responsibilities include co-facilitating the group, administering and scoring assessment tools, and writing notes.


Supervisors:

Tuesday

 
Concussion Clinic I

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. This rotation typically occurs on Tuesday and Thursday. For a two-day placement, one day must either be Tuesday or Thursday (having Wednesday as the second day is possible).


Supervisor:
 
Early Childhood Diagnostic Evaluations and Group Treatment for Constipation and Encopresis

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.


Supervisor:
 
Primary Care Consultation and Treatment

The Primary Care externship focuses on providing brief therapeutic intervention and consultation with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners, medical residents, nurses and medical students, in a Nemours primary care office. 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.


Supervisor:

Wednesday

 
Neurodevelopmental Evaluations

Neurodevelopmental 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.


Supervisor:
 
Empirically Supported Evaluation and Treatment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders

This rotation includes participation in weekly psychological 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 with Dr. Harrison on Wednesday evenings and Dr. Cohen on 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.


Supervisors:
 
First State School Consultation and Treatment

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.


Supervisor:

Thursday

 
Neuropsychological Evaluations I

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 typically occurs on Thursday and Friday. One day must be Thursday or Friday; there may be some flexibility with the second day.


Supervisor:
 
Concussion Clinic II

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. This rotation typically occurs on Tuesday and Thursday. For a two-day placement, one day must either be Tuesday or Thursday (having Wednesday as the second day is possible).


Supervisor:
 
Pediatric Psychology Consultation and Treatment

This clinic provides individual and family-based psychotherapy for children and adolescents with a wide range of medical and behavioral health conditions such as encopresis, sleep problems, emotional/behavioral dysregulation, anxiety, adjustment to a chronic illness, and adherence to medication and lifestyle change.

The externs in this clinic will see four patients from 3-6 p.m. on Thursdays and will receive live supervision via one-way mirror. There are two extern positions available on this rotation.


Supervisor:

Friday

 
Neuropsychological Evaluations II

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 regard to neuroanatomy and development, and discussion of differential diagnoses. This rotation requires two days per week and typically occurs on Thursday and Friday. One day must be Thursday or Friday; there may be some flexibility with the second day.


Supervisor:
 
Behavior Consultation Clinic

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.


Supervisor:

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 multi-specialty, 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

Learn More About duPont Hospital for Children »


What's Coming in 2014

We’re building a healthier future for kids by expanding our hospital. Opening in 2014, our enhanced hospital will be like no other in the region — designed by and for families.

Learn About Our Expansion »

Contact Us

Meghan Lines, PhD

Director of Externship Training, Division of Behavioral Health
Nemours/ Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
P.O. Box 269
Wilmington, DE 19899
(302) 651-4500
meghan.lines@nemours.org

Email is the preferred method of contact.

Apply for Our Externship

Application Requirements
Deadline: Jan. 23, 2015
  • application form
  • curriculum vitae
  • two letters of recommendation
  • sample diagnostic evaluation report (with all identifying information removed) if applicable

Learn More About Applying »

Resources

More About This Externship