Psychology Externship

Training & Rotations for External Students

Advanced Training for Predoctoral Psychology Students

Our psychology externship program is geared for advanced predoctoral students in clinical, school and counseling psychology. This year, approximately 15 positions may be offered, dependent upon the availability of opportunities and the match of interests between supervisors and applicants. 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, school and counseling psychology. Within the Department of Pediatrics, the Division of Behavioral Health includes psychologists and psychiatrists. We have an APA-approved clinical psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship program. In Psychology, there are almost 30 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.


Training Overview

Our externship positions typically last 9 to 12 months, depending on the needs of the student and clinic. There is no stipend available for externship training. Externship rotations are organized by type of training experience (i.e., intervention, evaluation rotations). There is a section for additional training experiences that can be added on to any training experience so long as training experiences do not conflict with one another. 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 availability. If a rotation has flexibility for another day of the week, this will be noted in the description.  

Intervention Rotations

 
Autism Behavior Consultation Clinic

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.


Supervisor:
 
Behavior Consultation Clinic

The Behavior Consultation Clinic (BCC) is designed to provide evidence-based therapy in a fast-paced, "real world" setting for children ages birth to 5 years and their parents. Presenting problems include a wide range of behavioral and developmental concerns that commonly present in early childhood, such as behavior, sleep problems, toileting concerns, picky eating, separation anxiety, specific phobias and selective mutism.

Appointments are 45 minutes long and live supervision is provided via a one-way mirror. Externs frequently coordinate care with medical providers and child care providers. There are opportunities to participate in resident teaching. There are two positions available for this rotation.


Supervisor:
 
Early Childhood Psychotherapy

Externs on this rotation provide evidence-based psychotherapy services to young children (typically aged 2–6 y.o.) 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.


Supervisor:
 
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:
 
Pediatric Pain Management Consultation and Treatment

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.

Date of rotation will be determined once extern is matched, will likely be Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.


Supervisor:
 
Solid Organ Transplant & Behavioral and Developmental Access Clinic (BDAC)

This externship provides both pediatric and developmental experiences.

Solid Organ Transplant: Externs will participate in liver or kidney solid organ transplant rounds, observe inpatient consultations/liaisons (both general and transplant related) and participate in co-therapy to patients in dialysis.

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, feedback and brief assessment screening visits while learning how to conceptualize complex diagnostic presentations and identify appropriate interventions.

Dates for these placements will be Mondays and/or Wednesdays.


Supervisor:

Maia Noeder, PhD

Integrated Primary Care

This year we have several training opportunities offering experience in integrated primary care settings:

 
Integrated Primary Care Consultation and Treatment - Dover

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 in Dover, Del. The Dover office is located in central Delaware and will provide trainees an opportunity to serve patients from military families, rural and underserved populations. One full day is spent in clinic, focusing primarily on short-term, goal-oriented interventions. These interventions are implemented to address a wide array of presenting concerns including behavioral disorders, ADHD, learning disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, adherence and coping concerns associated with diabetes and obesity, elimination disorders, developmental delays, as well as many concerns of early childhood including eating and sleeping difficulties. The experience also involves utilization of brief screening measures (e.g., Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence - II, Wide Range Intelligence Test, Wide Range Achievement Test-4, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2) as needed for diagnostic clarity and to inform educational interventions. There may also be opportunities to participate in behavioral health community collaboration projects, and presenting psychology lectures to office staff. This rotation will take place on either Monday. If more suitable to the potential extern, this rotation could take place at the Milford location on Wednesday and Thursday.


Supervisor:
 
Integrated Primary Care Consultation and Treatment - Foulk Road.

This externship focuses on implementing brief therapeutic interventions, assessment and consultation services with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners and other care providers in the Nemours duPont Pediatrics primary care office at Foulk Road in North Wilmington. One full day is spent in clinic, focusing primarily on short-term, goal-oriented interventions. The patient population is sociodemographically diverse and 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 extern will gain experience utilizing brief screening measures (e.g., Wide Range Intelligence Test, Wide Range Achievement Test-4, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2, Continuous Performance Test) as needed to clarify diagnosis and inform therapeutic and educational interventions. This rotation will take place on a Monday. Externs will also have the opportunity to shadow medical providers, facilitate group treatments and present psychology lectures to medical colleagues. Research opportunities are available for interested students.


Supervisor:
 
Integrated Primary Care Consultation and Treatment - Jessup Street

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.


Supervisor:
 
Integrated Primary Care Consultation and Treatment - Middletown

This externship focuses on implementing brief therapeutic interventions and providing assessment and consultation services with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners and other care providers in the Nemours duPont Pediatrics primary care office at Middletown. One full day is spent in clinic, focusing primarily on delivering short-term, goal-oriented interventions. The patient population includes a wide variety of diagnoses such as 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 extern will gain experience utilizing brief screening measures (e.g., Wide Range Intelligence Test, Wide Range Achievement Test-4, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2, Continuous Performance Test) as needed to clarify diagnosis and inform educational and therapeutic interventions. Externs will also have the opportunity to shadow medical providers, facilitate group treatments and present psychology lectures to medical colleagues. Research opportunities are available for interested students. This rotation could take place at the Middletown location on Thursday or Friday.


Supervisor:
 
Primary Care Consultation, Prevention and Treatment - Saint Francis

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 St. Francis in Wilmington. One full day is spent in clinic, focusing primarily on short-term, goal-oriented interventions, with emphasis on integrated, preventative well-visits for children birth through age 8. The clinic serves a diverse group of families, with a high percentage of families from Hispanic backgrounds and families who speak predominately Spanish. As such, externs will have an opportunity to develop skills providing bilingual services if applicable. 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., Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-2, Wide Range Achievement Test-4 and 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 Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday. If more suitable to the potential extern, this rotation could be combined with the Jessup St. rotation on Thursdays with Dr. Walls.


Supervisor:
 
Primary Care Consultation, Prevention and Treatment - Jessup Street

This externship focuses on providing two opportunities within one clinic day: 1) brief therapeutic intervention and consultation with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners, medical residents, nurses and medical students and 2) the opportunity to shadow a licensed psychologist and participate in integrated well visits in the primary care setting. This opportunity includes one full day spent in clinic at Nemours duPont Pediatrics, Jessup Street primary care office in the city of Wilmington. 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 first half of the day will focus on primarily on short-term, goal-oriented interventions as well as utilizing brief screening measures (e.g., Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, Wide Range Achievement Test-4, Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing-2) as needed to clarify diagnosis and inform educational interventions. The afternoon will be spent shadowing the licensed psychologist during patient well visits with a deeper focus on integrated care. Integrated well visits are provided to patient families with children 0-8 years old and focus on development, parent/child dyad relationships, attachment, and common early childhood concerns such as sleep and behavior. These visits are performed in conjunction with the medical team and are brief and focused in nature. There may also be opportunities to participate in resident/medical student teaching within the clinic.


Supervisor:
 
Testing and Primary Care Consultation/Treatment - Concordville, Pa.

This externship provides opportunities for a combination of primary care consultation/intervention and psychological testing at the Nemours duPont Pediatrics primary care office in Concordville, Pa. Opportunities for gaining experience in primary care focus on providing brief therapeutic intervention, assessment and consultation with professionals, including pediatricians, nurse practitioners and other care providers. Externs will gain experience with a wide variety of presenting concerns including behavioral disorders, ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, elimination disorders and developmental delays, as well as many concerns of early childhood including eating and sleeping difficulties. The testing component of this placement would give externs the chance to gain experience evaluating young children through adolescents presenting with a range of questions regarding school readiness, qualification for standardized testing accommodations, and learning disorders. Test batteries would include cognitive and academic measures as well as measures of memory and attention, phonetic processing and visual-motor functioning. The schedule for this placement will be determined in the coming months.


Supervisor:

Evaluation/Testing Rotations

 
Early Childhood Diagnostic Testing

This externship is focused on Early Childhood Psychological Testing. 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-IV, WISC-5, 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, consultation with teachers and daycare providers, report writing and providing feedback to parents.


Supervisor:
 
Empirically Supported Evaluation and Treatment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders

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.


Supervisor:
 
Neuropsychological Evaluations

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 will assist with test administration, scoring and report-writing, as well as observing feedback sessions with families.

One-on-one weekly supervision will 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.


Supervisors:
 
Psychological and Neurological Testing

Psychological/Neuropsychological Testing with Dr. Glidden: Assessment of neurocognitive processes and neurodevelopmental functioning to assist in understanding the relationship between brain physiology and behavior. Common psychiatric presentations and social-emotional concerns will be covered. 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.

Neurodevelopmental testing with Dr. Chopko: Evaluations will assess developmental/intellectual functioning as well as adaptive behavior and social/behavioral concerns. Age range will vary and evaluations would likely focus on assessment of developmental disabilities, for example Autism Spectrum Disorders, Intellectual Disability, 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 will have half year experience with each supervisor. Alternative testing days may be entertained at the discretion of the supervisors.


Supervisors:

Additional Training Experiences

Externs on other rotations who are interested in receiving additional intervention experience may elect to participate in the experiences listed below as long as it does not conflict with an existing rotation.

 
Soiling, Toileting and Retention Treatment (START) Group

The Soiling, Toileting and Retention Treatment (START) Group is a group treatment program offered through to address the needs of families with children with chronic constipation and encopresis. 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. We support each child and family to develop strategies that meet their needs and devote time to problem-solving.

The extern will be responsible for co-leading the child group. The group is 5 sessions and we run 2–3 cohorts per year on Tuesdays from 5–6. Opportunities to become involved in additional clinical and/or research are also available based upon interest and availability. For example, the extern may also participate in multidisciplinary rounds, new patient consultations to determine appropriateness for group, and program evaluation of START group.


Supervisor:
 
Empirically Supported Treatment of Disruptive Behavior Disorders

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.

Externs can 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. Group is held on Wednesday and/or Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m.

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.


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 Nemours/Alfred I. 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

Learn More About duPont Hospital for Children »

Contact Us

Kathryn Hoffses, PhD

Director of Externship Training, Division of Behavioral Health
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 651-4500
kathryn.hoffses@nemours.org
Email is the preferred method of contact.

Apply for Our Externship

Application Requirements
Deadline: January 17, 2017
  • externship application form
  • curriculum vitae
  • two letters of recommendation
  • sample diagnostic evaluation report (with all identifying information removed)

Please see additional information for our externship program:

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More About This Externship