Predoctoral Internship Training in Clinical Psychology

About Our Program

The Psychology Internship Program within the Division of Behavioral Health at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children provides training at the predoctoral level for students who wish to pursue careers in clinical practice and applied research related to the health care profession.

The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is the only children’s hospital in Delaware and draws from three additional states (Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey). As a teaching facility, the hospital is affiliated with Thomas Jefferson University where all faculty hold academic appointments. In addition to psychology interns, medical students, residents, and fellows specializing in various fields of pediatrics — as well as nursing and allied health students — receive training at the hospital.

Psychology interns are not only valued within the Division of Behavioral Health, but by all medical disciplines. We share a close and mutually supportive relationship with psychiatry and pediatrics. We take pride in both the breadth and depth of training and feel we have much to offer doctoral candidates interested in both traditional child clinical psychology and pediatric psychology.

Seven interns comprise our 2013-2014 class. There are post-doctoral fellows and externs training with us as well. While we are known as a “hard working” training site, we are also known for the warm and friendly relationships between our trainees and faculty. Formal supervision is abundant and faculty have an open door policy for informal consultation.

The Division of Behavioral Health reports administratively to the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. All psychology faculty in the division are employees of the hospital and are involved in supervising interns. There are currently 16 full and part-time doctoral-level licensed psychologists and six post-doctoral fellows on staff.

The division’s psychologists have provided training for many years and training is central to their professional identities. Training also represents an integral facet of the Department of Pediatrics and the mission of the hospital. Academic affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University fosters training activities hospital-wide through a well-established residency program. Training faculty hold academic appointments through Jefferson Medical College. Psychology intern graduates are currently working in children’s hospitals, medical schools, and outpatient clinics nationwide.

 
Training Model

The professional practice of psychology as a health care profession in a children’s hospital setting is the primary focus of our internship. The internship’s educational philosophy and training model is broadly based on the Scientist-Practitioner Model for the Professional Practice of Psychology as described by Belar and Perry (1992). The program also ascribes to the recommendations for training of pediatric psychologists proposed by Spirito and colleagues (2003). 

As a Behavioral Health Division in a children’s hospital, we strive to provide broad-based training in clinical child and pediatric psychology. Interns are referred to as "psychology residents" by the medical staff and are well-respected for their expertise. The initial focus is on the development of working relationships with families and other professional staff and the development of communication and interviewing skills and consultation. The goal is for interns to formulate case conceptualizations and to link these formulations to empirically supported intervention strategies within a pediatric psychology setting.

Ethical, legal, professional, and diversity issues are addressed as they apply to consultation, assessment, and intervention. Interns are exposed to a broad spectrum of patient populations, and gain extensive experience in case/problem formulation, prevention/intervention, evaluation/diagnosis, and consultation. Evidence-based clinical practice forms a cornerstone of our training program. 

Opportunities exist for gaining experiences with children and adolescents presenting with diabetes, asthma, cancer, transplant difficulties, gastrointestinal issues, elimination disorders, headaches and pain disorders, seizure disorders, cardiac complications, cerebral palsy, weight management concerns, autism spectrum disorder, feeding and eating disorders, and other psychiatric issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, somatoform disorder, and many other adjustment and family difficulties. 

Supervision is a strength of our program. We strive to make supervision interactive and dynamic in that interns and faculty actively exchange ideas as they integrate research and practice. Critical thinking and hypothesis formulation and testing are essential ingredients of the supervision experience. In supervision, trainees examine individual patient characteristics, family issues, and begin to develop a multicultural perspective to assessment and intervention. There is a focus on the integration of scientific methods and clinical practice so that interns can research medical and psychological issues prior to beginning supervision, a consultation, or a psychological evaluation. Interns formulate empirically supported case conceptualizations and link these conceptualizations to treatment plans. While we anticipate that interns arrive with a solid foundation of these skills, typically there are considerable differences across competencies, between interns. We place particular focus on meeting each intern at their developmental level to allow each trainee to develop a confident solid foundation for the systematic application of scientific knowledge to practice. 

All interns have completed their dissertation proposals. If not completed prior to internship, trainees are supported to actively complete their dissertations during their internship. We have supported all of our trainees to attend the national Child Health Psychology Conference for the last two meetings. The program provides several didactic seminars (Assessment, Therapy, and Pediatric Psychology) aimed at establishing a consistent foundation of evaluation, consultation, and intervention knowledge.

Supervision

Supervision is one of the biggest strengths of this program. Past interns and the recent APA site visitors comment on the high quality of supervision provided as well as the "open door policy" leading to easy access of supervisors. Interns receive supervised experience through exposure to a variety of clinical activities.

The primary training model is experiential as interns are expected to provide direct service to children and families. Interns have an independent caseload, but also sometimes accompany staff members during assessment, intervention, and consultation cases, thus having the opportunity for direct observation/modeling.

In addition to observational/vicarious learning, training also is augmented through behind the mirror observation of colleagues, group supervision via videotapes, didactic exposure via seminars, continuous mentoring, and supervisory and consultative guidance.

Training rotations and supervision are designed in order to permit exposure to the entire range of clinical, consultation, and research activities represented by the clinical staff. Supervision is developmentally based in that it is geared to the clinical and personal developmental levels of the individual intern. As the year progresses and the intern becomes more independent, interns and supervisors discuss fading in-room supervision to a more consultative relationship.

A minimum of four hours, including two hours of one-on-one supervision, is regularly scheduled each week. However, interns typically receive far more individual supervision because the faculty has an "open door" policy, which means that they are available on an as-needed basis. Additional one-on-one supervision is provided when inpatient consultations are received, when additional review of assessment cases is needed, and for crisis intervention.

Supervisors are frequently in the room for at least 50% of the time during evaluation procedures. Interns receive four hours/week of behind the mirror supervision for the Behavioral Consultation Clinic. In addition, interns participate in biweekly assessment (one-hour) and therapy (one-hour) group supervision seminars. Thus, supervision is intense and comprehensive, far surpassing the requirement of four hours per week. 

One last note, because we are a Division of Behavioral Health, we also have three psychiatrists who also give generously of their time to share perspectives on case management. It has been our experience that our interns learn a considerable amount about psycho-pharmacology during their training year.


The Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children is adding a five-story expansion to enhance our quality of care for our patients and 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

Rochelle Glidden, PsyD

Director of Clinical Training
(302) 651-4525
rochelle.glidden@nemours.org


Accredited by:
American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation

750 First Street NE,
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 336-5979
www.apa.org/ed/accreditation