Training Components & Tracks

Predoctoral Internship Training in Clinical Psychology

Training Objectives and Goals

The Psychology Internship in Health Service Psychology provides training to prepare students for professional practice as psychologists in health service settings. We employ a competency-based approach to education and training that focuses on biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of health and behavior.

Our program aims to develop competencies across the following areas:

  1. Intervention 
  2. Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
  3. Assessment
  4. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  5. Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  6. Individual and Cultural Diversity
  7. Ethical and Legal Standards
  8. Research
  9. Supervision 

Training faculty meet on a monthly basis to review each intern’s performance and progress, identify goals for ongoing development, and, if necessary, create an individualized modified training plan to address areas of training need. Interns are provided with ongoing formative feedback via monthly written feedback, which is discussed with a primary supervisor, as well as summative feedback three times a year with the Training Director. In addition, interns receive feedback informally throughout the year. Mid-year and end-of-year reports are forwarded to interns’ graduate school Directors of Clinical Training. 

Each intern’s training is sequential and cumulative, with an increase in complex training experiences as the year progresses. We place particular focus on meeting each intern at his/her own developmental level to allow each trainee to develop a confident, solid foundation for the systematic application of scientific knowledge to practice. Interns begin the year by shadowing clinics and observing faculty members in clinical practice, prior to gradually taking on more responsibility.

Training Components & Tracks

For the 2018-19 training year, 10 internship positions are available across two tracks to meet the training goals of interns interested in clinical child and pediatric psychology.  

The Integrated Behavioral Health Track provides interns with intervention, assessment and consultation training in both community-based, integrated pediatric primary care settings and hospital-based settings.  Interns gain experience in the integration of evidence-based, clinical child psychology services within primary care and other clinics that comprise the medical home.
Number of Intern Positions: 4

The Pediatric Psychology Track provides interns with intervention, assessment, and consultation training in hospital-based, medical inpatient and outpatient settings, with a focus on children/adolescents and families experiencing medical illness and associated psychosocial challenges.  
Number of Intern Positions:  6

Although these tracks offer different major emphases, interns in both tracks participate in a number of common training experiences. View track specific and common rotations.

 
Experiences Common to Both Tracks
  • Psychological Testing experiences, which include assessment of intellectual functioning and current academic levels; attentional functioning; personality and behavior that contribute to school, family, social, and developmental difficulties; neuropsychological functioning to assist in understanding the relationship between brain physiology and behavior; and/or early childhood (birth to five) development.
  • Intervention experiences, which include rotations in behavioral therapy and consultation (early childhood or autism-focused behavior therapy/consultation), general outpatient child/pediatric psychotherapy, and group therapy for disruptive behaviors and ADHD and/or internalizing disorders.  There are also opportunities to observe/participate in groups for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, pain conditions, and constipation/encopresis.
  • Specialty Clinic rotation (outlined in detail at a later point)
  • Opportunities to provide psychological services in Spanish (outlined in detail at a later point)
 
Experiences Specific to the Pediatric Psychology Track
  • Major rotation in inpatient consultation/liaison psychology (12 months).
  • Major rotation in inpatient BMT/Oncology and general inpatient intervention (12 months).
  • Minor rotation in outpatient consultation through the Family-Centered Consultation Clinic program (1/2 day for 6 months).  
  • Minor rotation in integrated pediatric primary care psychology in one primary care satellite clinic (1/2 day for 6 months).  
 
Experiences Specific to the Integrated Behavioral Health Track
  • Major rotation in pediatric primary care psychology across at least two primary care satellite clinics (2 days per week for 12 months). 
  • Minor rotation in telehealth (1/2 day per week for 12 months).

Rotation Schedule

A Sample Year at a Glance

Integrated Behavioral Health Track:

  • 12-month Primary Care Experience
  • 12-month Clinical Child Psychology Outpatient Therapy Experience
  • 12-month Telehealth Intervention Experience
  • Diagnostic Evaluation Rotations
  • 6-month Behavior Consultation Clinic Experience
  • 12-month Specialty Experience: Adolescent Health, Cardiology, Diabetes, GI, Neurology, Pain Management, Sleep, Sickle Cell, Transition to Adult Care and Weight Management
  • Group Therapy Experience

Pediatric Psychology Track:

  • 12-month Inpatient Consultation-Liaison Experience
  • 12-month Pediatric Psychology Outpatient Therapy Experience
  • Diagnostic Evaluation Rotations
  • 6-month Behavior Consultation Clinic Experience
  • Minor Primary Care Experience
  • Minor Family Centered Consultation Clinic Experience
  • 12-month Specialty Experience: Cardiology, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, Feeding, GI or Sickle Cell Disease
  • Parent/Child Disruptive Behaviors Group

Evaluation Experiences

Psychology interns on both tracks rotate through diagnostic evaluation experiences with different faculty supervisors.

Evaluation experiences emphasize the need to go beyond accurate diagnosis and provide timely, relevant recommendations tailored to each unique patient to enhance their quality of life. Examples of evaluations include the following:

 
Clinical Child and ADHD

Clinical Child and ADHD: Includes the assessment of multiple domains of functioning of children and adolescents presenting with a broad range of attentional, developmental, medical, behavioral and emotional concerns. Diagnoses to be considered often include ADHD, anxiety disorders, depressive or mood disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, intellectual disability and language disorders. Emphasis is placed on providing multidisciplinary recommendations to address individual patient needs in the home and school settings.

 
Neurodevelopmental/Neuropsychological Testing

Includes neuropsychological assessment and consultation of children/adolescents with known or suspected CNS compromise such as cancer, sickle cell disease, genetic syndromes, seizures, head injury, CP, cerebral vascular malformations and infectious processes. Interns work with school systems and other professionals so that recommendations can be feasible to implement for each particular patient. This experience typically does not provide sufficient neuropsychological assessment experience for interns who wish to apply to postdoctoral fellowships in clinical neuropsychology.

 
Autism Spectrum Disorder Testing

Includes testing for diagnostic determination of autism spectrum disorder and its common comorbidities. “Gold standard” assessment tools are utilized, such as the ADOS-2, ADI-R, ASRS, SRS-2 and other related diagnostic measures.

 
Early Childhood Testing

Includes evaluations focusing on children, ages infant to five years. Families present with a variety of concerns that may focus on development (social, cognitive, self-help) and/or behavioral issues (feeding disorders, disruptive behavior, anxiety). 

Evaluations may include formal testing, but also emphasize behavioral observations, developmental play and consultation with daycare/preschool caregivers. Frequently, evaluations involve coordinating care with other disciplines (e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language, developmental medicine) to ensure a comprehensive evaluation including an individualized treatment plan, ready to implement across settings.

 
Thought/Mood/Personality Testing

Includes testing for diagnostic clarity of complex presentations, with a focus on assessing domains such as thinking, mood, behavior and personality dynamics. Both objective and projective measures are typically administered, such as the MACI, Million, Rorschach (Exner Scoring), MMPI-A and Roberts Apperception Test, which are administered and interpreted in the context of a comprehensive battery of other measures of intellectual, memory, executive, attentional and social-emotional-behavioral functioning.  

Intervention Rotation Experiences

 
Outpatient Pediatric/Child Therapy Clinic

Interns on both tracks participate in the outpatient therapy program for the entire training year. All faculty members supervise this experience. Individual, family and group therapies are provided for a broad range of psychological problems. Intervention opportunities are available for both pediatric psychology and traditional child clinical experiences.

Many of the pediatric psychology cases are follow-up appointments resulting from consultation/liaison activities. Examples include medical adherence difficulties (e.g., diabetes), pain management (e.g., headache, recurrent abdominal pain), weight management, adjustment to transplant, encopresis and enuresis.

Interns also gain exposure to ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder, family adjustment issues including divorce and sibling issues, as well as early childhood issues such as child behavior management, parent-child interaction, pediatric feeding disorders and growth deficiency.

If an intern has a special area of interest, cases may be selected to help foster further growth in that area. Interns participate in individual and family based treatment modalities.

 
Behavior Consultation Clinics

Interns on both tracks will rotate through one of our Behavior Consultation Clinics. All of our clinics provide live supervision during the entire clinic via a one-way mirror or video feed. Interns routinely consult with pediatrician, teachers and child care providers in order to implement recommendations. Interns also have teaching opportunities as medical residents frequently observe behind the mirror. Our original Behavior Consultation Clinic (BCC) on Friday morning was designed to provide short term services for parents and children ages birth to 6 years for a wide range of behavioral and developmental concerns such as parent-child conflict, sleep problems, toileting concerns, daycare difficulties, noncompliance and sibling rivalry. Appointments are 45 minutes in length.

Our 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.

The Early Childhood Clinic (ECC) provides evidence-based psychotherapy services to young children (typically aged 2 to 6 years) 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.

 
Group Psychotherapy (Both Tracks)

Interns gain experience in group therapy at several points throughout the year. Opportunities include co-leading hospital-based or primary care-based parent groups to address common disruptive behaviors associated with ADHD, such as noncompliance and aggression. Other group opportunities may include group treatment for internalizing conditions.

 
Telehealth (IBH Track)

In an effort to improve access to quality psychological services for patients, IBH interns will provide evidence-based intervention services via video communication technology to primary care patients and families in southern Delaware who would otherwise be unable to receive services at the hospital. Telehealth represents a rapidly expanding mode of service delivery with the potential to help address shortages in mental health services in many communities. Interns will receive supervision focused on issues and special considerations in implementing telehealth interventions safely and effectively.

 
Inpatient BMT/Oncology and General Pediatric Inpatient Intervention (Pediatric Psychology Track)

Pediatric Psychology interns provide intervention services to hospitalized children/adolescents, often following patients over multiple hospitalizations. Work with Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)/Oncology patients comprises a major focus of this experience, although patients with other medical conditions are also followed. Interns typically carry 1-3 inpatient intervention cases on their caseloads. As part of their inpatient work, interns collaborate and consult with nurses, child life specialists, creative arts therapists, physicians and other medical team members. Early on in the training year, Pediatric Psychology track interns receive training in the Surviving Cancer Competently Intervention Program — New Diagnosis (SCCIP-ND), a manualized intervention for caregivers of children with a cancer diagnosis. SCCIP-ND was developed by Anne Kazak, PhD and her colleagues and is designed to promote healthy family adjustment to pediatric cancer and treatment and to prevent cancer-related posttraumatic stress symptoms in family members.

Consultation Experiences

Consultation/Liaison Service

Psychology interns on the Pediatric Psychology track participate in inpatient consultation/liaison (C/L) for the entire 12-month training year. This is a year-long experience with different emphases and levels of intensity. Interns also participate in didactic and group supervision seminars related to C/L.

Pediatric psychology interns provide C/L services to multiple pediatric services and pediatric subspecialties, including general pediatrics, transplant, neurology, oncology, rheumatology and gastroenterology. Interns are exposed to a variety of ages and referral questions, including those regarding medical adherence, pain management, psychogenic symptom presentation, adjustment to diagnosis and/or hospitalization, procedural anxiety, general medical coping, behavioral problems interfering with treatment and postdischarge treatment planning.

Consults often involve a combination of diagnostic assessment and formulation, psychoeducation, intervention (individual and family), and identification of goals and needs for outpatient follow-up after discharge.

By the end of the training year, interns are expected to independently:
  • interview the child and caregivers to the appropriate extent
  • conceptualize the case
  • implement recommended interventions in the inpatient setting.
  • coordinate with other services in the hospital as an interdisciplinary team member
  • communicate conceptualization and recommendations succinctly to the medical and nursing team
  • provide a written summary of recommendations for the hospital stay and after discharge

Primary Care Consultation

Interns also provide consultation services in our satellite primary care offices during a 12-month, two-day major rotation (Integrated Behavioral Health track) or a minor rotation (Pediatric Psychology track). Primary Care Consultation is a rapidly growing area for psychologists and offers an opportunity for community outreach in underserved areas.

Interns conduct intakes and learn skills in consulting with primary care staff regarding in office-based behavioral treatment strategies. Brief psychological testing and follow-up services also may be provided. The hospital's satellite offices are predominantly located in medically underserved areas of the city. One site serves primarily a Hispanic population; the physicians at this office are Spanish speaking and provide consultation and diversity training.

Opportunities for providing therapy and consultation in Spanish are available. Another primary care site serves a primarily urban, African American population and again, physicians represent diverse ethnic backgrounds and are community role models for providing culturally sensitive treatment.


Family-Centered Consultation Program

For interns on the Pediatric Psychology track, this program provides brief consultative services to families with concerns about their child's developmental, behavioral, emotional and/or social functioning. At the end of an initial visit, clinical impressions, psychoeducation and recommendations are shared with the family.

Brief follow-up services are provided for some concerns (e.g., ADHD, specific behavioral issues). When additional clinical follow-up is needed, referrals and detailed recommendations are provided to the family. Live supervision is provided along with group supervision for case conferencing. This is a 6-month experience.


Specialty Consultation Experiences

 
Adolescent Health (IBH Track)

The Adolescent Health Clinic focuses on providing specialized health care for adolescents in an multidisciplinary setting in the hospital as well as an adolescent medicine clinic within the primary care setting. The interns will provide consultative services and help develop screening initiatives in collaboration with the adolescent health team.

 
Behavioral Sleep Clinic (IBH Track)

The Behavioral Sleep program is a component of the Division of Pulmonology’s Sleep Clinic. The behavioral sleep intern will gain experience in evaluation and treatment of behavioral sleep disorders in children and adolescents, including difficulties such as insomnia/sleep onset problems, frequent night awakenings, bedtime resistance, PAP therapy nonadherence, nighttime fears/anxiety, delayed sleep-wake phase and sleep terrors/confusional arousals. The resident will gain experience with consultation, intervention and collaboration with the Pulmonology team. 

 
Cardiac Family Intervention (Pediatric Psychology Track)

This experience consists of a brief psychosocial intervention for families of infants hospitalized for cardiac surgery. It also includes participation in interdisciplinary developmental rounds in the cardiac intensive care and step down units. Opportunities to participate in developmental assessments through the Nemours Cardiac Learning and Early Development (LEAD) Program may also be available.

 
Chronic Pain Clinic (Both Tracks – One Position Per Track)

The intern in the chronic pain program will participate on a multidisciplinary treatment team focused on outpatient treatment of pediatric chronic pain.  There will be a focus on intake evaluations, individual and family therapy and consultation with medical staff.

 
Diabetes Clinic (Pediatric Psychology Track)

This is an interdisciplinary diabetes serving high risk children and adolescents diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Youth and families are seen co-jointly by a Diabetes Advanced Nurse Practitioner or Physician and a psychology resident (supervised by the attending psychologist). The psychology intern also provides health behavior assessment and interventions using empirically based strategies to help families cope with adherence challenges. As a smaller part of the diabetes specialty rotation, twice per year, the resident will co-leads the Improving Diabetes through Education and Lifestyle (IDEAL) group, which is an interdisciplinary multifamily group intervention to empower youth and families to meet the challenges associates with Type 1 diabetes.

 
Feeding Clinic (Pediatric Psych Track)

The Feeding clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic (Rehab Medicine, Nutrition, Speech-Language and Psychology) that serves patients who have medical and/or behavioral complexities that interfere with adequate calorie consumption. The intern will have the opportunity to observer the clinic, evaluate behavioral feeding concerns, plan treatment, and provide feeding therapy either within Behavioral Health or by co-treating with Speech-Language, Nutrition and GI.

 
Gastrointestinal Consultation Program

This program focuses on providing services to youngsters with functional abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel disease (i.e., Crohn’s Disease, Colitis), encopresis and other functional GI disorders. The resident is involved in conducting consultation and ongoing therapy, as well as collaborating with a multidisciplinary team.

In addition, the resident participates in GI-Psychology Rounds. While one intern will be primarily associated with this program, psychological involvement for GI disorders is a common part of our referral base.

 
Sickle Cell

This clinic provides an intern with an interdisciplinary exposure to the management of types of sickle cell disease. The intern will be involved in consultation and ongoing therapy (pain management and psychosocial adjustment) and will participate in medical rounds.

 
Transition to Adult Care (IBH Track)

The Transition of Care Program provides transition planning for adolescents with complex health needs who are transitioning out of the pediatric system. Interns will cross-train with the social work students and med-peds students who rotate through the clinic and provide consultative liaison services to the transition team. They will also be able to translate the clinical process into the primary care settings.

 
Weight Management

Interns will participate with the multidisciplinary Weight Management team to evaluate and develop treatment recommendations for children and adolescents who are struggling with obesity. As well, interns will participate in our Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program.

Didactics

In addition to direct patient care training opportunities, interns participate in a series of seminar and other didactic training events.

The overall goal of the various didactic conferences and seminars is to provide interns with formal instruction on topics important to their practice as pediatric psychologists. Didactics include:

 
Pediatric Psychology Seminar

Four hours per month. This seminar features linked presentations by medical, psychology and/or other allied providers that discuss both the medical and psychosocial aspects of various medical conditions or presentations (e.g., weight management from a medical and psychosocial perspective), as well as topics in general and subspecialty pediatric medical care (e.g., genetic disorders, ambiguous genitalia). Other professionals within the hospital also present on their work and role on the interdisciplinary team.

 
Assessment Seminar

Two hours per month. Interns meet with faculty members to discuss current assessments and/or review/discuss tests. Interns gain the opportunity to hear the wide range of assessments being conducted, benefits from group input and supervision, learn about new measures and relevant topics including sensitivity and exposure to issues related to children representing diverse cultural and/or disability backgrounds.  

 
Supervision Seminar

One hour six times per year. The Supervision Seminar series covers content areas applicable to clinical supervision such as ethical and legal issues, diversity issues, models and elements of effective supervision.

 
Therapy Seminar

The therapy seminar series is centered around evidenced-based interventions for the most frequently encountered referral issues that bring families to the clinical pediatric consulting room. Past seminars have included topics such as treatment of enuresis/encopresis, PCIT, suicide assessment and intervention, motivational interviewing, trauma focused CBT, mindfulness therapy and anxiety treatment.

 
Hospital-Sponsored Programs

Interns are encouraged to attend weekly Pediatric Grand Rounds and other training experiences that are sponsored by the duPont Hospital for Children. Interns also are encouraged to attend monthly ethics rounds sponsored by the hospital. In addition, interns are encouraged to attend rounds or journal clubs offered by medical subspecialties (e.g., neurology, endocrinology, or gastroenterology).

 
Intervention Seminar

Two to four hours per month. Intervention Seminar is centered around evidence-based interventions for the most frequently encountered referral issues. Past seminars have included topics such as motivational interviewing, exposure-based CBT for anxiety and OCD, treatment of tics and trichotillomania, trauma-focused CBT, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, mindfulness-based interventions for stress management, suicide assessment and intervention, feeding therapy and treatment of elimination disorders.

 
Research Seminar

One hour per month. This seminar addressed topics related to the conduct and dissemination of research in a health care setting.

 
Primary Care Seminar

Each month, all psychologists, social workers, postdoctoral fellows, and interns working in primary care participate in a one-hour meeting in order to discuss processes and issues related to primary care psychology. Three times per year, interns also discuss primary care issues in a group supervision format.  

 
Intern-Led Scholarly Topical Seminar

Over the course of the internship year, each intern presents on a “hot topic” in pediatric or clinical child psychology during a one hour seminar. Interns select relevant scholarly readings that are disseminated in advance of the seminar and also lead a discussion with seminar attendees, including psychology faculty, postdoctoral fellows and other interns.

 
Continuous Improvement/Program Evaluation Seminar

Two hours per year. Interns learn Continuous Improvement/Program Evaluation processes and complete a CI project as a group that is aimed at improving divisionwide processes to decrease waste and ultimately improve patient care delivery. 

 
Inpatient Consultation and Intervention Seminar

One hour per month. During this seminar, Pediatric Psychology interns presents and discuss interesting or challenging inpatient cases, increase their familiarity with medical conditions and procedures that other interns have encountered during their inpatient work, and discuss other issues relevant to inpatient work, such as interdisciplinary team collaboration and effective communication. 

 
Ethics Seminar

One hour per month. This seminar focuses on ethical and legal issues, including the APA Code of Ethics, with particular application to the practice of psychology within a child/medical setting. Topics range from child abuse reporting law in Delaware to ethical issues in transplant evaluation and bariatric surgery. 

 
Diversity Seminar

One hour per month. This seminar focuses on issues and topics related to working with children and families representing diverse cultural backgrounds  and other diversity categories.

 
Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skill Seminar

One hour six times per year. This seminar focuses on skills to promote psychologists’ effective functioning in interdisciplinary settings. Topics include documenting for medical providers and multidisciplinary clinic collaboration. 

Contact Us

Johanna Carpenter, PhD

Director of Doctoral Internship Training
(302) 651-4500
johanna.carpenter@nemours.org