Predoctoral Internship in Child Psychology
Texas Child Study Center
A collaboration between Dell Children's Medical Center and University of Texas
The Texas Child Study Center
The Texas Child Study Center has been in operation since September, 2008, and was created in response to the need for pediatric mental health services and training for current and future mental health practitioners in the Austin area. The Center is a collaboration between Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas and The University of Texas at Austin Educational Psychology Department. The Center is currently located in Central Austin, 4 miles from the Dell Children's Medical Center.
Services at the Center are provided by a multidisciplinary team that includes psychiatry and psychology. The Center considers interdisciplinary collaboration and consultation of primary importance. Further, because youth are embedded within many social contexts, providers work with multiple systems, including families, schools, and communities.
The Center provides evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and developmental disabilities, ranging from adjustment difficulties to more chronic conditions including psychotic, mood, and developmental disorders. The Center has uses evidence based treatment programs to address autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders (including Social Phobia, Specific Phobias, Separation Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Disruptive Behavior Disorders, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), depression, and disruptive behavior disorders. The Center's approach includes ongoing assessment to evaluate the impact of treatment on patients' symptoms and functioning, and feedback to patients and families on their progress.
Providers collaborate with physicians at Dell Children's Medical Center to provide psychological support to children coping with acute and chronic medical conditions. The Center provides assessment and treatment for children and adolescents presenting with a range of conditions, including epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, obesity, and traumatic injuries to address co-occurring mental health issues, difficulty adjusting to a new medical diagnosis, developmental challenges that result from medical conditions, and/or difficulty coping with pain.
Patients seen at the Center come from all socioeconomic strata and ethnic and racial backgrounds.
Philosophy and Training Model
The Texas Child Study Center includes trainees from psychology, including psychology interns, postdoctoral fellows, and practicum students, and psychiatry, including psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows. The internship program is meant to prepare interns for future practice as skilled and ethical child psychologists. Individualized attention and training is valued by the Center; thus the program is tailored to the individualized needs of each intern to address the goals of the trainee as well as gaps in previous training. The training program emphasizes the integration of research and practice; thus interns receive training in evidence-based treatment and are expected to integrate evidence-based treatment techniques into their clinical work when appropriate.
Applicants are expected to have completed basic coursework in psychodiagnostics, psychopathology, and psychotherapeutic interventions prior to internship training.
- Develop and refine skills in psychological assessment.
- Develop and refine skills in psychological intervention.
- Demonstrate behavior and comportment that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology.
- Demonstrate awareness, sensitivity and skills in working professionally with diverse individuals, groups and communities who represent various cultural and personal background and characteristics.
- Apply ethical concepts and awareness of legal issues regarding professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations.
- Conduct practice with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection.
- Develop and apply understanding of biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, and development across the lifespan to clinical work and research projects.
- Provide expert guidance or professional assistance to other systems (e.g. schools, medical team, community program) in response to a client's needs or goals.
- Develop skills in the assessment and treatment of children with acute and chronic medical illness.
- Develop skills in risk assessment and intervention.
- Develop skills in the supervision and training of others.
The Training Program
The internship program includes a range of activities including diagnostic evaluations, individual, group, and family therapy, and psychological assessment. The core of the program is outpatient service units (described below) in order to expose the intern to a range of children and families, treatment modalities, and assessment experiences. The training program begins July 1st. The intern's weekly activities are roughly as follows:
|Outpatient Therapy/Pediatric Outpatient||15 hours|
|Pediatric Consultation Service/Emergency Dept||8 hours|
|Staff Meetings||1-2 hours|
|Record Keeping/Report Writing/Tape Review||3-5 hours|
The internship program is a 12 month training program designed to occupy 40 hours per week of an intern's time, although actual time may vary due to extra time needed to complete reports and other paperwork, make telephone contacts, attend special meetings such as school meetings, or provide home-based interventions. The completion of at least 2,000 total hours is required to complete the internship program. At least 25% of interns' time is spent providing direct (face-to-face) psychological services to patients. The internship is precedes the granting of a doctoral degree and is post-practicum/post-externship. Training time is credited as post-practicum/post-externship.
The internship program at the Texas Child Study Center holds itself to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, as outlined in the APA "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct." Internship program staff and supervisors are considered professional role models, and interns are entitled to fair treatment and due process, should grievances arise.
Each intern will carry an outpatient caseload that includes 12-15 outpatient cases which will include 3-6 specialty cognitive behavioral cases. Interns are expected to complete 1 assessment per month. Each intern spends one day a week in one of our multidisciplinary clinics (obesity and concussion). Finally, interns will have year long experiences with the Dell Children's Medical Center Emergency Department and Consultation and Liaison Service.
Outpatient Therapy Program
General outpatient cases include children with a wide range of presenting issues that range from adjustment disorders to chronic disorders including mood disorders, psychosis, and autism. Through the Outpatient Program, interns will gain experience in providing diagnostic evaluations, designing integrative treatment plans, and providing intervention to a diverse caseload. For cognitive behavioral cases, interns are expected to follow evidence based protocols for anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior, and depression. Examples include exposure and response prevention for OCD, parent-child interaction therapy or didactic parent training for disruptive behavior, exposure therapy for phobias, interoceptive exposure for panic, and cognitive behavioral therapy for depression.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Clinic
Consultation and Liaison Service:
Obesity Program: Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity (TCPTCO)
One intern will have the opportunity to participate in a training experience with the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity at Dell Children's Medical Center (Dr. Jane Gray is director of behavioral health). TCPTCO offers interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment for children presenting with obesity and associated medical and psychiatric comorbidities. The interdisciplinary team includes experts in pediatrics, nutrition, physical therapy, social work, and psychology. The program includes an interdisciplinary clinic and group programs. Interns become an integral member of the interdisciplinary team and have the opportunity to learn obesity-specific cognitive behavioral intervention, provide individual and family therapy to children and families, and participate in multidisciplinary team meetings and trainings. In addition, interns will have the opportunity to learn and co-lead a group intervention for overweight teens and their parents implementing dialectical-behavioral, cognitive behavioral, and family therapy strategies.
Concussion Program/Cognitive Remediation Therapy Group
target skill deficits surrounding the late cognitive effects of children who have undergone chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment. The goal of the group is to teach skills to improve attention, memory, problem solving, and social emotional functioning. In addition to the children's group, there is a concurrent parent group that interns may have the opportunity to co-lead.
Interns will participate in approximately four hours of didactics per week, including seminars in assessment, advanced cognitive behavioral intervention, pediatric psychology, and a seminar in integrated health care with underserved youth. These seminars serve the purpose of integrating clinical case material, theory, research, cultural diversity, and professional issues. Some didactics are open to trainees from other disciplines (e.g. psychiatry) and levels of trainings (e.g. practicum students and postdoctoral fellows). Additionally, interns are provided with the opportunity to attend the Dell Children's Medical Center Psychiatry Rounds, Psychiatry Journal Club, and a monthly neuropsychology seminar held at the Austin State Hospital.
Interns receive individual supervision for all clinical activities. Supervisory hours are adjusted to meet the intern's needs, and all interns receive at least four hours of supervision from two different supervisors, with at least one hour per week for assessment, two hours per week for therapy cases, and one hour for group supervision. Supervision largely follows an evidence-based, cognitive behavioral framework for the specialty programs, and a more integrated approach for general outpatient therapy cases. Interns are expected to come to supervision prepared with case conceptualizations and a biopsychosocial formulation. The theoretical framework for supervision takes environmental, cultural, developmental, and family systems factors into account in case conceptualization.
Supervision is provided chiefly by psychologists, all of whom are licensed to practice in Texas. Specialized supervision in some service units may be provided by fully licensed senior social workers or staff psychiatrists.
The focus of the internship year is on clinical training; however, research training and supervision are available to interns on an individualized basis. There are many ongoing intervention research projects at the Texas Child Study Center, many of which are collaborations with physicians at Dell Children's Medical Center. Most interns will be involved in these research projects by providing the clinical services being evaluated. Interns may also have the opportunity to work directly on these projects (data collection and analysis, writing). Interns may spend approximately 5 hours per week on research by participating in ongoing research projects and/or completing dissertation research and writing.
Salary and Benefits
The yearly stipend for the internship program is $26,000. Health benefits are offered through the University of Texas. Interns receive three weeks of vacation, 1 day of sick leave per month (accrued monthly), and 3 days of professional development/dissertation release time.
Requirements for Completion of Internship:
Interns will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the internship year upon satisfaction of the following:
- Completion of 2000 hours (12 months full time) during the internship year.
- Satisfactory performance and progress in clinical work and professional conduct as measured by bi-yearly evaluations.
- Attendance in seminar programs and clinical staff meetings.
- Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 10 assessment cases and 15 therapy cases.
The Texas Child Study Center Internship program is a member of APPIC, participates in the APPIC Match, and adheres to APPIC Match Policies. Applicants must use the Online APPI to apply to the program. The application deadline is November 15, 2012. Applicants will be notified by Monday, Dec. 10th as to whether they will be offered an interview. Interviews are required in order for applicants to be considered and will be held during the month of January.
The Texas Child Study Center adheres to a policy of nondiscrimination in the recruitment of employees or trainees. We welcome and encourage applications from all qualified trainees. The internship program is open to advanced level predoctoral psychology graduate students enrolled in doctoral programs in school, clinical, or counseling psychology.
Your application should include:
- APPIC application form
- Curriculum Vitae
- Official transcript(s) of all graduate work
- Three letters of recommendation
- Sample assessment report (be sure to delete all identifying information)
All documents must be submitted through the AAPI online portal.
Internship Training Facility
DeLeon, Rosario, Ph.D.
Neuropsychology; Chronic Illness, Oncology, Traumatic Brain Injury, Epilepsy, Learning Disorders
Farrell, Caron, M.D., Ph.D.
Pediatric Consultation and Liaison, Pediatric Obesity
Gray, Jane Simpson, Ph.D.
Director of Psychology Training
Pediatric Obesity, Depression, Anxiety, Behavioral Disorders, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Greenspahn, Emily, Ph.D.
Director of Neuropsychological Services
Chronic Illness, Oncology, Traumatic Brain Injury, Epilepsy, Learning Disorders
Levine, Ann, Psy.D.
Director of Assessment Services
Neuropsychology; Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Monnat, Lynn Ph.D.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Patel, Puja, Ph.D.
Pediatric Oncology, Pediatric Consultation and Liaison, Gastroenterology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Stark, Kevin D., Ph.D.
Co-founder, Director of Psychological Services
Treatment Evaluation, Depression, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Tieu, Cuong, M.D.
Pediatric Consultation and Liaison, Pediatric Oncology