CHILD/PEDIATRIC TRAINING SITES


CHILDREN’S WEIGHT MANAGEMENT CLINIC

HEATHER AUSTIN, PhD

Type of Practicum: Child intervention.
Brief Description of Site Duties: Intake interviews and initial visit assessments, medical follow-up, bariatric evaluations, report writing, motivational interviewing, chart notes.
Pros: Great supervision, interdisciplinary team model, learn motivational interviewing skills, lots of clinical hours, very busy clinic.

Cons: Available only on Fridays (possibly Thursdays 1/2 day also), not on campus, can get very busy.
Additional Info: Potential opportunities for research.

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

AVI MADAN-SWAIN, PhD

Type of Practicum: Child – pediatric, intervention, and assessment.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Short and long-term therapy opportunities for inpatient and outpatient hematology/oncology patients; neuropsych testing, report-writing, and feedback for children receiving or who have received CNS medical therapies or who have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease. 
Pros: Diverse caseload (children, parents, siblings; variety of diagnoses), opportunities to work with children with comorbid psychological issues in conjunction with medical issues, practicum is embedded within medical team strong opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration in patient treatment planning, can implement behavioral and coping techniques for inpatients with needle phobias, fear of medical procedures, etc.
Cons: Schedule requires some flexibility depending on patient needs, can be a demanding caseload, requires the ability to function fairly independently, can be difficult to follow-up with patients once they are discharged (their next appointments may not coincide with your practicum day).
Additional Info: 1-yr commitment (2 semesters) is required.


CHILDREN’S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AT CHILDREN’S HOPITAL

DANIEL S. MARULLO, PhD

Type of Practicum: Pediatric (ages 0-17), Health-Related intervention/consultation, Hospital setting, inpatient and outpatient groups, possible opportunity for therapy experiences.
Brief Description of Site Duties: Consultation as part of a multidisciplinary team in family clinic (for children who are HIV+), consultation on stem cell transplant, psychological/some neuropsychological evaluation of children with pediatric candidates for solid organ transplant or suspected epilepsy.
Pros: A mix of opportunities for training purposes. Good demographic range of children. Supervision is great, Dr. Marullo answers your questions and discusses cases in length.  Great exposure to working as part of an interdisciplinary team in a hospital setting. Increase knowledge of diseases/health related issues.
Cons: Some standing around/waiting for patients ("down time"). If an adult person, you may need to observe for several days before you can jump right in.
Additional Info: Book early; Dr. Marullo gets booked up fast. If you want more independence, you may want to go on a day that does not already have an intern scheduled on it.

ACKERSON & ASSOCIATES

JOSEPH ACKERSON, PhD

Type of Practicum: Child neuropsychological assessment.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Conduct developmental interview, administer a few neuropsych tests, conduct clinical interview w/child, write report, sit in on feedback.
Pros: In-depth experience w/child neuropsych, good supervision, very structured practicum.

Cons: Only one case per day, you don't do much testing, if case doesn't show, nothing to do.
Additional Info: If someone is interested in child neuropsych, this is a must-do! Also, Dr. Ackerson requires 2 semesters.

HILL CREST PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL

SHANNON HARTLEY, PhD & DEHRYL MASON, PhD

Type of Practicum: Child, Adolescent, and (some) Adult inpatient psychiatric.

Brief Description of Site Duties: The student gains a lot of experience in clinical interviewing and psychodiagnostic assessment. The student will retrieve the patient from their respective unit (including child, adolescent acute or residential, male or female adolescent sexual offender, adult, or acute psychiatric) and take them to the psychological department offices for assessment. Measures include mood questionnaires, projective measures, brief IQ screens, and at times cognitive measures. Clinical interviews of the patient, caregivers, and school officials are frequently performed. The student gains experience in testing, scoring/interpretation, charting notes, and there is extensive report writing experience with lots of feedback provided. Depending on the age of the child, the opportunity for play therapy to build rapport is available.

Pros: The student gains a lot of experience in clinical interviewing and psychodiagnostic assessment. The student will retrieve the patient from their respective unit (including child, adolescent acute or residential, male or female adolescent sexual offender, adult, or acute psychiatric) and take them to the psychological department offices for assessment. Measures include mood questionnaires, projective measures, brief IQ screens, and at times cognitive measures. Clinical interviews of the patient, caregivers, and school officials are frequently performed. The student gains experience in testing, scoring/interpretation, charting notes, and there is extensive report writing experience with lots of feedback provided. Depending on the age of the child, the opportunity for play therapy to build rapport is available.

Cons: There is a week-long training course that the student must attend; much of what is taught is irrelevant to the student’s training purpose (but you get CPR certification). Assessment and report writing can take place over several days so if the student is only there one day per week following cases to completion can be quite difficult. Not much variety in measures administered for most cases, so you tend to give the same tests over and over.

Additional Info: Potential for individual therapy with the patients but only once they are discharged.

BAIR, PEACOCK, McDONALD, & McMULLEN PRIVATE PRACTICE

JULIE McDONALD, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adolescent and (some) Child Learning Disability Assessment.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Students become well-versed in administration of comprehensive batteries that comprise a learning disability evaluation for various referral questions such as dyslexia, ADHD, math disability, etc. May observe or participate in interviews of the client and family. Students will learn the pattern of results that are consistent with different learning disabilities when the cognitive test results are reviewed. Comprehensive report-writing is also an option for students with experience, or who want to gain experience.

Pros: Very little rate of no-shows, usually no less than 4 hours face-to-face time, great experience with batteries that are not typically given in a standard cognitive/psychological assessment. Dr. McDonald is very good at explaining how patterns of learning disabilities manifest in testing results. Opportunity for moonlighting (i.e. extra $) after being trained and completing the practicum rotation. Also, good to see how things work in a private practice setting.

Cons: This is really a straight-forward cognitive assessment rotation – no opportunity for therapeutic involvement, and very little psychodiagnostic procedures (which is not necessarily a con if this is what a student needs/wants).

Additional Info: Rotations usually occur in the summer because this is the time when children are out of school and need evals before beginning the next school year (moonlighting is throughout the year, though).

SUMMER TREATMENT PROGRAM (STP)

CRYSHELLE PATTERSON, PhD

Type of Practicum: Child Intervention -- ADHD/Disruptive Behavior Disorders.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Train paraprofessional counselors in behavior management principles and the STP manualized intervention; provide supervision to paraprofessional counselors on a daily basis; participate in the development of behavioral goals for 36 children with ADHD based on objective data; lead social skills groups; co-lead parent training groups; consult individually with parents re: developing a home reward system; opportunities for individual therapy cases in the summer and follow-up (both child focused and parent training cases are available).

Pros: Work as part of an interdisciplinary team consisting of psychologists, special education teacher and developmental pediatrician; lots of clinical hours earned in a short span of time (the program is in the summer for 6 weeks); opportunities for group experiences; receive supervision all day.

Cons: It's hot in the summer! It's a long day (7:45am - 5:15pm).

Additional Info: The STP is an evidenced based treatment for ADHD. There are only 6 STP sites across the country. This is an incredible opportunity to learn a lot about behavioral treatment in a real world setting within a short amount of time.

SPARKS CLINICS

SARAH O'KELLEY, CRYSHELLE PATTERSON, ROB BARE, FRED BIASINI (ALL PhDs)

Type of Practicum: Child/adolescent assessment and therapy.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Opportunities to do assessments across the developmental period (New Born Follow-up Clinic = birth-3; Child Development Clinic = 2-18; Preschool Autism Clinic = 2-5; Autism Clinic = 6-18; Initial Behavior Consult and the Behavioral Assessment Clinic = 4-18; Psychoeducational Clinic = 4-18; Project Heroes = 2-18) and individual, family, and parent training therapy opportunities as well.

Pros: Wonderful child training with hands on supervision. Work in an interdisciplinary setting and closely consult with other disciplines that also assess the child (speech/language, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, developmental pediatricians).
Cons: Assessment reports are very thorough (and long, 10-15 pages average).

Additional Info: Also can get involved in the ADHD parent support group, opportunities to get involved in the Summer Treatment Program, Core Lectures that include weekly didactic presentations from the various disciplines’ time.

MITCHELL’S PLACE

STEPHANIE STOLL, PhD

Type of Practicum: Child, developmental disability focus (autism).

Brief Description of Site Duties: Opportunities to work with children with autism spectrum disorders in a variety of capacities, ranging from assessment to treatment. Participate in school consults, functional behavior assessments, development feeding program interventions, early intensive behavioral intervention (providing 1:1 applied behavioral analysis therapy), and other programming/data driven treatment decisions.

Pros: Great, advanced training for students interested in developmental disabilities. Dr. Stoll is an excellent mentor that loves working with graduate students. She is very behaviorally oriented in treatment, so if you are interested in a Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCBA), this would be a good mentor to have.
Cons: --

Additional Info: --



GLENWOOD, INC.

FELICIA HOUSTON, STEPHANIE STOLL, SAM REDDEN (ALL PhDs)

Type of Practicum: Child, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Community Psychology.

Brief Description of Site Duties: There are three different sites, each on a different day of the week. One day a week is spent at Mitchell's Place (preschool for children with ASD and typically developing peers), a half day per week at Harris Early Learning Center, and 1 day per week with Glenwood Consultation and Training doing ASD evaluations/school consultations at preschool, elementary, and high schools around North Central Alabama, many of which are in very rural communities.

The Mitchell's Place day is primarily intervention-based. My cases include a feeding case for a child who is on a liquid diet. We are using very strict behavior therapy principles from Kennedy Krieger and Marcus Autism Center to slowly introduce pureed foods to the child. I also have several family cases that involve both parent training and work with child focused on compliance and behavior concerns. In addition, there are some cases that require school consultation in the community, one for a young child with a developmental delay and the other a school aged child with ASD. The cases vary, but the MP day is primarily intervention focused.

The Harris Early learning Center is primarily school consultation where we help the teachers identify children who may be at risk for developmental delay. We provide classroom recommendations, recommendations for home, and do some one-on-one therapy in some cases. This site involves a lot of communication between the teachers and administrators at the preschool, as well as parent and teacher education on developmental delay, IEP, and school planning for the children. The children I am currently working with are between the ages of 2 and 5.

The Consultation and Training day involves conducting Autism evaluations, school observations, structured interviews with parents and teachers, and providing recommendations for the school and parents for children with a question of an ASD. The evaluations are paid for by the State Department and are often in rural communities where there is often little knowledge about ASD and developmental disabilities. There are also some days that may require more comprehensive testing

Pros: Variety of experiences, mix of assessment and treatment, exposure to more community populations.
Cons: Managing time and resources more challenging given three different days and supervisors.

Additional Info: --


ADULT TRAINING SITES


DOLEYS CLINIC

LEANNE CIANFRINI, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult, Health Psychology.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Intake interviews, interpreting MMPIs. The student primarily performs 1-hour initial evaluations and follow-up medical psychology/psychotherapy sessions every 3 to 6 months. Therapy is from a CBT standpoint, with elements of ACT (acceptance) and motivational interviewing. Lots of practice in relaxation techniques can be obtained. The student can also teach classes in the inpatient pain program on a variety of topics (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress management, sleep hygiene). Cognitive assessment is also available but this is infrequent.

Pros: The student can gain experience working in a multidisciplinary private practice setting; the Doleys clinic is run by a psychologist and also has a physical therapist, vocational counselor, biofeedback technician, nurses, and medical doctors. It would count towards one of the student’s medical practica. The student can gain exposure to a variety of pain conditions as well as comorbid psychiatric disorders, pain medications, and mood medications. If the student would like to develop and teach their own class/seminar/group they are welcome to do so. There is a lot of supervision available at this site, too! Dr. Cianfrini is also very open to research, although there are no readily available data sets for the student to use. Opportunity to observe interdisciplinary model of health care, excellent supervision, lunch sometimes provided by pharmacy reps, other opportunities outside of therapy (group facilitation, psycho education, research).
Cons: There is not a lot of report writing experience at this site. There is not a lot of frequent therapy follow-up. Dr. Cianfrini requires at least two semesters unless this would be your shadowing experience.

Additional Info: --

        

UAB EATRIGHT WEIGHT MANAGEMENT SERVICES

KRISTINE LOKKEN, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult medical (weight management & eating disorders).

Brief Description of Site Duties: The student performs 30-minute initial evaluations while working on a healthcare team, providing feedback to other providers in terms of psychopathology, risk, and follow-up recommendations. The student also performs 30-minute very brief behavioral management follow-up sessions focused on eating issues. Therapy is from a CBT standpoint, with elements of motivational interviewing. The student is also responsible for teaching classes to patients in the program (average of 5-10 classes per month).

Pros: The student can gain experience working in a multidisciplinary hospital clinic setting; the healthcare team includes the medical doctor, medical residents, nurse practitioner, dietician, and exercise trainer. It would count towards one of the student’s medical practica. The student can gain exposure to a wealth of dietary/health information, mood disorders (depression/anxiety), and suicide risk assessment, in addition to eating pathology (emotional eating, binge eating disorder, some bulimia). The student gains a lot of brief therapy experience but little in the way of regular follow-up. The student also gains experience teaching classes. The staff here is friendly and helpful, and welcome the behaviorist’s input.
Cons: The supervisor is off-site and only meets with the student once per week; the student essentially has to “hit the ground running” and starting here can be quite overwhelming. This practicum is not for a first or second year student; it is more advanced and the student should already have some therapy training under their belt. There is no report writing experience at this site, although the student does complete clinical notes for the patient chart. If an assistantship, this site requires two ten-hour days that often run longer; this can be a plus because it frees up other time but the workdays can be long and tiring!

Additional Info: --


MAGNOLIA CREEK

NICOLE SIEGFRIED, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult eating disorders, residential treatment.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Group therapy, diagnostic assessment, small amount of individual therapy.

Pros: Good supervision, great staff, and can get group therapy hours.
Cons: In Chelsea (far south off 280).

Additional Info: --

VA PRIMARY CARE

PATRICIA RIVERA, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult intervention.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Conduct brief (20-35 min) intake interview/assessment.  Identify appropriate course of treatment/referral.  Write Mental Health intake report.  Conduct brief course of CBT based psychotherapy.

Pros: Can get true CBT-based psychotherapy outside Psychiatry clinic.  Therapy is brief, can see through from start to finish.  Intake assessments are great for improving assessment skills, familiarity with DSM, and increasing APPIC hours.
Cons: Intakes are referral based, thus there may be days that are slower than others.

Additional Info: Most common referral questions:  Mood, Anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, adjustment to chronic pain.

UAB CENTER FOR PSYCHIATRIC MEDICINE (CPM)

HAL THURSTIN, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult intervention (continued therapy practicum).

Brief Description of Site Duties: Individual therapy experiences with adult populations, can see a wide range of presenting problems, gain practice in writing process notes and case conceptualizations.

Pros: Opportunity for long-term therapy, Dr. Thurstin can sometimes refer you a patient specific to your interests.
Cons: Not enough space/therapy rooms depending on schedule. Not enough supervision due to time constraints. Not enough referrals of patients to see. Patients may frequently no-show since they are not paying for their appointments.

Additional Info: --

VA BLIND REHABILITATION

CHEBON PORTER, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult intervention.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Conduct intake interviews and write brief report.  Offer support to veterans struggling to adjust to limited vision or their stay at the inpatient treatment center.  Facilitate process group meetings and conduct individual therapy sessions.

Pros: A group experience.  Dr. Porter is a fantastic supervisor. Dr. Porter will give you feedback regarding your interview/therapeutic style and will discuss cases with you at length. Exposure to inpatient rehabilitation population. Exposure to VA Blind Rehab (only a few in the country!). Get experience with under-represented population (blind and low vision). Opportunity to run group therapy sessions independently. Opportunity for clinical writing. Usually all fits into one day (done by 4), without taking reports home.
Cons: Getting into the VA system can be a long process. Navigating the computer system.

Additional Info: Brush up on your general psychiatric and PTSD diagnostic skills, as they are commonly comorbid in VA populations and at Blind Rehab.

UAB PALLIATIVE & COMFORT CARE UNIT

DIANE TUCKER, PhD

Type of Practicum: Adult intervention.

Brief Description of Site Duties: Provide support to families and patients dealing with end-of-life issue.

Pros: This is a multidisciplinary team and a great opportunity to see how psychology fits within this type of structure.  This is a common practicum site for counseling students and it is interesting to get their perspectives on therapy (a Psy.D. counselor serves as their supervisor and provides excellent feedback on therapeutic skills).
Cons: Deals with serious issues and can be an emotionally draining rotation (but will learn how to control your emotions).  May see a client only once or twice, and there is no time for formal evidence-based therapies (but learn how to identify the one thing that will ease distress the most).

Additional Info: May be opportunities for both inpatient and outpatient therapy (outpatient more long-term and CBT based).