Clinical Child Track

The Clinical-Child track extends and deepens the intern’s base of professional development and promotes a rich understanding of the intrapsychic, familial, school, social and community/systems aspects of child psychopathology and psychotherapy. Toward these goals, the track provides intensive clinical and didactic experience in the range of activities that comprise the role of the clinical-child psychologist. Training is built around a core of experiences in treatment, assessment, and consultation with children, adolescents, parents, families, school and agencies. This training is integrated with a broad range of clinical seminars. Emphasis is on the development of those clinical skills and theoretical concepts that are essential for psychologists entering a variety of career activities in the child mental health area.
The track’s theoretical orientation reflects an integration of intrapsychic, developmental, family interactional, and cognitive-behavioral points of view.

Activities

    • The Child Track intern carries a caseload resulting in 10-12 outpatient hours per week. These cases are primarily drawn from the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic and involve working with children, adolescents and families representing a wide range of ages, types of disorders and treatment techniques. Child Track interns may also take on an adult treatment case if they elect to do so (e.g., through the Student Counseling Service). One-to-one supervision is provided by different faculty at a minimum of 4 hours per week. There are also opportunities to collaborate with faculty in ongoing evaluations of treatment cases.
    • Each intern performs and observes psychological assessments of children and families referred by our own clinics, school-based programs, and the community. Interns receive (at least) weekly supervision of their assessments and work as part of an ongoing Child and Adolescent Assessment Team through which they complete 4 - 5 assessments per year.  (Adult Track interns may not complete a child or adolescent assessment while on the Child Rotation, and the Child and Adolescent Assessment team is not a required part of the rotation.) 
    • Each intern completes several diagnostic evaluations as part of the Child and Adolescent Diagnostic Team.  For this team, interns (or residents or fellows) conduct an evaluation (which can include play, psychological assessment, diagnostic interview, family meeting, etc.) while the supervisor and team of other clinicians (interns, residents, and fellows) observe via video camera.  The intern consults with the team during the initial diagnostic assessment session and then works closely with the supervisor for the remaining evaluation and feedback sessions (often 4 to 5 sessions in total).  (Adult Tack Interns on the Child rotation typically complete one Diagnostic Evaluation.)
    • Interns attend and present case formulations on a rotating basis during the twice- monthly Child and Adolescent Clinic Staffing meeting. (Adult Track interns on the Child rotation typically present one case at staffing meetings). 
    • Interns participate weekly in the Elmcrest Children’s Center Child Abuse Project, a comprehensive and well-supervised experience in consultative, evaluative, and treatment services for children who have been sexually abused. The interns have the opportunity to observe and conduct interviews with children and parents or caretakers, and then consult with the child abuse team. Interns complete the required documentation and received written feedback on their reports. (Adult Track interns on the Child Rotation typically conduct at least one consultation).

Throughout the training year, interns may participate in the following subspecialty clinics and programs:

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Program (Dr. Kevin Antshel)

is a nationally recognized center for the assessment and treatment of ADHD. Clients referred to this clinic for evaluation undergo a comprehensive protocol of rating scales, interviews, and psychological testing. ADHD Clinic Interns observe and/or participate in ADHD evaluations.  (All Child Track interns participate, 1 intern every 8 weeks)

The Anxiety Disorders Clinic (Dr. Aaron Gleason)

is a specialty clinic designed to assess and treat children and adolescents with anxiety disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, school refusal, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Following a comprehensive evaluation those referred for treatment are provided with state-of-the-art treatment based on current research in the area of childhood anxiety. Interns have the opportunity to observe and actively participate in both the assessment and treatment process. Interns conduct treatment and participate in group supervision of anxiety-related therapy cases. (Elective)

ENHANCE (Excellence in Health Care for Abused and Neglected Children; Dr. Ron Saletsky)

is a nationally recognized multidisciplinary (pediatrics, child psychiatry, developmental pediatrics, social work) clinic which provides comprehensive health care to children in foster care. An intern involved with the ENHANCE Clinic will gain experience in diagnostic interviewing, developmental evaluations, multidisciplinary consultation, and systemic issues.  Interns work in a primary care setting to address mental health issues of foster care children. (All Child Track interns participate, 1 intern at a time for a period of 4 months)

Upstate Medical University’s Juvenile Trauma Center (Dr. Wendy Gordon)

serves children and families who have experienced trauma stemming from abuse, violence, accidents, natural disasters, or death of a family member. The center offers a 12 to 15 session protocol for symptom reduction that focuses on the development of coping strategies and an understanding of common reactions to trauma. Services are also offered for children who may require longer-term treatment. Interns have the opportunity to observe an ongoing psychotherapy case, actively participate in their own clinical cases, and receive training in trauma-oriented cognitive behavioral therapy. (All Child Track Interns and Adult Interns on the Child rotation participate)

Adolescent DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) Program

is intended to treat teenagers who have suicidal thoughts and/or self-harming behavior. Comprehensive DBT has three main components: Individual DBT which reinforces learning that takes place in skills group and provides additional coaching and psychotherapy for the adolescent. Family involvement is often necessary and will be incorporated into treatment based on the needs of the adolescent. Multi-Family Skills Group is a two-hour, 20-week group in which both the adolescent and parent(s) participate. Telephone Coaching is provided to help the adolescent and parent(s) use their DBT skills in times of distress. Interns co-facilitate group DBT treatment for adolescents and their parents. (Elective)

Social and Emotional Skills Group for Children on the Autistic Spectrum (Breanna Grant)

The child therapy group uses a play-based model to foster social relationships and emotional skill building. The group activities are designed to increase shared attention and engagement with others in order to build the child's interest and pleasure in relating to others. Activities foster communication of both emotions and ideas. Structured problem solving activities and role play offer children the opportunity to practice negotiating and expand their repertoire of interaction skills. Children are also taught relaxation skills in order increase emotional regulation. Interns co-facilitate these skills groups for children with Autism. (Elective)

We also offer three consultation experiences:

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Intake/Consultation Service

The gateway to the overall array of services in our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic. Whenever parents call the clinic for an appointment, a consultation is scheduled with a clinical child psychologist. The goal of the consultation is to provide the family with some direction and to determine the need for further services. Psychology interns have the opportunity to be involved in this process by observing and/or actively participating in the consultations. (This is a required activity for Adult Track interns on the Child Rotation.)

The Family Oriented Pediatric Consultation

Involves implementation of a systems approach to managing cases in family medicine.

Pediatric Consultation Service

A joint venture between the Departments of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics, affords pediatric attending physicians and residents the opportunity for psychology consultation for their patients who present with emotional and behavioral problems. Child psychology interns and pediatric residents work closely with each other in this interdisciplinary approach to patient care.

Child Track Seminars

Child Track interns participate in some didactic experiences that are specific to Child and Adolescent Treatment. Each week interns attend Child Rounds during which research and/or clinical material is presented and discussed by professionals from various disciplines.  Child Track Interns also attend a weekly Child Psychotherapy Seminar along with the Adult Track interns on the Child Rotation.   Child Track Interns and interested Adult Track interns also attend a weekly Adolescent DBT seminar.