Child Psychology Track (155215)

This track offers an array of training opportunities for interns who are interested in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families. Opportunities include specialty clinics and more general outpatient settings. Services are delivered in traditional office-based, community-based, and telehealth delivery models. Several rotations (e.g., Stall, DNCAC, COPE, PPC) provide opportunities to work with children and families who have been exposed to trauma and/or maltreatment, but others provide opportunities to work a wide variety of other youth populations.

Community Outreach Program — Esperanza (COPE)

The Community Outreach Program — Esperanza (COPE) is a specialty clinic within the National Crime Victims Research & Treatment Center. COPE provides community-based assessment, referral, and treatment services to children who have been victimized by crime (e.g., sexual and physical abuse, domestic violence) or have experienced other traumatic events (such as a natural disaster or a serious accident). Services are provided in the child's community (e.g., home, school). COPE attempts to reach victim populations that have traditionally been underserved by office-based mental health care programs, especially rural populations and racial/ethnic minorities. Although open to children from all racial/ethnic minority groups, a significant proportion of referrals involve children of Hispanic descent (~40%) and African American descent (~40%), most from low-income backgrounds.

The overarching goal of COPE is to treat trauma-exposed youth “in context” by minimizing barriers in access to evidence-based mental health services (e.g., lack of transportation, distance from clinic) utilizing a community-based service model. Clinically, interns are trained in: (1) Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; (2) intensive case management; (3) evidence-based engagement strategies to enhance treatment completion; and (4) appropriate use of Interpreter Services to provide linguistically appropriate treatment. Special emphasis is placed on adapting evidence-based interventions for use in community settings with diverse populations. Interns develop expertise in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related symptoms including anxiety, depression, and disruptive behaviors. Finally, interns are encouraged to become involved in ongoing research and/or to participate in related research endeavors.

After completing the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Accurately identify trauma-related symptoms and diagnose trauma-related disorders among child trauma victims in community-based settings.
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for addressing trauma-related problems among child trauma victims within community-based settings.
  • Deliver evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems (specifically, TF-CBT), with fidelity, within community-based settings.
  • Effectively coordinate with physicians who are providing medication evaluation and management and other medical and/or mental health professionals as necessary.
  • Apply appropriate ethical standards to working with trauma-exposed populations and recognize limits and exceptions to patient confidentiality (e.g., mandated reports).
  • Tailor evidence-based trauma-focused interventions to meet the needs of each patient utilizing a culturally competent and linguistically appropriate approach.
  • Identify relevant social service systems that serve child trauma victims and advice patients effectively about those services.

Location of Rotation

  • This rotation requires a valid driver's license and being willing to drive. All clinical duties on COPE happen in the community (homes, schools) anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes away from MUSC. Interns are welcome to use our clinic vehicles, if they don't have a vehicle or prefer not to use it. Interns are covered by MUSC insurance, if they use our clinic vehicles (a valid license is required).
  • This rotation takes place in Charleston Tri-County area schools and homes (community-based). COPE interns are provided an office at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (for note writing, session prep), but all clinical work takes place outside of MUSC.

Clinic Hours

In order to minimize barriers in access to care, interns are expected to be able to see their patients from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last appointment scheduled at 6 p.m. to finish at 7 p.m.).

Faculty

COPE — Telehealth Outreach Program (TOP)

The Telemental Health Outreach Program (TOP) provides telehealth-based assessment and treatment services for children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events (e.g. sexual abuse, physical abuse, witnessing domestic violence, natural disaster, etc.). Services are provided via HIPAA compliant videoconferencing software in the child’s community, including home, school, and primary care locations. The intern providing telehealth services will be located at the Institute of Psychiatry on the MUSC campus and the child will be located in his/her community location. TOP provides evidence-based trauma-focused therapy for children and adolescents across South Carolina. The program is dedicated to improving access to trauma-focused treatment using telehealth for traditionally underserved populations, especially rural populations and racial/ethnic minorities. Interns function as an integral part of the treatment team and have the opportunity to be involved with all aspects of TOP services. Specifically, interns provide evidence-based, trauma-focused assessment and treatment, including assessment and treatment PTSD and co-occurring disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, and disruptive behavior disorders. In addition, interns will be involved in evaluation of services and expansion of services throughout South Carolina. Finally, interns are encouraged to become involved in ongoing telehealth research and program development.

After completing the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Completely provide assessment and psychotherapy via telehealth technology with trauma exposed children and adolescents.
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for addressing trauma-related problems among child victims of trauma via telehealth.
  • Develop and implement clinical procedures specific to a telehealth delivery modality (e.g. safety procedures, protocols for working with clinical staff at remote locations).
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems (specifically, TF-CBT) via telehealth.
  • Tailor trauma-focused treatment to a telehealth delivery modality (e.g. utilizing interactive worksheets, PowerPoint games, screen sharing for real-time viewing of the trauma narrative development, etc.)
  • Effectively coordinate with physicians who are providing medication evaluation and management via telehealth.

Location of Rotation

National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina

Clinic Hours

Time of rotation can vary, but hours are typically 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Faculty

Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center (DNCAC)

DNCAC is a freestanding Children’s Advocacy Center, which is a national multidisciplinary model for responding when there is a concern for child abuse or neglect. DNCAC has a multidisciplinary staff, including representatives from psychology, social work, case management, and forensic interviewing. We also have co-located physicians, nurses and fellows from the MUSC Division of Child Abuse Pediatrics. Each year, the DNCAC provides direct services to over 1,500 child maltreatment victims, including both forensic and clinical (i.e., assessment and/or treatment) services. Children served at our program are racially and economically quite diverse, over half have experienced child maltreatment, including physical abuse (31%), exposure to domestic violence (20%), and sexual abuse (16%).

Psychology interns receive didactic and experiential training in evidence-based assessments and treatments for children who have experienced child abuse or trauma. The treatments provided at DNLCC include Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Sexual Behavior Problem–Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (SBP-CBT). Psychology interns predominantly conduct mental health assessments and provide AF-CBT and PCIT. Interns have the opportunity to observe forensic interviews. Psychology interns on this rotation collaborate with many multidisciplinary partners, including pediatricians, social workers, child protective services, law enforcement, and prosecutors. There are also shared training activities with interns from social work and clinical counseling programs.

By the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Accurately distinguish among forensic and clinical assessments of children.
  • Accurately assess clinical symptoms commonly associated with trauma exposure in children and adolescents.
  • Develop evidence-based treatment plans for addressing trauma-related problems among adult and child victims of abuse and trauma.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related problems [specifically, Alternatives for Families: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AF-CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
  • Effectively provide evidence-based treatments to underserved populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and those families at economic disadvantage, and overcome barriers to the implementation of evidence-based treatments in community settings.

Location of Rotation

Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center

Personal transportation required to complete this rotation.

Clinic Hours

Clinic hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Faculty

Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics (Peds)

This rotation is housed the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at MUSC, a multidisciplinary service with representative faculty from several related disciplines, including school psychology, clinical psychology, developmental pediatrics, genetics, and pediatric psychiatry. Interns also frequently have the opportunity to consult with faculty from other disciplines on specific cases. Interns on this rotation participate in each of two specialty clinics: the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic, and the Infant and Toddlers Assessment Clinic. This rotation includes live supervision and support, and interns without a background in pediatric assessment are welcome. The first three weeks of the rotation include intensive training in interview and specialized assessment techniques.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic

This clinic provides diagnostic evaluations for children suspected of having autism spectrum disorder. Referred children may range in age from 15 months to 18 years, and may have a wide range of presenting concerns. Interns assigned to this clinic will receive training in the use of state-of-the-art assessment instruments for these disorders, including the ADOS-2.

Infant & Toddlers Assessment Clinic

This clinic provides developmental evaluations for children from birth to age 4 suspected of having developmental delays. This clinic is a multidisciplinary service that is staffed by clinical psychologists and developmental pediatricians. Interns assigned to this clinic will receive training in early child development and in the use of age appropriate assessments tools including the Mullen Scales of Early Learning and the Differential Ability Scales-II.

At the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Reliably use evidence-based assessment methods for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2).
  • Provide accurate differential diagnoses for children referred for concerns for autism spectrum disorder.
  • Provide evidence-based individualized treatment recommendations for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
  • Reliably use the Mullen and other instruments to provide a thorough, accurate developmental assessment for children ages 0 through 4 years.
  • Work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team to conduct developmental assessment and develop needs-based treatment plan.
  • Provide sensitive, evidence-based feedback to families regarding their children’s development and proposed treatment plan.

Location of Rotation

Medical University of South Carolina

Clinic Hours

Clinic appointments typically take place between 7:45 a.m. and 1 p.m., with afternoons reserved for report preparation.

Faculty

Head Start Mental Health Consultation & Treatment Program (Head Start)

This rotation provides a multidisciplinary experience working with teachers, young children, and parents involved in the Early Head Start and Head Start programs (EHS and HS) across the Charleston County area. Charleston EHS/HS serves children through 15 classroom-based centers and an EHS home visiting program. The Charleston EHS/HS programs target high-risk, low socioeconomic status children/families, often characterized by developmental, social emotional, and/or behavioral difficulties. The EHS/HS Consult program provides a step-wise level of care — all children and classrooms are initially assessed, and then proceed through the following steps as needed:

  • Teacher partnership and classroom-wide intervention.
  • Child-specific classroom intervention.
  • Parent consultation
  • Provision of, or referral to, child and family therapy.

Interns receive experience working directly with teachers, children, and parents, as well as other providers (e.g., school counselors, school nurse, administrators).

The intern functions as an integral part of the treatment team and is involved in every aspect of the program. Interns will participate in structured classroom observations and evaluations using a multi-dimensional assessment approach; work with classroom teachers to develop and implement classroom-wide interventions; provide parent consultation; determine appropriateness of additional child and family therapy (e.g., parent training, child maltreatment prevention), and provide such services as appropriate.

In addition to direct clinical services, interns will gain an understanding of systemic issues within Head Start and the public school mental health system, collaborate with Head Start staff regarding program development, develop expertise in interdisciplinary management of high-risk children and families, learn about child maltreatment prevention, and develop and collaborate in related clinical research.

At the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Effectively complete structured classroom evaluations using a multi-dimensional approach.
  • Complete official classroom evaluation reports for each classroom.
  • Accurately identify developmental, social, and behavioral concerns among children ages 1 through 6.
  • Collaborate with education professional in consultation, referral, and provision of services.
  • Deliver child-specific classroom interventions, parent consultation, and child and family therapy (e.g., parent training, child maltreatment prevention).
  • Accurately track child progress through the step-wise care system.
  • Document the delivery of assessment, consultation, and intervention services and child, family, and teacher responses to services appropriately.

Location of Rotation

Community-based Head Start Centers & MUSC

Interns on the Head Start rotation are required to have their own transportation to commute between sites in the Tri-county area. The intern is reimbursed for gas and travel expenses.

Clinic Hours

Head Start hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Faculty

Outpatient Youth & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic (YOP)

On this rotation, interns provide evidence-based mental health services in an outpatient setting to children, adolescents, and families. Patients present with a wide range of mental health symptoms and clinical concerns, including disruptive behavior disorders (e.g., ADHD, ODD), internalizing problems (e.g., depression, anxiety), and adjustment problems. The clinic has a high census, and we have some flexibility to match the type of cases assigned to the training needs and interests of the interns, who work alongside social workers, licensed professional counselors, and psychiatrists in providing multidisciplinary case management for their cases. Interns will receive some training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy and other evidence-based interventions for youth and their families. The population served includes children and adolescent (ages 4 to 17 years) and their families struggling with a wide variety of mental and behavioral health problems. Some preference is given in the clinic to children with complex problems that include medical complications or have difficult-to-manage presentations.

At the conclusion of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Assess and accurately identify behavioral and mental health problems in youth (ages 4 to 17) and their families
  • Accurately assess treatment progress and symptom reduction using multiple methods (i.e., self-report, parent report, collateral reports).
  • Deliver family-based behavioral and cognitive-behavioral evidence-based treatments (e.g., Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, among others) for youth aged 4 through 17 years, with fidelity.
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's electronic medical record.
  • Effectively provide evidence-based treatments to underserved populations, including racial/ethnic minorities and those families at economic disadvantage. 

Location of Rotation

Institute of Psychiatry, Outpatient Clinic — MUSC

Clinic Hours

The Youth Outpatient Clinic operates Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Faculty

Pediatric Primary Care (PPC)

Interns function as part of an integrated behavioral and physical health team that serves children who are currently in foster care placements in Charleston and Dorchester Counties. Interns perform a variety of duties, including consultation with pediatricians on behavioral health issues; brief, targeted psychological assessments; provision of evidence-based interventions (e.g., Trauma Focused-Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy); and short-term crisis stabilization counseling (using the Child-Family Traumatic Stress Intervention) with foster children and their families. Interns participate in case staffings with the FCSC team (pediatrician, nurse-practitioner, social worker, and psychologist), which will jointly determine the service plan for each child. Interns round with pediatricians and nurse practitioners to provide some brief interventions “on-the-fly” during clinic and also have scheduled clinics in which they provide more traditional outpatient psychotherapy (based on referrals and case needs from the FCSC team).

The rotation also provides an excellent opportunity to develop skills for effective interaction with community and public agencies, like the child protection and foster care service systems.

At the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:

  • Effectively screen for disruptive behavior problems, parenting concerns, and trauma-related symptoms in underserved, trauma-exposed youth living in out-of-home care.
  • Deliver, with fidelity, evidence-based and best practice interventions to facilitate improvements in behavioral adjustment, depression, and PTSD symptoms.
  • Interact and consult effectively with a multidisciplinary (pediatrician, nurse practitioner, social worker) treatment team within a primary care setting.
  • Educate multidisciplinary health care providers about behavioral health factors that affect health care delivery.
  • Document the delivery of services and patient response to services appropriately in each patient's MUSC electronic medical record.

Location of Rotation

Medical University of South Carolina

Clinic Hours

Official hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Faculty