Curriculum

The curriculum consists of generalist training in assessment, treatment, consultation, knowledge of childhood disorders, and professional development. All students take part in both didactic and applied clinical experiences over the course of the two years. Courses vary in length, from an academic year to a few weeks. All intern’s clinical experiences are for the entire year, rather than rotations.

Required Seminars and Conferences

During the initial two months of training, interns are oriented to the program through a variety of topics tailored to meet the training needs of each internship class. introduced to a variety of topics that serve as an orientation to the program. Topics generally include psychological and neuropsychological instruments and assessment techniques, assessment of learning disorders, techniques in psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral intervention, crisis intervention, and ethical issues for clinical psychologists. Faculty: various affiliated members
This seminar offers both an introduction to theory and practice in the neuropsychological assessment of children and group supervision with a special emphasis on medical disorders of childhood. Faculty: Mary Best, PhD
This seminar focuses on the evaluation and treatment of autism spectrum disorder and other social disabilities. Faculty: Michael Powers, PsyD.
This seminar focuses on the use of the ADOS-2 in the evaluation of suspected autism spectrum disorders. Faculty: Kelly Powell, PhD and Brianna Lewis, PhD
This seminar focuses on learning about family therapy within the context of culture and larger system considerations, grounded in an exploratory and communication-oriented approach. It develops family therapy clinical skills in working with diverse populations. Therapists’ development involves the understanding of the use of self as a primary tool for engagement, assessment, and treatment. Faculty: Maysa Akbar, PhD, Cecilia Singh, PhD, Howard Kahn, PhD
Evidence-based Treatment is infused throughout the curriculum of the Child Study Center. All interns are trained in Trauma Focused CBT and CBT for Anxiety Disorders. In addition, other evidence-based treatments are incorporated into the clinical work in the outpatient clinic and/or in the areas of focus. Didactic content on evidence-based treatments is also presented through seminars, such as Departmental Conference and Autism Seminar. Faculty: Wendy Silverman, PhD, Eli Silverman, PhD, Megan Goslin, PhD, Kristen Kowats, LCSW
The seminar explores psychodynamic perspectives on evaluation, diagnosis, treatment planning and psychotherapy with children and adolescents. Faculty: Steven Marans, PhD, Megan Goslin, PhD
During the internship year, each intern has the opportunity to serve as a co-leader of a psychotherapy group with one of our faculty members. As a co-therapist, the intern focuses on theories related to group treatment and gains direct knowledge of therapeutic practice in the group context. Faculty: Julie Wolf, PhD, Nancy Moss, PhD

Multidisciplinary Seminars and Conferences

This elective multidisciplinary seminar provides interns with the opportunity to learn about diagnosis and treatment of a variety of childhood disorders through presentations by the Child Study Center's seminar faculty. Faculty: various affiliated faculty
Theoretical, research and clinical papers by faculty, trainees, and outside speakers. All Child Study Center faculty and fellows attend this weekly conference.
This seminar covers the spectrum of childhood psychiatric disorders and the use of psychopharmacological agents as an adjunct to therapy. Didactic readings and case discussions are important components of the seminar. Faculty: Robert McWilliam, MD

Professional Development

Interns meet weekly with the training director and other faculty to discuss a broad range of clinical and professional issues relevant to the practice of psychology. Professional development, advances in assessment and treatment, diversity, consultation, theories of supervision, and program evaluation are examples of topics recently covered in this seminar. Interns are provided with a teaching opportunity during the year in order to receive feedback on their presentations and prepare them for dissertation defense or job talks. This weekly meeting also serves as a forum to discuss issues related to training and the training program. Faculty: Michele Goyette-Ewing and affiliated faculty

Second year fellows attend selected meetings, and are invited to present and teach. Focus is placed on professional development issues.

In keeping with the multidisciplinary orientation of training at the Child Study Center, trainees may receive supervision from professionals from varied disciplines. Currently, each intern receives approximately 3 hours of individual supervision each week. 

A psychologist supervises ongoing treatment and evaluation of children and families seen through the Outpatient Clinic. For psychological assessment, interns are assigned two clinical psychology supervisors. An additional supervisor is provided for each specialty area. 

Second year fellows electing to continue seeing a child or family in treatment through the outpatient clinic may do so. Additional supervisors are assigned for all of the second year clinical placements.

Internship Applied - Required General Clinical Settings

Psychology fellows conduct comprehensive psychological evaluations of school-age children under the direction of Laurie Cardona, PsyD. Children are referred by schools, parents, pediatricians, and other practitioners, within and outside of Connecticut. Fellows receive intensive weekly supervision during each evaluation. A variety of referral questions are addressed including differential diagnosis, need for treatment, and educational planning. Interns become proficient in educational assessment.

Second year fellows participate in the PAS by providing administrative triage, supporting case assignment, and by completing comprehensive evaluations over the course of the second year. 

In response to concern about the increasing need for services for high risk and complex children and adolescents, the Child Study Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital opened the Children's Psychiatric Inpatient Service in 1985. The 16-bed unit provides diagnostic evaluations and crisis intervention to children aged 4-14 whose severe psychiatric and developmental problems require 24-hour intensive care. An over-riding goal of the service is to maintain the child's ties with family and community during hospitalization and to assure close linkages between the inpatient service and the other professionals, agencies and schools with which the child and family are already engaged. 

Laurie Cardona, Psy.D. is the Chief Psychologist for this service and provides supervision for all work conducted on the unit by psychology interns and Second Year fellows. During the first year, interns provide occasional psychological assessments on an as needed rotating basis for hospitalized youth. 

During the second year, fellows placed at CPIS as their psychiatric inpatient placement serve as primary clinicians on the unit. As primary clinicians, fellows develop skills as case managers and behavior consultants and work with unit staff in designing interventions that will generalize to home, school, and community settings.

Funded in part by the State of Connecticut, Department of Children and Families (DCF), this clinic is one of the largest child outpatient services in the state. While its patient population is varied, a majority of the families served are publicly assisted, ethnic minorities. Under the direction of David Grodberg, M.D. and Director Michele Goyette-Ewing, PhD, multidisciplinary teams comprised of psychology, child psychiatry and social work provide therapeutic services to children and youth aged 5 to 18 within this clinic. 

During the internship year, primary experience in outpatient evaluation and treatment is gained in the Child Study Center Outpatient Clinic. Interns are members of a multidisciplinary clinic team. Typically, each intern carries approximately 5 cases concurrently, encompassing child, parent, and/or family therapy. Additionally, interns actively assist social work and psychiatry team members in determining the appropriateness of psychological evaluation. Continued outpatient work in this clinic is open as an elective in the second year.

During the first year, each intern is involved in the clinical activities of their area of focus 10-15 hours per week.

During the second year, each fellow continues their involvement in the clinical activities of their focus area for approximately 20 hours per week, continuing the clinical involvements of the first year and adding additional activities that meet the training goals of the fellow. 

Second Year Didactics

Theoretical, research and clinical papers by faculty, trainees, and outside speakers. All Child Study Center faculty and fellows attend this weekly conference.

Interns meet weekly with the training director and other faculty to discuss a broad range of clinical and professional issues relevant to the practice of psychology. Professional development, advances in assessment and treatment, diversity, consultation, theories of supervision, and program evaluation are examples of topics recently covered in this seminar. Interns are provided with a teaching opportunity during the year in order to receive feedback on their presentations and prepare them for dissertation defense or job talks. This weekly meeting also serves as a forum to discuss issues related to training and the training program. Faculty: Michele Goyette-Ewing and affiliated faculty

Second year fellows attend selected meetings, and are invited to present and teach. Focus is placed on professional development issues.

Required Placements

The Child Study Center provides crisis evaluation and consultation to the Pediatric Emergency Department at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Hundreds of children receive psychiatric assessments each year in the Pediatric ED following indications of serious psychiatric impairment, including suicide and homicide. These assessments, conducted in collaboration with hospital social work staff, are the responsibility of psychology fellows and child psychiatry fellows. 

All second year psychology Fellows provide rotating clinical coverage to the ED.

Solnit Center South, operated by the State of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families (DCF), has had a long affiliation with the Child Study Center. Located approximately 30-miles from the Child Study Center in Middletown, Connecticut, the Solnit Center provides inpatient psychiatric assessment and treatment for children and adolescents. Many of the children referred to this facility have been court ordered for evaluation or long-term treatment. 

The Fellows placed at the Solnit Center as their psychiatric inpatient placement, complete a two day per week year-long rotation on units serving older school agers or adolescents presenting with a variety of diagnostic and treatment concerns. Fellows serve as primary clinicians and share responsibility for psychological evaluations with the staff psychologist assigned to the unit. 

Clinical duties typically involve twice weekly individual psychotherapy, weekly family therapy, group therapy, and participation in multidisciplinary treatment teams. Staff psychologists provide supervision.

Second year Fellows placed at CPIS as their psychiatric inpatient placement serve as primary clinicians on the unit during their rotation. As primary clinicians, Fellows develop skills as case managers and behavior consultants and work with unit staff in designing interventions that will generalize to home, school, and community settings.

Psychology fellows conduct comprehensive psychological evaluations of school-age children under the direction of Laurie Cardona, PsyD. Children are referred by schools, parents, pediatricians, and other practitioners, within and outside of Connecticut. Fellows receive intensive weekly supervision during each evaluation. A variety of referral questions are addressed including differential diagnosis, need for treatment, and educational planning. Interns become proficient in educational assessment.

Second year fellows participate in the PAS by providing administrative triage, supporting case assignment, and by completing comprehensive evaluations over the course of the second year. 

During the first year, each intern is involved in the clinical activities of their area of focus 10-15 hours per week.

During the second year, each fellow continues their involvement in the clinical activities of their focus area for approximately 20 hours per week, continuing the clinical involvements of the first year and adding additional activities that meet the training goals of the fellow. 

Areas of Focus

Interns matched for the Autism and Developmental Disabilities area of specialization are involved in the clinical and/or research activities of the Developmental Disabilities Clinics in the Yale Child Study Center. Training in this area emphasizes clinical assessments of individuals with autism and related conditions from infancy through school age, with a focus on developmental/cognitive and diagnostic evaluations conducted within an interdisciplinary setting. Research involvement may include training in standardized and novel methodologies, the grant-writing process, and integration of research into clinical practice. The fellowship will be individualized to meet the trainee's interests and needs within the constraints of the clinical service and its research priorities.

The Developmental Disabilities Clinics offer comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluations for infants, toddlers, (link) pre-school, and school-age children (link) with autism and related disorders, usually focusing on the issues of diagnosis and intervention. The clinics are integrated with the research program, and both involve professionals from a variety of disciplines.

The research includes studies of the definition and classification of autism, neuropsychology, social cognition, early development and natural course, adaptive skills and outcome, speech-language and communication, social cognition, neuroimaging, neurochemistry and neurobiology, family and molecular genetics, psycho-pharmacological, parent-training and behavioral treatments, and animal models.

Interns matched for the Trauma and Children area of focus are involved in the clinical and/or research work of the Childhood Trauma Program in the Yale Child Study Center. (link to CDCP) This specialty area provides strong, multi-faceted training through the Child Development-Community Policing Program and the Childhood Trauma Program. The CTP is focused on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of early/acute interventions for children exposed to violence and potential trauma. During the internship year, the trauma intern participates in acute interventions for children and families exposed to violence. This includes training in the CD-CP Acute Trauma Response Protocol, ride-alongs and joint intervention with the New Haven Police Officers, introductory training in police practices, participation in the on-call service for the NIPD, and training and provision of the Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention, a four to six session secondary prevention model for children exposed to violence which was developed at the CTP.

Clinical interns also provide assessment and longer-term treatment for children exposed to violence, including Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), psychodynamic treatment, and other trauma informed treatments. Interns participate in a weekly multidisciplinary team meeting with police officers and DCF personnel. They receive individual clinical supervision and attend a weekly clinical team meeting to support these activities. 

In the second year, each fellow continue to provide therapeutic services to children exposed to trauma and to participate in the on-call service for the NHPD. Additionally, the fellow develops and pursues and individualized professional development plan, in consultation with their faculty mentor. This plan may include participation in research, clinical teaching, and /or additional clinical training within the specialty area, in line with the fellow's individual strengths and needs and his/her career goals. 

Pediatric Psychology trainees work with children and families experiencing medical illness, including clinical work in multiple settings. During the internship year, the pediatric intern participates in our medical IICAPS program, which delivers home-based treatment services to children and families with concurrent medical, psychological, and concrete needs.

Working within the medical IICAPS model, first year Pediatric Psychology interns provide family-centered care to children experiencing both medial and psychiatric illness with the goal of moving them to outpatient treatment. IICAPS programs offer a continuum of care including evaluation, assessment, individual psychotherapy, family treatment, parental guidance, medication management, and case management and coordination. Program goals are to maintain the child's relationship with his or her primary caregiver whenever possible, reduce the need for out-of-home placements, and assist the family to provide a safe, stable, environment for each child.

During the second year, Pediatric Fellows will become a member of the Child Study Center's Pediatric Consultation-Liason Service. The Child Study Center provides all mental health consultations to Yale-New Haven Hospital, Department of Pediatrics. Under the direction of child psychiatry and psychology faculty, second year Pediatric psychology fellows, child psychiatry fellows, and developmental pediatricians consult to the impatient wards, Primary Care Clinic, and pediatric Specialty Clinics such as diabetes and oncology. Services include staff consultations, diagnostic evaluations, and behavioral and psychotherapeutic interventions.

Infancy and early childhood has been a long-standing focus of clinical services in the Center. We provide a full range for evaluation and treatment services to pregnant families, parents, and children from infancy through early school age. We also sponsor consultation to local child care centers.

Early Childhood trainees provide developmental assessments, individual child and parent psychotherapy, and school-based consultations to teachers for children under five. They may also provide group-based prevention and intervention services for parents. They may also provide follow-up developmental and medical consultations to families of preterm infants, and work collaboratively with pediatricians and early childhood educators. 

Research focuses on basic developmental research and testing the effectiveness of our prevention and intervention services for parents and infants. Themes include: 

  1. The quality of early education programs at state, federal, and global levels, and efforts to improve early education and child care quality
  2. Effectiveness of early childhood mental health consultation systems embedded into child care settings
  3. Impact of substance abuse on parental sensitivity
  4. Assessment of High-Risk families (children born at high-risk and/or exposed to cocaine); also opportunity for analysis of existing datasets
  5. Electrophysiology/EEG studies of social rejection, reward sensitivity, affect tolerance
  6. Minding the Baby, a family-based intervention using "mentalization"-based treatment approaches