Child & Adolescent Training Track

 childstudycenter

Child Study Center

The Child Study Center (CSC) has been offering mental health services to children and families since 1955. This center is a major program within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and serves children between the ages of 2 to 12 and their families. The CSC attracts patients from throughout the state for therapy and psychological evaluation services, although the majority of patients are from the Central Arkansas region. This population is racially and ethnically diverse, with the majority of patients identifying themselves as Caucasian or African-American. Socio-economic status also is diverse; however, the majority of clientele come from lower income homes. Staff at the CSC includes psychologists, psychology interns, psychiatrists, psychiatry residents and fellows, licensed clinical social workers, social work interns, and licensed professional counselors.

Training experiences at this site include implementing evidence-based interventions in individual, family, and group modalities; conducting diagnostic assessments; providing psychological testing evaluations; and meeting weekly for individual supervision with a psychologist.

Interns complete a 12-month rotation at the CSC where patients are referred for the treatment of a wide range of general child psychopathologies, including disruptive behaviors, ADHD, depression, anxiety, sexual behavior problems, adjustment disorders, and elimination disorders. Interns provide therapeutic interventions that are evidenced-based, manualized behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapies, such as Helping the Noncompliant Child, Defiant Children, Coping Cat, and Coping Power.

While at the CSC, interns also receive training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for patients between the ages of 0 to 6 who exhibit disruptive and oppositional behavior. This therapy experience involves co-therapy with a supervising psychologist. In addition, interns will participate in the Child Traumatic Stress Clinic that focuses on children with a trauma history who are experiencing mood, anxiety, and/or behavioral problems. Interns receive training in and experience with implementing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) as a part of this specialty clinic. By the end of internship, interns will have made significant progress towards meeting the national certification/rostering requirements for PCIT and TF-CBT

Additionally, interns complete a 12-month rotation where they provide psychological evaluations to children with a broad range of presenting issues. Referral questions often include diagnostic clarification, assessment of level of functioning, and treatment planning. Interns gain experience in clinical interviewing; administration, scoring, and interpretation of psychological tests and measures; formulation of diagnostic impressions and recommendations for intervention; and oral and written communication of assessment findings. This rotation includes children who present with an array of typical childhood presenting issues, such as ADHD, learning difficulties, anxiety, mood problems, and disruptive behaviors. Adolescents up to age 18 also may be seen as part of the evaluation experience. Typical psychological testing instruments include tests of intelligence, achievement, visual-motor integration, attention, and memory, as well rating forms and diagnostic interviews assessing emotional and behavioral disorders.

Walker Family Clinic

The Walker Family Clinic (WFC) has been offering mental health services to adolescent, young adults, adults, and geriatric populations since 2008. The WFC was formed by the integration of the UAMS Program for Adults and Program for Young Adults. This clinic serves the referral needs for inpatient units, UAMS outpatient clinical programs, the community of greater Little Rock, and for secondary and tertiary settings from across the state. The patient population for WFC generally reflects the racial and ethnic breakdown of the Greater Little Rock metropolitan area, which is primarily Caucasian and African American. Socio-economic status also is diverse; however, the majority of clientele come from lower income homes. Staff at the WFC include psychologists, psychology interns, psychiatrists, psychiatry residents and fellows, licensed clinical social workers, social work interns, and licensed professional counselors.

At the WFC interns complete a 12-month therapy rotation with adolescents, young adults, and adults. The clinical populations for the WFC include trauma and stress-related disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, somatization and conversion disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, pain, substance abuse, eating disorders, and general medical conditions. The intern trains with and is supervised by faculty who have experience in behavioral, cognitive, cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, psychodynamic, systems, and family therapy models. Training experiences at this site include implementing evidence based interventions in individual and family modalities, conducting diagnostic assessments, and meeting weekly for individual supervision with a psychologist.

The WFC also houses the Neuropsychology Service. Interns may train within the Adolescent Neuropsychology program under the supervision of Jennifer Gess, PhD, ABPP. This program is referral-based; referrals primarily come from departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The population has equal distributions of gender and ethnic populations to match those of the referring departments. This training experience includes an introductory exposure to concepts of behavioral neurology and brain-behavior relationships. Interns are provided exposure to patients with neurologic conditions and are trained in clinical interview skills with a focus on evaluation of medical and neurological associations of a variety of disorders. Depending on their interest and backgrounds, they may receive additional training in the administration of a variety of neuropsychological psychometrics, as well as the subsequent scoring and interpretation of those tests. Comprehensive neuropsychological report writing may also be a component of this rotation. Other experiences offered, but not required, during this rotation include Neurology Grand Rounds, Epilepsy Conference, Clinical Investigators Working Group meetings, research opportunities, and Brain Cutting.

Child Diagnostic Unit

Interns complete a 6-month rotation on the inpatient unit that provides services for children ages 2 to 12 who present with a variety of symptoms, including aggression to themselves and others, significant disruptive behaviors, irritability, mood lability, extreme inflexibility, and noncompliance. Diagnoses include ADHD and other disruptive behavior disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and trauma and stressor-related disorders. Children also present with developmental delays and sensory difficulties. A significant number of the children have trauma histories. Many of them have been psychiatrically hospitalized multiple times and are poorly understood by outpatient providers, schools, and their families. The inpatient unit has 10 beds.Psychology interns primarily conduct comprehensive psychological testing of the children. This includes administering tests of intelligence, academic achievement, adaptive functioning, memory, social cognitive processing, and behavior rating forms; conducting clinical interviews; engaging in behavioral observations; and reviewing clinical records. As time and opportunities arise, interns are also involved in individual, family, and group therapy and supervision of other psychology trainees. They also have an opportunity to learn from and work with a multidisciplinary team that includes psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language, and education.

The milieu model used on the Child Diagnostic Unit is Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS). The basic premise of CPS is “Kids do well if they can” and it is the job of Child Diagnostic Unit clinicians (including the psychology intern) to assist in identifying the cognitive lagging skills (e.g., executive functioning deficits, emotion regulation, etc.) that interfere with the child’s ability to meet expectations. Other key components of CPS includes identifying unsolved problems and working collaboratively with children to solve these problems. Elements of CPS are used when writing comprehensive reports and establishing individually-tailored recommendations.

Research

Interns may engage in on-going research under the supervision of a psychologist within the department. Many opportunities are available, which are tailored individually to suit the needs and goals of the intern, the currently available research projects, and other considerations. Please refer to Research page for more information.