Vanderbilt Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Site Training Director: Kirsten L. Haman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Number of Positions: 1

Salary: $25,000

Term: July 3, 2017 - June 29, 2018

National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 156614


The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry group in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Vanderbilt School of Medicine has offered an APA-approved Psychology Internship for more than 20 years. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry consists of child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, and trainees from several mental health disciplines. We provide inpatient psychiatric hospital services, partial hospitalization services, and a broad range of outpatient services, and are both a major mental health services provider for Middle Tennessee and a regional training center. Psychology Interns with a primary placement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry  will provide outpatient mental health services to vulnerable children and families served by the Mental Health Center (MHC) and the Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody (COE).

Children and families present to these clinics with a range of psychiatric problems, including conduct and behavioral disturbances, adjustment problems, traumatic stress, depression and anxiety, and symptoms of psychotic disturbances. As such, Psychology Interns will gain experience with patients ranging in age from early childhood to late adolescence and from diverse racial and ethnic groups. Patients are often involved in multiple child-serving systems (e.g., the child welfare system); have been exposed to a variety of adverse childhood experiences, including but not limited to abuse, neglect, family stress, and environmental stress; and experience developmental, physical, and psychiatric disabilities.

Potential for Program Change: There are no current indications for change.

  • The goal of the internship experience in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is to provide supervised clinical training, as well as didactic teaching, so that graduates are prepared to assume roles as child and adolescent-oriented clinical psychologists. Objectives for this placement include development of basic skills in child and adolescent clinical psychology: psychological evaluation, psychotherapy with children and teenagers, work with parents, family therapy, and clinical case consultation with multiple child-serving systems. At the end of the training year, we expect Interns to be familiar with the operation of a child and adolescent outpatient service in a community mental health center and specialty clinic. We also expect Interns to develop skill interacting productively with other disciplines, recognize  when patient problems call for consultation with other professionals, understand relevant ethical and legal principles arising in the treatment of children and adolescents, and develop sensitivity and competency in providing services to a racially, culturally, and socio-economically diverse patient population. Interns will gain familiarity and competence delivering a range of evidence-based treatment approaches to address child, adolescent and parenting issues.

  • The structure of this placement includes assessment with child and adolescent psychiatric populations, clinical case consultation with multiple child-serving systems, psychotherapy with children, teenagers and parents, consultation with trainees and staff from varied disciplines, and professional development opportunities. The Community Mental Health Center and Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody both emphasize the provision of evidence-based treatment protocols (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma-focused CBT, family therapy, parent training protocols) and other best practices. Training and supervision for interns, fellows, students and staff in evidence-based treatments are incorporated into the program. In addition to two individual supervision hours per week, interns participate in weekly group supervision with staff therapists and trainees from multiple disciplines. Further didactic offerings include weekly child and adolescent grand rounds, a psychiatry fellows’ seminar series, and various trainings and lectures offered through the Psychiatry Department and affiliated Medical School and University departments. In addition to direct service provision, trainees will have the opportunity to participate in local and statewide dissemination projects that train community mental health providers across the State to deliver evidence-based treatments and other best practices with fidelity.

    This training experience does not provide opportunities for extensive work with individuals with mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders, clinical work with infants, or eating disorders. Although we see parents as an adjunct to our work with their children or adolescents, we do not normally work with adult patients.

  • A secondary placement through the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is available for Interns with primary placements at other sites in the Consortium. This placement is focused on pediatric neuropsychological assessment through a research study and involves seeing children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders for various assessments. Additional secondary placements may be added from year to year. However, beyond the pediatric neuropsychology placement, we cannot guarantee the availability of any further placements for the 2017-18 training year within the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

  • Enrollment in an APA accredited program is required.  Consistent with the overall requirements of the Consortium, applicants should have a minimum of 550 total intervention and assessment hours as defined by the AAPI.  While not required, it is recommended that applicants have at least 150 hours of assessment experience.  All interns with primary placements in the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences must pass a background check. This will be performed after match day. Match results and selection decisions are contingent on passing the background check. No prospective Consortium intern has ever been refused employment as a result of the background check, but it is a possibility. Several have had difficulty, in all cases because of past legal problems they chose not to reveal during the application process. Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Interns performing a secondary placement in the VA must also complete a VA background check.

  • Timothy J. Cooper, Psy.D. (Spaulding University)
    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
    Interests: Assessment in children; impact of trauma

    Blythe Corbett, Ph.D. (California School of Psychology)
    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
    Interests: Autism; Tourette Syndrome; ADHD

    Jon Ebert, Psy.D. (Wheaton College)
    Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
    Interests: Marriage and family therapy; juvenile justice; trauma and attachment

    Tarah Kuhn, Ph.D. (Adelphia University)
    Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
    Interests: Adolescent treatment outcomes; complex trauma; juvenile sexual behavior problems