Interns in child psychology are required to maintain approximately 16 hours per week of direct patient contact through the year. Typically, interns spend 18 hours per week in a variety of clinical activities. Other clinical learning experiences include participation in teams, observation of supervisors and co-therapy.
Interns spend approximately half of their time in pediatric psychology and one-third of their time in outpatient services doing psychological evaluations. Psychological assessment may consist of a functional analysis of behavior, developmental or intellectual evaluation, general psychological assessment, structured family interview, or other procedures deemed appropriate by the psychologist for answering the referral question. Psychologists might perform assessments in the context of gathering information on their own cases, in response to requests by members of another discipline such as psychiatry or social work, or in response to requests for a consult by medical personnel in the hospital or an outside agency already treating the child.
Interns are encouraged to distribute their therapy activities across all service units. A typical weekly caseload might include two to three hours a week of work with a child and his family on the interns’ major rotation (C\L, Inpatient, or Partial Hospitalization), several hours of outpatient therapy with children, adolescents or families, an outpatient intake; and one or two hours of group work. The form and focus of treatment (child, family, parent, or some combination) is determined by the intern and her supervisor after consideration of diagnostic input, the scientific literature, conference recommendations, and patient/family needs and resources.
A Typical Week
An intern's hours during a typical week are likely to be spent in the following way:
Clinical Service (16–18 hours):
8 hours in outpatient services (intake, diagnostics and treatment)
4 hours on the testing service
4 to 6 hours in their major rotation (inpatient, partial or C-L Service)
1 to 2 hours group therapy (e.g. disruptive behavior disorders clinic)
Supervision (5–6 hours)
2 hours general outpatient therapy
1 hour outpatient pediatric psychology
1 hour testing service
1 hour major rotation
Education (7–10 hours)
2–3 hours topics and treatment in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
1–2 hours medical psychology seminar
1½ hours neuropsychology seminar
1½ hours family therapy seminar
1–3 hours case conferences and guest lectures
Meetings and Community Services (4–8 hours): Hours depend on each intern's current rotation and particular Professional Education Plan.
3–6 hours clinic or team meetings (e.g., anxiety disorder, diabetes, psychosis, etc.)