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Child, Adolescent, and Pediatric Psychology Track


Kyle Bersted, PhD; Janet Yarboi, PhD; Grace Miller, PhD; Kristina Butler, PhD; Jeannie Aschkenasy, PhD; Nneka Onyezia, PhD

Specific objectives

Child, adolescent and pediatric training is dedicated to state-of-the-art delivery of psychological services for infants, children, adolescents, young adults, parents, and families. The goal is to produce competent clinical psychologists for applied and academic careers in pediatric mental health care. The training philosophy is grounded in two guiding principles: one, that health care is best provided through multidisciplinary collaboration between medical and behavioral sciences; and two, that psychopathology and mental health are best understood from a developmental perspective. Residents gain competency in traditional diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, cognitive-behavioral strategies, new and innovative techniques, brief and long-term treatments, inpatient consultations, and specialized services. Research opportunities across a range of topics are available. 


Training is provided through the departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics. Residents participate in all clinical services throughout the residency year (i.e., no rotations). This allows greater depth of learning and longer-term patient follow-up. These clinical services include:

  • Outpatient therapy clinics (Medical Coping, Mood & Adjustment, Parenting & ADHD)
  • Pediatric inpatient consultation-liaison (C/L)
  • Pediatric psychosocial oncology
  • Neonatal behavioral assessment (NICU) and high-risk infant follow-up
  • Comprehensive psychological evaluation
  • Integrated behavioral health care
  • Therapeutic day school group therapy

For residents with special interests, the program provides opportunity for elective experiences in particular clinical areas. These are arranged on a case-by-case basis and will only be considered after the first four months of the resident’s training year (can be flexible depending on circumstances). Recent examples of these electives include:

  • Adult neuropsychology evaluations (training provided by board certified neuropsychologists)
  • Diabetes service (multidisciplinary management of pediatric diabetics)
  • Cranial-facial service (multidisciplinary assessment and team evaluations)
  • Cystic fibrosis and pulmonology service (outpatient clinic and inpatient consultation)

Clinical service description

Outpatient therapy
Our outpatient therapy service is comprised of three separate specialty services: 1) Medical Coping Clinic; 2) Mood and Adjustment Clinic; and 3) Parenting and ADHD Clinic. Therapeutic services use empirically based approaches. Individual supervision is provided on a weekly basis.

Supervisors: Janet Yarboi, PhD (Medical Coping), Jeannie Aschkenasy, PhD (Mood and Adjustment), Kristina Butler, PhD (Parenting and ADHD)

Pediatric inpatient consultation-liaison (C/L) 
Fundamentals of inpatient consultation-liaison on medical units are taught. Residents interact closely with multidisciplinary teams of health care providers. Consultations may include diagnostic evaluations, developmental and psychological assessments, behavior management, parent and family counseling, individual therapy, staff guidance, and in-service presentations. The focus here is brief assessment and intervention where the primary goal is providing other health care providers with clinical information.

Supervisor: Janet Yarboi, PhD

Pediatric psychosocial oncology
An experience in collaborative work between psychologists and other health care professionals (e.g., oncologists, medical residents, nurses, child life specialists) is provided in a setting of chronic and life-threatening illness. Training focuses on treatment of the most common clinical symptoms found in child, adolescent, and young adult cancer patients. These include depression, anxiety, pain, nausea, adherence problems, and loss of quality of life. Training includes supportive work in death and dying.

Supervisor: Janet Yarboi, PhD

Neonatal behavioral assessment (NICU) and high-risk infant follow-up
This is an experience in developmental screening and evaluation of infants and young children. Fundamentals of early development and assessment of normal, abnormal, and high-risk populations is taught through use of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development.

Supervisor: Grace Miller, PhD

Comprehensive psychological evaluation
This service provides residents with an opportunity to conduct comprehensive psychological evaluations of children and adolescents with attention deficit disorders, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities, internalizing/externalizing disorders, trauma-based disorders, as well as a variety of medical conditions. Most often these evaluations provide families/caregivers with diagnostic clarity. Training includes the use of empirically-supported measures to assess cognitive, language, adaptive, academic, attention, social, and behavioral/emotional functioning. Opportunities to utilize neuropsychological measures to assess executive functioning and memory are also available. Additional areas of training include conducting diagnostic interviews and feedback sessions, as well as report writing. 

Supervisor: Kyle Bersted, PhD

Integrated primary care
This experience allows residents to provide short-term/targeted behavioral health treatment to children, adolescents, and their families within a primary care setting. Services are most often provided through a short-term therapy model (6-8 sessions) after families are referred by their pediatricians. Typical areas of clinical focus include behavioral problems, parent management training, anxiety, depression, academic issues, and sleep concerns. 

Supervisor: Kyle Bersted, PhD

Rush therapeutic day school group therapy
Residents join the day school psychologist in co-leading group therapy sessions (two per week) with emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children within a therapeutic day school. Residents develop practical knowledge in childhood psychopathology, group dynamics, and group intervention. Opportunities for psycho-educational evaluations are also available through this school setting.

Supervisor: Nneka Onyezia, PhD

Seminars and supervision

Attendance at Pediatric and Psychiatry/Behavioral Sciences grand rounds is encouraged. Residents also attend seminars and teaching conferences designed for the entire residency class (nine residents across three training tracks). Supervision and training include direct observation and modeling, co-participation, didactic teaching, and a combination of individual and group supervision. Residents receive a minimum of four hours of individual and group supervision per week.