Major Rotations: Primary Clinical Experiences

Psychiatric Mental Health Program

Fellows gain experience in evidence-based psychological interventions with children and adolescents, and their families, through participation in the Psychiatric Mental Health Program (PMHP) three to four days per week (depending on minor rotation preference) for the duration of the two-year fellowship. Through participation in this program, fellows provide outpatient treatment to children and adolescents who present with a variety of psychiatric and/or neurodevelopmental conditions, including mood and anxiety disorders, externalizing disorders, potential for risk of suicidal behavior and self-injury, eating disorders, trauma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), tic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder. Fellows will also have the opportunity to provide direct supervision to psychology interns and/or externs.

The primary focus of each fellows' clinical experience will be on dialectical behavior therapy for adolescents (DBT-A). The PMHP uses a comprehensive intervention model that includes a highly collaborative DBT team. During weekly meetings, the team collaborates on every aspect of treatment. Fellows participate in these meetings and also observe and co-lead multifamily parent and adolescent groups, using DBT in working with both individual patients and families.

Note: As DBT relies on a thorough understanding of specific principles and techniques, applicants should have previous experience and training in this model. It is strongly recommended that applicants receive intensive or foundational DBT or DBT-A training before the fellowship begins. Applicants will be considered without such prior training, but will be expected to complete DBT training early in their time with us.

Other Clinical Intervention Opportunities

Fellows have the opportunity to gain experience with additional evidence-based interventions, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioral intervention for tics (CBIT), exposure with response prevention (ERP), the Chicago Parent Program (CPP), and parent management training. Additional opportunities to work with specific populations, including young children and gender-diverse youth, are available. Involvement in any of these programs will focus on skill development and the implementation of the treatment model with patients.

There are two supervising psychologists within the major rotation, and each fellow is matched with additional supervision/consultation as required, based on their interest and treatment focus.

  • Supervisors and consulting psychologists: Daniel Kleiner, PsyD; Danielle Virgadamo, PsyD; Joseph McGuire, PhD; Amie Bettencourt, PhD; and Kathryn Van Eck, PhD.


Minor Rotations: Clinical Assessment Experiences

Fellows gain experience in psychological assessment by participating in two of the following outpatient specialty clinics over the course of the fellowship. Through involvement in these outpatient specialty clinics, fellows gain experience serving individuals, from infants to young adults, with a wide range of neurodevelopmental and/or psychiatric disorders. As part of this experience, fellows offer consultation to medical providers, families and school staff members, and they are exposed to relevant special education law. Each fellow receives direct supervision throughout their minor rotation. The specific outpatient specialty clinics are described below.

Executive Function Clinic

In the Executive Function (EF) Clinic, fellows participate in evaluations of children and adolescents with known or suspected neurodevelopmental, psychiatric and/or medical disorders that can be associated with executive dysfunction. Participation in this clinic provides fellows with opportunities to learn about the development of executive function skills through early childhood and adolescence, common conditions associated with executive dysfunction across settings, special education law and other school-specific information

  • Supervisors: Rashida Barner, PhD, and Shelley McDermott, PhD, BCBA-D

Development and Early Learning Clinic

In the Development and Early Learning (DEL) Clinic, fellows participate in evaluations of children 6 years old and younger. Patients in this clinic present with developmental, behavioral and/or learning disorders. Participation in this clinic provides fellows with opportunities to learn about assessment procedures used with young children, and evidence-based intervention strategies for supporting young children with developmental disorders. Fellows also develop skills in differentiating between typical and atypical development in young children.

  • Supervisors: Shelley McDermott, PhD, BCBA-D and Rebecca Lieb, PhD, ABPP


Optional Training Experiences:

Preschool Interdisciplinary Clinic 

The Preschool Interdisciplinary Clinic (PIC) consists of a team of professionals from across the Institute who provide diagnostic clarification and ongoing monitoring of children with various neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • Supervisor: Shelley McDermott, PhD, BCBA-D

Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law)

Project HEAL is a comprehensive medical-legal partnership that provides advocacy and legal services for children—and their families—who receive clinical services at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

  • Supervisor: Maureen van Stone, Esq., MS

Kennedy Krieger School Programs

Kennedy Krieger School Programs include nonpublic special education day schools for children and adolescents in elementary through high school. Kennedy Krieger School Programs are nationally recognized schools with students who have a variety of diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, speech-language disorders, intellectual disabilities and other health conditions, such as seizures and traumatic brain injuries.

  • Supervisor: Emma Cole, PhD, ABPP

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders provides assessment and treatment services for children and adolescents who have or are suspected of having ASD.

  • Supervisor: Amy Keefer, PhD, ABPP

A chart showing the sample schedule for incoming fellows.