The Child and Family Therapy Clinic (CFT) at Kennedy Krieger Institute provides a one year postdoctoral fellowship (with the option of extending for a second year) with training focused on using a family therapy framework in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of presenting concerns related to the individual and family. These presenting concerns include, but are not limited to: anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, fears, phobias, panic, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and impulse-control/executive functioning difficulties, tic disorders, anger-management/aggression, parent-child conflicts, parent-teen communication difficulties, school-related difficulties, adjustment-related concerns, stress management, emotion-regulation difficulties, self-harm, suicidal ideation, poor coping, identity development and family transition concerns. Families may also present with unique stressors surrounding concerns regarding their child or adolescent’s behavior that include divorce/separation, bullying, peer conflict, military deployment, transition to a new environment, or lack of social support.

CFT postdoctoral fellows enhance their competency and confidence conducting therapy with youth and their families, gain experience utilizing evidenced-based theoretical approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Functional Family Therapy (FFT), and develop their conceptualization skills while utilizing a family therapy framework. CFT postdoctoral fellows will also receive training in specialized approaches, including Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), as well as experience working with special populations, including military families.

The CFT postdoctoral training program equips fellows to thrive as well-rounded psychologists in a wide range of mental health and medical/hospital settings. The fellowship, as part of a multi-disciplinary pediatric hospital, is designed to increase both depth and scope of pediatric psychology experiences and clinical skills before fellows embark on independent careers in the field, on a trajectory toward leadership. The fellowship provides advanced in-depth and multifaceted training and experience in the context of a specialized team of clinical psychologists, doctoral interns, pre-doctoral externs and interdisciplinary colleagues, with emphasis on specific training interests of the fellow (e.g., interest in particular presenting concerns, particular age groups).

Fellows participate in individual, group and “tiered” supervision as they provide peer review and mentoring to doctoral externs, doctoral practicum students and undergraduate practicum students. Additionally, fellows attend numerous training activities, including a variety of CFT clinic didactics focused on applying ACT, CBT, DBT and FFT orientations to cases, consultation groups for DBT and FFT cases, equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) trainings, departmental professional development seminars and hospital-wide (Kennedy Krieger and JHSOM) presentations. 

The Child and Family Therapy training program was developed in 1990 and has trained hundreds of leading psychologists across the country who have started similar programs of their own.  We believe family therapy is an integral component in the treatment of children, adolescents and young adults when brought in for treatment.  Our model is individually tailored to meet the needs of each family while maintaining a scientist/practitioner model in the development of the case conceptualization.  Fellows complete the program with an in depth understanding of how to conduct family therapy, individual therapy and group therapy using the models outlined below.

The Child and Family Therapy Clinic, which consists of graduate level practicum students, graduate level interns, postdoctoral fellows, and licensed psychologists, is an outpatient clinic with a mission to provide cutting edge, high-quality evidence-based treatment to children and families exhibiting a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems. We have offices located across Maryland including two offices in Baltimore City, Columbia (Howard County), and Odenton (Anne Arundel County). The clinic serves children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 25 years old and their families. Therapy modalities include family therapyindividual therapy, and group therapy, utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Functional Family Therapy (FFT) frameworks. All CFT staff are licensed and certified in their areas of expertise and all CFT staff are also certified in specialized approaches such as Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT).

CFT Postdoctoral Fellows Will Receive Training in The Following Areas:

  • Providing individual and family therapy to patients and members of their family system
  • Conducting group therapy with patients and their families. Current group opportunities include:
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills groups
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups focused on interpersonal effectiveness (social skills) and anxiety
    • Executive Functioning Groups
    • Parent Management Groups for disruptive behavior
    • Process groups to address the impact of COVID
    • Support Groups forto support LGBTQIA+ youth
    • Healing Racial Trauma skills groups
  • Participating in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) trainings provided by CFT, the Kennedy Krieger Behavioral Psychology department, as well as Kennedy Krieger and the Johns Hopkins System. These trainings will increase awareness and promote cultural sensitivity in the treatment room, in supervision, as well as in the work environment.
  • Attending weekly individual and group supervision in order to obtain support, guidance, and collaboration in clinical and professional development areas
  • Collaborating with other professionals at Kennedy Krieger, including our legal team and our educational consultation team, to increase expertise when addressing issues related to school success, abuse and neglect, child custody, and subpoenas
  • Consulting with school staff, psychiatrists, primary care physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language therapists, and other members of the patient’s health and wellness team in order to provide comprehensive care
  • Obtaining advanced training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with trained and certified licensed psychologists through didactics, supervision (individual and group), presentations, consultations, co-treatments, and more
  • Receiving training and experience with specialized treatments, such as Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT) and Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with certified staff psychologists as well as training and experience with specialized populations, such as working with military families to address parental deployment concerns, isolation, frequent relocation, and other stressors specific to military families
  • Presenting psychological topics within the clinic and providing community outreach to schools, focus groups, parent groups, pediatricians, and other outside agencies
  • Developing an emerging leadership role within a large multi-tiered outpatient clinic
  • Utilizing a large library of resources, including treatment manuals, therapy handouts, and training videos, as well as EPPP study materials

Postdoctoral fellows will also have the option to continue for a second year postdoctoral fellowship where they will obtain additional training and leadership opportunities.

Successful applicants will have completed an APA-accredited psychology internship with an emphasis in pediatric psychology, family therapy, or child clinical psychology.