Group telehealth training opportunity for graduate students in mental health professions.

CBITS Over Telehealth Provides Empowerment (COPE) is a 15-week training program designed to virtually deliver an evidence-based group mental health intervention to adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who have experienced stressful life events. COPE is an adaptation of Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) that addresses the learning, developmental, and clinical needs of adolescents with ASD. Institutional collaboration has been established to develop the infrastructure to offer COPE as a clinical service. We recruit and train BIPOC individuals who are current or recent social work graduate students from social work programs accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.

One of the unique components of COPE is that it includes racial discrimination modules that align cultural awareness and social developmental needs of adolescents with ASD and broadened to multiple underrepresented identities, such as disabilities and socio-economic status. COPE also incorporates the clinically unique context of delivering the intervention via telehealth.  

This 15-week learning opportunity includes:

  • Interactive curriculum including weekly didactics, supervision, and clinical practice in which trainees co-lead COPE groups with hands-on supervision.
  • Prepare new clinicians with knowledge and skills for providing mental health services to adolescents with ASD.
  • Didactics include training on clinical presentations, the impact of stress and trauma, risk and protective factors for youth who experience discrimination, adolescent development, cultural adaptation of evidence-based treatment, treatment outcome monitoring, managing risk behavior through telehealth, and provider self-care.
  • Exposure to research and teaching skill development with a structured teach-back component during didactic training.
  • One of the strengths of our training program includes the novel model for providing hands-on virtual supervision while leading COPE group therapy sessions.
  • Access to additional formal training opportunities within participating clinics at Kennedy Krieger as available. 
  • Provide information regarding career path opportunities available at Kennedy Krieger Institute (i.e. formal social work internships, social work fellowship, etc.).
  • Attractive stipend

Learn how to help youth build skills in:

  • Stress Management
  • Emotion regulation
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Relaxation training
  • Social problem-solving


Weekly didactics will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Overview of child trauma, PTSD, racial stress and trauma​
  • How to work with youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities​
  • Mental health disparities and the context of stress and cultural coping resources in African American communities
  • Thorough session by session demonstrations and practice with CBITS concepts​
  • CBT core components (on which CBITS is based)​
  • Implementing mental health treatment via telehealth​


COPE trainees receive at least one hour of group supervision per week. Additional/individual supervision is provided as needed. Trainees will be introduced to basic group therapy principles and techniques, common stages of group, delivery of interventions via telehealth, transference & counter transference, and effective approaches to termination. Trainees will also receive real-time support and coaching using Zoom features. 


The COPE training opportunity at the Kennedy Krieger Institute requires the ability to complete a 15-week cycle consisting of 7 hours per week as indicated below:

  • Tuesdays or Thursdays COPE group  4–5 p.m.
  • Wednesdays – Didactics 2–3 p.m.
  • Thursdays – Group Supervision 2–3 p.m.
  • Flexible – Group Planning (2 hrs./week)
  • Flexible – Completion of Progress Notes (Approx. 2 hrs./week)

Note: COPE is entirely virtual. In cases where trainees need to utilize a Kennedy Krieger Institute loaner laptop, they will need to come on-site for pick-up and return for equipment.

Training cycles include Spring, Summer and Fall.


  • We recruit BIPOC individuals who are current or recent social work graduate students from social work programs accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.
  • Current Kennedy Krieger Institute social work trainees.  Field Instructors must approve the allocation of 7 hours per week to COPE according to the hours mentioned above.

Application Process

Apply Here

Contact for more information. 

Project Team Leaders

Kathryn Van Eck

Kathryn Van Eck , PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (JHSOM)
Deepa Menon

Deepa U. Menon, MBBS, MD,FAAP, MSHA

Associate Professor (Clinical Neurology, JHSOM), Assistant Medical Director (CASSI™)
Nikeea Copeland Linder

Nikeea Copeland Linder, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Center for Autism Services, Science and Innovation (CASSI™)
Tracee Hutt-Brown

Tracee Hutt-Brown, BS, LCSW-C

Assistant Director of Social Work, Center for Developmental Behavioral Health (CDB)
Lauren Davall

Lauren Duvall, BS

Research Assistant Center for Autism Services, Science and Innovation (CASSI™)
Harolyn M. E. Belcher, M.D., M.H.S.'s picture

Harolyn M.E.

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer