Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship

The American Psychological Association (APA) accredited Clinical-Child Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles offers advanced training at a leading pediatric academic medical center that is affiliated with the USC Keck School of Medicine.

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is located in a high-density, culturally diverse neighborhood, and reflects the community it serves with more than 70% of patients representing ethnic minorities. The fellowship, which is embedded in the hospital’s Community Mental Health Program, provides postdoctoral fellows with training in the delivery of high-quality care to a wide range of clinical patients with significant medical, developmental and psychosocial complexity. The program provides unique training experiences in clearly defined emphasis areas. Individuals are recruited for each emphasis area and are offered training opportunities in a variety of departments and clinical services. The emphasis practice areas include:

  1. Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
  2. Child and Family Psychology
  3. Early Childhood Mental Health
  4. Pediatric Psychology
  5. Trauma Psychology
  6. A combined Early Childhood and Pediatric Psychology track

The two-year fellowship is designed to train psychologists to assume expert leadership roles in clinical psychology in pediatric, community and medical settings. Depending on the emphasis area, fellows may gain professional experience in outpatient medical and mental health clinics, community clinics, field-based services, schools, primary care clinics, or in-patient training in pediatric hospital units. Through intensive supervision, didactic lectures and seminars, research and program development activities, and direct patient contact and consultation opportunities, fellows develop advanced clinical skills in their emphasis area. 

The fellowship is based on an integrated community mental health and health psychology model. It is grounded in the philosophy that basic psychological principles and procedures drawn from behavioral, cognitive, family systems and developmental theories should be integrated in a family-centered manner for effective and ethical psychological care. It provides opportunities to develop and refine advanced professional skills in clinical child and pediatric psychology, as well as an integrated professional identity.

The program uses the scientist-practitioner model of clinical practice to guide activities. Fellows participate in scholarly projects, critically evaluate research findings relevant to their clinical work, and assess empirical evidence for various assessment and research procedures that may be used in clinical work. Fellows have access to training and education associated with the leading-edge clinical behavioral health research being conducted at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and USC.

Program Aims and Objectives

The goal of the Clinical-Child Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship is to train psychologists to function as pediatric clinical psychology experts in the community and health centers/hospitals. Fellows are provided with a comprehensive training experience in an interdisciplinary setting. They develop individualized training programs to meet their professional development needs and interests and are within the standards and guidelines of the CHLA Psychology Postdoctoral Training Program. 

Through the program, fellows will:

  •  Acquire advanced clinical skills in their emphasis area, including assessment and intervention skills.
  •  Use evidence-based best practices and integrate research activities into their clinical work.
  • Contribute to interdisciplinary treatment teams and acquire advanced skills in consultation.
  • Learn skills related to cultural competency and fighting racism in the practice of psychology. Fellows will learn to include aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion in their practice, and develop competency in advocating for racial and social justice in the context of the psychology profession.
  • Gain supervisory and leadership skills

Develop personal and professional qualities necessary to function as an advanced, independent psychologist and will adhere to all ethical and legal practice guidelines.

Fellowship Structure

The CHLA postdoctoral fellowship program is a two-year full-time training experience. Each training year begins September 1 and ends August 31. The applications deadline for the 2022 - 2024 class is December 15, 2021. The program will adhere to the APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines.

The postdoctoral fellowship offers a range of clinical training experiences that are involved in all the emphasis areas. Fellows are recruited for one of the following emphasis areas: 

  1. Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
  2. Child and Family Community Psychology
  3. Early Childhood Mental Health
  4. Pediatric Psychology
  5. Project HEAL-Trauma Psychology
  6. Combined Early Childhood Mental Health and Pediatric Psychology

Within each emphasis area, fellows are integrated into the treatment team and are expected to take on increasingly advanced duties as the training progresses. Specialty focused clinics give emphasis to consultation and intervention services. Fellows work with a diverse population characterized by a variety of clinical presentations and utilize multiple treatment modalities. They receive training in evidence-based practices focused on the population of their emphasis area, and match their clinical interest, as well as their research and academic skills. Scholarly or program development / evaluation activities are integrated into the two-year fellowship-training plan.  Fellows of all emphasis areas participate in hospital rounds and other training opportunities at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Fellows in all emphasis areas receive training and experience addressing the unique needs of a diverse population of children and families. In addition to low-income, ethnically and culturally diverse families, specialized services are provided to children and youth with developmental disabilities and chronic health conditions, families involved in the foster care system, and sexual minority youth and families.

Emphasis areas

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
  • Child and Family Community Psychology
  • Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Project HEAL-Trauma Psychology
  • Combined Early Childhood Mental Health and Pediatric Psychology

Program Area Leader: Mari Radzik, PhD

Anticipated positions: 2

This fellowship track is embedded in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The Division is a leader in the comprehensive care of adolescents and young adults in the Los Angeles area. The Division’s goal is to promote the health and well-being of adolescents and their families through the provision of youth-specific services, research and training, and to impact public policy and advocate for the needs of youth, particularly vulnerable, hidden and disenfranchised youth. The Division offers a wide range of programs aimed at addressing the needs of youth ages 12 through 24. Medical care, mental health services and substance abuse treatment are offered through this outpatient clinic at the hospital and in community-based settings easily accessible to youth. Since 1982, the Division has focused on reducing risks for young people through models of prevention and intervention established in partnership with the community. Fellows have opportunities to care for youth receiving care from the following programs.

Current divisional programs and services include:

The Teenage and Young Adult Health Center – This medical clinic provides outpatient care to many chronically ill youth who are hospitalized at CHLA.  This clinic also treats many youth from the surrounding community for regular medical follow-up. Youth receive specialized care from experts in adolescent medicine and medical fellows. The clinic is also a rotation for pediatric residents. There are many unique and rare medical conditions seen in the clinic, including spina bifida, eating disorders and genetic conditions. The psychology fellows have a consultation / liaison role with the medical team and build close relationships with the attending physicians and medical fellows who treat their clients.

My Voice Transition Clinic – This program provides interdisciplinary care and support for CHLA patients age 15 and older who will transition out of medical care at CHLA to adult care in the community. Specialty clinics in rheumatology, solid organ transplant, renal disease, and cardiac issues refer their transitioning youth to the My Voice Transition Clinic for specialized case management, adolescent specific medical/nursing care, and mental health counseling. Motivational Interviewing is a key tool used to help these youth with transitioning, adherence and follow-up issues.

NATEEN – This program provides case management and support for pregnant and parenting teen mothers.  Psychology fellows may be involved in providing individual/group psychotherapy and work closely with NATEEN case managers.

The Homeless Adolescent and Young Adult Wellness Center – This program provides health care, mental health counseling, case management and support for runaway and homeless youth in Hollywood and the surrounding areas. The program is part of a larger collaborative in the Hollywood area that focuses on providing the best network of care for runaway and homeless youth. In the second year, psychology fellows provide services to runaway and homeless youth at the clinic, drop-in centers, youth shelters, on outreach, and more.

The Risk Reduction Program – This program provides health care, mental health counseling, case management and support for HIV positive youth and youth at risk for HIV (including a program serving transgender youth). Psychology fellows could be involved in working with HIV positive or at risk youth, and working at the Transyouth Clinic. Consultation-liaison with the medical and case management team is an important aspect of training with this program.

The Center for Transyouth Health and Development – This program, the largest transgender focused program in the world, provides services that promote healthy futures for transyouth by providing medical services, case management, mental health counseling, research, training and capacity-building for gender non-conforming children and transyouth that is developmentally informed, affirmative, compassionate and holistic.

Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment – This program specializes in non-residential prevention and treatment of substance related problems affecting adolescents. The services are free of charge and there are no financial requirements for eligibility. Once a youth has been assessed, he or she is assigned to prevention or treatment services to receive individual, family, and/or group interventions. Through the GPE grant, the psychology fellows will closely collaborate with the substance abuse counselors when their clients display symptoms of co-occurring disorders or need intensive substance abuse treatment.

Research and Evaluation - This program in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine conducts research and evaluation projects to help programs evaluate the impact of their interventions/services with the purpose of improving youth and community outcomes and developing best practices. Psychology fellows can choose from a large range of projects and engage with the research faculty while conducting their scholarly projects.

The Behavioral Health Program in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine is an integral part of a comprehensive treatment team providing adolescents and their families with a range of services to address their unique needs. Fellows are embedded in the program.  Services include psychoeducational assessment, individual, collateral, family and group therapy.  All adolescent medicine fellows are trained in one or more of the following evidence-based practices: Seeking Safety, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Managing and Adapting Practice (MAP), and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), which are used by the providers in that clinic. Additional evidence-based practices may be taught and utilized as needed.  Group models are used to address adolescent anger management issues, adolescent females dealing with the sequelae of sexual abuse, deficits in social skills, transitioning issues, support for parents struggling with parenting adolescents, and more.

Training and Collaboration

The fellowship in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine offers opportunities for training and interdisciplinary collaboration at multiple locations. The client pool includes a diverse, primarily low-income population of adolescents and families referred for services by aadolescent medicine physicians, health providers at the surrounding communities, schools, the probation department, the Department of Children and Family Services and others. Common diagnostic issues are family problems, mood disorders, disruptive behavior issues, developmental disabilities, eating disorders, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, transitional age issues, mental health issues related to chronic and life-threatening medical conditions, PTSD and many more.

Training within the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine includes rotation-specific individual and group supervision (including weekly supervision with the medical fellows), participating in the LEAH Program (first-year), weekly didactics (adolescent rounds, advanced behavioral health series, case presentations, journal club), as well as seminars involving medical fellows and trainees from multiple disciplines focused on interdisciplinary consultation and liaison services.

The fellows in adolescent medicine have two Behavioral Health Program supervisors; two Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine clinical supervisors, and one assessment group supervisor who leads the Advanced Assessment Seminar - a bi-monthly meeting focused on standardized assessment strategies and methods most appropriate for the evaluation of teens and young adults.  All supervisors involved with the fellows collaborate to provide evaluations and feedback. It is anticipated that the incoming fellows will use prior experiences with adolescents and young adults, and will hone and mature their clinical acumen with this population through training and supervision. With supervisorial support, fellows grow into fully functioning, confident licensed professionals, who become leaders in the field of adolescent mental health. 

By joining the Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine team, fellows will have the opportunity to take leadership roles in this multidisciplinary environment.  For example, fellows are involved in teaching pediatric residents about psychosocial issues such as adolescent development, suicide assessment and transference/countertransference. The psychology fellows, in collaboration with medical fellows, create and facilitate the curriculum of the weekly adolescent rounds. Presentations and conference submissions are also highly encouraged.  Fellows are expected to create or join scholarly projects carried out by faculty involved in divisional programs.

Program Area Leader:  Dean Coffey, PsyD, MS

Anticipated positions: 2

The Child and Family Community Psychology Program is an emphasis area that provides psychology fellows with an interprofessional training experience, along with a two-year curriculum in evidence-based psychotherapy practices and psychological assessment training. Child and family fellows provide psychotherapy, assessment, and consultation services to children and their families from culturally diverse backgrounds in the program’s community mental health center. They also provide interprofessional, team-based, behavioral care in partnership with pediatric specialists, occupational therapists, nurses and related disciplines. Services include individual and family psychotherapy, evidence-based group therapy, consultation, psychological assessment, and assignment to the School Age Clinic, an interprofessional medication and consultation clinic.

Clinical child services address a broad range of emotional, behavioral, cognitive and/or neuro-developmental problems. Child and family clinicians utilize a variety of evidence-based clinical intervention approaches, including the Incredible Years® Parent and Child Training Programs; and The Secret Agent Society for children on the autism spectrum. Child and family fellows play key roles in expanding evidence-based practice approaches used in the program. Diagnostic categories include: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), disruptive behavior disorders, mood disorders, adjustment disorders, anxiety disorders, social-skills development and a variety of other chronic, or acute mental health problems. Psychological assessment services include comprehensive psycho-educational and neuro-developmental assessment batteries utilizing a broad variety of tools and strategies, including assessment approaches for bilingual children. Differences in first and second year fellow opportunities are designed based on fellows’ interests and professional skills/training needs.

The Child and Family Community Psychology Fellow will participate in co-facilitating Incredible Years® Parent and Child Group Therapy. In response to the increasing incidence of conduct problems, the Incredible Years® Parenting Program and Dina Child Group Therapy are evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of conduct problems in young children. The intervention is based on social cognitive theory which hypothesizes that parents and children learn best from modeling and spontaneously practicing skills, and employs rehearsal interventions to make each group a fun and positive experience that has been shown empirically to generalize to the parent-child relationship.

Child and family psychology fellows participate in weekly Incredible Years® parent and child group leader supervision, which is conducted using the peer coach model developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, PhD, with the goal of facilitating the development of a reflective therapeutic stance.  This model is learner-centered and builds on the fellow’s strengths and needs.

This year we are offering a specialty fellowship within the Child and Family Area in Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Disorders, under the mentorship of Amy West, PhD, This fellow’s clinical work will focus on delivering evidence-based interventions for a range of pediatric mood and anxiety disorders. This fellow will be trained on the Child- and Family-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy/RAINBOW therapy individual and group intervention models for youth with mood disorders developed by Dr. West and co-facilitate the delivery of intervention groups to youth with transdiagnostic mood dysregulation. In addition, this fellow will be trained in the Coping Cat intervention for pediatric anxiety disorders and serve as a study therapist in a large federally-funded clinical research trial testing CBT versus medication treatment sequencing in pediatrics. (Also see research opportunities). While this fellow’s work will be focused on delivering interventions for pediatric mood and anxiety disorders through the Child and Family Program and Dr. West’s clinical and research programs, there may be opportunities to participate in the School Age Clinic and the Increadible Years groups with other Child and Family fellows. This opportunity would be ideal for a candidate with interests in a career in academic medicine and/or an interest in the integration of clinical work and research.

In addition to group supervision, fellows participate in a weekly advanced interprofessional didactic series designed to prepare them to practice as clinical child psychologists in community mental health clinic settings. The didactics include professional development, discussion of relevant research literature pertaining to mental health service delivery, standardized psychological assessment, and embrace a collaborative learning process through presentations by faculty and fellows. Fellows within the Child and Family Program regularly participate in the following interprofessional consultation/assessment clinics and training seminars:

School Age Clinic (SAC) – This is an interprofessional consultation and care clinic coordinated by psychology faculty and staffed by psychologists, developmental behavioral pediatricians, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech language pathologists, social workers and their interns, residents and fellows. Psychology fellows in SAC are trained to be leaders of interdisciplinary teams conducting diagnostic assessments, improving and overseeing screening systems, and facilitating effective functioning among the patient, interprofessional team and the family. Second year fellows fulfill leadership and preceptor roles for doctoral psychology interns who are also training in clinic. 

School Age Clinic Didactic and Case Conference Seminar – This is a weekly interprofessional meeting that takes place before the School Age Clinic during which faculty, fellows and interns participate in a didactic series with a focus on behavioral, emotional, developmental and learning needs of school age children. Fellows are both learners and teachers in this seminar. Case presentations and formal didactic presentations are the primary learning and teaching strategies.

Child and Family Fellowship Advanced Assessment Seminar - This is a regularly scheduled meeting twice per month of faculty psychologists and child and family fellows with a focus on school age standardized assessment strategies and methods. This is an advanced assessment seminar with a progressive two-year curriculum. Case conferences, scoring and administration workshops and informal didactic presentations are employed as learning and teaching strategies.

Child and Family Fellows Reading Group – In this group, the first and second year child and family fellows meet twice per month to read and discuss professional treatment guidelines and seminal research publications. The reading group expands exposure to the very best in the research literature to inform clinical care and professional practice in preparation for licensure and practice as an Early Career Psychologist.

Research Opportunities - Child and family fellows have the opportunity to participate in one of a variety of mentored scholarly projects with Child and Family faculty or faculty from other program areas, depending on interest and faculty projects available. Current Child and Family faculty projects include:

  • Pediatric mood and anxiety disorders: The Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Fellow will participate in research opportunities through Dr. West’s funded research studies.  These include: (1) A an open trial study of CFF-CBT/RAINBOW (originally developed for pediatric bipolar disorder) as adapted and applied to a diverse, predominantly ethnic minority community health population of youth with transdiagnostic mood dysregulation; and (2) A PCORI-funded clinical trial using a sequential multiple assignment randomized design to study CBT vs. medication sequencing in an urban, ethnic minority population of youth with anxiety disorders. Other fellows could work on these projects as interested.
  • Studies related to the implementation of The Secret Agent Society, a novel evidence-based social skills program developed by Dr. Renae Beaumont and her colleagues in Australia.
  • Single case studies of the responses of children to the participation of their parents in the Incredible Years® Parenting Program.
  • Implementation of the Triple P Stepping Stones parent training group intervention for parents of children with developmental disabilities.
  • Pilot study conducted in primary care of the impact of the Incredible Years® evidence-based parenting intervention on pediatric health services utilization.
  • Additional research opportunities may be available depending on funding and match between fellow interests and faculty projects underway.

Program Area Leader: Marian Williams, PhD

Anticipated positions: 2

The Early Childhood Mental Health Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles provides comprehensive mental health services to children ages birth to 5 and their families.  The major referral sources for the program include the CHLA foster care hub (infants and toddlers in out-of-home care); physicians referring children with chronic or acute medical conditions that may be impacting behavior and emotions; and preschools referring children due to disruptive behavior or other concerns. Many of the children served have developmental delays or disabilities (including autism spectrum disorders) in addition to their primary mental health need.

The Early Childhood Mental Health emphasis area is designed to provide advanced training for psychologists interested in pursuing specialized training in the area of infant/toddler and preschool mental health. Early Childhood Mental Health fellows will learn to conduct infant, toddler and preschool age assessment and evaluation, treatment and intervention with very young children and their families and will provide consultation to community providers that serve this population. There are ample opportunities within the program to obtain specialized expertise in assessment and intervention with autism spectrum disorders, young children in the foster care system, and young children with medical conditions. In addition to a general set of competencies, each fellow will develop a specialized area of focus during the fellowship.  Given the intensive level of training, the fellowship is designed as a two-year training program, which allows for in-depth experiences in assessment and intervention. In addition, opportunities for involvement in research and scholarly publications are available, particularly related to autism spectrum disorders.

The Early Childhood fellowship is designed to meet the competencies required for certification as an Infant-Family Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and a Reflective Practice Facilitator II for the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health endorsement process. The Early Childhood fellowship includes a biweekly seminar focused on learning Reflective Supervision skills, including reflective supervision for their role as intern supervisors. During the first year of fellowship, the early childhood fellows participate in a weekly Early Childhood Seminar, which provides didactic training on a range of topics related to early childhood development, assessment approaches, and intervention models for young children.

Early childhood fellows participate in weekly group supervision, with an alternating focus on Child-Parent Psychotherapy and Floortime. In addition, they participate in weekly individual supervision with two assigned supervisors from the Early Childhood Program, with one supervision session focused on assessment and one on intervention.  Supervision uses a reflective supervision approach.

Training in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) leads to fellows becoming rostered by the CPP developers as a CPP therapist. Training includes a 2½ day training in September of the first year in CPP, a two-day booster session in March of the first year, and a two-day booster session in October/November of the second year.  Throughout fellowship, fellows provide CPP to at least four families, receive individual supervision in CPP, and participate in twice monthly CPP group supervision with other trainees and staff

Early Childhood fellows will be involved in the following Early Childhood array of services:

  • Outpatient intervention – Providing mental health services to young children and families using relationship-based approaches.  The services utilize a primary focus on dyadic interventions with caregivers and their children based upon best practice and evidence-based models of treatment.  Specific models of treatment taught include Child-Parent Psychotherapy (Lieberman’s model), Floortime-based interventions, as well as developmental guidance, play therapy and family therapy. Consultation to primary care physicians, preschool teachers, early intervention providers, daycare providers, children’s services social workers, and other community providers involved in the child’s life are also provided.  Services may be provided in the clinic, in home and in preschools, depending on the clinical needs of the child and family.
  • Early Childhood Assessment Clinic – Provides comprehensive interdisciplinary assessments for children ages 3 to 5 years old.  Common referral questions include second opinions regarding diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability, as well as diagnoses related to regulatory and learning difficulties, chronic medical conditions, and trauma exposure. Assessments are conducted by an interdisciplinary team, typically including developmental-behavioral pediatricians, speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists, in addition to psychologists. Fellows learn best practices approaches to the assessment of young children, including mastery of the clinical use of the ADOS-2 and other autism assessment tools.

  • Behavior in Babies Clinic – Uses an interdisciplinary model to conduct developmental evaluations of infants (age birth through 2), connect families with needed services, and educate medical providers regarding developmental needs and resources.  Referrals come from the CHLA Foster Care Hub, Department of Children and Family Services, and community physicians.  Other professionals involved in the clinic include developmental-behavioral pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. Fellows obtain mastery of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development – III, as well as additional measures to evaluate social-emotional and developmental functioning in infants and toddlers.
  • Group Therapies for Young children and Their Parents – Fellows in the Early Childhood Program have opportunities to learn and implement the Floortime group model, and the Incredible Years model of parent and child groups (described above under Child and Family emphasis area)

Program Area Leader: Melissa C. Carson, PsyD

Anticipated positions: 2

The Pediatric Psychology Program at CHLA offers postdoctoral fellowship training that provides the opportunity to develop expertise in psychological intervention for children, adolescents and families impacted by acute or chronic illness. As pediatric psychologists, we specialize in focusing on the psychological, emotional, neurocognitive and behavioral aspects of illness, and the promotion of health behaviors within the hospital, school, and community settings. 

The pediatric psychology fellows work alongside primary and subspecialty medical care providers to support children and families throughout their medical care at  CHLA. Pediatric Psychology fellows will gain clinical experiences by working with patients referred from the following interdisciplinary pediatric clinics: The Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, the Pediatric Pain Management Clinic, Plastic Surgery/Craniofacial Clinic, the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, the Feeding Clinic, and the Nephrology Clinic. Additional clinical experience may be gained by providing assessment and intervention for patients referred from the Pulmonary Clinic; Cystic Fibrosis Clinic; Solid Organ Transplant Program; Comfort, Pain Management, and Palliative Care Program; General Pediatrics Clinic; Neurology; Rheumatology; Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; the Heart Institute; Medical Genetics; Orthopedics; and other specialty medical divisions at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The pediatric psychology fellow will provide the following: evidenced-based interventions for individuals, families, and groups that target common pediatric psychology concerns; inpatient and outpatient consultation/liaison services for interdisciplinary medical teams; psychodiagnostic assessments; and advocacy. The Pediatric Psychology Program currently offers group interventions to address adherence with diabetes regimens; self-esteem and assertiveness for children with craniofacial differences; and an acceptance and commitment therapy group for patients coping with chronic pain management techniques. Fellows will have opportunities to co-facilitate groups. The pediatric psychology fellows receive training through a variety of mechanisms, including mentorship in consulting with interdisciplinary medical clinics; advanced pediatric psychology didactics; case conferences; and individual and group supervision. Opportunities for research also exist. 

CHLA is currently recruiting two pediatric psychology postdoctoral fellows. Each of the pediatric psychology fellows will have a primary clinical assignment in one or more of the following specialty Pediatric Psychology clinical areas:          

Pediatric Pain Management Clinic

Psychologists:  Alexis Yetwin, PhD, and Jeffrey Gold, PhD

The Pediatric Pain Management Clinic at CHLA is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program dedicated to the prevention, assessment and treatment of pediatric chronic pain and associated mood, sleep and functional impairment (e.g., academic, social). We provide interdisciplinary care to patients across the lifespan using the biopsychosocial model. The Division of Pain Medicine offers outpatient and inpatient services and is comprised of psychologists, physicians (child/adolescent psychiatrist, pediatric anesthesiologists), a physician assistant, acupuncturists, and a dog therapy program. In the outpatient pain clinic, youth are usually seen jointly by a pain physician and psychologist for appointments. Psychology fellows who rotate through the Pain Clinic will receive clinical training and didactics in pediatric pain assessment/management and pain psychology consultation and can participate in direct clinical care (pain psychology consultation and psychotherapy) and participate in research in pain medicine.

Cancer and Blood Disease Institute

Psychologist: Kathleen Ingman, PhD, ABPP

The Cancer and Blood Disease Institute (CBDI) is one of the premier pediatric cancer and blood disorder treatment centers in the country, providing services to children and teens with cancer and blood disorders, and their families. The HOPE Behavioral Health Service, Neuropsychology and Education Service, a component of the Survivorship and Supportive Care Program, provides psychosocial support services to these patients and their families, and works closely with physicians, nurses, social workers, Child Life specialists and psychiatrists to provide integrated care.  Pediatric psychology fellows provide psychological evaluation and treatment of specific behavioral, emotional or adjustment problems related to the patient’s diagnosis and treatment of cancer or a blood disorder. Patients are referred at all stages of illness and treatment, including new diagnosis, ongoing treatment, end-of-treatment into survivorship and end-of-life. Services are primarily provided in an outpatient clinic and via telehealth; however, fellows also provide inpatient consultation-liaison as part of their training.  Psychological interventions are evidence-based and generally problem-focused and time-limited in duration, and include individual, family and group approaches. Inpatient consultation-liaison activities include brief evaluation of presenting concerns and recommendations for care, including brief intervention and follow-up as needed for the duration of the inpatient stay. 

The CBDI also offers a potential placement for second year fellows as embedded consultants in the outpatient neuro-oncology clinic. In this placement, fellows provide brief consultation to patients in the neuro-oncology clinic as part of their medical visits, working collaboratively with physicians, nurses, social workers, and other interdisciplinary providers to meet the complex needs of this population. 

The Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Psychologist: Jennifer Hershfield, PhD

The Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy treats patients with severe allergic disease, asthma, primary immune deficiency disorders, and HIV/AIDS. The Gores Family Allergy Center, housed within the Division, has been designated a Center of Excellence by FARE and provides coordinated interdisciplinary care from a team of allergists as well as a dietitian, nurse coordinator and pediatric psychologist. Common presenting concerns include adjustment to a new diagnosis and/or ongoing treatment, anxiety, depression, behavior problems and suboptimal adherence/inappropriate risk-taking. Pediatric psychology fellows provide individual and family psychotherapy as well as assessment, consultation and advocacy. Services are primarily provided in an outpatient clinic setting. Fellows have the opportunity to provide consultation and brief intervention in the multidisciplinary Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorder Program, the oral immunotherapy program, and to provide outreach and community education through the Gores Family Allergy Center. Opportunities for problem-focused and time-limited as well as long-term psychotherapy are available.

Division of Plastic Surgery and Maxillofacial Surgery

Psychologist: Alexis Johns, PhD, ABPP

The Division of Plastic Surgery and Maxillofacial Surgery at CHLA includes Care Centers for Craniofacial and Cleft, Craniosynostosis, Facial Paralysis, Orthognathic Surgery, Microtia, and Vascular Anomalies. Over 15 disciplines are represented among the Care Center providers and more than 6,500 patients are seen annually. Several of the Care Centers follow patients across their development from birth through early adulthood, including both typically developing children and patients with genetic diagnoses or other developmental disabilities. Psychology services and training opportunities include individual, family and group therapy, as well as advocacy, assessment and consultation. Services are provided within a biopsychosocial model with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and interdisciplinary collaboration. There are also ongoing research projects related to craniofacial populations. Additional information about the Division is available here. There may also be training opportunities within the Children’s Orthopedic Center.

Nephrology

A psychology fellow will have the opportunity to provide consultation to CHLA’s interdisciplinary nephrology team.  This includes providing services for children who are receiving peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis, as well as those listed for kidney transplantation. The Kidney Transplant Program has some of the largest pediatric kidney transplant volumes in the nation. The program offers a living donor option to transplant candidates, improving available surgical treatment options.  We provide services on the Renal Dialysis Unit, affording our patients access to comprehensive care management.  From a psychological perspective, adjustment to a post-transplant medical regimen can be difficult for children and families; therefore, psychosocial support is provided to address obstacles to adherence and promote positive transplant outcomes. Intervention is provided to promote readiness for transplantation and adherence post-transplant.  The fellow will provide ongoing intervention to patients and families, both on an inpatient and outpatient basis.  Adjustment issues, adherence, school reintegration, body image issues, depression and anxiety are common reasons for referral. Individual and family therapy services are offered.

Pediatric Feeding Development Program

Psychologist: Olivia Hsin, PhD

The Pediatric Feeding Development Program is dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of children with complex feeding problems and comorbid mental health diagnoses, medical diagnoses, and/or developmental disabilities. The interdisciplinary team, consisting of psychology, developmental behavioral pediatrics, nutrition, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology, provides interdisciplinary outpatient services for children and their families. This position includes both assessment and outpatient treatment opportunities. With respect to assessment, the interdisciplinary feeding team evaluates how a child’s history of anxiety, trauma, emotional functioning, behaviors, child-parent interactions, medical history, oral-motor skills, sensory issues, nutrition, and /or developmental factors may impact each other and the child’s feeding challenges. The evaluation identifies barriers to optimal feeding development and guides treatment recommendations. Family-centered and culturally-sensitive outpatient individual, dyadic, family, and/or group therapy is provided for children and their families to address feeding challenges and the impact these challenges have on a child’s life, including mood, child-parent relationships, family functioning, peer relationships or school functioning. Co-treatment with other disciplines is provided when clinically indicated. Additional research opportunities may be available, depending on the fellow’s interest and experience. Previous experience in feeding is not necessary.

Program Area Leader: Karen Rogers, PhD

Anticipated positions: 2

Project Heal post-doctoral training aims to prepare psychologists to address the complex needs of children of all ages exposed to trauma and adversity and their families. The emphasis is on working with culturally diverse, disadvantaged populations, and training is provided in both English and Spanish.  Training aligns with the New Haven Trauma Competencies, providing an array of experiences intended to develop specialty expertise and leadership skills in trauma psychology. The first year of training includes exposure to the full array of Project Heal programs so that fellows obtain a breadth of experience in trauma mental health. As they transition into the second year, fellows develop individualized specialty training plans focused on one or more areas.  Training is sequential and graduated, allowing for increasing independence and the opportunity for fellows to take a leadership role during their second year.

The Project Heal emphasis area provides opportunities to gain experience working with children, youth and families who have experienced a variety of traumatic events including physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, community violence, natural disasters, accidental traumas, grief and loss, immigration trauma, medical trauma and domestic violence. Many of the children seen in Project Heal have been involved in the child welfare system, and complex trauma and chronic adversity are common. Bilingual/bicultural supervision is available to enhance fellows’ skills in working within a diverse urban community.  The population of children served by Project Heal also includes those with developmental disabilities or other special health care needs.

Project Heal training includes a weekly advanced trauma didactic which includes lectures, case discussions and experiential learning.  Topics address trauma across the developmental span, special populations, service delivery systems and professional development.  Fellows develop professional presentation skills through didactic presentations to the full team, and further hone these skills through a leadership role in the Introduction to Trauma didactic provided to doctoral interns in the program. Didactics for post-doctoral fellows include a bi-weekly Advanced Assessment Seminar, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy group supervision, and a monthly journal club.

Programs within the Project Heal include:

Outpatient Treatment – Comprehensive, individualized services for a diverse population of children from preschool to adulthood and their families exposed to trauma.  A variety of treatment modalities are incorporated, including individual, family and group therapy; services are provided in the clinic, home or community, depending on the needs of the child and family.  Fellow caseloads are designed to provide a variety of experiences with children with and without comorbid developmental, psychiatric or medical diagnoses. Services provided by fellows include psychotherapy with children, families and parents impacted by trauma, care coordination, advocacy and case management. All fellows will obtain experience providing Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (TFCBT) within a community mental health setting and participate in a monthly TFCBT consultation group. 

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) – Trauma-informed Parent-Child Interaction Therapy is  offered to children age 2 to 8 years old with disruptive behaviors and their caregivers.  This evidence-based practice utilizes a one-way mirror and “bug in the ear” to enable the therapist to coach caregivers on effective parenting skills. Fellows are provided training and experience in PCIT, including biweekly group supervision and live coaching by a certified PCIT trainer. Fellows are expected to complete certification as a PCIT therapist.

Group Psychotherapy – Several group therapy programs are provided through Project Heal.  Making Friends and Staying Safe is an abuse risk-reduction program for children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.  Skills and knowledge regarding body boundaries, safe touch and abuse resistance are taught. All Project Heal trainees obtain experience co-leading Making Friends and Staying Safe child or caregiver groups; fellows may have an additional leadership opportunities to mentor newer trainees in facilitating the groups. In addition, group psychotherapy to treat trauma may be offered.  Recent treatment groups have included a Grief and Growth group for children facing loss, a foster caregiver-focused Attentive Parenting group, and therapy groups for children who experienced foster care.  Groups are co-led and trainees are mentored by an experienced therapist with weekly group supervision of group therapy.

Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) – This is a comprehensive family assessment for infants, children and adolescents in foster care that generates specific recommendations for services to address the conditions that led to foster care placement. Assessments, which are community- and clinic-based, focus on child and family strengths and needs, and result in referral and linkage to needed services.  MAT evaluations are completed by senior clinicians with expertise in addressing the complex needs of children in foster care who support fellows in developing rapid, in-depth evaluations, advanced family engagement and advocacy skills, and the capacity to work effectively with multiple parties who may have opposing viewpoints at a time of intense need. Complex or medically involved cases are frequently referred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles based on the team’s expertise.  Fellows obtain gradual experience in MAT, with increasing independence and ongoing mentoring by a senior MAT psychologist.   

Foster Care HUB Integrated Evaluation – Children newly involved with the foster system attend a single-visit integrated medical and mental health evaluation. In this interdisciplinary setting, psychologists screen children for mental health, developmental and educational needs, and pediatricians complete an initial medical evaluation and developmental screen.  The team may be joined by a public health nurse affiliated with child protective services.  The team reviews each case and provides guidance to caregivers, feedback and recommendations to child protective services and children’s court; and advocates for foster children’s access to needed services.  Fellows received individual mentoring to support their work within the clinic.

Trauma Informed Psychological Assessment – Fellows participate in a bimonthly trauma-informed assessment seminar focused on using comprehensive assessment for diagnostic clarification and treatment planning and identify the impact of a child’s trauma exposure on cognitive, socioemotional, developmental and relational functioning.  Fellows complete a minimum of two assessment batteries per year, including integrated reports and feedback to the client and family. 

During the first 6 months of training, Project Heal fellows will be provided with exposure to each of the above programs and will carry an ongoing therapy caseload.  Subsequently, fellows will be able to choose specific areas of focus for the remainder of their training, such that additional time in the second year is devoted to individual focus areas. In consultation with their supervisors, fellows are encouraged to identify leadership roles within a focus area for their second year and receive mentoring and increasing independence in those roles. Focus areas also allow for  leadership development

Research Opportunities – Research collaboration opportunities with Project Heal faculty enable fellows to become familiar with an area of trauma research literature and develop a scholarly project to meet the requirements of the fellowship program.  Current research projects which may be available to fellows include: Identification of unique needs and best practice recommendations for infants relinquished through safe haven laws, applications of a trauma competency self-assessment tool for mental health trainees, and case study of a child and caregiver's response to PCIT. Additional research opportunities may be available depending on match between fellow interests and faculty projects underway.

Weekly supervision for Project Heal fellows includes a minimum of two hours individual trauma focused supervision, and group supervision of group treatment. PCIT group supervision and consultation is provided by a certified PCIT trainer and the team holds regular  TFCBT group consultation discussion. Project Heal supervisors are licensed clinical psychologists with advanced training and experience in child trauma. In addition to individualized participant-learning and clinical supervision, the weekly trauma didactic and team meeting provides an opportunity for all the child trauma therapists and trainees to support each other and consult to advance each other’s experiences.  As in clinical services, fellows are provided increasing leadership roles within the trauma training program. Individualized training plans are designed for first and second year fellows based on fellows’ interests and professional needs.

Program Area Leaders: Melissa Carson, PsyD, and Marian Williams, PhD

Anticipated positions: 2

The Early Childhood Mental Health and Pediatric Psychology combined fellowship position focuses on providing comprehensive mental health services to children aged birth to 5, with a focus on infants impacted by hospitalization or a chronic medical condition. The major referral sources for the program include CHLA physicians and medical teams referring young children with chronic or acute medical conditions that may be impacting behavior and emotions. Many of the children served have developmental disabilities (including autism spectrum disorders) in addition to their primary mental health and medical needs. This combined fellowship program offers postdoctoral fellowship training that provides the opportunity to develop expertise in psychological intervention for young children who are impacted by chronic or acute illnesses. This psychology fellow will gain inpatient experiences by working with patients and their families referred from the Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU) and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU), and outpatient follow-up for previously hospitalized infants in the Newborn Follow-up Program. Outpatient experiences may also include working with patients birth to 5 years old referred from the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute, participation in the Feeding Development Clinic, and other specialty medical programs serving young children.

The combined fellowship between Early Childhood Mental Health Psychology and Pediatric Psychology is designed to provide intensive and advanced training for psychologists interested in pursuing specialized training in the area of infant-family and early childhood mental health for children and families impacted by chronic illness.  This fellow will learn to conduct infant and toddler assessment and evaluation; treatment and intervention with children aged birth to 5 years and their families; and will provide consultation to community agencies and medical team members that serve this population.  There are ample opportunities within the program to obtain specialized expertise in assessment and intervention for young children with medical conditions.  In addition to a general set of competencies, each fellow will develop a specialized area of focus during the fellowship.  Given the intensive level of training, the fellowship is designed as a two-year training program, which allows for in-depth experiences in assessment and intervention. In addition, opportunities for involvement in research and scholarly publications are available.

Throughout the two-year fellowship, the combined Early Childhood and Pediatric Psychology fellowship will include a biweekly seminar focused on learning Reflective Supervision skills during year one of fellowship and participate in the Pediatric Psychology Group supervision in year two of fellowship. During the first year of fellowship, the fellow will participate in a weekly Early Childhood Seminar, which provides didactic training on a range of topics related to early childhood development, assessment approaches, and intervention models for young children. During the second year, the fellow will participate in the pediatric psychology fellowship didactic.

This fellow will participate in weekly individual supervision with two assigned supervisors, one from the Early Childhood Program and one from the Pediatric Psychology Program.  Additionally, this fellow will obtain training in Child-Parent Psychotherapy, including didactic training, twice monthly group supervision, and opportunities to provide CPP treatment to young children impacted by pediatric medical traumatic stress as well as other types of trauma.  The combined Early Childhood & Pediatric Psychology Fellow may participate in the following array of services:

Newborn and Infant Critical Care Unit (NICCU) – The NICCU at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit with 58 beds, providing a complex level of medical care including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). There are approximately 650 annual admissions of critically ill infants requiring neonatal medical and surgical subspecialty interventions. Approximately 50% of the infants are hospitalized for over 3 months and 80% of the families receive Medicaid insurance. The fellow will have an opportunity to provide trauma-informed infant-family mental health consultations and treatment using a model informed by Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Goals of intervention include strengthening the parent-infant relationship, enhancing bonding and attunement, addressing possible medical trauma, and supporting the relationship with the medical team. The fellow will be able to provide services while the infants are hospitalized at CHLA and following discharge from the hospital through our outpatient mental health program.

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) – The hospital’s CTICU has over 1,000 admissions annually and 60% of admissions are younger than 12 months of age.  The CTICU cares for infants with the most complex heart and lung diseases, including congenital heart disease. This unit also cares for infants who undergo heart transplantation. The CTICU is staffed with pediatric intensivists, pediatric cardiac registered nurses, respiratory therapists and nurse practitioners, among other disciplines, who provide comprehensive care to children and families during the most medically fragile periods.  The fellow will have the opportunity to provide therapy services for families experiencing anxiety related to the infant’s diagnosis; support for families who are separated from their infant while the infant is hospitalized in the CTICU; and intervention to address attachment and attunement that can also be disrupted during this time period.  The fellow will also have the opportunity to support families after discharge from the hospital, between the infant’s first and second cardiac surgeries, a period that can be understandably stressful for families. 

Outpatient intervention – The fellow will have the opportunity to provide mental health services to young children and families impacted by chronic illness using relationship-based approaches.  The services utilize a primary focus on dyadic interventions with caregivers and their children based upon best practice and evidence-based models of treatment.  Specific models of treatment taught include Child-Parent Psychotherapy (Lieberman’s model), as well as developmental guidance, play therapy and family therapy. Consultation to pediatricians, teachers, daycare providers, children’s services social workers and other community providers involved in the child’s life are also provided.  Services may be provided in the outpatient medical clinics, the mental health clinic, in home and in preschools, depending on the clinical needs of the family.

Behavior in Babies Clinic  – This clinic uses an interdisciplinary model to conduct developmental evaluations of infants (age birth through 2), connect families with needed services, and educate medical providers regarding developmental needs and resources. Referrals come from the CHLA Foster Care Hub, Department of Children and Family Services, and community physicians.  Other professionals involved in the clinic typically include developmental-behavioral pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. Fellows obtain mastery of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development – III, as well as additional measures to evaluate social-emotional and developmental functioning in infants and toddlers.

Newborn Follow-up Program –  This program within the Fetal and Neonatal Institute provides developmental, behavioral and growth assessment and follow-up for infants at high risk for growth and developmental issues due to conditions in the newborn period that required care in a neonatal intensive care unit. The psychology fellow will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of experts from neonatology, developmental behavioral pediatrics, social work, nutrition, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Each member has extensive experience addressing the ongoing needs of families caring for their medically complex infant.

Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases (CBDI) – The CBDI is one of the premier pediatric cancer and blood disorder treatment centers in the country, providing services to children and teens with cancer and blood disorders, and their families. The HOPE Behavioral Health Service, a component of the Survivorship and Supportive Care Program, provides psychosocial support services to these patients and their families and works closely with physicians, nurses, social workers, child life specialists, and psychiatrists to provide integrated care. Pediatric psychology fellows provide psychological evaluation and treatment of specific behavioral, emotional, or adjustment problems related to the patient’s diagnosis and treatment of cancer or a blood disorder. Services are primarily provided in an outpatient clinic; however, fellows also provide inpatient consultation-liaison as part of their training.  Psychological interventions are evidence-based and generally problem-focused and time-limited in duration, and include individual, family, and group approaches. The focus will be on providing services for children in the birth-5 age range who have a blood disorder diagnosis or cancer diagnosis.

Pediatric Feeding Development Program – The Pediatric Feeding Development Program provides a range of interdisciplinary services for children with developmental feeding problems. Outpatient intervention is provided for the child and family.  The children evaluated and treated in this program have been unable to acquire independent feeding skills or developmentally appropriate feeding skills due to behavioral difficulties, developmental delays, complex medical histories, oral-motor delays, and/or sensory issues. The feeding assessment clinic conducts a comprehensive assessment of children with feeding problems using an interdisciplinary approach. The team consists of specially trained staff representing the following disciplines: psychology, developmental behavioral pediatrics, nutrition, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and nursing. The evaluation identifies primary barriers to optimal feeding development and guides treatment recommendations. In addition to interdisciplinary assessment, opportunities exist to provide individual, dyadic, family and group therapy to address feeding difficulties. 

In addition to specialty activities, all the program fellows participate in Core Fellowship didactics and seminars:

  • Weekly fellows’ seminar
  • Monthly diversity seminar
  • Monthly research seminar
  • Weekly didactics in each emphasis area

Training Requirements

Fellows are expected to:

  • Obtain licensure in Psychology at the State of California. Fellows are expected to take the EPPP by the end of year one and become licensed in California before graduating from the fellowship. Regardless of their licensure status, all fellows participate in all the designated training activities (including supervision) throughout their fellowship training.
  • Complete a mentored scholarly project resulting in submission of a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Complete an interdisciplinary training track at CHLA.  Fellows may complete the ‘long-term’ certification program of the:
    • California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (CA-LEND) interdisciplinary training program
    • Leadership and Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) interdisciplinary training program, or the
    • CHLA Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Center (CHLA PPSMC)
  • Participate in Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) grant didactic activities and providing Opioid and Substance Use Disorders Prevention and Treatment services
  • California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (CA-LEND)
  • Leadership and Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Interdisciplinary Training Program
  • CHLA Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Center
  • Graduate Psychology Education (GPE)

Fellows in the Child and Family, Trauma, Early Childhood, and the combines Early Childhood/Pediatric tracks participate in the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (CA-LEND) program, a weekly interdisciplinary didactic and experiential program. Over the two years of the fellowship, fellows complete the CA-LEND long-term certification program. The faculty and trainees of the CA-LEND program represent a wide range of disciplines including but not limited to: audiology, communication disorders, dentistry, family support, developmental behavioral pediatrics, health administration, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health and social work.

The USC/UCEDD CA-LEND training program provides fellows with didactic instruction and practical experiences. The program tailors this training to the unique needs of the health care delivery systems within California and the western region, while still providing trainees with a national perspective of critical and emerging issues and trends in health care, research and public policy. The CA-LEND advanced leadership and policy training requires that fellows consider critical factors, generally outside their area of clinical study, that strongly influence the health status of children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.  Non-clinical factors such as environmental factors, family lifestyle and cultural values, technological advances and contemporary economic, demographic, legal and political conditions, are explored and routinely addressed as part of the CA-LEND training model. Moreover, by focusing on the importance of prevention and the benefits of coordinated health care, CA-LEND trainees learn to work with parents as partners within their communities, to develop creative approaches for improving the health of children with disabilities.

Fellows participating in the adolescent psychology track attend the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Program, funded by the federal Bureau of Maternal and Child Health. The program provides weekly interdisciplinary leadership training in adolescent health for five core disciplines including adolescent medicine, nursing, nutrition, psychology, and social work. The pre- and postdoctoral training prepares health professionals for leadership roles in public health practice and clinical care, research, training and advocacy with the goal of improving family- and youth-centered, community-based care for adolescents and enhancing the capacity of programs around the country to improve young people's health.

The CHLA LEAH training program is a one-year integrated, interdisciplinary model that addresses the core competencies of adolescent medicine, nursing, nutrition, social work and psychology. The didactic training year runs from October through May. The curriculum includes innovative approaches to professional education and patient care; integrates bio-behavioral, bio-psychological, and social determinants concepts; and provides opportunities to demonstrate leadership in improving services for adolescents through clinical and public health approaches. In addition, all long-term fellows (including psychology fellows) will complete a scholarly project to advance the field of adolescent and young adult health and contribute to the translation of research into practice and policy.

The pediatric psychology fellows participate in the CHLA HRSA funded Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine Center (CHLA PPSMC) created to addresses the urgent need to train a diverse group of pediatric pulmonology and sleep medicine leaders to care and advocate for a culturally and linguistically diverse population of children and youth with special health care needs in Los Angeles. The CHLA PPSMC Leadership Program trains leaders in Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine in six core disciplines including medicine, nursing, nutrition, social work, psychology and respiratory care.

The CHLA PPSMC training is a one-year integrated, interdisciplinary model that aims to meet the following goals:

  1. Develop leaders Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine in six core disciplines
  2. Design family-centered educational programs and family partnerships
  3. Expand virtual care to improve access to care by removing barriers and improve health outcomes
  4. Provide expert pulmonary education to the community
  5. Reduce health care disparities and increase recruitment of a diverse health care workforce on par with the culturally, racially, linguistically and ethnically diverse population of Los Angeles County. 

The competency-based curriculum responds to program objectives and supports the overall goals of clinical practice, scholarship, teaching, and advocacy / administration

In 2019 the program was a recipient of a Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).  The grant, “Enhancing Capacity to Prevent and Treat Opioid Use Disorders through Expanded Community Partnerships and Tele-Mental Health Strategies within an Urban, Underserved Population,” funds first-year fellows’ participation in the project activities.

Project Goals:

  1. To train doctoral psychologists to provide integrated trauma-informed OUD/SUD screening, prevention and treatment services focusing on underserved pediatric populations, including early and middle childhood, adolescence, chronically ill children and adolescents, and those who have disabilities or are victims of abuse.
  2. To enhance doctoral psychologists’ ability to use tele-behavioral health technology to provide trauma-informed psychological interventions (including quality behavioral health and OUD/SUD services) in high need and high demand areas to increase access and reduce barriers to care.
  3. To enhance CHLA psychology supervisors’, community supervisors’, and interdisciplinary staff’s ability to provide integrated trauma-informed OUD/ SUD prevention and treatment services and supervision focusing on underserved pediatric populations and families, and to develop and implement a sustainability plan that will allow CHLA to continue to provide services and train doctoral psychologists in the delivery of trauma-informed OUD/SUD services, and to incorporate tele-behavioral health technology across all behavioral health services.

Grant Activities:

Trauma Informed OUD/SUD training will be provided through collaboration with the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Training Program. The grant creates service rotations targeting homeless women and children (in partnership with Good Shepherd Center) and American Indian communities (in partnership with Seven Generations United Indian Involvement). The grant capitalizes on CHLA’s Behavioral Health initiatives to expand behavioral health services throughout the hospital and expands every psychology fellow’s training to include rotations to serve CHLA’s Pain Medicine, Sickle Cell and Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine substance use treatment and prevention services. Fellows will also receive training and deliver services using tele-mental health service module.

Clinical work

Formal requirements for a caseload are established with each fellow at the beginning of the training year. Fellows carry individual, family and/or group therapy cases within their emphasis areas or in collaboration with members of other emphasis areas to enhance the effectiveness of clinical services. It is expected that fellows spend half their training week providing clinical services, which include therapeutic interventions, psychological assessments, case management activities, consultations, documentation and other relevant activities. All the program’s fellows can obtain training leading to research certification in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale, 2nd Edition.

Scholarly Projects

Fellows are expected to complete a scholarly project during the fellowship. One option is to pursue a mentored scholarly project that results in submission of a manuscript for publication to a peer-reviewed journal. Other scholarly opportunities may be accepted based on fellows’ interest. Fellows participate in a monthly scholarly seminar to support them in meeting their scholarly requirements, and work with mentoring by faculty who are engaged in similar ongoing scholarly activities. 

Supervision

Each fellow receives a minimum of two hours individual face-to-face supervision per week.  Supervision methods include discussion, clinical observations, videotaping/audio taping sessions, co-leading groups and more. All fellows attend one or two hours of group supervision and participate in two hours of rotation-specific group supervision and/or didactic activities weekly. Fellows typically have two supervisors within their emphasis area and receive additional training from a variety of staff members of multiple disciplines depending on their emphasis area. All supervisors are licensed and employed by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or USC Keck School of Medicine. Supervision is designed to meet the supervised professional experience requirements for licensure in the state of California, as well as the American Psychological Association (APA), and Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) guidelines for postdoctoral programs.

Evaluation Process

Supervisors and fellows are expected to exchange feedback routinely as part of the supervisory process.  Formal evaluations are conducted at orientation, mid-year and at the end of each training year. The evaluation process includes the completion of the following:

  • Orientation – self-assessment by fellows.
  • Mid-year and end-of- year – supervisors evaluate fellows (done by the supervision teams)
  • Mid-year and end-of-year – supervisors’ evaluations by fellows

Due Process /Grievance

The Clinical-Child Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship and its training faculty are committed to creating an environment that is professional, responsive to feedback and flexible enough to accommodate individual needs and requirements. During the orientation period, fellows receive and review a document outlining the rights and responsibilities of both the program and the fellows.  The document also outlines the procedures established for due process/grievance policies and appeal instructions.

Ethics

All fellows are expected to be familiar with the APA ethics code prior to their training at CHLA. To assure familiarity, the document is also reviewed during orientation. Discussing and resolving ethical and professional issues are integral parts of our work, and it is expected that these issues will be actively discussed in supervision sessions and fellowship seminars.

  • Program Supervisors
  • Schedules, Stipend, Benefits and Environment of Care
  • Admissions, Support, Initial Placement Data

Over thirty licensed psychologists that are formally designated as postdoctoral training supervisors, and a team of staff and faculty representing all the disciplines involved with CHLA and the USC/UCEDD, serve as supervisors and/or potential team members in all the emphasis areas described.

Adolescent Medicine

  • Brammer, Whitney, PhD
  • Carmona, Hana, PhD
  • Conn Bridgid, PhD
  • Glassgold Sari, PhD
  • Radzik, Mari, PhD
  • Rodriguez, Moises, PhD
  • Sayegh, Caitlin, PhD
  • Sherer, Sara, PhD
  • Waxman, Tyler, PsyD

Child and Family Community Psychology

  • Coffey, Dean M., PsyD
  • Cuervo, Dina, PhD
  • Gutierrez, Silvia, PhD
  • Hall, Heather, PhD
  • Haranin, Emily, PhD
  • Hudson, Bradley O., PsyD, ABPP
  • Rafeedie, Jennifer A., PsyD
  • Lisa Christensen, PhD

Early Childhood Mental Health

  • Donoso, Oscar, PhD
  • Harley, Eliza, PhD
  • Lakatos, Patricia, PhD
  • Matic Tamara, PhD
  • Moreyra, Angelica, PsyD
  • Perez, Hannah, PsyD
  • Quebles, Irina, PsyD
  • Skale, Genevieve, PsyD
  • Williams, Marian E. PhD

Project HEAL-Trauma Psychology

  • Chavez, Veronica, PsyD
  • Celada-Dalton Teresa, PsyD
  • Cruz, Natalie C., PsyD  
  • Johnson, Marie, PhD
  • Orliss Micah, PhD
  • Rogers, Karen, PhD

Pediatric Psychology

  • Bemis, Heather, PhD
  • Carson, Melissa C., PsyD
  • Donahue, Jacqueline, PsyD
  • Doshi, Priyanka, PsyD
  • Gold, Jeffrey I., PhD
  • Herme, Alyson, PhD
  • Hershfield, Jennifer, PhD
  • Hsin, Olivia, PhD
  • Ingman, Kathleen A., PhD, ABPP
  • Johns, Alexis,  PhD, ABPP
  • Kertesz-Briest, Heather, PsyD
  • Kim, Lydia, PsyD
  • Marcy, Stephanie N., PhD
  • Munoz, Cynthia, PhD
  • Radbill, Linda-Maritza, PhD
  • Yasuda, Patrice, PhD
  • Yetwin Alexis, PhD

EC-Peds

  • Harley, Eliza, PhD
  • Moreyra, Angelica, PsyD
  • Hsin, Olivia, PhD
  • Ingman, Kathleen A., PhD, ABPP

Schedules:

Fellows receive a bi-weekly stipend that does not vary with the number of hours worked per week.  Like most staff, fellows often spend more than 40 hours per week completing their training obligations. It is expected that fellows work about 45 hours per week. The number of hours fellows work each week depends on multiple factors such as their interest in additional training, clinical and research involvement, time management skills and other personal and professional factors. Supervisors work with each fellow to determine an appropriate schedule. Fellows are expected to work a minimum of one or two evenings (until 8 p.m.) per week

Stipend:

The annual stipend is $58,240. A benefit package including health and dental insurance is also provided to fellows and their dependents/significant others.  

Time off:

Every training year, fellows receive 9 days of paid vacation, 2 paid personal days, 7 paid CHLA holidays (New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), up to 5 paid professional days, and 5 days of paid sick leave. Fellows in good standing receive funding for registration and travel to attend professional conferences to which their presentations have been accepted.

Environment of care:

The Community Mental Health offices are designed to accommodate clinical service and interdisciplinary training. Clinical offices are available for client care, some equipped with one-way mirrors and/or cameras. Assessment and observation rooms are available for individual and group activities. The Community Mental Health Center provides all assessment materials and equipment, including audiovisual equipment and computer-scoring materials. Fellows are provided with dedicated office and training spaces.  These are state-of-the-art clinical and training spaces that afford each fellow his or her own computer, phone and workspace.  

Library Services:

All fellows receive access to the University of Southern California Health Science electronic resources and computing facilities.

Postdoctoral Program Admissions

The University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD) at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles offers an advanced postdoctoral training program in Clinical Child Psychology. The program has been training psychology fellows since 1990, and provides unique training experiences in clearly defined emphasis areas. Individuals are recruited for each emphasis area and are offered training opportunities in a variety of departments and clinical services.  The emphasis practice areas include:

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine
  • Child and Family Psychology
  • Early Childhood Mental Health
  • Pediatric Psychology
  • Trauma Psychology
  • Combined Early Childhood-Pediatric Psychology

The postdoctoral training program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is based on an integrated community mental health and health psychology model. It is designed to train psychologists to take on leadership roles as experts in clinical psychology in pediatric community and medical settings. 

Depending on the emphasis area, fellows may gain professional experience in outpatient mental health clinics, community clinics, field based services, schools, primary care clinics or pediatric hospital units.  Through intensive supervision, didactic lectures and seminars, research and program development activities, and ample direct patient contact and consultation opportunities, fellows enhance and develop advanced clinical skills in their emphasis area. 

Fellowship Requirements

Prior to the beginning of fellowship, all applicants are expected to have completed:

  1. APA- or CPA-accredited doctoral program
  2. APA- or CPA-accredited doctoral internships; and
  3. Completion of all doctoral requirements (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) prior to beginning of fellowship

*Number 1 and 2 above are mandatory.  No exceptions will be made.

*With appropriate documentation from dissertation chair, scheduled dissertation defense during orientation, and all doctoral requirements completed by October can be negotiated.

Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year* **

Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Residents $58,240
Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Residents N/A
Program provides access to medical insurance for intern? Yes
If access to medical insurance is provided:  
Trainee contribution to cost required? No (For HMO)
Coverage of family member(s) available? Yes
Coverage of legally married partner available? Yes
Coverage of domestic partner available? Yes
Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (PTO and/or Vacation) 9 days paid vacation (72 hours), 2 days paid personal time (16 hours), 7 days paid holidays (56 hours) 
Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave 5 days (40 hours) 
In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?

Yes (fellows make up time at end of fellowship)

Other Benefits (please describe):

  • 5 professional days (40 hours)
  • Stipend for licensed fellows (state of CA) is $60,320

* Stipend for licensed fellows $60,320
** Fellows Stipend is expected to increase in January 2022

Initial Post-Residency Positions

(Aggregated Tally for the Preceding 3 cohorts graduating in 2018-2020) 

  2018-2020
Total # of residents in the 3 cohorts 40
Total # of residents who remain in training in the residency program 10
  PD EP
Community mental health center   5
Federally qualified health center    
Independent primary care facility/clinic    
University counseling center   1
Veterans Affairs medical center    
Military health center    
Academic health center   8
Other medical center or hospital   3
Psychiatric hospital    
Academic university/department   2
Community college or other teaching setting    
Independent research institution    
Correctional facility    
School district/system   1
Independent practice setting   9
Not currently employed    
Changed to another field    
Other   1
Unknown    
Total 10 30

Requirements for Admission/How to Apply

Requirements for Admission

  • Prior to the beginning of the fellowship, all applicants are expected to have completed an APA accredited doctoral program and an APA accredited internship.
  • Due to HRSA restrictions related to  the program's GPE funding, the program can only consider applicants who are citizens of the United States, non-citizen nationals of the United States, or foreign nationals who possesses a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible participants.

Application Procedure and Selection Processes

The program is using the APPA CAS (APPIC Psychology Postdoctoral Application) online system to receive applications and to adhere to APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines. For more information about the application process, please go to:
http://www.appic.org/AAPI-APPA/APPA-Postdoc-Application-Information.

If applicants experience difficulties, they are encouraged to e-mail the Training Director, Dr. Sara Sherer, with questions. The program will start reviewing applications as they are received and start inviting applicants for interviews beginning December 15, 2021. Prospective candidates will be notified via e-mail about whether or not they were granted an interview. Interviews will be offered only to applicants who have submitted a complete application and only after applications have been screened by the faculty. All interviews for the 2022 class will be conducted virtually. Information about the number and length of interviews will be provided with the invitations.  The program will continue to accept applications and will continue interviews as long as there are openings.

Although each emphasis area interviews and selects the candidates that are most qualified for the training experience offered, all candidates are expected to submit the following:

Candidates should submit the following:

  1. A letter of interest. Please submit a separate letter of interest for each postdoctoral emphasis area of interest. Please rank your choices in the order that you would like them to be considered. Your first choice program will receive the application and determine whether to proceed. If not, your application will be submitted for your second choice.
  2. A statement about your long-term career goals and how this fellowship will help you achieve those goals. The statement can be included in your letter of interest.
  3. A curriculum vitae
  4. A de-identified sample child/adolescent psychological assessment report.
  5. Three letters of recommendation (one from a clinical supervisor at predoctoral internship).
  6. Official transcripts of graduate studies reflecting attendance at an APA accredited graduate program.
  7. A proof of completion of APA accredited internship by August 2021. If the internship has not yet been completed, please submit a letter from internship training director stating expected completion date prior to August 31, 2021.
  8. A proof of completion of dissertation by August 2021. If the dissertation has not been completed at the time of application, submit a letter from the dissertation committee chair indicating the expected completion of the oral defense prior to August 31, 2021.

The emphasis area coordinator and the ppsychology training director select the most qualified candidates for each emphasis area using the following criteria:

  • Relevance of previous training experiences
  • Scope and quality of training experiences in the emphasis area
  • Common clinical, research and program development interests the applicants share with that core to the emphasis area
  • Evidence of personal maturity
  • Openness and thoughtfulness during the interview process
  • Strength of fit between the applicant’s professional goals and the program philosophy, routine practices, and resources
  • Availability of strong references from professionals who know the applicant well

For inquiries please e-mail Sheryl Katzovitz our training coordinator at skatzovitz@chla.usc.edu or Dr. Sherer at SSherer@chla.usc.edu  

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
USC/UCEDD Mental Health Program, MS #115
4650 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027

  • Accreditation

The USC UCEDD postdoctoral training program joined the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) in 2004 and received APA accreditation in 2007.  The program’s last accreditation site-visit took place in in 2020 and the program is in the pool for decisions for the June 2021 meeting of the Commission on Accreditation. 

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation at:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242

(T) 202-336-5979 (F) 202-336-5978

http://www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

COVID-19

Adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic, fellows participate in a hybrid schedule.  They participate in virtual training activities and conduct some clinical services virtually, and some on-site following CHLA’s safety guidelines. Fellows are also receiving virtual supervision as per the California Board of Psychology waiver for the in-person supervision requirement.