Description of the Child Psychology Program

The Department of Psychology Internship Program provides a comprehensive training program which is designed to make a significant contribution to the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of developmental disabilities, emotional disturbances, and behavioral problems associated with genetic, environmental, and medical conditions of children and their families. Training experiences are offered in psychological assessment, individual and group treatment techniques, consultation-liaison services with medically involved patients, assessment and secondary prevention in at-risk populations, parent counseling, and community outreach activities. Training is also provided through specialty training seminars, participation in a variety of multidisciplinary teams and clinics, and attendance at multidisciplinary teaching rounds.

Trainees participate in supervised experiences in diagnostic, therapeutic, and clinical research settings. Interns gain experience with a broad range of problems. Patients present with moderate to severe developmental, emotional and behavioral problems. They range in age from infancy to early adulthood (i.e., 21 years of age) and come from diverse cultural backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Due to the hospital’s unique geographic location, patients from Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands are routinely served, in addition to the large Hispanic and African-American population geographically located in Miami.

Many patients present with problems related to difficulties in adjustment to a chronic/acute medical condition (e.g., Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Epilepsy, and Asthma), neurodevelopmental disorder, psychological, abuse and/or trauma, as well as distress related to medical or surgical procedures. Presenting problems for which a psychological evaluation are indicated include academic/learning difficulty, emotional maladjustment as well as developmental delay and regression. Evaluations are also conducted to monitor overall development and guide intervention for children with chronic/acute medical conditions. Patients in this group include at risk premature infants, oncology and cardiovascular surgery patients and epilepsy surgery candidates. Presenting problems for which psychotherapy are indicated include depression and anxiety, conduct disorder, psychosis, developmental delay and trauma, eating disorder, pain/impaired body function and substance abuse. A number of theoretical orientations are represented, most prominently cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, object relations, developmental and family systems.

Interdisciplinary Function

The Psychology Internship Program provides training experiences in the various roles of the psychologist as a member of an interdisciplinary team. Interdisciplinary assessment and intervention is emphasized in all training experiences. Psychological assessment of and intervention with developmentally and medically complex children is coordinated with professionals from other disciplines resulting in comprehensive service delivery.

Cultural/Linguistic Function

The Psychology Internship Program provides a unique opportunity for interns to be trained to work with ethnic minority populations in general, and to specialize in working with Hispanics from different socioeconomic levels in particular. The trend in ethnic minority growth suggests a large and increasing discrepancy between Hispanics in need of services and availability of culturally competent and relevant treatment. Sensitivity to cultural diversity is an essential component of training. In addition to didactic seminars, clinical experiences with the Hispanic population are supervised by trained, bicultural/bilingual psychologists. Interns are trained to consider cultural variables in work with culturally and linguistically diverse children and families. Sensitivity to multicultural issues for mental or medical illness, development, family, education, grief/loss and service delivery is fostered.

Administrative and Teaching Faculty

Faculty Member Training Responsibility
Rose Alvarez-Salvat, Ph.D. Director of Training
Supervisor, Pediatric Health and Neuropsychology Track, Consultation Liaison Service, Assessment;
Training Committee
Marisa Azaret, Psy.D. Chief Psychologist
Supervisor, Pediatric Health and Neuropsychology Tracks, Therapy Treatment;
Training Committee
David Coe, Ph.D. Psychologist, Pediatric Health Track;
Autism Clinic, Feeding & Swallowing Team;
Training Committee
Leslie Garrard, Psy.D. Psychologist, Adolescent Medicine;
Eating Disorder Team
Brandon Korman, Psy.D. Supervisor, Neuropsychology Track;
Neuro-Oncology Clinic, Multidisciplinary Neurosurgery Team;
Didactic Seminar Presenter;
Training Committee
Trevor Resnick, M.D. Medical Director, Neurologist, Department of Neurology
Sara Rivero-Conil, Psy.D. Supervisor, Pediatric Health and Neuropsychology Track,
Consultation Liaison Service, Therapy Treatment;
Training Committee
Melissa Reyes Salgueiro, Psy.D. Psychologist, Division of Psychology; Supervisor, Pediatric Health and Neuropsychology Track;
Training Committee
Janet P. Rosen, Psy.D. Chief Psychologist, Inpatient Psychiatry Unit
Silvia Sommers, Psy.D. Psychologist, Consultation Liaison Service

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