Program Overview

This child-focused internship program is designed to provide a wide-range of experiences throughout the internship year to promote enhancing the intern’s skills in therapy and assessment while building new skills in OCD treatment, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), inpatient therapy services, and psychoeducational assessment. 

Intensive OCD Outpatient Program (required). All interns participate in the Intensive OCD Outpatient Program two mornings per week throughout the training year. As part of this program, they see cases diagnosed with OCD and/or other forms of anxiety for whom the prescribed treatment is Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP). Usually 1-2 cases are seen per morning, in teams of 2-3 therapists which may include faculty, other interns, and graduate practicum students. Patients may be children or adults and may be seen 1-5 times per week by the treatment team. Interns looking for more specialized training in OCD and ERP may also take on additional OCD/ERP cases, attend the weekly interdisciplinary case conferences (1 hour), and weekly psychology treatment team meetings (1 hour).

Brief Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment Program (required). All interns also participate in the Brief Inpatient Psychiatric Treatment Program at UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital (aka Vista), located adjacent to our clinic building, two mornings per week, throughout the training year. In this program, interns participate in treatment team rounds on the child and adolescent unit before meeting with patients for individual therapy sessions. Identified patients are seen daily throughout their hospitalization. This program affords interns the opportunity to consult with  an interdisciplinary team, implement brief interventions, work with individuals with severe mental illness, substance abuse, and those in crisis, as well as supervise graduate students who are often part of the psychology treatment team.

Outpatient therapy (required). All interns carry a caseload of 13-14 outpatient child and adolescent cases. To promote each intern’s ability to see a range of cases, opportunities are available to see adult, family, couples, and group therapy cases with additional supervision. Other cases can often be tailored to the intern’s training goals and objectives, such as incorporating PCIT cases, or cases involving post-partum depression as our clinic has a wide referral base. Cases range in age from 2 to 92, and are seen for a variety of clinical concerns. Referrals come from the Divisions of Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, but also Gainesville community providers and self-referrals.

Psychoeducational Evaluations (required). Interns spend one day per week conducting psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents. Patients are often referred due to concerns related to possible ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, Depression, or Anxiety. However, cases may include complex features including complicated family and social histories, medical conditions that may affect psychosocial development, or severe symptoms. Testing is individualized depending on the referral question, but often includes standardized IQ and achievement testing, parent, teacher, and self-report measures, and additional measures as needed (e.g., Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd edition [ADOS-2], D-KEFS). Depending on intern interest, there is opportunity to learn to administer the ADOS-2 and gain more experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder assessments. 

PCIT Room at Springhill 2 carpet with city roads and toy cars in observation room with two-way mirror
PCIT room at Springhill 2

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Interns will receive basic training in PCIT, leading to potential eligibility for certification as a PCIT therapist by PCIT International, Inc. Interns who begin internship with therapist certification may opt for training as a PCIT trainer, which may lead to eligibility for certification as a Within-Agency Trainer through PCIT International. Participation in the PCIT program includes formal training in the PCIT model, a weekly meeting (1 hour) that includes additional PCIT training activities and case discussion, opportunities to see PCIT cases in co-therapy with faculty (Drs. Nelson and McNeil are certified Global Trainers in PCIT), and opportunities to assist in additional PCIT training and research activities that are ongoing in the division.