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The Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Behavioral Psychology Department is pleased to announce recruitment for postdoctoral fellowship positions for 2020-2021 in the Behavior Management, Pediatric Developmental Disabilities, and Child & Family Therapy clinics. (Details on the positions are listed below.) Kennedy Krieger offers APPIC member postdoctoral fellowship training within this internationally recognized children’s hospital renowned for its commitment to improving the lives of children with neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders and their families. Ours is a university affiliated, interdisciplinary setting with a focus on assessment, clinical service delivery, training, community partnerships, education, and research.

To Apply:

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Medicine and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, or religious affiliation. Interested candidates must have a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Psychology (e.g., clinical, school) or Applied Behavior Analysis from an APA-accredited program, must have completed an APA-accredited Doctoral internship, and must have their dissertation defended prior to August 1, 2020.

Please send a cover letter, CV, degree verification form, three letters of reference (can be sent directly from letter writers), and transcript to psychology@kennedykrieger.orgApplication review will begin as soon as CV and cover letter are received.

1. Behavior Management Clinic (BMC) Postdoctoral Fellowship

In depth training in family based care within a behavioral and cognitive behavioral framework forms the basis for data driven, function based assessment and treatment across a range of presenting problems. In addition to CBT, fellows will receive training in assessment and treatment grounded in applied behavior analysis principles and procedures, including outpatient application of analogue methodology for assessment and treatment planning.  Fellows are involved in a number of activities including clinical assessment and treatment, consultation, community outreach and training, and some limited research involvement for interested fellows.  Fellowship training and experience within the Behavior Management Clinic is geared toward immersion in advanced clinical activities that prepare fellows for licensure and independent practice. The clinic provides outpatient treatment to culturally diverse families and consultation or support to community care providers serving children with a variety of externalizing and internalizing disorders and co-morbidities, as well as varying functioning levels. Treatment is family centered and primarily clinic-based, but it may also include opportunities for community service delivery on a case-by-case basis for purposes of advocacy, tailoring of treatment interventions, and to facilitate generalization and maintenance of treatment gains. Treatment modalities are dictated by presenting concerns and may include behavioral parent training, individual therapy, and/or group therapy. Collaboration with internal and community providers and professionals is integral to BMC’s care model.

Training is individualized in order to tailor fellowship experiences to the fellow’s specific goals. With three unique training sites, fellows are offered some variety in training experience. Fellows may work across one or two sites that target service to military-connected families, feature co-location with Johns Hopkins Pediatric and Family Medicine practices, and/or exposure to briefer assessment and treatment services. Regardless of training, BMC offers certification in PCIT to all postdoctoral fellows. Trainees are also offered opportunities to participate in community and clinic marketing events by providing presentations/trainings to a variety of stakeholders and by attending local events/conferences. Fellows will also have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disability (LEND) interdisciplinary training program, including the Room to Grow conference.

2. Child & Family Therapy Clinic Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Child and Family Therapy Clinic provides a one -year postdoctoral fellowship training in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood behavior disorders and family dysfunction.  An additional second year is available for trainees looking to further their professional development before starting independent practice.

The Child and Family Therapy Clinic is an outpatient clinic with a mission to provide high-quality evidence-based treatment to children and families exhibiting a wide range of behavioral and emotional problems. We have offices located in Baltimore City, Columbia (Howard County), and Odenton (Anne Arundel County), Maryland. Common problems treated in our clinic include disruptive behavior problems, ADHD and impulse-control difficulties/executive functioning difficulties, anger-management/aggression, parent-child conflicts, parent-teen communication difficulties, depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, fears, phobias, panic, school-related difficulties, adjustment-related problems, stress management, emotion-regulation difficulties, mild self-harm, poor coping, and family transition issues. Families may also present with unique stressors surrounding concerns regarding their child or adolescent’s behavior that include divorce/separation, bullying, peer conflict, military deployment, transition to a new environment, or lack of social support. The clinic serves children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 20. Therapy modalities include family therapyindividual therapy, and group therapy, all within Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) frameworks.  Our team consists of clinical psychologists with credentials in both areas.

The Child and Family Therapy Clinic training program prepares postdoctoral fellows to function as psychologists in a wide range of mental health and medical/hospital settings. The fellowship, part of a multi-disciplinary pediatric hospital, is designed to increase both depth and scope of pediatric psychology experiences and clinical skills before embarking on independent careers in the field on a trajectory toward leadership.   The fellowship provides advanced in-depth and multifaceted training and experience in the context of a busy and specialized team of clinical psychologists, doctoral interns, pre-doctoral externs, and interdisciplinary colleagues, with attention paid to the special training interests of the fellow (i.e., interest in particular presenting issues, age groups, etc.).

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

Fellowship opportunities include:

  • Providing individual, family, and group therapy to patients and their families
    • Group therapy currently includes Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills based groups and Cognitive Behavior Therapy skills based groups focused on interpersonal effectiveness and social anxiety exposure
  • Training within a multidisciplinary pediatric hospital where fellows collaborate with other KKI and JHH faculty and staff on shared cases
  • Collaborating with our legal team to increase expertise when dealing with issues related to a child’s school success, abuse and neglect, child custody, and subpoenas
  • Consulting with school staff and other service providers including psychiatrists, primary care physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech and language therapists
  • Obtaining advanced training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with trained and certified licensed psychologists in each of these areas
  • Training in CBIT (Cognitive Behavior Intervention for Tics) with certified CBIT staff psychologists
  • Specialized training in working with military families, including problems that often accompany deployment and other military stressors
  • Several weekly didactics within the postdoctoral program as well as clinic wide
  • Presentation opportunities both within the clinic as well as outreach to groups, including schools, focus groups, parent groups, pediatricians, and other outside agencies
  • Developing an emerging leadership role within a large multi-tiered outpatient clinic
  • Advanced training and leadership opportunities are available in a wide variety of domains for second year fellows

3. Pediatric Developmental Disabilities Clinic Postdoctoral Fellowship

The goal of this is training future psychologists in behavioral assessment and intervention for toddlers, children, and adolescents with diagnosed or suspected neurodevelopmental disorders who also have challenging behaviors.  Fellows will receive training in assessment and intervention via didactic instruction and supervised and independent practice. Fellows will develop a broad array of relevant clinical skills which will prepare them to apply for jobs within the field of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Logistically, Fellows will have a full year of training in the Pediatric Developmental Disabilities Clinic. There will also be opportunities for specializing in a minor rotation described below.  Positions in each minor rotation are limited and will be determined by candidate interests, availability, and training background.

Clinical Experiences:

Behavioral Psychology Department – Pediatric Developmental Disabilities Clinic. 

Throughout the year, Fellows will receive training in behavioral assessment and intervention.  Fellows will assume the role as primary therapists for their clients and families.  They will assess and develop multiple component function-based interventions to decrease problem behavior and increase appropriate replacement behavior.  In-clinic sessions teach parents/caregivers to implement interventions in the home and community through modeling and coaching.  Family barriers to treatment are assessed, and methods to overcome obstacles are utilized. To promote ongoing collaboration through the weeks, parents receive daily text prompts to record data electronically, which is then automatically graphed for the Fellow’s review at any time.   While the emphasis of intervention is on parent training, children may also be treated individually (with parent assistance) to increase functional communication skills or to address internalizing problems, such as anxiety and inflexibility via modified cognitive behavioral strategies. There are also opportunities for group skills training utilizing curriculum such as Superheroes, PEERS, and Unstuck & On Target. In addition to two hours/week of individual face-to-face supervision, Fellows are actively involved in at least two hours/week of group supervision, clinical skills development seminars, and/or peer review.  Fellows also provide periodic consultation with schools and engage in interdisciplinary communications within and outside of the Institute (e.g., Developmental Pediatricians and Psychiatrists).  Community outreach activities are included in which Fellows provide presentations to groups such Autism and Down syndrome support groups.  Financial support is provided to attend professional conferences and outside trainings.

Fellows in the PDD clinic will have 17 patient contact hours per week with PDD clients.  However, based on minor rotation training, appropriate reductions to patient contact expectations will be made.

Minor rotation – Neuropsychology Department – Executive Function Clinic (1 position)

Fellows participate in two full psychological evaluations per month for five consecutive months through the Executive Function Clinic, which is housed within the Neuropsychology Department. Individuals seen in the Executive Function Clinic often have known or suspected developmental or medical conditions that can be associated with executive dysfunction. During the 5-month minor rotation, fellows spend every Wednesday in the Neuropsychology Department alternating between evaluation days and report writing days. Fellows participate in Executive Function Clinic morning and noon rounds every Wednesday (8:15 – 9:00 AM; 12:00-1:00 PM). On evaluation days, the Fellow presents the case during rounds including the presenting problem/reason for referral, relevant background information, differential diagnostic considerations, and the proposed testing plan. Fellows participate in all aspects of the evaluation including interviews with the patient and family, test administration and scoring, feedback session with the family, and report writing. On writing days, the Fellow attends morning and noon rounds but spends the rest of the day writing the report of the last evaluation.

Fellows receive group supervision during morning and noon rounds, and one hour of individual supervision is scheduled every other week. Individual supervision takes place on the Fellow’s writing day.

Minor rotation- Interdisciplinary activities and supervisory training (2 positions)

Fellows will participate in two days of interdisciplinary experiences each month and will conduct behavioral evaluations with an emphasis on developmental functioning.  Summaries will be presented during the Interdisciplinary Meetings with recommendations provided by the Fellow.  The interdisciplinary team consists of Developmental Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Speech Pathology, Neuropsychology, and Genetics.   Each discipline will also be presenting findings and recommendations for care.  Children who receive treatment in the Preschool Interdisciplinary Clinic are usually followed until they are 6 years of age.   Within this minor rotation, there are also opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary research efforts with the other disciplines.

Additionally, Fellows will have the opportunity to practice supervisory skills and receive supervision on these skills which will be conducted with Doctoral Interns.  Activities will include:  co-treatment of clients with Interns, participation in co-supervision with Licensed Psychologists, direct observation of Interns’ clinical sessions, and provision of feedback.  Guidance on supervisory skills will also be given by Licensed Psychologists via live or recorded sessions.