Psychology Practicum Positions

  • Specific practicum opportunities

    Practicum opportunities available to graduate students in psychology span a variety of topics and specialties throughout The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Below you'll find expanded details about current Psychology Practicum Program opportunities and related positions within each area of focus.

  • Center for Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome: Pain Clinic Assessment Practicum Rotation

    Jennifer Sherker, PsyD & Kim Miller, PhD


    Position: The Center for Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome assesses and treats children and adolescents with various forms of amplified pain. Amplified Pain is characterized by the development of an abnormal nerve pathway that causes significant amplification of pain and dysfunction. Amplified pain can be caused by injury, illness, and/or stress, though stress very frequently plays a role. Amplified pain is treated at CHOP through a combination of physical and occupational therapy, and psychological intervention. Pain medications are not used, as amplified pain does not typically respond to pain medications.

    Patients suspected of having amplified pain are initially referred for interdisciplinary pain clinic evaluation, which involves a comprehensive psychological evaluation. This psychological evaluation consists of interpretation of a variety of measures assessing areas including patient and family emotional functioning, coping, pain focus, parent responses to pain, and functional disability. The evaluation also includes a focused clinical interview, and gathering of information from collateral resources, as appropriate.

    The goals of this evaluation are to provide psychoeducation, to assess emotional functioning, coping and areas of stress, and to help determine appropriate treatment recommendations, including evaluation for readiness to participate in CHOP’s intensive Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome Program, if deemed medically appropriate.

    Primary duties:

    • Conduct Pain Clinic Evaluations including:
      • Review and Interpretation of Assessment measures
      • Clinical Interview
      • Consultation with past/current Mental Health Providers
    • Make recommendations to the medical team and families
    • Complete written evaluations, including integration of assessment data and information obtained from clinical interview

    Qualifications: Preference for third or fourth year doctoral-level students in clinical child psychology.

    Start date: July 1, 2014

  • The Center for Management of ADHD

    Director: Thomas J. Power, PhD


    Position: The Center for Management of ADHD at CHOP is a multidisciplinary program providing assessment, treatment and consultation services for children with ADHD and their families. The Center treats children from ages 3 to 18 years. In addition to clinical services, the ADHD Center is also dedicated to research investigating innovative treatment services for children with ADHD. Patients are seen at several locations in the CHOP system (Voorhees, Exton, King of Prussia, Springfield and 3440 Market Street, Philadelphia).

    Position #1: Assessment Practicum

    Primary duties:
    Assessments (4-16 hours per week)

    • Participate in diagnostic evaluations with a staff psychologist
    • Receive training in administration and scoring of standardized intellectual and academic achievement tests, as well as self-report measures of emotional functioning
    • Record and communicate behavioral observations
    • Collaborate with lead clinician (licensed psychologist) in interpretation of assessment findings

    Qualification: Pre-requisite: Students should have completed a graduate level course in psychological assessment before starting this practicum.

    Start date: July 2014

    Position #2: Group Treatment Practicum

    Primary duties:
    Group Intervention for Parents (approx. 6 hours per week; at least 60 percent of time is face-to-face or phone-based clinical contact):

    • Participate in the delivery of multi-family group sessions using program manuals
    • Respond to family needs via between-session phone contacts
    • Provide school consultation services over the phone with teachers for some participants
    • Prepare paperwork for group treatment sessions
    • Complete progress notes and discharge summaries
    • Prepare for and participate in weekly supervision

    Qualifications: This practicum is designed for an advanced graduate student who has some experience in providing family-behavior therapy or school consultation and who would like to gain additional experience providing such interventions in a group setting. Foundational knowledge of ADHD is preferred.

    Start date: July 2014, Groups will meet from 5:30-7:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 3440 Market St. location or on Wednesday evenings at the Springfield site.

  • Center for Autism Research

    Supervisors: Lisa Blaskey, PhD; Judith Miller, PhD


    Position: The psychology practicum student will obtain broad knowledge in evaluation and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) across development (toddlers through teenagers), providing assessment of the cognitive, academic, behavioral and emotional functioning of children with ASDs. The student works under the close supervision of a licensed psychologist.

    Primary duties:

    • Administer and interpret measures of cognitive, academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning for patients participating in research studies in the Center for Autism Research under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.
    • Perform evaluation using standard tools and techniques.
    • Obtain training in gold standard tools for evaluation of ASDs, such as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R).
    • Complete written reports of assessment results. Obtain approval and feedback on all reports and make edits within a reasonable amount of time.
    • Prepare for and is responsive to supervision in individual and group formats.
    • Participate in additional research and didactic activities as appropriate.


    • Enrolled in a graduate program in clinical or school psychology
    • Experienced in assessment of cognitive and behavioral functioning of children
    • Competent in administering and scoring psychological and behavioral assessment measures
  • CHOP Family Care Center

    Supervisor: Nancy Silverman, PhD


    Position: The CHOP Family Care Clinic provides both primary and specialized care to infants, children and adolescents with perinatally-acquired HIV infection. The clinic consists of a multidisciplinary staff including medicine, nursing, social work, health education, nutrition and psychology.

    Primary duties: The practicum focuses primarily on psychological assessment and involves learning to:

    • Administer, score, interpret and write up the results of cognitive and academic evaluations across a wide age range (infancy to early adulthood). Instruments routinely used include: Bayley Scales of Infant Development (3rd edition), WPPSI-IV, WISC-IV, WASI-II, WAIS-IV and WIAT-III.
    • Assess other relevant areas such as memory and learning, phonological processing and executive functioning.
    • Present test results and recommendations to both caregivers and clinic team members.
    • Conduct individual and group psychotherapy.

    Students receive close individual supervision from a licensed psychologist on all assessment activities. For therapy activities, individual supervision with a trained social worker is provided. Practicum students can also participate in regular multidisciplinary patient care meetings that occur at the close of each clinic day.

    Practicum is for 8 hours (one day) per week. Students must be available on Wednesdays.

    Qualifications: The practicum is appropriate for students who are at least in their second year of graduate training as well as those who have had some exposure to administering cognitive/IQ tests.

    Start date: July 2, 2014

  • The Family Stress and Illness Program

    Supervisor: Paul Robins, PhD


    Position: The Family Stress and Illness Program provides family-based outpatient services to address the psychological needs of children and families experiencing acute or chronic illnesses, as well as more general child clinical concerns.

    The unique strengths of families are recognized through all aspects of care, in particular the essential impact families have on illness management and health outcomes. Priority is assigned to providing care for children and families who have recently experienced inpatient medical hospitalization and require ongoing psychological care to optimize healthy adjustments. Many children seen through this program are experiencing somatoform spectrum type concerns (e.g., recurrent abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and other pain presentations). 

    Primary duties:

    • Complete initial intake, progress notes, treatment plan, and discharge summary
    • Prepare for and participate in weekly team based as well as individual supervision
    • Schedule families
    • Provide individual and family therapy
    • Participate as team member in initial family intervention session

    Qualifications: Preference for 3rd or 4th year doctoral-level students in clinical child psychology

  • Division of Oncology – Intervention Practicum

    Director: Lamia Barakat, PhD


    Position: The Division of Oncology at CHOP offers an intervention practicum for advanced psychology graduate students with familiarity and/or previous experience with clinical intervention for children, adolescents and their families. The student works under the close supervision of a licensed psychologist in the Division of Oncology.

    Primary duties: The practicum provides students with opportunities to participate in pediatric psychology programming activities in oncology.

    The primary activity is to meet with families of children newly diagnosed with cancer to review materials focused on psycho-education and coping strategies. Depending on the experience level of the practicum student and current department needs, other activities may include co-leading a support group for parents of children with cancer and facilitating school re-entry programming. Patients referred to the service vary in age, cancer diagnoses and time since diagnosis with some in active treatment and others who are cancer survivors.


    • Enrolled in a graduate program in school, clinical or counseling psychology
    • Prior psychological intervention experience with children/adolescents and their families
    • Experience and/or familiarity with empirically-based intervention approaches for children/adolescents and their families
    • Experience and/or familiarity with pediatric psychology theory and research
    • Availability of 8-12 hours a week

    Requires some mobility and some bending and lifting.

    Start Date: July 2014

  • Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center


    Supervisors: Loretta Martin-Halpine, PsyD; Colleen Lukens, PhD; Christine Reinhard, PhD; Nancy Silverman, PhD

    Position: The psychology practicum student works with a consultative, interdisciplinary team comprised of psychology, medicine, nutrition, speech therapy and occupational therapy to evaluate feeding disorders. The clinic serves a range of children, primarily from infancy through elementary ages, who demonstrate a variety of feeding problems, such as limited intake of food and/or fluids, limited variety of foods accepted and failure to transition to advanced food textures. The student works under the close supervision of a licensed psychologist.

    Primary duties:

    • Evaluates behavioral aspects of feeding as part of an interdisciplinary team
    • Develops initial behavioral recommendations
    • Completes written sections of evaluations
    • Participates in discussion of initial recommendations with caregivers
    • Fulfills other assigned responsibilities as appropriate


    • Enrolled in a doctoral program in school, clinical, or counseling psychology
    • Experience with behavioral treatment models preferred
    • Clinical experience with young children preferred

    Start date: Flexible

  • The Partner for Prevention Program (P4P) within the Community Schools Program at CHOP

    Director: Steve Leff, PhD


    Position: School-based group facilitator

    Primary duties: Practicum student will facilitate a comprehensive peer bullying program (PRAISE: Preventing Relational Aggression In Schools Everyday) with 3rd-5th grade students in a Philadelphia school within the neighborhood of Point Breeze, which is an urban, disadvantaged, high-need community. PRAISE is a manualized 20-session, classroom-based program run by a clinical team of 3 facilitators in partnership with the classroom teacher.

    PRAISE group sessions occur during a class period as part of the school district’s curriculum. The program uses a detective analogy to teach participants problem solving and conflict management skills. Other engaging modalities include cartoons, videos and role plays. Skills covered include:

    • Interpreting ambiguous situations
    • Identifying internal cues in response to anger
    • Stopping and thinking before acting
    • Dealing with gossip, empathy, perspective taking, being a positive bystander
    • Addressing cyber-bullying
    • Promoting leadership

    Students will also participate in school & teacher partnership activities, and pre/post assessments with students and teachers. Practicum students will facilitate two cohorts of PRAISE (Fall and Spring), with several classrooms in each cohort. They will participate in several weeks of didactic training and receive live weekly supervision from licensed psychologist. PRAISE is supported by a three-year grant from the Pew Charitable Trust.

    Qualifications: Clinical teams are diverse in terms of training and experience. Students in all years of a graduate program may apply. Candidates from psychology, social work, education and related fields will be considered. Experience in urban school settings and with group therapy is preferred. The position is for 10-12 hours/week, and students must have availability on two days per week, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

    Start Date: September 2014-June 2015

  • Neuropsychology Practicum Placements

    Program 1: Pediatric Neuropsychology - Broad Neuropsychology Focus

    Supervisors: Lauren Krivitzky, PhD, ABPP-Cn, Neuropsychology Externship Recruiter; Thomas Flynn, PhD, Program Director


    Position: The Pediatric Neuropsychology program provides neuropsychological assessment and consultation services for children/adolescents from a wide age range and with varying presenting concerns. The program receives referrals from many different medical services, including neurology, neurosurgery, hematology/oncology and physical medicine and rehabilitation, and from a variety of clinics for neurodevelopmental disorders.

    The neuropsychology practicum student has the opportunity to work with one of our neuropsychology faculty on outpatient neuropsychological assessments and may also gain exposure to inpatients and the various multidisciplinary teams with whom the neuropsychologists collaborate.

    Primary duties:

    • Administer/score neuropsychological tests for a range of ages from preschool through adolescent/young adult.
    • Participate in parent/child interview and feedback sessions.
    • Prepare for and participate in weekly individual supervision.
    • Opportunity to participate in didactics through the neuropsychology program and other Hospital/program specific didactics.
    • Potential opportunity for observing interdisciplinary team meetings or clinic.

    Qualifications: Preference for students with prior exposure to neuropsychology through either course work and/or clinical experience. Also preference for third or fourth year doctoral-level students.

    Start date: July 2014

    Program 2: Division of Oncology – Focus in Pediatric Oncology/Late Effects of Treatment

    Supervisor: Iris Paltin, PhD


    Position: The Division of Oncology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offers a neuropsychological assessment practicum for psychology graduate students with previous experience conducting cognitive assessments and/or neuropsychological assessments in children and adolescents. The student works under the close supervision of a licensed psychologist (pediatric neuropsychologist) in the Division of Oncology.

    Primary duties: The practicum provides students with extensive experience administering neuropsychological measures to pediatric oncology patients (preschool through young adult) and scoring, interpreting and writing the findings to address potential cognitive late effects of disease and/or treatment.

    Practicum students will participate in family interviews, feedback sessions and report writing. Patients referred to the service vary in age, cancer diagnoses, and time since diagnosis - with some in active treatment and others who are cancer survivors.


    • Enrolled in a graduate program in school, clinical or counseling psychology.
    • Experience with Wechsler tests and familiarity with neuropsychological measures.
    • Competent in administering and scoring psychological and behavioral assessment measures.
    • Prior experience conducting cognitive/psychoeducational assessments in children/adolescents.
    • Able to commit to 16 hours per week (at least one full day on site for testing plus report-writing on one or more days) for at least nine months.

    Requires some mobility and some bending and lifting.

    Program 3: Division of Oncology - Focus on Brain Tumor/ Neuro-Oncology Lab

    Supervisor: Carol Armstrong, PhD


    Positions: Two positions are offered within the Neuro-Oncology Program in the Division of Oncology: an assessment practicum and a clinical research practicum supervised by Carol Armstrong, PhD, Director of the Neuropsychology Laboratories in the Neuro-Oncology Program.

    Dissertation research is welcome. Position my involve supervision of another student. Both positions offer opportunity for research within the lab for thesis or dissertation. Other opportunities include weekly professional and topic seminars in psychology, neuropsychology and clinical neuroscience at CHOP, weekly tumor boards, brain cuttings and other major talks at CHOP/Penn.

    1. Clinical practicum position

    Position: Provides students with extensive experience administering neuropsychological tests and procedures to mainly pediatric patients with brain tumors and genetic disorders with risk for brain cancer.

    Patients' ages: preschool to middle-age adults.

    Primary duties:
    The student will conduct comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations in an outpatient setting (interview, administer, score, norm, review medical records, interpret findings. Learn to: write reports, make recommendations, give results).

    Other diagnoses include seizure disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, autism spectrum, ADHD, head injury, and other developmental disabilities. Good opportunity to examine effects of focal lesions and disconnection on cognitive and emotional behavior, and to understand cognitive dysfunction in neurocognitive syndromes.

    The clinical practicum applicant must commit to at least 16 hours/week (two full days) including Fridays for one year.

    2. Research practicum position

    Position: Experience in clinical research studies at the Perelman Center of the University of Pennsylvania Proton Center and at the CHOP Neuropsychology and Infant Cognition Laboratories in Neuro-oncology. Two-hour neuropsychological evaluations identify damaging effects of proton radiotherapy in adults, provide opportunities for interpretation of findings and writing reports, and involve differential diagnosis.

    Infant studies (1-2 hr) apply clinical and experimental tests of cognition and learning in relation to neurodevelopment. Includes research with experimental tests of cerebellar neurocognition in children and adults.

    The clinical research practicum applicant must commit to 16 hours/week with regular but more flexible schedule. Supervision includes the Director of the Neuropsychology Lab. in Neuro-Oncology and a senior neuropsychology student.

    Qualifications: Students should be:

    • Enrolled in a graduate program in neuropsychology or in clinical or cognitive psychology with special interest in neurocognition, and
    • Competent in giving some neuropsychological tests and the Wechsler intelligence batteries.
    • Physical demands include toting test equipment across the campus.

    Start date: July 2, 2014

  • Safe Place Treatment and Support Program

    Supervisors: Nancy Braveman, MS, PsyD; Teresa Brieck, MSS, LCSW


    Position: The Safe Place Treatment and Support Program (SPTS) provides psychosocial support services and mental health treatment to children and families of suspected or known sexual abuse. The program typically treats children from 2 to 14 years of age who have been seen at the CARE Clinic for a specialized medical exam and treatment due to sexual abuse concerns. Practicum students would work as part of an outpatient team that includes medicine, social work and psychology. The practicum is offered for 14 to16 hours per week.

    Primary duties:

    • Participate in CARE Clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m.
    • Provide time-limited interventions, including psychoeducation/support and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment on a weekly outpatient basis
    • Complete progress notes of treatment sessions
    • Complete initial assessments of new patients
    • Receive at least two hours per week of individual supervision
    • Participate in direct observation of and by clinical supervisors
    • Participate in additional research and didactic activities as appropriate


    • Enrolled in a graduate program in clinical psychology, counseling psychology or clinical social work
    • Preferably has had at least one year of supervised clinical experience
    • Experience and interest in doing trauma-related work with children and families

    Start date:  Summer 2014 (exact date somewhat flexible)

  • Sleep Center Positions

    Position 1: Pediatric Sleep Practicum

    Supervisors: Jodi Mindell, PhD and Melisa Moore, PhD


    Position: This rotation provides practicum students the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team. Practicum students will gain knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of both medically- and behaviorally-based sleep disorders, with an emphasis on the behavioral treatment of sleep issues.

    Primary duties: Students are responsible for interviewing patients, formulating diagnoses, creating treatment plans, and providing follow-up care.

    • Clinics occur on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
    • For Thursday clinic only, every other week take place at our King of Prussia location.
    • For both Wednesday and Thursday clinics, an orientation period is provided during the Wednesday clinic for the first eight weeks of the practicum (through August). Students may attend this clinic in place of Thursday clinic during this training period.
    • The Wednesday clinic includes a required weekly didactic from 12 to 1 p.m.

    Qualifications: Third or fourth year doctoral students preferred.

    Start date: July 1, 2014

    Position 2: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Program

    Supervisor: Melissa Xanthopoulos, PhD


    Position: This position provides practicum students the opportunity to work within an interdisciplinary team from pulmonary, neurology, nursing, respiratory therapy, psychiatry and psychology. Practicum students will:

    • Gain knowledge of the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSAS), with a special emphasis on adherence to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a primary treatment of OSAS.
    • Obtain a general understanding of pediatric sleep and sleep disorders.
    • Provide assessment and treatment in clinic, as well as follow up over the phone.

    This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn general behavioral principles and techniques for patients ranging in age from 3 months to 21 years.

    Primary duties: Students are responsible for interviewing patients, formulating a treatment plan, and providing follow up by phone and in-person.

    • Hours for both Wednesday and Thursdays are to be determined. Students can participate in morning and/or afternoon clinics depending on availability and hours needed.
    • Wednesday clinics includes a required weekly didactic from noon to 1 p.m.
    • Students are required to complete all reports by the end of each clinic and note all patient telephone contacts in the electronic medical record and QI database.
    • Throughout the week, practicum students will provide telephone follow-up with their cases. This typically adds up to one hour per week.
    • Individual supervision occurs during and after each clinic.

    Qualifications: Experience and/or coursework related to children and adolescents. Third or fourth year doctoral students is preferred.

  • Behavioral Health in Urban Schools Program

    Ricardo Eiraldi, PhD; Jennifer Mautone, PhD, NCSP


    Position: The Behavioral Health in Urban Schools program was designed to provide experience across multiple domains, including assessment, individual therapy, group therapy and school consultation.

    Primary duties:

    • Will conduct diagnostic assessments using structured interviews and rating scales.
    • Will have the opportunity to be involved in collection of outcome data as part of a federally-funded clinical trial.
    • Will also learn how to Implement interventions for Tiers 1 and 2 in a School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) program. The Tier 1 interventions are focused on school-wide support, and Tier 2 interventions focus on small groups of students with or at-risk for externalizing behavior problems and anxiety disorders.

    In the context of the SWPBS component of the program, externs will learn how to provide support to school personnel who will run intervention groups for children at the Tier 2 level. Supervision will be provided by a licensed psychologist.

    Qualifications: Prerequisite — Students should have completed a graduate level course in psychological assessment before starting this practicum.

Reviewed on March 10, 2014