DePelchin Children's Center-Child/Family Psychology Track
Location: DePelchin Children's Center
DePelchin Children's Center is a large not-for-profit agency, which has provided services in Houston for over 100 years, first as an orphanage and later as a social service and mental health agency. DePelchin Children's Center offers comprehensive outpatient psychological services to children and families.
Assessment and Consultation
- Outpatient: Interns gain a wide range of assessment experience through outpatient referrals and specialized team assessments. Interns have the opportunity to evaluate older children suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder and to participate in Arena Assessments of young children as a part of DePelchin's Autism Services. In addition, DePelchin Children’s Center is an affiliate member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and is known in the Houston area as a provider of services for traumatized children. Thus, many assessments involve children who have experienced a variety of traumatic events.
- School Districts: The intern provides consultation and counseling services in an area public school. This experience usually includes counseling with school age children, teacher training, consultation with teachers and parents, and psycho-educational programs for the classroom.
Interns provide group, family and individual psychotherapy to children and their families in the DePelchin Children's Center Outpatient Clinic. A diverse client population guarantees an excellent range of experiences for our interns. Co-therapy with experienced clinicians is encouraged, and the intern is exposed to the evidenced-based practices currently used at DePelchin, including Parent Child Interaction Therapy and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Interns typically conduct anger management groups for various age groups and gain experience as a co-therapist for social thinking groups for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Additional group opportunities may be available according to intern interests and clinic needs.
Access to Diverse Populations
Through the DePelchin Children's Center outpatient clinic and the work in public schools interns have the opportunity to work with ethnically, racially, and socio-economically diverse populations. The DePelchin Children's Center Autism program has had the opportunity to evaluate children from outside of the United States, a unique opportunity to observe the impact of an autism spectrum disorder on the international level.
Staff psychologists also conduct psychological evaluations for Latin American adolescent immigrants. These undocumented adolescents arrive in the U.S. unaccompanied by an adult guardian. Referrals are made by the Office of Refugee Resettlement/Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services. While living in shelters and awaiting sponsorship, these minors may display a variety of problems for which they are referred for testing including response to extreme trauma, suicidal behavior, psychoses, cognitive deficits, and developmental disabilities. The age range is typically from 13 to 17 years of age and the adolescents are from Central America as well as Mexico. Assessments are conducted in Spanish, and bi-lingual interns and practicum students participate. Interviews with caretakers are often in English, and non-Spanish speaking trainees can be involved with those interviews.
Opportunities are available to develop new projects or to address research questions using existing data. Interns are expected to inform their clinical practice with awareness of existing research.
Supervision & Didactics
Lou Ann Todd Mock, Ph.D. is assigned as the intern's primary supervisor for this 12-month rotation. She supervises the intern's psychotherapy cases, school consultations,and also serves an administrative role, authorizing vacation and administrative leave and addressing other issues specific to the DePelchin Children's Center rotation.
Megan Mooney, Ph.D. is the coordinator of Psychological Services for DePelchin Children's Center, is adjunct faculty with Baylor College of Medicine, and is a member of the Psychology Internship Training Committee. Dr. Mooney helps provide on-site supervision and case consultation for interns.
Adrienne Tinder, Ph.D. is a staff psychologist at DePelchin Children's Center and a voluntary faculty member with Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Tinder offers supervision of assessment cases and also provides case consultation for interns.
Shalonda Brooks, Ph.D. is a staff psychologist at DePelchin Children’s Center and a voluntary faculty member with Baylor College of Medicine. She has special expertise in autism spectrum disorders, trauma, and Parent Child Interaction Therapy. Dr. Brooks will also provide supervision.
Supervision is also provided by DePelchin post-doctoral fellows and Baylor clinical faculty in the community with diverse backgrounds and theoretical orientations.Interns attend a weekly Child Topic Seminar taught by DePelchin clinicians, post-doctoral fellows and various volunteer faculty from the community covering topics relevant to the clinical experiences on this track.
DePelchin Children's Center has an extensive program of seminars and workshops on a variety of relevant topics that are free to DePelchin staff and trainees.
Due to school schedules, the intern has a day per week free at the beginning and end of the internship and has the opportunity to expand their clinical experiences. The intern is encouraged to use that time to explore individual clinical interests.