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Introduction to Clinical Child Psychology

Introduction to Clinical Child Psychology

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Introduction to Clinical Child Psychology

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  1. Introduction to Clinical Child Psychology Department of Clinical and Health Psychology Melissa Stern, Doctoral Student Gregg Selke, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow In memory of Jenny Sivinski August 29, 2006

  2. What is Clinical Psychology? • The goal of psychology as a field is to “study and understand” behavior • Clinical Psychology is the Largest subdiscipline of psychology • “Clinical Psychology Is………….”

  3. Unifying Definition • American Psychological Association (APA) Division 12 – Society of Clinical Psychology “ The field of Clinical Psychology integrates science, theory, and practice to understand, predict, and alleviate maladjustment, disability, and discomfort as well as to promote human adaptation, adjustment, and personal development. Clinical Psychology focuses on the intellectual, emotional, biological, psychological, social, and behavioral aspects of human functioning across the life span, in varying cultures, and at all socioeconomic levels. “ •

  4. Clinical psychology emphasizes the integration of…... • Science and Research: 2 Assumptions • Determinism • All events have causes that can be discovered • Causes are not random, but follow set of discoverable rules • Empiricism • Events must be measurable and observable to study • Caveat, we also depend on hypothetical constructs that are difficult to directly observe (e.g., anxiety, self-efficacy). • Maladjustment • “abnormal behavior and emotional suffering” • The Individual • General principles (nomothetic) are applied to the individual (idiographic) • Unique perceptions, experiences, envirionments, biology, etc. • Helping • Behavior is not only studied and understood, but clinical psychologists help those with psychological distress Hecker & Thorpe (2005)

  5. Clinical Psychology • Our Training models • Scientist-Practitioner – most common • Practitioner • Practitioner-Scholar • Clinical Scientist • How we define ourselves • Practitioners (assessment & intervention) • Researchers • Teachers and supervisors • Program development and evaluation • Public policy work • Consultants (e.g., industry, government agencies)

  6. Clinical Psychology • What is required to be a “clinical psychologist” • Doctoral Degree (Ph.D., Psy.D.) • Clinical Psychology program • Licensure • Where we work • Hospitals, universities, private practice, mental health centers, managed healthcare organizations, schools, industries, legal systems, counseling centers, governmental agencies, veteran administration, military, etc.

  7. Differentiating Clinical Psychology • Psychiatry • Can prescribe medication • Medical school training emphasizing biology, chemistry, etc. • “When they are through with their training they take an oath. When we are through we get into an argument” --Sandford Goldstone • Psychiatrists learn facts to treat patients, psychologists learn to think as researchers, evaluating and defending their views by citing data and using evidence

  8. Differentiating Clinical Psychology • Counseling Psychology • Similarities • Doctoral degree, research, therapy, assessment • Traditionally • Deal with minor maladjustments or relatively healthy individuals • Often conduct career and educational counseling • Prototypical setting: university counseling center • Less emphasis on psychological testing • This distinction is beginning to blur . . .

  9. Differentiating Clinical Psychology • School Psychology • Traditionally • Work with educators to address academic, social, behavioral, & emotional needs of children within the school setting • Training • Most have Masters degree • Heavy emphasis on testing (esp. academic, intelligence, and behavior testing) • Smaller Number in Community/Hospital Setting • PhD + Clinical Psychology Internship + Licensure Examination • Testing, Therapy, Research

  10. Differentiating Clinical Psychology • Social Work • Roots in social service • Emphasizes the role of social factors in psychological distress (e.g., racism, poverty, etc.) • Variable roles: e.g., Help individuals acquire community services following traumatic brain injuries to performing therapy on drug-abusing mothers who have had their children removed • Masters level is acceptable (L.M.S.W –clinical) • Less emphasis on research • Doctoral level • Research, teaching, etc. • The distinction between SW and Clinical Psychology is also blurring . . .

  11. Differentiating Clinical Psychology • Other fields similar to clinical psychology: • Marriage, Family, & Child Counseling (MFCC) • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor

  12. What is Clinical Child Psychology? • “a specialty that brings together the basic tenets of clinical psychology with a thorough background in child and family development. Clinical child psychologists conduct research and provide services aimed at understanding, preventing, and treating psychological, cognitive, emotional, developmental, behavioral, and family problems of children across the age range from infancy through adolescence.” • From the Petition for Recognition of a Specialty in Professional Psychology, submitted to APA, 1998

  13. What makes Clinical Child Psychology different? • The integration of knowledge about abnormal behavior and pathological processes with what is known about normal development and normal family processes • Uniqueness rests on its foundations in developmental psychology and in understanding individual differences in adaptation and coping

  14. Populations Served • Infants (ages birth-3 years) • Children (ages 3 years-9 years) • Early and Middle childhood • Adolescents (ages 10 years-18 years) • Young Adults (ages 19-21) • And very importantly, their families (e.g., parents, other caregivers, siblings)

  15. Types of Problems- Highly Varied • High risk children compromised by biological vulnerabilities and/or psychosocial adversity (e.g., preterm, medically ill, or drug-addicted newborns) • Serious emotional and developmental problems (e.g., schizophrenia, pervasive developmental disorder, autism, mental retardation) • Significant mental disorders as reflected in behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and/or developmental problems

  16. Types of Problems • Problems can be: • Biological • Emotional • Social • Behavioral • Developmental • Health-related • Academic • Family-based

  17. Types of Problems • High risk behaviors (e.g., delinquency, substance abuse/dependency, and sexual behaviors) • Coping with stressful life events (e.g., divorce, single-parenting, custody arrangements, or adjusting to remarriage and step-parenting; • Common childhood problems or parenting issues (e.g., tantrums, toilet training, sleep problems, or feeding problems in toddlerhood) • Cognitive deficits or uneven development

  18. Types of Problems • Coping with traumas such as physical and sexual abuse • Coping with trauma and loss as a result of natural disasters and human-made disasters • Coping with a chronic, serious, and/or life-threatening physical illnesses (e.g., childhood cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis)

  19. Types of Problems • Adherence to medical regimens • Chronic pain • Symptoms of various pediatric conditions (e.g., enuresis, encopresis) • Physical illnesses whose symptoms may be exacerbated by psychosocial factors (e.g., asthma, diabetes) • Difficult temperament characteristics

  20. Practice Settings - Varied • Private practices • School settings • Mental health clinics • Pediatric hospital settings • Physician offices • Community agencies • Advocacy organizations

  21. Procedures and Techniques • 4 core areas practiced by Clinical Child Psychologists: • Assessment • e.g., DSM-IV diagnoses, IQ, etc. • Intervention • e.g., home or school based therapy • Prevention • e.g., diabetes management, bullying • Consultation

  22. Assessment • Clinical child psychologists use: • Interviews (parent, child, teacher) • Historical data (e.g., school records; medical records) • Observations (e.g., school, home, clinic) • Naturalistic, Analogue • Formal, age-normed psychological tests • Behavioral and emotional rating scales • Personality assessment instruments

  23. Assessment • Assessment tools and techniques are used to evaluate: • Child and family problems • Children's cognitive and language development • Academic functioning (achievement) • Psychosocial and emotional adjustment across contexts (home, school, peer group, community) • Formal diagnoses and formulations of childhood disorders

  24. Assessment • In clinical child psychology, assessment is designed to provide “a delineation of the factors that may contribute to the development of these problems and identifies targets for intervention”

  25. Intervention • Treatment of children and families with a recognized problem or disorder • Treatments may include: • Behavior management in various settings • Cognitive-behavioral approaches geared to self-regulatory deficits (anger management), peer problems, and mood disorders • Play therapy for young children • Individual psychotherapy with older children and adolescents • Family therapy and family counseling

  26. Intervention • Treatments, continued: • Parent training and parent education programs; • Collaboration with pediatricians, child psychiatrists, neurologist, and/or other health care providers • In the provision of psychological interventions, there is a strong emphasis on research and the need for the development of empirically-validated treatments in the clinical child area.

  27. Prevention • Programs to prevent the onset of problems and disorders in infants, children, adolescents, and families. Including preventing: • Antisocial behavior and delinquency • Cognitive and language delay • Teenage pregnancy • Substance abuse • Emotional distress during pediatric hospitalization or medical procedures • Health promotion (weight, diabetes, etc.) • Unintentional injury and problems such as abuse and neglect

  28. Consultation • Multidisciplinary: Consult with professionals from other disciplines (e.g.,pediatricians, child psychiatrists, child neurologists, child protection workers, teachers, nurses, childcare providers, social workers, lawyers, etc.) • The goal of consultation is the prevention and alleviation of children's problems or their placement in appropriate care giving and educational environments • Team approach is optimal

  29. Theoretical & Scientific Knowledge • Knowledge of normal developmental processes as they relate to emotional, behavioral, and social functioning. • Distinguishing between normal and abnormal behavior and development • Understanding developmental factors as they relate to assessment and intervention • Common behavioral, social, and emotional problems are often correlates of normal behavior

  30. Theoretical & Scientific Knowledge • Normal family processes as they relate to the child's development • The impact of family dynamics, normal family functioning, and childrearing practices on normal child development and on the development of problems.

  31. Theoretical & Scientific Knowledge 3. Child and adolescent psychopathology, including knowledge of: • Epidemiology of children's problems as a function of age, gender, and risk factors • Developmental issues related to the assessment and classification of child's problems • Classification of problems (e.g., DSM-IV) • Etiological models of child and adolescent psychopathology • Treatment options and treatment efficacy as they relate to specific childhood problems and children of different ages • Knowledge of family and other problems requiring treatment.

  32. Theoretical & Scientific Knowledge 4. Developmental psychopathology • Combines research and theory on normative developmental processes, the developmental course of disorders in children, and intergenerational transmission of maladaptive behavior patterns.

  33. Theoretical & Scientific Knowledge • Ethical and legal issues related to informed consent and confidentiality with vulnerable populations that require special considerations • Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who cannot give consent • Children who have been or may have been sexually and/or physically abused • Young children who are abusing substances • Children involved in custody battles.

  34. Theoretical & Scientific Knowledge 6. Research methods and design: • Conducting clinical outcome research • Longitudinal studies involving high risk children and families, geared to studying the longitudinal course of disorder as well as different developmental pathways/trajectories as a function of risk and protective factors • The ethics of conducting research with • Children who can give assent but not consent to participate • Young children who cannot give consent or assent

  35. Just a few research examples • The onset, developmental course, and outcome of behavioral, emotional, social, and cognitive dysfunctions in children • The family correlates of children's problems as they relate to potential etiological factors, including familial patterns of psychopathology and family environment • The development, standardization, and validation of assessment methods and measures • Descriptive psychopathology in infants, children, and adolescents and on the validity of diagnostic nomenclature

  36. Research examples • The development of effective treatments for childhood and family problems • Risk and protective factors in young children's development • Impact of normative, but stressful life events (e.g., divorce) and traumatic events (e.g., abuse, natural disasters, chronic illness)   • Childrearing and family context (e.g., marital distress, parental psychopathology) and the development of problems in children and adolescents

  37. Research • Adherence to treatment in children with psychological and medical problems • Primary prevention of problems in early childhood (e.g, accident prevention, prevention of child abuse/neglect, and the prevention of antisocial behavior) • The impact of medical conditions on cognitive development.

  38. History of Clinical Child Psychology • Some of the earliest examples of work in clinical psychology were with children • 1896: First psychology clinic opened by Lightner Witmer, devoted to work with children with learning disabilities, mental retardation, academic difficulties • 1905: Alfred Binet developed first normative reference scale of intelligence for children

  39. History of Clinical Child Psychology • 1920s: The Child Guidance Movement • Emotional disorders begin in childhood and thus interventions should target children at-risk • Involved child-oriented clinicians working as part of an inter-disciplinary team to deal with psychological disorders of children.

  40. History of Clinical Child Psychology • After WWII, work with children declined because of the adult focus • However, in the past 20-25 years, child work has proliferated • 1985: Hilton Head Conference • Focused on the training of clinical child psychologists

  41. Hilton Head Conference The goals of this conference were: 1. Demand services for children • 30% of population are children • 15% of children need psych services 2. Increase providers of child psychological services • 19,000 licensed psychologists • < 1% worked primarily with children

  42. Hilton Head Conference • Less than 500 trained clinical child psychologists • No specialty recognition for clinical child psychology • Many adult-trained psychologists worked primarily with children • Only 25% of graduate programs offered training in clinical child psychology • 30 formal programs in clinical child psychology in 1970s

  43. Hilton Head Conference • 49 people attended the conference, most had official roles in the conference: • Dr. James Johnson • Dr. Carolyn Schroeder • Dr. Annette La Greca • Dr. Thomas Ollendick

  44. Recognition of Clinical Child Psychology • 1998: APA Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology recognized Clinical Child Psychology as a specialty • CCP next up for renewal in 2012 (last 2005) •

  45. APA, Division 53 • Division of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology • “Represents psychologists who are active in teaching, research, clinical services, administration, and advocacy in clinical child psychology to the APA and the public.” • Website: • Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology • Division 54 - Society of Pediatric Psychology • “Dedicated to research and practice addressing the relationship between children's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional functioning and their physical well-being, including maintenance of health, promotion of positive health behaviors, and treatment of chronic or serious medical conditions.