Clinical Child Emphasis

Clinical Child Emphasis

The graduate psychology program at Suffolk University offers an elective Clinical Child emphasis within its APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology. Child-relevant training experiences occur in the context of primary mentoring relationships, coursework, clinical training/practicum experiences, and opportunities for research collaboration with members of the core faculty. Core courses and clinical electives provide exposure to several different frameworks for understanding clinical child psychology. Through our advanced clinical courses, diverse practicum placements in child and pediatric settings, as well as careful research mentorship by faculty in the areas of child and adolescent psychology, students are afforded opportunities to explore content areas of interest in greater depth. These training experiences are designed to provide a solid foundation in child psychopathology, assessment, and intervention with the goal of developing strong candidacy for child-relevant internship programs in which to further refine student expertise.

Clinical Child Psychology

To establish a career as a clinical child psychologist, it is beneficial to gain research and clinical experience during graduate school that provides exposure to relevant theories and methodologies. Typically, research expertise develops within the context of a constructive relation with a research mentor, collaborating on research (e.g., dissertation, presentations, publications), and working with relevant populations. Clinical expertise develops during practicum training, the predoctoral internship, or a postdoctoral fellowship.

  • Clinical

    Clinical Practica

    Newton Public Schools

    2-4 students are placed at elementary or middle schools within the Newton Public School System. Students provide services to school-aged children with behavioral and emotional issues, issues related to academic performance, autism-spectrum disorders as well as children in need of assessment for learning disabilities. Depending on the site, students conduct some mix of individual assessment, individual psychotherapy and/or implement group/classroom intervention and prevention programs aimed at topics such as relational and physical aggression and acceptance of diversity.

    Center for Anxiety Related Disorders

    2-3 practicum students are an integrated part of this training clinic run by the doctoral program at Boston University. Trainees conduct diagnostic interviews and provide individual and group therapy. Trainees also attend didactic seminars and case conferences. Individual supervision is provided by Suffolk faculty.

    The Manville School at Judge Baker Children’s Center

    2-3 students are placed at this therapeutic day school that is part of a larger, interdisciplinary, integrative Center that works with children and families. Students work with children ages 5-16 with emotional, neurological or learning difficulties that have impacted their ability to succeed in other school settings. Trainees provide direct therapy interventions and are the case manager for each student in their caseload. The case manager coordinates the service planning and service delivery of a student’s interdisciplinary Manville team. The case manager also facilitates communication between Manville staff and any outside providers working with the child and family.

    Bradley Hospital—Adolescent Unit

    1-2 third year practicum student will train as part of a multidisciplinary team on a psychiatric unit that treats high-risk adolescents (12-18). The trainee will manage two groups a day: a skills-based group (i.e. anger management, emotion regulation) and a process group, as well as engaging in individual therapy with 1-2 patients a week. Trainees also attend a team meeting with psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, and social workers where we discuss current treatment plans and the status of each patient on unit. There are opportunities to engage with a wide range of issues from substance abuse and aggression to eating disorders, psychosis, and conversion disorder providing a diverse experience in conceptualization and treatment.

  • Research

    Clinical Child Psychology

    To establish a career as a clinical child psychologist, it is beneficial to gain research and clinical experience during graduate school that provides exposure to relevant theories and methodologies. Typically, research expertise develops within the context of a constructive relation with a research mentor, collaborating on research (e.g., dissertation, presentations, publications), and working with relevant populations. Clinical expertise develops during practicum training, the predoctoral internship, or a postdoctoral fellowship

    Affiliated Faculty

    Dr. Rosemarie Dibiase

    Dr. Gary Fireman

    Dr. Amy Marks

    Dr. Lance Swenson

  • Academic Offerings


    PSYCH 705 - Assessment I

    The seminar aims to introduce you to the theory and practice of evidence-based social, emotional and behavioral assessment. To this end, specific issues we will cover include psychometric theory, cognitive abilities/intelligence testing, some classic assessment controversies, strengths and weaknesses of various assessment approaches, ethical and cultural issues, and the psychological assessment of children.

    PSYCH 720 - Developmental Theory

    This seminar will present and critique different developmental approaches to behavior and experience. The approaches considered may include: Piagetian theory; organismic-developmental theory; cultural/historical theories; Freudian and neo-Freudian theories; and information processing theory. The implications of these developmental theories for clinical psychology will also be discussed.

    PSYCH 734 - Multicultural Perspectives on Development

    A multicultural examination of child and adolescent development in the US. Major developmental tasks (e.g., forming identities, developing emotion regulation strategies, building academic cognitive & social skills) will be examined using both emic (within-group) and etic (cross-cultural) research. Throughout the course, Theoretical frameworks emphasizing the ecological and cultural contexts of development will be applied to explore contemporary social and mental health issues related to development and culture (e.g., immigrant adolescent mental health outcomes, ethnic academic achievement gaps).

    PSYCH 748 - Developmental Psychopathology

    Examines child and adolescent psychopathology from an empirically-based developmental perspective. Reviews major developmental theories to elucidate the role of development in understanding the etiology and diagnosis of DSM-IV-TR disorders. Also focuses on theoretical and empirical literature in developmental psychopathology. Changes in the incidence rates of internalizing (e.g., depression, anxiety) and externalizing disorders (e.g., conduct disorder, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) are addressed. Disorders affecting both behavioral and mental functioning (e.g., autism) are included. Family, peer, and contextual/environmental influences are also covered.

    PSYCH 774 - Child Therapy

    Examines the principles and practice of psychotherapy with children. Attempts are made to delineate the similarities and differences between child and adult approaches as well as to expose the student to various theoretical perspectives on child therapy with an emphasis on one orientation. Normally offered alternate years.

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Neuropsychology Emphasis

The Neuropsychology Emphasis

The graduate psychology program at Suffolk University offers a neuropsychology emphasis within its APA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology. The neuropsychology emphasis offers elements of the Houston conference guidelines for training students in neuropsychology. It also contributes to coursework requirements for board certification in clinical neuropsychology (i.e. ABPP-CN).

Clinical Neuropsychology 

Clinical neuropsychology is the science of brain-behavior relationships, and clinical neuropsychologists specialize in the assessment and treatment of individuals of all ages with dysfunction of the central nervous system. Biological bases of behavior is one of the most productive research areas with applications in education, vocational, rehabilitation, medical, psychiatric, and forensic settings.

  • Clinical

    Clinical Practica in Neuropsychology

    • Neuropsychology Division, Edith Nourse Rogers, Memorial VAMC

      1-2 students are placed in the neuropsychology division of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Students work with veterans who present with suspected memory disorders. Students learn to administer and interpret the results of a wide variety of neuropsychological instruments over the course of the year. The neuropsychology service utilizes a flexible battery approach and, as such, students have the opportunity to learn which instruments are appropriate for answering a variety of referral questions. Students will also participate in patient feedback with the aid of their supervisor.

    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Department of Neurology

      Students are placed in the Department of Neurology at this Boston teaching hospital. Students are involved in the neuropsychological evaluation of adult patients with a variety of neurological problems including learning and attention disorders, head injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative disorders. The practicum students will gain skills in all areas of neuropsychological evaluation, including interviewing, testing, scoring, report writing, and feedback to patients. Additional experience may be obtained in running cognitive remediation groups, presenting patients at weekly rounds, and participation in didactic seminars.

    • Butler Hospital, Departments of Psychology and Neuropsychology

      Options to work in inpatient units and/or outpatient clinics with children, adolescents and/or adults. On the Adolescent, Child, and Intensive Child Units, work with the psychological and neuropsychological consultation service for the multi-disciplinary team, working with children and adolescents who suffer from acute psychological problems, including anxiety and depression, suicidal behavior, aggression, and substance abuse. For outpatient work, primarily with children, adolescents, and young to middle-aged adults, students have the opportunity to work through a private practice based at Butler hospital, providing comprehensive evaluations for patients with cognitive and psychological problems that range from learning and attention disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, traumatic brain injury, and memory disorders. In addition, the memory clinic at Butler Hospital offers opportunities for geriatric neuropsychological evaluation. Through the practicum training, students will gain exposure to a range of psychopathology and its intersection with cognitive development throughout the lifespan, and develop skills in all areas of neuropsychological evaluation, including interviewing, testing, scoring, report writing and providing feedback to patients and family members. Additional experience includes grand rounds, memory rounds and group case conferences.

  • Research

    All students in the doctoral program at Suffolk University are required to complete both an Early Research Project (similar to a master's thesis) and doctoral dissertation. For those students in the neuropsychology concentration, both thesis and dissertation are expected to be on a topic in neuropsychology under the mentorship of one of the three Suffolk neuropsychology faculty. For a description of the diverse research interests of the three neuropsychology faculty at Suffolk, click on the following links:

    David Gansler, Ph.D., ABPP/ABCN

    Elisabeth J. Moes, Ph.D., ABPP/ABCN

    Matthew Jerram, Ph.D.

  • ANST

    Association of Neuropsychology Students in Training (ANST) Official Suffolk Chapter

    ANST was created [by students at the University of Florida] in response to the prevalent concern expressed by students that they need more discussion of training and professional issues, particularly the training trajectory of neuropsychology. ANST chapters will serve a number of functions:

    1) Assist the committee in disseminating important information about training and professional issues relevant to the field of Neuropsychology, as well as to provide a concrete mechanism for feedback between students and the governing bodies of Division 40 and ANST.

    2) Ensure that students at all levels of training in neuropsychology are well informed of education and career opportunities.

    3) Provide a regular forum for students to discuss, debate, and provide feedback on a variety of issues that can be shared with students across the country. We will facilitate discussion through monthly topical seminars at local universities, while also providing interactive links and forums on the ANST web site that will allow students to dialogue about professional issues with each other and professionals on both the local and national level.

    4) Serve as a vehicle for soliciting candidates to run for ANST elections and to submit nominations for our planned Award Program (e.g. Awards in recognition of superior Mentorship, Professional Contribution to the field, Research Award, Neuropsychology Program of the Year, etc.).

    This material was quoted directly from the ANST website. For more information on ANST, visit their website directly.

  • Offerings


    Students electing the neuropsychology emphasis are expected to complete all of the core requirements of the general clinical psychology program. In addition, faculty expectations for preparation in neuropsychology include the following neuropsychology classes. All classes are taught either at Suffolk or through the Behavioral Neuroscience program at Boston University. In order to complete the recommended neuropsychology coursework in addition to the general program requirements, students may need to take courses beyond their third year in the program. Students should take all Suffolk University courses listed below and either of the two Boston University neuropsychology courses.

    PSYCH 706 - Assessment II

    The goal of this course is to serve as a foundation for clinical practice and research activity in the important area of clinical neuropsychological assessment and psychological assessment. It serves to introduce the student to the techniques, methods and theories relevant to the practice of neuropsychological and psychological assessment.

    PSYCH 751 - Psychopharmacology

    This course will present students with an introduction to the field of psychopharmacology. Topics covered will include: the art of prescribing medication; the psychopharmacology of anxiety and psychotic mental disorders (including pediatric and geriatric psychopharmacology); pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy; biopsychosocial factors in drug abuse and addiction.

    PSYCH 792 - Introduction to Neuropsychology

    Basic introduction to the specialty of neuropsychology. The scope of neuropsychology, the difference between neuropsychology and related difference and subspecialties, different historical and theoretical approaches to neuropsychology, as well as credential requirements for the practice of neuropsychology. Introduction to research techniques used to investigate brain-behavior relationships, ethical issues, and the role of the neuropsychologist in clinical and rehabilitation settings. By the end of the course, students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the nervous system, the role of neurotransmitters, brain structures and associated functions, an understanding of how different instruments are used to assess those functions, and how neuropsychological interventions are formulated and implemented.

    PSYCH 793 - Adult Neuropsychological Syndromes

    This course is designed to provide an introduction to adult neuropsychological syndromes in terms of their prevalence, etiology, hypothesized mechanisms, and neuropsychological manifestations.

    PSYCH 795 - Human Neuropsychology I

    Researchers from the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital lecture on various topics including: neuropsychological assessment; plasticity in development; aphasia; apraxia; attention deficit disorder; aging; memory; dementia; bilingualism; epilepsy; and pain. Held at the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital in Jamaica Plain.

    PSYCH 796 - Human Neuropsychology II

    Continuation of Psychology 795 at the Boston Veterans Administration Hospital in Jamaica Plain.


    Students may also have the opportunity to take elective classes in neuropsychology, neurobiology, and cognitive neuroscience. However, it is important to note that these classes may not be offered on a regular basis. Further, students may need to take these courses beyond their third year of graduate study (thus they may not be covered under the 50% tuition reduction program). A listing of the courses that may be available to Suffolk students through the Behavioral Neuroscience program at BU can be found here: Each semester a listing of the courses available for the following semester are made available to Suffolk students via email.

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