Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology

  • Curriculum

    Training in the Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at Cincinnati Children’s is specific to each focus area, but generally covers clinical care (not less than 25 percent), research, teaching, administration, professional development and community activities. Each program is developed with a focus that will prepare the fellow for licensure.

  • Focus Areas

    The Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship offers several focus areas. Fellows choose their areas of focus at the start of the fellowship, with the help of their mentors and faculty supervisors.

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    This focus area is based in the Center for ADHD in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology. The Center for ADHD is one of the largest groups in the country devoted entirely to research and clinical care for children and adolescents with ADHD. Center faculty are highly productive and currently hold 11 NIH and Department of Education (DOE) research grants. The center also provides families with comprehensive clinical care, including evidence-based assessment, individual and group psychosocial treatment and pharmacological management.

    Fellows in the Center for ADHD have the opportunity to participate in research and clinical activities. The research / clinical load is based on the fellows’ career goals. Fellows interested in research careers have the opportunity to collaborate on a broad range of projects, including studies focused on neuropsychological functioning and outcomes, school-based intervention, cognitive training and community-based assessment and treatment. Fellows have the opportunity to publish with faculty and develop their own specific lines of research. Fellowships in the center are typically two years. During the second year, fellows are encouraged to write and submit their own grant proposals. They receive weekly clinical and research mentoring with the goal of ensuring that they are highly competitive job applicants upon completion of their fellowship. For more information about current fellowship opportunities in the Center for ADHD, contact Jeff Epstein, PhD, at

    Developmental Disabilities

    The Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DDBP) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is offering two psychology fellowship positions beginning between July and September 2014. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is a leading medical research and teaching hospital consistently ranked among the top 3 pediatric hospitals in the nation, according to the US News & World Report 2013-14 edition of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Both fellowship opportunities are predominately within The Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Positions are one year and primarily clinical with the option of some research training.

    Fellows will serve as members of a multi-disciplinary team that consists of developmental pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers. The clinical training primarily consists of diagnostic evaluations with children and adolescents presenting with concerns of an autism spectrum disorder. Fellows will gain experience and training in test administration with challenging behaviors, differential diagnosis, and case conceptualization. In addition, fellows also have the option of participating in various elective opportunities including: Severe Behavior Treatment program, Early Intensive Behavior Intervention program, community/school consultation, short term behavior treatment, Adolescent Transition Clinic, research assessments (e.g., autism, Fragile X, Tuberous Sclerosis, Angelman Syndrome, and hydrocephalus) and general developmental disability assessments (e.g., intellectual disability, ADHD, learning disorders). Fellowship training also consists of several didactic experiences and opportunities for providing umbrella supervision to graduate level trainees. Fellows may also have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) program. The aim of the LEND program is to train culturally competent, family-centered interdisciplinary leaders who will improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with or at risk for developmental disabilities.

    For specific inquiries related to the DDBP fellowship please contact Rebekah Ridgeway, Psy.D.

    Eating Disorders

    Fellows within the eating disorders program will provide clinical services within a continuum of care, including inpatient and outpatient treatment, with a focus on evidence based interventions for eating disorders. A unique component of this fellowship will include a focus on the impact of eating disorders on siblings through clinical and/or research endeavors. In addition, they will complete major and minor rotations in clinical areas, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, obesity and pre-bariatric evaluation, feeding disorders, pediatric pain, Parent-Child Interactive Therapy (PCIT), and hospital-wide consultation/liaison services. The fellow will also have 20% protected research time to work on collaborative projects and, ultimately, an independent project. The fellow’s primary supervisor will be Abigail Matthews Johnson, Ph.D. (Associate Director, Behavioral Health- Eating Disorders Program;


    Neuropsychology fellows are based in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology. This two-year program is designed for the practice of pediatric neuropsychology and is fashioned around guidelines provided by the International Neuropsychological Society (INS), Division 40 of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN) and the Houston Conference for advanced specialty training in clinical neuropsychology.

    Approximately 70 percent of fellows’ time is spent in the delivery of clinical services. Major experiences are provided through the Oncology program (fellowship year one), the Inpatient Neurorehabilitation Unit (fellowship year two) and general outpatient assessment service (fellowship years one and two). First-year fellows also spend one day a week at the Cincinnati Veterans Administration Hospital to broaden their clinical experience with adult populations.

    Minor rotations and training opportunities include:

    • Neuropsychology Inpatient Consultation Service
    • Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Team
    • Movement Disorders Clinic
    • Outpatient Psychotherapy
    • Developmental Pediatrics
    • Neuropsychology Research

    Professional development skills are sharpened through collaboration with various multidisciplinary clinics.  Educational and training experiences and research activities account for 30 percent of the fellows’ time. Current research projects focus on a wide range of populations including children with traumatic brain injury, epilepsy and sleep disorders.

    Please note that, to allow for interviews to occur at the annual INS meeting, the application deadline for the Neuropsychology Fellowship differs from the other fellowships in our division.  Application details, as well as additional information about our clinical, research and didactic training experiences are available in our training brochure. You may download the Neuropsychology Training Brochure in portable document format (.pdf).

    For more information contact Dean Beebe, PhD, ABPP,

    Pediatric Psychology

    Pediatric psychology fellows are based in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology. These fellowships are designed for individuals interested in developing proficiency in a variety of subspecialties relating to the assessment and treatment of children with acute and chronic illnesses. Specifically, fellows receive specialized training in the areas of Adherence Research, Child Behavior and Nutrition or Pediatric Pain Management.

    Fellows in the Adherence Center receive systematic training in the specialized knowledge and skills related to the management of pediatric chronic illness, and treatment adherence in an interdisciplinary research context. The fellowship program is housed in the Center for Adherence Treatment Promotion and Self-Management, which was established in 2007 to address the unmet scientific, clinical and training needs related to treatment adherence. The program includes four core training experiences: research, clinical care, program development, and teaching and consultation. Based on dialogue with Center faculty, fellows’ training programs are tailored to their individual interests and career development needs. For detailed information about training in adherence research, contact Dennis Drotar, PhD, at

    Fellows in the Child Behavior and Nutrition program are supported by an NIH T32 training grant (PI: Dr Scott Powers). Approximately 50 percent of the fellows’ time is spent on research in the area of nutrition and health. Current projects focus on behavioral interventions to address the special nutritional needs of children with chronic conditions including diabetes, cystic fibrosis, obesity and headaches. Clinically, fellows are exposed to patients from a wide variety of pediatric subspecialties on an in- and outpatient basis, and rotate through four six-month clinics including headache, sleep, feeding, liver transplant and consultation / liaison service. Clinical training is available in individual, family and group psychotherapy using behavioral and cognitive-behavioral approaches. For more information about Child Behavior and Nutrition research and the T32 training faculty, contact Scott Powers, PhD, at

    Fellows in Pediatric Pain Management are supported by NIH-funded grant projects focused on developing evidence-based interventions for pediatric chronic pain conditions such as juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome, assessment of longitudinal outcomes of adolescents with chronic pain as they transition into young adulthood, identification of risk and protective factors for preventing long-term disability in pediatric pain, family factors in chronic pain and validation of patient-reported outcome measures. Fellows obtain clinical experience at the multidisciplinary Pain Clinic, including assessment and management of complex pediatric pain syndromes. Supervised experience includes training in evidence-based assessment, structured interviewing techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, biofeedback and parental guidance in behavior management. For more information about the Pediatric Pain Lab, contact Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, PhD, at

    Risk and Prevention

    These fellows are based in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology and Every Child Succeeds, a large-scale, community-based prevention program for first-time mothers. Every Child Succeeds provides home visitation to parents and children during the first three years of life. The program emphasizes health promotion, enhancing parenting skills and optimizing child development. Families are assessed prior to and throughout participation in the program. Areas measured include child development, parental psychopathology, social support, caregiver-child attachment and substance abuse, among others.

    Every Child Succeeds offers numerous opportunities for training in methodological and design issues in prevention science. The fellow will spend 50 percent of his time devoted to research within Every Child Succeeds in such areas as maternal depression and its effect on outcomes and children, treatment of maternal depression, trauma in mothers in home visitation, and motivational interviewing to improve program adherence and retention. Clinical responsibilities will occur within the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, and the fellow will have the opportunity to choose from a number of rotations including headache clinic, feeding team and outpatient services.

    Teaching / mentoring opportunities are available with research assistants and psychology and medical residents. Professional development opportunities are available though multidisciplinary teams and community speaking.

    For more information, contact Robert T. Ammerman, PhD,, 513-636-8209.

  • Training Objectives

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    Clinical Care

    Each fellow is expected to provide clinical care, based in theoretical and empirical knowledge bases, for at least 25 percent of the fellowship time. The specific nature of the clinical care depends on the trainee’s chosen focus area. Each clinical case (assessment, treatment, psychosocial provider or consultation) is assigned to a supervisor, who guides the delivery of care, reviews each case with the fellow and and signs all treatment and discharge notes.

    In addition, in accordance with Ohio law, each individual receiving clinical care receives a letter documenting the supervised nature of the services that they are receiving. At the beginning of the year, when the training director reviews the goals and objectives for each fellow, the director will adjust the trainee’s schedule to ensure there is a minimum of two hours a week of clinical care delivery supervision. Evaluation of trainees’ clinical care will be done by the primary clinical supervisors and will be based on each fellow’s degree of competence in the specific areas of practice, the responsiveness and timeliness of the fellow’s communications with multidisciplinary colleagues and family members, and documentation and records.


    Each fellow is expected to take part in research that is significant, empirically sound and ethically appropriate. The degree of involvement and the specific projects will be set between fellow and mentor at the beginning of the fellowship. Fellowships in Pediatric Psychology, ADHD and Risk & Prevention are heavily research-oriented. Specific goals for research will be set for each six-month period.

    Every postdoctoral fellow will attend the psychology research seminar that occurs once a month and will have the opportunity to present proposals and manuscripts and to review others’ work. For each session, faculty will provide guidance to the postdoctoral fellow. The presenting fellow will work closely with his mentor during preparation.

    Research will be evaluated on the basis of significance, scientific merit, innovation and human subjects’ issues. In addition, many of the focus areas have specific journal clubs pertinent to their subject area; all fellows are invited to attend these journal clubs. Evaluation for research will take place by determining the degree to which the fellow is accomplishing goals.

    Teaching / Mentoring

    Each fellow will be expected to participate in providing lectures / presentations to students and colleagues of other disciplines, areas of focus or different levels of training. Some fellows will be involved in “umbrella supervision” of graduate students or psychology residents. It exists when a supervisee supervises other psychology supervisees in hazardous practices.” (ORC) Supervisors will evaluate fellows’ teaching and mentoring by determining whether they have accomplished the specific teaching activities set as objectives. In addition, evaluators will apply formal evaluation forms, faculty observation and informal feedback from participants when assessing fellows.

    Professional Development / Relationships

    Each fellow will be expected to work closely with colleagues of different disciplines or areas of focus. Fellows are expected to be respectful of the knowledge base of those from other disciplines or areas of focus, and to provide consultation to those from other disciplines or areas of focus. For all of the focus areas, fellows are automatically part of at least one multidisciplinary activity or team. Evaluation will occur by assessing the fellows’ competence as members of their multidisciplinary teams.

    Didactic Seminars

    Each fellow is required to participate in a minimum of two hours a week of didactic learning experiences. Most of these hours will be completed in seminars related to the fellows’ specific focus areas. There are three monthly seminars that all postdoctoral fellows are required to attend, and a number of general seminars that each fellow and her mentor can choose. Each fellow will be asked to keep a monthly log of seminars attended that will be submitted to his mentor and the director of training every six months.

    Goal Setting and Evaluation of Progress

    At the beginning of each training year, the mentor and the postdoctoral fellow will develop goals for the year, timelines and sequences for accomplishing those goals. This will include determining how the fellow’s time will be spent in clinical work, research and teaching, and will be accomplished using forms specifically designed for postdoctoral evaluation that mirror those used by the faculty for their yearly evaluations.

    Fellows from each of the focus areas will meet twice a year as a group with the director of training. The purpose of these meetings is to establish a relationship with the director of training and review global issues regarding professionalism and the postdoctoral program at Cincinnati Children’s.

    Progress reviews will be incorporated into each supervisory session, and will be conducted at six months. At that time, each fellow will meet with her mentor to develop a brief description of progress, which will become part of the fellow’s training folder. If needed, the training director will meet with the fellow and his mentor(s). At the end of each year, the fellow will prepare formal documentation similar to the faculty review.

  • Seminars and Didactics

    The Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship offers a wide range of required and elective seminars and didactics:

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    General Core-required Seminars

    Title: Postdoctoral Fellowship Professional Development Seminar
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: co-chief fellows
    Purpose: to provide a forum to discuss professional development issues such as grant writing and preparing for job talks, interviews and licensure

    Title: Psychology Research Group (PRG)
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizers: Kevin Hommel, PhD
    Purpose: to foster the development and review of research projects within the division

    Title: Psychology Colloquium
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: Meg Zeller, PhD
    Purpose: to provide updates on various aspects of psychological research and clinical care. Also an opportunity for fellows to practice job talks and presentations 

    Title: Dealing with the Impaired Physician
    Frequency: offered every other year (in the spring)
    Organizer: Graduate Medical Education Office
    Purpose: to learn signs and symptoms of the impaired physician, understand the Medical Practice Act of 1986, Ohio’s reporting laws and how to handle situations where reporting is in question

    Elective Seminars

    Title: All Fellows Rounds
    Frequency: twice a month
    Organizer: Terri Schneider (GME program coordinator)
    Purpose: to provide all medical and doctoral fellows at Cincinnati Children’s exposure to clinical issues relevant to a pediatric population, as well as to provide didactics on professional and career development

    Title: Introduction to Clinical Research Series
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: sponsored by the Center for Clinical and Translational Research
    Purpose: to enhance the participants’ knowledge of various aspects of research involving human subjects

    Title: Pediatric Grand Rounds
    Frequency: once a week (approximately 10-12 grand rounds a year are granted psychology continuing education credits)
    Organizer: Department of Pediatrics
    Purpose: to keep psychologists abreast of current developments in research and clinical care

    Title: Topics in Clinical Research Series
    Frequency: variable
    Organizer: sponsored by the Center for Clinical and Translational Research
    Purpose: to familiarize participants with the broad array of clinical research currently being conducted at Cincinnati Children’s

    Title: Ethics Seminar: “Ethics in Research” class
    Frequency: offered once a year in the winter quarter
    Organizer: offered through the Biomedical Ethics Committee at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    Purpose: to help participants develop responsible conduct in research related to ethical issues in medicine, bio-medical research and health policy

    Title: Clinical Case Conference
    Frequency: offered once a month
    Organizer: O’Grady Resident, postdoctoral fellow or faculty member
    Purpose: to present and discuss clinical cases and issues in a group supervision / group consultation format

    Title: Scientific Writing Course
    Frequency: annually, one day (8.0 hrs)
    Organizer: editor and associate editors of the Journal of Pediatrics
    Purpose: to facilitate trainee and junior faculty’s understanding of scientific writing for medical journals

    Title: Critical Aspects of Grant Proposals
    Frequency: three times a week for three months every other year
    Organizer: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation
    Purpose: to introduce fellows and junior faculty to the foundations of grant applications

    Title: Discovery with Data Analysis (DDA)
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: Joseph Rausch, PhD
    Purpose: to provide a forum for discussing quantitative analyses, including new and innovative analytical strategies and examples from research being conducted within the division

    Title: Adherence Center Seminar Series
    Frequency: weekly
    Organizer: Continuing Medical Education Office
    Purpose: to discuss topics related to treatment adherence in pediatric populations

    Title: Quality Improvement Seminar
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: Amy Borgert
    Purpose: to provide a forum for discussing quality improvement research

    Title: Child Psychiatry Grand Rounds
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: Continuing Medical Education office
    Purpose: to provide topical presentations on child psychiatric conditions and relevant treatment-related issues

    Rotation-Specific Required Seminars


    Title: Neuropsychology Didactic Series and Case Conference
    Frequency: once a week
    Organizer: Abigail Johnson, PhD
    Purpose: to educate fellows about a range of neurological and developmental conditions commonly seen in pediatric neuropsychology practice, and to provide fellows with a forum in which to develop their case presentation skills

    Title: Neuropsychological Readings Group
    Frequency: every two weeks
    Organizer: Abigail Johnson, PhD
    Purpose: to review readings in preparation for the ABPP written exam; intended for fellows, junior faculty and select graduate students

    Risk and Prevention

    Title: Prevention Science Seminar
    Frequency: once a month
    Organizer: Robert T. Ammerman, PhD
    Purpose: to disseminate innovative programs and research in prevention science in the areas of health, mental illness, substance abuse, child abuse and neglect and child development