ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development

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Contact Information

Name of Externship: ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development

Name of Director/Coordinator: Alyson H. Sheehan, PhD

Street Address:

63 Old East Neck Rd
Melville, NY 11747

Telephone: (631) 923-0923

Fax: (631) 923-0924



General Information

Start Date:

Summer - June 6th; Fall - September 7th

End Date:

TBD (typically end of academic year with option to extend through summer if mutually desired)

Appropriate for:

Child clinical
Combined school/child clinical


An externship placement at ASPIRE Center may range in structure from 2-3 days (16-24 hours) per week based on availability, training program requirements, and center needs. Due to the nature of outpatient clinical work and client scheduling, evening availability is essential at this placement; the majority of recurring therapy sessions are held between 4-8pm. For the 2016-2017 training year, individual supervision, group supervision, didactics, and evaluation scheduling may require that externs are present at the center on Wednesdays from 12-3pm. Additional hours Monday-Thursday is flexible will be determined in advance through collaborative discussion.

Required level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for applicants):

2nd year+

Preferred level of readiness(any prior experiences preferred for applicants):

3rd year+

Is there a stipend for externs?


Application Process

Additional dates for applications?

No, application materials will only be accepted starting January 19, 2015, as per PSYDNYS-NYNJADOT externship guidelines.

What materials need to be submitted?

  • Letter of application indicating *specific* interests, qualifications, and goals that align with the externship program at ASPIRE Center
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Current graduate transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  • Two de-identified writing samples
  • One assessment report
  • One case summary
  • Three letters of recommendation

How should it be submitted?

Please send full packet via email (preferred) or postal mail to the attention of:
Alyson H. Sheehan, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Training
ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development
63 Old East Neck Road
Melville, NY 11747

Description of Externship

Populations commonly served:

Developmental Disabilities
Comorbid Diagnoses

Training models offered:

CBT and other evidence-based approaches (e.g., ACT, DBT)
Family Systems

Intervention training experiences commonly offered:

Individual Psychotherapy
Family Therapy
Parent Training
Group Therapy

Expected number of cases seen at any one time:

Approximately 2-5 individual, 2-3 group (varies according to availability)

Assessment training experiences commonly offered:

Comprehensive (Multidisciplinary) Evaluation
Diagnostic Assessment
Psychoeducational Testing

Evaluation formats may range from standard psychoeducational or diagnostic procedures to complex differential diagnosis (e.g., ASD, OCD, anxiety, ADHD, depression, language disorders). Administration of gold standard cognitive (WJ-IV Cog, WISC-V/WAIS-IV, Stanford Binet 5, Leiter-3), achievement (WJ-IV Ach, WRAT4), and diagnostic (ADOS-2, ADI-R) instruments is performed with increasing independence as the training year progresses. Assessment tasks include chart review, evaluation plan development, cognitive and diagnostic test administration, scoring, interpreting findings, attending team meetings, conducting parent feedback sessions, and generating comprehensive written reports.

Incoming trainees must possess strong conceptual and procedural understanding of psychological assessment prior to commencing an externship position at ASPIRE Center, since advanced psychological testing skills constitute a primary area of professional development at this placement.

Expected number of full assessment batteries completed during externship (defined as administration of a battery of standardized tests):
Approximately 1-2 per month

Expected number of assessment reports completed during externship (defined as writing reports based on a battery of standardized tests:
Approximately 1-2 per month


Estimated hours/week of individual supervision: 1-2

Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 1-2

Other Comments

ASPIRE Center for Learning and Development is a unique private outpatient clinic, serving clients ranging from preschool through adulthood who present with a variety of neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions. Areas of unique specialization include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (trichotillomania and excoriation disorder), often in the context of co-occurring concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, OCD, substance abuse). Training within this setting provides interested students with the opportunity to develop a diverse skillset in assessment, psychotherapy, group facilitation, and community programming within the context of a specialized clinical population.

In addition to the core training activities, externs may have the opportunity to engage in additional optional training opportunities in:

  • Consultation with parents, schools, and community agencies
  • Educational and treatment advocacy across ages and ability level
  • Scholarly research
  • Co-authorship of articles for newsletters, publications, and professional journals
  • Co-presentation at local and national trainings and conferences

In addition to the formal externship program spanning the full academic year, “mini” rotations (3-4 hours per week) may be available for trainees specifically interested in group therapy facilitation (involves 8-10 week commitment) or assessment.

Detailed information can be found on the ASPIRE Center website at