Child Mind Institute Neuropsychology Externship

From Psychpracticum
Jump to: navigation, search

Last Update


Contact Information

Kenneth Schuster, PsyD, Director of Training

Matthew Cruger, PhD, Senior Director, Learning and Development Center

Neuropsychology Externship

The Child Mind Institute (CMI) offers psychology graduate students a yearlong externship in neuropsychology in our Learning and Development Center. The neuropsychology externship program is designed for graduate students in clinical, school-clinical, school, neuropsychological, and clinical health psychology programs. Applicants should be entering at least their third year of training. Preference is given to clinical psychology students who are or will be taking neuropsychological assessment classes or who are enrolled in a specialized neuropsychology program or track.

The Learning and Development Center is dedicated to giving children the tools and support they need to manage their learning difficulties and succeed in school. Our dedicated team of clinicians provides diagnostic evaluations, neuropsychological testing, and personalized education plans that take into account a child's learning strengths and deficits. Most important, our clinicians write comprehensive, user-friendly reports that offer recommendations for families and schools that may serve as baselines from which to measure a child's future progress.

Neuropsychology Faculty

Matthew Cruger, PhD is the Senior Director of the Learning and Development Center. He is a clinical neuropsychologist, has extensive experience conducting neuropsychological testing, cognitive assessments, and other evaluations for gifted children as well as those with learning difficulties, autistic disorders, and ADHD. A strong advocate for children and teens with special education needs, Dr. Cruger provides empirically supported treatments that improve emotional functioning and bolster academic achievement.

Susan Epstein, PhD is a senior clinical neuropsychologist with extensive experience in the evaluation of autism spectrum disorders and neurodevelopmental disabilities, including ADHD, learning disabilities and intellectual disabilities. In more than 30 years in the field, Dr. Epstein worked a clinical social worker before she was trained as a pediatric neuropsychologist. She specializes in the differential diagnosis of complex neurodevelopmental conditions. She also directs our Early Childhood Evaluation Service and has exceptional training and practice evaluating children as young as six months old.

Laura Phillips, PsyD is a pediatric neuropsychologist with extensive experience conducting comprehensive neuropsychological, psychological, and educational evaluations of children, adolescents, and young adults who present with a wide range of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions that impact their cognitive functioning, learning, and behavior in school. Dr. Phillips’s clinical interests include the assessment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, executive dysfunction, giftedness, and social cognitive weaknesses. Also trained in the treatment of children with a variety of social/emotional challenges, including anxiety and mood disorders, Dr. Phillips thoughtfully considers the complex interaction between a child's cognitive skill set, learning, emotions, and school placement.

Ken Schuster, PsyD is a pediatric neuropsychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of learning and behavioral disorders. Dr. Schuster has extensive experience conducting diagnostic evaluations and in-depth neuropsychological, developmental, educational, and personality assessments in children as young as 18 months and across the life span. He is also experienced in conducting functional behavioral assessments (FBA) and implementing response to intervention (RTI). A former educator, Dr. Schuster understands the importance of being a strong educational advocate. His unique perspective enables him to effectively translate test results into reports that provide children, parents, and teachers with practical, realistic, and individualized home- and school-based interventions and services.

Alex Nussbaum, MS, CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist specializing in the treatment and evaluation of infants, toddlers and school-aged children with learning and developmental disorders. She has specialized training in PROMPT, a method of therapy for treating motor-planning speech disorders (apraxia) and has extensive experience with “Social Thinking,” a social-cognitive intervention for children with social difficulties secondary to autism, anxiety, ADHD and other disorders.

Application Process

To apply, please submit electronically a cover letter a current CV, two letters of recommendation and a sample psychological assessment report to The applicant should also forward a list of tests divided into three categories: (1) those that can be administered proficiently, (2) those that the applicant has some experience with, but requires more training, and (3) those that the applicant has no experience with but would like to learn about if possible. Please address the cover letter to Dr. Matthew Cruger, Senior Director, Learning and Development Center.

Applicants must indicate in their cover letter that they are applying to the Neuropsychology Externship. Applicants can only apply to ONE externship program at CMI. Applications are reviewed beginning Tuesday, January 17, 2017 in accordance with Consortium Guidelines. Interviews will be by invitation and held in February. Notification of acceptance will begin on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 9am.

Below are some of the specific parameters of the externship commitment.

  1. Requirements During Application Process
    • CMI abides by the following guidelines established by the externship consortium. Those guidelines can be found here
    • Externs must begin their training year by providing documentation of their Professional Liability Insurance For Graduate Students in Psychology
  2. Required Training Year Dates, Days, & Times
    • July 5, 2017 – Jun 29, 2018.
    • Half-time (16 hours per week), involving Friday and one other weekday. Arrangements can be made if an applicant's program requires more than 16 hours per week.
    • Please note that the Human Resources department may require certain forms and preparations prior to the start date.
    • There is a mandatory orientation on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  3. Clinical Experiences:
    The externship will primarily involve performing neuropsychological, psychodiagnostic, developmental and psycho-educational evaluations. Patient populations include various learning disabilities, ADHD with comorbid learning problems, and children with various neurological conditions affecting cognitive development and learning. The extern will be required to administer, score, and write reports based on test results obtained. Externs will also participate in intakes and feedback relevant to these testing cases. Our training approach is based on a mentorship or partnership model. You will be working closely with our neuropsychologists in the first phase of the externship, observing the different staff perform evaluations and seeing many different children for different portions of an evaluation. Later, you will administer tests with a supervisor present to guide you in the development of your professional clinical style and to help develop your mastery of many neuropsychological instruments. You will then also be assigned personal assessment cases that you will see through the entire evaluation: intake, assessment, and feedback. We aim to have you observe and participate with many different cases and to give you time to work independently on your own cases.
    Writing Remediation
    Externs work individually or in small groups on sentence, paragraph, and essay writing with students from 4th grade and above. They are trained to implement a very structured, step-by-step writing program designed for learning disabled students.
    Organizational Skills Training
    There are opportunities to work individually with school-age students and young adults on organizational skills, planning, time management and related executive functioning skills.
    Supervision, case conference and training seminar
    Externs will receive 2 hours of group supervision and didactics per week. Case conference (optional) will take place approximately 1-2 times per month, and extern training seminar will be weekly throughout the year. In addition, externs participate in attending lectures through our Visiting Professor Series, who are renowned experts in mental health, and have the opportunity to meet as a group with each visiting professor.
    Externs may assist in faculty presentations to professional and community groups as well as monthly parent support/education groups. Externs may also have the opportunity to participate in research and conference presentations. Together we decide what role externs take, depending on the individual extern's level of experience and comfort in that subject area. It has varied from simply observing our presentations to taking the lead on them.
    Opportunities may be available to be involved in research projects.


If you have any questions regarding specific information about the Neuropsychology Externship program, contact Matthew Cruger, PhD, Senior Director, Learning and Development Center at or Jill Emanuele, PhD, Director of Training at

For questions regarding application submission or to verify your application has been received, please contact