Pediatric Mental Health Unit and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Psychologist

Austin, TX
Jul 18, 2019
Four-Year Institution
Pediatric Mental Health Unit and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Psychologist

Austin, TX
Open Date:
Jul 16, 2019

The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, in conjunction with the Ascension Seton Healthcare Family, is seeking a pediatric psychologist to serve as Lead Psychologist for the Inpatient Mental Health Unit (MHU) at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas. This position will provide leadership, evidence-based psychosocial programming and training to ensure safe oversight and intervention for patients on the pediatric Mental Health Unit. Development and support of inpatient programming, coordination of care, and psychotherapeutic support with patients and families are integral dimensions of the position. The Lead Psychologist for the Mental Health Unit will also provide Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM) services to patients served by the Dell Children's Medical Center Sleep Lab. This position includes an academic appointment in the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School along with associated faculty benefits.

The Lead Psychologist for the Inpatient Mental Health Unit will design and implement team-based, collaborative care programming and staff training for a 24-bed pediatric inpatient mental health unit, with an emphasis on evidence-based and trauma-informed treatment. The Lead Psychologist for the Inpatient Mental Health Unit will oversee specialty providers from nursing, behavioral health techs, social work, and psychiatry as it pertains to psychosocial programming. Additional mental health intervention, program development, and research involvement will be provided as an embedded psychologist within an outpatient Sleep Medicine clinic.

Essential Functions

On the inpatient mental health unit, the psychologist will develop broad-based, multi-level programming for children and their families. The intended role of the psychologist includes staff training (DBT-C, DBT-A, TF-CBT, PCIT), creating a system for trauma-informed milieu management, and designing/implementing programming for coordinated continuity of care. Central to this role will be expert leadership skills, finely-tuned interpersonal capacities, and diplomatic management of diverse personalities to work toward a coordinated vision of ethical and enhanced care for acutely unstable patients. As the population we serve continues to grow at Dell Children’s Medical Center, so does the need for impactful, uniform, and nonaggressive psychological responsivity with our child and adolescent patients. The position is phase-designed to oversee all aspects of MHU evaluation, training, implementation, maintenance, and sustainability over time.

Additional mental health intervention, program development, and research involvement will be provided as an embedded psychologist within the Dell Children’s Medical Center’s outpatient Sleep Medicine Lab. In concert with the mental health inpatient unit role, this structure allows for a seamless overlap between ancillary sleep management treatment for acutely unstable inpatients and more focused outpatient services for pediatric sleep disorders.

The identified Psychologist will join our growing Texas Child Study Center Faculty, which is comprised of 14 psychologists and Masters-level clinicians. Engagement in the provision of training, supervision, and relevant didactics for psychology interns and fellows, as well as participation in clinical research and program development, are required.


Required qualifications

  • Completion of a doctoral degree from an APA-accredited school of clinical, counseling, or school psychology and an APA-accredited internship/residency focused on training in pediatric psychology.
  • Successful completion of a subsequent 1-year postdoctoral fellowship focused on training in pediatric psychology is also required.
  • Generalist training and experience working with individuals and families presenting a broad range of behavioral and mental health concerns will be highly valued.
  • Experience conducting assessments and evidence-based treatments with children and adolescents strongly preferred.
  • Expertise in CBT-I, insomnia, sleep apnea, and systems-based treatment of mood disorder secondary to chronic health issues is essential.
  • Texas license or license-eligibility for the practice of psychology is required.
  • Board eligible or board certification in clinical child and adolescent psychology.
  • Eligible for faculty appointment at the University of Texas Dell Medical School.
  • Demonstrated leadership, clinical teaching skills, and potential to contribute to our faculty’s active program of research. Must possess the ability to communicate with others in a clear, understandable, and professional manner on the phone and in person as well as demonstrated use of superior written and verbal communication skills. Must possess the ability to interact with peers, executives, patient families and other program partners in a manner that represents the Dell Medical School positively. Must exhibit sound judgment in decision-making. Must possess the ability to maintain regular, reliable and punctual attendance. Demonstrated ability to be flexible and adaptable to change. We seek candidates committed to providing exemplary care and treatment that restores hope and helps patients and families live healthier, fuller lives.
  • Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate will have three or more years of demonstrated clinical experience and success as a licensed psychologist in a pediatric inpatient mental health milieu.
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish.
  • Additional subspecialty experience in pediatric diagnoses related to suicidality, acute emotional dysregulation, substance abuse, disruptive behavior disorders, and eating disorders is highly preferred.
  • Focused training in evidence-based approaches including TF-CBT (Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Group CBT, PMT (Parent Management Training), MI (Motivational Interviewing), E/RP (Exposure/Response (Ritual) Prevention), DBT-A (Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents), and PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy) is highly preferred.
  • The Dell Medical School is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute to diversity and excellence within the learning health system. At the Dell Medical School, we strive to create a vital, inclusive health ecosystem. To ensure alignment, we follow these fundamental values:

Application Instructions:

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and until the position is filled. The expected start date for this position is December 2019, but this remains negotiable based on applicant preferences and availability.