Jillian Hamilton SPSY

University of Oregon College of Education SPSY student Jillian C. Hamilton, M.S., Doctoral Candidate, School Psychology, '22

Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences, Graduate Employee, Prevention Science Institute, Practicum Therapist, Child and Family Center Extern, Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment Clinic (CDAC)

Q & A with Jillian

What are some valuable hands-on experience you've had as a student?

I am fortunate to have had a variety of practicum experiences throughout my time at the U of O. Most recently, I was an advanced practicum student at the Child and Family Center (CFC) and the Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment Clinic (CDAC) – both through the HEDCO clinic. These practica were valuable training opportunities that supplemented my school-based practicum and coursework. Due to COVID-19, we also provided telehealth and learned all kinds of tips and tricks for providing therapy, conducting clinical interviews, and reviewing feedback with clients over Zoom.  

As a practicum therapist at the CFC for two years, I have been trained in the Family Check-Up which involves the assessment and provision of therapy to children, adolescents, and parents. The CFC provides services for child internalizing and externalizing behaviors, grief, behavior management, and parent training. In collaboration with co-therapists, I conceptualized cases, developed treatment goals with clients, provided therapeutic interventions, taught skills, and connected families with resources.

As an extern at CDAC, I received excellent training and supervision in conducting comprehensive evaluations for ADHD and Learning Disorders. This practicum uses an ecological approach for client interviewing, assessment, differential diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and feedback. During a year of distance learning, CDAC gave me an opportunity to test clients in-person (with COVID protocols) again, which was great! We also used iPads to administer cognitive and academic assessments which were fun to learn and master.

What are your plans after you receive your PhD?

After graduating with my PhD next year, I’ll most likely continue my training with a post-doc. As someone interested in neurodevelopmental disabilities, it is important to receive more specialized training in this area perhaps in a clinic or hospital setting. I love hearing about the fantastic sites where the students above me have completed additional training.  Long-term, I hope to work in a community or university clinic providing primarily assessment and some intervention services for children with developmental disabilities and their families. I am also interested in continuing research in a smaller capacity. My primary professional goal is to expand access to critical services and knowledge for populations who are typically marginalized (e.g., families of color, low- income families). Short-term: more reading for fun, biking, tennis, doing yoga, cooking/baking with a lot more free time!

Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming internship at Florida State University Multidisciplinary Center? What skills have you learned in the SPSY program that will help you as you begin this internship?

I matched through APPIC with the Florida State Multidisciplinary Center – a hybrid internship experience in Tallahassee, FL. I’ll be conducting ADHD and ASD evaluations in-clinic and providing school-based mental health, consultation, and assessment services in a local school district. I am incredibly excited to apply what I’ve learned at the UO next year and continue to learn and deepen my competencies. In SPSY, we have excellent behavioral and consultation training which will be invaluable in this new setting. With my practicum experiences, I feel well-positioned to work in school, clinical, and telehealth settings. The supervision skills I obtained through graduate research/teaching and supervised college teaching (SCT) experiences will be incredibly helpful next year, as I will also serve as a supervisor to undergraduate/graduate students across settings. Finally, my experience in the SPSY and COE community has been collaborative, which is another necessary skill for school psychologists.

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