Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP)

Claudia Avina, Ph.D., Director, Adolescent DBT Program; Director, Child and Adolescent CBT Psychology Program

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry emphasis area offers the opportunity to work with children and adolescents suffering from a diverse number of psychological problems.  There is also a track focus on child and adolescent depression and anxiety interventions, and the reduction of suicidal/self-harm behaviors among adolescents.

The postdoctoral fellowship focuses on the following treatment approaches:  Adolescent Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Child and Adolescent Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and evidence-based trauma treatments with children and adolescents. The postdoctoral fellow typically carries psychotherapy cases in these treatment modalities, and also participates as a co-leader in a DBT Multifamily Skills Group.  Because Harbor-UCLA is a county hospital that serves primarily minority patients, the training focuses on using evidence-based treatments with minority/under-served populations.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic

The Harbor-UCLA Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic provides mental health services to children ages 3-18 who present with a myriad of behavioral and emotional disorders. Treatment is provided by a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals through a variety of treatment modalities.


This clinic provides training in evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatment for children and adolescents (ages 5-18). Modalities primarily include individual and group therapy with some opportunity to do family therapy. The emphasis area focuses on children and adolescents with anxiety and depressive symptoms, trauma symptoms, non-suicidal self-injury, and suicidality. Treatment addresses the high degree of co-morbidity of disorders typically seen in these youth.  Adapting treatment approaches for use with community populations is also a  focus of training. Treatment models include cognitive therapy, general cognitive-behavioral models, and dialectical behavior therapy.

The DBT portion of the clinic offers both individual therapy and DBT skills groups to adolescents (ages 12-18) with suicidality/self-injury who exhibit emotional dysregulation and traits associated with Borderline Personality Disorder. Post-doctoral trainees working in this clinic may also have the opportunity to participate in research focusing on treatment of adolescent suicide attempters.


The following proficiencies are expected by the completion of the training year.

  • Diagnoses and assessment with a sophisticated understanding of the DSM V criteria for children, adolescents, and family difficulties.
  • Expertise in dialectical behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Expertise in suicide assessment and crisis management.
  • Supervision of externs in the performance of CBT.

Coursework and Seminars

  • Adolescent DBT Team Meeting
  • DBT Skills Training
  • Evidence-Based Treatments for Common Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence
  • Postdoctoral Fellows Case Conference
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Grand Rounds


Postdoctoral fellows will receive individual supervision according to California Board of Psychology requirements for licensure. They will also be trained as supervisors themselves, via supervising psychology externs in psychotherapy and participating in a supervision course.

  • Dr. Avina: 1-2 hours individual supervision per week
  • At least 2.5 hours of group supervision per week as part of DBT Team and CBT Group Supervision.
  • Supervision of supervision

Evaluation of Satisfactory Progress and Outcome

  • Individual supervisory sessions
  • Observations of contributions to seminars by instructors/ supervisors
  • Evaluations of case conferences/presentations by attendees
  • Observations by co-leaders of groups
  • Evaluation of written reports of assessment and consultation
  • Review of evaluations by externs whom the fellow supervises

Supervisory Faculty

Claudia Avina, Ph.D., Director, Child and Adolescent CBT/Adolescent DBT Programs