Teaching Our Positive Side Program

Special Elective

Location: Braceland Building on the IOL Campus

Committee Members: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Faculty

Duration: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Faculty

Months Offered: July-April

# of Students: One per year

Prerequisite: Third Year Curriculum

Contact Info:
Meredith Waterman
Administrative Program Coordinator, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program
Tel: 860.545.7746
Fax: 860.545.7186
Email: Meredith.Waterman@hhchealth.org

Goals and Objectives

  • To gain appreciation of the multifaceted aspects of psychiatric illness.
  • To develop the clinical strategies necessary for conducting a therapeutic interview of the pediatric patient.
  • To have an improved understanding of the psychosocial aspects of childhood mental illness. Increased understanding of working with children in a group milieu and to use this information to help develop a differential diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • To enhance the skill of physician self-observation, in which the student strives to recognize both helpful productive and counterproductive emotional reactions which affect course of medical illness.

Program Description

The TOPS Extended Day Treatment Program which runs daily Monday-Friday from 2pm to 5pm on school days and from 8:30am-11:30am during the summers and on school holidays. Group based program skills that provide therapeutic care through clinical, social, and recreational modalities.

Proposed Activities and Responsibilities

With support of close supervision:

  • To conduct interviews of the patient and family.
  • To develop an assessment and working diagnosis.
  • To develop and follow-through with a treatment plan that is brief and focused on the solution of a specific problem.
  • To enhance the skill of physician self-observation.
  • To participate in individual supervision with child and adolescent faculty.
  • To choose a topic of interest as the focus of a literature search and brief presentation.

Available Facilities

The clinical settings for the TOPS Program.

Formal Teaching

One-to-one teaching will be provided during scheduled hours each week, in addition to clinical case supervision. Weekly teaching conferences will also be available at the Institute of Living and include Psychiatry departmental grand rounds and case conferences as well as the child and adolescent psychiatry residents’ didactic courses.

Amount and Type of Supervision

One-to-one supervision will be provided on a scheduled basis and on a selective basis. Also, supervision during groups by team members will take place. This intensive format is designed to provide each student with the opportunity to learn at her or his own pace. Supervision will focus on two major areas: concrete clinical skills and the more elusive task of physician self-observation.


  • Gemelli (1996). Normal Child & Adolescent Development. American Psychiatric Press, Inc.
  • Jellinek & Herzog. (1990). -- Psychiatric Aspects of General Hospital Pediatrics.
  • Kazdin & Weisz (2003). Evidence-Based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents. Guildford Press
  • Martin, et.al (2003). Pediatric Psychopharmacology. Oxford Press.
  • Mash & Barkley (2003). Child Psychopathology. Guildford Press
  • Morrison & Anders (2001). Interviewing Children & Adolescents. Guilford Press.

Revised 03/10