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Trainee Spotlight — Dr. Erin Kennedy

The Thompson Center takes pride in fulfilling its three-part mission of autism treatment, research and training on a daily basis. One of the highest priorities in fulfilling this mission is the training of psychology interns and post-doctoral fellows. This practice not only helps increase the number of patients Thompson Center providers can diagnose and treat, but it also helps fill the huge need for trained autism specialists around the country.

Over the next few weeks, the Thompson Center will highlight a few of our outgoing trainees to see how training at the Thompson Center has helped Dr. Erin Kennedy is a trainee at the Thompson Centerdirect their career paths. First up is Dr. Erin Kennedy, who has served as a psychology intern at the Thompson Center for the last year. As an intern, Dr. Kennedy participated in the Thompson Center’s neuropsychology and autism diagnostic clinics. Her main responsibilities were conducting clinical interviews, assisting with psychological assessments, and providing feedback to our patients and families.

  1. When did you arrive at the Thompson Center?

I arrived at the Thompson Center in July of 2019.

  1. What is your bio and educational background before the TC?

I grew up in Dallas and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Texas A&M University. I then moved to Denver and earned a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Denver Seminary, then beginning work as a Applied Behavior Analysis therapist. My last stop before Columbia was Biola University in California, where I earned my doctorate in Clinical Psychology. 

  1. Where are you headed now that you have finished your time training at the TC?

I will be starting my postdoctoral residency as a pediatric neuropsychology fellow at Children’s Health Medical Center in Dallas. 

  1. What created the passion within you to pursue a career in this field?

Through various babysitting and ministry opportunities, I often provided care to children with various neurodevelopmental disabilities, neurological conditions, and other illnesses. Caring for these children and their families instilled a passion to support them by learning how different disabilities and injuries in development can impact a child and how best to provide support and education to children and families to enhance their quality of life. 

  1. How did your time at the TC influence the direction of your career?

My time at the TC continued this passion and broadened my knowledge and skill set to feel confident to move forward in becoming a pediatric neuropsychologist. 

  1. What is the most valuable thing you learned while working at the TC?

I learned a great deal about serving a rural population and the benefits of working in a collaborative multi-disciplinary clinic. 

  1. Any last thoughts about working at the TC?

I appreciate the strong collegial atmosphere at the TC. Additionally, it is very evident how much the TC focuses on training, and not just with skills, but with developing professionalism and independence. Everyone was wonderful and welcoming and will be greatly missed!