Program Director


Wordsworth wrote, "The Child is Father of the man," reportedly as he watched his young son play in the mud, likely countering his parental urge to re-direct his child to tidier play, and touching on the powerful impact children have on each of our lives -- shaping our very understanding of ourselves, each other, our families and the world at large. The capacity to work with all individuals, be they children or adults, is rooted in an appreciation for and understanding of children. A child is certainly not a blank slate, nor a helpless, powerless being. On the contrary, each child brings a profound capacity to shape those around them, and in turn be shaped by those in his or her life. Thus general psychiatry training is only enhanced when it continues in the form of a child and adolescent psychiatry training program, offering the clinician a window into factors and forces leading to adulthood’s psychological ease and disease. Our aim in this training program is to help general psychiatry residents or clinicians deepen their appreciation of childhood, and the impact that each individual childhood has on lifelong development and future psychological outcomes, so that each clinician becomes a more effective caregiver.

In this program, residents will gain a wealth of knowledge about the many forces that shape our children, and impact developmental outcomes. The power of psychosocial and environmental factors is examined, as well as the biological diathesis. Residents learn how to step back from hasty assumptions about a young patient or a family, and strive to truly understand deeply the meaning, context, and etiology of emotional and behavioral issues brought to the attention of the clinician.

Our residents work with a wide socioeconomic spectrum of patients and are exposed to a wealth of psychosocial, psychotherapeutic, and psychopharmacologic treatments. Our program embraces many evidence-based treatment frames, and provides an in-depth exposure to each. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are trained in an array of psychotherapeutic modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, and psychodynamic models. They are also trained in an evidence-based approach to the utilization of psychopharmacological interventions. Former residents report being well equipped to enter their first positions after training, and to embark on a path of lifelong learning and growth, be it either as an academic scholar/teacher, a clinician or a researcher.

We welcome all applicants interested in deepening their approach to their patient care, and learning how to better understand each child and family including the reciprocal impact each has on the other and on the clinician. We strive to shape each resident’s interpersonal capacity for reaching out to the child or guardian in an effort to see the world from the patient’s vantage point. We seek applicants able and willing to “play” with their young patients and to engage their families as a path to forming a sturdy alliance, gaining clinical wisdom and ultimately a therapeutic outcome along the way.

Peter T. Daniolos, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Psychiatry
University of Iowa