Child Guidance Clinic
The Child Guidance Clinic is a branch within Family Court Social Services Division of the Superior Court. It is designed to meet both the needs of the Court and its staff for the purposes of providing comprehensive clinical and forensic psychological evaluations. Individual and group psychotherapy is also provided, as well as consultation.
Washington, DC is a cosmopolitan city, home to multiple ethnic groups and culturally diverse individuals that require court mandated services. African-American youth receive most of the Clinic’s services due to the demographics of the District of Columbia population. Nevertheless, the Clinic has the resources to assess, treat and provide consultation about juveniles of all ethnicities referred by the Court. The Clinic’s inner city urban respondents are subjected to multiple traumatic experiences over the course of their lives resulting in the development of an array of cognitive, emotional and interpersonal problems in living. As a result, interns have exceptional opportunities to learn how to assess, diagnose and treat a wide range of impaired youth in both community and secure settings.
The Child Guidance Clinic offers an APA accredited internship program, providing training in assessment and psychotherapy to externs and interns in doctoral programs. Click to learn more about the program
Court Ordered Forensic Mental Health Evaluations
- Psychological And Psycho-Educational
- Violence Risk
- Competence to Stand Trial/ Fitness to Proceed
- Individual and Group Therapies
- Anger Management
- Sexual Offender
Consultation and Preventative Services: Programs and Agents
- Juvenile Behavioral Diversion Program (juvenile mental health court)
- Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Subcommittee Task Force
- Probation Officers
- Family Court Judges
- Construct development in African-Americans involved in the juvenile justice system
- Measurement variance in African-Americans involved in the juvenile justice system
- Efficacy of Court Social Services Division programming
- Stereotype threat
- Racial identity attitudes
- Demographic and psychosocial factors in the juvenile justice population
- Epidemiological inquiries
ACTING CHIEF PSYCHOLOGIST, CHILD GUIDANCE CLINIC
MALCOLM H. WOODLAND, PHD
Dr. Woodland is the acting chief psychologist and the chair of clinical research at the Court of the District of Columbia. Prior to his current position, Dr. Woodland served as research faculty at the University of California, Berkley. Woodland’s research examines test and measurement issues in adjudicated youth as well as the influence of out-of-school time and youth development programs on the academic achievement of males of color. He has authored several scientific articles including publications in the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, Urban Education, The Journal of Negro Education, and The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology. Dr. Woodland is also the co-founder and director of Young Doctors DC, a non-profit health care organization based in Washington, DC.
MARY M. DONNELLY, PHD
Dr. Donnelly completed a PH.D at Catholic University in Counseling/School Psychology, completing an Internship at Forensic Psychiatry, Division of Youth Services in Washington, DC. Licensure includes the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Prior to working at the Court, Dr. Donnelly has held positions as the Director of Guidance, and as a School Psychologist in the Metropolitan area.
MITCHELL H. HUGONNET, PHD
Dr. Hugonnet has practiced forensic psychology for over 25 years in a variety of evaluation and treatment settings. He completed an APA internship and residency in clinical psychology at St. Elizabeths Hospital in the forensic inpatient division. Three years later he returned to St. Elizabeths where he directed a forensic inpatient pre-trial evaluation and treatment unit at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for 14 years. For the past 12 years, Dr. Hugonnet has been a supervisory forensic psychologist at the Child Guidance Clinic of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
MS. DANUISKA CRUZ
Ms. Danuiska Cruz, originally from Dominican Republic, moved to Maryland 23 years ago. She has completed a paralegal degree at Prince Georges Community College in 2006. Prior to her current position at DC Superior Court, she has worked as a bilingual legal assistant, an office manager for Medical Health Insurance Program for low income families, and has held positions at Catholic Charities DC and the Bilingual Family Liaison.
MS. TERRI STRICKLAND
Ms. Terri Strickland is a native Chicagoan, who moved to Washington, DC in July, 2012. Her professional background has been primarily in the legal field, most recently managing a word processing staff at an international law firm. DC Superior Court’s Child Guidance Clinic is her first foray into government work, and she hopes to serve it well. She lives in a small town in Maryland with her husband of three years.
The research laboratory housed in the Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) of Court Social Services, Superior Court of the District of Columbia (DCSC), is dedicated to the advancement of psychological science in child and adolescent forensic practice.
CGC services are primarily focused on mental health screening and assessment to aid therapeutic jurisprudence in juveniles with DCSC court contact. DCSC serves a juvenile population that is 95% African American. DCSC youth are also disproportionately represented in the areas of Washington DC marked by the highest levels of interpersonal violence, the lowest rates of high school graduation, and the lowest levels of household income. However, the development phases of the psychological assessment tools used at the CGC did not include populations similar to the once served by the court.
Therefore, one of the primary purposes of The Lab is to examine the reliability and validity of psychological assessment scores used by the CGC in our DCSC population. We are also concerned with factors associated with psychological assessments, such as stereotype threat, that might diminish the validity of scores.
The second purpose is to develop assessment tools intended for use in the DCSC population, and other similar populations.
Third, The Lab aims to examine psychosocial variables in forensic issues. To name a few, The Lab is concerned with the effects of racial identity attitudes and stereotype threat on psychological screening and assessment situations among African American adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system. The Lab is also concerned with the study of local and national convergence between female and male arrest rates, and how convergence may be associated with differences in mental health statuses.
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