Julia Oppenheimer received a B.A. degree in Psychology (2001) and a M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology (2006) from University of Oregon. She earned her Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology (2011) from University of Oregon, after completing a predoctoral clinical internship in Early Childhood at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Following her Ph.D. degree she completed a 2-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Early Childhood Assessment and Infant Mental Health at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.

Personal Statement

My clinical service is built around addressing childhood trauma, chronic stress,and adverse life events, particularly for infants and young children. My commitment to this endeavor has driven my work as the Director of Early Childhood Clinical Services at UNM's CDD, as well as in my past roles as Clinical Director of the UNM Second Judicial District (Bernalillo County) Infant Team and the UNM Parent Infant Psychotherapy Program, parallel clinical service programs providing relationship-based, trauma-informed assessment and therapy services for young children. In these various roles, I have developed novel clinical services, hired and trained masters-level and doctoral-level clinicians, and ensured provision of high quality, evidence-based clinical service. I am a rostered clinician and supervisor for Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), the gold-standard, SAMHSA-endorsed, evidence-based treatment for infants and toddlers exposed to early life trauma. I have served as a driving force in bringing CPP to the CDD across programs, supervising and training my own staff clinicians in this model as well as other trainees and clinicians in my division in order to increase our state’s capacity to meet the needs of families. As a result, our team of therapists is seen as one that can serve the most profoundly impacted children and families and is highly regarded in our community.

As Director of Early Childhood Clinical Services, I additionally oversee provision of interdisciplinary developmental and diagnostic evaluations for children three years and under with developmental delays, neurodevelopmental differences, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. In this work with the Early Childhood Evaluation Program (ECEP), I have seen the impact of trauma on these young children and their ability to access appropriate evaluation and treatment services. As a result, I recently developed an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Clinic in order to provide trauma-informed developmental and diagnostic evaluations for young children in our community.

Areas of Specialty

Infant Mental Health
Child Development
Early Childhood Evaluation and Diagnosis
Trauma-informed practice
Child-Parent Psychotherapy




  • Spanish

Courses Taught

My educational contributions have focused on increasing our state’s professional capacity to meet developmental and mental health needs of infants and young children experiencing trauma, abuse, and neglect. I have served as mentor, clinical supervisor, and teacher since 2013 to a range of learners, including pre-doctoral psychology interns, postdoctoral psychology fellows, pediatric residents, and masters’ level counselors. I serve as faculty in the Clinical Psychology Internship Program, serving as the Early Childhood Track Coordinator. I have developed a training curriculum, led weekly seminar sessions for Interns and Postdoctoral Fellows on Infant Mental Health foundational concepts and skills, and engaged in planning and organization around training activities and rotations. I provide weekly clinical and reflective supervision for interns and postdoctoral fellows in early childhood.

Research and Scholarship

As a clinical educator, my research and scholarly work centers around program development, dissemination, and educational efforts around Infant Mental Health clinical service programs. I established the UNM Second Judicial District Infant Team, providing relationship-based and trauma-informed assessment and treatment for infants and toddlers in 2013, and continued to expand this program through 2019. I have developed a reputation within the Infant Mental Health community in the state of New Mexico for my clinical leadership and service, and this reputation is beginning to expand nationally as evidenced by my recent review of conference presentations for the Administration for Children and Families’ National Research Conference on Early Childhood and invitations to serve as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Child Development Perspectives and Developmental Psychobiology, journals publishing research on early childhood development.