Doctoral Psychology Internship Training Program
Welcome to the Doctoral Psychology Internship Training Program at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center. Our program was presented with the award from the American Psychological Association Board of Educational Affairs for “Distinguished Contributions for the Education and Training of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Psychologists” (2012) and has been APA Accredited since 1963.
The Training Setting
Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) is an APA-Accredited site that provides training in clinical child and adolescent psychology in a multicultural community mental health setting. CFDC has been providing a comprehensive range of mental health, developmental and community outreach services to children and their families since 1962. The Center is unique in that while it primarily functions as a community mental health center, it is also part of Providence Saint John’s Health Center. As such, interns are provided with some opportunities to practice psychology in the medical setting as well.
The training model
The internships is best described as fitting the Scholar-Practitioner model. Interns are encouraged to develop as “local clinical scientists”, as described by Strickler and Trierweiler (1995)*. Over the course of the training year, interns cultivate observational skills that allow them to determine whether evidence gathered through direct clinical interaction supports or contradicts the applicability of normative research findings to particular clinical cases. Interventions are then developed and modified accordingly.
*Strickler, G. and Trierweiler, S. (1995). The Local Clinical Scientist: A Bridge Between Science and Practice. American Psychologist, 50, 995-1002.
The training goals
The program trains interns in:
- Psychotherapeutic intervention
- Psychological assessment
- Mental health consultation
- The integration of science and practice
- A strong emphasis is placed on cultural context as well as ethical/legal issues.
- Experimental training
Interns are provided with opportunities to work in various departments and clinics within the Center. These include:
- General Outpatient Services: Interns provide individual, dyadic, and family therapy to outpatient clients within a community mental health setting. Evidence-based practices including Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Crisis Oriented Recovery Services (CORS), Seeking Safety (SS), Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Positive Parenting Program (PPP), Managing Adaptive Practices (MAP), and Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) are utilized to treat a range of presenting problems. Interns also conduct full psychological assessment batteries that include objective and projective methodologies. If able, interns provide psychotherapeutic services in Spanish under the supervision of a bilingual, licensed supervisor. Because many of the families are Spanish-speaking, bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply.
- Intensive Day Treatment Services/Therapeutic Preschool (TPS): Interns provide psychotherapy services within an intensive day treatment program to young children between the ages of 2.5-5 who have severe behavioral emotional problems. Interns offer individual, dyadic, family, and milieu-based interventions. Interns also conduct psychological assessment evaluations as needed to inform treatment planning. Through their direct participation in the classroom, interns are able to observe and collaborate with other professionals (e.g. Mental Health Rehab Specialists, Occupational Therapists) to provide these children with a very comprehensive and high level of care.
- Child/Youth Development Project (C/YDP): Interns in this program provide individual and group therapy to at-risk elementary, middle, and high school students in the Santa Monica public schools. Interns also provide community outreach services in Santa Monica, such as parenting classes and consultation with local community centers. Priority is given to families who have been impacted by community violence, poverty, substance abuse, and trauma.
- Early Childhood Assessment and Treatment (ECAT): Interns provide psychotherapy services to children ages birth to five years and their families in the clinic, home, school, and community settings. Interns offer individual, dyadic, and family therapy to address a variety of presenting problems utilizing attachment-based and behavioral therapy approaches. Interns collaborate and advocate with community-based agencies (e.g., Regional Center, school districts, DCFS) to provide holistic developmental and mental health assessments and treatment. Interns are offered opportunities to provide presentations to parents and teachers in the community and co-facilitate groups for children ages 3-5 years in conjunction with local early childhood education programs.
- Families and Schools Together (FAST): The Families and Schools Together team serves the mental health needs of youth attending Los Angeles public schools. The guiding philosophy of the program consists of joining the parent, school staff, and the teen, to create a network of social support to assist them through their emotional and behavioral struggles. The work of therapists and interns on the FAST team is to build strong relationships with the teen, with the teen’s parent/s and extended family, and with school personnel, in order to serve as the bridge helping to weave healthy emotional development, and setting the expectation for the youth to function within his/her community. Psychology interns provide both clinical services as part of this team, while also providing psychological testing and school consultations during times of crisis. Further, interns and staff provide psychoeducation to teachers.
- Consultation/Liaison Service: Interns consult with medical staff through the hospital at Providence Saint John’s Health Center on an as needed basis. Interns work with seriously ill adults who have children to address a range of psychosocial issues that emerge when a parent or caregiver becomes physically or chronically ill. Interns also consult with local schools and various community organizations to promote mental health service utilization.
A one-hour weekly professional development seminar is run by the Director of Training, and supports interns in their ability to learn and navigate the professional field of clinical psychology. Interns are introduced to the mental health laws of the state of California. Vignettes are utilized to initiate discussions regarding the application of law and ethics – challenging the interns’ conceptualization of professional obligations and responsibilities. As the year progresses, interns are supported through the process of navigating the various options surrounding postdoctoral training and potential job selection. Interns are encouraged to consult with staff members and engage in self-reflection to identify the most appropriate decision for the individual team.
A one-hour weekly psychodiagnostic assessment seminar fosters interns’ growth and development in the area of psychological testing. Interns are provided education in the area of cognitive, academic, adaptive, and projective assessments. Interns present current testing cases to the team to receive feedback, case consultation, and recommendations. Interns are encouraged to select an area of expertise and will be supported to develop it throughout the year. Interns are expected to utilize additional professional research such as journal articles, and will present the chosen area of expertise to the assessment seminar team.
The following are select topics covered in weekly psychological assessment seminars:
- Orientation: Assessment procedures, timelines, and report writing
- WISC-IV integrated
- NEPSY-II (Half-day training)
- Attention & executive functioning
- Bilingual assessment
- School observations
- Presenting results to schools and parents/Writing recommendations
- Learning disorders
- Early childhood assessment (Bayley)
- Early childhood assessment (WPPSI)
- Assessment of autism spectrum disorder
- Projectives (Rorschach, TAT, CAT, sentence completion, etc.)
- Nonverbal assessment
- Visuospatial assessment
- Case presentations (3 times)
- Area of expertise presentation (Each intern)
- End of the year reflections on competencies
During the month of September, interns receive training related to agency and training program’s policies and procedures. In addition, the following trainings are provided:
- Outcomes measures (interns are expected to collect pre and post treatment outcome measures)
- Motivational interviewing
- Non-suicidal self-injury
- Suicidal ideations and treatment
- Group psychotherapy
- Child abuse reporting
- Law and ethics
- Local clinical scientist model
- Integrated developmental model of supervision
- Competency-based model of supervision
Joint training seminar
A two-hour weekly training seminar comprised of psychology and social work interns. This seminar includes numerous trainings in a variety of areas. The following is a list of trainings that have been conducted in previous years:
- Professional Development: Balancing work and life
- Attachment: Clinical theory and implication
- Attachment: Circle of security autism
- Spectrum Disorders anxiety disorders
- ADHD: Diagnosis and treatment
- Falicov’s MECA Model: Cultural maps: Part 1 and 2
- Family Interventions: structural family therapy
- CBT family therapy
- Parent management techniques
- Neurobiology: Trauma treatment considerations
- Trauma and substance abuse, co-occurring disorders
- Relapse Prevention: Evidence-based approach
- Working with LGBTQ population
Additional psychology-specific training
- Supervision (taught three times a year, based on interns’ professional development stages)
- Law and Ethics (taught three times a year, based on interns’ professional development stages)
- Crisis Intervention in a medical setting
- Post-Doc preparation
- Mental health consultation
- Leadership in psychology
- The art of negotiation
- Career path of psychologists at CFDC: Lessons learned
- Post-doc preparation
- Licensure preparation
Additional evidence-based training opportunities
CFDC is committed to the training of evidence-based (EBP), empirically supported therapeutic models. Past interns have been trained and received certification in the following EBP’s: Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Crisis Oriented Recovery Services (CORS), Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP), Seeking Safety (SS), and Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
A one-hour, bi-monthly, multidisciplinary psychodiagnostic seminar fosters the interns’ ability to conceptualize, accurately diagnosis, and present comprehensive cases. The seminar assists the intern in treatment and educational planning, as well as identifying appropriate recommendations and referrals. The multidisciplinary staff includes: psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers.
Supervision at CFDC is conducted according to Stoltenberg’s (1981) Integrated Developmental Model (IDM), which delineates distinct stages of supervisee development from novice to expert and specifically defines characteristics and skills at each level. This model allows supervisors to assess their supervisee’s unique stages of development. Interns are expected to video/audio tape their sessions. Interns are both evaluated and act as evaluators of their current supervisors to ensure that their needs are met within supervisory relationship. Each quarter, supervisors and supervisees engage in this evaluative process and discuss the outcome in supervision to make any needed adjustments. All intern supervisors also participate in supervision of supervision on a monthly basis. Both self-report and videotaped sessions are utilized to ensure the quality of supervision being provided to pre-doctoral interns. This is a unique opportunity to further assess and develop their own skills and competency in their roles as supervisors.
Interns receive at least 4 hours of supervision weekly:
- 1 hour face-to-face individual supervision with primary supervisor
- 1 hour face-to-face individual supervision with delegated supervisor
- 1 hour face-to-face individual supervision with psychological assessment supervisor
- 1 hour face-to-face group supervision
- Additional hours (about 2 hours) of supervision from team-related supervision meetings
Spanish Speaking Doctoral Interns
CFDC provides outpatient services to a large number of Spanish-speaking families, allowing Spanish-speaking doctoral interns the unique opportunity to do bilingual psychodiagnostic assessment. Spanish-speaking doctoral interns will have the opportunity to develop their Spanish clinical vocabulary through conducting clinical interviews, administering questionnaires and measures in Spanish (e.g., Woodcock-Munoz Bateria), and providing feedback in Spanish. Additionally, interns will have clinical opportunities to conduct assessments with referral questions centered around issues of bilingual language development and the influence of culture and acculturation on cognitive, academic, and socioemotional functioning. Interns will develop their report writing skills by creating report summaries for families in Spanish. All activities are supervised by Spanish-speaking psychologists who provide feedback on variables related to language and clinical skills.
The program aims to match Spanish-speaking interns with Spanish-speaking supervisors.
In addition, the program provides monthly Spanish-speaking consultation groups for Spanish-speaking interns. The Bilingual Consultation Group is designed to assist current Spanish-speaking interns with enhancing their abilities to provide therapy services to Spanish-speaking populations. The group, which meets once a month for 1 hour, is facilitated predominantly in Spanish and includes group discussion, distribution and review of handouts/materials, live role-plays, and videotape review of client therapy sessions. All levels of Spanish fluency are welcome.
Interns at CFDC are expected to dedicate 50% of their weekly productivity to clinical services. Of this time, ten hours are allotted to outpatient services, and ten hours are set aside for interns’ unique team assignments (e.g. ECAT, C/YDP, TPS, FAST). Outpatient services include individual and family therapy, and four hours of psychological assessment per week.
In addition to these twenty clinical hours, interns also have the opportunity to engage in crisis outreach services on an as-needed basis. This may include consultation with families who have an imminent medical crisis at the hospital. Further, interns are on-call for four hours per week during the clinic’s business hours.
The stipend is extremely competitive - $37,440, and includes health insurance, vision and dental. Please see our benefits brochure on the website. Psychology Interns are provided with five days of professional development time.
RIDE program provides with $3.00 per day for the use of alternative way to commute to work, receiving on average $720/year
CFDC is located 20 blocks from the ocean (about 10-15 min drive), in the heart of Santa Monica, a beachside city with a variety of events and other recreational opportunities. Services are provided within the center, schools, homes, and community.
The training year begins the first Tuesday after Labor Day, and ends on the last weekday of August.
The application deadline is November 1st. CFDC adheres to the internship selection guidelines set forth by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), and participates in the National Match.
Applicants must be at least third-year graduate students in an APA-Approved psychology doctoral program. Applicants should have at least 500 practicum hours (total intervention and assessment hours) by the beginning of the internship year. We require a standard 3 letters of recommendations. No supplemental materials are required for submission at the time of the application.
Applicants must obtain full legal clearance from the DOJ and related California entities prior to the start of the internship year. Internship appointments are contingent upon obtaining full legal clearance and approval from Providence Saint John’s Human Resources (please see APPIC MATCH POLICIES (6b): “Appointments of applicants to internship positions may be contingent upon the applicants satisfying certain eligibility requirements.”)
- 310-829-8921 (Business office)
- 310-829-8708 (Training director/Chief psychologist, Olga Belik, Ph.D.)
- 310-829-8455 (Fax)
The Psychology Internship at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Any questions regarding the program’s status should be directed to:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002-5979
This internship site adheres to all APPIC policies and agrees to abide by the policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. Further information regarding APPIC policies is available at APPIC.