Clinical Psychology Practicum Program
Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) is an APA-Accredited site that provides training in clinical child and adolescent psychology within 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 Hospital. Dr. Olga Belik is the Chief Psychologist, Director of the Psychology Training Program, and provides administrative oversight of the program. Dr. Marie Johnson is a clinical psychologist and Practicum Coordinator.
The clinical Psychology Practicum Program is a part-time, two day a week placement. It is expected that practicum students will dedicate 16 hours to the practicum experience, though additional clinical hours can be arranged on a case-by-case situation. Practicum students are required to work on Mondays, while the second workday is flexible. The practicum is ten months beginning the day after Labor Day and ending June 30th.
The training program involves child and family outpatient mental health services and efforts made to ensure that practicum students receive a varied caseload in terms of age, gender, culture, and diagnoses. We are strongly oriented to child-centered, family focused treatment. Services to children and families are typically conducted in an outpatient, clinic-based setting, though home, school, and community-based service opportunities may also be included. Spanish-speaking practicum students may also have opportunities to provide clinical services in Spanish under the supervision of a Spanish-speaking psychologist.
Practicum students are provided with the opportunity to gain clinical experience in one of the various departments and clinics within CFDC including:
- General Outpatient Services: Practicum students provide individual, dyadic, and family therapy to outpatient clients within the community mental health setting. Opportunities to work with both children and adults are available.
- Youth Development Project (YDP): Practicum students in this program provide individual and group therapy to at-risk elementary, middle, and high school students in the Santa Monica public schools. Practicum students may also provide outreach services in the Santa Monica community, such as parenting classes and consultation with local community centers.
- The Families and Schools Together (FAST) team: Practicum students in this program serve the mental health needs of youth attending Los Angeles Unified School District. Focus is on building relationships between teens, their parents/ extended family members, and school staff in order to create supportive social networks and increase healthy emotional development and functioning within the community. Practicum students provide both clinical services to teens and their families as well as psychoeducation to teachers.
- Therapeutic Preschool (TPS): The Therapeutic Preschool in an intensive day treatment program for children ages 2 ½ through 5 years who require early intervention due to neurological, behavioral, and/or emotional challenges including prenatal substance exposure, oppositional behavior, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression/anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, child abuse and neglect, and reactive attachment disorder. Practicum students provide individual therapy, dyadic therapy and collateral parent sessions within the clinic. Practicum students will have the opportunity to facilitate reflective parent groups with a licensed clinician and community meetings in the milieu. Practicum students may also have the opportunity to conduct home visits along with a milieu staff to assist parents with behavioral interventions within the home setting.
The primary location is at CFDC on the second floor of our freestanding, two-story building, which is adjacent to the main hospital. Practicum students will have access to outdoor space, office space, office phone, computer/ laptop, video for recording sessions, sign-out rooms for therapy, and access to clinical resources (e.g., books, games, articles).
Practicum students receive one hour of face-to-face individual supervision with a licensed psychologist weekly. Supervision is conducted according to the Competency Model and Integrated Developmental Model (IDM). The IDM model delineates distinct stages of supervisee and supervisor development from novice to expert and specifically defines characteristics and skills at each level. Practicum students are expected to video record clinical sessions for review during supervision.
Joint Training Seminar: Joint Training seminar is a weekly training seminar comprised of doctoral psychology interns, psychology practicum students, and social work interns. This seminar includes trainings in a variety of areas such as attachment theory, structural family therapy, positive parenting interventions, and Falicov’s MECA model. The seminar also provides opportunities to develop, reflect on, and share personal cultural maps.
Monthly professional development: Practicum students will meet monthly with the Practicum Coordinator to discuss various topics related to the development of an identity as a professional psychologist. Topics may include applying to internship, career paths in psychology, developing a professional identity as a psychologist, and maintaining a work/life balance.
Diagnostic team meetings: Practicum students will present brief case studies during a multidisciplinary team meeting and receive feedback regarding diagnosis and treatment.
Training in evidence-based practices: By the end of training, students will have completed the training and certification requirements for Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP). There are also opportunities to receive additional training and certification in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT).
Monthly staff CE trainings (optional): Practicum students are invited to join CFDC monthly staff trainings on advanced clinical topics.
Weekly psychological assessment seminar (optional): Practicum students are invited to attend the weekly doctoral intern psychological assessment seminar to further develop knowledge of psychological assessment practices.
Orientation: During the month of September, practicum students receive training related to agency policies and procedures. This includes suicide assessment and intervention, child abuse reporting, law and ethics, models of supervision, group psychotherapy, outcome measures, and DMH documentation.
Monthly Spanish-speaking consultation group (optional): Spanish-speaking practicum students are invited to attend The Bilingual Consultation Group, which is designed to enhance the ability to provide therapeutic services to Spanish-speaking populations. The group is facilitated predominantly in Spanish and includes group discussion, distribution/review of relevant handouts/materials, live role-plays, and videotape review of client therapy sessions. All levels of Spanish fluency are welcome.
Applicants must be trainees in good standing in an APA-accredited doctoral program with at least one year of prior externship or practicum experience in a clinical setting. Applications are accepted December 1, 2023 through January 12, 2024.
To apply, please submit the following materials via email to Drs. Belik and Johnson:
- Cover letter
- Curriculum Vitae
- Two letters of recommendation from professional or academic sources