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Northern California Psychology Internship Consortium (NCPIC)

Northern California Psychology Internship Consortium has 2 agencies that provide internships:

San Quentin State Prison

Sutter Center for Psychiatry

Application and Selection Process

Internship Details 

San Quentin State Prison

4 Full Time Funded Positions Available

Site Description: 

San Quentin State Prison is California's oldest and best known correctional institution.  The prison houses approximately 4,000 male inmates and includes a reception center for new commitments, a parole violator unit, administrative segregation units, endorsed population units, and a minimum security work crew unit.  It is also the state's only death row facility for male condemned inmates.

There are approximately 1,000 inmate/patients in the Mental Health Program at San Quentin which includes the seriously mentally disordered as well as mildly to moderately mentally disordered inmate/patients.  There is also a licensed Crisis Treatment Center on site.  Diagnoses include psychotic and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and adjustment disorders, along with chronic substance abuse, medication and treatment compliance issues, cognitive and developmental disabilities, and problems associated with Activities of Daily Living. Inmate/patients represent considerable diversity in cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Interns will gain clinical and assessment experience with acute and chronically mentally ill inmates in an outpatient setting and inpatient crisis setting.  Interns will also have the opportunity to gain training and experience with differential diagnosis, crisis intervention, psychopathology, and malingering of psychopathology. In addition, they will learn about mental illness associated with criminal behavior and the subsequent legal and ethical issues involved with a correctional population.

The internship year is divided into 4 rotations, including:

  • Diagnostic (mild to severe psychopathology, variety of custody levels)
  • Group Treatment (mild to severe psychopathology, variety of custody levels)
  • Crisis Management/Inpatient Treatment
  • Administrative Segregation Unit which houses inmates with behavioral concerns.

There are also year long trainings in the following:

  • Psychological Testing/Assessment rotation in which interns will complete up to 6 full psychodiagnostic assessment batteries
  • Individual Treatment (mild to severe psychopathology, variety of custody levels) with a caseload of up to 10 clients.

Interns will provide direct services during all rotations with emphases as indicated. Direct services include short and long term individual therapy, group therapy, case management, completion of intakes on new arrivals, crisis intervention, assessing suicide and violence risk, and psychological testing. 

Interns will also participate in:

  • Two hour weekly Clinical/Forensic Didactic Trainings
  • Interdisciplinary Treatment Teams
  • Weekly Mental Health Department Meetings
  • Various Team Meetings
  • Bi-monthly APA approved CE Presentations
  • Monthly Suicide Prevention Conferences
  • Bi-monthly Difficult Patient Management Conferences. 

Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists are always available to the interns for consultation.  In addition, the interns will have at least two hours of individual supervision per week and two hours of group supervision per week. They will also be given the opportunity to provide supervision for psychology practicum students.

Special Requirements in Background or Training: Must have prior training and/or courses in Assessment/Psychological Testing and clinical interviewing. It is preferable, but not necessary, for the applicant to have had some exposure to forensic/correctional psychology. The qualified applicant should be open to understanding this unique population and have a good sense of self with the ability to maintain appropriate boundaries in therapeutic and supervisory situations.

Unacceptable Factors: A history of felony arrests or relatives currently incarcerated in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation system. Past or current problems with ethical or disciplinary review boards.

Major Goals of the Training Experience:

  1. Gain experience and knowledge in assessing and treating incarcerated individuals with multiple and/or major diagnoses (including both Axis I & II).
  2. Establish and/or enhance a wide range of therapeutic modalities and techniques.
  3. Gain proficiency in psychological testing and assessment and report writing.
  4. Develop an ability to integrate multiple sets of data into a case conceptualization or formulation.
  5. Gain experience working with persons from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  6. Develop an ability to work within an institutional bureaucracy, specifically a correctional setting.
  7. Gain an understanding of theoretical and applied forensic psychology.
  8. Develop a professional identity.
  9. Develop a better understanding of clinical and professional strengths and weaknesses.
  10. Gain experience presenting relevant Clinical/Forensic psychology topics and case formulations.

Institution Mission Summary:  San Quentin State Prison houses approximately 4,000 inmates who range from minimum to maximum security, including the state’s only male inmate population condemned to death. The facility operates as a reception center whose purpose is to process incoming inmates within a 60 to 90 day period after processing legal, medical and psychological, developmental, etc. issues and assigning them a classification score.  The facility also houses medium (Level III) security inmates in the general population, who also have medical, psychological and behavioral concerns.

Mental Health staff at San Quentin State Prison currently consists of approximately forty licensed psychologists, fourteen psychiatrists, and ten licensed social workers, ten psychiatric technicians, four recreation therapists, as well as four practicum student, four interns, and four post-doctoral fellows. The facility also has a licensed hospital which provides a wide range of medical and psychological services for inmates in the Department of Corrections.

San Quentin State Prison is located in San Quentin, California in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.  It is approximately 18 miles north of the city of San Francisco, 14 miles west of Berkeley and 80 miles west of Sacramento.

Once screened, applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview.

Stipend:  Approximately $40,000.00 per year, plus Health/Dental/Vision insurance, vacation/sick time 

For more information on SQSP visit our website: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Facilities_Locator/SQ.html


Chera Van Burg, Ph.D. – Site Training Director

Caroline Herndon, Ph.D. – Psychologist, Supervisor

Karen Lippman, Psy.D. – Psychologist, Supervisor

Kimberly Miscia, Psy.D.– Psychologist, Supervisor

Robert Steiner, Psy.D – Psychologist, Supervisor

Sutter Center for Psychiatry

2 Full Time Funded Positions Available

Sutter Center for Psychiatry (SCP) is a part of the Sutter Health Care System that is located in east Sacramento, CA. SCP is a inpatient and outpatient treatment facility serving the urgent needs of children ages five through older adults. SCP operates from the perspective of a Recovery model, thus emphasizing the needs of the patient first while integrating a variety of health and mental health programs, including Child & Adolescent Program, Latency Program, Adolescent Partial Treatment Program, Sutter Counseling Center (serving outpatient children and adolescents), Adult Care Unit, Adult Intensive Care Unit, Chemical Dependency Services; Chaplaincy Training Program.

Interns provide a variety of psychological services to children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. These include comprehensive psychological assessments, trauma assessments, treatment and consultation, crisis intervention and suicide assessment, brief and long term individual psychotherapy, comprehensive treatment planning with a multidisciplinary team, and co-facilitation of psychotherapy groups (for example, Trauma-Focused CBT). Interns will participate in a variety of trainings, and will be expected to present training themselves. Among the variety of psychiatric conditions present in this population are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Chemical Dependency, Conduct Disorder, Psychotic Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, impulse control difficulties, organic issues, and various Personality Disorders.

Interns will have the opportunity to participate in discussions of cases and issues encountered in an inpatient psychiatric hospital and a community clinic, which offers longer-term psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and their families.


Florina Yuger, Ph.D. - Site Training Director

George Rosenfell, Ph.D. - Supervisor

Lynn Thull, Ph.D. - Supervisor