Research Seminars: A Special San Francisco Feature
All students enroll in a research seminar during their first year and continue for at least four years, or until they complete a dissertation proposal. This intimate, small-group setting, with groups comprised of students in all years of the program, gives students a chance to work with faculty members on areas of shared interest and faculty expertise.
Our program, which is infused with social justice concerns, educates students both to conduct a broad range of psychological research and to become broadly trained practitioners. We provide training for clinical psychologists in all aspects of conducting psychological research such that they are capable of being productive scholars who contribute to the body of psychological literature. We provide students with the knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes necessary to evaluate psychological functioning and provide effective interventions with diverse clients across a range of settings. We infuse multicultural perspectives throughout our curriculum, offer courses focusing on diverse populations, and provide clinical practica (field placements) that offer exposure to a range of client populations.
The program is designed to address all five levels of the biopsychosocial model of human functioning: biological, psychological, familial, community, and sociocultural. We encourage students to develop a personal integration of cognitive-behavioral, family systems, multicultural, and contemporary psychodynamic approaches. Because of the extensive clinical course offerings at CSPP-San Francisco, students are able to develop in-depth expertise in one or more of these orientations by selecting sections of required courses, elective courses, clinical practica (field placements), and supervisors that emphasize a specific theoretical orientation in therapy.
Professional Clinical Training
Students begin their professional clinical training in their second year in community mental health centers, clinics, inpatient mental health facilities, medical settings, specialized service centers, rehabilitation programs, residential or day programs, forensic/ correctional facilities, and educational programs. In their third year and often fourth year, students continue clinical training or a clinical research practicum experiences. Students typically receive a minimum of 1600 hours of clinical training prior to internship.
The Bay Area offers an enormous range of training opportunities, in service of individuals representing diverse populations. Students have conducted field placements in many diverse agencies, including: Veteran's Affairs, Kaiser Permanente, and community mental health clinics.
In addition to clinical and teaching practica, students are involved in research practica that are coordinated by our core faculty. Over the course of four years, via two student-led and student-designed research projects students learn how to apply skills they have learned in statistics and research design to actual research projects. These projects involve faculty expertise primarily in the areas of multicultural and community psychology, LGBT psychology, gender studies, program evaluation, social justice, trauma, stress and resilience, and child and family development.
Students often work with researchers in collaborative institutions, including: University of California San Francisco, Veteran's Administration, Stanford University, and San Francisco Department of Public Health.
As a result of collaborative work in research practicum and methods courses, students and faculty have presentations at several professional conferences, including the meetings and annual conventions of the following professional associations:
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Women in Psychology
- National Council of School and Programs of Professional Psychology
- Western Psychological Association
- National Multicultural Summit
- Association for the Advancement of Behavioral Therapy
- California Psychological Association