Please note that we are fully-affiliated with Alliant International University, and as such, we only accept applications from CSPP’s doctoral programs accredited through the American Psychological Association.

Training Model

The Bay Area Psychological Services Center adheres to a Practitioner-Scholar model of pre-doctoral internship training, which is full-time in duration and includes a minimum of 2,000 hours of training over a 12-month period. The training program utilizes evidenced-based assessment and intervention protocols, and provides interns with a broad range of experiences. Internships increase in depth and complexity as the program year progresses, supporting interns to attain the competencies that are foundational to professional development and to independent practice. Clinical training focuses upon Research; Ethical and Legal Standards; Individual and Cultural Diversity; Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors; Communication and Interpersonal Skills; Assessment; Intervention; Supervision; and Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills.

The program is designed to develop professional psychologists who provide the highest quality care, and who are life-long learners capable of engaging in ongoing education, scientific inquiry and scholarly endeavors.

The Bay Area PSC is dedicated to the following training aims:

  • To provide high quality training that adheres to the Practitioner-Scholar Model.
  • To develop practitioners who are generalists, and who can apply knowledge based on various theoretical orientations and a range of evidence-informed and evidence-based psychological interventions.
  • To develop practitioners who accurately select, administer, score, and interpret multiple psychological assessment tools; who are able to synthesize assessment findings into well-integrated reports; and who are able to use assessment findings in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
  • To develop practitioners who integrate research and theory in clinical practice.
  • To develop practitioners who recognize the importance of diversity and individual differences, and who are aware of the effects of their own cultural and ethnic backgrounds in clinical practice.
  • To develop practitioners who know and use ethical principles as a guide for professional practice, research, self-evaluation and professional growth.
  • To develop practitioners who are knowledgeable about one or more models of supervision and consultation and who, in their professional work, are able to make use of and to provide supervision and consultation to different constituencies, e.g., professionals, paraprofessionals, clients.
  • To develop practitioners who combine an awareness of personal and professional strengths and limitations with a commitment to respect and collaborate with others; an openness to new ideas; and a dedication to life-long learning.

The following table details the competencies and elements that are integral to the PSC training model and which are based on the Standards of Accreditation put forth by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

Competency #1:  RESEARCH
Elements Expected: 1a. Demonstrate the substantially independent ability to critically evaluate and disseminate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentation, publications) at the local (including the host institution), regional, or national level.
1b. Thoughtfully and intentionally evaluate progress of own activities and use this information to improve own effectiveness.
Competency #2:  ETHICAL AND LEGAL STANDARDS
Elements Expected: 2a. Demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with the current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, as well as additional relevant professional standards and guidelines.
2b. Demonstrate knowledge of and compliance with relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels.
2c. Recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise, and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
2d. Conduct self in an ethical manner in all professional activities.
2e. Demonstrate awareness of the obligation to confront peers and/or organizations regarding ethical problems or issues and to deal proactively with conflict when addressing professional behavior with others.
2f. Seek consultation regarding complex ethical and legal dilemmas as appropriate.
Competency #3:  INDIVIDUAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Elements Expected: 3a. Demonstrate an understanding of how own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect understanding and interactions with people different from self.
3b. Demonstrate knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
3c. Demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and
other professional activities), including the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
3d. Demonstrate the ability to independently apply their knowledge and approach in working effectively with the range of diverse individuals and groups encountered
during internship.
3e. Seek consultation regarding addressing individual and cultural diversity as needed.
3f. Use culturally-relevant best practices.
Competency #4:  PROFESSIONAL VALUES, ATTITUDES, AND BEHAVIORS
Elements Expected: 4a. Exhibit professional deportment, professional identity,accountability, a commitment to lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
4b. Engage in self-reflection regarding personal and professional functioning.
4c. Engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
4d. Actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
4e. Respond professionally and with progressive degrees of independence in increasingly complex situations.
4f. Demonstrate frequent congruence between own and others’ assessment and seeks to resolve incongruities.
4g. Consistently recognize and address own problems, minimizing interference with competent professional functioning.
Competency #5:  Skills COMMUNICATION AND INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
Elements Expected: 5a. Develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues,communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
5b. Produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated.
5c. Demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
5d. Demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.
Competency #6:  ASSESSMENT
Elements Expected: 6a. Select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics.
6b. Collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
6c. Interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations,
while guarding against decision-making biases, distinguishing the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
6d. Communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment.
6e. Incorporate discussion of strengths and limitations of assessment measures, as appropriate.
Competency #7:  INTERVENTION
Elements Expected: 7a. Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
7b. Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
7c. Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
7d. Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
7e. Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
7f. Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.
7g. Present cases in a manner that documents application of evidence-based practice.

 

Competency #8: SUPERVISION
Elements Expected: Apply supervision knowledge in direct or simulated practice with psychology trainees, or other health professionals. Examples of direct or simulated practice examples of supervision include, but are not limited to, role-played  supervision with others, and peer supervision with other trainees. Assessed through:
8a. Mentor and monitor trainees and others in the development of competence and skill in professional practice and the effective evaluation of those skills.
8b. Act as role model and maintain responsibility for the activities overseen.
8c. Demonstrate knowledge of limits of competency to supervise (assesses metacompetency).
8d. Demonstrate integration of diversity and multiple identity aspects in conceptualization of supervision process with all participants (clients, supervisee, supervisor).
Competency #9:  CONSULTATION AND INTERPROFESSIONAL/INTERDISCIPLINARY SKILLS
Elements Expected: 9a. Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
9b. Demonstrate an ability to effectively engage in consultation with individuals and their families other health care professionals, inter-professional groups, or
systems related to health and behavior.
9c. Demonstrate intentional collaboration with other individuals or groups to address a problem.
9d. Seek or share knowledge, or promote effectiveness in professional activities.

The PSC adheres to the following training principles:

  • Initial caseload assignments are consistent with the intern’s developmental level
  • Intensive supervision of case activity is provided
  • Each student is supported to administrator, score, and interpret myriad assessment instruments. (Initially, the intern’s administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing will occur under close supervision by either the primary supervisor or other assigned supervisors.  Once a reasonable level of competency is established, the interns work more independently but continue to be supervised throughout the rotation)
  • Interns act as co-consultants with a supervisor. As competence increases, interns consult independently
  • Interns are provided time to participate in weekly didactic training and monthly seminars that include case conferences and presentations on clinical and professional issues.  Additionally, the clinic provides regular in-service educational opportunities (available to all interns), and includes interns in administrative meetings, case conferences, and intake conferences.  Meetings where interns share information among themselves or consult with other psychologists are held to offer additional forums for learning and professional development
  • Interns receive at least 2 hours of individual supervision and 2 hours of group supervision per week
  • Interns present journal articles after case presentations, and facilitate discussions that relate the significance of the article to practicing psychologists (Journal articles must be pre-approved by the intern’s supervisor and, have been published in a reputable journal within the last two-years).

Direct Service

  • Interns are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of approximately 17 school-based individual clients. Interns are expected to provide case management, crisis intervention, family therapy, and interdisciplinary consultation for their clients as needed. In order to ensure exposure to a diversity of clients, interns’ caseloads are carefully selected and monitored.
  • Interns are responsible for conducting one weekly therapy group with children and adolescents. Groups focus on a topic or theme which is selected by the group leader in conjunction with the supervisor. Topics include, but are not limited to, anger management, social skills development, independent living skills, and parenting skills. Groups may be structured and on a particular topic, psychoeducational, or process oriented. Additionally, interns may offer suggestions for group topics or develop groups for the PSC or community partners as part of an elective experience.
  • Interns complete a minimum of three psychodiagnostic batteries during the training year. These batteries are designed to address the referral question and may include tests of cognitive, personality, perceptual, and/or academic functioning. The clients assessed are representative of the various populations of the greater Bay Area community. The referral questions range from differentiating diagnoses to recommendations for treatment planning. Interns receive supervision from the PSC’s intern testing supervisor. A full range of tests is available to interns. Tests are scored by hand, as well as by computer scoring programs. Interns are expected to provide feedback to clients and other professionals through written reports and verbal feedback.

Location of Services

  • Approximately 80% of direct service hours are provided at school sites and approximately 20% are provided at the PSC.


Supervision

  • Interns receive a minimum of two (2) hours of regularly scheduled supervision from their supervisor(s) per week. All supervisors are licensed psychologists. The primary supervisor monitors the intern’s caseload, supports the development of clinical skills, promotes the intern’s professional growth, and evaluates intern’s progress through frequent and actionable feedback. At the beginning of the internship, the supervisor and intern work together to develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), which reflects an assessment of the intern’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the intern’s goals and objectives for the internship year.The name of the primary supervisor will be recorded on the ILP. The original ILP will be retained by the PSC and a copy will be provided to the intern.In general, the individual assigned as the intern’s primary supervisor remains consistent through the entirety of the program year. In the event that circumstances require a change in the primary supervisor, the intern and the new primary supervisor will review the intern’s ILP, make any corrections/additions (if warranted), and sign and date the updated copy. The updated original will be retained by the PSC and a copy will be provided to the intern.
  • Each intern receives a minimum of 1.0 hour of group supervision per week. As is the case with individual supervision, a licensed clinical psychologist provides group supervision. The objectives of group supervision are to provide interns with opportunities to apply psychological theory and research, to review case conceptualization, to develop skills for offering and receiving feedback, and to support intern professional development.
  • Supervision of psychological assessment is provided by the PSC’s assessment supervisor. Interns receive a minimum of 1.5 hours of group assessment supervision per week. Interns also receive individual assessment supervision as needed.

Other Supervision

Interns attend a school-based team meeting 1.5 hours per week. This team meeting addresses the nature of multidisciplinary work and provides resources and tools for interns to use at their school sites. Discussion focuses on relevant clinical and program matters specific to each setting.

Throughout the year, students gain experience in supervision. The interns are introduced to supervision starting with readings that are disseminated during orientation. In the fall they are scheduled for a didactic on supervision that is designed to orient them to the basics of supervision and building on any knowledge they may have learned in school. In December or early January they have a second didactic on supervision meant to orient them to supervisory styles and orientations. In January, interns begin their rotation in supervision of supervision with the first few weeks scheduled to meet with their Supervision of Supervisors group. By mid January, interns are matched with their supervisees and determine supervision schedules. Between January and May interns meet weekly (1 hour) with their supervisees to provide secondary supervision, and weekly with their group (1 hour) to discuss their supervisory experience. Discussion in this group includes promoting a safe environment for the supervisee to speak openly, identifying and tracking the supervisee’s concerns about a case, making recommendations to a supervisee about interventions, understanding the supervisor/supervisee relationship, and understanding the distinction between supervision and psychotherapy. Tapes of supervision sessions are reviewed in this supervision group. In this group, interns have the opportunity to discuss their experience of being a supervisor. Relevant peer-reviewed articles that address various aspects of the supervisory process are also discussed.

Didactic Training

The PSC’s extensive Didactic Training Program is designed to reinforce applied training, facilitate skill development, support peer interaction, and offer training in specific specialty areas.  The content, coordination, and scheduling is determined by the Internship Training Director and training committee and is responsive to feedback from agency staff and interns.

The PSC internship has the following training components:

Weekly Didactic Training: All interns attend a three-hour, weekly didactic training offering interns the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of evidenced-based practices and contemporary issues from experts and specialists serving in the Bay Area.

Competency Development: Didactic trainings at the beginning of the year focus on the core competencies that are emphasized by the training program (i.e., research; ethical and legal standards; individual and cultural diversity; professional values, attitudes, and behaviors; communication and interpersonal skills; assessment; intervention; supervision; and consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills).  More advanced topics related to competencies are emphasized as the year progresses.

Evidenced-Based Practices and Contemporary Issues:  During the internship year, students receive didactics in evidence-based practices related to treatment approaches (e.g. psychodynamic theory, CBT, group therapy) and working with specific populations (e.g. children, adolescents, diversity factors, complex trauma, etc.).   Issues related to clinical practice, such as suicide assessment and working with defiant patients, are also discussed.

Intern Case Presentations: Each intern is expected to give a case presentation during his or her internship year.  The PSC will provide interns with specific guidelines to structure their presentations. Interns are expected to present material in an organized, professional manner and to articulate their case conceptualization, treatment rationale, and diagnoses in a clear, concise format referring to relevant research.  Interns are also expected to address issues related to diversity and to discuss any relevant ethical and/or professional issues.  Interns are reviewed by their peers and supervisor(s) and given feedback about their presentations.

Professional/Journal Presentations:  In accordance with the practitioner-scholar model, the PSC expects interns to be knowledgeable about the current research and latest developing trends in the field of psychology. Interns are expected to give two to three professional presentations throughout the year.  These may include the presentation of relevant journal articles to accompany a formal case conceptualization and to facilitate discussion of the research methodology utilized, exploring both its strengths and weaknesses.  Alternatively, the presentation could be with a community partner or at a conference, with the parameters to be discussed with the Training Director.  A supervising psychologist will be available to help facilitate the discussion and serve as a resource. Topics must be preapproved by the intern’s supervisor and/or Internship Director and all research presented should have been published in a reputable journal within the previous two to five years.

Other Training Opportunities

Throughout the year, interns will have the opportunity to gain skills related to evaluating program, program development, and gathering data related to strengthening program policies and procedures. Specific research topics will be identified by the Program Director and students will have the opportunity to work closely with both the Internship Training Director and PSC Director on the research.

Interns participate in several training experiences that are intended to familiarize them with the administration and management aspects of mental health service delivery. QRT meets to review current client charts in order to monitor internal consistency of clinical care and to insure compliance with the quality of care and documentation that is expected by the PSC funding sources. Participation in this committee allows interns to familiarize themselves with quality control management.