Psychology Internship Program Overview
The Psychology Internship Program at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) provides education and training to advanced graduate students in preparation for practice in professional psychology. The broad-based training approach exposes interns to the existing and developing body of knowledge in psychology and provides opportunities for a wide range of clinical experiences with a diverse group of patients. The internship selects ten interns per year.
The Psychology Internship Program at CPMC uses the practitioner-scholar model and emphasizes the mutual influence of science and practice. The program values the development of reflective abilities and multiple ways of knowing in the practice of psychology and it stresses the importance of theory and research to influence clinical interventions (Rodolfa et al, 2005). In turn, the science of psychology is informed by the experience of clinicians working with patient. Intensive scholarship is required of interns in the form of didactic classes, extensive reading requirements, and intensive supervision. The program focuses on integrating and applying foundational knowledge to the clinical endeavor.
The mission of the CPMC Psychology Internship Program is to enable our interns to provide high quality mental health services in a compassionate and respectful environment that is both supported and stimulated by education and research. We serve a culturally diverse patient population in the city of San Francisco and are committed to ensuring that our training program fosters clinicians who are knowledgeable about and sensitive to cultural differences in the assessment and treatment of their patients. Our training program is grounded in psychodynamic theory, and is also strongly influenced by the science of the medical model in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
We aspire to provide our interns with an intensive training experience and to expose them to a variety of treatment modalities while practicing in an urban medical setting. A cornerstone of our program is enabling our interns to successfully integrate theory acquired through scholarly inquiry and technique in their clinical work with patients. We also value, and strongly promote, effective teamwork and regularly integrate training with our medical colleagues in order to ensure that all aspects of the bio/psycho/social model are considered in the assessment, diagnosis, and case formulation of patients. Psychology interns at CPMC train alongside advanced psychiatry residents, thus engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration in the comprehensive treatment of patients. Finally, supervision is considered a foundation of our training program. Interns are exposed to multiple supervisors in order to foster in-depth understanding of patients and to further the interns’ personal and professional growth.
The CPMC Psychology Internship Program has three primary goals that apply to all interns in the training program. These goals are consistent with the foundational and functional domains of the APA competency benchmarks (APA, 2011):
Goal #1: Professionalism and Relational Effectiveness – Interns will display a professional and ethical identity, and will relate with individuals with whom they work, in a manner that reflects the values and attitudes of a competent and ethical professional psychologist.
Objectives for Goal #1
1.1 Professionalism: The intern's behavior and comportment will consistently reflect the values and attitudes of the psychology and professional psychologist.
1.2 Individual and Cultural Diversity: The intern will consistently demonstrate awareness, sensitivity, and skills in the working with diverse individuals who represent various racial, ethnic, and personal backgrounds.
1.3 Ethical Standards: The intern will consistently demonstrate both knowledge and application of ethical concepts and legal issues as they pertain to the practice of psychology.
1.4 Reflective Self Practice:The intern will practice with personal and professional self-awareness and reflection, awareness of competencies and areas for growth and with appropriate self-care.
1.5 Relational Effectiveness: The intern will develop and maintain defective professional relationships with the individuals, groups and/or communities.
Goal # 2: Integration of Theory and Clinical Practice in Psychology-Interns will demonstrate the ability to incorporate the scholarly body of knowledge in psychology including complex theories of mind as well as evidence based findings and effectively integrate these theories into their various professional activities including psychotherapy, assessment and consultation.
Objectives for Goal #2
2.1: Scholarly Review The intern will demonstrate the ability to review scholarly literature and thoughtfully integrate this knowledge in the context of patient factors.
2.2: Assessment and Diagnosis: The intern will demonstrate proficiency in the assessment and diagnosis of the problems, capabilities and issues associated with patients.
2.3: Delivery of Services: The intern will effectively use interventions designed to alleviate suffering and to promote health and well-being of patients.
2.4 Supervision: The intern will recognize the role and function of supervision and training in professional development.
2.5 Consultation:The intern will demonstrate the ability to provide expert guidance or professional assistance in response to client's needs or goals.
Goal # 3: Science and Interdisciplinary Treatment Systems – Interns will demonstrate a respect for scientifically derived knowledge and treatment methods, and will effectively identify when interdisciplinary collaboration will benefit their patients, and collaborate accordingly.
Objectives for Goal #3
The CPMC Psychology Internship Program requires a 12-month, full-time 2,000 hour commitment from the interns.
Although the distribution of hours is somewhat different for each training track, a typical weekly schedule is as follows:
3.1: Science: The intern is able to understand and apply key elements of the scientific foundations of the field of psychology as it relates to clinical work,
3.2 Interdisciplinary Systems: The intern will demonstrate knowledge of key issues and concepts in related disciplines and will demonstrate effectiveness in functioning in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts.
- 14 hours of face-to-face psychotherapy (individual, couples, group, family)
- 2 hours intake/assessment
- 2 hours consultation / case management
Training and Supervision:
- 4 hours of individual supervision
- 1-3 hours of group supervision
- 9 hour training seminars (lectures, didactics, grand rounds)
- 2 hours preparation for supervision and training (process notes, scientific literature review, readings for classes, preparation for presentations and case write-ups)
- 3 hours administrative paperwork
- 1 hour staff/administrative meetings
- 1 hour other (rounds, meetings, projects)
CPMC is a fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The next site visit is in 2022. CPMC is also an AAPPIC member.
Questions related to the program's accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation at:
The Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st St. NE
Washington DC, 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Intern Stipends/Financial Support
The intern stipend is $25,000. Payroll checks are issued every other week and arrangements may be made for direct deposit to a bank.
Medical and Dental Benefits
At this time, the intern position does not come with medical or dental benefits.
Paid Time Off
Interns receive two weeks (80 hours) of paid time off during their internship year. This includes a combination of vacation and sick time.
Interns are given one week of professional leave during the internship year. This includes time off for attendance at conferences or seminars, dissertation release time, time off for interviewing at post doctoral residency sites, or other approved educational purposes.
The following holidays are observed: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (and the Friday after), Christmas
About California Pacific Medical Center
California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) is one of the largest private, not-for-profit, academic medical centers in California and is an affiliate of Sutter Health. Sutter Health affiliated doctors and hospitals serve more than 100 communities in Northern California including the San Francisco Bay Area. CPMC’s mission is to serve the community by providing high quality, cost-effective health care services in a compassionate and respectful environment, which is supported and stimulated by education and research.
The vision of the hospital is to be a leader in the transformation of health care to achieve the highest levels of quality, access and affordability. The core values include excellence and quality in the delivery of services to patients, innovation in providing care to patients, affordability of care, teamwork, and honesty and integrity.
As stated above in the mission statement, CPMC is committed to high quality education. As a private, multi-campus tertiary teaching hospital, CPMC offers a unique and rewarding educational experience through several medical education programs. The Department of Psychiatry supports over thirty residents, psychology interns and medical students per year to further the hospital’s mission of educating the next generation of health professionals.
Meeting the health care needs of all of CPMC’s community members is the cornerstone of CPMC’s mission. In addition to their other medical services, the Community Health Programs at CPMC provide access to those in the community who cannot afford health care and support programs and services for those in financial need. CPMC recently (2011) offered a community benefit plan of $1.1 billion to provide health care services to the poor and uninsured. These programs respond to public health needs while generating low or negative financial return with the aim of improving overall community health. The Psychology Internship Program supports this effort by providing low fee or pro bono services to individuals in need of mental health services.