Clinical Training and Field Placement
Clinical training the CIIS PsyD program is fully integrated with the academic work. After completing qualifying first-year courses and satisfactory faculty evaluation, each student gains two to three years of practicum experience in community agencies.
The typical supervised practicum experience requires about 20 hours a week at the training site. A minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision by a licensed psychologist, group supervision, and didactic trainings are offered at these off-campus sites.
At the same time, students complete companion proseminar courses at CIIS with a core faculty member; “prosems” support integration of theory, research, and clinical materials from classroom learning with the real world experience of psychotherapy in clinical settings. Prosem is the heart of clinical training in the PsyD program. Here students receive intensive, individually focused training and mentorship in small yearlong groups.
The PsyD Program maintains relationships with more than two dozen agencies in the wider San Francisco Bay areas where second and third year students may apply for practicum training. Students apply to sites that match their interests and skill level; they are urged to obtain differing training experiences.
Students learn about available practicum opportunities by perusing a searchable database that contains information about client populations, therapeutic modalities, location, and other aspects of the training offered.
The following is a sampling of sites where PsyD practicum trainees have been placed in recent years:
- Psychological Services Center at CIIS
- Bay Area Addiction and Treatment Center
- Institute on Aging
- Richmond Area Multi Service
- Native American Health Center
- Portia Bell Hume Center
- Youth and Family Enrichment Services
- Haight Ashbury Psychological Services
- Instituto Familiar de la Raza
- Marina Counseling Center
- S.F. Child Abuse Prevention
- Alameda Family Services
- Berkeley Mental Health
- Ann Martin Center
- Chinatown Child Development Center
- Ohlhoff Recovery Programs
- Learning Services of Northern California
- Mission Integrated Services Center
- San Mateo Country Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
- Oakes Children's Center
- San Mateo County Mental Health
- Southeast Child and Family Center
- Tenderloin Outpatient Clinic
- UC Davis CAARE
- UCSF Infant-Parent Program
- UCSF Alliance Health Project
When all required coursework and practica have been completed, students may begin the clinical internship at an approved training site. Specific sites are listed on websites of the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC) and the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).
The internship may be one year of full-time or two years of half-time work and must be completed within two and a half years from the beginning date. Trainees are placed in supervised professional work in different service settings located in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the United States.
In the settings, students deepen their skills in offering a variety of psychological services including treatment planning and psychotherapy, psychological assessment, case consultation, and supervision, often working in multidisciplinary teams, across the spectrum of psychopathologies as they are presented in diverse populations.
Support for the process of selecting, applying for, and completing practicum and internship experiences is offered by the PsyD Director of Clinical Training and Field Placement Specialist.
The program maintains a database of training sites, describing their staff, client population, and therapeutic modalities. Students choose training sites based on their own goals and interests, with the assistance of the PsyD Placement Team.
The mission of the PsyD Program is to train psychology practictioners rather than researchers. However, all PsyD graduate will have mastered research skills sufficient to produce a clinical dissertation and adequate to prepare them to be proficient consumers of psychological science.
To that end, research training in the PsyD curriculum is offered in the research sequence. The sequence is cumulative, beginning with coursework in statistics, research design, and skill-building in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
Research training in the PsyD program is notable in the breadth of topics chosen by students, including, for example, treatment outcome studies, applied program evaluation studies, studies of underserved populations, and studies of psychospiritual issues, as well as the range of research methodologies employed.