Doctoral Internship Training Program in Health Service Psychology

The Doctoral Internship Training Program in Health Service Psychology provides broad training in the professional practice of psychology within the context of a large community mental health center setting. Within the concentration of either Adult/Older Adult or Child/Family populations, the program's aims include preparing interns to: 1) Demonstrate intermediate to advanced professional competence in working with adults with severe, persistent mental illness OR children with serious emotional disturbance and their families and 2) Demonstrate intermediate to advanced professional competence in a community mental health setting.

The program offers a wide range of training opportunities designed to facilitate interns' growth from students into competent, well-rounded psychologists who can:

  • Help clients with severe mental and/or persistent illness to improve their quality of life through effective diagnosis, assessment, intervention, and advocacy

  • Provide outreach services to the larger community

  • Be sensitive to issues of cultural/ethnic diversity

  • Apply their knowledge of research and of scientific principles to clinical practice, quality assurance, and program development/evaluation

  • Understand the role of psychologists in an interdisciplinary agency and work effectively as team members

  • Know and apply ethical principles, laws and regulations, and practice standards and guidelines in their professional practice

  • Advocate for appropriate changes in the mental health field

The program is shaped by the service needs and concerns of a diverse population of adults, children, and families with severe mental health disorders.  The program’s training model is practitioner-oriented, with a greater emphasis on science than traditional practitioner-scholar models. As such, interns are trained to render services informed by the scientific bases of the profession, as well as current practical and research knowledge relevant to our population.

Administrative policies and procedures for the internship program are reviewed with interns at the time of orientation, and are available to applicants and the general public upon request.

The Doctoral Internship Training Program in Health Service Psychology is currently accredited by the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Accreditation (CoA), having been awarded a 7-year accreditation in 2016.

Questions related to this program's accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC  20002 or (202) 336-5979.

This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.

Click here to download the 2019-2020 brochure.  (May take a few seconds to load)

Application Information

  • Applications for the 2019-2020 training year are due by Monday, November 5, 2018 at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time).

  • Didi Hirsch is a member of APPIC and follows the APPIC guidelines for internship selection, including use of the APPIC Uniform Application (AAPI) online and the Internship Match Program. This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. 

  • The online application form is available via the APPIC website:

  • Instructions and forms to register for the Internship Match can be obtained via the National Matching Service (NMS) website:


The following steps should be taken to apply to the internship program:

  1. Complete the AAPI Online at and designate Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.

  2. Important: In your cover letter, please be sure to specify a) Your reasons for applying to Didi Hirsch and b) How your previous experience and/or interests match our training program and agency mission. Please also identify whether you are applying for the Adult/Older Adult (APPIC Program Code 111613) or Child/Family (APPIC Program Code 111612) Track. You may choose only one Track.

  3. APPIC Standardized Reference Forms from at least three sources familiar with your clinical work. References should reflect your most recent work, if possible.

  4. We will not be requesting any supplemental materials at the time of application. However, if you are invited for an interview we ask that you provide a de-identified psychological testing report.

Applicants will be notified of their interview status by email no later than December 3, 2018 at 5pm PST.  All applicants receiving an interview will also be invited to attend one of two Open Houses offered in January (either January 4th, 2019 or January 11th, 2019). Interviews will be scheduled for the day of the Open House or another day that week, with priority for same-day interviews given to applicants traveling from out of town.  While not technically required, Open House attendance and on-site interview is strongly encouraged. Telephone interviews are allowable. Applicants who cannot be reached by email should indicate in their cover letters how they wish to be contacted. 

 Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data



*Note: Programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.


Applicant Requirements:

  • Only applicants from APA or CPA-accredited programs in Clinical Psychology will be considered.

  • Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, or be able to obtain an F-1 Visa and authorization to participate in Curricular Practicum Training from their university. Didi Hirsch does not sponsor students for visas. Please note that all applicants must have a valid US Social Security Number.

  • Applicants must have completed ALL coursework by the start of internship.

  • Applicants must have a minimum of three years pre-internship training and 1000 practicum hours (inclusive of direct service, supervision, and support activities) before the application deadline. Of these hours, 500 must be in direct service (assessment and intervention) to clients.

  • Applicants must have some experience in psychological testing by the start of internship.

  • Applicants must be able to pass a background check. While prior legal history does not automatically exclude an applicant from training at Didi Hirsch, final decisions regarding clearance are made at the level of our Human Resources Department and take into account multiple factors (i.e., nature of the conviction(s) relative to essential intern functions, timeframe in which the offense occurred, mitigating circumstances). Applicants who are concerned about possible issues are encouraged to contact the program early in the application process. 

Additionally, desirable applicants will have experience in empirically supported treatments and in community mental health settings and/or with similar clinical populations.


For questions please contact:

Kalani Makanui, Ph.D., Director of Psychology Training