The Doctoral Internship Training Program in Health Service Psychology is a full-time, 12-month training experience that provides interns with broad training in the professional practice of psychology in the context of a large community mental health center setting.
Within the concentration of either Adult/Older Adult or Child/Family populations, the Program Aims include preparing interns to:
- Demonstrate intermediate to advanced professional competence in working with adults with severe, persistent mental illness OR children with serious emotional disturbance and their families;
- Demonstrate intermediate to advanced professional competence in a community mental health setting.
To achieve these Aims, 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.
- Apply knowledge of ethical principles, laws, 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.
The Doctoral Internship 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 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.
Date Program Tables are Updated: June 22, 2020
|Briefly describe in narrative form important information to assist potential applicants in assessing their likely fit with your program. This description must be consistent with the program’s policies on intern selection and practicum and academic preparation requirements:|
|To be eligible for internship at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, applicants must provide verification of enrollment in an APA-accredited or CPA-accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology. Applicants must verify supervised professional experience (at the practicum level totaling at least 500 direct service hours) that is consistent with the training aims and competencies of the internship, and commensurate experience within the desired track. Prior experience conducting psychological assessment is required.|
|Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? If Yes, indicate how many:|
|Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours||Yes||400 (hours)|
|Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours||Yes||100 (hours)|
|Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:|
|Applicants must hold U.S. Citizenship (or Permanent Resident status), or obtain an F-1 Visa and Social Security Number and university authorization to attend internship. Applicants must have a minimum of 3 years of pre-internship graduate training, and have accrued at least 1,000 practicum hours (500 of which should be direct service). Applicants must have at least some experience with psychological assessment within the desired track to be considered. Applicants must have completed all coursework by the start of the internship. Applicants must also be able to pass a background check to the standard of our agency HR Division prior to hire (our agency follows the regulations set forth in the California Fair Chance Act). Prior experience with EBPs is highly desirable.|
Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year*
|Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Interns||$31,200|
|Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Interns||N/A|
|Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?||Yes|
If access to medical insurance is provided:
|Trainee Contribution to Cost Required?||Yes|
|Coverage of Family Member(s) Available?||No|
|Coverage of Legally Married Partner Available?||No|
|Coverage of Domestic Partner Available?||No|
|Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (PTO and/or Vacation)||80 Hours|
|Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave||48 Hours|
|In the Event of Medical Conditions and/or Family Needs that Require Extended Leave, Does the Program Allow Reasonable Unpaid Leave to Interns/Residents in Excess of Personal Time Off and Sick Leave?||Yes|
|Other Benefits (Please Describe):||40 Hours of Professional Leave Time (for Approved Activities; Internship Director Approval Required)|
*Note: Programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.
|Initial Post-Internship Positions|
|(Provide an Aggregated Tally for the Preceding 3 Cohorts)|
|Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts||12|
|Total # of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree||1|
|Community mental health center||0||4|
|Federally qualified health center||0||0|
|Independent primary care facility/clinic||0||0|
|University counseling center||0||0|
|Veterans Affairs medical center||1||0|
|Military health center||0||0|
|Academic health center||0||0|
|Other medical center or hospital||1||0|
|Community college or other teaching setting||0||0|
|Independent research institution||0||0|
|Independent practice setting||0||5|
|Not currently employed||0||0|
|Changed to another field||0||0|
|Note: “PD” = Post-doctoral residency position; “EP” = Employed Position.|
- Openings. Accepts 4 interns (2 Child/Family Track; 2 Adult/Older Adult Track).
- Time commitment. This full-time (40 hours/week), 12-month program provides 2,000 hours of training. The 2021-2022 Internship training year will run from Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 through Wednesday, August 31st, 2022.
- Stipend. A $31,200 stipend plus medical and dental benefits for intern only; $2,000 bilingual Spanish supplement.
- Time off. Interns are given 10 vacation days, 10 agency holidays, 6 sick days, up to 5 professional leave days.
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.
- Applications for the 2020-2021 training year are due by Monday, November 2nd, 2020 at 11:59 pm (PST).
- 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. The online application form is available via the APPIC website: www.appic.org. Instructions and forms to register for the Internship Match can be obtained via the National Matching Service (NMS) website: www.natmatch.com/psychint.
- The following steps should be taken to apply to the internship program:
- Complete the AAPI Online at www.appic.org and designate Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
- 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.
- 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 7th, 2020 at 5pm PST.
- All applicants receiving an interview will also be invited to attend an Open House, to be held in January of 2021.
- Applicants who cannot be reached by email should indicate in their cover letters how they wish to be contacted.
- PLEASE NOTE: Due to State of California Safer at Home guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as possible site closures during the Winter of 2020/2021 due to COVID-19, our site will likely be conducted Open Houses and Interviews virtually for the 2021-2022 Internship application cycle. These Open Houses and virtual interviews will occur between January 4th, 2021 and January 22nd, 2021. Further details will be sent at the time of interview offer.
- Only applicants from APA or CPA-accredited programs in Clinical Psychology will be considered.
- Applicants must be U.S. Citizens (or Permanent Residents), 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, at least 500 must be in direct service (assessment and intervention) to clients.
- Applicants must have at least 100 hours of experience in psychological testing at the time of application.
- Additionally, desirable applicants will have experience in empirically supported treatments and in community mental health settings and/or with similar clinical populations.
- Applicants must be willing to take and able to pass a background check during pre-employment. 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 are determined in accordance with the California Fair Chance Act (see https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/criminalhistoryinfoinemploymentfaqs/ for further details). In accordance with this law, final employment decisions will include an individualized assessment of prior conviction history, 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).
The Adult/Older Adult Track is housed in Didi Hirsch’s Inglewood Adult Services program, which provides a continuum of outpatient, field-capable, and intensive services to a multi-ethnic population of adults with severe and persistent mental illness. The program is rooted in the Recovery Model, with an emphasis on psychosocial rehabilitation to assist clients in maximizing their level of functioning in the community. Common diagnoses seen in the program include schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, and severe depression and anxiety, which lead to substantial impairment in life functioning. Co-occurring personality disorders and/or substance use are also common. Furthermore, a large percentage of our clients report significant trauma histories spanning back to childhood. Current or past histories of homelessness, food insecurity, chronic medical illness, and involvement with the legal system are also frequently part of the clinical picture.
Interns in the Adult/Older Adult Track have the opportunity to provide individual and group therapy, diagnostic intake, psychological assessment, interdisciplinary consultation, and case management services to a range of adults, including transition-age youth (16-25) and older adults (65+). Interns work with clients from across the service spectrum, with increasingly challenging and complex cases assigned as the year progresses. As part of this, interns have the opportunity to conduct field work and participate in crisis intervention (i.e., involuntary hospitalizations) with licensed clinical staff. They may also choose to participate in a specialty program (i.e., CalWORKS) or a specific clinical sub-team (i.e., TAY, Older Adult), based on training goals and professional interests.
The Child/Family track is housed in Didi Hirsch’s Inglewood Child & Family Services program, which provides outpatient and school-based services to a multi-ethnic population of children and adolescents (ages birth to 18) with severe emotional disturbance, along with their families/caregivers. The program strives to assist clients and families in attaining their highest possible level of functioning by altering dysfunctional behaviors, promoting adaptive coping, enhancing communication and problem-solving skills, and maintaining appropriate boundaries within the family system. Emphasis is placed on early intervention, with a goal of promoting lifelong mental health/wellness through the fostering of healthier developmental trajectories.
Common diagnoses seen in the program include depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, ADHD, and other disruptive behavior disorders, which lead to substantial impairment in life and/or family functioning. Early-onset psychosis, bipolar disorder, and co-occurring pervasive developmental disorders are also seen regularly among this population. Furthermore, a majority of clients have experienced significant traumas, including physical/sexual/emotional abuse, neglect, loss of caregiving figures, and community violence. Co-occurring substance use and/or other forms of maladaptive coping are common among the adolescent population. Current or past histories of academic struggles, housing instability, food insecurity, and/or involvement with child welfare system are also frequently part of the clinical picture.
All interns participate in the following activities regardless of their track placement:
Community Outreach (CE&P)
In keeping with the agency’s mission of stigma reduction and increasing access to mental health services, all interns coordinate, develop, and conduct one community outreach project over the course of the training year.
All interns choose a program evaluation project in collaboration with the Internship Director and the agency’s Research and Evaluation Division. These projects offer interns an opportunity to apply their knowledge of research methods to clinical practice evaluation and outcome measurement in a community setting.
Interns are paired up across Tracks to co-facilitate a biweekly supervision group comprised of psychology practicum students. Interns receive didactic training on current theories and models of supervision, methods of evaluation, legal and ethical issues in supervision, and diversity issues related to supervision.
Didactic Seminars and Professional Issues
Didi Hirsch offers a number of seminars each training year. Didactic seminars cover topics such as diversity issues, empirically-supported treatment models, psychological assessment methods and supervision. Professional Issues seminars have covered legal and ethical issues, career options, strategies for job interviews, new technologies, HIPAA and licensure preparation. Continuing Education seminars address the needs of licensed agency staff and have included topics such as Psychosis and Recovery, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Eating Disorders, Typical/Atypical Development in Young Children and Play Therapy.
The program emphasizes the development of both profession-wide and program-specific competencies, in accordance with the APA’s new Standards of Accreditation (effective January 1, 2017). As such, training activities are designed to promote intern attainment of Competencies within the context of the program’s broader aims.
Interns choose to primarily concentrate on either Adult/Older Adult or Child/Family populations. The profession-wide and program-specific competencies are therefore framed within the context of working with adults with severe, persistent mental illness OR with children with serious emotional disturbance and their families; and in functioning professionally within a community mental health center setting. Training activities are organized in a sequential manner, requiring interns to assume increasingly complex responsibilities with a greater degree of independence over the course of the internship year. By the end of the year, it is expected that interns will possess the requisite knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to function as competent psychologists in general entry-level practice, with an emphasis on our client population and professional setting.
The program’s competencies span ten domains and are as follows:
Competency 1: Ethical and Legal Standards
Interns will demonstrate appropriate ethical and legal knowledge, skills, and attitudes in their professional activities with individuals, groups, and organizations.
Competency 2: Individual-Cultural Diversity
Interns will conduct all professional activities with sensitivity to human diversity, demonstrating appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in working with diverse individuals, groups, and communities representing various cultural and personal backgrounds and characteristics.
Competency 3: Scientific Knowledge/Research/Evaluation
Interns will demonstrate appropriate skills, knowledge, and attitudes to make appropriate use of scientific methods/findings as they inform practice, and in conducting program evaluation and/or research that contributes to the professional knowledge base and/or evaluates the effectiveness of various professional activities.
Competency 4: Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
Interns will conduct themselves with comportment and behavior that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, and will demonstrate appropriate personal/professional self-awareness and reflection, with attention to competencies and self-care.
Competency 5: Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Interns will communicate effectively, interact appropriately, and develop/maintain meaningful and helpful interpersonal relationships across a range of professional roles.
Competency 6: Assessment
Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the selection, administration, and interpretation of evidence-based assessments designed to conceptualize, diagnose, and guide recommendations regarding the problems, capabilities, and issues associated with individuals.
Competency 7: Intervention
Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based therapeutic interventions designed to alleviate suffering and promote health and well-being for individuals and groups.
Competency 8: Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in providing expert assistance to other health service providers in response to clients’ needs or goals, and in effectively engaging in interprofessional/interdisciplinary collaboration in relevant professional roles.
Competency 9: Supervision-Teaching
Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding the enhancement, monitoring, and evaluation of the professional functioning of trainees and other professionals.
Competency 10: Community Outreach
Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes in conducting community outreach programming that is responsive to the needs of individuals, systems, and the community.
For questions regarding the Doctoral Internship Program in Health Service Psychology, please contact:
Kalani Makanui, Ph.D., Director of Psychology Training