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Student Psychological Services

Internship Training Program Overview
Agency Mission
The Setting
The Services
SPS Philosophy
Training Calendar
Multicultural Training
Program Details
Training Calendar
Two Year Training Program
Internship vs. Practicum
Program Summary
Applications and Deadlines
Current Deadlines (2015-2016)
Contact Information / Staff Profiles

Internship Training Program Overview

Welcome to Student Psychological Services (SPS). We are a Psychological Training Program and part of the Student Health Services of Santa Rosa Junior College. We offer services to enrolled students on the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses (see below Agency Mission and The Setting).

SPS is a half-time, one or two year, CAPIC internship site, and a half-time BAPIC site, with a combined cohort of 7 to 8 positions annually. We offer Doctoral level and Master's level internships. Internship-level trainees work 24 hours each week and 12 months, while practicum students work 20 hours per week for a 10-month academic year. Each new set of trainees begins in early August. Interns provide individual, couple, and group therapy, as well as educational outreach and prevention services, as part of the clinical and educational services at SPS.

Due to the high demand, interns are usually experienced practicum or intern/pre-doc level; they have the option of applying for a second year with expanded responsibilities. There is a stipend for CAPIC interns of $4800/year, or $400/month.

SPS is a demanding and exciting site. Interns are given substantial respect and responsibility. It is a busy setting, so interns carry full caseloads for the duration of the program. Many interns experience the rich opportunity to practice many psychotherapies with a broad range of generally "higher functioning" clients and discover who they are as therapists in the process. (see below The Services).

Interns of multiple levels join in any given year’s cohort, greatly deepening learning and mentoring in a collaborative and integrative model. The Internship Program at SPS supports the intern’s varied functions, realities and demands, providing in-depth training and support for practicum and intern therapists, creating a rich learning environment fostering the development of solid psychotherapy skills and therapeutic identity (see below Philosophy, Training and Supervision).

Experienced, licensed mental health professionals, including Licensed Psychologists, provide weekly individual and group supervision (see Contact/Staff); weekly didactic trainings are given by a range of professionals from the program and the community. A psychiatric consultant is on site to consult with some SPS clients. The topic of the trainings in the year mirror the developmental needs of incoming interns, beginning with such topics as Developing Therapeutic Alliance and Crisis Intervention, and moving through a variety of Diagnostic topics, Professional Development issues, and a range of Intervention and stage of therapy skills (See Training Calendar).

Agency Mission

The mission of Santa Rosa Junior College’s Student Health Services is:

“to maintain and improve the physical, mental, and social health of students at Santa Rosa Junior College, and to strengthen and inspire the well-being of the entire college community, towards supporting student success and life-long learning.”

Student Psychological Services (SPS) provides psychological treatment and support as part of this mission. In addition, SPS is committed to supporting each intern therapist to develop his or her own style of therapeutic interaction within the framework of ethical and professional clinical practice in a collaborative and respectful setting. Within this program interns learn about their interests, their strengths and limitations as clinicians, and they develop confidence to learn new skills. Supervisors and trainers seek to provide a collaborative environment for growth and learning as well as to provide new information as needed for the range of clinical demands. More importantly, interns are provided with structure and creativity in supervision and training sessions to discover new ways of engaging and using themselves, following inquiry, expressing empathy, listening deeply, providing support and education, supporting change and growth, and responding to crisis situations. In this process interns learn about themselves as clinicians and individuals, and how to manage the therapeutic relationship in ways that enhance the experience and growth of the client.

The Setting

Santa Rosa Junior College serves a large North Bay community, and has 30,000 matriculating students, with campuses in both Santa Rosa and Petaluma. Student Psychological Services, as part of Student Health Services, provides psychological services to enrolled students at both campuses, as a part of the health services made available through their health fee. SPS services are designed to assess and treat psychological and mental health difficulties which interfere with the student’s academic, job, or personal functioning. The students who attend SRJC comprise a group with vast diversity, in all respects.

Santa Rosa Junior College serves a large North Bay community, and has 30,000 matriculating students, with campuses in both Santa Rosa and Petaluma. Student Psychological Services, as part of Student Health Services, provides psychological services to enrolled students at both campuses, as a part of the health services made available through their health fee. SPS services are designed to assess and treat psychological and mental health difficulties which interfere with the student’s academic, job, or personal functioning. The students who attend SRJC comprise a group with vast diversity, in all respects.

Please be sure to also to look at the other areas of the website for Santa Rosa Junior College ( to get an idea of the school, atmosphere and culture of the setting.

The Services

Many students are negotiating major life transitions, such as re-entry, leaving home, or adaptation to a new culture. Many are juggling academic demands, the responsibilities of family, and work and economic challenge. There are also students who have chronic medical or psychological diagnoses who attend classes and access health and psychological services. SPS is there to meet these varied needs. Demand for SPS services is very high, and interns typically have full caseloads for the duration of the program. Clients range in age from 16 to 80, and vary widely in ethnicity, clinical presentation, capacity to engage, and needed treatment. In addition to individual and couple therapy, daily crisis Drop-In sessions are offered, which are fully utilized, and offer a single-session modality for interns to experience. Typically there are two to three concurrent groups being offered. The treatment model is integrative, with a short-term frame and focus. Interns can expect to encounter the gamut of diagnostic presentations, with about 40% in moderate to severe distress, and about 5% in crisis; most diagnoses tend to fall within the areas of depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, eating disorder, substance use/abuse or dual diagnosis, but regular examples of bipolar disorder and psychoses do present, as well as personality disorders and TBI.

SPS Philosophy

We approach training and supervision from a developmental perspective, meeting each intern where they are at. We also have as a basic understanding that we learn from one another. In support of this approach, we have adopted and teach interpersonal and program guidelines to facilitate that all interns get, and give, as much in the program and with each other as possible. Interns are encouraged to be supportive and engaged, and to receive support and feedback from peers, building a strong sense of interaction and ownership of the functioning of the training community.


The internship program provides in-depth training and support for intern therapists to learn solid psychotherapy skills and to develop a personal therapy style within a clinically professional and sound ethical practice. Interns are expected, on average, to see at least ten clients per week including two drop-in sessions, and to facilitate at least one group.

Interns learn their strengths and limits as clinicians, and develop confidence to learn new skills in a supportive setting. More importantly, interns are provided with structure in supervision and training sessions to discover new ways of engaging, providing support and education, expressing empathy, identifying clients strengths and needs, and intervening in crisis situations. Interns learn about themselves as clinicians, and how to manage the therapeutic relationship in ways that enhance the experience of the client.

Both the training and supervision portions of the program aim to assist interns with the synthesis of material learned academically in graduate programs and its integration and application into useful clinical practice. Emphasis is given to the development of clinical and therapeutic skills as well as the ethical and mindful use of self in clinical practice. The therapeutic dyad and relationship are highly valued, and clinical decisions are case specific. New materials and ideas are incorporated as is relevant; all SPS staff and interns are encouraged to enlarge the communal knowledge base by adding to our files and resources, and by communicating responsively to the group as new skills are learned.

Ideas from schools of Developmental Psychology, Mindfulness-based approaches, Psychodynamic Therapy, Psychiatric Psychopathology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Depth, Attachment Theory, Family Systems theory, Humanistic theory and others are all used as they aid in alliance building, assessment and inquiry skills, and intervention techniques to effectively address the particular needs and disorders found in the campus setting. These range from depression and anxiety to eating to substance use disorders, issues of sexual identity and orientation, and cultural and relational concerns. Interns learn to navigate the process of providing treatment from the informed consent, to the assessment, diagnosis and goal development, to the middle intervention and termination phases of both individual and group therapy. Additionally they participate in outreach, preventative and educational activities campus wide, from annual screening days for Depression, Substance Abuse, Sleep or Eating Disorders, to giving short talks on certain topics or outreach promoting topical groups.

The internship works within the frame of an academic setting and calendar, and because demand is so high, individual therapies are on a brief model, with some clients seen only for a few sessions and others for 10 or so sessions. (Interns also may work with 1-2 clients for a much longer period.) Interns learn how to differentiate long and short-term issues, and to structure a brief therapy and achieve therapeutic success, often with clients who present with long-term issues. No one model of short-term treatment is required. We use an integrative theoretical model, with an emphasis on thorough assessment and then tailoring the treatment approach to the needs of each individual client. Emphasis is given to initial interview and contact, creating safety and support, building an alliance quickly, establishing a collaborative therapeutic relationship, working in the present moment, and providing coping and self-care skills that lead to progress.

Case formulation is emphasized, including: an overview/thumbnail of the client including current life circumstances and presenting issues and precipitating event(s), health and risk assessment, issues of developmental level and dynamic level of functioning, attachment style, family of origin and historical impact, cognitive functioning, capacity for self-care, strengths and coping capacities, as well as diagnostic considerations using the standard of care model. Short-term work is often solution focused, and skill based, integrating a mixture of supporting, exploring or deepening, educating and clarifying, and reinforcing interactions. The ability to integrate diverse theoretical orientations and to work creatively with patient strengths is highly valued.

An additional approach of the training program is that of integration, which occurs on multiple levels, both clinically and structurally. SPS is a program within the Health Center, and as such, works within a multidisciplinary cooperative integrative model, with a team comprised of the staff and interns of SPS as well as staff Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Medical Assistants and support staff; we work with a consulting Psychiatrist; we partner with Sonoma County mobile crisis and mental health support (CAPE); we coordinate with SHS staff funded by the county PEI grant promoting prevention of mental health issues through monthly topics and regular presentations and outreach. Trainees have the additional opportunity to supervise student peer support workers. As a result, the SPS internship includes an emphasis in Health Psychology and Community Psychology.


Supervision in a mentoring model is the primary tool of the training program, both in individual and group sessions. The emphasis is on building a trusting and mutually respectful relationship between and among all SPS supervisors and interns, and using this to deepen interns’ sense of professional identity and supervisors’ experience of professional growth. As clinicians we hold that learning is life-long. Training and supervision time includes explicit discussion of and modeling around our identities as clinicians. Group supervision and case settings include an additional layer of modeling and mentoring among the various levels and types of experience within any given year’s cohort, and interns are actively encouraged to learn from one another and to stretch and express their professional voices. Additionally, Supervision is coordinated within the program so that training is titrated and cumulative, based on the level of development of each intern. Individual training emphasis is within a clinically professional and standard of care approach, under supportive competency-based supervision in a mentoring model.

Within individual supervision and case conference alike, an emphasis is put on developing a capacity to be able to identify, track and verbalize the details and progress of cases, to review clinical and ethical issues arising in sessions, to explore transference and counter-transference as clinical realities and tools, and to incorporate additional and new ideas and skills in professional practice. Audio and video recording allow for an enhanced supervision experience.

Multicultural Training

The SPS Training Program is committed to multicultural and diversity awareness and training on multiple levels. Attention is given to issues of gender, age, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual affiliation, socioeconomic, college programmatic and diagnostic differences in each and every clinical case, as well as within the cohort and the professional environment. Specific trainings are provided on topics such as working with Latino/Latina and LGBTQQ clients; supervision in group and individual formats takes these issues into account each meeting, as applicable, and interns are strongly encouraged through direct request and modeling to attend to these issues in working with transference and counter-transference awareness and parallel process in treatment and supervision.

Program Details

Training Calendar

Each week the training program includes a one-and-a-half Didactic Training session, given by a range of professionals from the program and the community, and an additonal one-and-a-half hour Training and Supervision session in Group Therapy/Outreach Skills. Didactic training is organized within the framework of an integrative model and includes developmental, humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, systems, and gestalt orientations. Emphasis is placed on understanding and utilizing transference, counter-transference and cross-cultural issues in a brief therapy model. Interns are encouraged to participate with current clinical material for each training to integrate theory and practice.

Training topics include brief therapy approaches, working with trauma, anxiety, depression, mindfulness-based approaches, couples therapy, ethics, working with crisis clients, substance abuse, medication issues, sexuality, sexual orientation, and termination issues.

Two year Training Program

SPS is both a one and a two year site for CAPIC, and often BAPIC students and MFT students choose to participate for two years as well, to allow for continuity and greater depth of learning. The two year program overall has a graded progression increasing in responsibility, breadth and depth from year one to year two. In training this means that more is expected of each intern in her/his second year in level of participation, mentoring, leadership and modeling in training experiences. The topics change from year to year, and the complexity and depth increases in material and application in the second year.

NOTE: The one year half-time program is equivalent to the first year of the two year half-time program.

How Internship differs from Practicum

All unlicensed staff, Interns and Practicum students alike, are met at their particular level of training and readiness. Assessment of skill level is made in the first weeks of the program, and evaluation and support are ongoing. In general, in relation to practicum students, interns carry more responsibility both clinically, in terms of caseload and duties performed, and professionally, in terms of their modeling and support of peers and other members of the cohort. There are many variables in the program which could come into play: numbers of clients, numbers of Drop-in days, frequency of groups to facilitate, numbers of presentations to the college, roles in the trainings and outreach. In terms of supervision, less experienced participants in the program are likely to have more frequent and specific assignments regarding document development and the broadening and deepening of treatment and intervention skills.

Program Summary

The SPS Training Program Summarized:

  • Practicum: 10 mo. program, Aug-May. Interns: 12 mo. program Aug-Aug.
  • A Full Time Week + Two Days of Orientation, 9:00am to 4:00pm, August 5 to 13, 2015.
  • Weekly Tuesday Training Program, 8:00am - 2:00pm.
    • Case Conference/Group Supervision 8:00am - 10:00am.
    • Didactic Training, 10:00am - 11:30am.
    • Case Conference/Group Supervision, 10:00am - 11:30am.
    • Training/supervision on Group Therapy and Outreach, 12:30pm - 2:00pm.
  • Weekly Individual Supervision (one hour during the week).
  • 9-11 clients (practicum) to 13-15 clients (internship) per week, includes 2 drop-in sessions/week.
  • Facilitate a group(s)
  • Participate in outreach and prevention presentations.
  • Record all sessions for use in supervision.
  • Provide informal supervision/mentorship to peer support workers.

CAPIC Interns are provided a $4,800 stipend, $400/month for 12 months.


SPS is both a clinical placement and a training community. Interns must have adequate training and experience to support clinical work in a demanding site working with a diverse adult population. Familiarity with DSM diagnoses and standard of care documentation is expected, as well as the curiosity and openness to further professional growth in these areas through training. SPS prefers interns who have had at least one or two prior years of direct clinical service experience. However, the personal maturity, psychological mindedness, respect for individual and cultural differences, and life experience of an intern can be at times more important than meeting specific academic or prior training criteria. Familiarity with several theoretical orientations and an openness to integrative training is a must.

We seek to create a safe setting where interns will learn deeply about themselves, as they develop the skills and craft to be a clinician. Thus, SPS seeks competent, motivated, thoughtful, curious, and eager applicants, who are interested in and committed to fully participating in an engaging and open training program to help create an enriching and positive learning environment. Bilingual and bicultural abilities are highly desirable.

Tuesdays from 8am-2pm are required; the full-time Orientation period in August is required. Beyond this, hours and days are flexible. A commitment of 20 hours each week for practicum students and 24 hours per week for interns is required, and the program follows an academic calendar with school holidays observed, including five weeks in which the college is on vacation in the 10-month period. The full 10-month commitment is required of practicum students and 12 months for interns; individual vacations must coincide with the school vacation periods.

Application and Dealine Information

SPS follows all CAPIC and BAPIC deadlines and procedures. We take submissions of completed applications starting in November and up through the official deadline(s).


An application must include:

  1. A letter of intent. We would like applicants’ letters of intent to introduce themselves, to detail their interest in the SRJC SPS Training Program, their clinical experience, as well what they hope to gain from participating in our Training Program, outlining their interest in the site and reasons why it would be a positive match.
  2. A completed CAPIC/BAPIC Uniform Application with essays, OR
    A completed SPS Application (See SPS Application).
  3. 3 signed letters of recommendation.
  4. Your Curriculum Vitae

Submit completed applications to:

Dr. Bert Epstein, Assistant Director,
Student Health Services, Mental Health Programs
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

CAPIC materials should be sent via the CAPIC registration process. BAPIC/practicum/post-doc materials can be sent either in hard copy to the above address or as an attachment to an email to

All applicants will be notified of received applications, and informed about the procedure ensuing. Applicants are notified as per the CAPIC/BAPIC process if they will not be considered. Applications are reviewed and interviews are begun as soon as is possible, conducted in person in Santa Rosa. Interviews consist of the applicant highlighting experience, strengths and limitations, desires and goals for participation in SPS, a role play, brief case presentation, and discussion of the requirements of the program and any questions remaining. Notifications are made per the CAPIC/BAPIC procedures and notification days.

Current Deadline Information for Academic Year 2015-16

We begin accepting applications in November, and encourage early submission.

For PhD and PsyD:
CAPIC Match I Pre-Doctoral positions,
applications are due by January 9, 2015
  CAPIC Match II Pre-Doctoral positions,
applications are due by March 9, 2015
For PhD and PsyD
BAPIC Doctoral Practicum positions,
applications are due by February 20, 2015
For Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)
applications are due by February 20, 2015

Interviews will be in January, February and March.

Uniform Matching and Notification: CAPIC I: March 2, 2015
  CAPIC II: March 31, 2015
Uniform Notification for BAPIC is April 8, 2015.
Notification for MFT is April 8, 2015.

Contact Information and Staff Profiles

We appreciate your interest in SPS and encourage inquiries. If you would like more information please contact Bert Epstein, PsyD, Assistant Director at or (707) 524-1595.

Bert Epstein, PsyD, is Assistant Director of Student Health Services, Mental Health Programs, and Training Director of Student Psychological Services. He also provides clinical supervision. Over 20 years, Dr. Epstein has trained or worked in five counseling centers and supervised over 30 trainees. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and his doctoral degree from CSPP/Alliant, Bay Area. He works from an integrative theoretical perspective and has a background in cognitive-behavioral therapy. He is passionate about diversity in all respects and has organized several conferences on the topic. Areas of specialization include integration of technology and mental health, anxiety and mood disorders, relationship issues, prevention work including outreach presentations, and counseling center administration.

Trudy Vandell, PsyD, is a Clinical Supervisor and coordinates the didactic training. She also maintains a private practice in Santa Rosa, and acts as Medi-Cal Program Manager for Community and Family Service Agency. Dr. Vandell received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Ryokan College in Los Angeles. Her clinical roots lie in psychodynamic and archetypal psychology. Her work is also informed by attachment and object relations theories.

Sandra Seligson, Ph.D. is a Clinical Supervisor of individual and group supervision. Dr. Seligson has maintained a private practice in Santa Rosa for over 20 years working with brief and long term psychotherapy. She recently retired from the Department of Psychiatry at Kaiser Santa Rosa where she served as the Director of Postdoctoral Training for 19 years. She has extensive group treatment experience in the areas of depression, women's issues, codependency and bipolar disorder. She works from a psychodynamic, object relations perspective, integrating CBT, Mindfulness practices and EMDR.

Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges