Doctoral Internship Psychology Training Program

Welcome to the Doctoral Psychology Internship Program at Saint John's Child and Family Development Center. (APA-Accredited since 1963)

The program was presented with an award from the American Psychological Association Board of Educational Affairs for “Distinguished Contributions for the Education and Training of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Psychologists” (2012)

The Training Setting

Providence Saint John's Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) is an APA-accredited site that provides training in clinical child and adolescent psychology in a multicultural community mental health setting. CFDC has been providing a comprehensive range of mental health, developmental and community outreach services to children and their families since 1962. The center is unique in that while it primarily functions as a community mental health center, it also is part of Saint John's Health Center. As such, interns are provided with some opportunities to practice psychology in the medical setting as well.

The Training Model

The doctoral psychology internship is best described as fitting the Scholar-Practitioner model. Interns are encouraged to develop as "local clinical scientists," as described by Strickler and Trierweiler (1995)*. Over the course of the training year, interns cultivate observational skills that allow them to determine whether evidence gathered through direct clinical interaction supports or contradicts the applicability of normative research findings to particular clinical cases. Interventions are then developed and modified accordingly.

* Strickler, G. and Trierweiler, S. (1995). The Local Clinical Scientist: A Bridge Between Science and Practice. American Psychologist, 50, 995-1002.

The Training Goals

The program trains doctoral interns in:

  • Psychotherapeutic intervention
  • Psychodiagnostic assessment
  • Mental health consultation
  • Integration of science and practice
  • Strong emphasis on cultural context as well as ethical/legal issues

Experiential Training

Interns are provided with opportunities to work in various departments and clinics within the center. These include:

  • General Outpatient Services

Doctoral Interns provide individual, dyadic and family therapy to outpatient clients within a community mental health setting. Evidence-based practices including Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Crisis-Oriented Recovery Services, Seeking Safety, Child Parent Psychotherapy, Positive Parenting Program, Managing Adaptive Practices , and Interpersonal Psychotherapy are utilized to treat a range of presenting problems.  Interns also conduct full psychological assessment batteries that include objective and projective methodologies.  If able, interns provide psychotherapeutic services in Spanish under the supervision of a bilingual, licensed supervisor.  Because many of the families are Spanish-speaking, bilingual applicants are encouraged to apply.

  • Therapeutic Preschool

Interns provide psychotherapy services within an intensive day treatment program to children, 3 to 5, who have severe behavioral and emotional problems.  Interns offer individual, dyadic, family and milieu-based interventions. Interns also conduct psychological assessments as needed to inform treatment planning. Through their direct participation in the classroom, interns are able to observe and collaborate with other professionals (i.e. teachers, occupational therapists) to provide these children with a very comprehensive and high level of care.

  • Youth Development Project (YDP)

Interns in this program provide individual and group therapy to at-risk elementary, middle and high school students in the Santa Monica public schools. Interns also provide community outreach services in Santa Monica such as parenting classes and consultation with local community centers. Priority is given to families who have been affected by community violence, poverty, substance abuse and trauma.

  • Family and Schools Together (FAST)

The Families and Schools Together team serves the mental health needs of youth attending Los Angeles public schools. The guiding philosophy of the program consists of joining the parents, school staff and the teen-ager to create a network of social support to assist the students through their emotional and behavioral struggles. The work of therapists and interns on the FAST team is to build strong relationships with the teen, with the teen’s parent(s)s and extended family, and with school personnel in order to serve as the bridge helping to weave all of those forces into a community united in fostering both the teen-ager’s healthy emotional development and setting the expectation for the youth to function within the community.  Psychology interns provide both clinical services as part of this team, while also providing psychological testing and school consultations during times of crisis. Further, interns and staff members provide psycho-education to teachers.

  • Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program (DHHP)

Interns in this program provide assessment, psychotherapy, and case management services to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals and their families using American Sign Language (ASL). This program is very unique, as it is the only outpatient clinic in Los Angeles County to provide mental health services for Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients. Interns receive individual supervision from licensed clinicians in ASL as a component of this program.

  • Consultation/Liaison Service

Doctoral Interns consult with medical staff members through the Providence Saint John’s Health Center on an as-needed basis. Interns work with seriously ill parents to address a range of psychosocial issues that emerge when a parent or caregiver becomes physically or chronically ill. Interns also consult with local schools and various community organizations to promote mental health service utilization.

Didactic Training

  • Professional development
A one-hour weekly professional development seminar is run by the Director of Training, and supports interns in learning and navigate the professional field of clinical psychology. Doctoral Interns are introduced to California’s mental health laws. Vignettes are utilized to initiate discussions regarding the applications of law and ethics—challenging the interns’ conceptualization of professional obligations and responsibilities. As the year progresses, interns are supported through the process of navigating the various options surrounding postdoctoral training and potential job selection. Interns are encouraged to consult with staff members and engage in self-reflection to identify the most appropriate decision for the individual intern.
  • Psychodiagnostic assessment
A one-hour weekly psychodiagnostic assessment seminar fosters doctoral interns’ growth and development in the area of psychological testing. Doctoral interns are provided education in the area of cognitive, academic, adaptive, and projective assessments. Interns present current testing cases to the team to receive feedback, case consultation and recommendations. Interns are encouraged to select individual areas of expertise and are supported to develop those throughout the year. Interns are expected to utilize additional professional research such as journal articles, and present the chosen area of expertise to the assessment seminar team. The following are select topics covered in weekly psychodiagnostic assessment seminars:


Orientation:  Assessment Procedures, Timelines and Report Writing
  • WISC-IV integrated
  • NEPSY-II (Half-day training)
  • Attention and executive functioning
  • Bilingual assessment
  • School observations
  • Presenting results to schools and parents/Writing recommendations
  • Learning disorders
  • Early childhood assessment (Bayley)
  • Early childhood assessment (WPPSI)
  • Assessment of autism spectrum disorders
  • MMPI-A
  • Projectives
  • Nonverbal assessment
  • Visuospatial assessment
  • Case presentations (3 times )
  • Area of expertise presentation (each intern)

Orientation Trainings

During September, doctoral interns receive training related to agency and training program’s policies and procedures. In addition, the following training is provided:

  • Outcome measures (Interns are expected to collect pre and post treatment outcome measures.) 
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Suicidal ideations and treatment
  • Group psychotherapy
  • Child abuse reporting
  • Law and ethics
  • Local clinical scientist model

Joint Training Seminar

A two-hour weekly training seminar composed of Doctoral psychology and social work interns. This seminar includes numerous training in a variety of areas. The following is a list of training programs that have been conducted in previous years.

  • Professional development: Self-care
  • Biopsychosocial aspects of practice
  • Anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • Cultural diversity
  • Use of play in treatment
  • Family interventions
  • Trauma and substance abuse, co-occurring disorders
  • Treatment strategies for special populations
  • Sandtray therapy
  • Art therapy

Additional Doctoral Psychology-Specific Trainings

  • Supervision (taught three times a year, based on interns’ professional developmental stages)
  • Law and ethics (taught three times a year, based on interns’ professional developmental stages)
  • Crisis intervention in a medical setting
  • Mental health consultation
  • Termination
  • Leadership in Psychology
  • The art of negotiation
  • Career path of psychologists at CFDC: lessons learned

Additional Evidence-Based Training Opportunities

CFDC is committed to the training of evidenced-based, empirically supported therapeutic models. Past interns have been trained in the following evidence-based training models: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Seeking Safety, Crisis-Oriented Recovery Services and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

Diagnostic Seminar

A one-hour, bi-monthly, multidisciplinary psychodiagnostic seminar fosters the interns’ abilities to conceptualize, accurately diagnose and present comprehensive cases. This seminar assists the interns in treatment and educational planning, as well as identifying appropriate recommendations and referrals. The multidisciplinary staff includes: psychiatrists, psychologists and clinical social workers.


Supervision at Providence Saint John’s CFDC is conducted according to Stoltenbberg’s (1981) Integrated Developmental Model, which delineates distinct stages of supervisee development from novice to expert and specifically defines characteristics and skills at each level. This model allows supervisors to assess their supervisee’s unique level of competence in hopes of advancing the intern to subsequent stages of development. Interns are expected to video/audio tape their sessions. Interns are evaluated and serve as evaluators of their current supervisors to ensure their needs are being met within the supervisory relationship. Each quarter, supervisors and supervisees engage in this evaluative process and discuss the outcome in supervision to make any needed adjustments. All intern supervisors also participate in supervision on a monthly basis.  Both self-report and videotaped sessions are utilized to ensure the quality of supervision being provided to pre-doctoral interns. This is a unique component to our training program and affords supervisors the opportunity to further assess and develop their own skills and competencies in their roles as supervisors.

Doctoral Interns receive at least four hours of supervision weekly: 

  • 1 hour face-to-face individual supervision with Primary Supervisor
  • 1 hour face-to-face individual supervision with Delegated Supervisor
  • 1 hour face-to-face individual supervision with Psychodiagnostic Supervisor
  • 1 hour face-to-face group supervision

Additional hours (about two hours) of supervision come from team-related supervision meetings

The program is aiming to match Spanish-speaking interns with Spanish-speaking supervisors. In addition, the program provides monthly Spanish-speaking support groups for Spanish-speaking interns.

Clinical Hours

Doctoral Psychology Interns at CFDC are expected to dedicate 50 percent of their weekly productivity to clinical services. Of this time, 10 hours are allotted to outpatient services and 10 hours are set aside for interns’ unique team assignments (e.g. YDP, TPS, FAST.) Outpatient services include individual and family therapy, and four hours of psychodiagnostic assessment per week.

In addition to these 20 clinical hours, interns also have the opportunity to engage in crisis outreach services on an as-needed basis. This may include consultation with families who have imminent medical crises in the hospital. Further, interns are on-call four hours per week during the clinic’s business hours.


The stipend is competitive and includes health insurance. Interns are reimbursed with up to $650.00 to cover the cost of attendance at professional trainings and conferences.


CFDC is in the heart of Santa Monica, a beachside city with a variety of cultural events and other recreational opportunities. Services are provided within the center, schools, homes and community.


The training year begins the first Tuesday after Labor Day and ends on the last weekday of August.

The application deadline is Nov 1. CFDC adheres to the internship selection guidelines set forth by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), and participates in the National Match.

Applicants must be at least third-year graduate students in an APA-approved psychology doctoral program. Applicants should have at least 500 practicum hours (total intervention and assessment hours) by the beginning of the internship year. No supplemental materials are required for submission at the time of the application.

Applicants must obtain full legal clearance from the Department of Justice and related California entities prior to the start of the internship year. Internship appointments are contingent upon obtaining full legal clearance and approval from Providence Saint John's Human Resources Department (please see APPIC MATCH POLICIES (4a): "Appointments of applicants to internship positions may be contingent upon the applicants satisfying certain eligibility requirements.")

Additional Information 

310-829-8921 (Business Office)

310-829-8708 (Training Director/Chief Psychologist, Olga Tuller, Ph.D.)

310-829-8455 (Fax)

The Doctoral Psychology Internship at Providence Saint John's Child and Family Development Center is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Any questions regarding the program's status should be directed to:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association 750 First St., N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002-4242 or phone 202.336.5979

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

Doctoral Psychology Training Program Brochure

Doctoral Psychology Program Supervisors and Trainers’ Information