We believe there is significant value in supporting future behavioral healthcare professionals. The next generation of counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and others will have incredible impact on the health and well-being of our children, families and community. As a leader in the field of children’s behavioral health, it is important that we provide field experience and training so we can support a legacy of superior care in our industry.
Graduate Training Internships
These opportunities are for Graduate Training Internships only for students currently enrolled in a graduate training program currently contracted with the San Diego Center for Children.
For Career information and benefits, current openings and a direct link to apply, click here.
Practicum, Field Placement, Internships and Fellowships
San Diego Center for Children offers a variety of clinical training opportunities for developing professionals within the behavioral health field. Our training experiences are designed to meet students at their level of education and experience, and to further their education through supervision, collaboration, mentoring, and direct client interaction.
All training opportunities will introduce and/or advance student understanding of developmental pathology, impact of trauma and other environmental stress, ethics of care and treatment, system of care models and principles, strength-based approaches, the value of the client/consumer voice, evidence-based practices, working within multidisciplinary teams, and personal/professional growth.
Specific skills development will be based on the student’s level of experience and the specific focus of the placement setting.
Our Training Partners and Qualifications
We partner with many local and distant universities to provide quality training in a direct care learning environment. Students must be enrolled in training programs that have a current training/placement contract with the Center prior to applying for placement. We will only accept students from accredited academic institutions with recognized degree programs.
All placements/trainings must occur during the professional work week, generally emphasizing day and early evening hours.
We offer placement for the following areas of study:
Doctoral Psychology Practicum
Practicum placements are offered for students at all years of training, and range from 8 to 12 months. Advanced student training occurs within a vertical team model, with students at various levels of training providing peer mentoring and supporting professional growth.
1st year students will participate in a small team environment with close mentoring and supervision, developing knowledge about positive behavioral supports and milieu-based intervention, and the multitude of factors that bring youth into and out of care. A minimum of 10 hours and 2 days per week is required.
2nd year students will participate in a milieu-based setting where they will develop skills in assessment, group therapies, and brief individual interventions, and will work within a multidisciplinary team. Intervention work will increase understanding of developmental pathology and evidence-based practices. Students will be trained to use a variety of diagnostic assessment tools, and will learn the basic report writing and consultation skills. A minimum of 18 hours per week is required.
3rd year students will participate in a milieu-based or community-based setting and will emphasize training with psycho-diagnostic assessment with complex clinical cases; group, individual, and family therapies. Students will be expected to develop proficiency in test selection and administration, and to produce professional written reports using a wide range of assessment tools. Intervention work will emphasize evidence-based practices and clinical case management. A minimum of 20-24 hours per week is required.
Advanced students will be placed primarily in our Behavioral Health Assessment Program with a major emphasis on comprehensive psycho-diagnostic assessment proficiency. Assessments may occur within our residential, school, or community practice settings. Intervention practice can include individual, family, or groups. Students will develop greater skills working as a member of a multidisciplinary team, and providing consultation to professionals and consumers.
California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC) Pre-doctoral Internship
The Center offers two half-time paid internships approved by the California Psychology Internship Council. Please review our information available on the CAPIC website and apply according to their process. Face-to-face interviews are required.
Field Placement is offered for foundation and concentration years. Placements range from 8 to 12 months, depending on academic requirements.
Foundation year students may be placed in residential or community settings. Training will emphasize working within a multidisciplinary team and collaboration within the system of care. Students will develop skills in needs assessment, plan development, care documentation, coordination of care, and resource development and linkage, all with an emphasis on trauma informed care, consumer voice, and strength-based services. Supervision and mentoring will be emphasized.
Concentration year students may be placed in residential or community settings. Students will provide direct service in individual, family, and/or group settings, participate in interdisciplinary teams, and further develop direct practice, crisis intervention and case management skills. Training will focus on trauma sensitivity, self awareness, and integrating social work values, classroom learning, and direct practice skills.
School Social Work emphasis – This specialty training is designed for students enrolled in a dual PPS/MSW program and is offered only at our North County Academy program, working with middle and high school special education students with significant behavioral health needs.
Master’s in Counseling or Clinical Psychology (MFT, LPCC)
Practicum placements are offered only for 2nd year or advanced students, and range from 10 to 12 months with a minimum of 20 hours per week required. Placement can occur in our school- or community-based programs, providing individual, family, and group therapy and counseling. Training will emphasize skill development in behavioral health assessment, plan development, documentation of care, care coordination, and a range of clinical intervention skills emphasizing evidence based practices.
Graduate Internship Applications
To apply for the clinical graduate internships above, please submit the form below, attaching a letter of interest and resume/CV.
(This is not the application for Careers with the Center. For Career information and benefits, current openings and direct link to apply, click here.)
Applications for graduate internships are accepted throughout the year, though most training programs begin in the Fall of each year. Students will only be contacted if they are being considered for placement.