Note: Practice experiences can vary year-to-year depending on arrangements with various sites. We cannot guarantee that the practice experiences described here will remain the same in upcoming years. Instead, we provide this information in order to illustrate how clinical practice training unfolds across a typical two-year program sequence.
First Year in the Program
All first year trainees work at a community-based placement. This is most often at a non-profit agency that serves youth. Each student receives two hours of group supervision (in a group with 3 to 5 other clinical graduate students) as part of this experience. This group supervision is provided by a licensed supervisor.
Clinical Focus. First year trainees in the Clinical Focus track will also work at the SFSU Community Psychology Clinic during their first year. In this setting, they will work with 2-5 clients at a time. The clients are typically adult individuals, though sometimes trainees also work with couples, families or children. Clients who come to the clinic are either SF State students or from the SF Bay Area community. Clients come to the clinic with a variety of problems and concerns, ranging from life stress to depression and anxiety to interpersonal and relationship problems. Each first year trainee receives one hour per week of individual supervision focused on their Clinic clients.
Clinical/Research Focus. First year trainees in the Clinical/Research Focus area will also work within the clinical research laboratory of a research mentor. The details of the work will vary based on the focus of research lab. Trainees will typically spend approximately eight hours per week on research-related activities, including data collection, data analysis, and lab meetings. Trainees will meet with their research mentor on a regular basis and develop individualized goals for their clinical research activities. Students in this training area will also attend some case conference meetings with the Clinical Focus students as needed, and will begin training on the clinical intake process during the spring semester.
Second Year in the Program
Clinical Focus. Second year placements are applied for during the 2nd semester of the trainee’s first year. These placements are usually based at agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area community; however, some trainees may choose to continue in the SFSU Community Psychology Clinic. The community-based placements are in a variety of settings, and require trainees to work for 20 hours per week. The populations may include children and families, homeless or at-risk adolescents, adults in outpatient clinic settings, or individuals with severe mental illness. Our program has a very strong reputation in the SF Bay Area community for training exceptional clinicians, which makes trainees very competitive for receiving excellent placements in their second year. Most trainees receive their first or second choice for their second year placements. Over the past few years our students have completed their second year placements at (among others):
Berkeley Mental Health
Family Service Agency of Marin
Infant Parent Program
Instituto de la Raza
SFSU Community Psychology Clinic
UCSF Alliance Health Project
Clinical/Research Focus. Second year trainees in the Clinical/Research Focus area will work at the SFSU Community Psychology Clinic. As described above, this will entail working with 2-5 clients at a time, weekly case conference meetings, and weekly meetings with a clinical supervisor. In addition, trainees will work with the clinic director to manage intake meetings for new clients in the clinic. They will also continue their work with their research mentor and participate in clinically-related research activities on a weekly basis. Trainees will continue to work with research mentors directly to set individualized plans for the research efforts.
Post Master's Placements
Once students graduate from our program, many work in community mental health settings, whereas others work in private practice internships or go on to complete their post-master's hours by pursuing an additional one and two-year clinical training program.
Many students in the Clinical/Research Focus area will go on to apply to Clinical Psychology Ph.D. programs, or will look for opportunities to conduct clinical research at universities or medical centers.