Walnut Creek is a city of about 70,000 thousand residents, located 25 miles east of San Francisco, and 16 miles from Berkeley and Oakland. It is known for its small-town charm, vibrant downtown, arts and parks, top notch schools, and spectacular surrounding hills. Mt. Diablo, with its unmistakable profile of two peaks, is a landmark that rises visibly over the entire Bay Area. The city itself offers urban and suburban living, adjacent to striking natural environments and bucolic rural settings. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Medicine Recovery Services is close to freeways and the Walnut Creek BART station, allowing for easy an commute to Oakland, San Francisco, and the North Bay. It is also located within walking distance of shopping, restaurant and entertainment venues in the downtown.
Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center is part of the Diablo Service Area which provides comprehensive health care to 350,000 health plan members in East and Central Contra Costa County. Approximately 130,000 members access care at the Walnut Creek hospital and medical offices which employ 600 physicians and 5000 other staff members. Our patient population is represented by a broad socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural, and linguistic spectrum. Spanish, Russian, Farsi, and Mandarin/Cantonese languages are common languages spoken. The Mental Health and Addiction Medicine services are staffed by over 100 professionals and serve all age groups with wide range of diagnoses and presenting problems.
Equity, Inclusion & Diversity
We are committed to nurturing and integrating diversity training into every aspect of our Associate Post Master’s Mental Health Fellowship Program by:
- Providing fellows with opportunities to work with patients who represent a wide range of diversity, including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, socioeconomic status and abilities.
- Placing a high value on encouraging and supporting fellows’ willingness and ability to engage in self-reflection and learning about their assumptions, privileges and habits that could have a negative impact on clinical interactions with patients who are different in significant ways from them.
- Maintaining a consistent focus in clinical supervision on expanding fellows’ multicultural awareness and competence in the provision of psychotherapeutic services and by providing guidance and resources on topics related to diversity.
- Providing formal didactic training on a range of diversity topics (e.g., discovering and mitigating unconscious bias, respecting every voice, and cultivating a sense of inclusion and belonging in the workplace).
- Encouraging fellows to participate in the Regional Mental Health Training Program EID Forums, which provide advanced training on topics related to cultural humility and competence and a safe space in which to reflect upon and discuss their varied experiences.
Regularly scheduled weekly didactic seminars are organized and administered at the regional level for all Kaiser Permanente Northern California mental health trainees. Fellows are required to attend the two-hour weekly seminar, which focuses on aspects of clinical practice that the residents may not regularly encounter. Diversity issues are always integrated into seminar presentations.
Recent seminar topics included: Frontiers in Trauma Treatment; Advanced Risk Assessment; Updates in Substance Abuse Research & treatment; Advancements in Psychopharmacology; Cognitive Processing Therapy; Technology and Mental Health; Trans/Nonbinary Mental Health; Building a Better Brain through Exercise, Nutrition, Sleep and Stress Management; and Self-compassion.
Our Regional Mental Health Training Program also sponsors professional training courses for continuing professional development. These courses and presentations are offered at select times during the year for all KP mental health trainees and staff at Kaiser Northern California Medical Centers. We bring in national experts and keynote speakers on a variety of cutting-edge topics in mental health treatment and research. Fellows are required to attend these monthly regional trainings in addition to the weekly didactic seminars. Training course dates and a list of speakers and topics can be found on the Regional Mental Health Training Programs website. In addition, many of these lectures are recorded and available under the continuing education lecture library.
Seminars and Meetings
Trainees participate in monthly Mental Health Department meetings, weekly team huddle, and weekly Feedback Informed Care case consultation.
All fellows are provided with two hours of weekly individual supervision with a primary and secondary supervisor, and two additional hours of weekly group supervision.
The primary and secondary supervisor is responsible for supervising the direct delivery of clinical services. This supervisor takes the lead role in monitoring the fellow’s progress, providing feedback on strengths and areas in need of further development, ensuring effective and safe patient care, adequate documentation, and evaluating training schedules.
Group supervision includes opportunities for fellows to present and discuss cases. Fellows learn how to address treatment through a cultural framework including ethnicity, language, age, gender and sexual identity. Group supervision allows for vicarious learning, practice with professional public clinical presentations, and learning how to give and receive feedback.
Community Partnership Program
Reflecting Kaiser Permanente’s core commitment to mental health and wellness in our communities, each trainee will spend at least 32 hours during their training year on a Community Partnership Project that focuses on improving mental health in the local community beyond our Kaiser Permanente members. Most recently our partnerships have been with Trinity Center, Dozier Libbey Medical High School, KP Launch Summer Internship. Other local opportunities available.
The goal of these projects is to provide outreach to underserved populations in the community to promote healthy behaviors. Training Objectives include developing acquaintance with the tenets of Community Psychology, as well as gaining experience in community outreach, and the development of partnerships within internal and external systems.
Tracks and Rotations
Child and Family Generalist
This track offers fellows the opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary treatment team utilizing evidence-based and multimodal treatment with children, teens, and their families. Fellows are assigned cases from the broad and diverse patient population in the clinic and will address needs related to the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, attention and impulse control disorders, trauma, behavioral issues, and more. Fellows will evaluate and diagnose mental health conditions based on DSM-5 and ICD-10 criteria, develop treatment plans and learn how to articulate those plans to their patients.
Fellows will utilize evidence-based interventions within a feedback informed care model including the use of outcomes monitoring at each session. Training in evidence-based individual and family treatment will consist of providing therapy within a focused treatment model. Training in evidence-based group therapy will consist of co-facilitating groups under the supervision of licensed therapists. Fellows generally start with a schedule that introduces them broadly to the teams and range of programming in the department. After three months, when their foundational skills and general understanding of best practices and standards is internalized, in conjunction with their supervisors and training director, fellows will choose specialty areas for additional experience and training.
Adult Team Generalist
Most Fellows will start with a schedule that introduces them broadly to the teams and range of programming at WCR MHAM. After about three months’ time, when their foundational skills and general understanding of best practices and standards are internalized, Fellows will be invited to choose specialty areas for additional experience and training.
Supervisors and the Training Director will assist in specialty selection. Trainees are assigned specialty supervisors to work with them during these unique learning opportunities.
Due to our unique rotations and opportunities, Fellows will be able to observe and function in the widely varied roles of an emerging mental health professional. They will work alongside social workers and counselors on diverse teams with unique models. In addition, they will be exposed to many patients of varying ages and with broadly ranging presenting problems, whom they will treat in groups and individually.
Fellows start with foundational work on teams that introduce them to our model of treatment and levels of care for adults and children. After being provided enough support to learn the clinical, technical and workflow for providing the care to a broad range of members, fellows can then choose more varied groups and electives to explore their own developing interest across the medical center.
Fellows generally work a regular medical office building schedule from 9 – 5:30 pm
Each track or rotation is designed to be a hybrid of care with some days conducted physically in the host department and some days provided virtually from home.
This may vary if a treatment track decides to conduct their work entirely in person for the sake of providing the best clinical care.
Direct Patient Care: 20 hours
Non-Patient Care: 12 hours
Individual Supervision: 2 hours
Group Supervision: 2 hours
Didactic Training: 2 hours
Feedback Informed Care and case consultation: 2 hours
Community Benefit Project: 32 hours over the course of the year
|Graduate||University/Institute||Track/Specialty Rotation||Current Position, Specialty & Location|
|CE, LMFT||Alliant University, Sacramento CA||Adult & Child Generalist; Crisis team tracks||WCR Triage and IAC Team|
|Aidan Lisker, ASW||Brown School of Social Work at Washington University of St. Louis||CH/F team, gender specialist in training|
|ZM, LCSW||University of Southern California, LA||Adult & Child Generalist tracks||KP Oakland Psychiatry|
|RK, AMFT||Adult & Child Generalist tracks||KP Regional Call Center|