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Adaptive
Health Care

Doctoral Internship – Vallejo/Vacaville

Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center

The Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano service area, first established in Vallejo in 1945, has steadily grown to serve 312,000 members, spanning an area stretching from the Carquinez Bridge, north to Vacaville and Dixon, and through the Napa Valley to Calistoga and Benicia. Vallejo and Vacaville both reside within Solano County in between San Francisco and Sacramento providing easy access to both cities as well as to nearby wine country in Napa County. There is also easy access to beautiful outdoor spaces in local and state parks as well as being within a 2-hour drive of the beach and Sierra mountains. In addition to being some of the most affordable places to live in the Bay Area, Vallejo and Vacaville are some of the more diverse places in the country. The ethnic diversity of the patient population is broad and includes Latino/a, African American, Pacific Islander, Asian, Caucasian, and those of other backgrounds.

The Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center, rebuilt in 2010, is comprised of a 267-bed hospital and large outpatient medical office complex offering a range of primary care and specialty services. The hospital houses the renowned Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center, which provides state-of-the-art rehabilitation services to members throughout Northern California. Kaiser Permanente Vallejo provides services to a large Medi-Cal population and functions much like a county hospital.

The Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center was opened in 2009 and provides comprehensive medical services in addition to being the county’s only Level II trauma center and the home of a specialty neurosurgery center. Psychiatry services are located within the Vacaville Medical Center.

Program Curriculum

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity

The Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano Internship in Health Service Psychology is located in Northern Bay Area California in Solano and Napa Counties. The Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center is located in the city of Vallejo which is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the United States. In addition, approximately 34% of Vallejo residents are speakers of a non-English language, higher than the 21% national average. Kaiser Permanente is an option for Medi-Cal coverage in the county, so our medical center is able to provide mental health services across the socioeconomic spectrum. We are fortunate to be situated in this diverse community and benefit from Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to cultural sensitivity in all aspects of patient care.

The Napa-Solano Internship is committed to nurturing and integrating diversity training into all aspects of our doctoral internship by:

  • Providing interns with opportunities to work with diverse patients who represent various aspects of diversity, including age, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, values, and lifestyle
  • Placing a high value on interns’ willingness to engage in self-reflection and learning and supporting the exploration of attitudes, beliefs, and therapeutic postures that could have a negative impact on clinical interactions
  • Maintaining a consistent focus in clinical supervision on expanding interns’ multicultural awareness and competence in the provision of psychotherapeutic services and by providing guidance, suggestions, and resources on topics related to diversity
  • Providing formal in-person or online training on diversity topics such as discovering and mitigating unconscious bias, respecting every voice, and cultivating a sense of inclusion and belonging in the workplace
  • Encouraging interns to participate in the Regional Mental Health Training Program Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee’s advanced trainings on topics related to cultural sensitivity and competence alongside a forum to reflect on and discuss their varied experiences in a safe environment

Importantly, the Napa-Solano Internship’s commitment to diversity is not solely demonstrated through aspects of the clinical training, it is also reflected in the recruitment and hiring of their staff. For Kaiser Permanente, diversity is a high priority in the recruitment and retention of service providers. All recruitment and hiring for psychologists are done by the medical centers, each of which follow Kaiser Permanente guidelines for diversity recruitment.

Didactic Training and Seminars

Regularly scheduled weekly didactic seminars are organized and administered by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) Mental Health Training Program. Doctoral interns are required to attend the two-hour weekly seminar, which focuses on aspects of clinical practice that the interns may not regularly encounter.

Diversity issues are always integrated into seminar presentations. Seminar topics include 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. The KPNC 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 KPNC mental health trainees and medical center staff.

The KPNC Mental Health Training Program brings in national experts and keynote speakers on a variety of cutting-edge topics in mental health treatment and research. Interns are expected to attend all MHTP Speaker Series seminars. Current seminar schedules and a list of speakers and topics can be found on the KPNC Mental Health Training Programs website. In addition, many of these lectures are recorded and available on this website under the Continuing Education Seminar Library.

Meetings and Case Consultation

Doctoral interns are expected to attend weekly team staff meetings and case consultation. During case consultation, interns practice creating a working hypothesis for a diagnosis and treatment plan and learn how to incorporate Feedback Informed Care (FIC) and symptom management in their plan. Additionally, interns learn how to align their patient’s cultural background and values system with their treatment plan.

Supervision

All doctoral interns are supervised by licensed psychologists and are assigned to a primary and secondary supervisor. These two clinical supervisors meet with their assigned intern one hour per week for individual face-to-face supervision, for a total of two hours of individual supervision per week. The primary and secondary supervisor in each training rotation is responsible for supervising the direct delivery of clinical services. The primary supervisor takes the lead role in developing the intern’s learning plan, monitoring their progress, and evaluating their training schedule. The primary supervisor is also responsible for supervising the intern’s clinical work and completing quarterly evaluations after gathering input from the other delegated supervisors and staff who have worked with the intern.

Doctoral interns are also provided with weekly clinical group supervision and group supervision for psychological assessment. During clinical group supervision, interns learn how to conceptualize treatment plans and frame interventions through a cultural framework that considers age, gender identity, race and ethnicity, family systems, socioeconomic status, work and school history, and other cultural factors. Interns also gain experience presenting clinical cases, as well as giving and receiving peer feedback. These feedback interactions help interns to develop both collegial and supervisory aspects of their professional identities as psychologists. Assessment group supervision provides support for interns gaining proficiency conducting psychological evaluations. During assessment group supervision, interns have an opportunity to discuss several aspects of the assessment process, including how to interpret test results, formulate clinical impressions, and plan patient feedback.

Community Partnership Program

Reflecting Kaiser Permanente’s core commitment to mental health and wellness in our communities, each doctoral intern 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 Kaiser Permanente patient membership.

The goal of this project is to provide outreach to underserved populations in the community to promote healthy behaviors. Anchors for this project include developing alliances with individuals and/or systems to improve the lives of those served; providing education and training based on the empirical literature; collecting, analyzing, and presenting relevant outcome data to partnership stakeholders.

Psychological Assessment

All doctoral interns complete psychological testing as part of the internship training program. During the training year, interns further their knowledge about test battery design, administration of various tests and measures, interpretation and integration of test results, and communication of test results. Opportunities exist for interns to develop proficiency in specialty ADHD evaluations and Adult ASD evaluations. Interns primarily receive assessment training support in a group supervision format with additional modalities of support available as needed.

Program Evaluation

Each doctoral intern is required to undertake a program evaluation project during their training year. The project is selected based upon the intern’s interests and skill set and should fall within the regular scope of departmental services.

Program evaluation may involve collecting and analyzing data to improve administrative operations, or a quality improvement project aimed at improving or assessing a treatment program or process. Examples include developing and evaluating a treatment group, intake procedure or other new programming; evaluating factors associated with treatment outcomes; or a needs assessment of a service that may be enriched by psychological consultation. Interns meet regularly with their program evaluation supervisor as a group over the course of the training year to review progress on their projects.

Tracks and Rotations

Adult Outpatient Mental Health Track

The internship program offers rotations in three areas: Adult Outpatient Mental Health, Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Behavioral Medicine Services (BMS). Each intern will have opportunity to complete a 12-month rotation in the Adult Mental Health track and two 6-month rotations in IOP and BMS over the course of the training year.

The Adult Outpatient Mental Health track offers opportunities in intake assessments, individual therapy, group therapy, and ADHD screening. Interns are assigned cases from the broad and diverse patient population served at the clinic, with referrals addressing mental health needs related to the treatment of mood disorders, personality disorders, trauma, aging, adjustment, crisis, work or life stress, neurodevelopmental disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, bipolar spectrum disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, and dissociative disorders. Interns will evaluate and diagnose mental health disorders based on DSM-5-TR and ICD-11 criteria. Interns will also learn how to collaborate with patients for treatment planning purposes and gain proficiency utilizing evidence-based interventions within a feedback informed care framework.

Doctoral interns will utilize individual and group supervision for case formulation and treatment planning. Within this rotation, interns will receive training in both individual psychotherapy and group treatment. Training in evidence-based individual treatment will consist of providing individual therapy. Training in evidence-based group treatment will consist of co-facilitating groups under the supervision of licensed therapists.

The Adult Outpatient Mental Health team is made up of an interdisciplinary team with multiple psychiatrists on staff. The psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and primary care physicians are all open to collaboration in order to deliver the best possible integrated service to the patient. The outpatient team is also comprised of therapists with specialties in areas such as trauma, eating disorders, intimate partner violence, severe and persistent mental illness, and various other evidence-based treatments.

Behavioral Medicine Services (BMS) Rotation

The internship program offers rotations in three areas: Adult Outpatient Mental Health, Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Behavioral Medicine Services (BMS). Each intern will have opportunity to complete a 12-month rotation in the Adult Mental Health track and two 6-month rotations in IOP and BMS over the course of the training year.

In the Behavioral Medicine Services (BMS) rotation, doctoral interns will receive excellent training in health service psychology while working in a medical setting within a tight-knit team. Interns work in the Kaiser Vallejo and Vacaville Medical Offices embedded in primary care or in the women’s health clinic where they receive referrals from physicians to assess patients for possible mental health problems. Referrals are from the broad and diverse patient population served in the medical offices and address needs related to the treatment of depression disorders, anxiety disorders, somatic symptom disorders, aging, adjustment disorders, work or life stress, and sleep disorders. Interns will evaluate and diagnose mental health disorders based on DSM-5-TR and ICD-11 criteria.

Doctoral interns will utilize both individual and group supervision for case formulation and treatment planning. Within this rotation, interns will have training in individual, short-term therapy. Training in evidence-based individual treatment will consist of providing focused, brief individual therapy. Interns will develop treatment plans and learn how to articulate those plans to their patients and the interdisciplinary team. Interns will also utilize evidence-based interventions within a feedback informed care model. An additional responsibility in the BMS rotation is performing brief cognitive screenings as requested by the primary care physicians. Opportunities to conduct Bariatric surgery evaluations are also available depending on interest and experience.

The Behavioral Medicine Team is a collaborative and cohesive group who regularly coordinates care with physicians, OBGYNs, pharmacists, and ancillary staff in an effort to provide optimal patient care. The BMS model allows for warm handoffs from physicians for patients who may be ambivalent about treatment engagement or likely to benefit from brief interventions. Despite the BMS providers being dispersed through different medical offices, they still closely collaborate with each other and meet in their own department staff meetings and huddles in order to provide consultation and updates that maximize the integration of their services.

This rotation requires autonomy and flexibility in fast-paced medical settings. Candidates with interest and experience in working in general mental health as well as behavioral medicine and medical settings are preferred.

Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) Rotation

The internship program offers rotations in three areas: Adult Outpatient Mental Health, Adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Behavioral Medicine Services (BMS). Each intern will have opportunity to complete a 12-month rotation in the Adult Mental Health track and two 6-month rotations in IOP and BMS over the course of the training year.

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides treatment to adult patients presenting with chronic and acute conditions in need of a higher level of care. IOP serves as a two-week step-down program for patients who were recently psychiatrically hospitalized or patients who need intensive support due to increased symptom severity and acute risk factors. Patients attend the program multiple times per week and receive group therapy, psychiatric medication consultation, and individual therapy. Interns are assigned cases from a diverse population, with mental health needs relating to depression, personality disorders, trauma, life crises, work stress, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and bipolar spectrum disorders.

Doctoral interns will conduct intakes and provide evidence-based group therapy. Training in evidence-based group treatment will consist of co-facilitating groups under the supervision of licensed Adult Intensive Outpatient therapists. The rotation also involves twice daily meetings and consultation within a small, tight-knit, interdisciplinary treatment team. During this rotation, interns will carry a smaller caseload and focus a considerable part of their clinical time working with patients on short-term, crisis stabilization. This rotation broadens and deepens clinical skills across all diagnoses and with a very diverse group of patients, all while working closely with a supportive group of colleagues.

Schedule

Weekly 40-hour Schedule

  • Direct Patient Care: 20 hours
  • Individual Supervision: 2 hours
  • Clinical Group Supervision: 1 hour
  • Assessment Group Supervision: 1 hour
  • Didactic Training: 2 hours
  • Program Evaluation: 1 hour
  • Supervision of Practicum Students: 1 hour
  • Community Benefit Project: 1 hour
  • Team Meeting (including case consultation): 2-3 hours
  • Non-Patient Care: 8-9 hours

Accreditation

  • Accreditation site visit by APA has already occurred and awaiting final decision
  • Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association 750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002 / Phone: (202) 336-5979 / E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org / Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

Location

Vallejo Mental Health Outpatient Clinic
1761 Broadway, Ste 100
Vallejo, CA 94589

Vallejo Hospital and Medical Offices
975 Sereno Drive
Vallejo, CA 94589

Vacaville Hospital and Medical Offices
1 Quality Drive
Vacaville, CA 95688

Fairfield Mental Health Outpatient Clinic
520 Chadbourne Rd.
Fairfield, CA 94534

Napa Medical Offices
3285 Claremont Way
Napa, CA 94558

Training Director

Supria Gill, PhD
Napa-Solano Manager of Training
supria.k.gill@kp.org


Neda Soussanbari, PsyD
Training Co-Director
neda.soussanbari@kp.org


Amanda Devane, PhD
Training Co-Director
amanda.n.devane@kp.org


Meet the Training Team

Membership

Member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)

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