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Pre-Master’s Mental Health Internship – Counseling Center

The Kaiser Permanente Counseling Center (KPCC) mission is to provide professionals with developmentally appropriate exposure and training opportunities in evidence-based, culturally responsive, and high-quality mental health interventions within an integrated health care system. The KPCC completes trainee onboarding three times a year to offer the most flexibility to our Mental Health Scholars Academy Scholars, KP School of Allied Health Sciences, and external institutional partners.

During training at KPCC, mental health trainees learn to conduct individual therapy with adults and can pursue optional specializations in child and family therapy, couples therapy, and bilingual Spanish/English therapy. Therapy sessions are primarily conducted through a virtual platform with patients experiencing mild to moderate mental health symptoms across Northern California. Our trainees can expect to be trained in a sequential, developmentally appropriate, and culturally responsive model, as our goal is to support trainees in becoming competent clinicians inside and outside of Kaiser Permanente.

Current University Affiliates

  • Alliant International University
  • California Northstate University (CNU)
  • California State University, Stanislaus
  • Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences
  • Palo Alto University
  • Smith College
  • University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global)
  • University of San Francisco

Program Curriculum

Equity, Inclusion & Diversity

Diversity issues are considered in every aspect of training as our patient population includes broad differences in age, disability status, race, ethnicity, immigration experiences, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion and spirituality, socioeconomic status, and family life. Through targeted seminar topics, supervision, and clinical work, trainees are informed and sensitized to diversity issues to prepare them to provide effective and culturally responsive mental health treatment.

KPCC Mental Health Trainees will be given opportunities to attend advanced trainings offered by the Mental Health Training Program’s Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Officers to promote cultural competency and cultural sensitivity. The trainings are designed to support all trainees and provide them with a safe space to reflect on their experiences without judgment.

Didactic Training

Trainees will complete didactics within their training at KPCC and have opportunities to attend regional seminars through Mental Health Training Programs (MHTP). Didactics will include clinical topics and explore culturally responsive care, as well as supporting developmental milestones/needs of our trainees within the training year. Our trainees will have live and asynchronous exposure to various speakers and topics.

Seminars and Meetings

In collaboration with KP Mental Health Training Programs:

  • Regional Seminars
  • Professional Development and Wellness Opportunities
  • FIC Case Consultation
  • EID Forums
  • EID Consultation Hours


Our program provides consistent and close supervision through weekly individual or triadic supervision and group supervision for each trainee. In addition to this, trainees attend weekly didactic seminars on clinically relevant topics and are given numerous opportunities to shadow colleagues and supervisors conducting intake evaluations and psychotherapy sessions. Our trainees also video and/or audio record their sessions for supervision purposes and are directly observed by supervisors to allow for live feedback during therapy sessions.

Tracks and Rotations

Adult Specialization

The Kaiser Permanente Counseling Center offers training in evidence-based treatment within a culturally responsive and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) framework for all trainees entering our clinic. It should be noted that the primary focus in training is adult generalist psychotherapy with optional entry into specializations, when it is developmentally appropriate for the trainee. Trainees 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. Trainees will also be taught to deliver interventions within a feedback informed care model that includes the use of outcomes monitoring at each session.

The Kaiser Permanente Counseling Center supervisors and management team work closely with educational institutions to meet graduation guidelines. Thus, hourly commitment to the Counseling Center, patient care hours, supervisory needs, and indirect patient care will be determined with these criteria in mind.

Child & Family Specialization

This specialty provides exposure and training in working with children and families and increases opportunities for trainees to gain relational hours. Trainees in this specialization provide child family therapy interventions to patients within NCAL experiencing mild to moderate distress.

  • Participate in weekly didactic (1 hour)
  • Participate in weekly group supervision (2 hours)
  • Following 2 months of concentrated didactics and group supervision, trainees begin providing therapy to children and families.

Couples Specialization

This specialty provides basic training and practice in facilitating couples therapy across a number of evidence-based practices that may include Solution Focused Brief Couples Therapy, Gottman Method, and Emotion Focused Therapy. Trainees in this specialization provide enhanced brief couples therapy to patients who are experiencing mild to moderate relationship distress.

  • Participate in weekly group supervision (2 hours)
  • Participate in weekly didactic (1 hour)
  • Must be recommended by primary supervisor to participate based on trainee readiness

Bilingual Spanish/English Specialization

The Kaiser Permanente Counseling Center Spanish Training Track offers trainees necessary skills and knowledge to effectively provide counseling services in Spanish.

  • Our aim is to ensure that members from diverse linguistic backgrounds receive access to culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate mental health care.
  • Trainees must complete a self-assessment form and participate in a 20-minute informal interview with one of the Spanish Track Supervisors to determine level of fluency and readiness to provide services in Spanish.
  • Minimum Spanish language requirement is basic conversational fluency and/ or QBS2.

Training is 2-Tier

  • Tier 1: Shadowing – Trainees observe/shadow the weekly didactics and case consultation to develop bicultural skills and get exposure to cultural norms with the end goal of providing services in Spanish.
  • Tier 2: Delivering Services – Once the trainee is comfortable in speaking Spanish with ease and fluency within a therapy session, the trainee can move from Tier 1 to Tier 2. Supervisors will be noting fluency during didactics and case consultation to determine readiness for Tier 2.
  • Participate in weekly didactic (1 hour)
  • Participate in weekly group supervision (2 hours)


Trainees are scheduled 16-20 hours a week during their placement, often completed in (2) 8-hour days.

The specific days and hours are dependent upon individual trainee’s available schedule, preferences, and availability. If trainees are interested specialty training, schedules are adjusted to accommodate the opportunity.

Currently, training activities (supervision, didactics, consultation) are conducted virtually, subject to change based on laws and regulations of governing boards.


Kaiser Permanente Counseling Center is a virtual training program with opportunities for in-person exposure within the Vallejo and Milpitas Medical Centers (In-person locations are subject to change)

Vallejo Medical Center - Psychiatry Department
1761 Broadway Street, Suite 100
Vallejo, CA 94589

Milpitas Medical Offices - Mental Health Clinic
611 S. Milpitas Boulevard
Milpitas, CA 95035

Training Director

Natalie Vides-Boelke, LCSW
Behavioral Health Manager

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