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Psychology Practicum Extern – Oakland

Central Bay Consortium

Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center

Oakland is a bustling, diverse metropolitan city 10 miles from San Francisco, and adjacent to Berkeley. It offers the best of both worlds – the cultural opportunities of an urban environment and uniquely beautiful natural parks and open spaces. The climate is temperate with mild winters and abundant sunshine. The East Bay Regional Parks around Oakland encompass 59 parks with more than 91,000 acres for hiking, running, swimming, and other outdoor activities. Nearby Jack London Square offers fine dining and shopping and Piedmont Avenue, which is within walking distance of the medical center, also boasts numerous restaurants and stores. The city hosts a Farmer’s Market on 9th Street every Friday.

The Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center is the flagship facility of the entire Northern California Kaiser Permanente system. The Permanente Foundation opened its first hospital in Oakland in 1942. A new hospital of 346 beds was constructed in 2009, with three nearby office buildings providing outpatient services. All facilities are located in the central portion of the city and accessible by public transportation. Kaiser Oakland provides primary care to 32% of the surrounding population and tertiary care to three million health plan members in Northern California. It is a regional referral center for specialty services, such as genetics, spine surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, and transgender care.

The Psychiatry department serves a large urban and suburban community, extending from Richmond, Pinole, and Albany to the cities of Alameda and San Leandro, with Oakland and Berkeley in between. Our patient population reflects the unique ethnic and cultural diversity of the region with members identifying as African American, Asian, Caucasian, Latino/a, and other. Common languages spoken include Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Our membership also includes Medicare/Medi-Cal enrollees, who comprise 11% of the population cared for in our service area. Oakland and its surrounding cities are home to one of the largest sexual and gender diverse populations in the US. Kaiser Oakland Psychiatry has been a mental health training site since the 1980s.

As an organization, Kaiser Permanente serves over 4 million people in Northern California. The total population served by Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and Richmond (those who are health plan members, which, as noted, closely match the broader population) is approximately 1 million persons.

Program Curriculum

Equity, Inclusion & Diversity

We are committed to nurturing and integrating diversity training into all aspects of our practicum program by:

Providing externs 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 externs’ 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 externs’ 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.

Externs are encouraged to participate in the Regional Mental Health Training Program EID 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.

Our organization strives to create an inclusive workplace for our employees, deliver quality health care that is culturally responsive to our members and patients, and address the total health of the communities we serve.

To optimize patient care and the appreciation of diversity at an organizational level, Kaiser Permanente has established the Institute of Culturally Competent Care as well as “Centers of Excellence,” which responds to specific health needs of certain populations.

Kaiser Permanente has been recognized for several years and was named Diversity Inc Top 50 Hall of Fame for recognition of our diversity and inclusion practices in hiring, retaining, and promoting women, minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and people in the LGBTQ community.


Didactic Training

Regularly scheduled weekly didactic seminars, formerly held at the consortium level, are now organized, and administered at the regional level for all KP NorCal trainees. Doctoral externs are required to attend the one-hour weekly seminar. Diversity issues are always integrated into seminar presentations.

Didactic topics include:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Adverse Childhood Experiences, How Wonder Makes Us Happier, and more.

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. Externs 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

Practicum Externs are expected to attend weekly team meetings as a part of their training depending on their current rotations. There will also be opportunities to attend various professional development seminars throughout the year and regular check-ins with their training director. Externs may attend inter-departmental trainings and hospital grand rounds if their schedule permits.

Telehealth Training:
Kaiser Permanente has greatly expanded its’ virtual presence, which will allow residents to fully train and practice in a variety of trailblazing platforms in telemedicine to provide accessible mental health care.



Each practicum extern is supervised by a licensed psychologist who meets with the extern for one hour a week in individual face-to-face supervision. This supervisor takes the lead role in developing the extern’s learning plan and schedule, supervising their clinical work, and helping them navigating the KP mental health system. This supervisor additionally is responsible for completing the extern’s evaluation after gathering input from other staff members who have worked with the extern. At some practicum training sites, externs may receive supplemental individual supervision from Psychology Postdoctoral Residents.

Practicum externs also receive 1 hour of group supervision per week for case presentation and consultation. Depending on the training site, externs may also participate in group supervision for psychological testing/ADHD assessment and in a cultural conversation/diversity seminar. Group supervision allows for vicarious learning and modeling as well as giving and receiving feedback. These experiences help the extern to develop both the collegial and supervisory aspects of their professional identity.

Tracks and Rotations

Child and Family Focused Treatment

The FT track focuses on developing skills in targeted, brief treatment of common childhood challenges, both mild-moderate acuity and subclinical, and will include exposure to Behavioral Medicine Specialty consult roles. The trainee in this track will also be part of the Focused Treatment (FT) program, in which the patient/family receives 12 weeks of goal-oriented treatment, using CBT, DBT, and ACT skills. This rotation requires participation in the FT consult meetings on Monday mornings, and Front-loaded care meetings on Thursdays.

Child and Family Assessment

The Assessment track includes ten months of clinical supervision in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents for a variety of common Psychological Assessment batteries, providing group psychotherapy in 1-2 skills-based cross-diagnostic groups, provision of individual/family therapy and/or psycho-education services, and also completion of approximately three to six integrative assessments.

This rotation requires attendance Fridays 9a-1p for assessment seminar, and final months will not include new assessment referrals to allow for completion of testing reports.


Child and Family ADHD

The ADHD track includes 10 months of clinical supervision and training in the assessment of children and adolescents who have been referred for an ADHD Evaluation, treatment of children with ADHD, and also completion of six to ten integrative assessments of the adolescents referred for an ADHD Evaluation.

This ADHD rotation occurs all day on Wednesdays from 8:30am-5:30pm, and Tuesday mornings.

Child and Family All Tracks

Kaiser Permanente Child and Family Psychiatry in Oakland is an outpatient psychiatric clinic offering evaluation and outpatient treatment as well as consultation to inpatient and emergency room services. We provide individual, family, and group therapy to children, adolescents, and families. We also consult with various Pediatric Behavioral Medicine clinics and services.

Our practices are based on best practices models developed for ADHD, ASD, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, and Eating Disorders. We also offer an Intensive Outpatient Program, Crisis Stabilization Program, Chronic Mental Illness treatment, and Eating Disorder Program. Our population comes from culturally and economically diverse families. Our staff is diverse as well, in terms of cultural background as well as style of clinical practice, and areas of clinical specialty. In addition to the above clinical rotations, the practicum students will also build up a case load of individual and family psychotherapy patients selected in concert with their primary supervisors.

There is weekly group supervision on Friday mornings as well as Diversity Seminar on Wednesday mornings, and a Family Therapy seminar with in vivo training on Wednesday evenings. Finally, the practicum students will also be able to participate in one (or more) of the many group psychotherapy offerings in the Child and Family Services Department, many of which are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


  • Direct Patient Care: 8-13 hours (varies by position)
  • Supervision: 2-3 hours
  • Indirect patient care: 5-7 hours (varies by position)
  • Didactic: 1 hour
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