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Psychology Practicum Extern – San Jose

Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center

The city of San Jose lies in the Santa Clara Valley about 50 miles southeast of San Francisco. With over 1 million residents, San Jose is a sprawling metropolitan area. The population is ethnically diverse, with large Asian and Hispanic communities that constitute three-fifths of the total population.

Nicknamed the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose’s economy remains focused on high technology. Computer hardware design and manufacturing, software production, and Internet concerns are the major industries. The metro area retains its character with quirky attractions like the 160-room, maze-like Winchester Mystery House, a 120-acre flea market complete with ponies, and a larger-than-life Monopoly board. San Jose supports a variety of music, dance, and theatre organizations, including professional ballet and opera companies. Notable museums include the San Jose Museum of Art, The Tech Museum of Innovation, and the Rosicrucian Egyptian museum. Several sports teams call San Jose home including the Sharks NHL team.

Cradled by the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range, San Jose offers a prime environment for outdoorsy residents, with its proximity to beaches along the California coast including Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel and state parks such as Henry Coe and Big Basin. The city boasts a number of local municipal parks and flower gardens as well.

The Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center is staffed with 400 physicians and 3250 support staff and serves health plan members from South San Jose to Los Banos in the central valley. In addition to offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient care, it features Regional Subspecialty Centers in Genetics, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sleep Medicine, and Spine Care. Satellite clinics are located in Gilroy, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and Watsonville.

Program Curriculum

Equity, Inclusion & Diversity

We are committed to nurturing and integrating diversity training into all aspects of our practicum extern 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.

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.

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

Adult Outpatient Mental Health

The Adult Outpatient Mental Health Track provides training on a multidisciplinary team within an integrated health care setting. The program is designed to provide a breadth of experiences with the purpose of developing a generalist practitioner in adult psychiatry.

Externs will gain experience in intake assessments, individual and group psychotherapy, and ADHD screening. They will be assigned cases from a broad and diverse patient population and address treatment needs related to mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, trauma, aging, adjustment disorders, crises, and work or life stress. The extern 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.

The extern will deliver evidence-based interventions within a feedback informed care model. Training in evidence-based individual treatment will consist of providing therapy within treatment tracks (example: mood, trauma and trans-diagnostic). Training in evidence-based group therapy will consist of co-facilitating groups under the supervision of licensed psychologists. The extern will also have the opportunity to complete a rotation in the Adult Intensive Outpatient Program.

Behavioral Medicine Services (Adult)

The Health Psychology extern will receive excellent training in primary care psychology while working within a tight knit team. The extern will spend approximately half of their time in Behavioral Medicine Services (BMS), embedded within primary care or OBGYN.Trainees are integrated into these respective clinics and build support and collaboration throughout the training year.

The externs will assist medical care providers and their patients by addressing behavioral and psychological factors that contribute to overall improved health. In this role, externs will have the opportunity to diagnose, develop treatment plans, and care for patients within the department of medicine. Behavioral medicine providers co-treat chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic pain, headaches, insomnia, and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, BMS providers are integral in treating adjustment disorders often related to coping with medical diagnoses and help to improve whole health patient outcomes. This position broadens and deepens your brief assessment and intervention skills across many diagnoses with a very diverse group of patients.

The BMS model allows for warm handoffs from the physicians for patients who may be ambivalent about treatment engagement or likely to benefit from a brief intervention. The externs will collaborate with physicians on the evaluation of psychotropic medications within their scope of practice.

Child Psychiatry Generalist

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry track provides an opportunity to work on a multidisciplinary team utilizing evidence based and multimodal therapies with children, teens, and families. The extern may complete rotations in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), ADHD assessment and psychotherapy groups and classes. This program is designed to provide a breadth of training experiences with the purpose of developing a generalist practitioner in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Externs are assigned cases from the broad and diverse patient population addressing needs related to the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, attention and impulse control disorders, behavioral issues, and more.

Externs will utilize evidence-based interventions within a feedback informed care model with the use of outcome monitoring at each session. The doctoral extern will utilize both individual and group supervision for case formulation and treatment planning and will receive training in individual and family psychotherapy as well as group treatment.

Training in evidence-based individual and family treatment will consist of providing individual and family therapy within a focused therapy treatment track. Training in evidence-based group treatment will consist of co-facilitating groups under the supervision of licensed therapists.


  • Direct Patient Care: 15
  • Individual Supervision: 1 hours
  • Group Supervision: 1 hours
  • Didactic Training: 1 hour
  • Non-Patient Care: 4 hours
  • Hybrid work option with 2 days in clinic and 1 day remote


Child Psychiatry
6620 Via del Oro
San Jose, CA 95119

Adult Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine Specialty
5755 Cottle Rd, Bldgs 23 & 24
San Jose, CA 95123

Training Director

Dina Alkhoury, PsyD
Training Director

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