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Psychology Practicum Extern – Walnut Creek

Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center

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.

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. Opportunities to participate in medical team huddles, provider continuing education trainings, AMRS case conference, and other seminars will be available schedule and rotations permitting.

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.

Psychological Assessment

Externs will have the opportunity to complete ADHD assessments as well as neuropsychological batteries for adult and pediatric patients.

Tracks and Rotations

Addiction Medicine Recovery Services Track

Walnut Creek’s Mental Health Addiction Medicine Services Department provides KP members with the Region’s highest level of care in several specialty areas of treatment including an Intensive Outpatient Psychiatry (post-hospitalization) and an Eating Disorders Intensive Outpatient Program, as well as seven days-a-week Addiction Medicine Recovery Services. We are a busy and close-knit collaborative department, with more than 150 specialty mental health providers in various disciplines.

Due to our unique rotations, externs will be able to observe and function in the widely varied roles of an emerging mental health professional. They will work alongside psychologists on diverse teams with unique models. In addition, they will be exposed to patients of varying ages and ethnicities and a wide range of presenting problems, whom they will treat in groups and individually. Externs will work with patients in group therapy who present with acute and often chronic symptoms. In addition, they will work with an unusual set of medical and comorbid presenting problems.

Before the BAPIC ranking day, externs will choose their preference for the EDO / MH track, where both intensive rotations are covered for half of the year; or they may prefer the AMRS rotation which runs for the entire year. There will be 2 practicum externs in each track for a total of 4 in 2024-25.

Eating Disorder Intensive Treatment Rotation

5-month rotation at WCR MHAM, occasional days at the WCR Medical Center. Paired with the MHIOP rotation.

Outpatient highest level of care using Exposure Based Family Based Therapy for teens and other exposure-based therapies for adults. Combination of family groups, peer groups, meal groups and individual treatment based on multidisciplinary treatment team assessment and treatment planning. Opportunity for multidisciplinary collaboration with adolescent medicine specialists, physicians and registered dieticians. Focus on multicultural competency and sensitivity in the milieu and in provision of care. Programming for externs includes opportunity for some shadowing of medical care in adjacent inpatient adolescent eating disorder unit.

Substance Use Disorder CBT and Full Spectrum of Care Treatment Rotation

Several 11-month rotations at WCR MHAM Substance Use Disorder CBT and Full Spectrum of Care Treatment Rotation are available and vary by level of care. Externs may select days and times according to their preferences for in-person or virtual programming and patient care experiences. Supervisors ensure a developmental match between rotations and the extern’s competencies throughout the training year.

The Addiction Medicine and Recovery Treatment program emphasizes medical team management and individualized treatment for patients with Substance Use Disorders. The program consists of multiple levels of care depending on symptom severity and the needs of the patient Externs have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of treatment modalities including psychoeducational and process groups within a multidisciplinary integrated medical team. They are able to work with patients from medical detoxification through a long-term course of treatment or assist with family members’ acceptance and recovery. Opportunities to work with adults and teens exist within separate programs.

Intensive Outpatient Program Rotation

Teen component (3 months) and adult component (3 months). 5-month rotation paired with EDO rotation.

Programming for psychiatric patients of all ages on multidisciplinary teams, with separate adult and teen treatment and training components. Unique placement for teen or adult patients stepping down from hospitalization or increasing level of care from standard outpatient treatment. Clinical treatment of serious and persistent mental illness using evidence-based treatment including DBT and milieu therapy. Group and individual therapies are training opportunities.

Neuropsychological evaluation (available on all tracks)

Completion of Neuropsychological tests and batteries addressing a broad range of presenting problems. Review of test data, discussion of conclusions and then provision of feedback and recommendations for adults and or pediatric patients.


22 hour weekly schedule no night or weekends.
Hybrid schedule in all rotations, some in person required for excellent experience

  • 12-13 hours direct patient care,
  • 2+ hours didactic training
  • 1 hour individual & 1 hour group supervision by licensed psychologists
  • Additional hour of peer supervision
  • Assessment Lab offered in person twice per month, remaining time for documentation and indirect patient care

Program Graduates

2023-2024 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Cedi McCorkle
Noah Anderson
Veronica Dise-Hodges

2022-2023 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Gentry Vest Kaiser Permanente San Rafael externship
Alexis Garcia Kaiser Permanente San Rafael externship

2021-2022 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Tara Fishback
Alexander Garcia
Taylor Short

2020-2021 Cohort

Graduate University/Institute Track/Specialty Rotation Current Position, Specialty & Location
Jennifer Miller
Tara Fishback
Kai Ruderian


Walnut Creek Mental Health & Addiction Medicine Department: Integrated Outpatient Mental Health, EDO & Addiction Medicine. Full spectrum of mental health services for members of all ages
710 South Broadway
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Walnut Creek Medical Center: Adolescent EDO Unit
1425 S. Main Street
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Training Director

Margot Green, PhD
Training Director

Meet the Training Team

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