Walnut Creek is a city of about sixty-seven thousand residents, located 25 miles East of San Francisco, 8 miles from Berkeley and Oakland. It is known for its small-town vibe, vibrant downtown, arts and parks, top notch public schools, and for its spectacular surrounding hills. Mt. Diablo, with its unmistakable profile of two peaks, is a landmark rising visibly over the entire Bay Area. The City itself offers urban and suburban living, adjacent to striking natural environments and bucolic rural settings. BART pubic transportation serves Walnut Creek, making it accessible quite easily without a car to the rest of the East Bay and San Francisco. We could go on and on, and you’d have to visit to believe us!
Walnut Creek provides comprehensive health care to approximately 350,000 members residing in the Diablo Service Area. Many more travel from outside the service area for our Regionally funded and specialized Mental Health services. Our members span major ethnic groups (Latina/o, Multicultural, Asian, new or second-generation immigrants, LGBTQ and transgender related presenting problems or needs, and others who identify strongly with a cultural minority). Our patients range in age from 12-80,with greater representation among those who are 30 and older. Patients represent a range from high to low SES. Some of our members also speak Spanish, Russian, Farsi, and Mandarin/Cantonese languages.
Walnut Creek’s Mental Health and Addiction Medicine & Recovery Services provides Kaiser Permanente Northern California with the Region’s highest level of care in several specialty areas of treatment, including intensive outpatient psychiatry (post-hospitalization) and eating disorders intensive outpatient program, as well as Addiction Medicine & Recovery Services. We are a busy and close-knit department, with over 150 specialty mental health care providers of various disciplines.
Our site provides trainees at all levels with a supportive environment in which to learn about intensive outpatient mental health services, and treatment for acute and chronic psychopathology. We believe that our practicum may be one of the few sites where advanced externs can lean broad practice skills and work with patients receiving highly specialized treatment.
The practicum resides on the Eating Disorders & Intensive Team, and provides supervised professional psychological services within our departmental and also, when indicated, at our nearby medical center. The hallmark of these intensive services is other group-based milieu – where a combination of therapeutic process and skill-building takes place. The practicum student will be a key participant in this work, although there will be some opportunities for individual interventions related to solution-focused risk assessments and relapse prevention. The Walnut Creek practicum is unique in providing supervised clinical experience to trainees in both foundational competencies as well as specialized areas of current psychological practice.
We find that trainees who are flexible, curious, and comfortable with a fast pace are the best fit for our site. Trainees who can provide and receive constructive feedback are likely to benefit the most. We are very pleased to announce our new practicum program, and to host two practicum externs for the 2020-21 training year.
Clinical Service Opportunities
- Group and milieu therapy, some individual sessions
- Psychological Assessment, based on student interest
- Supervisory support and didactics
- Integrated team meetings
- Collaboration with wide array of multidisciplinary professionals
- Provide services to broadly representative population
- Integrated Services
- Primary Supervision by licensed psychological program faculty
- Group Supervision by licensed program faculty
- Supplementary supervision provided, when indicated, by our wonderful psychology doctoral interns and postdoctoral residents (specific foci such as “internship application process” and “career vision”)
- Eating Disorder Intensive Outpatient Services
- Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Services (groups, case management, post hospitalization stabilization)
- Hospital Consultation and Liaison Team
All rotations take place at Walnut Creek Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Medicine & Recovery Services.
Each practicum student completes both rotations during the training year
- Direct Patient Care 8-13 hours (varies by rotation)
- Supervision 2-3 hours
- Indirect patient care 5-7 hours (varies by position)
- Approximately 20 hours total
- Monday, Tuesday, Friday are program dates, with some flexibility within each day
- We have students attend hospital, regional and departmental grand rounds, topics vary
- 2-hour weekly didactics with our post master’s mental health fellow trainees