The Post-Graduate Training Program provides an intensive learning experience in psychodynamically oriented psychotherapy. It is open to members of the professional community who have attained a master's or doctoral degree in psychology, social work, counseling, or a related mental health field and want to deepen their skills and knowledge. Trainees staff the Institute’s moderate-fee clinic and provide psychotherapy to clients under the careful supervision of experienced, licensed clinicians. They receive both individual and group supervision weekly and participate in a didactic program of lectures, seminars, and case conferences covering major theoretical and clinical aspects of psychotherapy.
There is no fee for the program, nor do trainees receive any salary or stipend.
The program extends for two years. The training group is composed of approximately 16 first- and second-year trainees. In a typical year, eight trainees start the program in early September. Our goal is to select a diverse group of developing therapists who are representative of the professional community and who value the self-awareness required of psychotherapy practitioners. TPI does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation and welcomes all qualified persons to apply.
Supervised hours at the Clinic are routinely accepted by the Board of Behavioral Science Examiners for the California MFCC and LCSW licenses. Psychologists can accumulate post-doctoral hours when registered with the Board of Psychology as Psychological Assistants; however a maximum of 11 hours/week in the training program can be credited toward psychology licensure.
A Closer Look
As a staff therapist at The Psychotherapy Institute, you’ll work with a caseload of at least five adult clients (9-12 client hours per week). The Clinic treats individuals of a wide range of ethnic and economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and mental health problems. The Clinic does not accept clients who are actively suicidal at the time of intake or whose primary difficulties concern substance abuse or domestic violence. Most clients are seen in individual therapy, but there are opportunities to work with couples as well. Along with the other staff therapists, you’ll share responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the Clinic, including the intake process.
Regular staff meetings include:
- Weekly clinical issues group. This meeting is held on Tuesday mornings.
- Weekly didactic seminar and staff meeting. The focus of the didactic seminars alternates each year between theoretical perspectives and treatment techniques and modalities. These groups are held on Friday mornings.
- Bi-weekly Process Learning Group. Separate groups are held for first-year and second-year trainees. The groups meet on Friday afternoons.
- Bi-weekly Sociocultural Group. Comprised of both cohorts; meets every other Friday afternoon. Facilitated by a member of the TPI Group Faculty.
- One or more TPI committee meetings—usually monthly. As a way to become more familiar with the organization and larger TPI community, staff therapists join at least one standing committee or serve as a staff representative on the Institute’s governing council.
Supervision: Each week you’ll receive 2 - 3 hours of individual, face-to-face supervision and 1 1/2 hours of small group supervision. You’ll have both a primary and secondary supervisor and may add additional individual supervisors as your caseload increases. Your weekly group supervision will consist of 5 - 6 staff therapists and include both first and second-year trainees. TPI maintains a roster of over 60 active supervisors who are experienced clinicians from various disciplines and orientations, who volunteer their time as TPI supervisors.
Staff Therapist of Color Mentorship Program: The mentorship program pairs current staff therapists of color with therapists of color in the community. The mentors and mentees will meet twice monthly during the training year for hour-long meetings. While the mentor does not provide clinical supervision for individual cases, they offer professional and personal guidance which may include, but is not limited to: building leadership capacities as an individual of color, developing a unique voice as a therapist of color, coping with stress from macro-and micro-aggressions, especially while in training, support around systemic racism in clinical work, speaking to the unique challenges of being a therapist of color within a professional milieu, and addressing issues that may emerge with being a person of color within a predominately white clinical community.
College Track: TPI collaborates with College Track (CT), an organization that offers an after-school college-preparatory program for underserved communities in Oakland. TPI Staff Therapists provide adjunctive therapy services onsite at their downtown Oakland offices near Jack London Square. This optional program offers Staff Therapists the opportunity to provide individual, drop-in, milieu, and/or group therapy while collecting child/family hours towards licensure. A LIMITED NUMBER OF SLOTS ARE AVAILABLE.
TPI Committees: sit on a TPI committee that usually meets monthly. As a way to become more familiar with the organization and larger TPI community, staff therapists join at least one standing committee or serve as a staff representative on the Institute’s governing council.
Time demands of the training program are comparable to those of a half-time job. You’ll be involved in Institute activities approximately 25 hours/week in all, including time for clinical hours, supervision, seminars, paperwork, and intake responsibilities. You must accumulate 550 face-to-face clinical hours to complete the program.
Graduates receive certificates after the annual graduation, a celebration attended by trainees, family, and supervisors. Many trainees become close to fellow staff members in the course of the training program. Some who remain in the Bay Area continue their association through peer consultation and study groups. Many also continue their involvement at The Psychotherapy Institute, going on to become supervisors or hold Institute-wide office.