Family Psychology is a distinct specialty within the larger field of psychology that integrates systems-oriented theories and treatment models into professional practice. Family Psychology is often viewed as where the fields of professional psychology and family therapy meet– a profession onto itself with a distinct, unique body of knowledge and modes of training. The American Psychological Association offers the following description. The specialty is also recognized by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP; info here). Many Family Psychologists also belong to the American Family Therapy Academy or the Society for Family Psychology, Division 43 of the American Psychological Association.
Training Program Objectives
The training experience is tailored to each student’s unique learning goals and professional developmental level. Trainees are expected to develop a working learning contract and regularly update it with their primary supervisor. Because the program is set in a family-focused outpatient clinic, trainees can expect to gain experience and training specific to private practice (e.g., diagnostic formulation, documentation standards, interfacing with child protection, etc.). Additionally, the program facilitates growth in the following areas:
- Therapeutic reflective functioning
- Process/Content Distinctions
- The ability to consider context
- Second-order change
- Developing evidence-based theoretical orientations
- Diagnostic formulation & treatment planning
- Application of systemic and relationally-oriented intervention models
- Ability to academically critique commercialized interventions
- Identifying cognitive bias in the diagnostic process
Our training program is an outgrowth of our commitment to professionalism and fierce dedication to serving the underserved. We offer significantly reduced-fee services to those in financial need. The clinic has existing relationships with area graduate programs in psychology and family therapy, but we are not beholden to any specific graduate schools. The program offers summer or fall starts and typically follows the student’s academic or licensure schedule. Bilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
The training program features individual and group supervision, monthly agency-wide case consultation, monthly grand rounds, and periodic inservices. Because we host trainees from a variety of professional developmental stages, the training environment is rich and marked by a high level of peer collaboration. Invited speakers during past training years have included Drs. Mac Baird, Irvin Yalom, Bruce Perry, Pauline Boss, Sue Johnson, Mary Catherine Bateson, Harry Aponte, Peter Zelles, and David Hong.
- Postdoctoral Fellowship. Our APPIC-listed Family Psychology postdoc is designed for trainees with doctoral degrees in psychology who are working toward licensure. This is a full-time, one-year, salaried position.
- Doctoral Internship. For doctoral student in their final year of psychology doctoral programs.
- Post-Master’s Fellowship. For MFT, counseling, or social work program graduates working on post-degree clinical hours. This is a full-time, two-year, salaried position.
- Practicum. For Couples & Family Therapy, Counseling, or Psychology graduate students in their second or third years of study.
Admission to our training program is competitive. To apply for a training placement, email your resume/CV and cover letter to Dr. Brandon Suarez, Training Director – email@example.com; applications for Post-Doctoral and Post-Master’s Fellowships are accepted only when those positions are linked out from the Join Us of our website. Applications for Psychology Internship must be completed through APPIC AAPI portal, and notification will occur through the APPIC Match service. Cover letters should broadly outline your learning goals and commitment to the common good and explicitly state the type of degree program you are in as well as the placement you are seeking. If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified via email.