Frequently Asked Questions

Is DSH-Napa the same training site as Napa State Hospital?
Yes. Our hospital formally changed its name to "Department of State Hospitals-Napa (DSH-Napa)" from "Napa State Hospital" in 2012. However, it is still commonly referred to as Napa State Hospital and the names are used interchangeably.

What are the minimum qualifications required to apply to the internship program?
Internship applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral program (preferably APA accredited) in clinical psychology; be recommended by their clinical program; and meet our prerequisites. Each application is evaluated in its entirety. There are no mandatory thresholds in any individual category (e.g., assessment). While there is a state civil service requirement of 500 hours of assessment and therapy practica in clinical psychology, these do not need to be direct face-to-face hours and can include time in supervision and support activities (e.g., report writing). Pre-internship practicum placements should include experience in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of cognitive measures, intelligence tests, and personality assessment instruments. The applicant should have experience in writing integrated assessment reports. Practicum experience should also include a strong background in case conceptualization and individual psychotherapy. Successful applicants also have experience with both individually and culturally diverse individuals and an interest in working with the severely mentally ill.

What personal characteristics are essential for success in the training program?
Our most successful trainees possess strong time management skills and flexibility. Our training program is very demanding and requires trainees to balance time spent in supervision, treatment activities, attending seminars, hospital-wide trainings, and the administration of psychological assessment measures and writing assessment reports. Though not a formal requirement of the program, it is very helpful to complete the dissertation prior to beginning internship.

What graduate programs have interns come from in the past?
Interns hail from a large variety of clinical doctoral programs from around the country. Since 2011, interns have come from the following graduate programs:

  • Adler University
  • Alliant University/San Francisco
  • Antioch University of New England
  • Argosy University
  • Azusa Pacific University
  • Carlos Albizu University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Fuller Graduate School of Psychology
  • George Fox University
  • JFK University
  • Kansas City University
  • Miami University of Ohio
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Palo Alto University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Rutgers/The State University of New Jersey
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Denver
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of LaVerne
  • University of Vermont
  • Wright Institute

What postdoctoral fellowships and career opportunities have recent interns obtained?
Our internship has a very strong track record of placing interns into competitive postdoctoral fellowships and employment settings across the country. Specifically, they have gone on to the following postdoctoral fellowships:

  • Adult Rehabilitation Psychology Program, Hurley Medical Center, Flint, MI
  • Child Study and Treatment Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Copernican Clinical Services, Massachusetts
  • Denver DBT and Psychotherapy, Denver, CO
  • Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Richmond, CA
  • Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Redwood City, CA
  • Department of Psychiatry, East Central Regional Hospital, Augusta GA
  • Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, CA
  • Department of State Hospitals, Department of Psychology, Fellowship in Forensic Psychology, Patton, CA
  • Division of Pain Medicine, Training Program in Pain and Substance Use Disorders, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • Framework Associates Psychological Practice, Post-Doctoral Psychological Assistant Fellowship
  • Northwest Forensic Institute, Portland, Oregon
  • Turning Points Educational Solutions, San Jose, CA
  • Veterans Administration Medical Clinic, Palo Alto, Fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Palo Alto, CA
  • Veterans Administration Medical Clinic, San Francisco, Fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation, San Francisco, CA
  • The Trauma Disorders Program, Sheppard Pratt Health System, Baltimore, MD

Our former interns have also gone on to work as Staff Psychologists at DSH-Stockton; California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR); Primary Therapists at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Program in Boynton Beach, FL; and as Staff Psychologists at DSH-Napa, DSH-Atascadero, and DSH-Patton. Many have also been appointed as part-time faculty members at various universities and graduate institutions, including at the University of California, Berkeley.

Does DSH-Napa offer a post-doctoral program?
Although DSH-Napa does not offer a formal post-doctoral program, we do hire unlicensed psychologists for Staff Psychologist positions. Many DSH-Napa interns have sought and obtained these positions because they receive a regular Staff Psychologist salary while obtaining post-doctoral hours towards licensure. As an unlicensed psychologist, former interns receive four hours of supervision per week, as required by the California Board of Psychology. Unlicensed psychologists have five years to obtain their license. Approximately 20 percent of the 80 psychologists currently on staff at DSH-Napa are former DSH-Napa interns.

How many hours of supervision do interns receive each week?
At minimum, five hours in total. Interns receive four hours of individual, face-to-face supervision and one hour of group supervision per week, for a total of five hours. This includes one hour each with a treatment unit supervisor, assessment supervisor and two different individual psychotherapy supervisors. In addition, all interns spend one hour per week together in group supervision. Lastly, interns are regularly scheduled for administrative supervision with the Internship Training Director to ensure ongoing contact and support throughout the training year.

What resources are available to interns during the training year?
DSH-Napa has access to a range of onsite training resources, including a Professional Library, computers, voicemail, teleconferencing capabilities, psychological assessment materials, and assessment software. Nearly every week, DSH staff, U.C. Davis faculty, and/or other outside providers offer Grand Rounds presentations. Hospital-wide trainings organized by our Continuing Medical Education (CME) Committee are offered throughout the year on a range of topics. This year (2024), we have plans to offer trainings focused on cultural diversity within the healthcare system; Law and Ethics (Law Day); Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Other trainings provided by our CME Committee in years past include: "Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention," "Creating Cultural Equity" with Dr. Telsie Davis; "Navigating Challenging Issues in Clinical Supervision" with Dr. Nadine Kaslow. Additionally, we have offered Roffered R-PAS trainings conducted by the late Dr. Phil Erdberg, trainings by the authors of the HCR-20, and a presentation on legal and ethical issues that relate to clinical practice, among others.

Onsite resources not directly related to training include a newly renovated fitness center and onsite running and mountain bike trails (please note these resources may be closed at any time due to COVID-19 and/or wildfire season.). Additionally, many conferences and workshops occur year-round throughout the Bay Area.

What is the salary?
Salary funding for the internship is through a California civil service appointment for Clinical Psychology Intern (CPI). The annual intern salary is estimated to be approximately $47,016. There are no unpaid positions. Interns have the same holidays as other state employees, plus accrued annual leave or sick/vacation time depending on which plan the intern selects.

Where do interns reside?
Interns often live in the City of Napa. More affordable options can be found in the nearby cities of American Canyon, Fairfield, Vacaville, and Vallejo, which each approximate a 30 minute commute to DSH-Napa. Many interns choose to live in the Berkeley area, which is approximately 45-50 minutes from the DSH-Napa campus. Some also opt to live in San Francisco, which is about an hour or more commute.