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 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 clientele 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. Our training program is very demanding and requires trainees to balance time spent in supervision, treatment activities, attending seminars, Grand Rounds, hospital-wide trainings, and administration of tests and writing assessment reports. It is very helpful to complete the dissertation prior to beginning internship, if at all possible.

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:

  • 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
  • JFK University
  • Miami University of Ohio
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Palo Alto University
  • Rutgers/The State University of New Jersey
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Denver
  • University of Indianapolis
  • University of LaVerne
  • 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
  • Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Richmond CA
  • Department of Psychiatry, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center, Redwood City, CA
  • Division of Pain Medicine, Training Program in Pain and Substance Use Disorders, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • Department of Psychiatry, East Central Regional Hospital, Augusta GA  
  • Department of Psychology, Fellowship in Forensic Psychology, DSH-Patton, Patton, CA
  • Turning Points Educational Solutions, San Jose, CA
  • Fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Clinic
  • 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; Primary Therapists at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Program in Boynton Beach, FL; and as Staff Psychologists at DSH-Napa. 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 three years to obtain their license. Approximately 20 percent of the 77 psychologists currently on staff at DSH-Napa are former DSH-Napa interns. 

How many hours of supervision do interns receive each week? 
Interns receive four hours of individual, face-to-face supervision and one hour of group supervision per week. This includes one hour each with a treatment unit supervisor, assessment supervisor and two different individual psychotherapy supervisors. All interns spend one hour per week together in group supervision.   

What resources are available to interns during the training year?
DSH-Napa has access to a range of on-site training resources, including a Professional Library, computers, voicemail, teleconferencing capabilities, assessment materials, and assessment software. Nearly every week, DSH staff, U.C. Davis faculty, 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, we will be offering a day-long training entitled “Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention”. Other trainings provided by our CME Committee this year include “Introduction to Using the MMPI-2 RF in Forensic Psychological Evaluations” and “Personality Assessment in Forensic Evaluation Using the MMPI-2 RF”.  Additionally, we will have an R-PAS training conducted by Dr. Phil Erdberg and a training on “Clinical Supervision” provided by Dr. Nadine Kaslow,  training by the authors of the HCR-20, an R-PAS training conducted by Dr. Phil Erdberg   and a presentation on legal and ethical issues that relate to clinical practice,  among others. On-site resources not directly related to training include a Fitness Center and on-site running and mountain bike trails. Many conferences and workshops occur year-round throughout the Bay Area.

What is the salary?
Salary funding for the internship and fellowship is through a California civil service appointment for Clinical Psychology Intern (CPI). The annual intern salary for the 2019-2020 training year is 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, and Vallejo. Many interns choose to live in Berkeley, which is approximately 45 minutes from the DSH-Napa campus. Some also opt to live in San Francisco, which is about an hour or more commute.