San Diego County Juvenile Forensic Services, Health & Human Services

(858) 541-5245

Training and Education Offered by Internship

Please describe your objective in training Predoctoral interms. Please include a brief description of your training program and how it fits within the goals or mission of your agency:

The object of the internship is to teach our interns how to function in the role of a forensic psychologist within our setting. Interns do initial clinical evaluations, crisis intervention, and follow selected cases long term. Interns will have some opportunity to do formal psychodiagnostic testing and report writing. They will discuss their findings with the referring psychiatrist, mental health clinician or fellow intern. Interns learn to present cases in group supervision and to collaborate with their peers. Interns have the opportunity to co-lead therapy groups in Juvenile Hall, master group techniques, and run a group independently. They may attend staff meetings at their assigned site and participate in clinical reviews as desired. Interns have opportunities to polish their ability to write competent clinical notes, and a cogent, formal psychodiagnostic evaluation. They get experience consulting with psychiatrists and interfacing with our multi-disciplinary team. They may have the opportunity to assist in doing a competency to stand trial screening and may learn how to do treatment to restore competency. Interns will have solid experience in working with a well-functioning team and incorporate a model that will be useful no matter where they work. As interns mature over the year, they have greater opportunities for independence and develop into valued members of our team, helping our youth learn from their mistakes. They counsel young people and help them re-evaluate their goals, come to terms with their trauma, and head off in a better direction. And, when these same youth return all too soon, our interns learn patience and acceptance, and how to start from where they left off, with renewed determination and hope.

If applicable, describe in detail how the internship training differs from practicum training:

This internship presumes that the interns have a solid basic understanding of all areas of clinical psychology. It presumes that the interns have completed significant course work and are knowledgeable about the field, not expert, but certainly well read and thoughtful. The internship presumes that these are psychologists in training who are eager to test their knowledge in the real world, to try their prowess in diagnosis, treatment planning, and delivery of effective interventions. We expect some sophistication and a willingness to struggle with skill improvement. We expect a seasoned ability to be realistic, diagnostically accurate, and to not only tolerate, but actively appreciate and like difficult kids with attitude. We hope for measured confidence, a keen growing edge, and a determination to get through resistance while looking casual and relaxed. We are here to supervise, to encourage, and to praise. We will not babysit, micro-manage, or hold your hand. We expect our interns to be helpful without being told how, to volunteer without being prodded, and to have a can-do attitude. In return, you will be much appreciated, treated with great respect, and very carefully mentored and supervised. We appreciate and welcome feedback and hope to improve our training each year.


Conduct an initial screen of referred detainees, including a brief interview, MSE, and make a decision whether to refer to psychiatry or not. Assess minors for Watch Status and know when to consult with senior staff about the need for close watch and suicide watch. Know how and when to ask what to do, if you are unsure. Use judgment to identify your own level of competence in selecting among referrals. Have the ability to ask for supervision immediately when needed. Internalize all rules and ethical guidelines for confidentiality, as well as reporting protective concerns. Know what is easy and difficult for you, and work at your growing edge, neither beyond nor below. Have the courage to be open with your supervisor who is there to help you maximize your potential. Select a reasonable amount of cases for yourself. Be available for scheduled supervision, and seek it out beyond the schedule, rather than winging it on your own. Prepare your cases thoroughly for presentation and learn to articulate your issues. It is your responsibility to work hard and do your best. If no professional staff is available on site, you are not allowed to work alone. Follow the protocol of what to do in this situation because we are very serious about protecting you from getting in over your head.

Training/Clinical Services Offered:

Assessment, Brief, Consultation, Couple, Crisis, Family, Group, Individual, Inpatient, Long Term, Neuropsych, Other, Outpatient, Psych. Testing

Comments Regarding Theoretical Orientation of Staff

Consult with Probation staff and attend Treatment Team meetings in certain settings. Corroborate with Probation staff on safety issues and learn to communicate with non clinicians in a clear and concise way.
  • County - SAN DIEGO
  • Contact Person Title - Director of Intern Training
  • Contact Person - Norman Severe, PsyD
  • Dir. of Training Title - Director of Intern Training
  • Dir. of Training - Norman Severe, PsyD

  • Last Updated - 30 December 2019

  • Number of Applicants Last Year -

  • Participating in CURRENT Match process - No

  • CAPIC Program ID - I-185
  • CAPIC Member Since - 2003
  • Region - So. Cal
  • Internships Status - Half
  • Statuses approved by CAPIC
    • Half-Time 1 Year - Yes
    • Half-Time 2 Years - No
    • Full-Time 1 Year - Yes
  • CAPIC Internship Types Available:
    • Half-Time 1 Year - Yes
    • Half-Time 2 Years - No
    • Full-Time 1 Year - No

Primary Location

  • Executive Director - Carlos Nelson, PhD
  • San diego, CA 92123
  • Phone - (858) 541-5245
  • Fax - (858) 541-5245

Training/Clinical Services Offered

  • Assessment
  • Brief
  • Crisis
  • Family
  • Group
  • Individual
  • Long Term
  • Outpatient
  • Psych. Testing