Training Year 2018 - 2019

Our Internship Training Program at the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC) is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), and is a member of the Association of Psychological Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Our program offers internship level placements to doctoral students in psychology. We are exclusively affiliated with Palo Alto University and the Wright Institute. We offer four internship positions to students from Palo Alto University and two internship positions to students from the Wright Institute. These positions will be offered through the APPIC match. Students accepted into the program contract for a 12-month, 40 hour per week commitment. To view the Implementing Regulation (IR) C-27 Table: "Internship Admission, Support, & Initial Placement Data", please click here.

The purpose of our training program is to prepare interns to enter the field of clinical psychology as competent, ethical, collaborative, and culturally aware practitioners, able to integrate science and practice.  Interns gain experience in public school and outpatient settings and have the opportunity to participate in varied psychoeducational interventions.  Interns acquire and refine skills for treating children, adolescents and families in school settings and in a community mental health center setting.  Psychologists have a unique role among mental health professionals in community settings because of the depth and breadth of their training in the science of psychology.  We expect our graduates to be able to assess psychological interventions on the basis of their evidence basis and of the science behind them. We train psychologists to play an active role in the evaluation of existing treatment programs and the shaping of new ones.

History and Mission of CHAC


“The Community Health Awareness Council exists to provide alternatives to self-destructive behavior and to help create healthy lives for the children and families of Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and surrounding communities.”

CHAC began as a grass-roots movement in 1973, led by parents and community leaders concerned about the growing problem of adolescent alcohol and drug abuse in Mountain View, Los Altos, and Los Altos Hills.  The original partnership included the government of these three cities and their respective school districts.  These partners provided the original funding for CHAC services.  Since then, the demand for, and variety of CHAC’s services have grown considerably.  We now have therapists in schools including all the schools in the above communities, and in addition, most of the schools in Sunnyvale.  We also have an outpatient clinic, a parent training unit, a teen mother unit, a substance abuse program for teens and their families, and provide numerous other therapeutic and psychoeducational services.  CHAC programs address a wide range of emotional and social problems affecting children, teens and families.  These problems include academic pressure, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, physical and psychological abuse, depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, pregnancy, and many others.

The Psychology Internship program advances CHAC’s mission by extending the range and depth of services that are available to our populations, while at the same time developing a work force of professionals capable of contributing to the field. Interns provide therapeutic services in the schools and at the clinic, and psychological assessment to our clients. They also participate in program evaluation research. Through the Latino/a program, our range of services extends the reach of our services to Spanish speaking populations.


Training Program Goals

The three overarching goals of the Intern Training Program are that by the end of the training year interns will demonstrate that they have accomplished the following.

Goal 1. Interns will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and values required for entry-to- practice at the post-doctoral level in each of the Foundational Domains of the APA Competency Benchmarks for the Practice of Professional Psychology (APA, 2011).

Goal 2. Interns will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for entry-to- practice at the post-doctoral level in each of the Functional Domains of the APA Competency Benchmarks for the Practice of Professional Psychology (APA, 2011).

Goal 3. Interns will demonstrate the knowledge and skills required in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents in the context of public school and community settings.

Each overarching goal is comprised of a set of objectives and competencies.


Training Model

Our training program integrates training and direct service, combining experiential learning and didactic training.  Interns are provided with two hours of individual supervision and two hours of group supervision, as well as a two-hour Evidence-Based Practice Consultation Group. In addition, we seek to enhance self-awareness and sensitivity to others, and to develop the “facilitative interpersonal skills” which have been found to increase efficacy across theoretical models.  Multicultural awareness is a focus training interns to be aware of their own cultural lenses and to be sensitive to the implications of culture in the context of treatment. 

These aspects of the program provide opportunities for interns to examine what they do in treatment, how to employ evidence in clinical practice, how to collaborate in learning from supervisors and group members about relevant recent findings from psychological science, and to practice the skill of presenting case material.

Interns gain experience with short and longer-term individual therapy with children, adolescents and adults, family, group and couple therapy, and psychoeducation.  In the school settings they learn how to collaborate and consult effectively with school personnel and allied professionals.  They also learn to contextualize the presenting issues in terms of the multiple systems of classroom, school, family, and culture.

Our Program Evaluation Research Project is an intensive learning experience.  Each intern works with the Program Director and Assistant Program Director to choose one of our adjunct service programs, or some other key aspect of our site for intensive study and evaluation.  The intern evaluates the current tools used by the agency to assess the efficacy of this program or site feature and devises proposals to improve, replace, or add to these tools. Process and outcome measures are employed in each of the treatment settings in which the intern participates. Findings will be reported and presented initially to the intern cohort and training directors and then to the appropriate staff members.  Thus, interns can contribute to the value of our programs while learning essential skills. Six hours of training and consultation by a psychologist teach program evaluation and consultation skills.

Interns receive six hours of training in providing supervision during the first half of the training year. months of the program.  During the course of the year, they have the opportunity to provide supplemental supervision for less experienced clinicians or co-supervise with a licensed psychologist acting as the primary supervisor. 

Several opportunities provide teaching experience: Interns deliver at least two formal case presentations during group supervision.  In addition, they may co-lead didactic trainings for MFT interns and practicum students and psychology practicum students.

We believe that a competent psychologist must be familiar with the major assessment tools and the ability to construct assessments that can be used therapeutically. Each intern is expected to conduct at least four integrated batteries during the year and to present the findings of each assessment in a therapeutic context.  Interns participate in the weekly Assessment Consultation Group and additional supervision in accordance with these goals.


Didactic Training

A 2-hour Didactic Training Seminar is held weekly. Presenters are brought in from outside and also include CHAC supervisors and Program Directors. The trainings offered vary somewhat from year to year. Many topics run for two successive weeks. We have provided training in topics such as the following:

  • Multicultural trainings with a focus on sexual minorities, Asian American populations, Latino/a populations. This year includes training about African American populations as well.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy with children
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Issues of Child Abuse
  • Family Systems and Family Therapy
  • Working with Parents and Caregivers
  • Art Therapy Training
  • Play Therapy
  • Trauma Research, Theory, and Treatment
  • Attachment Research, Theory, and Treatment
  • Risk Assessment
  • Diagnosis and treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Diagnosis and treatment for ADHD


Distribution of Training Hours

Interns are assigned cases based on an on-going assessment of their developing competencies.  Outpatient assignments are made by a treatment team consisting of three associate clinical directors and the intern’s primary supervisor. As the year progresses and the interns’ skills develop, they are assigned cases increasing in complexity.

The following is a typical breakdown of weekly activities, as they are distributed in the one-year full-time internship: Additional time (but not to exceed 44 hours a week) may include: community outreach and education; supervision experience; teaching experience; additional research opportunities.

Latino Track

Interns who are bilingual English-Spanish may apply for the Latino Track.  Interns in this track participate in two supervision groups, one in English and one in Spanish.  One hour of individual supervision is conducted in each language.  All Spanish supervision is provided by a bilingual licensed psychologist.  This track is intended for applicants with a special interest in working with the underserved Latino population in our community.  Although many of their cases are with Spanish-speaking clients, we seek to avoid creating a division between the general and the Latino track.  Therefore, interns in the Latino track spend significant clinical hours working with English speakers, and participate with all interns in one of their supervision groups and in other learning activities.


School Placement:

Interns are placed in one of 34 local public schools, where they will carry a caseload of approximately 12 cases divided over two days. Schools vary in the means whereby students are referred to CHAC interns.  In some schools all referrals go through the school psychologist.  In others parents or teachers may refer.  In some middle and high schools, because of the history of our program in their school, students may self-refer.  In all school settings efforts are made to involve the parents in treatment when appropriately determined on the basis of the initial assessment, and when possible.  Family therapy or parent training may occur at the school, or if it is to be extensive, at our outpatient clinic.

Other services provided at the school include two manualized psychoeducational groups, one for second and third graders and one for middle and high schoolers. With the approval of their supervisors and program director, interns may initiate groups for specific clinical populations, such as social skills groups, social anxiety treatment groups, groups for children of divorcing parents, and so forth.

We encourage interns to participate in IEP meetings, student-teacher meetings, classroom observation, and related activities when permitted by the school.  One focus of our training is on the role of the consultant in the school setting.

Outpatient Clinic:

Interns are referred clients for treatment from the population served by our agency.  We serve clients on a sliding fee scale basis. Individuals self-refer and are also referred by other professionals and agencies in the area.  We provide individual, couple, and family therapy through our clinic to clients with moderate to severe diagnoses.  Clients come to us with a wide range of diagnostic presentations, including depression, anxiety, the effects of maltreatment, personality or behavior disorders, family dysfunction and substance abuse.  Many of our clients have histories if trauma and abuse. We refer out chronically mentally ill clients.  Teens with serious alcohol issues may be referred to our “Well Within” program.  We do not serve clients needing detoxification, and will refer them to the appropriate resources in the community. 

Clients are screened in an intake interview, and then presented in a meeting of our supervisors and clinical directors, who seek to fit clients to interns capable of managing their cases.  Over the course of the year, interns are provided cases of increasing complexity, in accordance with their increasing clinical skills.  Interns carry 4-6 cases at any given time in our outpatient clinic.

Assessment Clinic:

Applicants are expected to be familiar with the components of a standardized test battery for adults, and appropriate measures for assessing children.  Interns participate in an assessment training and consultation group each week.  This group is led by a licensed psychologist highly experienced in the administration and analysis of psychological tests.   The consultation group is an opportunity to gain increasing competence in the selection, administration, and interpretation of instruments, report writing, and the therapeutic use of assessment findings.  The required Assessment Consultation Group will provide didactic training on the use of these tools, both for adults and for children, and will serve as an opportunity for consultation on ongoing assessment cases. During the course of the internship, interns will conduct at least four integrated test batteries.

Evidence-Based Practice Seminar:

Interns attend a weekly 2-hour consultation group focused on implementing research findings in treating child, adolescent, and adult clients in individual and group psychotherapy. The consultation group provides opportunities to practice skills, evaluate the evidence base, and formulate ways of adapting such practices to contexts which may differ from those from which the evidence is derived.  We have recruited a distinguished group of experts to conduct some of these trainings. This roster has included professors from PAU, Stanford, UC Medical Center, and from visiting scholars from outside the state. We believe that psychologists should be able to conceptualize what they do in psychotherapy sessions in relation to existing research data and foundational psychological principles.

Peer Consultation Group:

Interns will meet for one hour each week as an informal peer group. The purpose of the group is to facilitate bonding among the interns and encourage processing and mutual support without staff present.  The intern group will elect a representative in the event the group wishes to present any concerns about their experiences in the program to the Director of Training.

Program Evaluation Research Project:

CHAC has several psychotherapeutic and psychoeducational programs. Over the past 10 years the psychology staff has sought to measure outcomes for each of these programs.  Interns observe several of these programs early in the course of the training year.  They take a fresh look at the goals of these programs, the outcome variables applicable to each of these goals, and the relevant evidence base for the variables which the program is intended to impact.  By the second quarter of the internship, each intern selects a program for intensive study.  Under the supervision of a psychologist supervisor, the intern conducts an in-depth analysis of the existing process with the goal of validating, improving, or replacing the process for their target program in a year-long program evaluation project.  Thus, the interns participate in supervised training in program evaluation while making a positive contribution to measuring the efficacy of agency interventions.  In addition, each intern will present his or her findings to appropriate staff.

Opportunities for supervision, teaching, community advocacy:

We seek to provide students with training and experience in supervision, teaching, and community outreach – all of which are part of the competencies they will need to possess as professional psychologists.  As mentioned above, interns have the opportunity to co-supervise in group supervision; to co-lead several didactic trainings; and to present the results of evaluation studies to our staff.  In addition, there are opportunities for public speaking in PTA meetings, board meetings of other non-profit agencies, and other settings.  





The pre-doctoral psychology internship program is an integral part of Community Health Awareness Council. Interns are selected for merit, qualification, and competence. Training practices are not unlawfully influenced or affected by a person’s ethnicity, religion, color, race, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, medical condition, marital status, age, gender or sexual identity. Additionally, it is the policy of CHAC to provide a work environment free of sexual and other forms of unlawful harassment. This policy governs all employment, including hiring, compensation and benefits, assignment, discharge and all other terms and conditions of internship.


  1. Academic Standing: all interns must be enrolled in the Palo Alto University/Pacific Graduate School of Psychology APA-accredited Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology or in the APA-accredited Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at the Wright Institute. 

  2. Prior to Start of Internship: Interns must have advanced to candidacy. They must be prepared to submit fingerprints for clearance through Livescan.
  3. Selection Criteria: The internship program’s selection process is designed to identify doctoral candidates who have competence in providing individual and group psychotherapy in the context of direct clinical practice.  Interns shall have completed at least two years of practicum; at least one year of practicum, or practicum-equivalent work experience must consist of treating children and/or adolescents.   They are required to have conducted at least four integrated psychological assessment batteries, and must submit one written report with their application.  They must demonstrate that they have experience working with diverse clientele, are familiar with evidence-based treatments, and have experience providing multiculturally thoughtful assessment and interventions as well as a record of meeting legal and ethical standards in prior practice.
  4. Health Clearance: All interns are required to have the physical and mental ability to perform the essential duties of the internship in both clinical and community practice settings with reasonable accommodation if applicable. Interns are required annually to provide evidence that they are clear from infection with tuberculosis..



Our internship program is exclusively affiliated with Palo Alto University and the Wright Institute.  As an affiliated program, all applicants will need to be doctoral students who have been advanced to candidacy at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University or at the Wright Institute.  Applications are submitted through the APPIC Match application, the AAPI. Selected applicants will be interviewed by the Training Director, the Assistant Training Director, the Latino Program Director, and supervisors as appropriate.



In order to successfully progress through and complete the program, interns must complete the following forms of evaluation and meet acceptable standards for completion on each.

Initial Assessment of Competencies (IAC)

During the first weeks of the training program, the intern completes, in consultation with his/her supervisors, an Initial Assessment of Competencies. This assessment identifies the intern’s experience and reported level of competence at entry in terms specifically anchored to the CHAC Psychology Internship Competency Benchmarks, and is completed using the Evaluation of Progress in Internship form. The initial assessment helps identify specific clinical competency domains where an intern needs more training, experience or confidence.

Individual Training Contract (ITC)

The Individual Training Contract is developed using the Initial Assessment and information gained during orientation about training expectations and opportunities. In the training contract, the intern and his/her supervisor define action plans to address specific competency areas that should be a focus for development. The intern also uses this form to list specific competency areas on which he/she may want to obtain extra supervision or training opportunities during the year. The training contract identifies primary and delegated supervisors, and lists responsibilities and expectations for the training year. The training contract is completed during orientation, attached to signed copies of the Supervision Agreement Form required by the California Board of Psychology and kept on file. 

The Evaluation of Progress Form is completed by the primary supervisor, in consultation with all other supervisors, at mid-year and the end of the training year. The EPF monitors progress on competency objectives across foundational and functional clinical domains (Program Goals 1 and 2 and Goal 3). Evaluations are typically done in February, after the first trimester is completed and in June as the summer term begins.

To successfully complete the internship, an intern must achieve ratings of “3” or higher across all domains of competency in goals 1 and 2 and 3 by August 1.

Certificate of Completion

To receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the training year, the intern must attain an average score of “3” (Meets Expectations) or better for each competency domain on the EPF by the fourth quarter of the training year. The intern must also have accrued 2000 hours of supervised training by the end of the training contract. The Certificate of Completion confirms the intern’s successful completion of 2000 hours of supervised professional experience and capacity to demonstrate competencies related to the goals of the program.



Training Staff Responsibilities

Training staff have the responsibility to:

  1. Relate to interns in a collegial and professional manner that is conducive to a positive learning environment
  2. Respect individual differences among interns, including cultural or individual diversity issues
  3. Model ethical, professional behavior including recognition of and respect for differences among clients and colleagues
  4. Model commitment to the mission of Community Health Awareness Council
  5. Maintain agreed upon times for supervision, consultation, and co-therapy experiences
  6. Clearly communicate expectations of interns and give appropriate timely feedback regarding their progress
  7. Consult regularly with other professional staff who may have contact with the interns and provide knowledge about their competencies and general performance
  8. Contact the training director when questions or concerns arise regarding interns’ requirements
  9. Keep informed about any changes in the program or agency that may impact the interns and communicate these in a direct, timely fashion if they will affect the interns experience
  10. Follow all outlined grievance policies and due process if problems arise concerning interns 

Supervision Modes and Methods

  • All interns receive regularly scheduled, individual supervision by licensed psychologists for 2 hours per week. Typically these hours are traditional face-to-face case-focused supervision on individual or family cases and attend to diagnostic assessment, intervention and treatment planning and case conceptualization that emphasize the integration of theory and evidence-based practice.
  • For some cases during the training year, the face-to-face supervision time may include co-therapy (family or group) , or shared clinical practice in an emergency or field setting where the intern has the opportunity to work as an apprentice and both observe the supervisor as a model or have supervision through being observed in the clinical setting and receiving feedback.
  • Additional individual supervision hours will occur, and are provided by other licensed clinical staff with specialized knowledge in assessment, art or play therapy, or program evaluation.
  • In general, therapy sessions conducted at the main site will be recorded and these recordings will be employed in supervision.
  • The functions of both the primary and secondary supervisors include monitoring patient welfare, enhancing clinical skills, promoting professional growth, evaluating progress, and providing feedback to interns. The primary supervisor serves as both mentor and monitor/guide for the intern’s clinical work and professional development during their tenure at CHAC.
  • In accordance with California State Law as outlined by the state Board of Psychology, each intern has access to primary or delegated supervision for clinical consultation via phone or beeper during all hours of assigned responsibilities and in case of clinical emergency. If a primary supervisor is not immediately available, interns are expected to consult with delegated supervisors or other clinical authorities designated by the primary supervisors.
  • The psychology internship program complies with the supervision guidelines as stipulated by the California Board of Psychology (BOP). The BOP requires that all supervisors receive a minimum of six hours of supervision training every two years, to stay current on ethical and legal issues, and to enhance their awareness of diversity, and personal and professional issues. For more general information or to download details on state licensure requirements, please go to:
  • Interns will be asked to evaluate their supervisors confidentially at mid-year and end- year and are always welcome to discuss concerns about supervision with the Training Director individually. 


Interns from receive a stipend of $25,000 plus $1200 in benefits from their respective schools.

For More Information

    If you have any questions regarding accreditation, please contact:

    Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
    750 First Street, NE
    Washington, DC 2002-4242
    Phone: (202) 336-5500
    TDD: (202) 336-6123

    If you have questions about the Doctoral Internship Training Program and/or the contents of this brochure, please contact:

    Ron Pilato, Psy.D
    Chief Psychologist and Director of Clinical Training
    Community Health Awareness Council
    590 El Camino Real
    Mountain View, CA
    Phone: (650) 965-2020 ext 107

    Or, for questions specific to the Latino/a program:

    Elisabet Revilla, PhD
    Latino/a Program Director
    Community Health Awareness Council
    590 El Camino Real
    Mountain View, CA
    Phone: (650) 965-2020