APA ACCREDITED Doctoral Internship Program*

Community Health Awareness Council


Training Year 2019 - 2020

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 four internship positions to students from the Wright Institute. These positions will be offered through the APPIC match. Students accepted into the program agree to 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 Health Service 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 opportunities to participate in varied psycho-educational interventions.  Interns acquire and refine skills for treating children, adolescents and families in school settings and in a community mental health center. 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 based on evidence and the science behind them. We train psychologists to play an active role in the evaluation of existing clinic processes and treatment programs and the shaping of new ones.




“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 governments 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 clinicians 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, an assessment clinic, a substance abuse program for teens and their families, and provide numerous other therapeutic and psycho-educational 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 Latinx program, our range of services extends the reach of our services to Spanish speaking populations.



The overarching aim of the Doctoral Internship Training Program is that by the end of the training year, interns will demonstrate the knowledge and skills required in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults in the context of public school and community settings. This overall aim is comprised of Profession Wide and Program Specific Competencies.

Profession Wide Competencies are as follows:

Ethical and Legal Standards
Individual and Cultural Diversity
Professional Values, Attitudes and Behaviors
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Consultation and Interpersonal/Interdisciplinary Skills


Program Specific Competencies are as follows:

3A. Ethical and legal considerations, minors

3B. Child- and family-specific theoretical knowledge 

3C. Evidence-based therapies for children and adolescents

3D. Consultation and collaboration 

3E. Crisis management 

3F. Psycho-educational interventions 

3G. Assessment of children and adolescents


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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 Seminar. In addition, we seek to enhance self-awareness and sensitivity by developing “facilitative interpersonal skills” which have been found to increase efficacy across theoretical models. Diversity and intersectional awareness are foci of training for interns to develop awareness 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 cohort members about relevant recent findings from psychological science, and to practice the skill of presenting and receiving feedback and support on case material.

Interns gain experience with short and longer-term individual therapy with children, adolescents and adults, family, group and couple therapy, and psycho-education.  In the school settings they learn how to collaborate and consult effectively with school personnel and allied professionals. They also learn to contextualize 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 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 are reported and presented initially to the intern cohort and training directors and then to appropriate staff members. Thus, interns contribute to the value of our programs while learning essential program evaluation skills. CHAC provides training and consultation by a psychologist who specializes in program evaluation and consultation skills.

Interns receive training in providing supervision during the first half of the training year. 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. 

Interns have several opportunities to develop teaching competency. Interns deliver a minimum of 2 formal case presentations during group supervision. They also may co-lead didactic trainings for MFT interns and doctoral practicum students. In addition, they have the opportunity to present their dissertation and/or relevant research findings to the cohort and staff.

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 3 integrated batteries during the year and to present the findings of each assessment in a therapeutic context.  Interns participate in the weekly Assessment Group Supervision and additional didactics in accordance with these goals.



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 from year to year. Many topics run for two successive weeks. Past training topics have included:

  • Multicultural trainings with a focus on sexual minorities

  • Program Evaluation

  • Becoming a Supervisor

  • Intersectionality, Latinx Populations and Cultural Responsiveness

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Children and Adolescents

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and LGBTQ+ Issues

  • Trauma Based Approaches for Children / Integrated Systems

  • Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy

  • Issues of Child Abuse

  • Family Systems and Family Therapy

  • Working with Parents and Caregivers

  • Art Therapy Training

  • Play Therapy

  • Polyvagal Theory and Complex Trauma

  • Trauma Research, Theory, and Treatment

  • Attachment Research, Theory, and Treatment

  • Risk Assessment

  • Diagnosis and Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Diagnosis and Treatment for ADHD



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.

Typical breakdown of interns’ weekly activities:

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 Interns are assigned cases based on an ongoing assessment of their developing competencies.  Outpatient assignments are made by a treatment team consisting of 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.



Interns who are bilingual English-Spanish may apply for the Latinx Track Program.  All Spanish language supervision is provided by a bilingual licensed psychologist.  Clinical training in the Latinx Track encourages the development of multicultural competence in strengths-based, family-oriented, and school-based interventions that address effects of trauma, immigration, acculturation, and socioeconomic disparities. Through guided practice, bilingual supervision, readings, program evaluation and agency wide didactics, this track offers a particular emphasis on cultivating awareness, knowledge and skills in navigating intersectional identities when working with underserved Latino/a communities. Interns receive individual and group supervision in Spanish and have opportunities to provide bilingual consultation to multicultural clients and colleagues at CHAC. Interns will be able to deliver high-quality services to underserved and underrepresented communities with the goal of becoming culturally informed Health Service Psychologists. Interns in this track may focus their Program Evaluation Project on the Latinx Track in the larger agency context.  The program is ideal for students with different levels of Spanish proficiency as it encourages the cultivation of multicultural and Spanish language competencies. Although many of their cases are with Spanish-speaking clients, interns in the Latinx Track spend significant clinical hours also working with English speakers, and are integrated into the overall program.



School Placement:

Interns are placed in one of 34 local public schools, where they will carry a caseload of approximately 12 clients divided over two days. Schools vary in the way 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 school children. 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. Many individuals self-refer and others are referred by professionals and agencies in the area. We provide individual, couple, and family therapy to clients with moderate to severe diagnoses. Clients come to us with a wide range of diagnostic presentations, including depression, anxiety, effects of maltreatment, personality or behavior disorders, family dysfunction and substance abuse. Many of our clients have histories of trauma and/or 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 supervisors and clinical directors, who seek to fit clients to interns.  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 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. This consultation group provides the opportunity to gain increasing competence in the selection, administration, and interpretation of instruments, report writing, and the therapeutic use of assessment findings. Required Assessment Group Supervision provides didactic training on the use of these tools, both for adults and for children, and serves as a basis for consultation on ongoing assessment cases. During the course of the internship, each intern will conduct at least 3 integrated test batteries.


Evidence-Based Practice Seminar:

Interns participate in 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 was 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. 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 and literature.


Intern Support Group:

Interns meet for one hour each week in an informal peer group. The purpose of the group is to facilitate bonding and cohort cohesion 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 and clinic processes. Interns observe several of these programs early in the course of the training year, taking a 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 an area for intensive study. Under the guidance of a psychologist supervisor, the intern conducts an in-depth analysis of the existing area 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 practices and policies. Each intern presents findings to appropriate staff.


Opportunities for Supervision, Teaching, Community Advocacy:

We seek to provide doctoral interns 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, research and/or dissertation presentations, board meetings of other non-profit agencies, and presentation in 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 and written 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 informed, thoughtful case formulation 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 affiliated programs, all applicants are required 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 (the APPIC) are submitted through the APPIC Portal. Selected applicants will be interviewed by the Training Director, the Latinx Program Director, and/or 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 of Profession Wide Competencies and Program Specific Competencies. 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 contract is kept with signed copies of the Supervision Agreement Form required by the California Board of Psychology and secured in the intern’s file. 


The Progress Rating Form (PRF) is completed by the primary supervisor, in consultation with all other supervisors, at mid-year and the end of the training year. The PRF monitors progress on competency objectives across foundational and functional clinical domains. 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 by August 1.

Certificate of Completion

To receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the training year, the intern must attain a score of “3” (Meets Expectations) or better for each competency domain on the PRF 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 members 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 weekly scheduled individual (2 hours) and group (2 hours) supervision by licensed psychologists. These face-to-face supervision meetings are focused on individual, couple and/or family cases and attend to diagnostic assessment, formulation, intervention and treatment planning, emphasizing 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 while being observed in the clinical setting and receive 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: http://www.psychboard.ca.gov/.

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


For More Information

 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 Training Director

Community Health Awareness Council

590 W El Camino Real

Mountain View, CA 94040


Phone: (650) 965-2020 ext 107

Or, for questions specific to the Latinx program:

Elisabet Revilla, Ph.D.

Director Latinx Track, Clinical Supervisor

Community Health Awareness Council

590 W El Camino Real

Mountain View, CA 94040


Phone: (650) 965-2020 ext 115

* 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