Most graduate students obtain their first year of clinical experience at our START programs (see Services) and many second and third year interns have found a year working at this level of care to be an essential part of their training experience and clinical development.
The START programs follow a highly supportive training model that begins with an extensive orientation followed by ample opportunity to observe experienced staff conducting assessments, individual and group counseling, crisis calls, and community activities. Students are then encouraged to co-lead with staff. Once the students and their supervisors are comfortable with the student's level of experience, the students then conduct sessions on their own. No one is ever alone given that staff and interns always work together as a team.
Each START program serves approximately 500 clients per year. Trainees meet and work with over one hundred clients during their training period. There is extensive opportunity to practice assessment and diagnostic skills while acquiring experience and confidence with crisis management. Students can expect to learn the following: mandated CPS and Tarasoff reporting, interventions with clients who have suicidal and/or homicidal thoughts, working with clients who are experiencing psychosis, understanding personality disorders, working with clients with co-occurring disorders, addressing homelessness, developing community resources, managing crisis calls, leading groups, conducting individual counseling sessions, skills training and collaborating with clients, doctors, primary counselors and family members.
Spanish speaking interns interested in becoming part of a bilingual-bicultural treatment team are strongly encouraged to apply to Del Sur Crisis Center and Esperanza Crisis Center.