About Mental Health Training at KP Northern California
In Northern California, mental health training programs have been an integral part of Kaiser Permanente’s larger vision for over 40 years. Beginning in the late 1960s, KP initiated its first mental health training programs as a result of the influence of Nicholas Cumming, Ph.D., who served as Chief of Mental Health for KP and later became president of the APA. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, a variety of mental health training programs were developed. During the last twenty-five years, KP increasingly standardized its mental health delivery system, with available mental health treatment services tripling in size. Along with this structural maturation and the integration of psychological services into primary care, our mental health training programs grew progressively organized. Throughout this process, our programs have been extensively supported by KP. Now, in 2013, approximately 100 postdoctoral psychology residents and interns along with social work and marriage and family therapy interns train at KP Northern California medical centers each year.
As a result of innovations initiated by Lloyd Linford, Ph.D., departments throughout the region send specialists to meet regularly to stay up to date with the most current research and to develop Evidenced-Based Treatments (“Best Practice”) guidelines. These guidelines are based on the latest research for major psychological disorders, such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. All KP departments follow these guidelines, which serve as bases for the curricula of all of our mental health training programs. As a result, interns and residents are taught clinical skills based on sound psychological principles and evidence-based treatments.
Since 2000, under the leadership of John Arden, Ph.D., the psychology postdoctoral programs evolved from a loose-knit collection of training directors, supervisors, and trainees into a group of cohesive and well-structured programs. These programs follow national standards such as those set out by APPIC and APA. They are organized into seven consortia, with each consortium consisting of residencies located at two to three medical centers in close proximity to each other. All of the consortial programs are APPIC members. In 2009, the North Bay Consortium Psychology Postdoctoral Residency Program was granted accreditation by the American Psychological Association, as were the Central Bay Consortium, in 2010, and the South Bay Consortium, in 2011. In addition, the South East Bay Consortium received accreditation in 2012. The remaining consortial programs are in various stages of preparing to apply to APA for accreditation.
KP also offers a variety of internships in Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work and Pre-doctoral Psychology. In recent years we have increased the number of internship positions, especially in our post-Master’s Social Work and MFTI training programs. These programs follow CAMFT’s and NASW’s guidelines and ethical principles. Both of our pre-doctoral psychology internships are APPIC-members. Additionally in 2011, our Fresno pre-doctoral program became APA-accredited and our Walnut Creek program is in the process of applying for accreditation. For more information on any of these programs, please visit the programs’ individual web pages on this web site.
All of the programs described above are committed to serving the communities in which they reside by providing training that reflects advances in integrated care. Delivery of integrated care relies on service providers having a working knowledge of advances in psychoneuroimmunology and chronic medical conditions, and in the adaptation of neuroscience and psychotherapy research into treatment.