Field Training at CSFS
Field Placement and Practica
Success in any field -- and particularly in the world of forensics -- requires solid field experience that supports the development of fundamental skills and competencies. To prepare our students for their future roles as professional psychologists, the California School of Forensic Studies facilitates experiential education in the form of practica and internships.
Practicum training, which begins in the first or second year of the student's degree
program, offers an introduction to the skills of clinical practice. Students are afforded
opportunities to apply the knowledge gained in introductory clinical courses in community-based
settings. Each practicum experience includes training in the fundamentals of clinical
practice; the opportunity to work with diverse populations; and the opportunity to
receive group and individual supervision by professionals in the field. While the
development of core clinical skills is the primary objective of the practicum experience,
practicum placements include settings and experiences that expose students to the
fundamentals of practice within the forensic arena.
Training is sequential and graded in complexity, allowing students to integrate and strengthen their skills, knowledge and competency over time. The practicum experience complements program coursework and prepares students for internship.
An internship offers more advanced training in clinical practice, and builds upon
the skills and competencies acquired during the pre-doctoral coursework and practicum
placement. Core elements of the internship experience include formal training in
diagnosis, treatment planning, case management, case consultation, intervention, and
psychological assessment. Over the course of the internship, students take greater
responsibility for independently managing a caseload, while receiving ongoing supervision
by a licensed psychologist. Internships also include formal didactic training to
advance student's knowledge of clinical practice and forensic issues.
Field Training Guidelines
CSFS professional training staff works closely with each student to develop an individual training program that ensures the essential development of core clinical skills, and incorporates forensic experiences that reflect the student's interests and professional aspirations. Practicum and Internship sites include: San Quentin State Prison, L.A. County and USC Maternal-Child and Adolescent Center, Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, Pasadena Rehabilitation Institute, Valley State Prison for Women, and the L.A. County Department of Probation.