Clinical Internship


Nine assets make for a unique clinical training experience.

1. The Family Institute operates its own clinic. Students-in-training are members of the clinical team working in one of four satellites of the Bette D. Harris Family and Child Clinic. The clinic referral base affords students opportunities to work with a wide range of problems and populations and to learn family, couple and individual therapy.

2. You will graduate with a minimum of 500 clinical hours. This is a COAMFTE accreditation requirement. Two hundred of those hours are conducted with couples and families. Students begin seeing clients toward the end of the fall quarter.

3. You will receive more than 250 hours of supervision. Two hundred hours of group supervision are provided in three-hour sessions with a group supervisor and four students. Each student also has an individual supervisor with whom he or she meets weekly throughout the clinical portion of the training. Supervision is conducted weekly. Supervision methods include live supervision and videotape/audiotape recordings of students’ therapy sessions.

4. You have access to Family Institute specialty clinics. Students can apply to participate in the following specialized programs: the Community Program, Parents in Charge, Dialectical Behavior Therapy,and the Child and Family Anxiety clinic.

5. You will be part of a community. In addition to professional training, special emphasis is given to developing a sense of community. This is fostered through relatively intimate class size, low student-to-faculty/supervisor ratio and weekly participation in small group supervision. The ability to work effectively with colleagues enhances the training experience and establishes a beneficial pattern for the development of future professional relationships.

6. Students may have the opportunity to be part of Project Strengthen. This program provides high quality relational mental health services to underserved individuals and families who suffer from multiple mental health challenges along with socio-economic and/or cultural barriers to care. This program provides the experience of working as a co-therapist with a clinical staff member of The Family Institute on a particular case.

7. You will do “person of the therapist” work. As a therapist, you are the most important instrument when conducting therapy. Your supervisors will help you grow personally so that you can bring your full self to the therapeutic experience.

8. Your therapy will be empirically informed through progress research. Students are taught to use a progress research instrument to track the progress of therapy with their clients. The instrument, the STIC (Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change), was developed at The Family Institute and is the only instrument that tracks change at the individual, relational and family levels.

9. Your future is built on a solid theoretical and clinical approach. The senior members of the faculty of The Family Institute have been at the forefront of psychotherapy integration for three decades. They published four seminal books on integration and have worked with other faculty to unify these approaches in what is known as Integrative Problem Centered Metaframeworks therapy (IPCM). IPCM asserts that human problems are nested in a biopsychosocial system and can best be resolved by removing the constraints of that system. IPCM addresses emotional, behavioral and relational problems in the context of both family and larger systems. The influences of biology, psychodynamics, gender, socioeconomic status, culture and life-stage development are explored in the process of helping clients understand and address their problems. IPCM helps students learn how to systematically integrate strategies and interventions from all of the major models of therapy.

The following reading serves as an introduction to IPCM:

Breunlin, D.C., Pinsof, W., Russell, W. and Lebow, J. (2011). Integrative problem centered metaframeworks (IPCM) therapy I: Core concepts and hypothesizing. Family Process, 50: 293-313.

Pinsof, W. Breunlin, D., Russell, W. and Lebow, J. (2011). Integrative problem centered metaframeworks (IPCM) therapy II: Planning, conversing, and reading feedback. Family Process, 50(4): 314-336.

Breunlin, D.C., Schwartz, R.C. & Karrer, B. (1992) Metaframeworks: Transcending the Models of Family Therapy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (Paperback edition, 1997, Portuguese edition, 2000, Artmed Editorial).

Pinsof, W. (1995). Integrative Problems Centered Therapy: A Synthesis of Biological, Individual, and Family Therapies. New York.

Russell, W.P., Pinsof, W., Breunlin, D.C. & Lebow, J. (2016). Integrative problem centered Metaframeworks. In T. Sexton & J. Lebow (Eds.), Handbook of Family Therapy (4th Edition). London: Routledge.