Program background

Clinical Training Program

Health Clinical Training Program

North Marin Community Services’ Mental Health Programs have been an integral part of the local community for over 20 years. We serve clients from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, with a wide range of presenting challenges and strengths. We offer services that respect each individual’s racial identity, cultural background, and personal lifestyle. Associates and Trainees have an opportunity to provide therapy primarily in local Novato Unified School District (NUSD) schools with the option of working at NMCS’ low-fee community clinic and the Novato Teen Clinic.

A traineeship or an associateship at NMCS will provide you with many opportunities to meet the BBS requirements, with an emphasis on obtaining child and family hours.

· Child, adolescent, and family mental health services from a multi-cultural perspective is the core of our program. Children and adolescents are seen alone at times, as we recognize this as a vital component to building and strengthening the therapeutic relationship. We also know that profound changes are more attainable when working within the context of the family. In addition, we work with the different subsystems within a family including couples and individuals.

· Commitment to trauma-informed care through a racial justice and equity lens.

· Integrated Model of Care

· NMCS training program offers ongoing education and clinical support related to working with youth and families from diverse backgrounds. NMCS’ Mental Health Services program offers clinicians the ability to build a strong foundation in youth and family therapy through a trauma-informed lens. Weekly training sessions will guide each clinician to examine relevant theoretical perspectives and utilize evidence-based tools for assessment and treatment planning. Clinicians will learn evidence-based treatment models such as Brief Intervention, Trauma-Informed Treatment, CBT, Family Therapy, Solution-Focused, introduction to Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and utilization of PCOMS from the Heart and Soul of Change Project. Clinicians will also learn practical strategies to address issues such as defiant behavior, substance use/abuse, crisis management, anxiety, and depression. Trainings introduce techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy, play therapy, parenting support, as well as social-emotional group protocols.

· School-based mental health services placement. Elementary, Middle School, and possibly High School mental health services positions generally include two days per week on school campuses for Trainees and 2-4 days for Associates. The number of days you are placed in schools may vary year to year based on the needs of the school district. School-based therapy includes individual, group, and parent collateral mental health services as well as crisis intervention, teacher consultation, clinical assessments of students’ needs, appropriate referrals, and documentation of services.

· Clinic-based mental health services. In addition to your school placement, NMCS provides an opportunity to see individuals, couples, and families at our low-fee clinic and assist NMCS teachers in leading social-emotional curriculum groups (Second Step) in our after-school program. Both Trainees and Associates are able to see fee-for-service clients.

During your time within NMCS’ Clinical Training Program, you will:

  • Have increased confidence in working with youth and families
  • Reach the necessary clinical hours for your practicum class, and have the opportunity to continue earning hours as an Associate
  • Learn how to organize and manage a steady caseload
  • Diagnose and plan treatment
  • Respond to crises and provide appropriate risk & safety assessments and intervention
  • Work within systems to support clients
  • Coordinate care between providers
  • Have experience with working with diverse populations and at-risk youth and utilize culturally-inclusive assessments and case conceptualizations
  • Have a sense of accomplishment for making a difference in your community

Program Expectations

Make a 1-year commitment to the program. Each training year begins in mid-August and includes five weeks of vacation (week of Thanksgiving, two weeks of winter vacation, one week in February, and one week in spring – NMCS follows the Novato Unified School District schedule). Your school placement(s) (day and times) will remain the same for the entire year as well as your clinic evening assignment. Novato Teen clinic and the NMCS clinic has opportunities to see clients over the break. Should clinicians choose to stay and grow with our agency over multiple years, we offer the unique opportunity to become PCIT-certified.

Position Requirements: Job may include walking up and down stairs, standing, lifting, and moving small items of up to 25 lbs. – As a multi-service organization, with a California State licensed childcare program, candidates must pass a livescan background check and a pre-employment health exam including proof of vaccinations and TB test clearance (costs reimbursed). An applicant with a conviction, other than a minor traffic violation, including a misdemeanor and/or felony, will not receive background clearance. As NMCS serves as a contractor for NUSD, we provide mental health services by school days. We ask that mental health services staff schedule their vacation time based on NUSD school closures.

Associates and Trainees must be available Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for training, supervision, and business meetings. School placements occur on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and/or Fridays. Two days for Trainees and four days for Associates (subject to change based on NUSD school schedule. Associate positions will include some evening positions). For Trainees, some years there is a third day available at the schools if you are interested in 3 school days. Trainees/Associates will be expected to spend approximately 20-40 hours each week in the program, with responsibilities that include:

1. Clinical Work: Maintaining a caseload of 10-25 clients (hours) per week (combined clinic and school)

2. Clinical Supervision:

-Two hours per week in Group Supervision

-One hour per week in Individual Supervision

-On-going consultation with licensed staff, as needed

We strive to provide compassionate support and skillful direction to our developing therapists. Evaluations focus on each individual’s strengths, as well as areas that need further development. This is assessed through discussion of transference/countertransference issues, therapeutic goals, diagnosis, case conceptualization, and other clinical concerns. Supervision will provide an opportunity to enhance clinicians’ theoretical understanding of client work by offering experienced guidance for practical interventions.

3. Training: Associates and Trainees: 60-90 minutes per week

4. Administration/Paperwork: 4-6 hrs/wk. Clinical Paperwork, Case Management, and Other Administrative Tasks

Be engaged in on-going individual therapy: Although this is not required, it is recommended. NMCS offers access to an Employee Assistance Program which includes assistance for mental health services, and health and wellness tools. This is to ensure that personal issues that inevitably come up in working with clients can be addressed and integrated. We seek Associates/Trainees who are able to make a wholehearted commitment to professional, personal, and interpersonal growth.

Appropriate Matching of Therapists and Clients: A strong effort is made to provide the most desirable growth opportunities for all.

Pay + Stipend: Trainees receive a $500 stipend ($250/semester). Associates receive a competitive hourly wage and are eligible to receive our generous benefits package which includes paid time off, medical, dental, vision, retirement. All employees have access to our Employee Assistance Program.

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  1. Current Curriculum Vitae
  2. Two letters of reference and/or contact information for follow-up calls.
  3. Cover letter including a brief personal statement describing your career goals, interests in the field, and expectations for your professional development