Access Institute | Program Overview
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Welcome to Access Institute’s
nationally renowned training programs

Access Institute trains the next generation of mental health professionals
with a psychoanalytic & community-service focus.

Access Institute’s Psychoanalytic Community Mental Health Training Program is specifically designed to support psychoanalytic work in a community setting. We offer a 13-month, full-time psychoanalytically-oriented doctoral internship and postgraduate fellowship in the 2020-2021 training year.

Doctoral Internship

Access Institute provides high-quality psychological care to people of all ages who fall through the socioeconomic cracks while training the next generation of mental health professionals through a model that values human complexity, supports socially conscious practice, and promotes sustained human growth. We serve people in the “gap” – those who are marginalized and not served by existing mental health systems.


At Access Institute, we utilize a psychoanalytically-oriented model of mental health care. This model takes a depth approach to treatment and appreciates the complexity of each individual and the varied and idiosyncratic forms of mental suffering. We not only believe in reducing symptoms, but also value the long-term goals of expanding people’s capacity to live more meaningful and satisfying lives. We soundly reject the idea that lack of adequate financial resources should be a barrier to this type of treatment. Our treatment model recognizes that individual experience in all its complexity is embedded in one’s social context, and working within that context is a critical element to fostering therapeutic growth.


Our full-time internship program trains four pre-doctoral interns over a 13-month period, during which time interns provide clinical services and receive training and supervision from some of the Bay Area’s top clinicians. Our doctoral internship program provides an intellectually rigorous and emotionally immersive training in psychoanalytic psychology. At Access Institute you are taught and supervised by contemporary thinkers who have evolved psychoanalytic practice in meaningful ways.


Interns provide psychotherapy (individual and couple) and conduct comprehensive psychological testing at our Hayes Valley clinic in San Francisco for 17 hours per week; participate in 3 hours of individual supervision and 7 hours of training (didactics and case conferences) weekly, and spend the rest of their time in meetings and administrative activities.


Applicants must register for the Match using the online registration system on the NMS Match System website at


Please include with your online application the following supporting documents:

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Essay describing your theoretical orientation (1-2 pages)
  • Autobiographical essay (1-2 pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation from those familiar with your clinical work
  • Official transcripts from graduate school(s)
  • De-identified psychological assessment report


All candidates will be notified if they are being offered an interview via email no later than December 13th, 2019. Every qualified candidate will be offered an individual interview with the Director of Training. Some candidates will be offered second individual interviews with additional staff members. Interviews will be held during the month of January at our Hayes Valley clinic. Phone/skype interviews are possible when a candidate cannot come to San Francisco for a face-to-face interview. Applicants can expect to be on-site for approximately 1.5 – 2 hours. Applicants invited to a second interview will also have an opportunity to meet with current fellows and tour the clinic.

You can find our pre-doctoral internship training program listing on the following site:

Postgraduate Fellowship

At Access Institute, you are taught and supervised by contemporary thinkers who have evolved psychoanalytic practice in meaningful ways. This intensive program trains 9 postgraduate fellows over a 13-month period, during which time fellows provide clinical services and receive training and supervision from some of the Bay Area’s top clinicians. Our fellowship provides over 10 hours of intensive training each week, including didactic training, in-depth supervision, theoretical instruction, technical development, and specialized training seminars. Fellows spend 25 hours per week providing direct clinical services and conducting phone intakes. All fellows provide psychotherapy services to adults and couples at the Hayes Valley community clinic. The psychoanalytic approach allows for more intensive treatments and many patients are seen at the clinic two or three times per week. Fellows also work off-site providing services at one of our partner programs. Fellows receive 2,000 hours toward licensure. Fellows are placed in one of two tracks: Elder or School-Based.


Elder Track fellows compliment their clinic hours with work at the Bayview Hunters Point Adult Day Health Center where they offer individual, group and milieu therapy to primarily African-American seniors. Fellows collaborate with the professional staff at the agency (including nurses, social workers & physical therapists), and provide staff consultation and training, in order to facilitate an integrated approach to elder care. There is additional individual and group supervision for fellows in this track focusing on clinical geropsychology, consultation and person-centered dementia care.


Fellows in the School-Based Track provide care for children at school and by doing that become part of the school environment. We talk to teachers, social workers and principals. We walk the halls, visit the cafeteria, and encounter our clients’ classmates and peers. Our impact on our clients is not simply during the clinical hour, but throughout our time on campus. This requires thoughtful consideration of our multiple roles at the school, and the development of an internal frame that supports our clinical thinking. Fellows in the school-based track receive training focused on developing a flexible internal frame. They will receive training in consultation and collaboration, as well as in psychodynamic play therapy. This training is in the form of three weekly individual supervisions, a clinical case conference, and a group supervision focused on school-based work. In addition to working at a school, fellows will also provide therapy to adults, couples, children, adolescents, and families at our Hayes Valley Community Clinic.


Application instructions: Please send a cover letter specifying the track you are interested in training in, an essay describing your theoretical orientation, an autobiographical essay, a cv, and three letters of recommendation from those familiar with your clinical work via snail mail to: Milena Edwards, Psy.D. Director of Training Access Institute for Psychological Services 110 Gough Street, #301 San Francisco, CA 9410

Applications due: Friday, January 3, 2020

Notification date: Wednesday, February 19 2020

Fellow ship start date: Monday, August 3, 2020

You can find our postgraduate training program listing on the following site: Association of Psychological Postdoctoral and Internship Centers