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 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 doctoral interns over a 12-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 1.5 hours of group supervision, plus 7.5 hours of training (didactics, case conference, and community and cohort meetings) weekly, and spend the rest of their time engaging in 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
  • 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 1st, 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 months of November and December 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.


We are a partially affiliated site with the Wright Institute and, out of the four (4) internship placements at Access Institute, we reserve three (3) positions for Wright Institute students.


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


Please click here to view our training brochure.

Postgraduate Fellowship

At Access Institute, you are taught and supervised by contemporary thinkers who have evolved psychoanalytic practice in meaningful ways. The Psychoanalytic Community Mental Health Postgraduate Fellowship accepts 9 postmasters and postdoctoral clinicians to train over a 13-month period. Each fellow is placed in one of two tracks: Elder or School-Based, providing services in the community to one of our partner programs. In addition to work in the community, all fellows provide ongoing depth oriented psychotherapy services to adults and couples at the Hayes Valley Community Clinic. Our fellowship provides over 10 hours of intensive training each week, including didactic trainings in contemporary psychoanalytic theories and technique and sociocultural theories of practice; 3 hours of individual supervision; track specific seminars and trainings; and in-depth case conferences. Fellows spend 25 hours per week providing direct clinical services and conducting phone intakes. Fellows receive up to 2,000 supervised hours toward licensure.


Elder Track:  Bringing culturally sensitive, psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy to marginalized communities is the hallmark of this track. Elder Track fellows compliment their clinic hours with work in senior-service agencies in Bayview-Hunters Point where they provide individual, group, and milieu therapy to primarily African-American seniors. This population is marginalized not only by virtue of race and socioeconomic status, but also by being old in a culture that devalues and disavows aging. Fellows examine how this ethos impacts their clients as well as their own work. Fellows participate in an elder focused clinical case conference and receive group supervision and didactics on psychodynamic/ person-centered elder care in addition to training on consultation and collaboration with agency staff (nurses, social workers, physical therapists, etc.) Fellows can expect to wrestle with the question of how to hold an internal frame while modifying traditional features of therapy to meet their clients’ needs. Trainees interested in cultivating an internal psychodynamic frame in tandem with creative and agile technique adapted to complex factors (culture, non-traditional setting, wide range of functional levels and capacities) are encouraged to apply to the Elder Track.


School-Based Track:  Fellows in the School-Based Track provide care for children at 6 San Francisco public elementary schools 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. In addition, they will receive training in consultation and collaboration, as well as in psychodynamic play therapy.


Application Instructions: Please send a cover letter specifying the track you are interested in training in, your resume/curriculum vitae, an essay describing your theoretical orientation (1-2pages), 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 94102


Applications due: Friday, January 3, 2020

Notification date: Wednesday, February 19 2020

Fellowship start date: Monday, August 3, 2020

Stipend: $37,917


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