Nancy C. Compton, Ph.D.

For more information about internships and post-doctoral fellowships, please contact Dr. Compton at or (415) 206-5321.


Training Mission and Goals

CTRP’s training mission is to 1) provide culturally competent clinical and research training to a diverse group of trainees dedicated to working with underserved populations; and 2) narrow the mental health gap for underserved communities by providing high quality training in evidence-based, culturally relevant interventions for children aged birth to five who have experienced a traumatic event.

The Training Goals are the following:

  • To develop and refine skills in the assessment and diagnosis of psychological and psychiatric problems of children, incorporating culturally sensitive service delivery for under-served populations.
  • To develop and refine skills in the treatment of psychological and psychiatric problems of children, incorporating culturally sensitive service delivery for under-served populations.
  • To enhance skills in working collaboratively with other professionals across disciplines involved with patients and families including consulting with child psychiatrists and primary care providers, as well as with schools, the foster care system, and other systems and organizations involved in the lives of children
  • To promote the development of a professional identity as a clinical psychologist


Clinical Training Program

The Child Trauma Research Program trains 3 full-time pre-doctoral interns, 4-5 postdoctoral fellows, 1 social worker, and 1-2 psychiatric residents or fellows every year. Stipends for fiscal year 2014-2015 consist of $ 22,476 for a full-time, full year pre-doctoral intern and $42,000 for a full-time, full year postdoctoral fellow. UCSF and SFGH adhere to the rates set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which are updated yearly. The training year begins September 1 and continues for a full year. Health insurance, sick leave and vacation leave are offered to both pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellows. The weekly hourly expectation of full-time trainees is 40-44 hours.

Through a collaboration with the other child programs at SFGH, the Infant-Parent Program (IPP) and Child and Adolescent Services (CAS), interns will receive training with children aged birth to 18. The primary site, and the majority of the training experience, involves working with families who have children aged birth through five who experienced traumatic event(s), witnessed violence in their homes or communities or who suffered the death or loss of a primary caregiver.

Interns will also complete a secondary 8hr/week rotation with the SFGH Child and Adolescent Services. Each intern will have 3-4 clients in this clinic, in order to increase their exposure to clients of a broader age range. Supervision of these clients is provided by a CAS staff member. In addition, all interns will be assigned to a primary or specialty care medical clinic for a six month rotation and will receive training in co-facilitating a group.

CTRP and CAS serve clients from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, with a special commitment to low-income ethnic minority families, immigrant groups, and those who might otherwise lack access to services. A high proportion of clients served at CTRP are Spanish-speaking.


Training Tracks

Psychologists (Pre-doctoral)

CTRP offers full-time internships for psychology students from APA-accredited training institutions seeking to complete a pre-doctoral internship. Psychological interns complete at least 1500 hours of training during the year.

Psychologists (Postdoctoral)

CTRP has a training initiative under the rubric of Tipping Point Community Mental Health Initiative with the goal of providing evidence-based treatment in community settings. Postdoctoral fellows are placed full-time in one of three community agencies-- a childcare center, a pediatric medical clinic, and a social services family wellness center. Fellows attend all CTRP training seminars and provide Child-Parent Psychotherapy, needs assessments and consultations with families, group therapy for caregivers, presentations on issues related to mental health and assist in program evaluation. Spanish-speaking applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

Psychologists (Research Focus)

CTRP is a member of the UCSF Clinical Psychology Training Program (CPTP), a two-year pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship accredited by the American Psychological Association. The fellowship includes clinical training in the psychiatric inpatient wards and mental health clinics at San Francisco General Hospital, including CTRP, and research training under the direction of Dr. Alicia F. Lieberman, the director of CTRP. Applicants should have a strong record of both clinical and research experience. For more information on this program, please visit:


CTRP is a training site for UCSF Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows and a training site in the Community Research Track for UCSF adult psychiatry residents who wish to pursue an academic career. Psychiatry residents spend approximately 15 hours/week in these rotations. The program is designed to train clinicians who are committed to serving low-income and diverse ethnic and cultural minority populations.

Social Workers

CTRP has a multidisciplinary training approach that includes at least one field placement trainee from the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley or San Jose State University.

CTRP gives high priority to the recruitment of qualified ethnic minority candidates who are bi-cultural and bilingual/Spanish-speaking. The didactic and clinical training highlights multicultural issues, cultural awareness, and the pursuit of cultural competence in all aspects of the work.


Training Seminars and Supervision


The year begins with an initial 2 week orientation period where new trainees meet one another and staff and receive training in CTRP policies and procedures, the CPP assessment protocol and treatment model, and legal and ethical issues.


Several different clinical supervisors are assigned to interns and fellows in order to provide exposure to a variety of clinical and supervision styles. All trainees receive reflective supervision of their Child-Parent Psychotherapy work in English and/or Spanish. The supervision model involves review of the trainee’s process notes of the therapy session (or, in some cases, review of a videotape of the session) and the opportunity to reflect on the moment-to-moment process in a non-judgmental setting. Topics for supervision may include the trainee’s choice of ports of entry for intervention, the meaning of the parent’s or child’s behavior, and opportunities for intervention that may not have been taken. In cases where the treatment is not progressing or an impasse has been reached, reflective supervision may include an examination of the parallel process among the parent-child relationship, the parent-therapist relationship, and the therapist-supervisor relationship. Supervisors also serve as mentors and use supervision as a time to talk to interns about their career goals, future training and connecting them with professionals in their areas of interest.


Weekly Clinical Case Review

This 1 ½-hour weekly meeting is attended by staff and trainees. Each week one trainee or staff member presents a clinical case, followed by discussion of clinical issues.

Child-Parent Psychotherapy/Trauma Seminar

This seminar has a formal syllabus with assigned readings that are reviewed and discussed by the seminar leader and the trainees. Topics covered include attachment theory, the impact of traumatic life experiences on development, traumatic bereavement in early childhood, and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. Faculty outside of CTRP provide instruction on topics such as intervening with traumatized adults, working with parents with histories of substance abuse, treating children with histories of sexual abuse, and medication issues with adults and children. The integration of research findings, theory and psychological principles are discussed as they relate to the delivery of services to a multiethnic and diverse population of families who have experienced trauma.

Weekly Multicultural Seminar

This weekly 1 hour seminar focuses on self-development of cultural awareness. In this CAS led seminar, trainees will explore cultural aspects of their identities, and their understanding of how their biases, assumptions, and/or countertransference responses affect the clinical work. The seminar also focuses on understanding disparities in health faced by ethnic and cultural minorities and the role psychologists can take to address these disparities within health and mental health delivery systems (hospitals, clinics and agencies), university settings, political arenas, and research agendas.

Weekly Developmental Psychopathology Seminar

This 1 hour seminar addresses the challenges of providing state-of-the-art trauma-informed mental health treatment to a diverse population of children and families who experience cumulative exposure to adversities that include social stressors (e.g., poverty, cultural marginalization, discrimination, community violence), interpersonal stress and trauma (e.g., family instability, discord, and fragmentation; problems of attachment; parental mental health problems and substance abuse; domestic violence; child abuse); and child-based challenges (e.g., constitutional vulnerabilities, learning disabilities and developmental delays, health problems, special needs, psychiatric conditions).

The seminar is organized around the conceptual principles of developmental psychopathology, a multidisciplinary field that uses a life-span perspective to understand the many processes at work in the origins, development, and consolidation of psychopathology.

A developmental timeline is utilized to discuss key themes in typical and atypical development using the ecological-transactional model developed by Bronfenbrenner, Cicchetti, Belsky, Rutter, Sroufe, Hinshaw and other leaders in the field of developmental psychopathology. Students learn to identify risk and protective factors at different developmental stages and to consider how the interplay between these factors may predict the child’s functioning.

Four specific lenses are applied to the different topics: a developmental perspective; a cultural perspective; a focus on the importance of relationships; and a trauma focus. The first semester addresses the core principles of developmental psychopathology and their relevance to clinical case formulation; the perinatal period; infancy; and early childhood. The second semester covers the years of early elementary school; late elementary school; middle school; and high school. Readings are distributed prior to the seminar and chosen to highlight theoretical, research, or clinical issues to be discussed.

Weekly Advanced Clinical Assessment Seminar

The 1 hour weekly Advanced Clinical Assessment Seminar includes supervision and didactic teaching for doctoral interns from Child and Adolescent Services, the Infant-Parent Program, and the Child Trauma Research Program. The purpose of this seminar is to give trainees an opportunity to develop and advance their skills in the area of psychological assessment of children, including administration, scoring techniques, interpretation, observation and integration of clinical material. This seminar is meant to build on the material trainees have learned in their graduate school assessment courses, with a particular emphasis on the assessment of children within a trauma framework and in a culturally informed manner. The emphasis in this course is on using clinical observation and choosing testing instruments in such a way as to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the child that is at once rich, complex and clinically useful. Professionals in the field will present on best practices for the assessment of specific disorders, including but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Learning Disabilities. Interns are taught how best to advocate on their clients’ behalf in the IEP process and in the larger area of disabilities. There is emphasis on collaborating with other disciplines for a more comprehensive evaluation and providing feedback in a manner that is culturally sensitive, clinically attuned and contextually appropriate. Trainees complete psychological testing batteries with children and adolescents, which will include cognitive, behavioral, personality, and projective testing as part of their training experience. Trainees have the opportunity to raise questions specific to their testing cases. It is expected that trainees will complete this seminar with an enhanced understanding of the complexities of the assessment of children, with an emphasis on trauma exposure and cultural influences on functioning.

Supervision Seminar

Interns in the Clinical rotation will participate in a brief weekly seminar provided by Child and Adolescent Services. This seminar focuses theories and models of supervision, and encourages trainees to consider which models fit best with their learning styles as supervisees, as well as their teaching style as supervisors.

Professional Development

Trainees receive mentoring and seminars specific to the socialization into the profession of psychology.

UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital Grand Rounds

Trainees are encouraged to avail themselves of numerous educational opportunities provided through weekly grand rounds presentations. Because of San Francisco General Hospital's commitment to serving culturally diverse populations, grand rounds are often held on this topic. Child and Adolescent Services provides monthly Grand Rounds.

Support Group

A biweekly support group is attended by all first year trainees, interns and postdoctoral fellows and facilitated by a second year Postdoctoral Fellow. The support group gives trainees the opportunity to gain support from one another, talk about self-care in the context of working with complex-trauma cases and speak about their training experience.

Expectations of Interns

Cases are assigned after careful consideration of the therapists’ current load, including number of cases, severity of cases, and number of sessions per week a case is seen. In general, full-time trainees are expected to carry 9 - 12 cases at CTRP and 3-4 cases at CAS. Full-time trainees are to spend at least 10 hours a week in direct face to face service delivery. This service delivery can include therapy sessions, collateral appointments or conducting assessments. Narrative notes and chart notes are to be completed on each client contact and signed off on by the assigned supervisor on a weekly basis.

Trainees also conduct assessments of both child and parental functioning using a standardized assessment protocol that focuses on assessment of trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, depression, anxiety, developmental functioning, and a thorough clinical history. In addition, psychology trainees are provided with training and supervision in administering and interpreting the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Fourth Edition. It is expected that each intern will have administered at least 6 WPPSI-IV's during the year.

Trainees are also assigned to a primary or specialty medical clinic at SFGH for a 6 month rotation. Co-facilitation of a group with a staff member is also a requirement.


Interns are formally evaluated twice a year, and they also meet twice a year as a group with the CTRP Training Director to give feedback about their training experience. In addition, the Training Director and supervisors regularly check in with trainees about their training experience. CTRP values feedback from trainees' and has frequently revised the content of training seminars and orientation sessions based on feedback. CTRP also utilizes a patient satisfaction survey. The CTRP Training Manual provides detailed information about the process that is followed when there are concerns about an intern's performance and when an intern has concerns about the training program.


Selection Criteria For Trainees

Policy and Process for Doctoral Intern Selection

All applications by candidates who have applied through the APPIC Website ( by the stated deadline will be reviewed for APPIC Member Site Information. Applicants who are from graduate programs that are not in Clinical Psychology, and/or are not APA accredited at the time of the review, will automatically be disqualified. The remaining applications will be distributed among the Admissions Committee for an initial review based on the criteria below. The Admissions Committee is made up of the Director of Clinical Training, and additional supervisory staff. The number of interview slots available will depend on staff availability, but approximately 20-24 are usually offered. Please note that the APPIC program code for the Child Trauma Research Program application is: 2253.

The applicants who are indicated to go forward in the process will be reviewed by the Director of Clinical Training for a final decision. Those that are designated “Strong Applicant” will be first to receive a second review by the training director. If they are selected to go forward in the process, the Administrative Assistant will schedule them for an interview with members of the Admissions Committee. If there are still interview slots available, those that have been designated “Good Applicant” will be reviewed by the Director of Clinical Training for further consideration. The administrative assistant will email letters to all of the candidates by the Notification Deadline letting them know of their interview status. Those who are “Disqualified” or “Not a Good Match” will receive letters via email notifying them that they are no longer being considered, as will those “Good Applicants” and “Strong Applicants” who were not selected to go forward.

Application Review

Applicants will receive following designations:

- Disqualified

- Good Applicant

- Strong Applicant

- Not a Good Match                                                                                                                                                                      

Required Criteria:

  • APA accredited graduate program in Clinical Psychology
  • Strong undergraduate & graduate academic record
  • In good academic standing
  • Demonstrated interest and experience with children, youth, and families
  • Demonstrated interest and experience working with underserved communities
  • Strong letters of recommendation
  • Strong, clear Letter of Interest
  • Essays reflect a thoughtful, insightful, mature candidate
  • Essays reflect strong writing skills
  • Essays reflect someone who has a clear theoretical foundation                                                                                                                        

Preferred Criteria:

  • Dissertation proposal defended
  • Relevant research experience or interest
  • Experience or interest in Trauma
  • Bilingual (Spanish)
  • Significant Psychological Testing Experience                                                                                                                                                     


  • Demonstrated dedication to underserved and minority populations
  • Insightful, self-aware
  • Culturally sensitive and knowledgeable
  • Able to be effective in clinical role play
  • Interest in working with children 0-18
  • Flexible
  • Good fit with our training program and clinical services

At the time of interview, Admission Committee members will rank candidates in the following way:

1 - The best, excellent qualifications, excellent fit, universally well-liked by interviewers, a perfect match

2 - Extremely strong applicant, excellent fit, liked by all, but doesn’t have that same perfect match quality

3 - Strong applicant, good fit, not as engaging as above, or fit may not be as perfect, but liked by all

4 - Solid candidate with a number of strengths appropriate to site, some minor drawbacks

5 - Solid candidate, not as ideal a fit as above categories, but all would be happy to have as an intern

6 - A candidate who is qualified, may have some drawbacks, but nothing critical, and is good enough to be worth ranking rather than going to clearinghouse

7 - Don’t rank

Following two interviews with at least two members of the Admissions Committee, interviewers will confer about the candidate. Any concerns about the candidate will be noted and followed up on with reference checks. Once interviews have been completed, the Admissions Committee will meet to make decisions about rank order. The Director of Clinical Training will submit rankings by the APPIC deadline.

The UCSF Child Trauma Research Program’s Multicultural Clinical Training Program follows the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers ( Match Policies. As Part of the APPIC Match, applicants must submit the AAPI (which requires official transcripts as part of the application process).

UCSF is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The University undertakes affirmative action to assure equal employment opportunity for underutilized minorities and women, for persons with disabilities and for Vietnam-era veterans and special disabled veterans. 12/04 Employer University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)