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Postdoctoral Residency in Health Service Psychology

Welcome to the UC San Diego Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Postdoctoral Residency training website! I am delighted by your interest in our program and pleased to share with you why I believe we are a great training site.

We are a diverse and excellent team of mental health providers deeply dedicated to providing services to our student body and participating in the training of future mental health professionals who will serve our campus community and eventually the global community. We practice within a community, social justice, mental health framework, embedding the majority of our providers within the campus community, and the seven colleges throughout our campus. This is an effort to decrease barriers and increase access to mental health services for all of our students. Postdocs receive high quality training experiences in short term therapy and primary prevention, through consultation and psychoeducational programming. We offer a unique opportunity to provide consultation and outreach services within both an emphasis area, as well as college setting, where each trainee is housed. We also foster professional identity and growth into the role of professional psychologist in a supportive, yet challenging setting.

For information about applying to our program, please visit the Application Process.

As you explore our website, it is my hope you will gain a deeper appreciation for why UC San Diego CAPS Postdoctoral Residency program may be right for you!

—Judy Goodman Fermin, PhD, Training Director  

CAPS Post Doctoral Residents

2023-24 Post-Doctoral Residents

Our Residents (L-R): Roselee Ledesma, Cassandra Lawson, Nile Brandt, Amy Nannan, Judy Goodman Fermin, AJ Pollard, Donna Phonsane.




The residency program at the University of California, San Diego Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) involves supervised experience working as an integral member of a team of clinicians serving over 39,000 diverse undergraduate and graduate students. Our main focus is to provide advanced training in an environment that facilitates professional growth and development. The postdoctoral residency year focuses on the integration and refinement of professional skills in a supervised environment in preparation for licensure and professional work in a variety of mental health settings and those within higher education. Responsibilities include provision of short-term counseling/psychotherapy, group therapy, initial evaluation and assessment, referrals, crisis/urgent care counseling, outreach and consultation to the campus community, serving as consultant to one of six undergraduate colleges or major campus programs, delivery of training, and administrative committee work. One postdoc is housed at the Student Health Center with a focused practice within a behavioral health setting. In addition, the resident will work with a department on campus to provide ongoing consultation, outreach, and collaboration.

Residents typically provide 20 hours of clinical work per week, which includes initial evaluations, groups, brief individual and couples therapy, psycho-educational workshops and a bi-weekly on-call shift. Clinical training focuses on brief therapy. Residents receive 2 hours of individual clinical supervision, one hour of group supervision, and participate in a weekly multidisciplinary case conference. Additionally, residents participate in a weekly Postdoctoral Support Group, as well as professional development meetings and training seminars. There are several areas of emphasis for outreach and consultation that residents are assigned, which gain them exposure to specific populations and consultation with specific campus groups. In addition, residents participate in several formal (our site is an authorized provider of CE units by the California Board of Psychology) and informal trainings that are offered throughout the year for all professional staff on topics such as Law and Ethics, Supervision, Suicide Prevention, and various clinical topics.

The residency fulfills licensure requirements for postdoctoral supervised practice in the state of California. Residents receive over 1700 hours of supervised experience with at least 25% of their hours being dedicated to direct, clinical service.

Aims and Objectives

Aims and Objectives of the Residency

 The goal of the residency program is to provide advanced training in Health Service Psychology and enhance professional identity as a psychologist so that graduates are eligible for independent practice and employment in a variety of settings in professional psychology, with specialized experience in college counseling centers, student health centers or other services/centers within higher education. We are committed to training professionals for the independent and interdependent professional practice of psychology within a community psychology model of service delivery. We provide a unique training opportunity for the application of therapy, outreach, consultation and multicultural counseling to a diverse student population.

Specific objectives include:

  • Consolidation of clinical skills by maintaining a regular caseload, facilitating groups, attending formal and informal training, and receiving weekly supervision with cases.
  • Continued strengthening and integration of awareness, knowledge and skills pertaining to working with diverse college populations.
  • Consolidation of crisis management skills through managing urgent cases on personal caseload and managing regular urgent care shifts with appropriate supervision and back-up support.
  • Consolidation of outreach and consultation skills through outreach and consultation opportunities, shadowing, and ongoing consultation and mentoring from secondary supervisors.
  • Hone skills essential to function and thrive in a University Counseling Center.



  • Integration of Science and Practice
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity (awareness, knowledge, & skills)
  • Legal and Ethical Standards
  • Professionalism (professional values, attitudes and behaviors)
  • Clinical Competence (intervention, therapeutic skills, crisis intervention, group psychotherapy)
  • Consultation and Interpersonal/Interdisciplinary Skills (outreach and consultation skills)

Training Setting

Training Setting

The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is known as one of the top research universities in the world, located in beautiful La Jolla, California. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), a unit within the UC San Diego Health cluster of Student Health and Wellbeing, delivers campus-based mental health services for a wide range of psychological problems and clinical conditions within the undergraduate, graduate, and professional school student clientele. CAPS staff and Postdoc Residents provide multicultural, multidisciplinary, and student centered psychological services within a community based setting, To that end, a primary decentralized strategy has been employed in locating CAPS staff members within the university setting. CAPS staff and Postdoctoral residents have a primary office location in one of the seven undergraduate colleges on the UCSD campus or at the Student Health Center. About two thirds of the professional staff have been grouped into small teams and placed in offices within, or near the administrative complexes of the seven undergraduate colleges on the UCSD campus. These colleges include Revelle College, John Muir College, Thurgood Marshall College, Eleanore Roosevelt College, Earl Warren College, Sixth College and Seventh College.  Each of these colleges have their own separate sets of general education requirements and academic philosophies, as well as having their own separate academic advising service.

The remaining CAPS staff are housed at Revelle College in a central service office. Other staff have offices at the Women’s Center, OASIS and the International Center. The decentralized nature of CAPS allows for the application of the community mental health model which is deeply ingrained in the provision of services provided. Because the colleges are the places on campus where programs involving residential life, undergraduate activities, and academic advising are centered, they can be productive staging areas for psychological outreach and consultation services. The college outreach team, usually consisting of a Postdoc, and two senior staff members, serve as in-house, psychological consultants to the administration of the college.

Trainees and staff spend the majority of the time in these locations providing direct services. Most of the CAPS’ administrative meetings, Postdoc training seminars, group services and emergency/urgent care services take place at the central service offices. As a result, there is frequently a mix of college counselors and Postdocs with Central staff throughout the week. This encourages professional enrichment, as well as reinforcing the staff's primary identification with CAPS. Additionally, since the Central Service is removed from the colleges and their administrative complexes, its location offers a more private entry-point for undergraduate students seeking services.

Training Experiences

Training Experiences

The formal and informal training opportunities that strengthen the resident’s knowledge base, in concert with clinical experience, allow the residents to further consolidate their learning and to meet the competencies and objectives of the Residency. Throughout the year the residents work with various staff in different capacities. These training opportunities include:

  • Orientation training which encompasses learning about CAPS policies and procedures, electronic record-keeping, urgent care procedures, and the campus system. This training lasts approximately two weeks and occurs on a one-time basis.
  • Individual supervision is provided for two hours every week.
  • Group supervision is provided for one hour every week. Each week the focus varies on the following topics: ethics, multicultural issues, and clinical psychology topics relevant to the training experience.
  • Research seminar occurs twice per quarter, allowing residents to discuss, develop and receive guidance and supervision in research skills and resident research project (see below).
  • Secondary supervision is provided as needed on a weekly basis and may entail supervision related to group therapy, consultation, outreach, or requested areas of specialty.
  • Co-facilitation of groups and workshops with senior staff.
  • Case Review Teams offers an opportunity to discuss case conceptualization and explore ethical dilemmas and uses of transference and countertransference within multidisciplinary teams. Case teams are offered for one hour every week.
  • Formal professional development training is offered on a quarterly basis and typically entails professional topics such as licensure, career development, and negotiation.
  • Monthly, informal meetings where staff or invited community psychologists discuss the integration of their treatment modalities and their professional journeys and work both in and out of counseling center settings.
  • Formal half-day or all-day in-service trainings on professional topics such as ethics and supervision are offered several times throughout the year.
  • Informal trainings are offered frequently throughout the year to keep the staff up to date on pertinent topics (e.g. working with Disability Services).
  • Throughout the year the residents work with various staff and have the opportunity to learn from their expertise.
  • Residents attend CAPS staff meetings which allow them to learn about the administrative functioning of a University Counseling Center.


Outreach and Emphasis Areas

In addition to providing outreach and consultation services within the individual colleges where postdoc offices are located, Postdoc Residents will be matched to one of the following emphasis areas for 3-5 hours of focused outreach and consultation experiences, with the exception of the Behavioral Health Specialty which is a fully embedded experience:

  • Athletics:  Athletics: This emphasis area involves the postdoc joining the CAPS Sport Psychology Outreach/Resource Team (SPORT). The post doc will work with the CAPS SPORT psychologists in providing support, outreach and consultation to U.C. San Diego's Intercollegiate Athletics Department (ICA) and the NCAA Division I program. This may include activities such as brief telephone assessments for scholar athletes (SAs), coordination of yearly mental health screenings for all SAs, drop-in, support spaces as well as providing leadership and performance enhancement skills training and workshops for SAs. CAPS SPORT also provides consultative services to coaching, administrative, athletic training, sport medicine and other ICA departmental staff.
  • Eating Disorders: This program is developed in collaboration with the UCSD Easting Disorder’s Program.  It is an on-campus program for students with the goal to provide a comprehensive, campus option for disordered eating and/or body weight issues.   The postdoc works collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team which includes psychiatry, psychology, primary care, nutrition and LSCW providers.
  • Flourishing Initiatives/Positive Psychology: The postdoc in this area focuses on providing outreach and consultation to the campus community that focuses on Student Success, Development, Retention, and Flourishing along with the psychologist manger of this program. Projects include the coordination of “May is Mental Health Month”, consultation with UCSD Healthy Campus Network, First Year Experience, training and supervision opportunities to the CAPS Wellness Peer Educators, as well as outreach and consultation for student organizations on campus and the campus community centers.
  • Community Centers Outreach: The postdoc in this position collaborates with an identified community center psychologist in determining places/spaces on campus to focus on for outreach, training and consultation serving under-represented student groups. This is based upon needs of the campus community and goals of the resident. Past communities identified have been undocumented students, international students, black students, Latinx students and, Asian students to name a few.
  • Graduate Students: The postdoc assigned works in collaboration with the Graduate Student program manager providing consultation, training and outreach services for the various graduate student populations on campus (masters and doctoral level students). This includes the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Business as well as the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Activities have included providing workshops on topics such as imposter syndrome, questioning career transitions and graduate student support groups.
  • Behavioral Health Specialty: This is an embedded experience in which the postdoc assigned will be housed at the UCSD Student Health Services Center. The postdoc will work collaboratively with a CAPS psychologist and psychiatrist providing mental health services for students seen at the Student Health Center. They will also work in partnership with the medical health professionals at the center providing consultation services within a behavioral health framework.
  • Wellness Peer Educator Program: The postdoc in this emphasis is involved in the coordination of the CAPS Wellness Peer Educator Program. This will include the training and development of CAPS undergraduate Wellness Peer Educators, the supervision and implementation of preventative interventions (i.e. outreach presentations, workshops, and tabling events), and helping to build a healthier and more inclusive campus community via programming that is culturally informed and promotes social justice values/principles.


Resident Research Project

In order to develop and enhance program evaluation and research skills, each resident may participate in an optional research, program evaluation, or program development project. This project is supervised by a psychologist mentor at UC San Diego CAPS. At the beginning of the training year, postdocs will meet with the CAPS Information Systems (IS) Director, along with several identified CAPS psychologists interested in research, to discuss and identify possible projects. Postdocs will be matched with a mentor with similar research interests and propose a project to the IS Director. The IS Director will review proposed projects and provide feedback and guidance on the selection of a project that is both meaningful and practical to complete within the timeframe of the residency year. Postdocs will meet with their mentor periodically throughout the year and at the end of the year will present to CAPS staff on their projects.


Program Responsibilities

The residency program assumes the following responsibilities to ensure residents receive comprehensive, ethical, and professional training:

  • The residency program will provide orientation to residents which highlight the following:
    • University system; CAPS Center
    • Statement of goals for their residency
    • Review of the standards and guidelines
    • Access to and review of Policies and Procedures Manual (P&P)
    • Review of competency expectations and evaluation criteria
  • The residency program will provide supervision by licensed psychologists who adhere to professional legal and ethical guidelines.
  • The residency program will provide ongoing formal and informal feedback to facilitate the professional development and growth of the residents. These forums for feedback include, but are not limited to:
    • Self-evaluation at beginning, mid, and end of residency year.
    • Written evaluations at mid and end of residency year.
    • Quarterly meetings with Training Director and informal meetings as necessary.
    • Regular, weekly meetings with primary supervisor.
    • As needed meetings with secondary supervisors e.g., in emphasis areas, or colleges.
    • Regular supervisors’ meetings may generate additional feedback session.


Post-Doc Informational Videos

Outreach Experience

Consultation Experience

Decentralized Model

Support from Others

Urgent Care

Highlights of Working at UC San Diego


Training Committee and Supervisors’ Group


Wen-hsin Chang, Ph.D.


Fengqin Lian, Ph.D.


Louie Limas, Ph.D.


Taylor McCavanagh, Psy.D.


Michael McGlenn, Psy.D.


Judy Goodman-Fermin, Ph.D.


David Diaz, Ph.D.


Bryan Balvaneda, Ph.D.


Allison Wagner, Ph.D.

Learn more about the Training Committee and Supervisors’ Group on our staff page.

Application Process

Former Residents

Former Post-Doctoral Residents & First Job Post-Training Year

Year Post-Doctoral Resident // First Job Post-Training Year
  • Rina Schul, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UCSD
  • Christina Lambert, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UCSD
  • Natalie Rice-Thorp, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UCSD
  • Danny Singley, PhD // Private Practice
  • Jim Harbin, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UNC-Charlotte
  • Nima Patel, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Univ. of Illinois
  • Annie Ahn, PhD // Staff Psychologist, CSU Fullerton
  • Jacinta Jimenez, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UCLA
  • Lauren Woolley, PhD // Staff Psychologist, USD
  • Autumn Backhaus, PhD // Psychologist, San Diego VA
  • Jose Montes, PhD // Staff Psychologist, CSU Northridge
  • Kate Sirridge, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Iowa State University
  • Jenss Chang, PhD // Asst Professor, Azuza Pacific University
  • Hoku Conklin, PhD // Staff Psychologist, BYU
  • Mark Jesinoski, PhD // Staff Psychologist, CMH
  • Amy La, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UC Irvine
  • Monique Mendoza Crandal, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UCSD
  • Jeffrey Poizner, PsyD // Psychologist, San Diego VA
  • Doriane Besson, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Brittany Chidley, PsyD // Faculty & Private Practice, San Diego
  • Lauren Feiner, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Lisa Finlay, PhD // Psychologist, Long Beach VA
  • Stephanie Salo, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Daniel Zamir, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC Santa Barbara
  • Susannah Flaherty, PsyD // Psychologist, Bentley Univ and Rasi Associates
  • Koko Nishi, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, SDSU
  • Kevin Ramotar, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Marybeth Rigali-Oiler, PhD // Staff Psychologist, USD
  • Krystle Rivera, PsyD // Licensure, Texas
  • Sherry Shaw, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Jonathan Dator, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Providence College
  • Robert Lim, PhD // Psychologist, Kaiser
  • Susana Martinez, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UT San Antonio
  • Pilar Meany, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Meg Stein, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Ryan Stevenson, PhD // VA San Diego
  • Ginger Villareal Armas, PhD // Post-Doctoral Resident, UC San Diego
  • Leah Heng Tappero, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Saliha Kozan, PhD // Psychologist, Turkey
  • Roberto Luna, PsyD // Post-Doctoral Resident, UC San Diego
  • Katie Spaventa-Vancil, PhD // VA San Diego
  • Jasmine Tilghman, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UC Irvine
  • Ginger Villareal Armas, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Cornell
  • Shannon Franklin, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, USD
  • Roberto Luna, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Ronald Ma, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Univ of Washington
  • Niyatee Sukumaran, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UC San Diego
  • Sochanvimean Vannavuth, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Univ of Kansas
  • Pooja Amatya, PsyD // Licensed Psychologist
  • Morgan Anderson, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Sheeva Assar, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC Irvine
  • Parissa Nili, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, USC
  • Sachiko Sweetwood, PhD // Licensed Psychologist
  • Matthew Alex Thibeault, PhD // Staff Psychologist, Palomar College
  • Kevin Burchby, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Nicole Chow, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UC Irvine
  • Shawndeeia Drinkard, PhD // Private Practice
  • Wesley Kane, PsyD, BSN // Private Practice
  • Tahirih Moffett, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Ming-Che Tu, PhD // Staff Psychologist, USC
  • Miriam Adrianowicz, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Julie Badaracco, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Sophie Bryan, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Kristen Lipari, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Andy Nguyen, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Emily Roberts-Parker, PhD // Staff Psychologist, SDSU
  • Danielle Hanley, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Tyler Hatchel, PhD // Staff Psychologist, UCSD
  • Carly Knauf, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Michael McGlenn, PsyD // Staff Psychologist, UCSD
  • Kristina Mendez, PsyD // Private Practice
  • Ben Metta Penhas, PsyD // Private Practice & Staff Psychologist, UCSD

Forms and Links