2013-2014 MFT Intern Applications – The application process is now OPEN!!!!
The Link to Children is accepting Post-Masters MFT’s only for the 2013-2014 Year.
2013-2014 Marriage and Family Therapy and Social Work Internship Program in Infant and Preschool Mental Health and Trauma
Mission of Agency
The Link to Children (TLC) was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit community-based organization in August 1996 by a small group of concerned preschool and mental health professionals. Their goal was to give low-income high-risk children 0-5 years of age a good start in order to increase their ability to achieve productive lives as adolescents and adults. Our mission is to provide support to the emotional and social development of young children 0-5 years of age within a culturally relevant context so they will be able to develop to their full potential, no matter how difficult the circumstances of their lives.
Seventeen years later we now provide prevention and early intervention services to 538 low-income high-risk families whose children’s lives have been acutely impacted by poverty, immigration, trauma and violence within their families and the community. To meet the needs of the children whose physical and psychological development is greatly affected we provide comprehensive services. Our clinicians work on-site at subsidized child development centers and a community center that provides comprehensive domestic violence services. Our early intervention mental health interns provide individual play therapy, parent-child therapy, adult therapy for victims of violence and family interventions. Interns also provide parent counseling and parent education workshops. Interns also are trained to do preschool mental health consultation: direct teacher consultation, classroom observations, milieu play work and individual and group play therapy. Interns are also exposed to the importance of evidenced based interventions, pre and post intervention evaluations and data collection for research/grant writing purposes.
TLC is dedicated to providing best practices for the clients we work with and our training program is comprehensive in it’s focus on clinical practice in the areas of early childhood and preschool mental health with focus on the effects of trauma and the developing child and the caregivers. We provide individual and group supervision on reflective consultation, countertransference/transference issues in clinical work, assessment/treatment of trauma, and how to understand ports of entry into working with complex child/family systems.
We will have 2 different practice experiences within the training program. One group of interns will work at the community program that provides services to victims of domestic violence. The second group will provide services to community preschools. The didactic training program will provide material that address both programs, so all interns will have a rich and varied learning experience.
MFT interns and social work interns participate in the following activities during their 20 hours per week internship:
Up to 12-14 hours per week of direct client service with children, teachers, parents or other professionals
1 hour of face-to-face individual supervision per week
1 hour of clinical group supervision per week 3 times per month
2 hours of advanced case consultation per month
Up to 2 hours per week allotted for administrative duties
Goodness of Fit
TLC strives to provide all of its interns with warmth, nurturance and support as they embark on the challenge of fitting in a stimulating internship experience with their other licensing board requirements. Successful interns at TLC have all been able to function independently, be assertive, and able to work in a face-paced environment wearing many different hats. Interns are placed in off site child development centers or mental health clinic and must feel comfortable developing relationships with many professionals and know when to seek supervision and ask for help. Resilience is necessary as work with young children and their families is an intense, albeit, rewarding experience.
To apply, please send a copy of your CV, a cover letter addressing why you think you are a good fit with TLC’s mission and training goals, and 3 letters of recommendation to:
Kym Sites, MFT
The Link to Children
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 400
Oakland, CA 94612
Or you may email her at email@example.com or call 510.428.2028 if you have any questions.
Deadline for submission is March 1, 2013.
2013 TLC Faculty and Staff
Hyon-Chin Lee, AM is the Executive Director of the Link to Children. Ms. Lee has served as a faculty member in the Department of Health and Education, Child and Family Studies Department at Montclaire State University, the UC Davis Extension Center for Human Services and at Consumnes River College in the Department of Business and Family Science. She has held multiple administrative positions including serving as Program Manager for Prevent Child Abuse California and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. She has presented at the Society for Research on Child Development and has co-facilitated conferences on home visitation and empowering the home visitor at the national Zero to Three conference and at Prevent Child Abuse America. Ms. Lee has also served as a trainer, consultant and as clinical staff in many non-profit organizations working with young children and families. Ms. Lee revised and published, “Building linguistic and cultural competence: A tool kit for managed care organizations and provider networks serving the foreign born” on behalf of Heartland Alliance for Human Rights and Human Need. She remains committed to providing high quality, culturally competent early childhood services to low income communities. Ms. Lee obtained a Masters in Social Work in 1999 from University of Chicago where she was a Wilma Walker Fellow and the Co-founder and Chair of the Pan-Asian Student Association. Ms. Lee also holds a degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana where she received the Jonathan Baldwin Turner Research Fellowship.
Crick, Casas, & Ku. (1999) Relational and Physical Forms of Peer Victimization in Preschool. Developmental Psychology, 35, 2. 376-385.
Kym Sites, MFT is the Clinical Director of The Link to Children and has a private practice in San Francisco. She has extensive training and experience in providing individual, parent, family and couples therapy. Kym was a lecturer at San Francisco State University in the Clinical Psychology Program, teaching and supervising in the Master’s and Undergraduate programs. She has trained and practiced in many clinical areas that are relevant to the services provided at TLC. She trained at the Infant Parent Program in San Francisco, was a clinician and supervisor of the clinic and to the interns that staffed the service at Mt. Zion Crisis Clinic. She worked at Comprehensive Child Crisis Services and with Survivors International providing therapy for survivors of political torture and imprisonment and conducted psychological assessments for people seeking political asylum in the U.S., including those who have experienced domestic violence in their country of origin and were not protected by their government. Kym’s clinical work with children has led her to explore what services best serve the developing child’s mind and body. She brings to TLC a dedicated effort of providing services to young children and continues to work as a preschool mental health clinician at two TLC school sites. Kym is working to improve the clinical services in preschool programs by focusing on developing methods for integrating areas of engagement for parents and teachers that support a child’s developing mind, body and relational experiences. She strongly believes that early childhood interventions can be key in changing the course of a child and family’s life.
Rosario Murga Kusnir, MFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#27905) born and raised in Mexico City. She has been working with the Latino population since she moved to the US in 1986. In the last 10 years she has focused her clinical interests on infant-parent psychotherapy. Currently, she is Director of Site Relations and Clinical Supervisor at The Link to Children and she also works as a clinician in the Services to Enhance Early Development (SEED) program of the Center for the Vulnerable Child at Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland, providing psychotherapy to families and children that are in a part of the Child Welfare System. She is Certified Gottman Educator and she is in the process of obtaining her certification as a Gottman Therapist. For more than 10 years Ms. Murga Kusnir has worked at La Familia Counseling Service in Hayward, CA and at La Cheim Children and Family Services as a bilingual therapist providing services to immigrant families and their children. She has taught Child Development and Child Therapy in the Psychology graduate program at the New College of San Francisco. Ms. Murga Kusnir also maintains a private practice in Berkeley, CA.
Zlotnick, C; Wright, M.; Sanchez, R.; Murga Kusnir, R.; & Teio-Bennett, I. (2010). Adaptation of a Community-Based Participatory Research Model to Gain Community Input on Identifying Indicators of Successful Parenting. Child Welfare Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, 89(4).
Laila Shamszad, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#47596). She currently serves as a Mental Health Consultant for TLC at three Oakland Unified School District preschools and is the TLC Clinical Program Coordinator. She has been providing mental health services to young children 0-5 and their families in the home, school, and clinic for the past seven years. Ms. Shamszad studied and worked in Early Childhood Education prior to completing her Masters’ Degree in Clinical Psychology from the New College of California in 2006. She completed the training program at Child Trauma Institute with Dr. Alicia Lieberman in San Francisco in 2009, and continues to participate in training from Irving B. Harris Early Childhood Mental Health Training Program though Children’s Hospital Oakland.
Charles Brinamen, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who is endorsed as a Mentor in Infant Mental Health Specialist by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health. In private practice he serves adults and children of all ages and consults to early childhood programs regarding child development, staff relationships, and organizational challenges. He has supervised and trained interns and staff in early childhood mental health consultation, infant-parent psychotherapy, and play therapy for almost 15 years. In past positions, he has managed the Early Childhood Consultation component of the Infant Parent Program at the University of California, San Francisco and the clinical programs at the Children’s Council of San Francisco. At the Children’s Council, he helped to found the first therapeutic nursery school in San Francisco. He also co-designed UCSF’s and First Five’s (of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties) Community Clinicians 2-year Training Program that prepares licensed clinicians for specialization in infant mental health.
Dr. Brinamen shared the 2003 Irving Harris Book Proposal Award for contributions to early childhood scholarship with his co-author. Their book Mental Health Consultation in Child Care: Transforming Relationships Among Directors, Staff, and Families was published by Zero to Three Press in 2006. Articles and Chapters he has written have appeared in the Infant Mental Health Journal, Infants and Young Children Journal, The Journal of GLBT Family Studies, and The Handbook of Infant Mental Health.