Marriage & Family Therapy Internship Program

Our Mission

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy intern program is to provide interns with a quality training experience that will prepare them to become competent, effective and ethical therapists. We value diversity in our clients and in our staff and are committed to providing an educational experience that promotes respect, caring, compassion and understanding.

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Training Opportunity

Several of our clinics utilize MFT trainees. Students are placed in clinics with the best opportunity for a wide range of clinical experience with adults, children and families. Our clinical trainings correspond with local University learning objectives for the level of the student and incorporate trainings for the diverse cultures and populations we serve.

Students have the opportunity to provide triage, initial screenings and assessments, as well as individual, family, and group therapy with children and/or adults. Caseloads vary with the readiness of the student, but most students have 4 to 10 client hours per week. Attention is paid to each practicum student’s school requirements to insure that all requirements are met.

Each traineeship is for a period of one year. Students are expected to work 20 hours each week, from approximately July 1 to June 30. Hours are flexible to work around the student’s academic schedule. During work time students see clients, complete assessments, learn and complete clinical paperwork, facilitate groups, and attend weekly individual and group supervision.

Paid Stipend Positions

Most years there are 6 paid stipend positions which are paid at $15.25 per hour. Students are paid for the full 20 hours, with the exception of holidays, and other requested time off. Students are paid bi-weekly for the hours worked in that pay period. The department does not provide health insurance for trainees but does provide worker’s compensation coverage, 24 hours of sick leave coverage in a fiscal year upon working 90 days and malpractice insurance. Trainees are hired as Graduate Student Interns. Additionally, students must have adequate malpractice insurance provided by their university or they must provide their own.

Unpaid Trainee Positions

Occasionally, a number of unpaid trainee placements are available, the number varies from year to year. Students can apply in the same manner as the application for the stipend positions. The student should indicate if they are available for an unpaid position should the paid positions be filled. Unpaid students are expected to work 20 hours a week and will receive the same supervision and training available to the paid students. Unpaid students must be enrolled at a university and have malpractice insurance from that university or provide documentation that they have purchased the required malpractice insurance.

Client Population

DBH has a very broad range of clients, including children with behavioral disturbances, families in crisis and adults with depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and adults who are seriously mentally ill.

Links to External Sites

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

California Board of Behavioral Sciences

Agency Information

The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health is a large community mental health organization serving the needs of the citizens of the largest county in the continental United States. DBH has twelve clinics throughout the county and over 1,000 employees, including Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist, Psychiatrists, and Clinical Psychologists.

The Department of Behavioral Health is committed to the Recovery oriented Care, providing a culturally competent delivery system that promotes recovery and wellness for adults and older adults with serious mental illness and resiliency and wellness in children, adolescents and their families.

Application Requirements

The graduate school must approve applicants. There is no limit to the number of students who may apply from a graduate program, and students need not be preselected by their school.

Students should submit a vita/resume, an initial interest form and complete 2 supplemental questions which will be given to the MFT Intern Program Supervisor for review. These forms may be submitted electronically at the link provided in the forms, or they may be mailed to the address below. Please note that you must also submit your resume to the address below before your application will be considered complete.

Interest Form and Supplemental Questions

Send your completed materials to:
MFT Intern Program
County of San Bernardino
Department of Behavioral Health
1950 S. Sunwest Lane, Suite 200
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Attn: DBH MFT Intern Program

Application Deadlines & Interviews

The deadline for applications varies.  Applicants should consult their university liaison for dates or call the Intern Department at 909-252-4010.   All applicants who submit an application before the deadline will receive a status update regarding interview offers. Interviews will typically be conducted between February and March. Internship position will be offered by the beginning of April. Students who are chosen for positions will then complete the hiring process and background check through the department’s human resources department. Students will then begin their placements on or about July 1st. Start dates can be individually negotiated with the Intern Program Supervisor under some circumstances.

Interviews will be scheduled with the Marriage and Family Therapy Intern Program Supervisor at 909-252-4043.


Students receive at least one hour of individual supervision for every 5 client contact hours, from a licensed MFT or occasionally other licensed staff (i.e. LCSW or PhD) and they attend a weekly 2 hour group supervision.


The Department of Behavioral Health has an active in-service training program and students are welcome to attend all training presentations with the approval of their clinic supervisor. All trainees receive a 5 to 7 day orientation to the traineeship from the MFT Intern Program Supervisor. Additionally, students have access to an extensive on-line training clinical program.