Pre-Doctoral Psychology Training Program

Pre-Doctoral Psychology Training

Medical students and professor in training class

The practicum at the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology is an advanced clinical training opportunity for students in the fields of psychology to obtain interdisciplinary training in the clinical care of patients with cancer and their family members. Students will learn about the biological aspects of cancer, develop an understanding of the psychosocial impact on adult patients and family members throughout the developmental and cancer trajectory – from diagnosis to survivorship or end of life, and appropriately learn to function in the role of mental health professionals in a medical setting. Specific skills learned include consultation in multidisciplinary medical clinics, patient advocacy and access to tangible resources, individual and group therapy using evidence based modalities such as CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, and exposure to interventions in multiple disciplines such as psychology, social work, psychiatry, spiritual care and integrative medicine. Training consists of weekly didactic teachings, bimonthly case conferences, lectures, attendance in medical clinics, and individual and group supervision. Practicum students will receive this training in an outpatient facility, the Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology in the 200 Medical Plaza Building Suite 502, and in various oncology clinics within the Medical Center in Westwood, in Santa Monica and possibly in other UCLA Hematology/Oncology community practices.

Current Position Openings

The Center typically offers practicum placements to two advanced clinical students per year. Practicum students are required to spend 20-24 hours per week for a minimum of ten months or as prescribed by their program. The Center prefers students who will make a one-year commitment to training. The Center will also consider other opportunities for students with a serious interest in psycho-oncology training on a case-by-case basis, including a two-year training program.

Resource Allocation

Interns have a designated intern office at the Center with multiple computer and phone stations. Students also have access to clinicians’ offices and the Center conference room for individual sessions. Additional laptop computers designated for intern use are also available.


All psychology doctoral practicum students receive weekly individual supervision and group didactic training from Dr. Valentina Ogaryan, as well as other licensed clinical staff. All practicum students are required to attend weekly training meetings and clinic case conferences on Monday mornings from 9:00-12:00pm.

Please note: This track covers parking for one day per week for all trainees.


  • Valentina Ogaryan, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Training Director, Primary Clinical Supervisor
  • Shannon La Cava, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist (PSY27456), Director, Simms/Mann UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology
  • Rebecca LoMonaco, LCSW, Supervisor



Course work and/or prior training in diagnostic interviewing, CBT, and two years of prior clinical practicum training with some experience in psychotherapy are required. A strong interest in health psychology or oncology social work, as well as prior experience in a medical setting is preferred.

Application process

Candidates are required to submit a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae, two letters of reference (from writers directly familiar with applicant’s clinical skills; research or academic advisors may submit an additional supplemental letter but cannot be one of the two primary references) and a letter from the Training Director of the School attesting to the student’s qualifications, and evidence of professional liability coverage by the candidate’s program.

Please submit all materials via email to Dr. Valentina Ogaryan at [email protected].

  • Deadline for application: December 29, 2023
  • Interviews scheduled in mid January 2023
  • Uniform notification date: Early February 2023
  • Program dates: 08/26/24-6/30/2