Cynthia Psaila



Graduating Year:  2011

Before Dominican: BA in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Currently: MFT Intern, Transitioning Families with Dr. Rebecca Bailey Psy 18732

Highlight: "At Dominican, each faculty member is able to break down scenarios and offer real life examples that fortify the learning process and make something intangible, tangible."

Hands-on program

I chose Dominican’s Counseling Psychology program for a few reasons. First, graduating from UC Berkeley the year before, I was looking for a program that would train me with direct clinical skills. After attaining my Bachelor’s degree I realized how important it was to have hands-on skills for the job market.

Second, the size, location and feel of the program felt welcoming. I felt that the program would offer me the support I needed to take that next step in my education and career.

Okay to make mistakes

My experience in this program has been multifaceted. Academically, it was diverse, up to date in BBS requirements, and in tune with the current clinical field. Personally, the program challenged me to grow as a therapist as well as offered the support I needed to make mistakes along the way.

This personal growth was an essential aspect of the process in the Counseling Psychology program. In all, I experienced struggles as well as successes and would not trade either for another experience. In terms of memorable, each class was very different in its own right. What sticks in my memory the most is the diversity of dedicated and caring faculty members.

My field placement

I did my field placement at Dominican’s Counseling Services. I was an M.F.T. trainee, counseling students, staff, and faculty. I was not alone; I worked in a team with four other M.F.T. trainees and we were all supervised by Dr. Charles R. Billings and our office manager Luisa Grossi, M.A. 

The experience there was quite an opportunity to practice an array of clinical assessment and intervention approaches on a variety of presented issues. The most significant part for me was the opportunity to learn about my therapeutic assets and to implement them in a supportive and professional clinical setting.

The most challenging part of this traineeship was also what kept me very engaged with this placement. In particular, it was learning to counsel effectively a wide variety of people addressing an array of issues. This placement helped me to feel well grounded in both theory and practice and has helped me make a smooth transition into Dr. Rebecca Bailey’s Transitioning Families program.  In addition, the confidence I gained during my field placement is today helping me work independently as well as keeping me motivated to learn as much as possible from the experienced practitioners around me.   

Real life examples

To really understand how therapy works, which can often feel very elusive, one must hear how it works directly from practicing therapists. At Dominican, each faculty member is able to break down scenarios and offer real life examples that really fortify the learning process and make something often intangible, tangible.

Dedicated, talented faculty

The Counseling Psychology program’s greatest strengths are a) the effort put into keeping the program on top of the current clinical field and b) the diversity of dedicated, talented faculty members.

My private practice internship

Dominican’s Counseling Psychology program has helped me reach my goals. Not only am I the first college graduate in my family, but also upon completing this program, I was hired for a private practice internship that utilizes and integrates both my clinical skills and my personal attributes.

Message to prospective students

Starting out in this program takes a leap of faith as well as the dedication to follow it through as there are financial and personal sacrifices that accompany graduate work. But, upon completion, you will be truly happy to have started your journey with the Counseling Psychology Department at Dominican University of California.


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