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Counseling Center

Components of Internship

The internship training is highly experiential. Approximately half of the intern's hours are devoted to activities that involve direct service: individual therapy, group therapy, intake, crisis intervention. Ample opportunities to be socialized into the profession exist as interns are fully integrated into the staff. By attending staff meetings and seminars they have opportunities to witness and work collaboratively with the staff as they wrestle with ethical dilemmas, seek feedback on their clinical work, and develop policy within the center. Mentorship is an important part of the intern's experience. The wide variety of supervisory experiences provides the opportunity for interns to have individual contact with a number of staff members. As such, the interns have a number of mentors and role models. Additionally, the interns have a Professional Development Group led by an outside consultant to explore issues regarding becoming a professional. This consultant also serves in a mentoring/role model relationship, particularly for interns who have aspirations to work in private practice.

Specific components of the program are as follows:

Clinical Activities

Direct Contact with clients

  • Individual Therapy. Each intern will be expected to carry ten to twelve on-going cases. Clients are generally seen once a week or less frequently depending on the needs of the client. Sessions take place at the Counseling Center. Interns will learn how to adjust the therapy frame according to treatment length, and will have the opportunity to work with students in short (6-8 sessions), moderate length (up to 20 sessions) and, less frequently, longer term (up to the full year) therapy. The number of sessions that a student is seen depends upon his/her own needs and the capacity of the center.
  • Intake Assessment. Each intern will conduct three intakes per week and receive supervision on this work from their primary supervisor. Didactic training about assessment issues is a concentrated element of the Orientation Phase of the internship year and ongoing supervision of assessment issues occurs throughout the internship.
  • Emergency/Walk-In Assessment/Crisis On-Call. The Counseling Center provides Urgent Care/Walk-In services for students who are in need of immediate assistance. Each intern covers one two-hour shift per week, along with a staff member who serves both as a partner in Urgent Care and as an additional support/consultant for the intern. Additionally, the center staff rotates on-call coverage responsibility throughout the year. Interns will be expected to take part in this rotation. Back-up supervision during these hours is built into the structure of the schedule. Supervision of the interns' crisis intervention work will be provided in conjunction with their intake and assessment supervision. Seminar topics on crisis management are also included throughout the Orientation Phase and in various seminars, particularly the Counseling Center Clinical Issues Seminar.
  • Group Therapy. Interns will be given the opportunity to co-lead a year-long process-oriented Psychotherapy group with a staff member. They will also co-lead an additional semester-long group with another staff member. The semester length group can be one of several groups that are organized around a theme, such as International Students, Stress Management or Sexual Assault/Abuse Survivors.

Additional Clinical Activities

  • Supervision of Trainee. Each intern will provide individual supervision to two total trainees in the externship or practicum program.
  • Outreach/Consultation. Each intern will work on a minimum of six outreach projects within the university community. Interns will work closely with the Assistant Director of Outreach and Consultation on these projects. Projects might include: attending campus events, developing and facilitating campus workshops, training residence life staff, and/or consulting with faculty or residential advisors. Interns' own interests regarding outreach will be encouraged. Past trainees have given workshops to the community on stress management, eating disorders, anger management, relationship issues, and other topics pertinent to the college experience. During the training year, interns also engage in a consultative relationship with a campus partner. Past partnerships have included the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Housing and Dining, and the Wellness Center.


Supervision Received

Intern supervision is regularly scheduled and sufficient relative to the intern's professional responsibility assuring, at a minimum, that a full-time intern will receive 4 hours of supervision per week, at least 2 hours of which will include individual supervision. Interns meet with individual and group supervisors each week. Five and a half or six hours of supervision are provided in the following areas:

  • Individual Supervision of Individual Therapy Clients. Each intern will have two clinical supervisors for individual therapy cases. Each supervisor will work with the intern for five to six cases, and one supervisor will supervise intake and crisis intervention sessions. Each supervisor will provide an hour a week of supervision.
  • Group Supervision of Individual Therapy Clients. Interns have the opportunity to benefit from each other's clinical experience by participating in supervision in group format. Interns will participate in two weekly case-based group supervision meetings: 1) Psychotherapy Group Supervision and 2) Intern Case Consultation, which is facilitated on a rotating basis by a member of the Center staff.
  • Individual Supervision of Group Therapy. Supervision of the intern's work as a group therapist will be provided by the group co-leader.
  • Supervision of Supervision. Supervision for the intern's work as a supervisor will be provided in small-group format with one other intern, supervised by a licensed psychologist. The initial phase of Supervision Training will incorporate didactic information regarding theories of supervision, discussion of Center policies and procedures regarding supervisory responsibilities, and the opportunity to hear about others' supervision styles.


Psychodynamic Theory Seminar. A concentrated presentation during orientation will provide interns with specific training in four psychodynamic theories: ego psychology, self psychology, object relations and contemporary relational theory. Following this, seminars will be scheduled approximately twice per semester to build upon the psychodynamic theoretical framework as interns gain more clinical experience. This seminar is intended to blend with an intensive year-long group supervision experience from a psychodynamic perspective (Psychotherapy Group Supervision), so that interns have ample opportunity to integrate psychodynamic theory and practice.

Empirically Supported Treatment Seminar. This seminar is designed as a summer block with didactic presentations followed by periodic case consultation meetings during the fall and spring semesters. The seminar will focus on improving clinical skills based on best available clinical research to be applied in a higher education mental health setting. The seminar will cover a wide range of clinical and diagnostic presentations using various empirically supported treatment models. Additionally, the case consultation element will support the development of intern's evidence based practice within a college counseling center. Case consultation will include an opportunity for interns to provide and receive peer consultation on aspects of their own evidence based practice including the integration of empirically supported treatment approaches, developing clinical expertise, and considering patient characteristics.

Cultural Competency Seminar.
The Cultural Competency Seminar is a nine month weekly seminar intended to enhance one's clinical skills in working with diverse groups. The seminar is designed to be both experiential and didactic. The aim of the seminar is to create a safe space to learn and dialogue about issues of diversity and how to incorporate this knowledge into clinical work.

Group Therapy Seminar is intended to provide interns with a thorough understanding of how group therapy works and an ability to lead group effectively utilizing a variety of group interventions at the intra-personal, intra-group, and interpersonal levels. The cohort of interns will meet weekly with the Group Therapy Seminar leader for didactic presentations and consultation. Sessions will focus on understanding group theory, assessment in groups, identifying appropriate group members, making group therapy referrals, conducting pre-group interviews, identifying stages of group, making effective group therapy interventions, and working effectively with co-leaders.

Outreach and Consultation Seminar. The Outreach and Consultation Training is intended to provide the intern with a strong grounding in outreach and consultation in a university counseling center setting. The training incorporates discussion of readings in theoretically and empirically based literature as well as numerous varied experiential activities in order to provide interns with an understanding of the role and function of outreach and consultation in a university counseling center setting. Interns will receive instruction on program design; program facilitation; program evaluation and learning outcomes;and consultation relationships in a university counseling center setting.

Clinical Issues Seminar. The Counseling Center Clinical Issues Seminar focuses on improving clinical skills specifically needed to function effectively in a higher education mental health setting. Specifically, this seminar will provide training to strengthen skills in assessment and diagnosis, clinical referrals and development of a referral base, crisis/emergency assessment and intervention, and systemic understanding of mental health issues in higher education and professional standards and ethics.

Professional Issues Seminar. The Professional Issues Seminar focuses on enhancing professional development skills for continued growth and development of interns' professional identity after the completion of formal training. Specifically, this seminar will provide training to strengthen understanding of career identity, professional opportunities, continued training and learning, options for employment settings after graduation, and information about work-life role management.

Training Director Meeting. Interns will meet with the Assistant Director for Training approximately twice per month throughout their training year. These meetings will provide an opportunity to address professional development, transitions throughout the internship year and any questions or concerns that arise for interns.

Staff Development Seminar. Time is reserved weekly for staff and interns to meet to address a variety of training and professional development issues. The content of these meetings varies and may include discussion of clinical issues, intern presentations, guest speakers, and trainee review meetings (e.g., consultation among those who supervise externs, including interns providing supervision to externs).

Professional Development Group. A professional development group will be provided for the interns to explore issues related to becoming a professional. The facilitator for this group will be an outside consultant.

Administrative Activities

Staff Meeting. This is a time to check in about how each staff person is doing personally and professionally as well as address general counseling center issues such as coverage requests, announcements, clinical emergencies or students of concern, and updates about clinical services, training and outreach.

Case Assignment Meeting. In this weekly meeting, clients recently seen for intake are reviewed and assigned to counselors.

Psychiatric Care and Coordination Meeting. Interns will meet weekly to every week with the psychiatric nurse practitioner from the Student Health Center. In this meeting, interns will have the opportunity to consult about clients for whom a Release of Information has been signed.

Case Management. Activities such as phone contact and supporting a student through the referral process.

Record Keeping and other administration.