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Components of Internship

Springtime on the Quad

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.

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 generally work in a shorter term model, but they will also work with a few students for 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 their 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/Drop-In Assessment/Crisis On-Call. The Counseling Center provides Urgent Care/Drop-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.
  • 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-length 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 may 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 to ensure, at a minimum, that full-time interns 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. Four and a half to 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 one hour of weekly supervision.
  • Group Supervision and Intern Case Conference. Interns have the opportunity to benefit from each other's clinical experience by participating in supervision in group format, 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. One half-hour of supervision is provided for each group interns co-facilitate.
  • 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.


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 brave space to learn and dialogue about issues of diversity and how to incorporate this knowledge into clinical work.

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 and Professional Issues Seminar. This seminar is designed to both improve the clinical skills specifically needed to function effectively in a higher education mental health setting as well as enhance their professional development as psychologists. The emphasis of the seminar will change from week to week, alternating between a clinical focus and looking at professional identity. Training related 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 will be provided. Additionally, issues of career identity, professional opportunities, continued training and learning, options for employment settings after graduation, and work-life role management will be discussed.

Training Director Meeting. Interns will meet with the Assistant Director for Training weekly 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).

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.