Training consists of both didactic and experiential learning; theory, research and scholarly inquiry are integrated into the direct delivery and application of psychological service. Experiential learning and the development of professional skills are guided and enriched through seminars, consultations and in-service staff development activities. Faculty supervisors serve as role models and professional mentors.
The internship program follows a developmental model. Learning is a developmental process and occurs through the practice of professional activities while receiving support, training, feedback and the opportunity to observe professional role models. Training follows a developmental sequence that is cumulative and graded in complexity. At the beginning of internship, interns attend an intensive two-week orientation to facilitate their transition to internship. By the end of the internship year, interns are expected to have developed the skills and competencies necessary for entry level professional practice.
The internship program is designed to be flexible and responsive to individual and cultural differences. We make an effort to work with each intern to provide a balance between structured and flexible training experiences tailored to meet the unique interests, needs and abilities of each intern based on individual and cultural differences. In addition to basic training interns chose at least two training domains they wish to focus on based on their individual interests.
The personal and professional growth and development of the intern as an emerging professional is also an important aspect of the training model. Training is designed to guide interns through the transition from a student role to that of an entry-level professional as they learn to balance multiple professional roles and demands while experiencing more challenging responsibilities. Faculty model ethical and professional behavior and are committed to facilitating the personal and professional development and identity of each intern as an emerging professional through supervision, mentoring, consultation and a variety of training experiences.
The internship is designed to offer supervised experiences to interns who wish to further develop their skills by providing the varied services offered through a university counseling center. This internship prepares interns to work with an adult population in an outpatient setting. Broadly stated, the training goals are to train interns to develop the:
- Knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to work effectively with a variety of clinical and related mental health issues in the provision of psychological services to a diverse population.
- Cultural awareness, knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to work effectively with diverse others in assessment, treatment and consultation.
- Knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to engage in professionalism and the practice of legal & ethical standards.
- Theories and Methods of Assessment and Diagnosis
- Theories and Methods of Effective Intervention
- Theories and Methods of Empirically Based/Supported Treatments
- Theories and/or Methods of Consultation
- Theories and/or Methods of Evaluation
- Theories and/or Methods of Supervision
- Strategies of Scholarly Inquiry
- Issues of Cultural and Individual Diversity
To meet training goals, interns are expected to acquire specific competencies fundamental to the practice of professional psychology.
Competency areas are based on required curriculum domains and the Assessment of Competency Benchmarks Work Group: A Developmental Model for the Defining and Measuring Competence in Professional Psychology (2007), convened by the APA Board of Educational Affairs in collaboration with the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC).
Major Internship Competencies Pertaining to Training Domains
These competencies are considered fundamental to the practice of professional psychology. Interns are formally evaluated in each of these domains.
- Consultation and outreach
- Diversity - individual and cultural differences
- Professional and ethical practice
- Psychological testing and assessment
- Supervision (of practicum students)
These competencies are considered an adjunct to the practice of professional psychology. Interns are also evaluated on these competencies.
- Alcohol and drug
- Biofeedback and mindfulness (optional)
- Psychiatry rotation
SUMMARY OF MAJOR TRAINING ACTIVITIES
Training includes didactic training modules related to all the profession-wide competencies but the major emphasis is on experiential activities as described below.
ALCOHOL & DRUG ASSESSMENT & INTERVENTION
Teach CHOICES (alcohol use) and marijuana psychoeducational class for mandated students; Alcohol/Drug campus screenings
Administer LD/ADD and/or personality instruments; Summarize and write comprehensive integrated assessment reports; Provide oral and written feedback to clients.
Counseling center liaison and consultant to campus partner office; Consultation with faculty, staff, students, and parents about mental health issues.
INDIVIDUAL & CULTURAL DIVERSITY
Self-reflection and cultural self-assessment; Culturally informed individual & group counseling; Culturally informed case presentations and supervision case presentations; CTC Diversity Team presentation; Liaison to campus partner office; Outreach presentations
Individual Counseling.Interns conduct weekly initial evaluations with new clients as well as ongoing individual therapy sessions. They identify and assess client concerns, assess level of functioning, diagnose disorders using the DSM-5 and recommend treatment options. The CTC uses a brief therapy model (8-12) sessions per year).
Couples Counseling.Interns receive training in the Gottman evidence-based Relationship Model. Interns begin seeing couples during the spring semester.
Crisis Intervention/Urgent Care.Interns share in covering weekly shifts for walk-in crisis clients. A faculty supervisor is available for consultation and back-up during each shift. Interns are not required to be on-call for crisis intervention after hours.
Group Counseling. Interns have the opportunity to co-facilitate either a skill building or process group.
Outreach presentations to campus partners, living groups and classes.
Provide Individual or group clinical supervision for a graduate practicum student or other student.
CLINICAL STAFF MEETING
Interns attend a staff meeting with all CTC faculty to discuss cases and clinical topics. Community and campus professionals are also invited speakers/guests at times. (Variable meeting schedule, Fall & Spring semesters)
DIVERSITY TEAM PRESENTATION
Interns, faculty and staff work in Diversity Teams. Each team selects a diversity topic and prepares an educational presentation for all CTC staff once per year.
Interns make a formal clinical case presentation to faculty and the intern cohort during fall semester and a supervision case presentation during spring semester.
PRESENTATION OF DOCTORAL RESEARCH
Interns present their doctoral dissertation research to faculty and the intern cohort during the summer semester.
Individual Supervision-2 hours per week
Group Clinical Supervision - 1 hour per week
Supervision of Supervision - 1 hour per week
Supervision of Group Counseling -.5- 1 hour per week when an intern co-leads a group
Evaluation of Intern Competencies
Evaluation and feedback are an integral part of the training process. Feedback is used to gauge progress, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and set goals for continued growth and development.
Interns are evaluated in the following training domains:
- Alcohol and drug
- Biofeedback and mindfulness (optional)
- Consultation and outreach
- Professionalism and ethical/legal practice
- Testing and assessment
- Supervision given (supervision of practicum students)
- Supervision received (intern’s use of supervision)
- Informal, ongoing feedback and evaluation
- Mid-semester review
- End of semester evaluation of intern competencies — formal evaluations occur at the end of fall, spring and summer semesters.
- Submission of evaluations to the intern’s academic program — The training director sends copies of the evaluations to each intern's doctoral program at the end of each semester. If the intern’s doctoral program has their own evaluation form and timeline that differs from that of the internship program, then it is the responsibility of each intern to provide it to the training director in a timely manner for submission to their academic program. The director of training retains a copy of all evaluations in a permanent folder for each intern.
Interns are also expected to achieve a minimum global performance rating of 2, meaning they are performing at the expected level of development, in order to pass each training domain. The global rating is based on a 3-point scale.
- Level 3 - The intern is performing above the expected level of development
- Level 2 - The intern is performing at the expected level of development. Any problems are regarded as part of the normal professional growth and development process.
- Level 1 - Unsatisfactory. The intern is performing below the expected level of development and professional functioning. A remedial plan will be developed and implemented to address the problems.
If an intern’s performance falls below the acceptable level, due process policies and procedures are in place when problems arise. Due process procedures include information about remediation, appeals and grievance procedures. A copy of these procedures is available to applicants upon request and is distributed to new interns at the beginning of the internship.
Interns must also meet specific exit criteria to successfully complete the internship:
- Complete a full-time internship with at least 25 percent (500 hours) of that time spent providing direct, face-to-face psychological services.
- Achieve a minimum rating competency average of 3 at the end of each formal evaluation period. This is considered to be the minimal level of skill required to function in most entry-level positions.
- Achieve a minimum satisfactory global performance rating of 2 in all required competencies at the end of each formal evaluation period. This is considered to be the minimal level of skill required to function in most entry-level positions.
- If an intern is required to participate in a remediation plan to address deficiency areas, the intern must demonstrate they have followed the prescribed procedures and have achieved an acceptable level of professional functioning within the time frame specified.
Evaluation of Internship by Interns
Interns have opportunities to provide informal feedback and evaluation about their training and supervision experiences to the training faculty, their individual supervisor and/or the training director at any time during the program including formal written feedback at specified intervals.