The training curriculum of the internship is designed to provide a planned, experiential, and supervised sequence of training that is developmental in nature with increased challenge and complexity throughout the internship year. We strive to provide a learning environment that allows interns to thrive and prosper in building on their existing knowledge, solidifying strengths, taking risks, and developing and implementing new skills/competencies. With support, challenge, role modeling, and mentoring, we expect interns to grow into competent health service psychologists who will be well-prepared to practice within a university or college counseling center, or generalize their skills to other practice settings.
We begin the training year by providing information, structure, role modeling, and observational learning before interns engage in experiential learning and then assume increased autonomy throughout the year. For example, many of our training experiences begin with interns observing a professional staff member performing a direct service (e.g., intake/clinical assessment, outreach, consultation). This allows interns to observe and learn from the professional staff member before transitioning to being observed (e.g., intake training process) or co-facilitating a service (e.g., RIO Workshop Series, outreach, consultation) before doing so independently. Vital to this learning process are the committed training and supervisory staff who support and challenge interns in a developmental process of competency acquisition as they refine their practice as formed through both the processes of experiential practice and engagement of scholarly knowledge
Interns work closely with their supervisors and the Coordinator of Training throughout the internship year to develop a balanced caseload (e.g., clinical interests, training needs, diversity) and a variety of experiences. CSUN’s diverse student population provides interns with the opportunity to work clinically with a wide variety of clients with a wide range of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnoses and the opportunity to engage with students in other modalities (e.g., outreach, consultation, training, etc.). In addition, the training program strives to provide a learning environment that allows interns to meaningfully explore both professional and personal issues like knowledge, values, and self-awareness, which relate to their clinical functioning, multicultural competency, and professional identity and development.
There are informal and formal evaluations to assess interns’ varying developmental levels and to accommodate their changing needs over the course of the training year.
Types of Service
Most often, a client’s first contact with UCS is a scheduled Intake/Clinical Assessment appointment (45-50 minutes). During the intake session, interns meet with clients to conduct a clinical assessment that is bio-psycho-social in nature and clarifies the presenting problem(s), assesses the severity of the problem(s), and determines the need for timely interventions. Interns are expected to collect relevant data, formulate a case conceptualization and diagnosis (if applicable) to develop recommendations and an effective treatment plan, taking into account the socio-cultural context of the client. Recommendations discussed with clients at the end of the intake session may include one (1) or more of the following:
- Referral to the series of three (3) RIO Workshops prior to other counseling services at UCS
- Short-term individual or couples counseling with a counselor at UCS
- Referral to a UCS group or workshop
- Referral to UCS psychiatric staff for diagnostic or medication consultation
- Referral to other campus department(s) or resources (e.g., physician or dietician at Klotz Student Health Center, Disability Resource and Education Services, Learning Resource Center, Title IX Office, Campus Care Advocate, Pride Center, Veterans Resource Center, etc.)
- Referral to a community provider for more open-ended counseling or specialty counseling services that are not within the scope of UCS’ services
- Referral to other community services or resources (e.g., testing, 12-step meetings, etc.)
Interns receive specific training during Orientation on intake/clinical assessment, psychiatric services available at UCS, UCS policies and procedures related to direct clinical services, case management, and referrals on- and off-campus. After completing our Intake/Clinical Assessment Training Process, interns are scheduled to provide three (3) intakes per week. Intake sessions are scheduled by the administrative support staff. Interns receive continued training throughout the year in one of the Training Modules (Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis), as well as in Supervision and Case Conference.
RIO WORKSHOP SERIES
After meeting with an intake therapist for an Intake/Clinical Assessment appointment, many clients are enrolled into our RIO (Recognition, Insight, and Openness) Program as in initial intervention. RIO is a series of three (3) curriculum-driven workshops. Each workshop is structured, has specific learning objectives, and builds on material from the preceding one(s). RIO is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and utilizes mindfulness skills. The workshop series assists clients in learning skills to more effectively deal with thoughts and feelings and gaining clarity about values as well as their therapy goals. At the completion of RIO, clients have the opportunity to meet with their Intake counselor to review their experience and collaboratively discuss the next steps in their change process (e.g., referral into a UCS group, short-term individual or couples counseling at UCS, open-ended individual counseling in the community, referrals to other resources).
Interns receive training to conduct RIO Workshops during Orientation. After initially shadowing a senior staff counselor providing RIO, interns will facilitate the workshop series autonomously.
UCS offers opportunities to work with clients seeking psychological counseling to support their psychological well-being and academic success. While short-term therapy is the primary means of service delivery at UCS, interns also have the opportunity to work with two (2) clients for more extensive long-term therapy over the course of the internship year. Individual therapy constitutes a major portion of the intern’s direct service responsibility. UCS is a high-volume agency, and interns can expect to carry a steady caseload of clients, seeing approximately 8 - 14 individual client appointments per week (depending on whether they have a triage shift); however, they tend to carry more than 20 active clients at a given time due to many clients being seen on a bi-weekly basis. Interns select their clients primarily from their intake/clinical assessments, manage their caseload, and strive to develop a balanced caseload (e.g., clinical interests, training needs, diversity) in consultation with their supervisors.
Training in different psychotherapeutic models is available through Professional Seminars, Training Modules (Short-Term Therapy), Supervision, and Case Conference. In addition, due to the diversity of our senior staff counselors, interns may be exposed to a wide range of theoretical approaches including Adlerian, Afrocentric, Client-Centered, Cognitive-Behavioral, Dialectical-Behavioral, Existential, Family Systems, Feminist, Humanistic, Integrative, Interpersonal, Mindfulness, Multicultural, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative, Psychodynamic, Relational, Solution-Focused, and Strength-Based orientations and approaches to therapy.
UCS offers opportunities to work with students in a variety of diverse couple relationships, such as LGBTQ couples, couples living together, and/or married couples. However, couples therapy constitutes only a minor portion of the intern’s direct service responsibility. In order to be eligible for couples therapy, one of the partners in the relationship must be an enrolled CSUN student.
Training in working with couples is available through Professional Seminars, Supervision, and Case Conference, assisting interns in combining theoretical and applied approaches to family/relational/systems therapy. In addition, there may be opportunities to work with couples as a team of co-therapists.
UCS offers a variety of groups and workshops each semester. Interns work with UCS senior staff counselors to co-facilitate groups and workshops designed to improve students’ personal growth, interpersonal relationships, learning, and/or academic success. These include therapy and support groups, as well as multiple-session psycho-educational workshops on topics such as anxiety management, depression management, relaxation and mindfulness, test anxiety, procrastination, shyness, body image, and self-esteem. Ongoing therapy and support groups focus on issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, eating disorders, sexual abuse), specific populations (e.g., Latina/o, African-American/Black, men, women, LGBTQ, transgender), and general therapy (Understanding Self and Others). Because there are no session limits for group therapy services, group can be a good referral resource for clients who would like to continue progressing toward their goals at UCS, but who have reached the limit of their individual sessions. It is also a good way for counselors to be able to work with clients on a longer-term basis.
Interns receive training in group dynamics, intervention, and facilitation skills, through Professional Seminars, Training Modules (Group Therapy), Supervision of Groups, and Case Conference, throughout the year. Interns are required to participate as co-facilitators with a senior staff counselor in one therapy/support group and one psycho-educational workshop.
TRIAGE/CRISIS WALK-IN SESSIONS
Most new clients enter the UCS system through a scheduled Intake/Clinical Assessment appointment with a counselor. However, at times, clients present to UCS in a state of urgency or crisis, and feel unable to wait for a scheduled intake appointment. UCS counselors are assigned to regular four (4)-hour triage shifts, during which time they respond to walk-in crisis clients (or “triage” clients), as well as phone and in-person consultation requests from campus and community members. Triage clients may include first-time clients to UCS or ongoing clients (e.g., has an assigned UCS counselor, attends group(s), or psychiatric services). Clients may present with situations that most counselors would consider emergencies (e.g., suicidal ideation, plan, intent, or attempt; homicidal ideation, plan, intent, or attempt; active psychotic symptoms; recent sexual assault, domestic violence, or other trauma; recent death; serious impairment in daily functioning, etc.) or may involve a situation that is causing the client subjective distress (e.g., relationship break-up or loss, roommate conflict, academic disqualification, etc.).
The triage session is meant to be a brief session (approximately 20-30 minutes long), and is designed for the counselor to learn about and understand the client’s urgent need(s), complete a risk assessment (and intervention, if needed), and determine what steps to take next. Based on the information gathered in the triage session, the counselor makes a determination about disposition and/or case management (e.g., refer the client for a regularly scheduled full intake or emergency intake; refer the client back to their UCS provider, if they have one; refer the client for psychiatric consultation; or if an immediate referral for other services is more appropriate).
Rather than providing triage shifts at the start of the internship, interns participate in a Triage/Crisis Walk-in Training Process over the course of the first several months of internship. Once they complete this process, interns begin providing triage/crisis walk-in shifts at the beginning of November. Supervisory backup and consultation is always available to interns as they engage in providing these services and ongoing training is provided throughout the year in one of the Training Modules (Crisis Intervention and Management), Supervision, and Case Conference.
*UCS counselors do not provide emergency crisis coverage after regular office hours or on weekends or campus holidays. UCS contracts with a company called “ProtoCall” to respond to crisis calls outside of business hours.
OUTREACH WORKSHOP DESIGN, DELIVERY, AND EVALUATION
Outreach is viewed as meeting multiple needs of our campus community, including providing prevention efforts, de-stigmatizing counseling services, reaching underrepresented client populations, helping faculty and staff interact more effectively with students, and identifying students who may benefit from UCS services. UCS offers a variety of educational programs on academic, mental health, interpersonal, and wellness topics as well as general information about the services provided to students. There are multiple ways in which interns actively participate in the center’s outreach and consultation activities. Outreach efforts include those requested by faculty, staff, student organizations, residence hall staff, and members of the CSUN community, as well as those initiated by counseling staff. Topics frequently requested by campus constituents include stress management, relaxation, academic stress, procrastination, and presentations on UCS services. Interns are also expected to initiate outreach programming. They may identify diverse student groups (e.g., Latino/a students, African-American students, GLBTQ students, international students, veterans, etc.), particular campus departments or groups (e.g., Residential Life, Athletic Department, Veterans Resource Center), or special areas of interest (e.g., health promotion, rape prevention, eating disorders), around which they want to develop outreach programs and/or consultative relationships. In addition to presentations and workshops, interns are often involved in passive programming for larger campus-wide events such as providing table displays, brochures and handouts, and interaction with students. Interns are required to provide a minimum of eight (8) outreach programs over the course of the training year, two (2) of which must be original programs (see below) developed independently.
The UCS Outreach Coordinator provides interns with specific outreach and consultation training beginning in Orientation and throughout the training year through one of our Training Modules (Outreach, Consultation, and Program Evaluation). Initially, interns attend a series of didactic training seminars on theories and principles of outreach and consultation and participate in UCS outreach and consultation in an apprenticeship role. They first observe counseling staff presenting outreach programs and then collaborate to jointly provide outreach with a counseling staff member and/or in an intern dyad before presenting independently. Interns meet regularly with the Outreach Coordinator throughout the internship year. This provides ongoing training, an opportunity to discuss upcoming and previous outreach presentations, practice outreach and consultation skills, and provide feedback to help each other reflect and improve on their skills in this area.
TEACHING AND SUPERVISION OF PEER EDUCATORS
Interns have the opportunity to work with one of UCS’ peer education programs (The Blues Project or JADE, see below). Interns design, plan, and facilitate weekly training of the advanced group of peer educators in their particular peer program. They are responsible for developing the syllabus for the semester, teaching advanced peer educator classes, scheduling outside presenters, and participating in various mental health awareness weeks (e.g., Beat the Blues Week, National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, etc.). We are currently piloting a program whereby interns provide some supervision for that program’s team of peer educators. Interns work closely with the UCS’ Peer Programs Specialist and the Graduate Assistant who works with their particular peer education program.
- The Blues Project: depression and suicide prevention
- JADE (Joint Advocates on Disordered Eating): awareness and prevention of eating disorders
Interns develop consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills throughout the year. They have opportunities to consult and collaborate with colleagues in UCS and other individuals, departments/groups, both on- and off-campus. For example, this may include consultation with a UCS psychiatrist, physician or dietician at the Klotz Student Health Center, family members or loved ones of a client, Residential Life/Housing staff, mental health agency off-campus, etc. Through these interactions, interns develop knowledge of differing roles and perspectives of other mental health professionals, professionals within other disciplines (e.g., social work, psychiatry, medicine, etc.), and other departments/groups (e.g., Division of Student Affairs, Department of Police Services, Olive View Hospital). They gain experience consulting and collaborating with others toward shared goals, navigating challenging situations, and promoting effectiveness in professional activities.
The UCS Outreach Coordinator provides interns with specific training in consultation beginning in Orientation and throughout the training year through one of our Training Modules (Outreach, Consultation, and Program Evaluation).
CASE MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE TIME
Interns are allotted time in their weekly schedules for the purposes of clinical documentation and associated follow-up tasks such as clinically-oriented phone calls, resource management, etc. In addition, this administrative time is intended to be utilized by interns for preparation for supervision (e.g., reviewing digital recordings, preparing questions, reading, etc.), research/scholarly activities such as reviewing existing and current literature, work on dissertation/doctoral project, work on outreach or consultation projects, etc.
Training Opportunities for Interns
PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS (PRO-SEMS)
Professional Seminars (Pro-Sems) are scheduled weekly for two (2) hours. These seminars are didactic and provide lecture, discussion of research and literature, case studies, and experiential activities, on topics related to working with a university/college population, as well as a variety of areas in the field of health services psychology (e.g., law and ethics, evidence-based treatment, supervision theories and methods, program evaluation). Interns are expected to complete any required readings or activities requested in advance by the seminar presenters, and are expected to actively participate in discussions that occur in this meeting. These seminars are primarily provided by in-house counseling staff, which gives the interns opportunities to have exposure to and interact with a variety of counseling staff members; some outside professional are invited to present on areas of their particular expertise. Interns are expected to complete a brief evaluation for each Pro-Sem to help UCS and the individual presenters improve the seminars in the future.
MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE SEMINARS
The Multicultural Competence Seminars are part of the weekly Professional Seminar series. Professional Seminars include a variety of topics on serving diverse populations and specific multicultural topics such as First Generation College Students, Working with Chicana/Latino Students, Working with Asian-American Students, Working with African Americans, Providing Optimal Care to LGBTQ Students, Unique Issues in Working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, and Engaging Men in Psychotherapy, among others. These seminars are focused on developing interns’ competence in multicultural counseling and professional practice with diverse populations.
The Multicultural Competence Seminars also include a 6-part, 18-hour series of didactic and experiential seminars, offered throughout the training year. These seminars are focused on increasing interns’ knowledge, awareness of values and attitudes, skills for assessment and intervention, and knowledge of multiple intersecting cultural identities, pertaining to competent multicultural practice. Diversity is broadly conceptualized, and the seminars engage interns around a number of dimensions of diversity including, but are not limited to race/ethnicity and racism, class/socioeconomic status and classism, gender and sexism, sexual identity and heterosexism, spirituality and religion and religious oppression, abilities and ableism, and age and ageism. Overall, these seminars address the clinical implications of oppression, differential privileges, and access to resources, through an ecological perspective.
The Training Modules are an additional weekly didactic activity for interns. There are five (5) rotating topics, which correspond to our clinical competency areas offered for one hour each week: Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis, Crisis Intervention & Management, Short-Term Therapy, Group Therapy, and Outreach, Consultation, & Program Evaluation.
Interns participate in weekly staff meetings with the multidisciplinary counseling staff, which address the administrative business of UCS and provide opportunity for collegial support.
INTAKE AND CASE DISPOSITION MEETING
The Intake/Case Disposition Meeting is a weekly multidisciplinary meeting with the entire counseling staff during which interns and counseling staff members present intake cases needing to be assigned or transferred for treatment at UCS, as well as present cases for consultation regarding referral (e.g., crisis cases, ethical/legal concerns, multicultural/diversity considerations, treatment plans, disposition, etc.). Clinical issues that impact the center as a whole (e.g., emergency situations on campus that UCS is expected to respond to) may also be discussed in this meeting.
The Case Conference is a bi-monthly meeting that serves as a peer consultation group for the entire counseling staff (including interns). Counselors and interns are divided into smaller groups of 4-5 to discuss ongoing cases that may be challenging in an effort to receive feedback and suggestions from other counselors in attendance. The meeting time may also be utilized for tenure-track counseling faculty to present formal case presentations to the entire counseling staff. Case conference is intended as a means of: allowing interns to observe counseling staff members present cases formally and informally; exposing them to different styles of presentation, theoretical orientations, professional interests, and specialization; and providing interns the opportunity to participate in interactive scholarly discussion on relevant clinical topics. During the month of February, Case Conferences are offered weekly, thereby giving each intern the opportunity to present one formal case presentation to the entire counseling staff. This provides an opportunity for interns to engage in scholarly inquiry, practice presenting clinical material in a clear and meaningful way, and receive feedback, in preparation for upcoming job interviews.
PEER REVIEW MEETING
Peer Review is a weekly multidisciplinary review committee that is intended to provide clinical consultation and a collaborative treatment team approach. The goals of the Peer Review process are to provide optimal clinical care to clients, and consultation and support to UCS counselors. Clinical cases involving any high risk (e.g., client danger to self or others, psychosis, severe eating disorder or alcohol/substance concerns, etc.): to consult regarding risk factors, protective factors, safety planning, treatment plan, disposition, and case management. Clinical cases involving psychiatric hospitalization: to consult regarding post- hospitalization case management, treatment plan, and linkages to community resources for continuity of care.
MEETING WITH THE COORDINATOR OF TRAINING
Interns are required to attend a bi-weekly group meeting with the Coordinator of Training. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss how the internship is progressing; share aspects of mutual professional development in a group setting; and address any administrative, procedural, or training-related questions or concerns.
Interns are asked to participate on a minimum of one (1) committee during the internship year. UCS committees include: Diversity Committee, Intern Selection Committee, and Open House Committee.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT/CONTINUING EDUCATION
Interns attend all professional development programs sponsored by UCS. Programs in recent years have included Law and Ethics for California Mental Health Professionals, Assessing Risk to Self or Others in University Students, Beyond the Basics: Mental Wellness for Transgender Clients, and Targeted School Violence. Interns also attend events featuring Division of Student Affairs-invited speakers on campus. In addition, interns are able to attend the Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education (OCCDHE) general conference with the Coordinator of Training when it is offered (every other year; even-numbered years).
OUTREACH AND CONSULTATION PROJECTS
Interns have the opportunity for more intensive outreach and consultation experiences with campus constituents (e.g., student group or organization, university department, mental health week sponsored by peer education programs, etc.) for their two (2) original outreach programs. These programs must be developed in consultation with, and supervised by, the Outreach Coordinator, and must include:
- Professional research or literature on health, wellness, or psychologically-oriented information that is pertinent to the focus on the topic; at least three resources or references should be provided
- Multiple modalities of communication (e.g., Powerpoint, Prezzi, video clips, experiential exercises, etc.)
- Demonstration of competent facilitation skills
- Written feedback from the attendees through use of the UCS Workshop Evaluation Form at the end of the presentation
- Direct observation of one (1) of the original programs by the Outreach Coordinator or the Outreach Coordinator’s designee (it is the intern’s responsibility to arrange for observation) and completion of the Intern Outreach Evaluation
PROGRAM EVALUATION PROJECT
Interns have the opportunity to develop a Program Evaluation Project in consultation withthe Outreach Coordinator. Interns will identify a program to evaluate and engage stakeholders in the evaluation process, collect, and analyze data. For example, a program evaluation project at UCS could focus on groups, outreach, peer education programs, etc., as a means of evaluating and/or improving program effectiveness. However, the project is not required to evaluate a program at UCS; prior interns, for example, have completed projects related to programs they developed for student Veterans, student-athletes, peer tutors, etc. Interns present their project to the UCS counseling staff and provide a written report to the Outreach Coordinator.
INTERN FORMAL CASE PRESENTATION
Interns provide a one-hour formal case presentation to the counseling staff during the month of February. This presentation is intended to provide an opportunity for interns to demonstrate their skills and competence through their clinical work with a client at UCS, for both their professional growth and in preparation for upcoming job interviews. Interns are encouraged to be mindful in selecting a specific case that could be used in the context of a job interview. All counseling staff attendees provide written feedback to interns using the Intern Formal Case Presentation evaluation form. Interns are encouraged to use this feedback to improve their presentation for possible future use in their job search process.
INTERN PROFESSIONAL SEMINAR
Interns develop and present a one-hour Professional Seminar to the counseling staff during the Summer months. This provides interns an opportunity to engage in scholarly inquiry on a topic relevant to clinical work at UCS, and to develop and present an original professional seminar. Interns are encouraged to solicit verbal feedback from counseling staff and are provided with written feedback from all attendees using the Intern Professional Seminar evaluation form.
DISSERTATION AND RESEARCH
During the summer semester, interns are able to utilize up to eight (8) hours per week to work on their dissertation research or on another research project of their interest.
The training program considers the development of an interns' professionalism critical for the transition from graduate psychology student into an entry-level health service psychologist. Professionalism includes elements such as self-awareness, knowledge, integrity, accountability, responsibility, effective communication with clients and colleagues, and collegial and collaborative professional relationships. It also includes personal maturity and emotional stability, the ability to balance multiple professional roles and responsibilities, multicultural competency, competency for sound and ethical practice as a psychologist, as well as the integration of the theory and science of psychology with applied professional practice.
We assist interns' in the development of their professionalism through role modeling, mentoring relationships, supervision, co-facilitation and co-presentation opportunities, and didactic, observational, and experiential training. Interns are encouraged to engage in reflective practice and gain experience in self-assessment throughout the year. They are expected to demonstrate the ability to monitor internal states and behaviors, reflect on their strengths and areas of growth and attend to self-care. The structure of the training program encourages increasing levels of autonomy over the course of the internship, allowing interns to work more independently as their capabilities expand.
Quality supervision is considered a central component of the training program and we make every effort to match supervisors and interns as to interest, orientation, and compatibility. Throughout the training year, the Coordinator of Training meets weekly with the supervisors to monitor interns’ progress, address training issues and/or concerns, and discuss the supervisory process.
The training program attempts to foster a structure and process of supervision that provides interns with the context, security, and reassurance necessary for self-examination and open presentation of their work, while also stimulating the acquisition of new understanding, techniques, and perspectives. The general objectives of supervision are to present critical didactic and experiential opportunities for interns to learn and refine skills to provide evidence-based practices, become more confident in their role, ensure competency in the delivery of services, and consolidate a stronger sense of professional identity and professionalism.
Supervision is intended to facilitate the professional and personal growth of interns, the development of competencies in the goals and objectives identified by the training program, and accurate self-assessment. Supervisors strive to provide a safe and trusting environment in which they provide support and challenge interns’ “growth edges.” Clinical supervisors are expected to utilize audio- and digital recordings to enhance their ability to evaluate intern skills and enhance the overall supervision process. Interns receive three (3) hours per week of one-to-one individual clinical supervision, two (2) hours of weekly group supervision in Video Group, and 30 minutes per week of one-to-one supervision for each of their groups.
Individual Supervision - Primary
Interns receive two (2) hours per week of one-on-one individual supervision with their Primary Supervisor (a licensed psychologist in California). Interns and Primary Supervisors develop a written Supervision Agreement that establishes the expectations of the supervisor and supervisee, identifies goals, and addresses legal and ethical issues. Supervisors are assigned by the Coordinator of Training following a Round Robin Supervision Matching Process, which provides input from interns regarding supervisor preferences.
Individual Supervision - Secondary
Interns receive one (1) hour per week of one-on-one individual supervision with their Secondary Supervisor. The Secondary Supervisor may or may not yet be licensed as a psychologist, social worker, or marriage, family, and child counselor. The Secondary Supervisor allows the intern to have more diverse supervisory experiences, allows the UCS supervisors to supervise without taking on the additional responsibility of being the Primary Supervisor, and allows early-career professionals at UCS to gain supervisory experience.
Individual Supervision of Groups
Supervision of groups is provided in weekly 30 minute meetings with the intern’s co-facilitators/counseling staff members. Interns are required to co-facilitate a minimum of one therapy/process group and one structured/psycho-educational group. They generally co-facilitate groups with counseling staff members, however, may also have the opportunity to lead a group independently or co-facilitate a group with another intern (Spring semester). If an intern leads a group independently or with another intern, the intern(s) will arrange weekly supervision with a designated clinical staff Group Supervisor.
Group Supervision/Video Group
Video Group meets weekly for two (2) hours and is facilitated by the Coordinator of Training, a licensed psychologist in California. This group supervision offers an opportunity for interns to share their clinical work and view and discuss the work of other interns. On a rotating basis, interns provide a written case presentation to the group, in addition to providing digital recording(s) of their clinical work (from one or more sessions) to be viewed. Interns are encouraged to present cases that are challenging to them in some way (e.g., cultural differences, complex presenting concerns, countertransference, etc.) as well as present cases from non-majority populations (e.g., ethnic, international, disabled, GLBT, deaf or hard of hearing, etc.). Video Group is intended to be a forum for interns to provide a multicultural clinical analysis of cases, discuss case conceptualization, diagnosis, clinical intervention, and case management, in a growth-oriented atmosphere. In addition, through the use of digital recording, interns are able to explore the process of psychotherapy, their roles as therapists, how they may use themselves more effectively, address any ethical or legal issues, and offer feedback/peer supervision to one another.
Outreach, Consultation, and Program Evaluation
Interns are provided with various outreach, consultation, and program evaluation, opportunities throughout the training year. Supervision of outreach, consultation, and program evaluation is provided, on an as-needed basis, by the Outreach Coordinator.
Teaching & Supervision of Peer Program
Interns are assigned to work with one of UCS’ peer programs, either The Blues Project or JADE. Within their assigned peer program, interns provide weekly training of advanced peer educators. UCS is piloting a program whereby interns provide some supervision for that program’s team of peers. Supervision of intern training and supervision of peer educators is provided weekly by UCS’ Peer Programs Specialist.
Evaluation of Interns
The training program is responsible to informally and formally assess the progress of each intern throughout the year. The primary purpose of evaluation is to facilitate the professional and personal growth of interns and assess their competencies in the goals and objectives identified by our training program. The training program expects interns to make developmental changes over the course of the training year. We make every effort to provide supervision, didactic activities, and an environment to promote this developmental change/growth, accompanied by appropriate support, guidance, and challenge. UCS understands that in any supervisory relationship trust and safety have to be developed and nurtured over time. The cultivation of a safe and supportive environment makes the evaluative process meaningful and growth-producing. Therefore, the inherent objective of the evaluative process is to provide ongoing feedback with regard to intern progress over the course of the training year.
Supervisors and interns are encouraged to share informal evaluative feedback throughout the semester to allow for maximum opportunity to address any developing or ongoing concerns and to minimize unexpected feedback. In the same way that interns should not experience any major “surprises” in their evaluation, interns are expected to address supervision concerns as they arise so that supervisors do not experience “surprises” in their evaluations. Although this can be uncomfortable, addressing concerns with others directly is an area of professional competence that interns will need to improve and master as they continue in their professional development. If interns need additional guidance or support in addressing concerns with a supervisor or other staff member, they are encouraged to seek assistance and consultation with the Training Coordinator or Director. Similar to informal evaluation, formal evaluation is intended to be a collaborative process with interns and supervisors completing written evaluations of one another. The feedback provided is intended to be timely, objective, constructive, comprehensive, and ongoing.
Interns are required at the outset, the midpoint, and the conclusion of the training year to complete a Self-Assessment. This is intended to be one of several means through which training goals are identified and modified, as needed, throughout the internship year. It is also intended to provide interns with an opportunity to self-reflect and learn to accurately assess their own performance, including strengths and areas of growth.
Intern Intake Evaluation
All interns participate in our formal Intake Training Process at the beginning of the training year. As part of this process, interns are observed conducting intakes and are evaluated by their supervisors. This evaluation is intended to provide feedback to the intern and to determine when an intern is cleared to begin conducting intakes independently.
Mid-Semester Progress Review Meetings
At mid-semester (Fall and Spring), the Primary and Secondary Supervisors meet with their mutual interns to provide verbal feedback about their strengths, progress, and areas of growth. These mid-semester three-way meetings help interns stay on track with regard to their progress, help supervisors provide regular and current feedback to interns, and allow the supervision teams to work collaboratively toward intern goals and success. The Coordinator of Training also meets mid-semester with each intern individually to review their progress, obtain feedback from the intern about their experiences, and provide feedback regarding performance and professional development.
Intern Evaluations (by Clinical Supervisors)
At the midpoint (January) and conclusion (July) of the training year, each clinical supervisor (Primary Supervisor, Secondary Supervisor, and Supervisors of Groups) provides a formal, written, evaluation of the intern. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide feedback to the intern, identify areas of competency, areas needing growth, and areas of concern, as well as to discuss progress on identified learning goals. The evaluations are expected to involve open communication and two-way feedback that is focused on learning and growth as an on-going process of developing competencies over the course of the training year.
The intern and each clinical supervisor discuss the evaluation, how the intern is progressing clinically, the supervisory relationship, and his/her overall training experience. The intern has the opportunity to discuss his/her reactions to the feedback, and offer critiques of the evaluation and/or the training program, either informally in the discussion or more formally in written response to the evaluation. Supervisors and interns are encouraged to communicate openly with each other throughout the training year regarding the intern’s progress and the supervisory relationship. Therefore, it is intended that the feedback provided to the intern in the formal, written evaluation, has already been conveyed throughout the supervision process in an ongoing and timely manner as the issues in question arose.
Intern Evaluations: Observed Outreach
The Outreach Coordinator provides supervision of interns’ Outreach as well as Outreach and Consultation Projects. The Outreach Coordinator, or another delegated senior staff counselor, will observe at least one of the two required original outreach presentations and complete the Intern Evaluation Form: Observed Outreach.
Intern Evaluations: Teaching and Supervision of Peer Programs
The Peer Programs Specialist provides supervision and evaluation of interns’ teaching and supervision of a peer program using the Evaluation Form: Teaching and Evaluation of Peer Programs.
Progress Review Meetings
At the midpoint and conclusion of the training year, the Coordinator of Training meets with the intern, the Primary Supervisor, and the Secondary Supervisor, to discuss the intern’s progress and experiences in the training program. Prior to this meeting, the Coordinator of Training gathers information and feedback from the Supervisors of Groups, which is presented to the intern during the Progress Review Meeting.
Intern Formal Case Presentation Evaluation
Interns present a formal case presentation to the clinical staff during the month of February. All clinical staff complete an evaluation form and summarized feedback is provided to the interns. The presentation and feedback from evaluations are intended to provide an opportunity for interns to develop and present a formal case presentation to a clinical staff for their professional growth and in preparation for upcoming job interviews.
Intern Professional Seminar Evaluation
Interns present a Professional Seminar to the clinical staff during the Summer. This allows interns an opportunity to engage in research and scholarly inquiry on a topic relevant to clinical work at UCS and to develop and present an original professional seminar. All counseling staff complete an evaluation form and summarized feedback is provided to the interns.
Expected Levels of Performance and Evaluation Ratings
The training program has identified expected levels of performance on written evaluations that are necessary to successfully complete the internship. At mid-year, if an intern obtains a mean rating of less than 3.0 (see rating scale below) on any section of the intern evaluation forms, evaluation forms will be completed by supervisors on a monthly basis. The ratings from both Primary and Secondary Supervisors are used to determine whether the intern has met the identified minimum threshold for achievement. Specifically, interns must obtain a mean rating of 3.0 from both Primary and Secondary Supervisors on all sections and competencies of the intern evaluation form. At year-end, in order for an intern to successfully complete the internship program, the intern must obtain a mean rating of greater than or equal to 3.0 on every section of the intern evaluation forms by both Primary and Secondary Supervisors with no ratings of one.
Below, you’ll find information for the rating scale on written evaluations:
Five: Skills and competencies are assessed to be very developed and intern's performance is significantly above the expected level for an intern development level. This rating indicates that the intern is performing exceptionally, well above the level expected for an intern successfully completing the doctoral internship. This includes skills and competencies that are far beyond what is normally seen at this level.
Four: Skills and competencies are assessed to be above average for an intern development level. This rating indicates that the intern is performing very well and is surpassing expectations. This includes skills and competencies beyond what is ordinarily seen at this level.
Three: Skills and competencies are assessed to be average or expected for an intern development level. This rating indicates that the intern is performing at the expected level of an intern who is meeting expectations. The intern is doing well and is on track in this area to successfully complete the doctoral internship.
Two: Skills and competencies are assessed to be below average for an intern development level. This rating indicates that the intern is performing below the expected level. "Two" ratings identify areas in which an intern requires additional focus in training such as further work, focused supervision or additional supervision.
One: Skills and competencies are assessed to be significantly below average for an intern development level. This rating indicates that the intern is performing significantly below the expected level. Interns are likely to require formal remediation in this are to try to bring their skills and competencies up to an expected level.
Evaluation of the Training Program
The training program is committed to providing an optimal learning environment to promote interns’ developmental changes and growth over the course of the training year. While we regularly and formally assess the progress of our interns, we also regularly and formally assess the components of, and the comprehensive nature of, our training program. We attempt to elicit information and feedback from interns that allows us to adequately assess our training program and make any needed modifications or changes to ensure that we are providing the necessary opportunities to develop the clinical competency, multicultural competency, and professionalism, necessary to transition from graduate psychology students into entry level health service psychologists.
Evaluations of the training program include the following:
- Evaluation of Orientation
- Evaluation of Supervisors (Primary, Secondary, and Supervisors of Groups)
- Evaluation of Professional Seminars
- Evaluation of Training Modules
- Evaluation of the Training Program
- Exit Interview with the Coordinator of Training
- Post-Internship Surveys
Although the exact time spent in each category may vary, a sample schedule and a range of time committed to each area is provided below.
Individual & couples therapy
8 to 13 hours
RIO workshop series
2.5 to 3 hours
Walk-in emergency/triage shift
Outreach, consultation, & program evaluation (average per week)
Teaching & supervision of Peer Program (average per week)
1.5 - 2 hours
21 to 23 hours
Supervision of group therapy
Video group/group supervision
Supervision of outreach, consultation, & program evaluation
Supervision of Peer Program training & supervision
Professional Seminar series
Training modules (topics below rotate)
Clinical assessment & diagnosis
Crisis intervention & management
Outreach, consultation, & program evaluation
Intake/case disposition meeting
Case conference (bi-weekly)
Peer review meeting
Meeting with Coordinator of Training (bi-weekly)
10 – 11 hours
Case management & administrative time
9 - 10 Hours
40 - 44 hours
Stipend and Benefits
The internship appointment is a 12-month position with a salary of $26,989 for the 2017-2018 training year. Interns are eligible for Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, and Vision benefits. For each qualifying pay period (monthly), interns accrue 16 hours of vacation, 8 hours of sick leave benefits, and 1 Personal Holiday. In addition, there are approximately 12 paid University holidays.
Interns have their own private office with telephone, voicemail, computer terminal (including e-mail, internet access, and electronic scheduling and records), and Webcam. In addition, interns have access to excellent library facilities, faculty/staff parking rate, faculty/staff rate for use of the Student Recreation Center, and faculty/staff discount at the campus bookstore.
The internship at UCS is a 2,000 hour, full-time (40-44 hours per week), 12-month internship from August 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018. To successfully complete the internship, interns need to accrue at least 25% of their 2,000 total hours in direct service hours (e.g., at least 500 direct service hours). Due to the very generous leave benefits offered by the university (see Stipend and Benefits above), interns often work 44-hour work weeks (with 4 hours of paid overtime) in order to meet the 2,000 hours expectation.