Training

UCS Pre-Doctoral Psychology Internship

APA-Accredited Full-Time Pre-Doctoral Internship Program

Our program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and we are members of the Association of Psychology Post-Doctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). Our program participates in the APPIC Match (Program Code Number 212911) and follows all APPIC Match policies.

History of Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology at UCS

University Counseling Services (UCS) has been providing training for graduate students in psychology since the Fall of 1968. The training program became CAPIC (California Psychology Internship Council)-Approved in 2000 to provide a half-time pre-doctoral internship (24 hours per week) for graduate students in counseling and clinical psychology from doctoral granting institutions. In 2009, the training program received CAPIC-Approval to provide a full-time (40 hours per week) pre-doctoral internship and shortly, thereafter, gained APPIC membership (beginning with the 2009-2010 pre-doctoral intern class). The training program has participated in the APPIC Match for the last 3 years, recruiting three full-time interns each year beginning with our 2010-2011 pre-doctoral intern class.

Our program most recently went through the accreditation process required by the APA Commission on Accreditation. Our program was awarded APA-Accreditation, with the initial accreditation date of November 8, 2011. We received accreditation for seven years, with our next accreditation site visit to be held in 2018.

The University

California State University, Northridge (CSUN), is a member of the 23-campus California State University system. During the 2008-09 academic year, CSUN celebrated its 50th anniversary and "50 years of life-changing opportunity." Founded in 1958, California State University, Northridge is a vibrant, diverse university community, located on 356-acres in the heart of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. CSUN, which is among the nation's largest single-campus universities, encourages students to combine academic pursuits with hands-on experience. It also serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond. Alumni include past state Teachers of the Year, Grammy Award winners, public officials including a current state governor, nationally-known newscasters, and a space shuttle astronaut. Their success reflects the hard work of Cal State Northridge's students and the commitment of faculty and staff to helping students fulfill their goals.

CSUN is a very diverse urban campus and has been officially designated an Hispanic-Serving Institution and Minority-Serving Institution. The student body of approximately 36,000 students is comprised of: 31% Hispanic, 29% White, 12% Asian/Pacific Islander, 8% African-American, 6% International, <1% American Indian/Alaskan Native, and 13% Race/Ethnicity Not Reported. Approximately one-third of CSUN's entering freshman class are first-generation college students. The average age of CSUN undergraduate students is 23.0 and the average age of graduate students is 32.4. CSUN ranks first among public universities in California in preparing students to obtain teaching credentials and offers 28 teaching credential programs. In 2007, the U.S. News and World Report ranked CSUN's College of Engineering and Computer Science among the nation's best undergraduate engineering programs. Cal State Northridge is among the top 10 universities in the country for conferring both bachelor's and master's degrees to Hispanic students. CSUN has the second largest deaf and hard of hearing population in the country and is home to the National Center on Deafness (NCOD).

The Staff, Setting, and Facilities

University Counseling Services (UCS) is a department within the Division of Student Affairs at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). UCS serves as the community mental health center for the approximately 36,000 students at CSUN. The staff at UCS is multidisciplinary with psychologists, counselors, a social worker, psychiatrist, psychiatric residents, pre-doctoral psychology interns, graduate assistants, and administrative support staff working in a team setting (for more specific information about our staff, please see "Our Staff" within the "About Us" section on the UCS website). Services offered at UCS include intake/clinical assessment, individual therapy, conjoint therapy, group therapy and workshops, psychiatric consultation, urgent care assistance, outreach, and consultation.

UCS is an active participant in implementing CSUN's overall philosophy of being a learning-centered university. As such, our mission is to support student learning, development, and success, through the delivery of high quality psychological services, academic counseling, psychiatric services, outreach and consultation, and training. UCS provides services to a diverse and complex population of students, both residential and commuter. Students seeking our services present with a wide range of presenting concerns ranging from normative developmental issues (e.g., transitional struggles, individuation, relationships, identity development and cultural adjustment) to more serious or longstanding issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, family history issues). UCS is the primary campus resource for short-term individual and group therapy for enrolled students. UCS is also an important campus resource providing quality psychoeducational outreach/prevention programming and consultation to students, faculty, and staff.

At UCS interns function as professionals in training and are considered an integral part of our staff. Interns provide the same types of clinical and outreach services offered by our clinical staff at UCS including intake/clinical assessment, individual and conjoint therapy, group therapy and workshops, crisis intervention, outreach and consultation, and referrals. Short-term individual therapy and group therapy are the primary means of service delivery at UCS. As such, interns have significant training and experience working in short-term treatment models and group therapy. Interns also have the opportunity to work with two clients in longer-term individual therapy over the course of the training year. Interns are expected to participate in various consultation and outreach activities that UCS provides to the University community.

The training program operates within the University Counseling Services (UCS) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). All of UCS staff and faculty are housed in one location on the CSUN campus on the 5th floor of Bayramian Hall (Suite 520). Interns have private offices they can personally decorate to reflect a professional atmosphere. Each intern office is equipped with a phone and voicemail, audio-tape equipment, a Webcam for digital recording system (Logitech), a computer, and a printer. Interns have access to the scheduling program used by UCS (Point and Click), the University network system, the Internet, and electronic mail privileges. UCS has a spacious reception area for clients, two group rooms, a Conference/Training room, and a Relaxation Room that are utilized for meetings, training activities, group therapy, and workshops. A large screen television is located in our Conference/Training room that is utilized for viewing digital recordings in weekly Video Group/Group Supervision and for PowerPoint and related videos/DVD's for Professional Seminars and Training Modules. UCS has a Peer Education office that provides workspace for the three Peer Education Programs offered through the Center and a professional Resources Library located in the Relaxation Room.

We have an "open door" policy at UCS. The layout of UCS helps facilitate this as all of our offices are located on the same floor. Interns are able to observe and interact with clinical staff for consultation, as needed, and in a more informal manner on a daily basis. Clinical staff members provide role modeling and support that aids interns in the development and integration of their professional and personal selves as they learn to balance multiple professional roles and demands.

Training Model and Goals, Objectives, & Competencies

The pre-doctoral internship year is viewed as an opportunity for professional growth and integration. The primary goal of the internship at UCS is to provide an optimum learning environment that allows interns to develop the clinical and ethical competence, multicultural competence, and professionalism, necessary to transition from graduate psychology students into entry-level psychologists. Our internship subscribes to a Developmental-Practitioner Model in which intern learning is viewed as a developmental process that occurs through the practice of professional psychology activities. Vital to this learning process are clinical staff members who promote intern learning through observational and experiential learning opportunities, supervision and training, serving as role models and mentors, and offering challenge, feedback, and support.

We recognize that interns enter our training program with a foundation of clinical knowledge and skills from their academic programs and practical experiences, and progress developmentally over the course of the training year. The training program provides interns with an opportunity to build on existing knowledge and strengths, develop and implement new clinical competencies, and utilize and expand these skills in varied and creative ways. Furthermore, training in a University environment affords the intern a unique opportunity to learn and work within a broader community. At UCS, interns collaborate within a multidisciplinary setting which provides them with rich opportunities to learn from our clinical staff from a variety of disciplines, theoretical orientations, professional interests and specializations, and backgrounds. It also provides interns the opportunity to develop the skills to work effectively within a team and to collaborate with other mental health professionals as a means to optimize client care.

The Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology at UCS expects interns to develop competencies by the end of the internship year as outlined in the following goals and objectives:

Goal #1:
Interns will develop knowledge and the ability to apply psychological knowledge and skills in preparation for entry-level psychologist positions

Objective A:
Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in clinical assessment

Competency 1: Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in intake/clinical assessment, diagnostic, and case conceptualization skills

Objective B:
Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in individual intervention skills

Competency 2: Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in individual therapy (with an emphasis on short-term therapy)

Competency 3: Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in the provision of crisis intervention and management

Objective C:
Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in the provision of group therapy

Competency 4: Interns will develop and demonstrate competence in the provision of therapy/process groups and structured/psycho-educational groups

Objective D:
Interns will develop and demonstrate knowledge of providing outreach, consultation, program evaluation, and supervision

Competency 5: Interns will demonstrate the ability to engage in effective consultation and program evaluation

Competency 6: Interns will demonstrate the ability to develop and facilitate psycho-educational programs and/or presentations

Competency 7: Interns will obtain knowledge of theories and methods of supervision

Goal #2:
Interns will develop professionalism, including knowledge, skills, behavior, and relationships, in preparation for entry-level psychologist positions

Objective E:
Interns will demonstrate knowledge and practice of ethical and legal guidelines

Competency 8: Interns will develop and demonstrate ethical decision making and knowledge of and adherence to the laws and regulations in California

Objective F:
Interns will develop and demonstrate multicultural competence

Competency 9: Interns will develop and demonstrate multicultural competence in psychological knowledge and skills, across all clinical competency areas, and within interpersonal interactions

Objective G:
Interns will demonstrate the ability to integrate scholarly inquiry into professional practice

Competency 10: Interns will demonstrate the ability to integrate theory and science of psychology into their professional work and practice

Objective H:
Interns will demonstrate appropriate and effective professional interpersonal relationships

Competency 11: Interns will develop and maintain effective professional relationships and collaborations with clients, colleagues, and members of the campus community

Objective I:
Interns will demonstrate personal and professional self-awareness and reflection

Competency 12: Interns will demonstrate the ability to engage in self-awareness and self-reflection that leads to accurate self-assessment

Objective J:
Interns will engage in supervision and training experiences in a meaningful way

Competency 13: Interns will demonstrate an openness to learning and feedback in training and supervision activities

Objective K:
Interns will demonstrate integrity and accountability for professional activities

Competency 14: Interns will fulfill professional expectations and responsibilities with honesty, personal responsibility, and adherence to professional values

Orientation

Beginning an internship can be a stressful event for interns with transitions to a new environment and new roles. The UCS Orientation has a number of distinctive features that address and help facilitate this transition. The Orientation is a structured four week program that begins when interns arrive at UCS at the beginning of August. Orientation is intended to provide interns with an extensive introduction to UCS and the University. Interns meet staff and faculty and begin to acclimate to a new environment and to develop relationships with the intern cohort and the staff. Interns are provided with a copy of the Pre-Doctoral Internship Training Manual to help acquaint them with their roles and responsibilities during internship. Throughout Orientation there is significant time dedicated to discussing issues related to the interns' transition into the internship, stressors they may anticipate, and attention to self-care. Orientation provides an opportunity for the interns to interact, socialize, and begin to develop meaningful relationships with one another, and UCS staff, that often serve as important sources of support throughout the training year.

Orientation includes a variety of team building exercises, meetings, trainings, tours, experiential multicultural seminars, and social events. Meetings, trainings, and tours provide interns with information about general policies and procedures, campus resources, relevant documents and forms, and UCS technology. Orientation activities also familiarize interns with some of the realities of working in a University counseling center and within a large and complex educational institution and campus community. The training seminars included in Orientation serve as an introduction to the goals and objectives of our training program. Social events during Orientation include a mini-welcome breakfast on the first day of internship, a welcoming event and lunch with the entire staff, lunch at an on-campus eatery, and lunch off-campus with the Coordinator of Training.

During Orientation, interns also participate in a supervision matching process, complete an initial Self-Assessment, and set goals for the training year. The Self-Assessment is reviewed with the Coordinator of Training and used in conjunction with the interns' supervisors to identify initial intern training goals and modify them as the training year progresses.

Sample meetings, trainings, tours, and Professional Seminars during Orientation include:

  • Tours of CSUN campus, Klotz Student Health Center, Career Center, & Disability Resources & Education Services
  • Professional Seminars:
    • Developmental Transitions & Stressors; Professionalism; Self-Care
    • Law & Ethics in a Campus Counseling Center
    • Intake/Clinical Assessment; Risk Assessment & Management
    • Time-Limited Therapy; Cognitive Treatment of Anxiety and Depression
    • Experiential Multicultural Training
    • Group Therapy
    • Outreach & Consultation
    • ExCEL (Academic Counseling)

Description of Internship Activities

The training curriculum of the Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology is designed to provide a planned, programmed sequence of training that is developmental in nature with increased challenge and complexity throughout the internship year. We begin the training year providing information, structure, role modeling, and observational learning before interns engage in experiential learning and assume more autonomy throughout the year. For example, interns participate in our Intake Training Process which allows them to transition from observing a professional role model/supervisor/clinical staff member, to being observed by their Primary Supervisors, to autonomously conducting intakes.

UCS attempts to foster an optimal learning environment which allows interns to develop clinical competencies congruent with the goals and objectives of the training program. Interns work closely throughout the internship year with their supervisors and the Coordinator of Training to develop a balanced clinical caseload (e.g., clinical interests, training needs, diversity) and a variety of experiences. Interns are exposed to and participate in the many functions and service delivery areas common to University counseling center settings. CSUN's diverse student population provides interns with the opportunity to work clinically with a wide variety of clients with diverse DSM diagnoses and the opportunity to engage them in other modalities (e.g., outreach, consultation).

The training program strives to provide a learning environment that allows interns to meaningfully explore both professional and personal issues (e.g., knowledge, values, self-awareness, etc.) which relate to their clinical functioning and professional development. We also 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 competencies. With support, challenge, role modeling, and mentoring, we expect interns to grow into competent professional practitioners who will be well-prepared to practice within a University or college counseling center or generalize their skills to other practice settings.

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.

Service

Intake/Clinical Assessment

Intake/Clinical Assessment is generally the first appointment a student has with a clinical staff member or intern at UCS. UCS considers assessment and diagnosis of incoming clients to be a key part of the first stage of treatment with clients. During these appointments, interns meet with clients to develop an initial assessment that clarifies the presenting problem(s), assesses the severity of the problem(s), and determines the need for timely interventions. Intake assessment is expected to lead to the development of a working DSM-IV-TR multi-axial diagnosis, discussion of disposition and treatment options with the client (e.g., determination of client appropriateness for short-term treatment model, group therapy, workshops, psychiatric referral, other referrals, etc.), and treatment planning. Interns are generally scheduled to provide three intakes per week after completing our Intake Training Process at the beginning of the training year. Intake sessions are scheduled by appointment only.

Individual and Conjoint Therapy

Short-term therapy is the primary means of service delivery at UCS. Interns provide predominantly individual therapy to students within a short-term treatment model but may have the opportunity to work with a few couples in conjoint therapy. Based on the initial intake/clinical assessment, students may be eligible for up to eight individual or conjoint therapy sessions per academic year. Interns are expected to have approximately 13-15 client contact hours per week, however they tend to carry a caseload of more than 20 active clients at a given time due to many clients being seen on a bi-weekly basis. Interns are required to follow UCS guidelines for short-term therapy. Interns also have the opportunity to work with two clients for more extensive long-term therapy.

Group Therapy and Workshops

Groups are another primary means of service at UCS. Interns work with UCS clinical staff members to provide many different types of therapy groups as well as psycho-educational workshops designed to improve students' personal growth, interpersonal relationships, learning, and/or academic success. These groups include general therapy, structured, and theme groups on a variety of topics. Examples of groups include: Graduate Students, Relationships, Building Self-Esteem, Latina/o Support, UJIMA African American/Black Student, LGBTQ Support, Women's Support, and Men's Support. Examples of psycho-educational groups/workshops include: Anxiety Management, Relaxation, Body Esteem Boot Camp, Overcoming Procrastination, Saying Goodbye to Shy, and Choice or Chance Career Development. Interns are expected to participate as co-facilitators with a clinical staff member in one therapy group and one structured group during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Crisis Intervention

Interns work with students in crisis in a variety of ways at UCS. These include crises presented during an initial intake/clinical assessment, crises with ongoing clients, or crises during walk-in emergency or triage sessions. Upon completion of our Walk-In Emergency/Triage Training Process interns provide walk-in emergency/triage assistance in which they respond to clinically urgent and/or complex client situations (e.g., suicidal or homicidal risk, trauma, acute psychotic decompensation, etc.). Rather than immediately providing this service at the start of the internship, this process allows interns the opportunity to obtain necessary knowledge and training, familiarize themselves with resources, and adjust to their new professional roles, the counseling service, the University, and the larger community. Supervisory backup and consultation is always available to interns as they engage in providing these services.

Outreach, Consultation, and Program Evaluation

Outreach is viewed as meeting multiple needs of our campus community including providing prevention efforts, identifying students who may benefit from UCS services, de-stigmatizing counseling services, and reaching underrepresented client populations. UCS offers a variety of educational presentations on academic, mental health, interpersonal, and wellness topics as well as general information about the services provided to students. There are multiple ways interns become involved in outreach and consultation activities. Interns may identify diverse student groups (e.g., Latino/a students, African-American students, GLBT students, international students, etc.), particular campus departments or groups (e.g., Residential Life, athletic department, peer mentoring programs), or special areas of interest (e.g., health promotion, rape prevention, eating disorders) around which they want to develop consultative relationships and/or outreach programs. Interns are also made aware of ongoing departmental presentation/workshop requests from faculty, staff, student organizations, residence hall staff, and members of the CSUN community. Topics frequently requested by campus constituents include stress management, relaxation, academic stress, ExCEL, procrastination, and presentations on UCS services. 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 interacting with students. Interns are required to provide a minimum of eight outreach programs over the course of the training year, two of which they must develop originally and implement. They are also required to develop an Outreach and Consultation Project as well as a Program Evaluation Project (both of which are outlined below).

Training

Professional Seminars

The Professional Seminars (Pro-Sem) meet weekly for two hours and are organized by the Coordinator of Training. These seminars are didactic and provide lecture, discussion of professional literature and experiences, and experiential activities on a variety of topics. These seminars are primarily provided by in-house clinical staff which gives the interns opportunities to have exposure to and interact with a variety of clinical staff members; some outside professionals are invited to present on areas of their particular expertise. The specific topics of the Pro-Sems are selected to provide training in the core component areas of our program as well as topics relevant to working in a University counseling service (e.g., issues of counter-transference, eating disorders, substance abuse, working with survivors of trauma, working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders). Interns are required to each present one Professional Seminar during the Spring semester or summer session. This allows interns an opportunity to engage in scholarly inquiry on a topic relevant to services provided at UCS, develop and present an original professional seminar, and receive formal written feedback from clinical staff and colleagues.

See examples of recent Professional Seminar schedules.

Multicultural Competence Seminars

The Multicultural Competence Seminars are a specialty series of Professional Seminars offered through the internship year. These seminars are a 6-part, 18-hour series of didactic and experiential trainings focused on developing multicultural counseling competencies. Lectures and interactive-experiential exercises are focused on increasing trainees' awareness of values and attitudes, skills for assessment and intervention, and knowledge of multiple intersecting cultural identities. Topics include, 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; age and ageism. Overall, these seminars address the clinical implications of differential privileges and access to resources, through an ecological perspective. Additional monthly Professional Seminars include a variety of topics on serving diverse populations and specific multicultural topics such as First Generation College Students, Working with Latina/o Students, Hard of Hearing/Deaf Students, African Americans and Mental Health, Working with LGBTQ Students, Engaging Men in Psychotherapy, and Multiracial Identities, among others.

Training Modules

The Training Modules are an additional weekly didactic activity for interns. The training modules consist of five rotating topics that are offered one hour per week:

  • Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis
  • Crisis Intervention & Management
  • Short-Term Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Outreach, Consultation, & Program Evaluation

Professional Development

Interns attend all Professional Development programs sponsored by UCS. Programs in recent years have included Law & Ethics for California Mental Health Professionals, Assessing Risk to Self or Others in University Students, Career Counseling, Deaf Culture, Working with LGBTQ Students, and Group Therapy. Interns also attend events featuring Student Affairs-invited speakers on campus and attend the Southern California Training Director and Intern Conference with the Coordinator of Training.

Intake/Case Disposition Meeting

The Intake/Case Disposition Meeting is a weekly multidisciplinary meeting with the entire clinical staff during which interns and clinical staff members present intake cases needing to be assigned for treatment at UCS as well as present cases for consultation and/or referral (e.g., crisis cases, ethical/legal concerns, multicultural/diversity considerations, treatment plans, disposition, etc.). The UCS staff psychiatrist attends this meeting, which provides interns opportunities for collaboration.

Case Conference

The Case Conference is a monthly meeting throughout the academic year with the full clinical staff. During this time, clinical staff members provide formal case presentations. Case conference is intended as a means of: allowing interns to observe clinical staff members present formal cases; exposing interns to different styles of presentation, theoretical orientations, professional interests, and specialization; and providing interns the opportunity for participation in interactive scholarly discussion on relevant clinical topics. During the month of February (Spring semester), case conferences are offered weekly, thereby giving each intern the opportunity to present one formal case presentation to the entire clinical 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.

Summer Outreach & Consultation Project

In the summer months, interns have the opportunity for more intensive outreach and consultation experiences with other University departments (e.g., Housing and Residential Life, Disability Resources and Education Services, etc.). At mid-year, interns propose a plan to the Coordinator of Training to develop an outreach/consultation project with another department on campus. Once their proposal is approved and they obtain a clinical staff member to serve as the supervisor for this project, interns develop the plan during the Spring semester, and implement it during the summer sessions.

Program Evaluation Project

Interns have the opportunity to develop a Program Evaluation Project in consultation with the facilitator of the Outreach, Consultation, and Program Evaluation training modules. Interns will engage stakeholders in the evaluation process, collect, data, and analyze data at UCS (e.g., on groups, outreach, peer education programs, etc.) as a means of evaluating program effectiveness.

Administrative

Staff Meeting

Interns participate in weekly staff meetings, which address the administrative business of UCS.

Preparation Time/Documentation/Scholarly Activities

Interns are provided with administrative time each week for client documentation, preparation for supervision, scholarly activities (such as work on dissertation or doctoral project, work on outreach/consultation projects, review existing literature, prepare formal case presentation, prepare Professional Seminar, etc.), and journaling. Preparation for supervision may include reviewing audio- and/or digital recording of sessions, preparing questions, consultation, and/or reading.

Professionalism

The Training Program considers the development of an interns' professionalism critical for the transition from graduate psychology student into an entry-level 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 professional practice and scholarly inquiry.

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.

Supervision

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, become more confident in their role, ensure competency in the delivery of services, and consolidate a stronger sense of professionalism.

Individual Clinical Supervision

Interns receive three hours per week of one-to-one individual clinical supervision. 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." Supervisors are expected to utilize audio- and digital recordings to enhance their ability to evaluate intern skills and enhance the overall supervision process.

Primary Supervisor: Interns receive two hours per week of individual supervision from their Primary Supervisor, who is 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.

Secondary Supervisor: Interns also receive one hour per week of individual supervision from a Secondary Supervisor.

Supervision of Group Therapy

Supervision of groups is provided in weekly one-half hour meetings with the intern's co-facilitators/clinical staff members. Interns are required to co-facilitate a minimum of one therapy/process group and one structured/psychoeducational group each semester. They generally co-facilitate groups with clinical staff members, however may also have the opportunity to lead a group independently or co-facilitate a group with another intern. 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.

Video Group/Group Supervision

Interns participate in Video Group/Group Supervision for two hours per week. This supervision group is facilitated by the Coordinator of Training and offers an opportunity for interns to share their clinical work and view the work of others, in a supportive atmosphere. On a weekly rotating basis, interns provide a written case presentation to the group in addition to providing 30-40 minutes of digital recording of their clinical work (from one or more sessions). Video Group is intended to provide a forum for interns 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. Video Group also provides time to discuss training issues and address transitional and developmental issues of the interns individually and as a group throughout the internship year.

Supervision of Outreach, Consultation, and Program Evaluation

Interns are provided with various outreach, consultation, and program evaluation opportunities throughout the training year.  Interns must obtain approval from their supervisor(s) or the facilitator of the Outreach, Consultation, & Program Evaluation Training Module before accepting an invitation to present and are required to obtain supervision for all outreach programs, consultation, and program evaluation.

Evaluation

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. During Orientation, interns familiarize themselves with the Pre-Doctoral Internship Training Manual, which includes copies of the various evaluation forms.

Evaluation is intended to be a collaborative process with interns and supervisors completing evaluations of one another and providing feedback simultaneously. The feedback provided is intended to be timely, objective, constructive, comprehensive, and ongoing. Evaluations include assessment of intern's strengths and demonstrated competencies, areas of further growth/ development, and areas of concern. Intern competencies are measured in multiple ways (e.g., direct observation of their work, co-therapy with clinical staff, utilization of audio-tape and digital recordings, review of written reports and progress notes, formal case presentations, collaborative efforts in outreach and consultation, collegial relationships, etc.).

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 growth, development, and affirmation of strengths.

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/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 (1) (see rating scale below).

Rating Scale on written evaluations:

5: Skills/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 pre-doctoral internship. This includes skills/competencies that are far beyond what is normally seen at this level.

4: Skills/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/competencies beyond what is ordinarily seen at this level.

3: Skills/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 pre-doctoral internship.

2: Skills/competencies are assessed to be below average for an intern development level. This rating indicates that the intern is performing below the expected level. "2" ratings identify areas in which an intern requires additional focus in training (e.g., further work, focused supervision, additional supervision).

1: Skills/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/competencies up to an expected level.

Evaluations of interns include:

  • Intern Self-Assessment
  • Intern Intake Evaluation
  • Intern Evaluation by Supervisors (Primary, Secondary, Supervisor of Group, Supervisor of Outreach)
  • Intern Formal Case Presentation Evaluation
  • Intern Professional Seminar Evaluation
  • Progress Review Meetings

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 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 psychologists.

Evaluations of the training program include:

  • Evaluation of Orientation
  • Evaluation of Supervisors (Primary, Secondary, and Supervisors of Group)
  • Evaluation of Professional Seminars
  • Evaluation of Training Modules
  • Evaluation of the Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology
  • Progress Review Meetings
  • Exit Interview with the Coordinator of Training
  • Post-Internship Surveys

Sample Weekly Schedule

Although the exact time spent in each category may vary, a sample schedule and a range of time committed to each area based on a 40-hour per week schedule is provided below:

Direct Service
Intake/Clinical Assessment 3 hours
Individual & Conjoint Therapy 13 15 hours
Group Therapy 2.5 3 hours
Walk-in Emergency/Triage Session (Spring semester) 1 hour
Outreach & Consultation (average per week) 1 hour
Total 20.5 23 Hours
Training (Supervision & Didactic Activities)
Individual Supervision  
    Primary Supervisor 2 hours
    Secondary Supervisor 1 hour
Supervision of Group Therapy 1 hour
Supervision of Outreach & Consultation as needed
Video Group/Group Supervision 2 hours
Professional Seminar Series 2 hours
Training Modules 1 hour
    Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis  
    Crisis Intervention & Management  
    Short-Term Therapy  
    Group Therapy  
    Outreach, Consultation, & Program Evaluation  
Intake/Case Disposition Meeting 1 hour
Case Conference (monthly) 1 hour
Total 10 12 Hours
Administrative
Staff Meeting 1 hour
Documentation/Prep Time/Scholarly Activities 7 hours
Total 8 Hours
Grand Total: 40 Hours

Stipend and Benefits

Currently, the stipend for this full-time, 12-month, internship is $23,676. Interns are eligible for Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits, and accrue Vacation and Sick Leave benefits. Interns also receive University holidays and library privileges.

Licensure Hours

The Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology at UCS is a full-time (40 hours per week), 12-month internship, from August 1, 2014, to July 31, 2015, for a total of 2000 hours.

Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology Application and Selection Process

Application Instructions

University Counseling Services (UCS) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is a member of APPIC (Association of Psychology Post-Doctoral and Internship Centers). We utilize the uniform psychology internship application (AAPI Online) developed by APPIC and only accept applications that are submitted electronically via the APPIC "AAPI Online" service.

Please access the AAPI Online through the APPIC website (www.appic.org).

A complete application for our internship program includes the following materials (please note that the AAPI Online includes all of these materials):

  • Cover letter (please explain why you believe you would be a good fit with our internship program; be specific about your goals for the internship year and how you believe our training program would help you meet your goals)
  • An up-to-date, complete Curriculum Vita (including descriptions of experience and content, location and hours of clinical training)
  • Copies of transcripts of all graduate work
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals, at least two of whom are supervisors familiar with your clinical skills

Eligibility

Applicants for our Pre-Doctoral Internship must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Enrollment in a doctoral program in counseling or clinical psychology that requires internship training
  • Completion of all required coursework and supervised practicum prior to the starting date of internship
  • Completion of 500 clinical/direct contact practicum hours
  • Successful completion of comprehensive examinations prior to the ranking deadline for the APPIC Match
  • Certified as ready for internship by their doctoral programs

In addition to the minimum requirements outlined above, the Intern Selection Committee takes into consideration preferred qualifications for applicants. These qualifications include:

  • APA or CPA accredited doctoral program in counseling or clinical psychology
  • Completion of 1000 total practicum hours
  • Interest in and experience working in a university/college counseling center setting
  • Interest in and experience providing individual short-term therapy, group therapy, outreach and consultation
  • Interest in and experience providing crisis intervention and management
  • Strong interest in and commitment to multiculturalism/diversity as well as experience in working with diverse clients
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively

Deadline

Our application deadline is November 8, 2013. Your AAPI Online application must be complete and electronically submitted to us by that date.

Selection Process

The following is a summary of our selection process:

  • Applications should be received by our deadline of November 8, 2013.
  • The Coordinator of Training reviews all applications to identify applications that meet minimum requirements.
  • Two members of the Intern Selection Committee review every completed application identified by the Coordinator of Training to meet minimum requirements.
  • Upon review of all eligible applications, the Intern Selection Committee discusses applicants and determines which to invite for an interview.
  • Applicants will receive an e-mail indicating whether or not they have been selected to be interviewed by December 20, 2013. In accordance with APPIC policies, we notify all applicants of their interview status if they submitted a complete application.
  • Applicants selected to be interviewed will be contacted to schedule an interview; both on-site and telephone interviews are available.
  • Interviews will be conducted throughout the month of January 2014.
  • Interviews are approximately 90 minutes and include structured questions, a role play based on a vignette, and an opportunity for applicants to ask questions.
  • Please feel free to contact the Coordinator of Training if you have any questions or wish to speak to a current intern at any time during the throughout the process.

APPIC Guidelines

Our intern selection process follows all guidelines of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and participates in the APPIC Match. Therefore, we agree to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant.

Please be sure to register for the National Matching Process. Information about the Match and details regarding registration procedures can be found at www.natmatch.com/psychint. Our Program Code Number for the APPIC Match is 212911.

APA Accreditation

Our internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Any inquiries regarding the accreditation status of our internship training program should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

If you have any questions about our training program or the application process, please contact:

Julie L. Pearce, Psy.D.
Assistant Director/Coordinator of Training
University Counseling Services
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St., Bayramian Hall, Room 520
Northridge, CA 91330-8217
Phone: (818) 677-4073
TDD: (818) 677-7834
FAX: (818) 677-2371
E-mail: julie.pearce@csun.edu

(updated 9/04/12)

*Please note that California State University, Northridge, is an Equal Opportunity Employer and, therefore, does not discriminate against persons on the basis of age, disability, disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran status, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation.