Doctoral Internship Structure

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 counseling center, or generalize their skills to other practice settings.

We begin the training year by providing information, structure, role modeling, and observational learning.  Then interns progress into experiential learning as they provide services under supervision; interns assume increased autonomy throughout the year.  For example, in an apprenticeship manner, many of our experiential trainings follow an "observe it, be observed, do it" format.  Initially, interns observe a professional staff member performing a direct service (e.g., intake/clinical assessment, outreach, consultation).  This vicarious learning opportunity demonstrates "how to" and also conveys expectations.  Then, both support and specific feedback are provided in debriefings after an intern is observed (e.g., intake training process) or co-facilitating a service (e.g., RIO Workshop Series, outreach, consultation), culminating in the intern providing the service independently.  Vital to this developmental process of competency acquisition is the support and challenge provided by our committed training and supervisory staff.

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 training experiences.  CSUN’s diverse student population provides a wealth of opportunities to work with a variety of clients presenting with an impressive array of problems and diagnoses.  In addition to clinical work, interns have the opportunity to engage with students in other modalities (e.g., outreach, consultation, training, supervision, etc.).  Furthermore, the training program encourages interns to meaningfully explore themselves as therapists and cultural beings; self-reflection and awareness are considered foundational to clinical competency, multicultural sensitivity, and humility as well as professional identity development. Training and supervision take place in-person and over Zoom throughout the year at UCS.  (COVID Comment: Whether supervision is provided in-person and/or over Zoom is dependent upon health risk and state and university policy).


Intern Orientation takes place over a four-week period at the outset of their training year.   Orientation has a number of distinctive features that help interns transition into a new environment and new roles.   It is intended to provide interns with an extensive introduction to UCS, the training program, and the University.  Intern Orientation includes didactic and experiential activities; it incorporates a team building component.  Another essential ingredient is the supervisory matching process 

Introduction to CSUN and UCS

Interns are provided with an introduction to the university at large as well as UCS.  This is intended to 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.  Activities (e.g., meetings, tours, etc.) are designed to inform interns of the missions and organizational structures of the university and of UCS.  Interns are provided with knowledge of university departments and services as well as campus partnerships (e.g., Klotz Student Health Service, Disability Resources and Education Services, Pride Center, Veterans Resource Center, DREAM Center, Oasis Wellness Center, EOP, Residential Life/Housing, etc.).   Within UCS, interns meet with the administrative Leadership Team and Program Coordinators (e.g., Clinical Services, Groups, Outreach, Psychiatry, Peer Programs), which allows them to gain knowledge of various services, policies, and procedures.  

Introduction to the Training Program

Interns have the opportunity to review the Internship Training Manual, as well as complete training contracts and supervision agreements.  During orientation, interns complete an initial self-assessment and meet individually with the Coordinator of Training to discuss their internship goals. 

Team Building

Interns are provided with time to help acclimate them to a new environment and begin developing relationships.  This includes a variety of team building activities within the intern cohort, opportunities for the cohort to meet with UCS team members.  A Beginning of the Year Retreat helps interns become acquainted with our staff.

Didactic and Experiential Activities

Seminars are offered during orientation to help interns adjust to the internship environment, introduce them to the diverse student population of CSUN (e.g., First Generation College Students, Chicana/o Students, etc.), and introduce them to some of the Program's expected competencies (e.g., Law & Ethics, Clinical and Risk Assessment, Outreach, etc.). 

Supervision Matching Process

One of the most important activities of orientation is the supervision matching process.  Interns participate in a Supervisor-Supervisee Round Robin process through which they meet with all primary and adjunct supervisors one-on-one.  Then interns and potential supervisors have the opportunity to mutually rate one another.  Every effort is made to match interns and supervisors according to perceived compatibility, preferences, interests, and theoretical orientations.  Further, interns meet potential group supervisors through our Group Round Robin process. Each group leader meets with the intern class to explain their philosophy of group work, their group interests and experience, how they like to work with intern co-facilitators, and information about the groups they will be leading.

Throughout orientation there is time dedicated to discussing issues related to the interns’ transition into the internship, stressors they may anticipate/experience, and attention to self-care.  It also provides an opportunity for the interns to begin to develop meaningful relationships with one another, and UCS staff, which often serve as important sources of support throughout the training year.

Training Seminars

Professional Seminars

Professional seminars (Pro Sems) are scheduled weekly for two (2) hours.  These seminars are didactic, providing lecture, discussion of scholarly literature and research, case studies, and experiential activities. Pro Sems cover a variety of areas in the field of health service psychology as well as specific topics related to working with a university/college population.   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 and/or experiential activities that occur during these seminars.  Professional seminars are provided primarily 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 professionals are invited to present on areas of their particular expertise.  Interns are expected to complete a brief evaluation for each Pro Sem to offer feedback and recommendations for ways to improve seminars in the future. 

Training Modules

The training modules provide on-going specialized training covering a specific aspect of direct service delivery. Modules recurs approximately once every 5 weeks and last for one to two hours, throughout the year. Modules use a combination of experiential and didactic methods, with an emphasis on applied, practical learning.  Each of the five modules have their own designated facilitator(s).  There are five (5) rotating topics including:
         1) clinical assessment & diagnosis,
         2) crisis intervention & management,
         3) short-term therapy,
         4) group therapy, and
         5) multicultural experiential workshops 

Multicultural Training

Multicultural Didactic Seminars:  The multicultural didactic seminars are part of the weekly professional seminar series.  These (2) hour seminars include a variety of topics on serving diverse populations and specific multicultural topics such as First Generation College Students, Working with Chicana/o 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 Introduction to Multiculturally Competent Work with International Students, among others.  These seminars are focused on developing interns’ knowledge and competency in multicultural counseling and professional practice with diverse populations. 

Multicultural Experiential Seminars:  Occurring monthly, the Experiential Multicultural 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 religious oppression, abilities and ableism, and age and ageism. Cultural identity development and the intersection of identities are explored.  In order to provide interns with enough time to adequately process their feelings, reactions, and ideas, the Experiential, Multicultural Seminars last for 3 hours. These seminars rely heavily upon experiential activities and dialogue. Experiential exercises are intended to stimulate a deep, integrated understanding of privilege, oppression, and the unique challenges faced by specific, marginalized groups.  Interns are encouraged to reflect upon the impact of their own experiences of oppression.  Likewise, they are encouraged to reflect upon their own privileges and biases.  Overall, these seminars address the clinical implications of oppression, differential privileges, and access to resources, through an ecological perspective.

Supervision Received

Quality supervision is considered foundational to our program.  The Coordinator of Training and supervisors assist and support interns.  Supervision is intended to facilitate the development of competencies as well s the professional and personal growth of interns.  Interns' clinical work is videotaped to facilitate learning and the supervision process. The training program attempts to foster a structure and process of supervision that provides interns with the context, trust, and support necessary for self-reflection, open presentation of their work, and ongoing growth.  Our culturally-informed supervision considers the importance of cultural dimensions as related to client issues, the therapeutic relationship, and the supervisory alliance.  Our supervisors enjoy working with interns and take this sacred duty very seriously.  Supervisors lift their supervisees, encouraging intern's unique interests, skills, and talents.

Interns receive supervision from a variety of UCS staff members, in several contexts, with differing formats. Interns receive three hours of individual supervision (2 hrs. - Primary, 1 hr. - Secondary). Further, interns receive co-therapy supervision of their group work with post-group debriefing. Similarly, they ordinarily receive cotherapy supervision of their couple’s work with post-couple session debriefing. In addition to individual and cotherapy supervision, interns receive team supervision covering several aspects of their work: 1) Video Group - 2 hrs. weekly, 2) Sup of Sup for interns’ work with paraprofessional Peer Educators and student assistants – 1 hr. biweekly), 3) Outreach Supervision – 1 hr. monthly, 4) Program Evaluation Supervision – several times per yr.

Individual Supervision

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.  Interns also receive one (1) hour per week of one-on-one individual supervision from their secondary supervisor.  The secondary supervisor is a licensed mental health therapist. 

Supervision of Groups & Workshops

Supervision of each group and/or workshop is provided in weekly 30-minute supervision meetings by counseling staff who also serve as the intern’s co-facilitator of group(s).  Interns are required to co-facilitate a minimum of one (1) therapy/process group and one (1) structured/psycho-educational group.   They generally co-facilitate groups with counseling staff members; however, interns may, with permission, have the opportunity to co-lead a group with another intern during the spring semester.  In these cases, a counseling staff member will be designated to provide supervision to the intern leaders. 

Video Group/Peer Supervision

Interns share their clinical work and receive input from team members and the Coordinator of Training. This supervision offers an opportunity for interns to share their clinical work and provide and receive peer supervision in a supportive, growth-oriented atmosphere. The intent is to establish a safe, productive environment, wherein interns receive constructive input that helps them refine clinical skills. Interns benefit from exposure to a wide-range of clients and presenting problems, and from gaining an “insider’s glance” into the application of clinical techniques derived from a variety of theoretical perspectives.

Video group/peer supervision meets for two (2) hours per week.  Digital recordings of interns’ sessions are presented on a rotating basis  Interns present a case presentation with an accompanying write-up to the team. 

Supervision of 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 by the designated supervisor of outreach, for one (1) hour per month and the Program Evaluation supervision is provided several times throughout the year. 

Supervision of Peer Program Supervision

Interns are assigned to one of UCS’ peer programs, with consideration of intern preferences.  Within their assigned peer program, interns provide weekly supervision to advanced peer educators.  Also, interns help supervise peer educators’ outreach presentations.  Further, interns supervise the student assistants assigned to their respective programs.  Supervision of supervision (of interns' supervision of peer educators) is conjointly provided by the Peer Programs' Coordinator and the Coordinator of Training.  Supervision is provided for one (1) hour on a bi-weekly basis.

Services Provided: Clinical

Initial Interviews/Clinical Assessment

Interns provide three (3) Initial Evaluations (brief intakes) per week, utilizing a bio-psycho-social-cultural framework.  Interns clarify the client’s presenting concern(s), formulate a case conceptualization, diagnose, and determine case disposition (e.g., identifying appropriate on- and/or off-campus referrals and resources as applicable. 

Individual Therapy

Short-term individual therapy constitutes a major portion of the intern’s direct service responsibility.  Interns can expect to carry a steady caseload of diverse clients, seeing approximately 8-12 individual clients per week (depending on whether they have a triage shift); however, interns tend to carry more than 20 active clients at a given time due to some clients being seen on a bi-weekly basis.  In consultation with their supervisors, interns select clients (primarily from their Initial Evaluation assessments); manage their caseloads, and strive to develop a balanced caseload (e.g., clinical interests, training needs, diversity).  Interns carry two long-term therapy clients throughout the training year.

Triage/Urgent Care Services

UCS provides urgent care services for students who self-identify as needing emergency services.  Starting in the fall, interns assume Triage Shifts.  During Triage Shifts, interns respond to clients seeking urgent care, as well to mental health consultation requests from campus and community members (e.g., parents, family members, professors, campus professionals, roommates, friends, and concerned others).  Triage sessions are meant to be brief contacts, during which the therapist assesses risk, learns about the client’s urgent need(s), intervenes as warranted, and determines case disposition (e.g., emergency intake, psychiatric consultation, case management, referral, hospitalization, etc.).  Therefore, during shifts, interns manage crisis situations, which may include hospitalizations, Tarasoff warnings, abuse/neglect reports.  Interns have readily available support to back them up during Triage Shifts.

We are extremely fortunate to have a highly qualified Clinical Coordinator who is passionate about helping clients in crisis. During Orientation, interns receive extensive risk assessment and management training. Thereafter, during their ongoing Crisis Assessment and Management Module (approx. every five weeks), interns receive “hands on” training (from the Clinical Coordinator) on managing crisis situations. Our Clinical Coordinator has meticulous produced materials that clearly articulate the procedures interns follow in assessing and managing high risk clients.  Also, interns do a rotation on our Peer Review Committee, exposing them to multidisciplinary consultations around managing our highest risk clients.

*UCS counselors do not provide emergency crisis coverage after regular office hours or on weekends or campus holidays.

Couples Therapy

UCS offers interns opportunities to provide conjoint couples therapy work to CSUN students who are in a serious relationship.  The gender combination of couples may be same-gender, male and female, or couples in which one or both members identify as gender fluid.  Couples may share the same race/ethnicity or may be couples that live apart, be domestic partners, or be married.  They may or may not have children.  However, conjoint therapy constitutes a minor portion of the intern’s direct service responsibility. 

Group Therapy

While many centers struggle to get enough clients to fill their groups, we are very fortunate to have a thriving groups program. Group therapy is a highly valued treatment modality at our Center, indeed, several staff members have particular expertise in group treatment. Because our groups tend to fill up, interns have no problem gaining group therapy experiences During the training year, interns will co-facilitate (with senior staff), both a process/support group, as well as a skills-based group. UCS offers a variety of process, support, and skills-based groups from which interns may choose. Our interpersonally-oriented process groups, include such groups as our Understanding Self and Others Groups and our Graduate Students’ Psychotherapy Group. Our support groups include such groups as our We’re First (1st generation), LGBTQIA+, Women’s, Men’s, Parenting Support, and International Students’ Support); at any time we might offer additional population-specific support groups. Support and process groups continue throughout the academic year. They provide interns with an advanced understanding of group dynamics. Our skills-based groups such as Anxiety Management, Love Your Selfie, Managing Anxiety, Winning at Emotions, Grief and Loss, and Mindfulness run from several weeks to the full academic year.

Wellness Workshop Series

Interns may elect to facilitate one or more of our 3-session, brief, manualized groups that we refer to as "Wellness Workshops."  Our Wellness Workshops are intended to provide "hands on" skills training as well as pre-therapy preparation.  Our Wellness Workshops include: Recognition, Insight, and Openness (RIO), Anxiety Toolbox, and Getting Unstuck (for depression management). 

Psychiatric Mental Health Consultation

Interns are expected to work collaboratively and consult, as needed, with staff psychiatrists and residents to manage cases referred for psychiatric care.   Communication between UCS counselors, including interns, and staff psychiatrists/residents is essential for continuity of care.

Case Management and Referrals

Interns provide case management by coordinating care with other mental health professionals, identifying and coordinating resources, and following clients (with risk or special needs) through the referral process. This frequently involves helping clients navigate the insurance maze, helping clients connect with providers and other resources. To accomplish this, interns engage in professional phone calls, Zoom meetings, and consultations with on-campus and off-campus professionals.

Note Regarding Specialized Clinical Experience:  Interns who wish to gain specialized experience with a particular population or a particular clinical issue (that would be amenable to the parameters of short-term services at UCS) are encouraged to consult with their supervisor and the Coordinator of Training.

Services Provided: Outreach

Outreach and Consultation

Community 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.  There are multiple ways in which interns actively participate in the center’s outreach and consultation activities.  Interns may identify diverse student groups (e.g., Latino/a, African-American/Black, LGBTQIA, Middle Eastern, international, veterans, etc.), particular campus departments or groups (e.g., Residential Life/Housing, Athletic Department, DREAM Center), or special areas of interest (e.g., mindfulness, 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.  Outreach programs are developed and facilitated collaboratively with staff or interns as well as independently.  Consultative relationships and activities may be established with a variety of campus partners.  In addition to outreach programming, interns are often involved in auxiliary roles for larger campus-wide events such as tabling or helping to carry out the outreach program (e.g. distributing brochures and interaction with students). 

Interns are required to provide a minimum of eight (8) outreach programs throughout the internship year.  Within these eight programs, interns have the opportunity for more intensive outreach and consultation experiences with campus constituents (e.g., professor, student group or organization, university department, mental health week sponsored by peer education programs, etc.).  Of the eight (8) outreach programs, two (2) must be original.  Original programs must be developed in consultation with and supervised by the outreach supervisor and must include professional research or literature (at least three resources or references). Psychologically-oriented information is presented in an outreach program of no less than 30 minutes; programs must utilize multiple modalities of communication (e.g., PowerPoint, Prezi, video clips, experiential exercises, etc.).  Competent facilitation is expected; written feedback is solicited from the attendees through use of the UCS Workshop Evaluation Form at the end of the presentation.  Further, one of the original programs will be directly observed by the outreach supervisor or the outreach supervisor’s designee.

COVID Comment: Some or all clinical, outreach, and supervision services provided by interns, may be conducted virtually, during COVID.

Services Provided: Supervision

Supervision of Peer Educators

Our Peer Educator Programs reach over 20,000 students. We have four highly effective Peer Educator Programs (JADE, addressing eating problems, The BLUES Project, addressing depression and suicide prevention, and Project D.A.T.E. and MenCARE, addressing sexual assault on campus).  Interns supervise our advanced paraprofessional peer educators (weekly); likewise, they provide administrative supervision to graduate and teaching assistants. Having Peer Education experience makes interns attractive to counseling centers and it is a skill set that few possess.

Interns are assigned to work with one of three peer education programs at UCS (The Blues Project, JADE, or Project DATE) two (2) hours per week.  Within their assigned peer education program, interns work collaboratively with the Peer Programs Coordinator, Graduate Assistants, and Student Assistants.  In their role as supervisors of paraprofessional peer educators, interns facilitate Peer Educator classes.  This supervision involves discussions related to issues peer educators encounter as they present mental health programs to college students.  During these team supervision classes, the interns facilitate discussions about how to field questions, how to handle difficult situations, and how to help students who may have strong emotional reactions to material presented.  Once their supervisory classes begin, interns receive biweekly conjoint supervision from the Coordinator of the Peer Programs.  Interns also provide administrative supervision of the program-affiliated student assistants.

COVID Comment: Some or all supervision provided by interns, may be conducted virtually, during COVID.

Video Group/Peer Supervision

Interns present video clips of their clinical work. Utilizing a team approach, interns practice peer supervision with each other. They help one another develop and refine case conceptualizations. Interns learn constructive and supportive means of asking questions and providing feedback and suggestions to each other. Interns share relevant therapeutic techniques with one another. In a peer supervisory role, interns explore culturally relevant aspects of cases, including personal reactions.

Professional Meetings

Full Staff Meetings

Staff meetings provide information from the Division of Student Affairs as well as the campus community at large and address and discuss administrative issues as well as provide staff a space to share announcements (e.g., programming, groups, committee reports, etc.) and provide opportunity for collegial support.

Clinical Segment:  There is a case disposition component incorporated into our weekly multidisciplinary staff meeting with the entire counseling staff and staff psychiatrist.  Interns and counseling staff members present intakes needing to be assigned, transferred for treatment at UCS, or referred (e.g., 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.

Intern Business/Support Meeting (with Coordinator of Training)

Interns are required to attend a weekly group meeting with the Coordinator of Training that is intended to provide additional intern support.  This may include discussion about how the internship is progressing; sharing aspects of professional development; and/or addressing any administrative, procedural, or training-related questions or concerns.

Case Conference

Case Conference is a bi-monthly meeting that serves as a peer consultation group for the entire counseling staff, psychology, and social work interns.  Counselors and interns are divided into one of three Case Consultation Teams. These teams discuss clinical cases, providing suggestions, resource information, and feedback to each other. Case Conference allows interns to 1) informally present cases to counseling staff, 2) observe counseling staff members present cases informally, 3) gain exposure to different theoretical orientations, professional interests, and specialization, and 4) participate in interactive scholarly discussion on relevant clinical topics. 

Peer Review Committee

Peer Review is a weekly committee that is intended to provide clinical consultation and a collaborative treatment team approach for managing clients identified as high risk.  The goals of the peer review process are to provide optimal clinical care to clients, while at the same time providing consultation and support to UCS counselors and interns working with high risk clients.  UCS counselors and interns are required to seek Peer Review consultation for any clinical cases involving high risk (e.g., client danger to self or others, psychosis, severe eating disorder or alcohol/substance concerns, etc.), clinical cases involving psychiatric hospitalization, and counselors or interns requesting session limit extensions for their short-term cases (beyond the annual 8-session limit).  Each intern does a rotation, serving on the Peer Review Committee.

Other UCS Committees

Interns are asked to participate on a minimum of one (1) committee during the internship year.  UCS committees include: 

Diversity Committee:  The Diversity Committee consists of senior staff counselors, as well as interns who elect to voluntarily serve on this committee. The committee meets throughout the academic year to plan and facilitate staff development (e.g., speakers and trainings) that contribute to ongoing awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity.

Intern Selection Committee:  The Intern Selection Committee consists of     senior staff volunteers and all interns. This committee is chaired by the Coordinator of Training.  The committee reviews application and interview procedures, as well as interview questions. Interns are asked to develop a vignette to be used in the role play portion of interviews. The committee reads all applications identified by the Coordinator of Training as meeting minimum requirements and then engages in discussion to make decisions regarding applicants to interview. Committee members participate in the applicant interviews and once all interviews are completed, the committee meets to determine which applicants to rank and in what order. 

Staff Development/Continuing Education

Interns are expected to attend all staff development programs sponsored by UCS.  These include:  1) Formal case presentations by UCS tenure-track faculty counselors and interns, 2) Continuing education programs on a variety of topics presented by both in-house counselors and invited speakers; staff development presentations (including intern professional seminars), 3) Self-care retreats, 4) Committee meetings, 5) Presentations on a variety of multicultural/diversity topics (e.g., Middle Eastern and Islamic Students, Transgender Students), and 6) Student Affairs-invited speakers on campus.  Interns are encouraged to develop their identity as professional psychologists by participating in local, regional, and national training workshops and conferences, as well as by membership in professional associations or organizations.  Professional release time is available for these activities and limited financial support is provided when funds are available for professional development. 

Professional Presentations

Intern Formal Case Presentation

Interns provide a formal case presentation to the counseling staff, during the Spring semester.  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.  This serves their professional growth and also helps with their 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.  Interns receive feedback from counseling staff that may assist them in improving their presentations for future professional use. 

Intern Professional Seminar

Interns develop and present a one (1) hour professional seminar to the counseling staff during the Spring Semester, on a topic of their choosing that has professional merit. This provides interns an opportunity to engage in scholarly inquiry on a topic relevant to clinical work at UCS, and to polish their professional presentation skills.  Interns are encouraged to solicit feedback from counseling staff and are provided with written feedback.

Program Evaluation Project

Interns are required to develop a Program Evaluation Project in consultation with the Program Evaluation supervisor.  Interns identify a program to evaluate and will engage stakeholders in the evaluation process, which includes collecting, and analyzing data.  There are a wide variety of options for this project.  A program evaluation project at UCS could focus on RIO workshops, HeartMath biofeedback, groups and workshops, etc., as a means of evaluating and/or improving program effectiveness.  The project could also involve working collaboratively with a campus stakeholder outside of UCS, such as developing and evaluating programming or conducting a needs assessment.  Prior interns, for example, have completed projects related to programs they developed for student veterans, student-athletes, and peer tutors, or have focused on needs assessments (e.g., DREAM Center and undocumented students, Middle Eastern students). Furthermore, interns may opt to provide an outreach workshop as an intervention, conducting pre and post intervention questionnaires.

Internship Evaluation Process

The training program is committed to providing an optimal learning environment to promote interns’ growth over the course of the training year.  The objective of the evaluative process is to provide interns with ongoing detailed feedback that allows them to build on their strengths and focused areas of growth leading to profession-wide and site-specific competencies.  We make every effort to provide essential didactic activities and experiential opportunities to promote this growth.  Crucial to this developmental process is supervision that provides learning, support, feedback, and challenge, in a safe and trusting environment.  UCS understands that interns may experience stress in response to being evaluated in so many areas by multiple supervisors.  It is our intention to cultivate an evaluative process that is transparent and constructive, thus enabling it to be meaningful and growth producing.  Evaluation is intended to be a collaborative process with feedback provided in a timely manner that is objective, constructive, comprehensive, and ongoing. 

Evaluation of Interns

Informal Evaluation

Throughout the year, supervisors provide on-going, informal feedback to their supervisees.  Additionally, the Coordinator of Training meets mid-semester with each intern individually to review her or his progress, obtain feedback from the intern about her or his experiences, and provide feedback from the senior staff regarding performance and professional development.  Informal evaluative feedback is provided throughout the semester to allow for maximum opportunity to address any targeted areas of concern. 

Formal Evaluation

At the midpoint and conclusion of the training year, each supervisor provides a formal, written, evaluation of the intern.  The purpose of the evaluation is to provide feedback to the intern, identify areas of competency and areas of growth, 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 supervisor discuss the evaluation, how the intern is progressing, the supervisory relationship, and her/his/their overall training experience.  The intern has the opportunity to discuss her/his/their reactions to the feedback, and offer critiques of the evaluation and/or the training program, either informally in discussion or more formally in written response to 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.  Further, at midyear and end-of-year, interns participate in a four-way meeting (intern, Primary Supervisor, Secondary Supervisor, and Training Coordinator) to discuss the interns' progress, strengths, and growth edges.  Additionally, interns' training needs and aspirations are discussed.

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.  As needed, we make modifications to ensure that we are providing the necessary opportunities to develop the clinical, multicultural, ethical, and professionalism competencies, necessary to transition from graduate psychology students into entry level health service psychologists.

At the midpoint and conclusion of the training year, each intern provides a formal, written, evaluation of supervisors, modules, and the Training Program. 

Additionally, interns provide evaluations of Orientation and weekly Professional Seminars. Other means of evaluating the efficacy of our Training Program include holding an Exit Interview with the Coordinator of Training, and completing post internship surveys.

Training Policies

UCS counseling staff, including interns, are expected to adhere to all UCS and university guidelines, policies, procedures, relevant state and federal laws, and the current APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.  Interns are expected to follow the policies and procedures as set forth in this manual and to clarify, if needed, the information provided herein.  Interns are expected to view training as a learning process—to be open to engaging in new activities, and taking appropriate risks to expand their development as clinicians.  Along these lines, interns are expected to make mistakes and to utilize such experiences as opportunities to learn more about themselves and to improve as counselors.  UCS maintains the following additional expectations of interns:


  • Interns are expected to read, understand, clarify (as necessary), and implement, the Internship Training Manual and the UCS Policies and Procedures Manual (located on the shared department “H” drive in electronic form).
  • Interns are expected to read, understand, clarify (as necessary), and abide by the Intern Service Responsibilities and Requirements.
  • Interns are expected to read, understand, clarify (as necessary), sign, and abide by the doctoral internship Training Contract.

Ethics and Legal

  • Interns are expected to be cognizant of and abide by the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, APA Standards for Providers of Psychological Services, and any APA specialty guidelines or other relevant professional documents or standards which address psychologists’ ethical, personal and/or legal responsibilities.  
  • Interns are expected to be cognizant of and abide by the laws and regulations governing the practice of psychology as included in appropriate legal documents such as the California State Board of Licensure for Psychologists (e.g., mandates in reporting child, elderly, and dependent adult abuse and neglect).


  • Interns are expected to present themselves in a professional manner at all times.  Interns are expected to promptly attend to Center business.
  • Interns are expected to adhere to general standards of professional dress and decorum (essentially "business casual" dress).
  • Interns should be mindful of the possible impact on clients of tattoos, and should avoid displaying tattoos that make political statements or could be considered offensive or in poor taste to clients.
  • Interns are expected to conduct themselves in a professionally appropriate manner that is congruent with the standards and expectations of UCS and the CSUN community.
  • Interns should not use personal electronic devices during sessions or in common areas where clients are present.
    • COVID Comment: Interns should not take pictures of clients over Zoom, nor should they make videos of sessions, except as necessary for supervision. In such cases (video for supervision) interns must strictly follow Training Program Policies and UCS Policies related to recording and storing video for supervision purposes. Failure to follow video recording and storage procedures (for clinical work) could result in expulsion from the internship.
  • Interns are expected to actively participate in supervision, training seminars, service delivery, clinical meetings, administrative meetings, and other activities.
  • Interns are expected to come prepared for and on time to supervision, training seminars, meetings and activities. 
    • As it pertains to supervision, this includes, but is not limited to being prepared to discuss: initial evaluations, client progress, risk, and possible referrals. It also involves providing audio-and/or digital recordings to supervisors in a timely manner, as well as bringing video recording of clinical work for video group/peer supervision.
    • As it pertains to clinical meetings, this involves being prepared to discuss: possible in-house referrals (during the case disposition portion of Full Staff Meetings), clinical questions and issues (Case Conference), high risk clients or clients involving ethical/legal issues (Peer Review).
  • Interns are expected to conduct themselves in a professionally appropriate manner should due process measures be implemented.

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Interns are expected to take responsibility for, and to maintain openness to, learning. This includes the ability to accept and use constructive feedback effectively from supervisors, professional staff, and other agency personnel.
    • Interns are expected to establish respectful, collegial relationships and to function as part of a team. This includes interns’ recognizing their impact on others.
    • Part of maintaining positive work relationships involves recognizing and acknowledging the contributions of support staff, supervisors, training staff, and all staff members in the course of daily interactions (expressed appreciation, when warranted, can go a long way).
  • Interns are expected to respectfully consult with staff members from other disciplines, as well as psychologists.
  • Interns are expected to provide constructive feedback to peers, supervisors, training staff on areas related to the Training Program. In general, interns are expected to contribute to the growth of the Training Program by providing honest feedback about their experiences, both formally (evaluation periods) and informally throughout the year.
  • Interns are expected to manage personal stress and emotional responses in a manner that avoids 1) negatively affecting professional services to clients, 2) interfering with job responsibilities, or 3) establishing a pattern of interpersonal turmoil in relationships with staff members or peers.
  • Interns are expected to make adequate progress in all areas of competency, as identified by the Training Program. In preparation for post-doctoral and entry-level health service psychologist positions, interns are expected to demonstrate appropriate levels of competency by the conclusion of the training year.

Required Hours

  • Interns must accumulate a minimum of 25% of their total internship hours and are responsible to complete the Weekly Summary of Internship Hours on a weekly basis.  Interns must submit the completed weekly summary to the Coordinator of Training for review and signature each week to document hours for the internship (turn in during Intern Business/Support Meeting).
  • Interns must accumulate a minimum of 25% of their total internship hours in direct service delivery.  Based on a 2000 hour internship, interns need to accumulate a minimum of 500 hours of direct service delivery throughout the internship.  Direct service hours include initial evaluation/clinical assessment; triage/urgent care walk-in shifts; and individual, conjoint, and group therapy; wellness workshops; facilitation of outreach programs; and training and supervision of peer educators. 
  • Interns must be on site a minimum of 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., unless there is a university holiday or the intern is utilizing sick leave or vacation time.  A “normal” 8-hour work day is from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with an hour for lunch (12:00 – 1:00 p.m.).

*Please note that if interns desire to move their lunch hour on a given day to accommodate other activities, they must first obtain the permission of their supervisor and inform the Coordinator of Training.  Interns must have a scheduled lunch hour mid-day every day.

COVID Comment: Until further notice, during COVID-19, regardless of whether interns are working from the office or from home, virtually, they are expected to work Monday through Friday, during regular business hours.


Unplanned Absences
  • If an intern needs to call in sick due to illness or personal emergency (interns are encouraged to practice good self-care) or needs to leave UCS early for these reasons, she/he should notify:
    • The Training Coordinator
    • Supervisors
    • The administrative support staff (ask them to notify the Clinical Coordinator and update PnC)
      • If interns are out for an extended period of sick time (more than 3 days), a letter from the attending physician will be required.  Whenever there is a prolonged absence, a meeting with the intern’s supervisors and the Coordinator of Training will be scheduled to discuss the impact on training, caseload, and accumulation of internship hours.  Interns’ academic program will be informed of any issues arising from a prolonged absence of any nature which may impact their ability to complete this internship in a timely manner.
    • COVID Comment:  To "leave early" referenced above applies to in-person or virtually
Planned Absences
  • All requests to be absent from the university during expected work hours need to be submitted in writing to the Coordinator of Training a minimum of two weeks in advance.  Once the request is approved, arrangements for client coverage should be discussed with your supervisors. 
  • Please note that excessive absences that interfere with your ability to fulfill the internship requirements may result in your not being able to successfully complete the internship. The determination of successful completion will be at the discretion of the Coordinator of Training, in consultation with the intern’s supervisors and the Director, as well as Human Resources (in certain circumstances).

Out-of-Office Messages

  • Interns are expected to leave an out-of-office message on their voicemail and email when they have a planned absence (e.g., vacation, university holiday, winter break university closure).  They are also expected to notify all affected staff and clients of their upcoming absence (SEE Appendix B for example).

Attendance and Availability

  • Unless absence is due to illness, emergency, or pre-arranged with the Coordinator of Training, attendance is required by interns at all meetings, supervisions, and training activities (e.g., professional seminars, training modules, video group/peer supervision; supervision with primary supervisors, secondary supervisors, group supervisors, outreach supervisor, Peer Education supervisor, and program evaluation supervisor.  Interns must attend intern business/support meetings, staff meetings, peer review meeting (during one's rotation), committee meetings, case conference, and etc.).
  • Interns are expected to attend and participate in all staff development, continuing education programs, and diversity retreats, self-care retreats, and etc. offered at UCS throughout the training year.
  • Interns must be on-site at UCS (or virtually) during their designated working hours.  If an intern is to be out of the building (or away from Zoom), not including lunch, it is the intern’s responsibility to notify the support staff of their destination and anticipated time of return.
    • COVID Comment: When working remotely, interns are expected to be accessible via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, email, and/or text, during regular work hours.
  • Interns are responsible to maintain their schedules in the electronic computer scheduling program (Point and Click).  Please note that this is expected to be updated and kept current on a daily basis.


  • Interns are expected to schedule three (3) initial evaluations per week.  If an intern needs to miss an initial evaluation time, she or he is expected to give the support staff another time that week to schedule an initial evaluation.  Interns may be expected to provide additional initial evaluations at the beginning of the Fall and Spring Semesters (while they are building their caseloads) or during peak times at the discretion of their supervisors or the Coordinator of Training.
  • Interns are expected to have approximately 8-12 individual client contact hours per week (depending on whether an intern has a triage/urgent care shift).  Most carry an overall caseload of more than 20 active clients at a given time, due to some clients being seen on a biweekly basis. 
  • Interns are expected to follow UCS guidelines for short-term therapy (maximum of 8 sessions for the academic year); extensions of session limits must be approved at the Peer Review Meeting.
  • Interns are expected to work with two (2) clients on an extended basis (more than 8 sessions).  These clients will be chosen for open-ended therapy through consultation with the intern's individual supervisor(s).
    • COVID Comment: This may be modified, depending on demand, during COVID.
  • Interns are expected to work with two (2) clients on an extended basis (more than 8 sessions).  These clients will be chosen for open-ended therapy through consultation with the intern's individual supervisor(s)
  • Interns are expected to co-facilitate a minimum of one process/therapy/support group and one structured group.  
  • Interns will not schedule individual client appointments during the 4:00 p.m. hour, except under extraordinary circumstances which must be approved by the intern’s supervisors and/or the Coordinator of Training.  Interns may, however, participate in the co-facilitation of a group (with a UCS staff member) that is scheduled through the 4:00 p.m. hour.
  • During the termination process, interns must inform their clients that they will be leaving UCS and must make arrangements for continuing care (when needed) which could include referral off-campus or transfer within UCS.  The client should be instructed to contact our administrative support staff if additional assistance is needed at any point in the future.
  • During the termination process, interns must inform their clients that they will be leaving UCS and must make arrangements for continuing care (when needed) which could include referral off-campus or transfer within UCS.  The client should be instructed to contact our administrative support staff if additional assistance is needed at any point in the future.
  • When giving clients a referral off-campus, the intern is expected to provide the client with at least three (3) referral sources and document such referrals in the student’s electronic chart.
  • Interns are expected to keep timely documentation of the clinical services they provide, in our electronic record keeping system (Point and Click).  Please note that the intern’s supervisor must co-sign all initial evaluation write-ups, case notes, termination summaries, letters authored by an intern, and any other professional documents.


  • Interns are expected to do their best to provide competent, appropriate services to clients and the campus community, and to consult with a supervisor or senior staff member when something arises that may be outside of their scope of competence
  • Interns are expected to seek immediate supervision in moderate to high risk cases which include, but are not limited to cases that involve:  suicidal or homicidal risk; grave disability; child, elderly, or dependent adult abuse; breaches of confidentiality; or any other serious, ethical/legal issues. 
  • Interns are expected to keep their supervisors fully informed in a timely manner of all significant and current clinical activities, and to consistently work within the directives of their supervisors.
  • Interns are expected to discuss in supervision those behaviors, personal characteristics, and concerns which might aid or interfere with their effectiveness as a counselor.  Interns agree to address issues/conflicts in a timely manner and follow the due process outlined in the Training Manual.

Letters of Recommendation for Interns

  • Interns requesting letters of recommendation form supervisors should provide at least 3 weeks notice (more is better).


  • Interns are expected to contribute to the outreach and consultation services that are requested of UCS. Interns are required to provide a minimum of eight (8) outreach programs (defined as presentations to a group; does not include tabling at events) over the course of the training year.  Of the eight (8) required outreach programs, 2 must be original programs, created by the intern.  Interns are required to keep an outreach log (see Appendices) throughout the year and provide electronic copies of all of their outreach presentations (including PowerPoints) to the Training Coordinator on the UCS outreach database (on the “H” drive) for potential future use.  Please note that, like all our staff, interns have intermittent evening and weekend outreach duties.
    • COVID Comment: During COVID-19, outreach programs will be presented virtually, until further notice. This may take the form of Zoom presentations, Instagram Live, podcasts, live webinars, You Tube videos etc. In some instances, with approval, the intern may be able to create a podcast/webinar etc. to keep as a resource on our website.

Work Sample Requirements

  • Interns are expected to develop and implement a Program Evaluation Project.
  • Interns are expected to develop and present a Formal Case Presentation (with multicultural dimension) to the clinical staff.
  • Interns are expected to develop and present one Professional Seminar to the professional staff at UCS, on a topic of their choice.
  • Interns are expected to provide two, original outreach programs to the campus community.
  • Interns are required to provide both hard copies and electronic copies (including PowerPoints) of all work samples (formal presentation, video group presentations, professional seminar, program evaluations, and original outreach presentations) to the Coordinator of Training at the time a presentation is presented.

Additional Work Sample

  • Interns are expected to provide a Case Presentation for the Video Group/Peer Supervision.  Interns are expected to provide a hard copy and electronic copy of this case presentation.

Expected Levels of Performance

The Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology at UCS makes every effort to provide the highest quality training experience for interns.  The Training Program has general expectations of all interns regarding their performance, professional character, demeanor, and behavior.

Expected Levels of Performance: Evaluations

The Training Program has identified expected levels of performance on evaluations necessary to successfully complete the internship:

Midyear: At mid-year, interns are expected to perform at the level of a “4” (“Intern performs adequately for a trainee on this element”) on the Doctoral Intern Evaluation Form on all elements of all competencies.

End-of-Year: At year-end, in order to successfully complete the Internship Program, interns are expected to perform at the level of a “6” (“Intern performs at the level of an advanced trainee [postdoc] or entry-level practitioner on this element”) on all competencies and elements rated on the Doctoral Intern Evaluation Form.  Competency evaluation forms are completed by the Primary, Secondary, Group, Outreach, or Coordinator of Training.

Expected Levels of Performance: Personal and Interpersonal Functioning

The Training Program recognizes that an intern’s personal functioning impacts the effectiveness of her or his professional functioning.  Professional functioning includes an intern’s effectiveness in interpersonal working relationships with peers, supervisors, and staff, as well as her or his general proficiency as a professional-in-training, the latter of which is exemplified in the utilization of training and the delivery of services in UCS.

Cognitive, emotional, and/or situational complications may interfere with the quality of an intern’s performance and/or behavior.  Such problems include but are not limited to a) educational deficits or learning difficulties; b) inadequate management of affect and stress; c) inadequate or distorted levels of understanding of self or others; d) disregard of training and service responsibilities; e) conflictual, insensitive, or disrespectful patterns of interaction with clients, peers, or staff; and f) inappropriate use of/or response to supervision.

When one’s personal and interpersonal functioning appear to compromise clinical efficacy and potential for growth, the training concerns will be formally conveyed to the intern in writing by the Coordinator of Training, following consultation with the intern’s supervisors.  The Coordinator of Training and the intern’s supervisors will attempt to formulate with the intern strategies and procedures to remediate the concerns.  If such efforts do not result in an improved and acceptable levels of performance within a set, reasonable period of time, more formal procedures and/or consequences, up to and including termination from the Training Program, may result following due process.

Work Sample Requirements
  • Interns are expected to develop and implement a Program Evaluation Project.
  • Interns are expected to develop and present a Formal Case Presentation (with multicultural dimension) to the clinical staff.
  • Interns are expected to develop and present one Professional Seminar to the professional staff at UCS, on a topic of their choice.
  • Interns are expected to provide two, original outreach programs to the campus community.
  • Interns are expected to develop and implement two Case Presentations for the Video Group/Peer Supervision.
  • Interns are required to provide both hard copies and electronic copies (including PowerPoints) of all work samples (formal case presentation, video group presentation, professional seminar, program evaluation, and original outreach presentations) to the Coordinator of Training at the time a presentation is presented.
    • COVID Comment: Depending upon health risks, some or all of these may need to be done virtually
  • Achieve year-end competency-based performance evaluations at the required level: “4” at midpoint and “6” at the end-of-the year.

Requirements for Completion of the Internship

To successfully complete the internship, the intern must:

  • Complete 2,000 total Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) hours.  This includes direct service hours as well as participation in all training and supervision activities (e.g., professional seminars, training modules, staff meetings, peer review meetings, case conference, video group/peer supervision, individual supervision, and supervision of groups, outreach, consultation, program evaluation, and peer programs), as well as other professional activities (e.g., formal case presentation, professional seminar, outreach requirements, program evaluation project, committee participation).
  • Complete 25% (or 500 hours) of supervised direct service delivery.  This includes Initial Evaluations, triage, individual and couples therapy, group therapy, outreach presentations, direct consultation, and provision of training and supervision to peer educators.
  • Satisfy any and all additional competency-related requirements of the internship, as indicated by satisfactory response to any informal and/or formal remediation instituted during the internship.
  • Complete required supervision hours per the California Board of Psychology, APA, APPIC (10% of total hours worked per week and 2 hours per week of individual, one-on-one supervision with a California Licensed Psychologist) Complete additional supervision hours required by program (1 additional hr. of weekly individual supervision; 2 hrs. weekly Video Group, 1 hr. biweekly Peer Ed Sup of Sup, 1 hr. monthly Outreach Supervision).
  • Actively participate in all professional seminars, multicultural competence seminars, training modules, staff meetings, intake/case disposition meetings, case conferences, peer review meetings, meetings with Coordinator of Training, committee meetings, and continuing education programs.
  • Complete all outreach presentations (2 original; total of 80, and submit accompanying work samples (e.g., PowerPoint) of the 2 original outreaches.
  • Complete a Formal Case Presentation, present it to staff, submit accompanying work sample (e.g., PowerPoint if used and Case Presentation paper).
  • Present an original Professional Seminar, present it to staff, and submit work sample (e.g., PowerPoint).
  • Complete a Program Evaluation, present it to staff, and complete accompanying work sample (e.g., PowerPoint if used and paper).
  • Complete clinical records and weekly logs in a timely manner
  • Complete all evaluation forms
  • Pass all profession-wide and site specific competencies at the expected level as measured by our competency evaluation forms.  Interns must achieve a score of "4" at midpoint and "6" by the end on all profession-wide and site-specific competencies (a score of "6" or above indicates performance at the level of an advanced trainee or entry-level practitioner)
  • Adhere to APA ethical guidelines throughout the internship year

Licensure Hours

The internship at UCS is a 2,000 hour, full-time (40-44 hours per week), 12-month internship from August 1, 2022, to July 31, 2023.  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, interns often work 44-hour work weeks (with 4 hours of paid overtime) in order to meet the 2,000 hours expectation.


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.

Sample Intern Schedule

A typical intern's schedule is comprised of the items listed in the table below.
Direct Service: Clinical
Intake/Clinical assessment3 hours
Individual & couples therapy (8-12)10 hours
Manualized, wellness workshop series (3, 1-hr. sessions)occasional
Group therapy3 hours
Walk-in emergency/triage shift4 hours
Direct Service: Outreach, Consultation, & Program Evaluation
Outreach, consultation, & program evaluationoccasional
Direct Service: Supervision Provided
Training & supervision of Peer Program1.5 to 2 hours
Formal Training & Supervision Activities
Primary supervisor2 hours
Secondary supervisor1 hour
Supervision of group therapy1 hour
Video group/peer supervision2 hours
Supervision of outreach & consultation (1x per month)0.25 hour
Supervision of program evaluationoccasional
Supervision of interns’ supervision of Peer Educators (bi-weekly)0.5 hour
Formal Training: Seminars & Modules
Professional Seminar series2 hours
Training modules (topics below rotate)1 to 3 hours
  • Clinical assessment & diagnosis
  • Crisis intervention & management
  • Short-term therapy (2 hrs.)
  • Group therapy
  • Multicultural Experiential (3 hrs.)
Meetings: Clinical
Case conference (bi-monthly)0.5 hour
Peer review meeting (rotation: 1 hr., weekly/1 semester)0 to 1 hour
Meetings: Business
Staff meeting1 hour
Intern business and support1 hour
Committee meetingsoccasional
Case management/Documentation/Prep time5 to 6 hours
Optional Flex Time (0 to 4 hours)Varies
Grand total:40 to 44 hours