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

We begin the training year by providing information, structure, role modeling, and observational learning before interns engage in experiential learning and then interns assume increased autonomy throughout the year.  For example, many of our training experiences begin with interns observing a professional staff member performing a direct service (e.g., intake/clinical assessment, outreach, consultation).  This allows interns to observe and learn from the professional staff member before transitioning to being observed (e.g., intake training process) or co-facilitating a service (e.g., RIO Workshop Series, outreach, consultation) before doing so independently.  Vital to this learning process are the committed training and supervisory staff who support and challenge interns in a developmental process of competency acquisition as they refine their practice as formed through both the processes of experiential practice and engagement of scholarly knowledge

Interns work closely with their supervisors and the Coordinator of Training throughout the internship year to develop a balanced caseload (e.g., clinical interests, training needs, diversity) and a variety of experiences.  CSUN’s diverse student population provides interns with the opportunity to work clinically with a wide variety of clients with a wide range of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnoses and the opportunity to engage with students in other modalities (e.g., outreach, consultation, training, supervision, etc.).  In addition, the training program strives to provide a learning environment that allows interns to meaningfully explore both professional and personal issues like knowledge, values, and self-awareness, which relate to their clinical functioning, multicultural competency, and professional identity and development. Training and supervision take place in-person throughout the year at UCS.  We do not use distance education technologies for training and supervision.

Types of Service

Intake/Clinical Assessment

Interns are expected to provide three (3) intakes/clinical assessments per week.   During the intake, interns conduct a clinical assessment that is bio-psycho-social-cultural in nature.  They are responsible for clarifying the client’s presenting concern(s), formulating a case conceptualization, diagnosis (if applicable), disposition (e.g., identifying appropriate on- and/or off-campus service options, treatment plan, etc.) and recommendations/referrals. 

Wellness Workshop Series

We offer several psychoeducational, wellness workshops that are intended to provide basic therapeutic skills as well as pre-therapy preparation.  These curriculum-driven workshops are structured into a series of three (3) meetings.  Topics include anxiety, depression, and general mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy skills (RIO: Recognition, Insight, and Openness). 

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 client appointments per week (depending on whether they have a triage shift); however, they tend to carry more than 20 active clients at a given time due to some clients being seen on a bi-weekly basis.  Interns select their clients primarily from their intake/clinical assessments, manage their caseload, and strive to develop a balanced caseload (e.g., clinical interests, training needs, diversity) in consultation with their supervisors.  Interns are able to work with two (2) clients in open-ended/long-term therapy throughout the training year.

Specialized Clinical Experience:  Interns who wish to gain specialized experience with a particular population of students 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.   

Triage/Urgent Care Services

UCS provides urgent care services for students who identify their needs as emergencies/crises.  Starting in the Fall, interns join staff counselors in providing triage shifts, during which time they respond to clients seeking urgent care, as well as phone and in-person consultation requests from campus and community members.  The triage session is meant to be a brief session (approximately 20-30 minutes long), during which the therapist learns about the client’s urgent need(s), completes a risk assessment, intervenes, if needed, and determines case disposition (e.g., emergency intake, psychiatric consultation, case management, referral, hospitalization, etc.). 

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

Conjoint Therapy

UCS offers interns opportunities to work with students in a variety of diverse couple relationships, such as LGBTQ couples, couples living together, married couples, and/or couples with children.  However, conjoint therapy constitutes a minor portion of the intern’s direct service responsibility. 

Group Intervention

Interns co-facilitate groups and workshops with senior staff counselors (or may with permission co-facilitate with another intern under supervision, later in the year).  UCS offers a variety of groups each semester including therapy and support groups, as well as multiple-session psycho-educational groups on topics such as anxiety management, depression management, relaxation and mindfulness, procrastination, shyness, body image, and self-compassion.  Ongoing therapy and support groups focus on issues (e.g., eating disorders, sexual abuse, self-esteem, grief and loss), specific populations (e.g., Latina/o, African-American/Black, men, women, LGBTQ), and general therapy (Understanding Self and Others).  Additionally, interns facilitate our 3-session manualized, clinical workshop series (based on ACT principles).

Specialized Group Experience:  Interns who wish to gain specialized group experience with a particular population of student or a particular clinical issue (that would be amenable to the parameters of group services at UCS) are encouraged to consult with their supervisor, the Coordinator of Training, and the Groups Coordinator.   

Outreach and Consultation

Outreach and consultation 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). 

Case Management and Administrative Time

Interns are provided with five (5) to six (6) hours per week for clinical documentation, mental health consultation, and case management (e.g.,  professionally-related phone calls, consultation with off-campus professionals).  In addition, this administrative time may be utilized by interns to prepare for supervision (e.g., reviewing digital recordings, preparing questions) and research/scholarly activities (such as reviewing existing and current literature, work on dissertation or doctoral project, work related to outreach, consultation, program evaluation, and/or peer programs).  Most interns elect to accrue 4 hours of overtime per week.  This becomes 4 additional hours of flex-time.  This flex-time is typically used for research/dissertation or for administrative tasks and clinical documentation.

Training Opportunities for Interns

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 of Peer Educators

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.

Staff Meeting

Interns participate in weekly staff meetings with the multidisciplinary counseling staff.  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.

Case Conference

The case conference is a bi-monthly (2x/month) meeting that serves as a peer consultation group for the entire counseling staff (including interns).  Counselors and interns are divided into smaller groups to discuss ongoing cases in an effort to receive feedback and suggestions from other counselors in attendance.  Case conference is intended as a means of allowing 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 meeting that is intended to provide clinical consultation and a collaborative treatment team approach to 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 consultation at the peer review committee 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 (beyond their two long-term cases) requesting session limit extensions beyond the annual 8-session limit. 

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.

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.


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 and interns who volunteer to serve on this committee.  The chair of the committee is determined by the committee members.  The committee meets throughout the academic year to plan and facilitate staff development (e.g., speakers, field trips, retreats, etc.) that contributes to ongoing awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity to multicultural and diversity issues.

Intern Selection Committee:  The Intern Selection Committee consists of senior staff counselors and interns who volunteer to serve.  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 the 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. 

Outreach and Consultation

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, Prezzi, 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.

Program Evaluation Project

Interns are required to develop a Program Evaluation Project in consultation with the Program Evaluation supervisor.  Interns will 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).

Intern Formal Case Presentation

Interns provide a one (1) hour 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 Summer months.  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.


The UCS orientation for interns is a structured 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, as well as team building, didactic and experiential activities, and a supervision 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 each of the UCS team members, and a beginning of the year event with the counseling center team.

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 introductions to some of the competencies of the internship (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 round robin process through which they meet with all primary and adjunct supervisors one-on-one and have the opportunity to mutually rate one another.  Every effort is made to match interns and supervisors as to orientation, interest, and compatibility.  Further, interns meet potential group supervisors through our "Group Round Robin."

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.


Quality supervision is considered to be the foundation of our program and interns have the opportunity to engage in supervision with a variety of UCS staff members in numerous formats (e.g., individual, group, peer, etc.).  Interns have input into the selection of who they would like to work with in terms of their primary supervisor, secondary supervisor, and group supervisors.  Some of our supervisors are designated by the training program (e.g., Video Group/Peer Supervision, Outreach, Peer Programs, Program Evaluation).   Supervision is intended to facilitate the development of competencies as well as 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 with regard to multiculturalism and diversity.  The Coordinator of Training and supervisors assist and support interns in their adjustment to and ability to manage a busy schedule with a variety of responsibilities and opportunities.

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

Video group/peer supervision meets for two (2) hours per week.  This supervision offers an opportunity for interns to share their clinical work and provide and receive peer supervision in a supportive, growth-oriented atmosphere.  Digital recordings of interns’ sessions are presented on a rotating basis along with a written case presentation.  The Coordinator of Training facilitates the peer supervision and provides supervision of peer supervision.

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.

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 or his overall training experience.  The intern has the opportunity to discuss her or his 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 weaknesses.  Additionally, interns' training needs and aspirations are discussed.

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 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 2000 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: During “stay-at-home orders” interns will not come onsite, but rather are expected to work “virtually, during their regular work 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: "leaving early" referenced above applies to in-person or virtual
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, consultation, and program evaluation supervisor, and Peer Education 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, and self-care retreats offered at UCS throughout the training year.
  • Interns must be on-site at UCS during their designated working hours.  If an intern is to be out of the building (not including lunch), it is the intern’s responsibility to notify the support staff of their destination and anticipated time of return.
  • COVID Comment: While on "stay-at-home" orders, interns are expected to be accessible via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, email , 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), but tend to 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).
  • Interns are expected to co-facilitate a minimum of one process/therapy/support group and one structured group.  
  • Interns will not schedule 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 that is scheduled through the 4:00 p.m. hour if the group is co-facilitated with a UCS senior staff member.
  • 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 they feel that a situation has occurred 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 “stay-at-home orders, outreach programs will be presented virtually. 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 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 presentation, video group presentations, professional seminar, program evaluations, and original outreach presentations) to the Coordinator of Training at the time a presentation is presented.

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).
  • Have completed 25% (or 500 hours) of supervised direct service delivery.  This includes intake/clinical assessment, triage, individual and conjoint therapy, group therapy, outreach presentations, direct consultation, and provision of training and supervision to peer educators.
  • Satisfy any and all additional competency 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 (10% of total hours worked per week and 2 hours per week of individual, one-on-one supervision with a California Licensed Psychologist)
  • 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
  • Complete all outreach, consultation, and program evaluation responsibilities described in the training manual
  • Complete a Program Evaluation and present it to the staff
  • Complete a Formal Case Presentation and present it to staff
  • Present an original Professional Seminar to the staff
  • 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

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.

Evaluations of the training program include the following:

  • Evaluation of Orientation
  • Evaluation of Supervisors
  • Evaluation of Professional Seminars
  • Evaluation of Training Modules
  • Evaluation of the Training Program
  • Exit Interview with the Coordinator of Training
  • Post-Internship Surveys


Although the exact time spent in each category may vary, a sample schedule and a range of time committed to each area is provided below.

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

Stipend and Benefits

The internship appointment is a 12-month position with a salary of $28,669 for the 2019-2020 training year.  Most interns elect to work overtime (4 hours per week) in order to accrue 2000 hours, making them license eligible in all states.  With overtime, interns typically earn approximately $31,000 per year. (See "Licensure Hours" below for explanation.)  Interns are eligible for Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, and Vision benefits.  For each qualifying pay period (monthly), interns accrue 16 hours of vacation, 8 hours of sick leave benefits.  In addition, there are approximately 12 paid University holidays per year and 1 paid Personal Holiday per calendar year for interns. 

Interns have their own private office with telephone, voicemail, computer terminal (including e-mail, internet access, and electronic scheduling and records), and Webcam.  In addition, interns have access to excellent library facilities, faculty/staff parking rate, faculty/staff rate for use of the Student Recreation Center, and faculty/staff discount at the campus bookstore.

Licensure Hours

The internship at UCS is a 2,000 hour, full-time (40-44 hours per week), 12-month internship from August 1, 2020, to July 31, 2021.  To successfully complete the internship, interns need to accrue at least 25% of their 2,000 total hours in direct service hours (e.g., at least 500 direct service hours).  Due to the very generous leave benefits offered by the university (see Stipend and Benefits above), interns often work 44-hour work weeks (with 4 hours of paid overtime) in order to meet the 2,000 hours expectation.