Social Work (MSW) Internship

Welcome to the UCS Social Work Internship webpage. For program information review the items below. Please contact Marilyn Mendoza at (818) 677-4787 for additional information.

UCS Social Work Internship Program

Types of Service

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 2-5 individual client appointments per week. Interns are able to work with two (2) clients in open-ended/long-term therapy throughout the training year.

Intake/Clinical Evaluation

Depending upon experience and readiness, Interns may conduct Intake Evaluations.   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. 

Group Intervention

Interns may observe or co-facilitate groups and workshops with senior staff counselors.  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).

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). 

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 are 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 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 related to outreach, and consultation). This is also the time Interns can use to complete Educationally Based Recordings (EBR).

Training Opportunities for Interns

Training Modules

The training modules provide on-going specialized training covering a specific aspect of direct service delivery. Modules occur approximately 2-3 times per week for the first month of internship and then reoccur throughout the internship year. Modules use a combination of experiential and didactic methods, with an emphasis on applied, practical learning. Topics may include:

         1) Fundamentals of Therapy

         2) Ethics in Social Work Practice

         3) Short-term Therapy, Group Therapy

         4) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

         5) Acceptance Commitment Therapy 

Multicultural Training

Multicultural Didactic Seminars:  The multicultural didactic seminars are part of the UCS 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. 

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.  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. 

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. 

Staff Development/Continuing Education

Interns are invited 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 social workers by participating in local, regional, and national training workshops and conferences.

Intern Formal Case Presentation

Interns provide one formal case presentation to the Social Work Leadership Team 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 Social Work Team that may assist them in improving their presentations for future professional use. 

Social Work Internship Training Staff

Marilyn Mendoza, LCSW
Training Coordinator and Field Instructor
(818) 677-4787

Marlon James Briggs, LCSW
Field Instructor
(818) 677-4786

Jennifer Sato-Veloz, LCSW
(818) 677-6316

Elizabeth Poloskov, Ph.D.
Supervisor of Wellness Workshops & Groups
(818) 677-4441

Please visit our Staff Directory to learn more about our Internship Training Staff.