As outlined by the APA Standards of Accreditation in Health Service Psychology, interns are expected to demonstrate the following profession-wide competencies as their training year progresses:
- Ethical and Legal Standards
- Individual and Cultural Diversity
- Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
On average, interns see 10-13 individual client hours per week; however, as a college counseling center, our client flow is strongly influenced by the academic schedule and can vary significantly depending on the time of year. Individual counseling is done primarily through short-term counseling. Individual counseling hours include scheduled client appointments, same-day or walk-in appointments, and substance use assessments. Interns typically cover 10 hours of same-day or walk-in shifts, distributed across the week. Interns are expected to demonstrate the ability to:
- Establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
- Develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
- Implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision-making.
- Modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
- Evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation
All trainees, including Psychology interns, are expected to co-facilitate one counseling group during the Fall and Spring semesters. Because many of our clients are developing their social skills and relationship effectiveness, we place an emphasis on interpersonal process groups. We aspire to give all trainees an opportunity to co-facilitate at least one process group during the year. They might also be called upon to co-facilitate other psycho-educational groups and semi-structured groups, such as Anxiety Toolbox, DBT Skills, or Getting Unstuck. Psychology interns might be permitted to develop and implement a novel group in consultation with the Director or Associate Director during the summer term.
Each Psychology intern spends one semester performing direct supervision for a doctoral practicum counselor. The practicum counselor and intern typically meet one hour per week in face-to-face supervision. As needed, the intern can also schedule additional time for case management, tape review, note review, etc. During their rotations as supervisors, each intern will receive additional supervision of supervision from a licensed staff Psychologist. As a result, interns will develop competency in the following areas:
- Establishment of effective supervision relationships.
- Effective supervision structure.
- Counseling skills assessment and development.
- Establishment of learning goals.
- Provision of feedback on counseling, diversity, ethical, and interpersonal issues.
Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
Interns perform outreach and consultation services to UH&CS and the campus community, although the frequency and duration of these activities varies considerably. Outreach activities might include tabling events, presentations, availability to provide support at emotionally activating campus events, or large mental health diagnostic screening events. Outreach activities are performed on an as-needed basis and are not consistent from week to week. In addition to outreach activities, interns may also be called upon to consult with UH&CS or affiliate campus departments to develop new programs or assess the quality of existing programs. These consultations might be assigned to interns, or they might be designed and implemented by interns themselves, with approval. For example, in 2019-20, our two UH&CS interns were tasked with developing Let's Talk for CWRU, a drop-in consultation service for students who might otherwise be reluctant or hesitant to pursue professional counseling. These two interns initially designed a face-to-face version, and then made revisions for a virtual version when the University shifted to distance learning.
Through such experiences, interns are expected to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions;
- Demonstrate knowledge of consultation models and practices;
- Develop successful consultant relationships;
- Respond appropriately to consultation requests;
- Prepare and deliver effective workshops and psycho-educational programs;
- Represent the agency positively to other stakeholders.