APA Internship

Training Philosophy

The CSDC doctoral internship is designed to integrate the practice and science of psychology in an applied university counseling center setting. Our ideal intern is capable of using both paradigms (i.e., the science and art of counseling) in the provision of effective services. Our training program is based on the philosophy of the "local clinical scientist" model (Stricker & Trierweiler, 1995; Trierweiler & Stricker, 1998), which posits that practicing psychologists are critical investigators who utilize local factors, personal experiences and hypotheses, and existing research and knowledge to inform their intentional use of interventions and facilitation of counseling services. Further, the local clinical scientist model emphasizes that psychologists must be aware of how personal biases affect interpretation of information and they must enter each therapeutic relationship with thoughtfulness and care. In these ways, the local clinical scientist model provides developmental objectives that psychologists must attend to if they are to provide competent and effective services while also developing a unique “professional voice.”

Training Approach

We view the process of becoming a professional psychologist as developmental and believe that training should involve exposure to sequential, comprehensive, and graduated experiences in an emotionally supportive environment. Our training approach is best described as “developmental mentoring.” We focus on “learning by doing” under close supervision and mentoring by supervisors and other colleagues. We recognize that each intern arrives to internship with various personal and professional experiences that impact her/his level of development (Stoltenberg & McNeill, 1997; Stoltenberg, McNeill, & Delworth, 1998). Throughout the internship year, we attend to these factors as we assist interns to meet the goals of the internship program specified below as well as their individual goals. As part of this process, we expect interns will make significant developmental transitions during the internship year and establish an emerging professional identity that integrates their attitudes, values, and style of practice.

Primary Goals

1) Provide training in a broad range of skills, including short and long term individual therapy, group therapy, crisis intervention, assessment (eating disorder & substance abuse assessment), outreach programs, consultation, and supervision. Interns carry an individual therapy caseload, co-facilitate therapy groups, complete assessments throughout the year, provide coverage for walk-in hours and on-call services, and develop crisis intervention skills.

We do not provide research training, although we support interns in completing their own doctoral research. There can be opportunities for interns to present their research to CSDC staff if requested.

2) Assist interns in developing their own professional identities and interests. This goes beyond clarifying a theoretical orientation to developing an awareness of individual styles, strengths and weaknesses in a wide variety of roles. Coupled with this goal is our commitment to provide training in the variety of roles psychologists perform in university counseling centers.

In addition to the training specified above, the CSDC internship addresses this goal through a yearlong professional specialization in a clinical area of interest. The specialization also includes a multicultural focus on a specific student population. The specialization, described in detail under Professional Specialization, allows interns to develop a broad range of skills as well as depth in their area of interest. It also provides interns an arena in which to identify the relevant literature and integrate it into their practice.

3) Integrate multicultural and ethical awareness into the development of the aforementioned competencies. See Multicultural Experiences for more information.