1. Intern Supervision
Supervision is considered the most important aspect of the internship program. The quality of supervision contributes strongly to a positive internship experience. Extensive supervision is provided by senior staff in various formats throughout the year. Each intern will have one 2-hour supervisor assigned each semester to provide in-depth individual supervision. Interns will also have a secondary supervision experience in a group setting consisting of three interns and a licensed senior staff. In addition, interns attend an All-Purpose Seminar facilitated by the Training Director on a weekly basis which focuses on clinical, professional, and personal issues. Interns may also consult with other staff members whose expertise can help in understanding a specific client or psychological issue. In addition to the individual and group supervision, our staff will provide supervision of groups, consultation, and any other major activity in which the intern engages. Our supervision is designed so that interns will have direct exposure to most or all of the Senior Staff by the end of the year.
Still other forms of supervision occur through joint staff meetings with other professionals from different disciplines. During these meetings interns and staff might present cases and explore various clinical and conceptual issues. An additional unique component of the program is the opportunity to interact closely with our consulting psychiatrist and thus to gain a psychiatric perspective. The interns are encouraged to play an active role in all of these activities.
2. Didactic Programs
In addition to the clinical staff meetings, a major didactic component of our program occurs through the intern training seminars. Seminars in clinical issues, career issues, group counseling, and diversity are currently being offered by our Counseling Center staff. In addition, a weekly All Purpose Seminar with the Training Director occurs year round. A two-hour meeting including regularly scheduled topic areas, presented by various staff members and our adjunct training faculty, is also offered throughout the year. Additionally, all staff participate in the Ethics Workshop, four two-hour meetings led by different senior staff members that focus on a range of ethical issues applicable to psychological work in a university counseling center. A major objective of all the training seminars is to provide a deeper understanding and a thoughtful re-examination of basic clinical skills and theoretical perspectives as practiced by skilled practitioners. This is intended to facilitate an increased awareness of the various means of conceptualizing human problems. Many of the Primary, Secondary and Other Emphasis skills identified earlier are covered in the seminars.
3. Professional Growth
One of the primary goals of internship training is to enhance professional growth and development. Professional growth cannot always be fostered through structured activities. Interns are encouraged to participate in professional societies and associations. They may attend various workshops and professional meetings of their choice. They are also offered opportunities for staff development via a variety of seminars, staff development sessions, presentations, and an annual conference hosted with the University’s Graduate Psychology Program and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.
4. Personal Growth
Personal growth is a precious component which does not lend itself to a cook book format. A major emphasis in the formal supervisory and mentoring process is in helping the intern develop a greater understanding of his/her self. In addition, informal relationships with various staff members offer opportunities for interns to discuss personal issues and difficulties. For trainees interested in personal psychotherapy, access to various community resources may be provided. Moreover, we have found that one of the most useful sources of support and personal growth lies within each unique intern group. Through all of these activities, it is hoped the intern will gain a greater sense of independence and a feeling of personal and professional identity throughout the internship year.