We invite you to consider a Pre-Doctoral Psychology Internship with Counseling, Health and Wellness Services (CHWS) at the University of Puget Sound. Our small, liberal arts college is in Tacoma, Washington. Tacoma is a city of 193,000 on the water, roughly 40 minutes south of Seattle and 25 minutes north of Olympia, our state capital. The Puget Sound campus rests in Tacoma's friendly North End neighborhood. There's more about our community in the Setting section.
A bit about our training perspective
We seek interns who wish to deepen their effectiveness as professional psychologists, particularly their psychotherapy skills. Paradoxically, we believe this depth is best accomplished through the breadth of a generalist experience. Hunger for supervision, good judgment and dry wit are all highly valued here. We believe that committed supervision, diverse opportunity and a healthy work environment characterize our values and what we most have to offer interns. Read more about our training philosophy under Internship Goals.
Pre-Doctoral Interns at Counseling, Health and Wellness Services provide intake assessments; carry an interesting and complex therapy caseload; supervise Practicum Counselors; consult as appropriate with faculty and parents; respond to crises; assess suicide risk, attention deficit and substance abuse; design and deliver outreach programs; advise student groups; assist with the intern selection process; evaluate policy…and a variety of other responsibilities as they arise. Psychology Interns are also involved in department and division meetings, and may serve on University committees, such as the Diversity Theme Year Committee, if they care to do so. For complete descriptions of all the training our interns engage in, click on Training Content. The amount of time devoted to these activities each week appears as the Training Activity Plan.
Several aspects of the training environment at CHWS seem special (to us, at least). First is our strong commitment to diversity - we're genuine, inclusive, curious and non-neurotic in our exploration of differences. We have a particularly strong alliance with sexual minority students on campus. Second is that interns supervise practicum counselors and receive supervision-of-supervision. Interns frequently report that learning to supervise is one of the most profound and satisfying ways to learn about doing therapy. It's also a role that naturally propels one from trainee to professional. Third, we work extra hard to offer therapy groups for interns to co-lead with psychologists, even though we have a small campus to draw upon. To get a sense of our typical offerings, read about our Group Program. Past groups include a Survivors of Sexual Trauma Group, a Chronic Illness Group, and a Mindfulness Meditation (DBT) group.
In general, being part of a smaller organization often means the opportunity to wear more hats than working in a larger system does. Puget Sound is an especially good internship, we think, for trainees who want to supervise and advise, to design and implement, to analyze and collaborate --- in addition to the psychologist's clinical role, which is our bread and butter. To assist trainees in nurturing a distinctive (and marketable) professional identity, we help them structure all these Discretionary Activities around a Developing Specialty. Lastly, we're a multi-disciplinary staff, and that's just plain cool. We consult regularly with our psychiatrist and registered dietician, and we discuss cases and do cross-training with our medical staff.
As an internship, our theoretical orientation is integrative, with Licensed Psychologists who call primarily upon psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal/relational, and person-in-context/feminist orientations. Check our CHWS Staff bios for fuller descriptions of our approaches to psychotherapy and clinical supervision. We certainly don't need for our interns to identify their orientation as “Integrative.” We are the best fit, though, for students who seek the deepening of skills by exploring intervention from multiple perspectives, rather than by pursuing a single-theory orientation to treatment. Above all, this internship is about becoming an outstanding clinician, and we value focused supervision a great deal.
Most clients are seen at CHWS for brief therapy (20 or fewer sessions), but we each carry a few longer-term cases. Moderate psychopathology is the norm (mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, trauma, borderline features) though we all have a few clients working on purely adjustment issues and a few with serious mental illness. The majority of our clients carry both an Axis I diagnosis and a V-code, so therapist interest in relational issues is vital. We have no session limit, so treatment plans spring from client needs and from demands for our services; interns learn to manage their caseload by determining the appropriate frequency and duration of treatment and ending treatment when appropriate. Even students with profound issues often appear for just a few sessions, so natural rapport and the art of the intake are essential skills.
We don't offer career assessments or employment counseling at CHWS, although academic and career concerns are a natural part of our psychotherapy with students. We also engage in very little objective testing at CHWS, with no projective or neuropsychological instruments utilized at all. Interns learn specific assessment protocols for anger management, suicide/self harm, and substance abuse. They may choose to do the minimum, or may ask us to direct these assessment opportunities their way.
Some of the nuts 'n' bolts about our internship
Counseling, Health and Wellness Services is an APPIC-member internship.
Interns who have attended our program have gone on to careers in university counseling centers, hospitals, private practice, as clinical faculty and as agency directors. You can read a bit about our beloved alums on the Our Interns page.
The internship begins Wednesday, August 1, 2013; it is a year-long, 2,000 hour training experience to be completed in 12 consecutive months. The first four weeks are devoted to a wide-ranging orientation to intern roles and responsibilities. For more insight on the flow of our year and our expectations for quality and quantity of intern contribution/learning, please visit the Expectations section.
The intern stipend is $23,660. Interns also have up to $200 each to spend on attending professional trainings or conferences. Interns are classified as university staff members and are eligible for the flexible benefits program. Please visit the Stipend & Benefits section to view the considerable quality-of-life perks associated with our program, too.
Applications should be submitted through the on-line APPIC portal. Details abound under Application Process. There you'll also find information about our selection process and good times to consider an in-person visit.
Our application deadline is Friday, November 16, 2012. We will let you know if we'd like to invite you to interview no later than December 15th. To be fair to applicants throughout the U.S. and Canada, all formal interviews are conducted by Skype or telephone, but we encourage those who can to visit us here at Puget Sound to do so!
Our National Matching Service (NMS) Program Code is # 175111.