The Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology is a 2,000 hour program. Interns commit at least 40 hours per week for 12 consecutive months. These figures are what most state licensing boards require, so your licensure paperwork should be as simple as possible.
Interns are expected to fully commit to the training experience with us at CHWS. We'll be excited to have you with us, and hope for that feeling to be mutual. Interns are expected to anticipate and plan for any conflicting responsibilities like commute time, conference attendance, child/elder care, job start-date and long-distance move time. Due to the nature and pace of our clinical work and the need to be in constant communication with one another, flex time and condensed work weeks are not possible, nor are part-time internships over a two-year period.
The internship extends from August 1, 2014 – July 31, 2015.
The traditional business day for Psychology Staff at Counseling, Health and Wellness Services is 8:00am - 5:00pm with an hour for lunch from noon to 1 pm. Psychology Staff (which includes interns) don't often see clients at 8 am or noon, but we each arrange the flow of our own Outlook calendar, so you may schedule your clients, supervision, project time, paperwork time, etc. around your meetings and seminars as you see fit.
Limit-setting and maintaining personal balance are valued here. We believe interns can stretch themselves without being stretched too thin, so there is no expectation that trainees take on every project opportunity that presents itself. Ironically, past interns have found that they're most likely to get stressed when they take on more therapy clients than we require of them. It's probably fair to attribute this in part to how busy we are clinically during the academic year and in part to how satisfying our therapy population is to work with. In any case, designing your lives (or our own) to be extra intense is not part of the plan. In general, being able to set limits with clients about frequency and duration of treatment is a big determinant of how manageable your week will feel.
On the other hand, the work week may demand more than 40 hours of us at times. Crisis response, case documentation, presenting outreach programs, advising student organizations and co-leading therapy groups are examples of activities that may call for work beyond traditional business hours. As professionals, we naturally dedicate as much time to projects as doing them well calls for. You might think of the work culture here as quality-driven and humane: We neither “clock out” at 5:00 nor seek to over-extend ourselves. Taking advantage of special training opportunities may mean working beyond the traditional business day too. These choices are at intern discretion.
One of the benefits, from our perspective, of working at a small university is the natural ebb and flow of the academic calendar. We are incredibly busy during the academic year and it is not uncommon for both interns and psychologists to work over 40 hours/week during Fall and Spring semesters. However, during break periods (such as winter break and summer), the pace of life slows considerably and we are able to catch up on projects and savor a laid-back work environment. Being able to see the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" tends to help interns cope with the intensity the academic semesters bring.
The Training Activity Plan outlines the estimated time we expect interns will devote to the various training activities. In general, interns generally devote about half their time to direct service activities like seeing clients, facilitating groups, covering walk-in hours and doing intake assessments. The remaining half is with seminars, meetings, consultations, outreach, documentation, supervision, discretionary activities and so forth.
Five hours each week are devoted to "discretionary activities." Interns each choose from a varied menu of projects. These activities are intended to individualize the training experience and to expose interns to the breadth of roles a University-based psychologist may play. Discretionary activities are often fun, since there are interesting roles to undertake on a small campus, where your leadership and creativity are really felt. Involvement with diverse training activities is encouraged, but interns are expected to exercise balance. Trainees are responsible for maintaining the quality and quantity of their individual caseloads, their client files and other responsibilities regardless of any work that takes them beyond the six required hours of discretionary activities.
CHWS espouses a training sequence that is developmental in nature, such that interns experience increasing challenge and autonomy as the year progresses. The earlier phases of training involve more goal-setting, didactic content and co-facilitated experiences. As the year progresses, interns are expected to assume increasing responsibility and clinical complexity. We transition together into their more advanced professional roles as discussant, leader and supervisor from their earlier ones as student, co-leader and supervisee.
Key to accomplishing the goal of a developmental sequence is the ability to match training opportunities and challenges to intern interests and current skills. We work hard to integrate multiple sources of information, including the intern's assessment of his or her own training needs, in creating opportunities that will be on-target developmentally.
The thoughtful use of evaluation measures is an important part of this process. Evaluations are intended to provide interns and home departments with feedback about the trainee's progress, of course, and thus they communicate our expectations. But evaluations are also important for eliciting interns' analysis of their growth. Evals enable interns to observe the feedback process modeled by CHWS supervisors and to develop their own feedback style with their practicum supervisees. Finally, evaluation of our training program by current interns as the year wraps up helps us further refine our program. Evaluation is a two-way process, and is intended to be an illuminating experience rather than a critical one for all involved.
Interns are provided copies of the forms we use for written evaluations when they first arrive. We walk through these together, orienting trainees to the areas in which they may expect to learn and be evaluated. Examples of these skill areas appear below. Each supervisor an intern works with (individual therapy, group therapy and sup-of-supervision) will provide two evaluations per semester: An informal one at the halfway point, to assess progress and facilitate discussion of the supervision process, and a formal one at semester's end. These formal, end-of-semester evaluations will be forwarded to the intern's graduate program.
Psychology Interns have been selected because they have already demonstrated strong skills and instincts along with the desire to integrate new learning. CHWS Psychology Staff are responsible for facilitating this learning process. We help interns consolidate their existing skills by providing increasingly complex applications and opportunities to observe their strengths. We encourage interns to develop new skills by offering the clinical insights experience provides us and by supporting experimentation, resilience and good humor. Taken together, interns should expect to deepen their effectiveness and identity as an early-career psychologist a great deal.
The skill areas below (and others) are essential to the training year at the University of Puget Sound. Correspondingly, these are some of the areas on which interns are evaluated. Just a brief sketch:
Clinical Skills - Diagnosis and case disposition
Interns are expected to demonstrate competency with developing rapport at intake, integrating assessment data, and determining a thoughtful initial diagnosis. They should be comfortable with case disposition, referral skills and treatment plan design.
- Ability to ask intake questions that guide diagnosis
- Conceptualization of presenting concerns, organization of client dynamics
- Appropriate application of multi-axial DSM-IV diagnosis
Clinical Skills - Therapeutic intervention
Interns are expected to demonstrate therapeutic competency with both developmental and clinical presentations; to be able to intervene flexibly, utilizing a variety of orientations; to be alert to language and timing of interventions; to adapt to unique presentations.
- Ability to work within developmental therapy model
- Appropriate balance of directive and non-directive strategies
- Ability to adapt usual clinical style to cross-cultural interactions as needed
Clinical skills - Relationship
Interns are expected to demonstrate awareness of their own biases and responses to clients; to provide appropriate boundaries; to exhibit sensitivity to client affect, attachment, resistance and other responses; to terminate therapy skillfully and sensitively.
- Capacity for communicating empathy
- Clear boundaries regarding self-disclosure
- Awareness of any therapist value conflicts with client
Legal and Ethical Issues
Interns are expected to demonstrate good ethical judgment and to seek consultation where appropriate. Sound ethical work includes educating one's self about diagnostic or treatment issues as-needed and referral to another clinician when in the client's best interest.
- Sensitivity to confidential case materials
- Familiarity with crisis response protocol
- Ability to keep client welfare in clear focus
Interns are expected to maintain client files that are a complete and professional record of the treatment provided. Progress notes should attend to symptoms, assessment, intervention, conceptualization, working alliance, plan, etc.
- Progress notes thoughtful, well-written and complete
- Notes in file soon after sessions, timely referrals to health providers as needed
- Data entry timely and accurate
Group Therapy skills
Interns are expected to apply theory to practice in their facilitation of therapy groups; to articulate the benefits and norms of group in pre-group screenings; to be alert to group dynamics and co-leader process; to encourage members' use of one another and in-session experiences.
- Offers skilled interventions intended to enhance group safety or cohesion
- Offers skilled interventions intended to challenge or offer feedback
- Attends to both content and process in group sessions
Consultation, Outreach and Program Development
Interns are expected to further develop their skills for designing, delivering and evaluating high quality outreach programs. They are expected to provide competent and discreet consultation to faculty and staff, utilizing campus resources.
- Ability to design a workshop that fits target-audience needs
- Clarity and pace of public speaking skills
- Ability to analyze program effectiveness
Professionalism - General
Interns are expected to operate with an awareness of self and others; to manage stress and time commitments professionally; to be reliable in carrying out work functions; to balance autonomy with consultation.
- Follows-through with projects
- Accepts responsibility for CHWS policies
- Utilizes appropriate channels of communication
Professionalism - Supervisory relationship
Interns are expected to participate fully by helping bring focus to supervision. They should be able to identify the theoretical basis for their interventions and to incorporate new approaches. They should demonstrate curiosity about the therapeutic process, seek additional knowledge as needed and share their own areas of expertise.
- Anticipates high-risk or high profile cases and alerts supervisor
- Records and selects therapy sessions for supervisor review
- Works to analyze their approach and appreciate progress
Professionalism - Utilization of internship opportunities
Interns are expected to explore the training environment and take advantage of unique training opportunities as they're able. They should bring resourcefulness and a willingness to initiate projects that will individualize their internship year beyond the clinical.
- Initiates projects that relate to a developing specialty
- Flexes to accommodate special leadership or co-leadership opportunities
- Pushes self to explore new competency areas
Intern decisions are expected to reflect knowledge of and respect for established professional standards. Interns should become familiar with standards of conduct in our profession and articulate questions that enable us to clarify our practices.
- Practice in compliance with the APA Standards for Providers of Psychological Service
- Practice in compliance with the Revised Code of Washington (state law)
- Practice in a manner that reflects well upon the University of Puget Sound