Program Overview

We invite you to consider a Doctoral Psychology Internship with Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services (CHWS) at the University of Puget Sound. Our small, liberal arts college is in Tacoma, Washington. Tacoma is a city with a population close to 200,000 and is located roughly 45 minutes south of Seattle and 25 minutes north of Olympia. 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

Our approach to training and supervision is based upon a developmental model. We view learning as a developmental process that occurs through the practice of professional activities while receiving support, training, feedback, and the opportunity to observe professional role models. The internship program has been designed to provide training activities that are sequential and graded in complexity. We provide the necessary structure, guidance, and support to facilitate development as each intern moves towards greater autonomy, and gains the skills, knowledge, and confidence to master increasingly complex professional activities and decisions during the course of the training year. 

We begin the internship year with a month long orientation that provides staff and interns ample opportunities to develop strong working relationships. During this time our staff learn about each interns’ experiences, training, strengths, interests and identify areas for growth. We strive to support our interns individually and as a group in their professional development.  Upon the successful completion of internship, our interns will be prepared for entry level professional practice, as generalists, within the field of health service psychology.

We seek interns who wish to expand and deepen their effectiveness as generalists, particularly their psychotherapy, outreach and interdisciplinary consultation skills. Interns who desire integrative supervision, are open to clinical challenges, have good ethical judgment, and a sense of humor are valued here. Read more about our training philosophy under Internship Goals.

What to expect at CHWS

Doctoral Interns at Counseling, Health and Wellness Services provide intake assessments, carry an interesting and complex therapy caseload, consult as appropriate with faculty and parents, respond to crises during and after office hours, conduct semi-structured suicide and self harm risk assessments. Each intern participates in a supervision rotation and a substance abuse prevention rotation. Interns have an opportunity to co-lead a support or therapy group, to provide a range of outreach programs/presentations, and to assist with the intern selection process. Psychology Interns are also involved in department and division meetings, and may serve on University committees. 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 make CHWS a unique site. Our site is integrated with our medical colleagues, thus interns develop close working relationships that are truly multidisciplinary. We have a strong commitment to diversity - we're genuine, inclusive, and curious in our exploration of differences. We have a particularly strong alliance with the LGBTQIA students on campus. Our 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. Interns also receive training and supervision in substance abuse prevention. We offer training in motivational enhancement and harm reduction approaches to substance abuse education, prevention and intervention.

Being part of a smaller organization often means the opportunity to wear multiple hats. Puget Sound is an especially good internship 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 choose activities to support a Developing Specialty. Lastly, we are part of the Division of Student Affairs. Interns have opportunities to collaborate on outreach programs with colleagues from different departments and/or to serve on university committees. 

As an internship, our theoretical orientation is integrative, with Licensed Psychologists who call primarily upon cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal/relational, and person-in-context/feminist orientations. We also integrate Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness skills into our clinical work, supervision and training. 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 interns 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 (10 or fewer sessions), but we each carry a few longer-term cases. Moderate to moderately severe psychopathology is the norm (ex: mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, trauma, borderline features) though we all have a few clients working on purely adjustment issues and a few with serious mental illness. We have no session limit, so treatment plans are developed 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 may appear for just a few sessions; thus, quickly establishing rapport and navigating the art of an 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 suicide/self harm and substance abuse.

Some of the details about our internship

Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services is an APPIC-member internship.

Interns who have attended our program have gone on to careers in university counseling centers, private practice, hospitals, as clinical faculty and as associate directors of clinics. You can read a bit about our beloved alums on the Our Interns page.

The internship begins Monday, August 3, 2016; 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 $24,960. Interns also have up to $200 each to spend on 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 must be submitted through the on-line APPIC portal, utilizing the Online APPI. Details abound under Application Process. There you'll also find information about our selection process.

Our application deadline is Tuesday, November 17, 2015. We will let you know if we'd like to invite you to interview no later than December 14th. To be fair to applicants throughout the U.S. and Canada, all formal interviews are conducted by Skype or telephone. We will offer optional informal open houses, to provide an opportunity for you visit our site if you would like.

Our National Matching Service (NMS) Program Code is # 175111.

Our internship program has submitted our initial self-study to the APA and has been approved for a site visit.  Any questions related to the program's status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association 
750 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002 
Phone: (202) 336-5979