Program Overview

We invite you to consider a 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 45 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. 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.

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, conduct semi-structured suicide and self harm risk assessments, may engage in attention deficit screening assessments, may co-lead prevention/education regarding substance abuse prevention and/or conduct substance abuse assessments, design and deliver outreach programs, 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. 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. It's also a role that naturally propels one from trainee to professional. We offer training in motivational enhancement and harm reduction approaches to substance abuse education, prevention and intervention.

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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 Monday, August 3, 2015; it is a year-long; 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, utilizing the online APPI. 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 Monday, November 17, 2014. 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. 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.