Internship Philosophy and Model

Philosophy of Training

The training program at the WMCC embraces the responsibility of providing a supportive comprehensive doctoral-level internship training in a counseling center setting. Our training program is consistent with the overall mission of the WMCC, i.e., provide quality and culturally sensitive professional service to students facing developmental and clinical issues that could interfere with the fulfillment of their educational and personal goals.

 Developmental-Experiential-Apprenticeship Training
The philosophy of the WMCC internship program follows a Developmental-Experiential-Apprenticeship Model. The internship builds on the foundation of knowledge and skills acquired through the diverse experiences of graduate coursework, research, practica and other applied activities.  The center considers the internship a capstone to a doctoral psychology professional training.  We strive to facilitate the integration of knowledge and skills and the consolidation of a professional identity as a psychologist.  As such, our mission is to provide a training environment that facilitates transition from graduate student to culturally sensitive, clinically skilled and ethically sound professional psychologist.  

Integration of Scholarly work and practice
An important component of the WMCC philosophy of training is the belief in the need to integrate scholarly knowledge, research findings, and critical thinking into clinical practice and clinical decision making.  We encourage the consumption of scholarly research.

Mentoring, Modeling, and Supervision
Trainees are supervised by senior staff members who model the highest ethical, legal and professional standards of the profession and provide a safe and supportive environment that would foster interns’ learning and development. It is in this type of environment that interns could effectively develop conceptual, methodological, therapeutic, and case management skills while engaging in a self-exploration process that would be conducive to personal and professional growth. 

In addition to the intense clinical supervision interns receive, they also participate in formal training activities that are structured to promote a theoretical and clinical foundation of generalist and ethical service providers.  The structured training activities include an orientation program, training seminars, case conferences, peer supervision, and group supervision. 

Mentoring and an “open door policy” are highly valued at the center. Interns are encouraged to utilize and consult with all professional staff regardless of supervision assignments.

Goals of the Internship

Introduction

The range of experiences at the WMCC is ideally suited for interns looking to develop and master generalist skills with a college student population. Interns are offered challenging opportunities and supportive supervision with the aim of facilitating 1) the growth in areas of strength, 2) self-exploration as a means to identify values, assumptions, and beliefs and their role in clinical practice, 3) multicultural awareness and sensitivity, 4) exploration and experimentation with diverse psychological theories and approaches to therapy,  5) the development of new and innovative clinical skills, 6) gain in self-confidence and autonomy and 7) the development of  a professional identity as a skilled and ethical psychologist.

Considering the role of the self as a therapeutic tool, a goal of the internship at the WMCC is to nurture reflective practice and self-assessment.  Interns will be encouraged to broaden their self-awareness to explore their values, attitudes and beliefs and their impact on professional practice.  Interns will be expected to demonstrate ability to monitor own professional performance, to recognize strengths and areas of growth and to recognize and implement strategies to ameliorate the impact of possible problems on service delivery.  Consistent with the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association, interns will be encouraged, but not required, to explore the possible impact of personal experiences in their clinical work.

The field of professional psychology demands a flexible and integrated repertoire of skills and competencies. As generalists, interns are expected to develop professional competence in the following 4 major internship goals and the corresponding core objectives

 

MAJOR GOALS

CORE OBJECTIVES

 

  1. ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL

      CULTURE

1a.  Ethical Behavior/Practice

1b.  Reflective Practice

1c.  Professional Identity and Conduct

  1. CLINICAL COMPETENCE

2a.  Individual Psychotherapy

2b.  Crisis Intervention

2c.  Group Psychotherapy

2d.  Psychological Assessment

2e.  Outreach and Consultation

 

  1. MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE

 

3a.  Cultural awareness and multicultural

       sensitivity.

  1. CLINICAL SUPERVISION

4a. Clinical Supervision of Practicum Student

Core Objectives of the Internship

1a. Ethical Behavior and Practice.
An overarching goal of the WMCC is to instill a commitment to ethical practice. Interns will be able to conduct themselves in an ethical manner in all their professional roles and activities during the internship year.

Interns will be expected to behave according to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association (2002) as well as the Virginia Law regarding the ethical practice of Psychologists.  Interns will also be expected to follow the Counseling Center policies and procedures, maintain an appropriate professional role with clients, develop appropriate interaction with staff and trainees, and maintain accurate documentation records.  

1b. Reflective Practice.

Another significant component of the internship is to instill a commitment to self-reflection and  lifelong learning. The internship attempts to foster the development of interns' reflective practice and self-assessment so that they will recognize the boundaries of their competencies, demonstrate ability to monitor their own professional behavior, and recognize strengths and areas of growth.

1c. Professional Identity and Conduct. 
The consolidation of interns' professional identity as psychologists is a significant component of the internship program.  Interns will become knowledgeable and skilled in different roles and gain a mature level of professionalism during the internship.  Interns are expected to gain competence, confidence, and autonomy in the practice of psychology and demonstrate appreciation as well as ability to integrate scholarly work in their clinical practice.

2a. Individual Psychotherapy:

Interns will be able to offer individual psychotherapy to college students with a variety of presenting concerns and clinical issues during the internship year. They will be able to apply what they learn in supervision in their interventions with clients.  As such, they will be able to apply diverse psychological theories and approaches to therapy based on clients' needs.  They will be able to document their clinical interventions with clients.

2b. Crisis Intervention:

During working hours or through after-hours on-call duties, interns will be able to provide crisis intervention for clients experiencing acute personal distress or symptomatology. Interns will be able to assess clients' needs and help reduce their immediate distress. Interns will be able to evaluate clients' safety regarding risk of danger to self and/or others and mobilize resources accordingly.

2c. Group Psychotherapy:

Interns will be able to facilitate process-oriented therapy groups and/or theme/population-oriented groups.  They will be able to collaborate with co-leaders and document the clinical interventions with groups.

2d. Psychological Assessment:

Interns will be able to provide intake interviews for clients seeking services.   They will be able to accurately assess clients' psychological needs, make accurate determination of CAF (College Assessment of Functioning), write comprehensive conceptualizations, and recommend a disposition addressing the need for individual or group therapy, psychiatric referral, or other interventions including referrals to other Student Affairs departments or community services. Interns will also be able to make clinical decisions about the selection and utilization of psychological tests in their clinical practice; they will demonstrate ability to accurately interpret data from assessment instruments. Interns will demonstrate sensitivity to the context of the client's culture when selecting, implementing and interpreting test results.  Interns will be able to demonstrate ability to use assessment data to inform their clinical interventions.

2e. Outreach and Consultation:

Interns will be able to design and implement psycho-educational presentations and workshops for audiences within the campus community.  They will be able to respond to consultation needs from faculty, staff, parents, student affairs professionals, residence life and other members of the College. Interns would be able to respond to critical incident or crisis debriefing outreach events if there are situations of this caliber during their internship year. 

3a. Multicultural Awareness and sensitivity.

Interns will be able to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and competence in service delivery with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds and other forms of individual difference. Multicultural competence is defined according to the Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change of the American Psychological Association (2003).

4a. Clinical Supervision:
Interns provide supervision for doctoral level practicum students. Interns will be able to provide a safe environment for practicum students to discuss their cases and demonstrate ability to assist them with the conceptualization of cases and with suggestions for treatment. As supervisors, interns will provide feedback and help supervisees develop self-critiquing skills encouraging identification of strengths as well as areas of growth.  They will apply the criteria for evaluation in a fair manner.

Program Overview

During the 2000-hour, 12‑month internship at the College of William and Mary Counseling Center (WMCC), interns are given the opportunity to practice and develop familiarity with numerous responsibilities exercised by counseling-center psychologists. Whereas the training curriculum is fairly standardized, the program offers opportunities for individual emphasis while ensuring basic competency in required areas. Interns will find the WMCC to be a dynamic and fast-paced environment which is both demanding and rewarding. As such, the WMCC staff seek to provide a humanistic and supportive atmosphere—one in which interns are encouraged to strive for a healthy balance in their personal and professional lives while meeting the challenges of this intensive training experience.

The Curriculum

Clinical Service Activities

1.  Individual and Couples Therapy: Interns dedicate an average of 14 hours per week to individual and couples counseling. While the Counseling Center does not employ formal session limits, short-term counseling based on specific, circumscribed treatment goals is the norm. However, opportunities for longer-term counseling are available to interns based on program training objectives, intern interest, and client need. Exposure to multiple psychotherapeutic models and theoretical orientations is available through individual and peer supervision, as well as through various training seminars.

2.  Group Therapy: Together with a senior staff member, interns co-facilitate at least one weekly 90-minute group during the academic year. The Center provides both open-ended process groups and structured, time-limited group experiences. Groups frequently offered at the WMCC have addressed general interpersonal issues, self-esteem, eating- and body-related distress, sexual minority concerns, recovery from sexual assault/abuse, the graduate-student experience, and racial/ethnic identity. Additional group opportunities often arise as a result of expressed staff interest, identified trends, or in response to campus events (e.g., grief/loss, family of origin issues). Training in group facilitation is available through weekly group-therapy supervision meetings and through debriefing sessions with the senior staff co-leader.

3.  Intake and Formal Assessment: Interns conduct three to four half-hour interview-based intake assessments per week for the duration of the internship. Training in diagnostic interviewing and referral is offered during orientation, as part of the assessment seminar, and in individual and peer supervision.

4.  Crisis Intervention/On-Call: Interns participate fully in the Center’s rotation of immediate-crisis and after-hours, on-call responsibilities. To respond to the urgent concerns of students, the Center designates a three member intake/immediate crisis team for every business day. It is this team’s responsibility to evaluate the severity of crisis-oriented calls and walk-ins and, when needed, to conduct emergency intakes. In addition, Center staff are available on a rotating basis during non-business hours to consult by phone with College staff or with students in crisis. Interns can anticipate providing one week of on-call per semester. A senior staff member is available for consultations during interns’ on call duty. Crisis-intervention training is provided during orientation, during the assessment seminar, in individual supervision, and during the clinical debriefings following crisis incidents.

5.  Outreach and Consultation: Individually and/or as co-facilitators, interns will implement a total of 8 outreach programs during the internship year. At least four of these programs need to be psycho-educational in nature in the intern’s selected areas of interest (some of these programs should be accompanied by a file describing the different components of the program). In addition, along with other staff, interns will help disseminate information about Center services to various audiences (two of these programs are required during the students’ orientation) and help with informal diagnostic screenings during mental-health awareness events. As a function of their crisis-response and case-management responsibilities, interns will also have the opportunity to offer mental-health consultation to faculty and other campus staff. Clinical case consultation among Center staff occurs regularly. Training in this domain is available through the outreach seminar and through consultations with supervisors and other staff members.

6.  Supervision of Practicum Students:  Interns provide individual supervision to one doctoral-level practicum student from the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology or the Virginia Commonwealth University Counseling Psychology program. Under the guidance of the training staff, interns provide  face-to-face supervision and/or evaluation of the practicum student’s psychotherapy work. Training in supervision is provided through the supervision seminar, in meetings with the intern’s supervisor in charge of supervising the supervision of a practicum student, and through regular supervisors of supervision meetings.

Supervision and Training Seminars

1.  Supervision: To maximize interns’ exposure to diverse clinical perspective and approaches, they will work closely with several supervisors over the course of the year. Each has a supervisor who oversees the interns clinical work with individual clients or couples. Group therapy is supervised by a senior staff group co-leader, and group therapy supervision meetings. Supervision of interns’ work with practicum students is provided in individual supervision with one individual supervisor as well as in a group format as part of the supervision seminar. Supervisors are assigned based on the interests and preferences of the interns and on the recommendations of the training staff.

2.  Seminars: During the academic year, interns spend approximately 4 hours a week in training seminars. In keeping with the goals of the training program, seminars are intended to explore core theoretical, ethical, scientific, multicultural, and diagnostic issues as they relate to the delivery of clinical services in a university setting. To those ends, both general readings and case-based presentations are used to facilitate interns’ conceptual formulations and integration of theory, research, and practice. Seminar leaders and other participants provide peer consultation regarding the case materials of each intern.

3.  Assessment (biweekly for two semesters): The seminar focuses on basic principles and practices for clinical evaluation, including the intake process and diagnostic screening, emergency and mental status examinations, and the use and integration of testing and clinical interviews. As part of the experience, interns will be asked to develop familiarity with and implement the use of diagnostic instruments particularly suited to counseling center settings. Selection of appropriate assessment tools, providing assessment feedback to clients, ethical standards in assessment, and assessment report-writing will be addressed.

4.  Clinical/Professional Issues Seminar (biweekly for two semesters): This seminar focuses on general approaches to psychotherapy and empirically supported therapies, the various phases of therapy (e.g., termination), aspects of the therapist-client relationship, clinical use of self-disclosure, treatment of sexual abuse and of eating disorders as well as on ethical and legal dimensions of practice and professional identity issues such as professional directions after internship.  Assigned readings and shared case material provide a basis for group discussion.

5.  Supervision Theory and Practice/Supervision of Supervision (weekly for two semesters): Principles and developmental stages of supervision are examined and applied. The seminar also provides group supervision of the interns’ supervisory work with practicum students.

6.  Diversity Seminar (biweekly for two semesters): The seminar addresses diversity issues in therapy through readings, peer discussion and review of recorded therapy sessions. Throughout the year, the seminar examines the general impact of the therapist’s and client’s values, and cultural background on the therapeutic process.

7.  Outreach and Consultation (biweekly for the first semester): The seminar focuses on the philosophy and techniques of outreach and primary prevention, development of specific psycho-educational workshops, formal and informal consultation strategies, program evaluation, and related topics. The projects of each intern are developed and reviewed via group discussions and feedback.

Administrative Activities

1.Disposition Meetings: At the end of their team day, interns will meet with the clinical staff on that clinical team to explore disposition options. While interns are expected to build a balanced caseload, they may also pursue clinical emphases in areas of interest, such as eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma recovery, or sexuality.

4.  Meetings with Training Director: Every other week (or more frequently based on need), interns will meet as a group with the Training Director. These meetings will address general program issues, intern needs, and satisfaction with the internship experience.

5.  Intern Support Meetings: Interns are encouraged to meet as a group and without training staff, for the purpose of providing support to one another. These meetings provide interns with a break from clinical responsibilities, an opportunity to spend time together away from the office, and time to develop cohesion as a group.

Weekly Activity Summary:


This description is an approximation and subject to change during the peak times of the year.

Fall

Spring

Summer

Clinical Service

 

 

 

Individual/Couples Counseling

14.0

14.0

10.0

Group Therapy

1.5

1.5

1.5

Intake Assessment

3.0

3.0

2.0

Formalized Assessment

Variable

Variable

Variable

Crisis Intakes

Variable

Variable

Variable

Consultation & Outreach

Variable

Variable

Variable

Supervision of Practicum Students

(guaranteed minimum of 1 semester)

1.0

1.0

0.0

On call duties

Variable

Variable

0.0

Subtotal: Clinical Service

19.5

19.5

14.5

 

 

 

 

Supervision and Seminars

 

 

 

Individual Supervision

3.0

3.0

3.0

Group Therapy Supervision

1.5

1.5

0.0

Assessment Seminar (biweekly)

0.5

0.5

0.0

Clinical/Professional Issues Seminar (biweekly)

1.0

1.0

0.0

Supervision Theory/Practice Seminar

1.0

1.0

0.0

Diversity Seminar (biweekly)

0.5

0.5

0.0

Outreach & Consultation Seminar (biweekly)

0.5

0.0

0.0

Case Conference

1.0

1.0

1.0

Networking/Professional Development

0.5

0.5

0.0

Integrative Summer Seminar

0.0

                0.0

                2.0

Subtotal: Supervision and Seminars

9.5

9.0

6.0

 

 

 

 

Administrative

 

 

 

Staff Meeting & Crisis Meetings

.25

.25

1.0

Disposition Meeting
1.0 1.0 0.0

Division Task Force Meetings

Variable

Variable

Variable

Research/Professional Development

0.0

0.0

6.0

Case Management (consultation, contact with clients, documentation)

10.0

10.0

8.0

Meetings With Training Director

.5

.5

As needed

Intern Support Meetings

Variable

Variable

1.0

Subtotal: Administrative

11.75

11.75

13.0

 

 

 

 

Total Hours/Week

40.75

40.75

36.5