Internship Program Elements

Interns participate in four hours of supervision weekly, including two hours of individual supervision with a licensed psychologist.

Interns work with supervisors who oversee intern clinical case loads. After meeting and getting to know staff members during orientation, interns make supervisor requests for individual supervision. The Director of Training makes assignments based on these requests combined with supervisor availability and overall CAPS needs. Interns make supervisor requests at the beginning of each semester.

Assigned supervisors oversee intern’s clinical case loads, provide mentoring, and facilitate professional development. Interns participate in two hours of individual supervision with an appropriately licensed psychologist each week. Interns are expected to work with two individual supervisors over the course of the internship year.

Interns receive one additional hour of group supervision each week focused on the interns’ provision of group therapy. Interns receive biweekly group supervision of assessment and biweekly supervision of supervision. Interns often receive additional supervision from their group co-leader. Elective rotations are supervised by a psychologist with appropriate experience to oversee the chosen rotation. During the summer (and occasionally during other semesters), interns participate in group supervision/peer consultation of their individual therapy work.

Interns develop a caseload of clients whose presenting concerns and demographics fit their individual training needs and experience. By working with diverse individuals, interns increase their competency in the area of individual-cultural diversity. Interns are given priority when selecting clients, in order to facilitate maintenance of a caseload that allows for both depth and breadth of experience.

Interns co-lead one group each semester and may request to co-lead additional group(s), depending on availability. Groups are co-led with a staff member during Fall and Spring Semesters. If the staff co-leader anticipates being absent for a group session, interns often have enough advanced training to lead the group alone. Prior to an intern running a group alone, the staff member co-leader consults with the intern and the intern’s primary supervisor.

During Summer Semester, interns may request to co-lead a group together. The Training Committee considers this request in the context of available summer groups, as well as intern readiness to co-lead a group without a senior staff member.

When SUU students request couples counseling, interns are given priority to see these cases. Interns are expected to work with one or two couples over the course of the internship year, depending on demand for services.

At the beginning of each semester, each CAPS staff member is assigned to be the “Counselor on Duty” (COD) for one week on a rotating basis. During a COD day, the COD is available for at least one hour to meet with students who need an intake screening or crisis appointment. Interns gain crisis service experience by:

1) Observing two crisis appointments conducted by senior staff clinicians.

2) After observing the required number of appointments, interns provide a minimum of two crisis appointments under observation.  The Training Committee then consults together to determine whether the intern is ready to independently serve as the COD. An intern may benefit from the opportunity to provide additional observed intake screenings and crisis appointments before providing these services independently.

After completing the above requirements (typically during Fall Semester), interns are ready to independently serve as the COD (typically during Spring and Summer Semesters). Interns and staff members are typically assigned about 10 COD days throughout the semester.

Interns receive training and supervision in the area of clinical interviewing. All CAPS clients take the CCAPS at intake and on a continuing weekly basis. Interns receive training in outcome assessment and the use of CCAPS data in treatment planning. Interns also receive training in the ongoing assessment of the therapeutic alliance using the Session Rating Scale (SRS). Interns are trained to use the SRS on a weekly basis and to incorporate SRS feedback into treatment planning.

During the internship year, interns develop additional skill in the use of psychological tests related to a university counseling center population. Interns are expected to complete three educational assessments over the course of the year. The first assessment is completed during Fall Semester. Educational assessments typically assess for the presence of learning disabilities or ADHD, and facilitate the student’s ability to receive formal academic accommodations through SUU’s Services for Students with Disabilities.

Interns are also required to complete two additional psychological evaluations in an area of the intern’s choice over the course of the internship year. Possible tests include personality inventories (MMPI-2, PAI), educational assessments (WAIS-IV, WJ-III), an eating disorder inventory (EDI-III), substance abuse assessments (YAAPST, SASSI-3, ASI) and inventories of career interests and skills (SDS, SII-II, MBTI).

Interns attend Assessment Seminar where they receive training in the use of psychological tests as well as group supervision. Interns may also receive ongoing supervision in assessment from their individual supervisors.

Interns lead outreach presentations based on their training needs and experience. The Outreach Coordinator presents opportunities to participate in outreach (e.g., on topics such as stress management, depression, sexual assault prevention) throughout the internship year. Interns independently develop at least one outreach presentation during the internship. A copy of this presentation is kept in the intern’s portfolio. Interns conduct three or more outreach presentations during Fall Semester and three or more outreach presentations during Spring Semester.

During the first 2 weeks of internship, interns are oriented to Counseling & Psychological Services. By participating in orientation, interns have opportunities to become acquainted with each other, as well as the staff, and to become acclimated to CAPS prior to beginning their clinical work.

Seminars and trainings are held according to the following schedule:

Activity Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
Training Seminar Weekly Weekly Weekly
Professional Development Every other week Every other week -
Case Conference Weekly Weekly Weekly
Group Seminar Weekly Weekly Weekly
Diversity Seminar Every other week Every other week Weekly (with all staff)
Assessment Seminar Weekly Every other week -
Supervision Seminar - Every other week Weekly

Seminars are led by CAPS staff members or other professionals from the university and the community. Interns are expected to present during a Professional Development Meeting once each semester (Fall, Spring) on an area of strength, expertise, or interest. Interns complete an evaluation of each seminar series, “Seminar Series Evaluation,” at the conclusion of each semester.

Interns typically have opportunities to attend local conferences (e.g., the Utah University and College Counseling Centers conference) for professional development and networking. A small conference fund is available for interns to defray some of the cost. Interns may also choose to use this conference fund to support their attendance at a national conference of their choice.

Case Conference is held on a weekly basis and provides staff members and interns the opportunity to present and consult on a clinical case. During case conference presentations, presenters gain feedback and insight in areas including case conceptualization, interventions, cultural considerations, resources and referrals, and ethical concerns. Presenters prepare in advance by creating a written summary and by selecting a brief video clip that illustrates the client/therapist relationship and interactional style.

Interns are expected to present in Case Conference twice each semester (Fall, Spring); once on a clinical case and once on an assessment case. In Summer semester interns present once on a case of their choosing.  The first clinical case presentation should occur prior to Mid-October, to facilitate a more complete initial preliminary review. Notes from clinical case conference presentations and de-identified assessment reports are submitted to the Director of Training. This material is included in the intern file and meets part of the Internship Completion Requirements. Interns are evaluated and provided with feedback on their Case Conference presentations. A copy of the completed evaluations is provided to the intern and a copy is kept in the intern’s file.

At the beginning of each semester, interns, in conjunction with their supervisor and the Director of Training, develop a particular area where they would like to gain more training and experience. Interns are encouraged to develop goals for this area, and to seek out training opportunities during the semester.

Interns may use up to two hours each week to work on their dissertation, research, or applications for post-docs or jobs. This time may be “banked;” for example, an intern may elect to take one day during a month rather than two hours each week. Banked time may also be used to attend professional conferences.