Interns at the CCSD are employed on a 40-hour-a-week basis and are required to participate in the following training programs:
Assessment Interviews: The assessment of incoming clients is a part of the intake interview procedure. All staff members participate in the assessment system. The assessment counselor is responsible for clarifying the presenting problem, assessing the severity of the problem, judging the need for timely interventions, and discussing with the client the treatment alternatives that are available to him/her. Personality inventories, interest inventories, and/or computer-based career decision-making programs may be assigned by the intake counselor. Interns are responsible for three hours of assessment duty per week.
Rotation with the psychiatrists on staff: Each intern will have a two-hour weekly rotation working with the CCSD psychiatrists. This rotation provides some exposure to a medical model of diagnosis and psychopharmacology. Activities during this time may include observation of psychiatrists conducting medication evaluation or medication checks with students; discussion of diagnosis, psychopharmacology, or other relevant issues; clinical consultation; or related readings.
Counseling and Psychotherapy: Direct counseling and psychotherapy is one of the major emphases of the internship program. The internship experience is viewed as one of the best opportunities for the developing psychologist to gain a broad range of experience with clients while receiving intensive supervision. Interns will have experience with a number of different kinds of cases, requiring different interventions and lengths of treatment, and will designate 12-15 hours per week for individual counseling in the CCSD. Because the CCSD primarily offers brief therapy (12 sessions or less per client), the program focuses upon effective use of therapy within a brief model. Interns have exposure to a variety of perspectives to consider in this process, including developmental theory, diagnoses, and different theoretical approaches to therapy. Interns do have the opportunity to select 1-2 clients to experience a longer course of therapy.
Crisis Intervention: It is reasonable to assume that individuals who are involved in providing counseling services will develop skills in crisis intervention. Interns are expected to be able to respond to the crises experienced by their own clientele and students seen for assessment interviews. In addition, interns will periodically provide assessment and service to students on a walk-in basis. Assistance is available for the intern, or any staff member, in those instances where an emergency situation may require hospitalization or other atypical measures. If interns wish, they have options to work with staff members who are on after-hours crisis duty. However, interns do not have the responsibility of providing after-hours coverage.
Career Development: Like many university and college counseling centers, the CCSD offers career counseling to students in the early parts of the career development process. Students with career concerns are often unsure of their major or wanting to identify potential career paths. Interns are required to become knowledgeable about and provide career counseling, vocational testing with the Strong Interest Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, decision-making strategies, and sources of career information. The internship provides training in these areas, so it is not essential for a prospective intern to have prior experience with career counseling.
Consultation and Outreach: Interns are required to participate in at least three on-going consultation and outreach efforts and/or to initiate new ones. Examples of outreach requests include career planning, stress management, grief/loss issues, eating disorders, suicide prevention, needs of international students, or responding to crises. With staff support and supervision, interns participate in a consultation project with another unit on campus. Recent consultation projects included work with the English Language Institute, Services for Student Athletes, and Wellspring. Opportunities for more intensive consultation or outreach experiences are available in June and July. In recent years, interns have participated in summer programs with the Dean’s Office in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Black Culture, and the University’s McNair Scholars.
Group Counseling: The CCSD offers a number of different counseling groups each year. These include both structured and unstructured groups, such as body image, anxiety management, and grief issues. For a description of recent group offerings, please follow this link. Group activities are considered to be preferred modes of treatment in many situations. Interns should plan to co-lead at least one multiple session, unstructured group and participate in screening prospective group members. The CCSD staff works collaboratively to provide opportunities for interns to co-lead a process group. In the event that an intern’s group fails to recruit enough eligible group members to run, the intern may fulfill this requirement by serving as a process observer for another group.
Supervision of Other Trainees: The CCSD offers practicum training to pre-doctoral psychology students. Interns serve as supervisors for the practicum students in spring semester and will provide one hour of supervision weekly, with additional supervision provided for the practicum student by a licensed staff member. Additionally, interns participate as a group in a weekly supervision of supervision seminar in the spring. Supervision: Interns receive supervision in a number of ways. Each intern meets with a senior staff member for a minimum of two hours a week to receive supervision of his/her individual counseling caseload and related activities. Supervision of group counseling is provided in weekly one-hour meetings with the intern's co-leader. In addition, interns meet regularly as a group with a senior staff member and psychiatrist for peer supervision, which provides opportunities for in-depth case presentations and discussion. Interns also meet regularly, as a group, with the coordinator of the internship program to receive ongoing orientation and/or for discussion of administrative issues. Lastly, interns often work with senior staff members in a number of other areas such as teaching, paraprofessional training, outreach programs, consultation, etc., and will be supervised by the participating senior staff member for those activities.
Personal and Professional Development: The CCSD staff engages in regularly scheduled professional development programs, and interns participate fully in these activities. In recent years, CCSD has sponsored day-long trainings on: Working with Veterans, Brief Dynamic Therapy, College Students with Asperger’s or Autism-Spectrum Disorders, Mindfulness, Brief Group Therapy. Additionally, the entire CCSD staff generally schedules two retreats each year to deal with matters of importance to the CCSD. Interns also are encouraged to participate in their own personal and professional growth as an integral part of the internship. This year, $1,300 will be made available to interns for this purpose. Interns may use these funds for conferences or purchase of professional books.
As a part of professional development, interns participate in a weekly, self-facilitated 90-minute lunch meeting that is designed to help them process their growth and experience during the internship year. The lunch meeting provides space in which interns may explore and integrate the various things they are learning about themselves, psychotherapy, and being a psychologist across clinical experiences and seminars. The group also affords opportunities to explore the diverse points of view individuals may have within a cohort, which is an important aspect of developing professional, collegial relationships. Staff do not define how interns use this opportunity. We hope that it creates time to “step away” from the busy pace of clinical and training activities and check-in with yourself and each other. Each intern cohort has the freedom to negotiate with one another about the goals, level of intimacy, and format of the time.
Internship Seminars: Two formal seminars for interns are scheduled on a weekly basis. One two-hour seminar covers a variety of topics relevant for developing therapists, including case conceptualization, clinical decision-making, ethics, diagnosis, treatment planning, and multicultural issues. A second seminar focuses on group therapy and outreach/consultation in alternating weeks. In the spring semester, one seminar addresses supervision of supervision, while the second seminar includes group therapy, multicultural issues, and outreach/consultation. For an overview of the 2011-12 seminar schedule and topics, click here.
Case Management Meetings: Interns participate in weekly staff case management meetings. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss disposition of cases, pickup new cases, and consult on clinical issues.
Administration: Interns participate in weekly staff meetings. They will assume committee responsibilities and participate in the decisions which affect the policies, procedures, and personnel of the CCSD. Interns may choose to work with one or more of the following committees: career development, group, multicultural issues, outreach, professional development, research review, and technology/website.
Elective Training Activities
Interns also have the opportunity to participate in the following elective programs within their weekly schedule:
Research: Interns are encouraged to work towards the completion of their doctoral dissertations and may take a half-day a week of release time for this work. If interns have completed their dissertation, they may elect to apply this half-day to clinical activities, undertake an independent research project, complete clinically-related reading, or participate in a research project, with individual staff members. Interns should inform the coordinator of the internship program about their research plans and activities. Access to computers for dissertation and other research projects is available.
Teaching: Some CCSD staff are actively involved in teaching. Several credit courses are offered by CCSD staff to graduate and undergraduate students on topics such as helping relationships, counseling theories, and sleep. Interns may choose to serve as guest lecturers. The demands of the internship do not permit interns to assume full responsibility for teaching a course in the fall and spring semesters.
Center for Counseling & Student Development
261 Perkins Student Center, Newark, DE 19716