Counseling and Psychological Services

Internship Program Elements

Supervision

Interns work with a supervisor who oversees the intern’s clinical case load. After meeting the clinical staff, interns make supervision requests. The Training Director makes assignments based on these requests combined with supervisor availability and overall CAPS needs.

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 may request that one supervisor provide both hours of supervision, or may request to work with a primary supervisor for one hour and a secondary supervisor for the other hour. One hour of supervision each week is also provided in the intern’s specialty area. Interns receive one additional hour of group supervision each week focused on the interns’ provision of group therapy. Interns also receive .5 hours of supervision from their co-leader for each group they co-facilitate. Consultation with other senior staff is done on an informal and/or as-needed basis.

Individual Counseling

Interns are encouraged to work with clients whose presenting concerns and demographics fit their individual training needs and experience, and to maintain a caseload of clients that allows for depth and breadth of experience. Interns are given autonomy with respect to making decisions about client selection with input from their supervisor.

Group Therapy

SUU CAPS has a strong group program and we enjoy providing the didactic and experiential training that allows interns to become skilled group therapists. Interns are expected to co-lead one group during Fall and Spring Semesters, and may request to co-lead a second group (depending on availability).  Groups are co-led with a senior staff member during the Fall and Spring Semesters.  During the Summer Semester, interns are encouraged to co-lead a group together.

Couples Counseling

Couples counseling has become increasingly used by students, which provides interns with the opportunity to work with couples. Interns are expected to work with three couples over the course of the internship year.

Crisis Appointments

At the beginning of each semester, each CAPS staff member is assigned to be the “Counselor on Duty” (COD) for one weekday each week.  The COD is responsible to schedule one hour for possible crisis appointments and one hour for possible intake assessments.  During Fall Semester, interns are paired with their supervisor and jointly provide crisis appointments and intake assessments.  During Spring and Summer Semesters, interns are independently responsible to serve as the COD.  Interns are still paired with a supervisor who is available for consultation during the hours set aside for crisis appointments and intake assessments.Interns are not asked to provide on-call for crisis coverage outside of business hours.

Assessment

Interns receive training and supervision in the area of clinical interviewing. All CAPS clients take the Outcome Questionnaire-45 (OQ-45) at intake and on a continuing weekly basis. Interns receive training in outcome assessment and the use of OQ-45 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 an educational assessment each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) for a total of three educational assessments over the course of the year. Educational assessments typically assess for the presence of difficulties such as learning disabilities or ADHD, and facilitate the SUU 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 every other week during Fall Semester, which provides training and consultation in the use of psychological tests. They also receive ongoing supervision in assessment from their supervisors.

Outreach

Interns are expected to lead outreach presentations based on their training needs and experience. Outreach presentations (e.g., on topics such as stress management, depression, sexual assault prevention) may be assigned by the Outreach Coordinator throughout the semester. Interns are also encouraged to develop their own outreach presentations. Interns conduct four or more outreach presentations each semester.

Professional Development

During the first 2 ½ weeks of August, interns are oriented to Counseling and Psychological Services.  By participating in orientation, interns are provided with opportunities to become acquainted with each other, as well as the staff, and become acclimated to CAPS before they begin to see clients. 

Training Seminar and Professional Development Meetings are held weekly.  Diversity Seminar is held monthly.  Assessment Seminar is held every other week during Fall Semester.  Supervision Seminar is held every other week during Fall Semester.   These seminars are led by senior 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 to the intern. During the Summer Semester, Training Seminar is the only seminar offered.  Interns complete a brief “Seminar Evaluation” electronically following each seminar presentation.

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 choosing.

Case Conference

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 using the Case Conference Presentation Format, 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; including one clinical case presentation and one assessment case presentation.  Notes from the case conference presentation and de-identified assessment reports are submitted to the Training Director at the conclusion of each presentation.  This material is included in the intern file and meets part of the Internship Completion Requirements.  Interns’ clinical case presentations are evaluated by CAPS staff.  A copy of the evaluation is provided to the intern and a copy is kept in the intern file.

Specialty Area

At the beginning of each semester, interns, in conjunction with their supervisor and the Training Director, are encouraged to 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 receive one hour of supervision each week in their Specialty Area.