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Student Medical & Counseling Clinic

Core Training Areas

The American Psychological Association (APA) is in the process of updating their Standards of Accreditation (SoA) and Implementing Regulations (IRs) related to doctoral internship programs, which will go into effect for the 2016-2017 Training Year.  Our internship is keeping abreast of these changes and will make programmatic adjustments as necessary to keep the program aligned with the SoAs and IRs as they become formalized.  Early inspection of the SoAs and proposed IRs suggest that not many changes will need to be made to the core training areas outlined below.  Indeed, possible changes would entail adding to the program rather than subtracting from our current program of training.  For example, APA is considering a requirement that interns present or publish scholarly/research work during internship.  If this change is approved by APA, then the internship would be adjusted to facilitate this activity by interns.  For more information regarding the SoAs, you may visit:

Individual Therapy Skills • Psychological Assessment, Diagnosis, and Testing • Provision of Group Interventions - Crisis Intervention • Consultation and Outreach • Research, Program Evaluation & Administrative Opportunities - Supervision • Ethics and Professional Behavior • Multicultural Competency

Individual Therapy Skills

The Counseling Clinics' clientele present with a full spectrum of problems, from relationship or developmental issues to major affective, anxiety, psychotic or personality disorders. In general, services are delivered using a short-term therapy model. However, interns are encouraged to provide long-term counseling for a limited number of clients. While most direct service takes the form of individual counseling, additional work is done with couples. We emphasize an approach to treatment that integrates the psychological, social, and physical needs of clients. An important feature of our counseling center is the excellent and valued relationship we have with the medical providers from the Student Medical Clinic. Together, we take a multidisciplinary approach to assisting clients with their concerns.

To successfully complete the internship, you will need to accumulate a minimum of 500 hours of direct service in the form of individual, couples, crisis, group counseling and psychological assessment. Historically, our interns have been able to exceed this minimum standard.

Psychological Assessment, Diagnosis, and Testing

Assessment is a consistent part of all counseling processes.  At the counseling Clinic interns receive training in all aspects of assessment through a series of Assessment Labs designed to orient interns to the assessment process at our clinic, review administration, interpretation, and report writing, and discuss the influence of diversity factors on the assessment process.  Although formal assessment through testing is not a major focus of our work, interns will be required to complete one formal personality/psycho-diagnostic assessment batteries, and will be trained to conduct and participate in the assessment of ADHD in adults.  Interns are also encouraged and supported to use formal assessment instruments with their clients when it would assist with treatment planning.

Provision of Group Interventions

The Counseling Clinic routinely offers a variety of groups to our clients. At the start of each quarter, the staff (including interns) discuss possible group offerings. Group topics are typically determined by a combination of requests from the client population, service providers' interests, the expertise of staff, and traditional counseling center needs. General interpersonal process groups are also routinely offered. Structured psychoeducational groups that are usually provided include anxiety management, depression management, and body image concerns. Structured workshops in such areas as time or anger management are often given to campus agencies or groups requesting them.

We offer interns both clinical and administrative experience in group interventions. Development of group skills is designed to be sequential. During fall quarter, the intern is expected to work with a senior staff member in the preparation and implementation of a psychoeducational or process group. Initially the intern may observe or co-facilitate the group with a senior staff member. Once approved, the intern has the option of conducting that group on her/his own or may choose to become involved in the independent facilitation of a different group.

In addition to these groups, the initial service provided for the majority of students requesting services is a series of 3 seminars/psychoeducational workshops introducing the skills of basic ACT theory and skills, problem definition and goal setting and implementation. All staff members including interns are involved in presenting and facilitating these seminars on a regular basis.

Crisis Intervention

The Counseling Clinic's staff responds to a variety of crises throughout the year. As an intern, you will be expected to participate fully in this activity. Students regularly present to our center requesting crisis appointments, thus affording you ample opportunity to develop important skills in crisis management. Training in crisis intervention occurs during fall orientation and continues periodically throughout the year through review of crisis cases during our weekly case consultation meetings. In keeping with the developmental emphasis of our program, backup support from senior staff is available to interns at all times. The Clinic does not offer after-hours crisis services.

Consultation and Outreach

As an intern, you will be offered the opportunities to develop both formal and informal consultation skills. Consultations are provided to university faculty, residence hall staff, physicians, academic departments, campus police, parents, and concerns community members. Topics usually focus on issues related to service coordination and student welfare. Outreach activities involve the presentation of material to small and large groups and are a minor aspect of our training program. Characteristically, these activities are delivered in a residence hall or classroom. Residence hall staff and other university personnel are usually responsible for requesting an outreach program, thus topics will vary from one year to the next.
One unique consultation experience relates to the completion of an intern project. The goal of this project is to provide a meaningful contribution to The Counseling Clinic and/or to the CWU community. In completing this consultation project, you are required to produce a tangible work product so that your contribution to the University is long lasting. Example project topics include the development of a group protocol, outreach protocol, development of a critical incident "go box", staff training, creation of counseling resource binder, and the revamping of our website. You are encouraged to select a project topic that is related to your interests and career goals, thus making the project personally meaningful.

Research, Program Evaluation & Administrative Opportunities

We ascribe to the Practitioner-Scholar model of training. Research is embedded into both training and service delivery. You will be provided reading material grounded in current theory and research upon which seminars are based. For those intern's whose dissertation is not yet complete, the internship encourages interns to use down time at the clinic (particularly quarter breaks) to focus on this activity. All interns are encouraged to remain active in their own research project(s) during the internship year. Computer access time and consultation are available to support research and dissertation projects.
The Counseling Clinic regards ongoing programmatic research and evaluation as integral to service provision. Interns are encouraged to include an evaluation component as part of the various programs and service provision in which they participate (e.g., using workshop evaluation forms when giving outreach programs, using an outcome measure with psychoeducational groups, etc.).
Interns are considered to be an integral member of the professional staff. Thus, you will be involved in the general administrative decision-making process in the agency. Participation in planning workshops and attending various staff meetings are also an administrative element of the internship.


At this time The Counseling Clinic doctoral internship intermittently has the ability to offer supervision experiences to our interns. Each year, one advanced student from the Mental Health Counseling master's program on campus is employed as a Graduate Assistant and is supervised by a doctoral intern under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. Typically, each winter quarter another master's student completes a "group internship" at the clinic and is supervised by a doctoral intern if the intern's group skills are deemed advanced enough to provide such supervision to the master's student.  Thus, the program can typically guarantee that 2 interns will receive in vivo training in the provision of supervision for at least 1 quarter and up to 3 quarters.  Irrespective of whether an intern is able to supervise or not, all Interns are provided seminars on basic theories and methods of supervision, with an emphasis on the Integrated Developmental Model. Interns are expected to act as peer supervisors the context of group supervision and in case consultation with all staff and not stay in the "learner" role during the whole course of internship.

Ethics and Professional Behavior

During the internship year, interns are expected to exhibit the self-knowledge, attitudes, professional knowledge, and skills for effective and ethical practice. Didactic seminars, supervision, and staff-wide case consultation are forums to learn the ethical, legal, and practice guidelines governing clinical work. Interns are also encouraged to work on their professional development. For example, interns may be encouraged and financially assisted to attend trainings through regional psychological associations. Interns are supported in making the transition from the role of student/intern to that of an entry-level psychologist.

Multicultural Competency

The Counseling Clinic staff value diversity among professional staff, trainees, and students. Our recognition of diversity includes an understanding of aspects of self and identity related to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, and sexual orientation. Issues pertinent to diversity are embedded in all elements of training activities as well as service delivery. Focused training takes place during a series of intern seminars held throughout the internship year. Training seminars are based on APA's Multicultural Counseling Competencies recommendations of increasing competence in the areas of in awareness, knowledge and skills.