Student Medical & Counseling Clinic

Supervision and Training

Our training program takes seriously our commitment to supervision and training, devoting a number of hours each week to the growth and development of our interns.  The information below details our standard training and supervision experiences for interns.  


Orientation

Interns begin their training year with Orientation.  Orientation typically lasts 2.5 weeks.  During this time, interns have the opportunity to begin forming relationships with the counseling clinic staff, learning about the university as whole, various other units, and resources for students.  Intensive didactic training also takes place during orientation to ensure interns have the basic knowledge they need to begin their direct service duties.  Toward the end of orientation, the entire clinic staff returns and interns have an opportunity to meet the front office and medical staffs and begin forming these relationships.  Orientation is characterized by team building activities with staff, intern cohort building time, didactic seminars with various staff members, visits from/to other university units with which interns will interact during the year, as well as experiential training in screenings and crisis intervention/risk assessment.  A full orientation schedule is given to interns at their first day of internship. 

Clinical Seminars

Interns are provided with two, one-hour training seminars during all four academic quarters.  Seminars are not held during times between university academic quarters (e.g., during winter break) as interns are either involved in intern selection, encouraged to take vacation time, or using the down time to work on dissertation or other projects.  During the regular academic year, the seminars are divided into two different series.  One hour a week is devoted to general clinical skills and covers a wide variety of topics.  The other hour a week typically focuses on a series for an entire quarter.  Examples of typically offered series are Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, Time Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy, and Personality Assessment.  Seminar series topics are chosen based in part by the Training Team and in part with feedback from interns on their interests and self-determined training needs.  During the summer, interns are given the option to continue meeting for two, separate one-hour seminars or to combine the time and meet for one two-hour seminar.  As the year progresses, interns are given more say in the content areas covered by seminars. 

Individual and Cultural Differences Seminar

During the academic year, interns meet bi-weekly for a one-hour seminar addressing topics related to individual and cultural differences.  This seminar is led by a senior staff member and attended by interns, the Graduate Assistant, some counseling clinic senior staff members, and, at times, members of the Career Counseling unit (who are master’s level counselors and their master’s interns).  The seminar focuses on helping attendees increase cultural competence through increased understanding of themselves as cultural beings, their own experiences of privilege and oppression, and exploring the effects of individual and cultural differences on clinical service delivery in particular and all aspects of professional functioning in general.  Sharing of personal experiences, identities, and reactions is encouraged, while respecting individual comfort level and personal autonomy.  However, the ability to engage in such conversations with one another is seen as practice for being able to engage in such conversations in a clinical setting as well.  The seminar uses research and scholarly articles as a basis for framing discussions on various topics as well as a vehicle for developing knowledge and skills. 


Group Therapy Consultation

Group Therapy Consultation is a one-hour meeting that occurs the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Mondays of each month during the academic quarters.  All counseling clinic staff who run groups attend this consultation, including interns.  The consultation meeting occurs during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters.  During Fall quarter, the meeting includes some didactic education regarding group therapy, particularly group process and interpersonal process groups.  As the year moves on, the meeting becomes a place for group leaders to share about the groups they are leading, seek feedback from other participants, and to explore ethical and clinical issues related to the leadership of psychoeducational, support, and process groups.  Interns are expected to actively participate in sharing about the groups they are leading and seeking/giving feedback.  This consultation group does not replace the individual supervision the intern receives from their group co-leader.

Supervision of Interns

Per accreditation requirements, the doctoral internship provides interns with a minimum of 4 hours a week of supervision by a licensed psychologist, with a minimum of two of these hours constituting individual supervision.  In practice, throughout the academic year, interns receive more than 4 hours/week of supervision.  Supervision is delivered in both group and individual formats. 

All supervisors, regardless of their role(s), are responsible for providing interns with regular, timely, ongoing formative feedback throughout their supervisory time with interns and adhere to the “no surprises” philosophy of supervision and evaluations, such that no formal intern evaluation should contain evaluation material that has not previously addressed through supervision in some way. 

A note on use of supervision.  In addition to the clinical oversight and client welfare aspects of supervision, both group and individual supervisions help interns develop in the areas of ethical and legal practice, communication and interpersonal skills, individual and cultural differences considerations, and the development and integration of personal-professional values, attitudes, and behaviors – including the importance of considering science and scholarship in the practice of health service psychology.  While interns are encouraged to maintain an openness and curiosity for learning from supervision throughout the internship year, they are also encouraged to not be passive recipients of training, but to actively engage in their own learning activities.  Therefore, interns are expected to use supervision to discuss information being acquired in seminars and explore its applicability to clients on their caseload.  Interns are also expected to take responsibility for their learning by researching clinical presentations with which they are unfamiliar (as well as receiving information from supervisors or other consultants), discussing the literature in supervision, and developing a plan informed by research and scholarship as well as clinical judgment. 

Group Supervisions 

Interns participate in a number of group supervision experiences during internship.  Group supervisions allow interns to learn from one another’s experiences and also allow interns to practice vital supervision skills such as the asking of clarifying questions, giving feedback in a constructive manner, helping each other explore intent and rationale behind clinical decisions, raising cultural considerations, and providing alternative ways of thinking about clients.  The following types of group supervision take place:

(a) General Group Supervision.  The intern cohort meets together weekly with a licensed psychologist to discuss individual or couples therapy cases.  A postdoctoral resident may co-facilitate this supervision, but not in the absence of a licensed psychologist. Interns typically present on a rotating basis, with one intern presenting each week.  The presentation involves a brief presentation of the case, identifying a consultation question, sharing video tape of work with the client, and then the group engaging in discussion of the consultation question, work observed, and any other issues relevant to the intern’s work.  The following week, the intern who presented provides a brief update on the work with the client and result of implementing consultation and then the next intern presents.  During fall quarter, general group supervision meets for 1 hour a week.  Depending on the needs of the cohort, this supervision may be expanded to 2 hours a week during winter, spring, and summer quarters.  This decision is made by the training team, taking into consideration preferences of the intern cohort. 

(b) Supervision of Supervision.  The intern cohort meets together with the Training Director weekly for 1 hour to discuss the provision of supervision to a junior trainee.  The format includes time for review of previous week’s supervision by each currently supervising intern with time for consultation with other interns and the supervisor regarding the supervision process or how to address a particular issue.  On a regular basis one supervising intern also presents video tape of their supervision to the group to receive feedback on supervisory skills.  A video review schedule is given to interns at the beginning of each quarter.  Once to twice a quarter, the group also reviews the supervisee’s therapy videos in order to assess the supervisee’s development and formulate interventions to facilitate growth.  Articles on various parts of the supervisory process are included and discussed as relevant.  The non-supervising intern acts as a peer supervisor to the two supervising interns, thus having an opportunity to practice her or his supervisory skills in this context.  This supervision takes place during fall, winter, and spring quarters.  There is no supervision or supervision during the summer quarter.

(c) Testing Supervision.  The intern cohort meets together with one or more of the licensed psychologists for 1 hour weekly to discuss testing cases.  During testing supervision, testing cases are assigned and progress through the testing process is tracked on a weekly basis.  Interns present the status of their testing each week, including data from instruments administered, clinical interviews, and any collateral contacts and the group works together to understand test interpretation, identify gaps in information, and discuss diagnostic considerations and conceptualizations.  Articles on testing, multicultural considerations, or other didactic information may be integrated as needed, but is not the primary focus of testing supervision.  This type of information is generally covered in intern seminars or during orientation.  Testing supervision meets during fall, winter, and spring quarters.  If testing cases for most interns run over into the summer quarter, testing supervision would be continued into the summer quarter.  If only one intern is finishing up testing, supervision would be incorporated into individual supervision. 

Individual Supervisions

Individual supervision is an important part of the internship training experience.  Individual supervision allows interns to form close, mentoring relationships with licensed psychologists on staff and to receive close, individualized attention not only in the area of clinical skills, but in professional identity development as well.  During orientation, each potential supervisor meets with interns.  During this time, potential supervisors present interns with information regarding their supervision style, strengths and weakness, expectations of supervisees, theoretical orientation, and other information solicited by interns.  Interns are then able to give input into their preferences for primary and secondary supervisors, although the Training Team makes the final supervisory matches.  Primary and secondary supervisory pairing made at the beginning of internship typically continue through the academic year, with some adjustments made during the summer quarter, based on staff availability.  However, if an intern and/or the Training Team believes a supervisory switch earlier in the year would be beneficial to an intern’s growth and development, a change will be considered in consultation with the intern, supervisors, and the Training Team. 

(a) Primary Supervision.  Primary supervision begins with the intern and the primary supervisor meeting for 2 hours per week.  The primary supervisor is always a licensed psychologist.  In addition to overseeing approximately ½ of the intern’s caseload, the primary supervisor also attends to personal-professional integration concerns such as adjustment to internship, the agency, and the area, helping interns examine interpersonal style and communication effectiveness, and other professional development concerns such as completion of dissertation and job search.  Primary supervisors are responsible for viewing videos of intern’s work both in supervision with the intern and, on a regular basis, outside of the supervision hour and providing the intern with feedback regarding the video reviewed.  Primary supervisor also reviews all clinical notes for cases under their supervision and provides feedback and mentoring on clinical documentation.  Depending on the intern’s clinical skill development and adjustment to internship, primary supervision may be reduced to 1 hour a week during winter, spring, and summer quarters.  This will only happen if general group supervision is increased to 2 hours/week during those quarters. 

(b) Secondary Supervision.  Interns meet with their secondary supervisor for 1 hour a week.  The secondary supervisor is always a licensed psychologist.  Secondary supervision is primarily clinical in nature, with the secondary supervisor being responsible for approximately ½ of the intern’s caseload.  Naturally, issues related to personal-professional integration and professional identity development will arise over the course of supervision and interns should feel welcome to discuss these issues with their secondary supervisor as well.  However, given the more limited time available to meet and to discuss clinical work, these conversations may be given less time in secondary supervision.  Secondary supervisors are responsible for viewing videos of intern’s work both in supervision with the intern and, on a regular basis, outside of the supervision hour and providing the intern with feedback regarding the video reviewed.  Secondary supervisor also reviews all clinical notes for cases under their supervision and provides feedback and mentoring on clinical documentation. 

(c) Group Co-leadership Supervision.  When an intern co-leads a group with a senior staff member, the senior staff member provides individual supervision for this experience.  The supervisor and intern will schedule at minimum 30 minutes per week for supervision of group.  Supervision entails planning for group sessions, debriefing group sessions, providing intern with feedback on performance in the group and ideas for improving group leadership skills, and discussion of co-leadership relationship.  Group leader also provides supervision on creating group clinical notes and reviews intern notes.  A Group Co-leadership Supervisor may be a licensed psychologist, another licensed permanent staff member, or a postdoctoral resident.  When the supervisor is not independently licensed, this person receives supervision of supervision from their primary individual supervisor, who holds legal responsibility for the group therapy work performed. As this supervision might not be included in the core 4 hours/week of supervision provided.  When two interns, or an intern and a graduate assistant co-lead a group together, either a licensed staff member is assigned to meet with the co-leaders for at least 30 minutes a week to perform the above outlined supervisory duties (as in the case of two interns co-leading).  If a doctoral intern is working with a graduate assistant to co-lead a group, then depending on the intern’s group skill level, this would be either incorporated into supervision of supervision, an intern’s primary/secondary individual supervision, or in a separate meeting with the intern, graduate assistant, and a licensed staff person.  If an intern leads more than one group in a quarter, this model of supervision would be applied to each group co-led. 

(d) Pathways Leadership.  At the beginning of the internship, interns are paired with a senior staff person who mentors them in learning and delivering the Pathways seminars.  This mentor may be a licensed or unlicensed staff person.  If the staff member is unlicensed, a licensed staff person is responsible for reviewing clinical notes and providing oversight of the intern’s Pathways development.  This is typically the primary supervisor.  The Pathways mentor typically schedules 30 minutes/week for supervision of Pathways as the intern is learning the protocol and developing presentation skills.  As an intern’s skill level processes toward independent leadership, the mentor becomes more information and often comes in the form of brief feedback and debriefing following each Pathways session.  Pathways mentors are present in the Pathways sessions until the intern is deemed ready for independent delivery of the series.  Once an intern is ready for solo leadership, the Primary supervisor becomes responsible for the intern’s Pathways supervision and it is incorporated in regular individual supervision.  As with group co-leader supervision, Pathways supervision is not counted in the core 4 hour requirement.