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Student Medical & Counseling Clinic

The Training Program

Introduction • Training Philosophy  • Intern Seminars • The Professional Staff • Orientation • 


Introduction

The internship year is a time of incredible evolution and transition in your professional growth. Our internship program is developed to facilitate this process for graduate students in counseling or clinical psychology. We designed the training program for interns who intend to enter professional positions in the general practice of psychology, as well as those wishing to work in a university setting.
 
A note on Health Service Psychology.  This is a term that has entered the field in recent years and, with the Affordable Health Care Act, parity, and the move of many licensing boards toward a Health Service Psychology designation, prospective interns are concerned about.  There is also significant confusion regarding the term, whether or not it is the same thing as "health psychology" or it only applies to training in behavioral health.  There are also questions regarding whether counseling centers are considered to be sites that qualify as internships in "health care settings" (see paragraph below).
 
Psychologists are recognized as Health Service Providers if they are duly trained and experienced in the delivery of preventive, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention services relative to the psychological and physical health of consumers based on: 1) having completed scientific and professional training resulting in a doctoral degree in psychology; 2) having completed an internship and supervised experience in health care settings (which includes counseling centers in the formal definition of such settings); and 3) having been licensed as psychologists at the independent practice level” (APA,1996; APA, 2011).  The Counseling Clinic at Central Washington University adheres to the principals of the Health Service Psychology Education Collaborative (APA 2013, August 5). For more information please see:  http://www.apa.org/ed/resources/preparing-competent-practitioners.pdf 

Training Philosophy

Our training philosophy emphasizes the in-depth acquisition of core competencies. We also provide for a negotiation process that will allow for the development of other specialized skills, as outlined below. The Counseling Clinic's staff follows the Practitioner-Scholar training model. Consequently, research infuses the training program and actively informs our service delivery.

Furthermore, we adhere to a developmental perspective. We believe that in preparing to be a psychologist the intern should systematically increase her or his confidence and skills in providing a range of interventions to various client types and organizational systems. This objective is pursued through collaborative work with experienced professional staff and intensively supervised clinical practice.

We believe that individuals learn best when provided an opportunity to engage in self-exploration. Often at staff functions, limited personal self-disclosures occur. For example, during orientation, we often discuss the career path each member of the professional staff took in acquiring their degree and credentials. When discussing diversity issues, we also frequently share the impact of diversity on our personal and professional development. As an intern, you would be encouraged to participate in this process. Likewise, to the extent that personal difficulties interfere with service delivery, you may be asked to share relevant information in order to facilitate staff support and referral to community resources.

In keeping with the APA ethics code (section 7.04), no intern is required to participate in self-disclosure unless it is necessary "to evaluate or obtain assistance for students whose personal problems could reasonably be judged to be preventing them from performing their training- or professionally related activities in a competent manner or posing a threat to the student or others."

Intern Seminars

The clinical seminar series consists of weekly seminars focused on different clinical topics.  At times the clinical seminars focus in-depth on a particular theory or set of clinical skills.  At other times, the seminars are broader in scope and designed to ensure interns have at least basic competence in a variety of clinical subjects.  Interns also participate in a regular seminar focused on diversity issues.  This seminar meets bi-monthly for 1 hour.  This division of subject matter, of course, is somewhat misleading in that clinical issues must take diversity into account and diversity seminars focuses on effective clinical work with diverse populations, but the separate seminar series allow for a focused approach to each aspect of out work.  Attendance at seminars is mandatory.

We recognize that for many students, internship is the last opportunity to acquire regular, structured, intensive educational experiences that focus on both theoretical and applied aspects of our profession. You are expected and encouraged to actively participate in trainings offered as evidenced by being prepared for seminars, completing assigned readings, engaging in verbal exchange of ideas, and making use of critical thinking skills.

The Professional Staff

The staff at The Counseling Clinic is comprised of licensed psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, and a licensed marriage and family therapist. In addition, there are two intern positions available each year. Our professional team members employ a variety of intervention modalities and represent an integration of a variety of theoretical orientations including cognitive behavioral, interpersonal, humanistic, psychodynamic and feminist approaches.

Biographical information about the staff is provided on the Counseling Clinic Staff page.

Orientation

The internship begins with a comprehensive orientation. During approximately the first two weeks, you will become acquainted with agency policies and procedures, applicable state laws, university regulations, ethical considerations, and local referral sources. You will also be introduced to the elements of the core training program. One important goal for this orientation is the opportunity to interact and become more comfortable with the staff. Thus, you will begin the academic year with direction, knowledge of the work environment, training plans, and a foundation of collegial contact.