Internship Aims, Competencies, and Elements

In addition to preparing interns to meet the requirements for psychologist licensure, our internship program aims to produce competent and versatile generalists who are prepared to practice as entry-level professionals in university counseling centers as well as a variety of related clinical settings. During the training year, interns are gradually given greater degrees of responsibility and autonomy, and by the end of their training year, interns have consolidated their learning experiences into a comprehensive set of professional skills. To that end, the internship program seeks to accomplish the following goals:

To assist interns in the development of competence in a range of activities in the practice of health service psychology in order to be competent entry-level professionals at the conclusion of internship

Competency 1.1: Intervention

Interns will demonstrate competence in evidence-based interventions consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology and consistent with the treatment model of the Colonial Health Center.

Interns will be provided with experiences in the following areas:

  1. Using Evidence-based practice in intervention and assessment;
  2. Creating and sustaining effective relationships with a wide variety of clients;
  3. Learning about the Stepped-Care Model;
  4. Utilizing evidence and clinical data to determine treatment plans (i.e., step); and
  5. Evaluating the effectiveness of treatment plans, and referring to higher or lower steps as needed.

Competency 1.2: Clinical

Interns will demonstrate competence appropriate to their level of professional development in initial assessment, psychotherapy/counseling, and crisis intervention.

Interns will be provided with experiences in the following areas:

  1. Providing individual psychotherapy/counseling;
  2. Demonstrating basic helping skills including empathy, respect, genuineness, and warmth;
  3. Creating and sustaining a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with a wide variety of clients;
  4. Learning and utilizing brief psychotherapy skills;
  5. Co-facilitating group psychotherapy (Process & Psychoeducational);
  6. Conducting initial assessment/evaluation;
  7. Using Evidence-based practice in initial assessment, psychotherapy, crisis intervention;
  8. Conducting triage interviews;
  9. Engaging in case conceptualization;
  10. Determining appropriate diagnoses;
  11. Deciding appropriate dispositions, treatment recommendations, and referrals as needed;
  12. Assessing and managing crisis situations;
  13. Responding  to after-hours on-call situations;
  14. Incorporating diversity and individual difference knowledge, skills, and awareness into all interventions/assessments; and
  15. Communicating results, findings, and conceptualizations in written and oral formats clearly and effectively.

Competency 1.3: Outreach

Interns will demonstrate competence appropriate to their level of professional development in outreach. 

Interns will be provided with experiences in the following areas:

  1. Understanding the function of outreach in a university setting;
  2. Establishing relationship with outreach participants;
  3. Effectively assesses needs of community and develops outreach programs that incorporate needs;
  4. Applying literature when providing outreach services;
  5. Demonstrating knowledge of effective methods for outreach presentations;
  6. Designing, implementing, and facilitating psychoeducational and other outreach programs;
  7. Exhibiting sensitivity to diversity issues in preparing and conducting outreach programs;
  8. Communicating knowledge and results effectively; and
  9. Evaluating and adjusting programming to meet the needs of the audience.

Competency 1.4:  Assessment

Interns will demonstrate competence in conducting evidence-based assessment consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology, and consistent with the needs of the college population.

Interns will be provided with experiences in the following areas:

  1. Understanding the function of psychoeducational assessment in a university setting;
  2. Using current literature to guide assessment strategy;
  3. Establishing relationship with assessment examinees;
  4. Selecting appropriate assessment tools based on referral question and clinical data;
  5. Determining needs of examinee based on clinical data and identity factors;
  6. Understanding differential diagnoses;
  7. Determining recommendations based on clinical data and context of the university setting; and
  8. Demonstrating ability to work with a variety of clients, including those from diverse backgrounds.

Competency 1.5: Supervision

Interns will demonstrate competence in the provision of supervision consistent with the scope of Health Service Psychology. 

Interns will be provided experiences in the following areas:

  1. Engaging in didactic training regarding provision of supervision;
  2. Demonstrating understanding of models of supervision;
  3. Demonstrating general understanding of the role of a supervisor;
  4. Applying knowledge of supervision to interactions with supervisees;
  5. Assessing supervisees’ developmental level and tailor supervision to match their developmental stage; and
  6. Exhibiting the ability to work with supervisees of diverse backgrounds.

To assist interns in the development of multicultural competence regarding issues related to diversity and individual differences in the practice of Health Service Psychology to be competent entry level psychologists at the conclusion of internship

Competency 2.1: Individual and Cultural Difference 

Interns will demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and awareness of the impact of issues related to diversity and individual differences about oneself and when interacting with clients, colleagues, and the community.

Interns will have the opportunity to engage in the following:

  1. Interacting with diverse client populations, diverse colleagues, and other departments and offices that engage with diverse student populations (Multicultural Student Services Center, LGBTQIA Resource Center);
  2. Building multicultural knowledge and skills, including understanding multicultural theory, worldviews of culturally different individuals, and using culturally appropriate interventions to treat these individuals;
  3. Critically evaluating the contribution of diversity issues when conceptualizing client concerns;
  4. Increasing their awareness about the roles of power, privilege, and oppression in our work as psychologists;
  5. Increasing their awareness of their own personal intersecting and multiple identities, and how their multicultural lens (assumptions, values, biases) influences the therapeutic process and their work as psychologists;
  6. Engaging in difficult dialogues and self-exploration related to identity, culture, and power/privilege as a cohort and with staff in training and professional opportunities;
  7. Participating in didactic programming addressing cultural experiences in counseling and psychotherapy;
  8. Utilizing supervision effectively to explore and process cultural and individual identities and their connection to interns’ work with clients and the broader system. Using supervision to identify their developmental needs, strengths, and areas needing improvement in working to become a more multiculturally competent psychologist;
  9. Independently monitoring and applying knowledge of self and others as cultural beings in all interventions, assessment, consultation, and outreach;
  10. Integrating research on diversity and multiculturalism into clinical work; and
  11. Working with the goal of minimizing unintentional oppression in which psychologists participate.

To assist interns in the development of competence in ethical/legal principles in the practice of health service psychology

Competency 3.1: Ethical and Legal Standards

Interns will demonstrate integration of ethical/legal standards into all areas of practice, and respond to increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence.

Interns will have the opportunity to engage in the following:

  1. Learning and abiding by Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association (2002), DC Mental Health Law, and Center policies;
  2. Applying knowledge of ethical and legal standards of practice to all work and conducting self in an ethical and legal manner across settings and situations;
  3. Recognizing ethical/legal situations as they arise;
  4. Monitoring and consulting to resolve situations that challenge ethical principles;
  5. Developing a professional identity that integrates ethical and legal practice; and
  6. Using supervision to examine ethical and legal issues as they arise.

To assist interns with the establishment of a professional identity by the conclusion of internship that takes into account the scope of practice of health service psychology

Competency 4.1: Professional Values and Attitudes

Interns will demonstrate integration of professional values and attitudes into all areas of practice, and respond to increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence.

Interns will have the opportunity to engage in the following:

  1. Demonstrating the ability to monitor self, attend to issues related to self-care, and intervene appropriately;
  2. Managing personal and professional demands;
  3. Gaining awareness of impact on others;
  4. Developing effective strategies for ascertaining and managing interpersonal conflict;
  5. Demonstrating increased competence, confidence, and autonomy as a psychologist-in-training;
  6. Engaging in activities directly related to professional interests;
  7. Developing an identity that fully integrates professional values and attitudes as well as respect for individual difference and issues of diversity;
  8. Learning and abiding by legal and ethical principles, as well as Center policies;
  9. Gaining understanding of professional conduct and boundaries;
  10. Demonstrating awareness and understanding of the dynamics of functioning as a member of a professional team;
  11. Being responsive to and non-defensive about feedback from supervisors, other staff members, and clients;
  12. Utilizing supervision to grow and develop competence in their ability for self-reflection and self-awareness, including professional strengths and areas for growth, and for integrating this awareness into their practice in psychology and professional identity; and
  13. Responding to increasingly complex situations with a greater level of independence.

Competency 4.2: Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Interns will demonstrate competence in their abilities to be effective in their communication and interpersonal skills, and demonstrate this effectiveness across the scope of services related to health service psychology.

Interns will have the opportunity to engage in the following:

  1. Interacting with supervisors, staff, clients, multidisciplinary colleagues, and other professionals in a respectful, collegial humane, and compassionate manner;
  2. Promoting collegial relationships that are collaborative and conflict resolving;
  3. Gaining awareness of impact on others;
  4. Developing effective strategies for ascertaining and managing interpersonal conflict; and
  5. Demonstrating effective communication skills in written and oral formats.

Competency 4.3:  Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

Interns will demonstrate competence in consultation and working with interdisciplinary professionals.

Interns will have the opportunity to engage in the following:

  1. Interacting with supervisors, staff, clients, multidisciplinary colleagues, and other professionals in a respectful, collegial humane, and compassionate manner;
  2. Builds and manages consultative relationships with interdisciplinary clinical staff, psychiatrists, university faculty/staff/offices, parents, community providers;
  3. Promoting collegial relationships that are collaborative and conflict resolving;
  4. Understanding the function of consultation in a university setting;
  5. Establishing relationship with consultee;
  6. Building and managing consultative relationships with interdisciplinary clinical staff, psychiatrists, university faculty/staff/offices, parents, community providers;
  7. Effectively assessing needs of consultees and develops programs that incorporates needs; and
  8. Applying literature when providing consultative services.

To assist interns with solidifying a commitment to engaging in scholarly practice within the scope of practice of health service psychology

Competency 5.1: Research

Interns will demonstrate competence and commitment to turning to research to inform their clinical practice.

Interns will have the opportunity to engage in research and scholarly practice via the following activities:

  1. Demonstrating an understanding of the integration of science and practice in health service psychology;
  2. Utilizing program evaluation and outcome measures to evaluate the progress of own activities and using this information to improve effectiveness;
  3. Developing ability to inform professional practice through utilization of professional literature;
  4. Demonstrating a commitment to scholarly inquiry and professional continuing education; and
  5. Demonstrates and understanding of literature in the context of issues of diversity.