Components of the Doctoral Internship

Our program is based on an apprenticeship model in which staff psychologists and interns work collaboratively. During the early weeks of internship, interns and supervisors share tasks such as intake and urgent care coverage, with interns assuming more responsibility and autonomy as they are ready. Shared activities over the course of the year, include co-therapy and co-facilitating seminars and workshops.


  1. Initial consultations: Interns are included in the initial consultations rotation and conduct approximately three consultations per week. These brief, comprehensive assessments lead to a case formulation, diagnosis and treatment plan.
  2. Individual Counseling: Interns build a caseload of approximately 16 individual client hours per week. Interns work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, presenting with a wide range of concerns. The majority of psychotherapy provided at PACS is brief in nature (approximately 4-8 sessions). However, interns will also carry two longer-term training cases.
  3. Groups: Interns lead a semi-structured, support and/or therapy group with senior staff or fellows during the fall and spring semesters. This involves a minimum weekly commitment of one and one-half hours.
  4. Crisis Intervention: Interns observe senior staff during urgent care appointments for the first few weeks of the fall term and eventually join the rotation with staff back‑up.
  5. Outreach and Consultation: Each semester interns develop and present several workshops for campus offices or classes. In addition, interns negotiate a year-long consultative relationship with at least one campus agency and design and implement a consultation project with a segment of the campus population. Interns spend considerable time during the summer months completing their consultation projects.
  6. Testing and Assessment: Interns engage in practical and training activities on the use of assessment inventories in a counseling center environment.
  7. Peer Supervision: Interns are trained and supervised in a model of peer supervision that includes didactic seminars and supervision of supervision.
  1. Individual Case Supervision: Each semester interns are assigned to work with a senior staff member whose interests best match the intern's needs. The pair meets weekly for two hours of individual supervision, primarily around the initial consultations, crisis interventions, and the intern’s individual clinical caseload.
  2. Supervision of Group Work: Senior staff and postdoctoral fellows provide weekly supervision to examine issues of co‑leadership and group process.
  3. Staff Case Conference: Interns, postdoctoral fellows, and senior staff meet weekly for one hour to discuss cases.
  4. Professional Seminars: Interns attend weekly professional training seminars designed to deal with issues specific to the university population and counseling center work. Topics include crisis management, consultation, assessment, multicultural counseling, ethics, group treatment, and professional development issues.
  5. Staff Meetings: Interns attend weekly staff meetings.
  6. Professional Development Supervision: Interns meet weekly for one hour with the Director of Training. The purposes of these meetings are varied, reflecting the needs of the interns, including: processing the internship experience, clinical issues and case conceptualizations, professional development, and administrative details.
  7. Supervision of Assessment: Interns receive supervision throughout the assessment process and participate in an assessment seminar focusing on the integration of assessment and testing in the therapy process.
  8. Supervision of Consultation: Interns receive supervision throughout their consultation project.
  9. Supervision of Supervision: Interns meet regularly to receive supervision of their peer supervision.
  10. Supervision of Outreach: Interns receive feedback on their workshop design and delivery as well as supervision around their outreach/educational competencies.
  1. Research and Scholarly Inquiry: Interns' dissertation research is supported and encouraged. Interns are provided with their own computers; they have access to statistical packages and a digital library. Additional opportunities for research and scholarly inquiry come in the form of the clinical specialty project and journal club. For the clinical specialty project each intern pursues reading and study in an area of their choosing and receives supervision throughout the summer session with a focus on integrating this learning with clinical experience.
  2. Professional Involvement: Interns are encouraged to become involved in professional organizations on local, state and national levels, and to attend conferences, and present papers.

Given the nature of the academic calendar and the ensuing demands upon university counseling centers, the total number of hours interns work per week will vary. In addition, mid-autumn and mid-spring semester are usually very busy times, and interns along with staff may work more than their contracted hours. However, winter and spring break and the summer session are less demanding times for the center and interns have more flexibility for scheduling professional development activities, and vacations. During the summer months clinical demand decreases significantly and more time is available for consultation and outreach, and scholarly work.