Counseling & Psychological Services

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Training Program Overview


The intern training program at UCSB's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to an internship that emphasizes the professional and personal development of its psychology interns in a counseling center setting.

Training at CAPS encompasses the following components: individual psychotherapy, crisis intervention, group psychotherapy, supervision, consultation/outreach and psychological assessment. The internship year is a time of professional growth in which interns' existing skills are strengthened and new skills developed. Personal growth also occurs as one's own style and sense of self-worth become integrated with one's professional identity. Interns are encouraged to demonstrate professional initiative while receiving support and consultation from staff. By the culmination of the internship experience, interns are expected to function as entry-level professionals with a sense of both ethical and professional responsibility. 

The underlying philosophical base of the internship program rests on developmental, multicultural, crisis intervention and brief therapy principles. Brief therapy models are taught through training seminars. DSM-5 diagnoses and treatment planning are integrated with the intake process.

Training Philosophy
Internship Training Goals
Training Activities
Seminars and Other Training Experiences
Evaluation Procedures
Weekly Allocation of Hours

Training Philosophy

The psychology internship at CAPS trains doctoral-level professional psychology students in accordance with a practitioner-scholar model. As a scholar, the intern learns to apply and integrate knowledge of current clinical practices based on empirically derived literature. As a practitioner, the intern then combines this knowledge with the systematic collection of information about clients/groups. This leads to conceptualization of the problems/issues and hypothesis formation. Both clinical interventions and supervisory discussion provide the means for hypothesis testing. 

The internship is viewed as the first opportunity for interns to integrate disparate areas of knowledge acquired through formal academic training and practice, then to apply this learning in an intensive clinical experience. Our model incorporates a developmental approach that is reflected not only in integrating, refining and enhancing interns’ beginning clinical skills and ethical understanding throughout the year, but also in developing a maturing professional identity. A mentoring relationship is a key element of this model. Through the intimacy of a mentoring relationship, the training can be tailored to the intern’s individual strengths and needs that will foster optimal professional and personal growth. Mentoring includes both support and challenge in a training process that involves didactic, observational and experiential learning. Developmentally, interns are expected to proceed from a beginning level student clinician to an entry level psychologist. The mentoring relationship progresses from that of a student-supervisor role to one of emerging colleagues. Along with this progression is an increasing responsibility for more clinically complex clients and a more independent functioning with agency tasks.

As part of a maturing professional identity, interns are expected to incorporate the attitude of openness and collaboration to a multiplicity of clinical problems/issues as well as to professional interactions and relationships. The developing professional identity incorporates a sense of courtesy and respect for all working relationships and recognition of the work of all members in a community. This professional mindset also includes the attitude of openness to life-long learning and the continual development of skills. The maturing professional is also expected to have an understanding of ethics that involves not only legal issues and professional boundaries, but also incorporates ethics as a “professional conscience” that considers the welfare of the client(s) as a primary consideration. An understanding of self in terms of one’s own history, background and diversity is crucial in learning to understand, respect and honor the differences of others, whether it‘s clients or co-workers.

Given these goals, opportunities for personal exploration and reflection may occur throughout the year. When appropriate, interns are encouraged, but not required, to explore historical influences and personal data which may affect subsequent clinical practice. The Internship Training Program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association’s 2002 Ethical Standard 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information) as contained in the Revised Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002). 

The Psychology Intern at CAPS is trained in a university setting which provides the experience of working in an established community. This setting provides the intern with opportunities that require the conceptualization of issues and development of interventions utilizing a systems and organizational perspective as part of a team. Learning to consider diversity from a multitude of perspectives, as well as using a holistic and developmental approach, is a fundamental value. The intern develops generic skills that provide the basis for sound consultation, evaluation and intervention in any system.

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Internship Training Goals

To facilitate the development of psychology interns as entry-level psychologists with intermediate to advanced practitioner skills in the areas of ethical/legal knowledge and conduct, clinical skills in working with groups and individual clients, provision of supervision, crisis intervention, consultation/outreach and psychological assessment. 

To develop and expand knowledge and clinical skills in individual counseling/therapy with a short term focus.
To develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of group process and intermediate to advanced clinical skills in providing group therapy.
To develop the knowledge, understanding and application of intermediate to advanced supervisory skills for providing clinical supervision.
To develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of crisis intervention.
To develop intermediate to advanced skills in managing crisis situations with clients.
To prepare professional psychology interns as practitioners who can provide basic services that incorporate preventative, crisis and developmental interventions.
To develop the ability to assess and implement crisis interventions that include a systemic as well as an individual perspective.
To develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of systems and organizations.
To develop intermediate to advanced skills required to provide consultation/outreach services.
To develop the ability to assess and implement consultation/outreach services that include a systemic and developmental perspective.
To develop theoretical knowledge and understanding of psychological assessment procedures to further the psychotherapy process.
To build on existing knowledge of, and competency in, psychological assessment with an emphasis on evidence-based practice.
To increase knowledge, skills, and abilities to synthesize assessment results into integrated written summaries, useful verbal feedback, and follow-up to referral questions and sources.

To facilitate the ability of psychology interns to integrate scientific thinking and an understanding of scientific validation with the clinical process.

To develop the capacity to apply data collection and hypothesis testing to the diagnostic and treatment planning process in clinical work, group counseling, supervision, crisis intervention, consultation/outreach, and psychological assessment.

To foster a maturing professional identity as a psychologist that engenders openness, respect and collaboration with others and life long learning.

To develop an ongoing commitment to openness, respect and collaboration with others, as well as a continual process of self-examination and personal/professional growth.

GOAL 4.  
To facilitate a maturing professional identity that incorporates an awareness of personal/professional strengths and limitations and combines these with a personal understanding of diversity (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability).

To develop an ongoing commitment to self-awareness and self-examination regarding the psychology intern's own identity, values, and worldview.
To develop the personal and professional awareness of strengths and areas of growth as a clinician, group leader, clinical supervisor and in the use of psychological assessment procedures.
To develop an increased understanding strengths and limitations of psychological assessment instruments and procedures, particularly with regard to multicultural issues in the process.
To develop an increased understanding of multicultural applications and limitations of traditional psychological assessment procedures.
To develop the ability to assess for and implement crisis interventions that incorporate sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.
To develop the ability to assess and implement consultation/outreach services that incorporate a sensitivity to individual and cultural differences.
To develop, at least at a beginning level, knowledge of and sensitivity to the provision of supervision in a multicultural context.

GOAL 5.  
To engender an understanding and knowledge of the ethical and legal professional issues and their application in the clinical setting.

To develop a professional identity sufficient to enable the psychology intern to function as a competent and ethical psychologist in a variety of settings.

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Training Activities

Individual and Group Psychotherapy
The primary foci of psychology interns’ time at CAPS will be individual and group clinical work. Each intern schedules approximately 12-16 weekly client hours, co-leads one to two groups during any given quarter and conducts three intakes per week. Beginning fall quarter, client caseloads gradually build up through intakes and referrals from the two case assignment teams, which are composed of counseling staff and interns. After fall or winter quarter, interns may have the opportunity to develop and lead groups of their own. 

Clinical services are offered to all undergraduate and graduate students. Common presenting issues are relationship problems, depression and anxiety and range from general developmental concerns to more severe psychopathology. Short-term modalities are emphasized and clients are typically seen for 4 – 10 sessions per year for individual therapy. Full-time staff, including interns, may carry two clients over a longer period of time for professional or training purposes. There are also numerous opportunities for collaborating with the psychiatric and social work staff of the Student Health Service on clinical cases as well as for collaborating with other campus organizations.

Crisis Intervention
Starting in Fall quarter and once trained and deemed ready by the training staff, interns participate in “on-call” crisis/walk-in coverage. The nature of these contacts ranges from relatively benign situations to full-blown psychological crises, possibly involving immediate psychiatric intervention or even the initiation of hospitalization procedures. Whatever the situation, interns are fully supported by the staff and are never expected to deal with any kind of crisis situation on their own.

A significant part of the training experience is to be the primary supervisor of a doctoral psychology practicum student for the academic year, October through June.  Weekly Supervision of Supervision seminar meetings provide an opportunity to discuss supervision theory, view recorded counseling or supervision sessions and discuss the supervision process.  Interns read the Integrated Developmental Model for Supervising Counselors and Therapists by Stoltenberg, McNeill and Delworth and Jane Campbell’s Becoming an Effective Supervisor: A Workbook for Counselors and Psychotherapists.  Interns are provided with a wide range of supervision literature in addition to these books.  In conjunction with the IDM model, the work is primarily developmentally focused for the supervisee and supervisor.

Another area in which psychology interns receive formal training is consultation and outreach. In collaboration with the consultation supervisor, interns set goals for what they would like to accomplish. Interns can be involved with staff in response to outreach requests received from departments and residence halls, and they will also choose an area of focus for the year. The consultation supervisor supervises the interns’ overall consultation activities, but interns will also work with other staff as needed. Interns participate in Consultation Team meetings, which are for training and discussion of staff and interns’ outreach and consultation activities. By the end of the internship year, interns are expected to be familiar with the theory and practice of consultation. The primary theoretical perspectives utilized are developmental, systems, multicultural and community models. Consultation and outreach services typically involve workshops, presentations and trainings for staff and students. Interns may also have the opportunity to participate in debriefings following crisis incidents on campus. Liaisons or informal contacts are maintained with a number of campus departments and organizations. Depending on their areas of interest, interns may choose to become involved in existing liaison relationships or develop their own. Existing liaisons/contacts include (but are not limited to): Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Residential Life, Women’s Center, Disabled Students Program (DSP), Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (RCSGD), Student Health Service and Re-Entry Students.

Psychological Assessment
Interns also receive training in formal psychological assessment, with an emphasis on assessment as a therapeutic intervention. We encourage interns to utilize testing to clarify diagnoses, inform treatment planning and further the psychotherapy process. Interns have the opportunity to administer and/or interpret a wide range of assessment instruments, including self-report measures, personality inventories, ADHD assessments, eating disorders evaluations and career/interest inventories. Case-specific individual supervision, group supervision and didactic seminar training are provided. 

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Seminars and Other Training Experiences

Clinical/Professional Issues Seminar 
Weekly two hour seminar addressing relevant clinical and professional topics such as group process, multicultural counseling, ethical/legal issues, psychological assessment, and program evaluation.

Supervision of Supervision Seminar 
 Weekly two hour seminar supporting the interns’ supervision work (from October through June, interns supervise doctoral-level practicum students from UCSB's graduate program in counseling psychology for one hour per week).

Two Brief Therapy Seminars 
Ninety minute seminars in Fall (Brief/Crisis Oriented Therapy) and Winter (Interpersonal and Psychodynamic Approaches to Brief Therapy) to facilitate training in these areas.

Multicultural Seminar 
90 minute weekly seminar in spring designed to promote stimulating thought and discussion around the complex array of diversity issues that interns and staff are presented with in various aspects of our work here (open to senior staff). 

Consultation Team 
Weekly one hour meeting supporting the interns’ consultation/outreach work. Meetings are for discussions of ongoing consultation/outreach activities and for training in consultation. 

Case Assignment Team 
Two hour weekly meeting in which staff members discuss intakes, determine assignment of cases and consult about challenging clients. 

Staff Professional Development 
One hour weekly meetings for Psychology staff development. These sessions often include outside speakers on clinical issues or current topics of interest to the psychology staff as well as broader community issues such as diversity and violence. 

Joint Student Health Meeting 
Monthly meeting with Student Health Service psychiatrists, social workers and Alcohol and Drug Program staff.

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Evaluation Procedures

Evaluation of psychology interns occurs quarterly. Staff members involved with the activities of each intern assess the intern’s performance along dimensions applicable to their area using such means as video recording review, discussion and direct observation. Quarterly evaluation is conducted primarily for developmental purposes to guide the interns’ focus for their continuing growth and to provide them with extensive feedback on their work. Summary reports are sent to the interns’ departments in January; final evaluations are sent in August. 

CAPS staff members are frequently asked to provide letters of recommendation for interns seeking further training or professional positions following the completion of our internship program. An intern’s request for professional recommendations or references from our staff will require an acceptance that these recommendations may include both areas of strength and areas for further growth. If an intern has any concerns about the information offered by any of our staff in the form of a recommendation or reference regarding performance, we would encourage the intern to address these issues directly with that individual.

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Weekly Allocation of Hours

All psychology interns work a 40-hour week. The chart below shows how time is typically distributed on a weekly basis among the various training activities. 

Direct Service (17 - 19 Approximate Total) 
Individual counseling (12-16 hours)
Intake (3 hours)
Groups, structured or therapy (2-3 hours)
Supervision of practicum (1 hour)
Outreach/consultation (0-2)

Training (9 - 10 Approximate Total) 
Training Seminars (3-4 hours)
Individual Supervision (2 hours)
Supervision of Supervision (2 hours)
Consultation Team Meeting (1 hour)

Administrative Planning (9 - 10 Approximate Total) 
Staff Meeting (1 hour)
Case Assignment Team (2 hours)
Administration (record keeping, planning, etc) (6-7 hours)

Professional Development* (1 Approximate Total) 
Staff Development (1 hour)
*There are hours provided for professional development leave.

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