The internship year begins with a comprehensive, structured three week orientation to the internship. The orientation is designed to welcome interns and begin to integrate them into the UT Student Counseling Center. Interns are introduced to the SCC’s mission and informed about the training program’s model, philosophy, goals, and objectives; administrative details; service and training activities and referral sources.
The orientation program is developed and coordinated by the Training Director with input from the Training Committee and senior staff. Orientation is an ongoing process, and interns are encouraged to consult with their supervisor and/or any senior staff member throughout the orientation period and the internship year.
Interns are assigned a temporary supervisor for the first two weeks of internship. To assist in making permanent supervision assignments, interns meet as a group with each supervisor early in orientation to discuss supervision styles, theoretical orientations and expectations for supervision. Supervisory assignments are made by the Training Director with input from the Training Committee, interns and professional staff. Intern preferences are honored as much as possible.
During orientation, each intern will complete the Intern Self-Assessment/Interest Survey which will assist in formulating training goals for the year. Interns also will complete the Evaluation of Intern by Supervisor to continue the self-assessment process and to become familiar with the evaluation process. Together with their supervisors, interns will determine the experiences necessary to attain their individualized training goals.
Initial assessment and intervention using clinical interview (Triage)
Walk-in sessions are scheduled regularly throughout the week. No appointment is needed for students to use the walk-in services. The interview typically lasts 15 – 20 minutes and is done in a triage format. The purpose of the initial interview is to provide students with a prompt mental health consultation resulting in appropriate recommendations.
Crisis assessment and intervention
Although there is no after hours emergency coverage, interns gain experience with crisis assessment and intervention during their walk-in coverage.
Training: Initial assessment, crisis assessment and intervention
During orientation, interns first observe and then assist senior staff during their walk-in times. After an initial period of training, interns are assigned a three hour walk-in block each week to gain experience with initial assessments and interventions, crisis assessment and intervention, psychiatric consultation and referral.
Provision of Therapy and Receiving Supervision
Interns provide therapy to students who present with a wide range of issues such as depression, anxiety, interpersonal relationship problems, grief and loss, suicidal ideation, trauma, identity and self-esteem, and personality disorders. A portion of an intern’s case load may be “long-term” clients, who are seen for the entire year. Interns may conduct psychological testing as part of the assessment process, refer clients for medication assessment and diagnostic consultation with the Student Health Center, and refer to other resources as needed.
Training: Supervision of individual therapy
Supervision is one of the primary tools utilized to assist interns in their training and development. As such, it is an important focus of the internship experience. Interns receive two hours of weekly individual supervision from a Primary Supervisor, who has been a Licensed Psychologist for at least three years. Interns also meet with a Secondary Supervisor for one hour each week. The primary supervisor is responsible for overseeing triage and case management and clinical supervision. The primary supervisor is rotated once during the year (January). Interns meet with a secondary supervisor for one hour each week. Secondary supervisors coordinate and supervise tracks if a specific track is chosen by an intern. Secondary supervision sessions, regardless of tracks or generalist training, focus on specific case supervision. Interns may keep the same secondary supervisor throughout the year or rotate at the end of the fall and/or spring semester depending on selection of tracks.
Interns provide therapy to couples. Couples are broadly defined and may include married, partnered, platonic relationships, etc. Only one member of a couple needs to be a student for the couple to be eligible for couples counseling. Initially, interns see couples with a senior staff co-therapist.
Training: Supervision of Couples Therapy
Additional supervision dedicated to couples work is scheduled as interns pair with senior staff psychologists to do conjoint co-therapy with couples.
Interns co-facilitate a process-oriented therapy group during the fall and spring semesters. Interns have an opportunity to choose from several groups, such as general therapy, interpersonal process, and other groups that are formed as clinically needed.
Training: Supervision of Group Therapy
Interns are paired with a senior staff psychologist to co-lead the group in the fall. During the spring semester, interns may co-lead a group with another intern or a senior staff member. Interns may develop a group based upon their individual interests for the spring and/or summer semester(s). Interns receive supervision for each group they co-facilitate.
Provision of Supervision
During the spring semester, interns supervise a doctoral practicum student from the University of Tennessee’s APA-accredited doctoral program in counseling psychology. Each practicum supervisee also is supervised by a senior staff licensed psychologist who has the overall responsibility for the practicum student.
Training: Provision of Supervision Seminar
Prior to supervising a psychology doctoral student during the spring semester, interns attend a supervision seminar. This series prepares interns for their supervisory role. Didactic and process issues relevant to the provision of supervision by interns are discussed.
Training: Supervision of Supervision
During the spring semester, interns meet one hour a week in dyads with a licensed psychologist for supervision of supervision. Discussions center on developing supervisory skills, supervision issues and viewing recordings of their sessions with supervisees. Usually interns are paired for supervision of supervision so they are able to profit from a peer’s experiences as well as from their own.
The community intervention work of the Center is considered an essential service. Interns are expected to engage in all forms of community intervention at the Center. This includes but is not limited to: consultation and liaison, and outreach presentations to the campus.
Consultation and Liaison Relationships. Interns are expected to partner with senior staff members in the areas of liaison relationships and committee involvement.
Community Intervention Activities. Interns are expected to participate in at least six community intervention activities (i.e., presentations, workshops, interviews, events) over the course of the year (with a minimum of three per semester), at least one of which is to be providing a QPR training.
Program Evaluation/Consultation Project. Interns will engage in an in-depth consultation experience which often results in some very helpful information and suggestions that the Center will be able to utilize in future outreach and consultation.
Training: Supervision of Community Intervention
During the year, interns meet once a week with the Director of Community Intervention. Interns gain experience in providing effective psychological consultation to an organization, including developing and conducting a needs assessment and providing suggestions and feedback to the organization. Interns will enhance their skills in developing and delivering effective outreach presentations. Interns will discuss their experiences in working with senior staff members on campus committees and/or other liaison/consultative relationships.
Training: Suicide Prevention/QPR Training
UT utilizes a national, suicide prevention/education program called QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer). Analogous to CPR, QPR provides the lifesaving skills necessary to effectively and directly ask someone if they are suicidal, persuade them to get help and refer them to the appropriate professional. All UT Student Counseling Center staff members are certified instructors for the QPR Gatekeeper trainings.Interns will receive eight hours of training to become certified as QPR Gatekeeper Instructors and assist in training others. The certification is active for 3 years.
Stress Management Clinic
After orientation to the Stress Management Clinic (SMC), interns will provide SMC clinical service, such as biofeedback, and individual check-ins throughout the year.
Training: Stress Management Clinic
Interns will receive initial training in August. Interns’ individual work in SMC will be supervised by their primary supervisors. Primary supervisors are responsible for evaluating SMC competency and completing the SMC evaluation form.
Seminars and Case Conference
Professional Topics Seminar
This weekly seminar focuses on exploring various professional topics and provides training in several areas. Topics may include, but are not limited to: ethical principles and legal and professional standards; working with diverse populations; trauma; autism spectrum disorders; DBT; eating disorders; women’s issues; gestalt training.
The university psychiatrist and psychiatric clinical nurse specialist meet weekly with the interns to review the use of psychotropic medications, emphasizing those most frequently used on campus. Interns have an opportunity to discuss client medication issues.
Intern Case Conference
A one hour case conference is scheduled weekly for case presentations by interns and senior staff. A senior staff psychologist presents a case once every five weeks and facilitates a discussion among the interns. Interns are then scheduled in subsequent weeks to present formal case presentations and the same senior staff member facilitates the discussion. This is designed to allow interns the opportunity to receive peer supervision of their clinical work, along with feedback from a senior staff psychologist. It also gives interns an opportunity to have regular contact with a variety of senior staff psychologists.
Case presentations include diagnostic information and the appropriate application and interpretation of one or more assessment instruments. Interns are encouraged to include assessment materials and selected portions of session recordings as part of their presentation.
Interns are expected to engage in scholarly project/research. Although most interns focus on their dissertation research, there may opportunities in conjunction with senior staff psychologists or faculty members from the Counseling Psychology doctoral program to engage in other research.