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. Sessions focus on specific case supervision with an average of two clients per week. Interns may keep the same secondary supervisor throughout the year or rotate at the end of the fall semester.
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 or theme 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 focusing on such topics as trauma and addiction that may form each semester to meet the clinical needs of students.
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.
Typically, all clients receive preliminary assessment and are given a 5 axis diagnosis during their first session (Intake) after triage. In addition, interns conduct a number of formal assessments with selected clients each semester. These assessments may include ADHD assessments, substance use assessments, or more comprehensive personality assessments utilizing instruments such as the PAI, MMPI-2, MCMI-III, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-2) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) among others.
Adult ADHD assessments are used to identify students who demonstrate significant impairment due to problems with inattention and impulse control with the goal of enabling these students to access appropriate treatment. These assessments typically include a clinical interview, a parent/guardian interview, a general measure of clinical pathology, and a continuous performance measure such as the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.), along with other appropriate diagnostic instruments as needed to assess attention and impulse control in several areas. When appropriate, results may be communicated to the Student Health Service psychiatrist or other medical providers for further assessment and follow-up.
Training: Use of Assessment Measures. In addition to an assessment seminar series, senior staff psychologists supervise and approve all intern assessments.
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 Series
Prior to supervising a psychology doctoral student during the spring semester, interns attend the 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 engage in all forms of community intervention at the Center. This includes but is not limited to:
- Consultation and Liaison Relationships
Interns partner with senior staff members in the areas of liaison relationships and committee involvement
- Outreach Presentations
Interns are encouraged to develop expertise in one or more outreach topics and to deliver at least six outreach presentations over the course of the year (with a minimum of three per semester), at least one of which is to be 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 experiences
- Teaching Opportunities
Counseling Psychology Department Practicum Class. Interns have the opportunity to co-teach the Practicum classes with an SCC senior staff psychologist. These are 3-hour Ph.D. level courses offered through the Counseling Psychology Department.
- 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 an effective outreach presentation. Interns will discuss their experiences in the provision of teaching services and 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 life saving 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 SCC staff members are certified instructors for the QPR Gatekeeper trainings.During orientation, 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. Interns may increase SMC hours if this is chosen as an area of emphasis.
Training: Stress and Wellness 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.
Professional Topics Seminar
This weekly seminar focuses on exploring various professional topics and provides training in several areas. The following are some of the topics covered during the year:
- Assessment Series
This seminar series emphasizes didactic and applied training in assessment instruments specific to the college student population toward the purpose of developing psychological assessment reports that will guide clinicians in their treatment of clients. Interns are trained to view assessment as a process that integrates information from referral sources (e.g., the primary clinician), clinical interviews, and objective inventories to provide diagnostic impressions and treatment recommendations. Training includes guidance on the interpretation of test results, clarifying diagnoses, report writing and consultation with the Student Health Center, and/or other providers.Emphasis is placed on ADHD assessments for adults in a university setting. This assessment typically entails a clinical interview, a general clinical measure such as the PAI, a formal rating scale, a continuous performance measure such as the Test of Variables of Attention (T.O.V.A.), and other appropriate diagnostic instruments as needed to assess attention and impulse control. A second area of emphasis will be substance use assessment as the Student Counseling Center continues to expand services to more fully address this need within the student population.
- Ethical Principles and Legal and Professional Standards
Interns are expected to have previous training through course work and seminars in legal and ethical issues. The series includes sessions on APA Code of Ethics, SCC policies and procedures, as well as Tennessee law relevant to the practice of psychology. Legal and ethical issues also are discussed in supervision and interns are expected to consult early and often throughout the year.
- Working with Diverse Populations
The diversity seminar series provides opportunities for readings, experiential activities, client discussion and consultation regarding diverse clients. Diversity awareness, training experiences, and opportunities are also integrated throughout the internship program.
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.
Interns are expected to engage in scholarly project/research and present the findings to center staff. Although most interns focus on their dissertation research, there are opportunities in conjunction with senior staff psychologists or faculty members from the Counseling Psychology doctoral program to engage in other research.