Letter from Training Director Dr. Mollie Herman, PhD
Hello! Welcome to the Towson University Counseling Center Predoctoral Internship website. I’m happy to have this opportunity to tell you more about us and our training program. You can see more detail about our program through our Towson University Doctoral Internship In Professional Psychology Information Packet, but I wanted to share with you some additional behind-the-scenes information. One of the things that really stands out about us—and that no website can fully communicate—is how much we value our work environment. We enjoy an exceptionally strong sense of community, and we feel fortunate that our extended family grows each year as we welcome a new group of interns into the fold.
We treasure diversity and enjoy constantly learning from one another and from each new group of interns. We recognize that interactions between diverse groups of people can be challenging and require openness and self-reflection. We do everything that we can to facilitate a safe space where staff and interns alike can challenge and support one another in our ongoing journeys toward multicultural competence. Our environment is casual and warm, and we enjoy gathering around the lunch table each day and bonding around food. We do have an ongoing conflict regarding the superiority of dark vs. milk chocolate, but have learned to tolerate our differences on this.
We not only value getting to know interns as individuals, but also are grateful for the skills and interests they bring that help us continually broaden our perspectives. Our program is structured to teach basic general competencies (through the core activities) and to nurture special interests (through the electives). Interns have the opportunity to participate in the full range of roles that a counseling center psychologist could be expected to perform. However, they always have a safety net in the form of consultation and supervision from staff members at any time that they need it. Supervision is the foundation of our program, and interns receive it from many different staff members and in numerous formats (group, individual, peer, etc.).
The training year is structured developmentally, with interns assuming greater responsibility and autonomy as the year goes on. Interns start the year with an extensive orientation period during which they become familiar with the center, our policies and procedures, and the campus environment. Much of the learning of the year, though, happens as they assume the various professional responsibilities available. Our program and our center are characterized by lots of flexibility which allows for the nurturing of special interests, but also requires that interns work in a less structured environment than they may be used to. Supervisors and the training director are very helpful to interns as they negotiate the challenges of an ever-changing caseload and dividing their time among numerous responsibilities and opportunities. Interns receive lots of feedback throughout the year, both formally and informally, all with the intention of helping them further develop skills and self-awareness. Each intern also has their own private office with a computer on which they can access our electronic scheduling and note-taking program (Titanium) as well as SPSS and other electronic resources.
We have found that most interns can meet all of their responsibilities within a 40-45-hour week, even at our most busy times of year. However, some interns may choose to spend extra hours some weeks to complete their notes, prepare for seminars, etc. As you have probably experienced on other campuses, the Center faces vastly different levels of demand depending on the time of year. We often find that just as you feel like the wheels are coming off, things ease up for a while and you catch your breath. We provide ample opportunities for interns to talk about how things are feeling at different points throughout the year and believe that processing their experiences this way helps prepare them to assume their next professional roles.
We also are committed to supporting our interns’ transitions into their professional psychologist roles; we do this by forwarding job search tips and announcements, providing letters of recommendation, helping interns to network whenever we can, providing practice opportunities for interviews, and giving advice whenever it is wanted (and maybe sometimes even when it isn’t) Our interns find post-internship employment in many different settings.
This is an exciting time to be on our campus. Towson is going through lots of changes with many new initiatives and a quickly expanding student population. As part of the Division of Student Affairs, the Counseling Center plays an important role in helping make sure that we have the resources to meet the needs of our diverse and growing student population. Interns participate fully in the life of the Division and learn a lot about campus administration through these experiences.
I hope that this introduction has started to give you a sense of the Towson University Counseling Center community. You can find out more about the nuts and bolts of our program through exploring the Towson University Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology Information Packet. The packet is comprehensive, but if you have any additional questions after looking it over, please don’t hesitate to contact me by email (usually the most efficient way to reach me) or phone. Thank you for your interest in our program, and I look forward to reading your application!
Dr. Mollie Herman
Director of Training
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252-0001
This program is accredited by the American Psychological Association, whose Commission on Accreditation can be reached at 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C., 20002-4242, or by calling (202) 336-5979