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COUNSELING CENTER

Predoctoral Internship in Professional Psychology

Core Components

1. Clinical Services
(a) Individual Counseling and Therapy


Individual counseling and therapy services are offered to members of the Towson University community requiring assistance with personal growth and mental health issues. The intern can expect to carry a case load of ten to twelve clients per week, on average. The actual number seen in any given week varies, depending on the time of the semester. However, overall clinical services comprise about 25% of one’s contract. Interns are encouraged to discuss their clinical training needs with their primary clinical supervisor and to tailor their caseloads to ensure that they meet their training needs. The program is flexible to accommodate varying needs. For example, if an intern wants to gain experience working with a client dealing with a particular clinical issue, they may request a referral from anyone on the staff who might see such a client on intake. If an intern adds a client to their caseload in this way, they may then close one of their own intake slots for that week.

(b) Intake


Each intern is expected to provide approximately four intake slots per week for new clients. During this time, the intern is responsible for clarifying the presenting problem, assessing the need for intervention, evaluating the appropriateness of various service options, and making the proper referral.

(c) Emergency Duty


The Counseling Center provides immediate assistance for emergencies/crises that arise. Both staff members and interns have designated times during the week when they are expected to be available. Each intern is scheduled to be on emergency coverage for several hours per week during regular working hours. No formal time is contracted for emergency coverage, and interns are encouraged to schedule theses hours during times that their work can be flexible.

In addition, interns are on-call for weekend emergency coverage approximately four weekends each semester. Interns are paired with a senior staff member in providing this coverage.

(d) Groups


Both process-oriented and theme-oriented therapy groups are offered by the Counseling Center throughout the year. Every effort is made to provide interns with the opportunity to co-lead (with a supervising staff member) one of the general, process-oriented "Relationships" groups each semester. Additionally, to nurture an existing special interest area or explore a potential new one, interns may lead an existing (or develop a new) theme-oriented process or structured group (e.g., substance abuse education group; grief & loss group; sexual assault survivors group; online body image group, etc.). These additional groups are co-led by a staff member, or by another trainee with a staff member serving as a supervisor. Group programming requires approximately 2½ hours per week per group (representing approximately 5-15% of contract time). Individual supervision is conducted with the co-facilitator of each group, or with a designated staff member. Group supervision meetings with all group co-leaders are held for one hour each week.

(e) Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services


The Counseling Center offers specialized services for the alcohol and drug abusing client with minimal waiting time. Both individual and group counseling is offered. The program is certified by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Interns participate in a full-day seminar during orientation on assessment and treatment of substance abuse problems. They also receive supervision for treating substance abuse issues. Additional training in treating substance abuse issues is available as an elective activity. (see below). The number of hours involved in training on substance abuse issues is varied.


2. Outreach and Consultation Programming

(a) Programming


These areas are an integral component of Counseling Center's developmental/preventive activities, and may comprise between 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of contract time). In consultation with the Assistant Director for Outreach and Consultation, interns develop personal outreach and consultation goals to pursue over the course of the year. Interns are expected to spend a minimum of 80 hours involved with outreach and consultation activities over the year.

Outreach programs are designed, implemented and evaluated in conjunction with staff as well as other interns. Consultation activities and relationships may be established with various components of the University community. Examples of such programs include faculty/student development workshops, orientation workshops, Women's Center workshops, outreach workshops of various themes, liaison with residence halls and other agencies on campus and training undergraduate helpers on campus. Supervision of outreach and consultation programs is typically provided by the co-facilitator or area coordinator.


(b) Outreach and Consultation Team


Interns serve on the Outreach and Consultation Team for the entire year and are involved in examining issues germane to these areas of programming.


3. Research and Evaluation

It is anticipated that interns will conduct research and evaluation activities. A bit less than one half day per week is allotted for dissertation research (3 hours, approximately 10% of contract time), and each intern is expected and encouraged to use this time accordingly. Interns who complete their dissertation prior to or during internship are expected to be engaged in some alternate research project or scholarly activity. Center support is available to conduct and carry out research. The Research Seminar program provides a forum for interns to give and receive support in making progress on their dissertations and to examine research issues. Interns each present their research projects (dissertation or otherwise) to the staff at some point during the year.

4. Professional Training and Development

The internship offers intensive individual therapy supervision (minimum of two hours per week). Supervision is provided by Maryland-licensed doctoral level staff. Time is allocated to review tapes and write pertinent notes, as well as engage in professional development. A weekly intern seminar (1.5 hours per week) provides the opportunity for the interns to meet as a group with supervisory staff for case conferences, in-service training in particular areas and peer supervision. A weekly general staff meeting consists of in-service training, presentations, staff development, peer supervision, and administration (2 -3 hours per week). Supervision and in-service training constitutes approximately 25% of the intern's time.

Because of our location, a wide variety of workshops and academic training opportunities exist in the greater Baltimore/Washington area. We make every effort to facilitate the interns' desire for continued professional development.


(a) Supervision Received

(1) Individual Supervision of Individual Caseload - Supervision of interns is held on a regularly scheduled basis with professional psychology staff who are licensed as psychologists in the state of Maryland. Each semester, an intern has one primary supervisor, with rotations happening at the half-year mark. Interns interview staff members to gather information about supervisory approaches and then decide amongst themselves who will work with each supervisor. A minimum of two hours per week is devoted to individual supervision for therapy cases, although informal supervision is often sought and received over and above the minimum allotted. Supervision is process-oriented, and self-exploration is often encouraged in the context of one’s growth as a therapist. Specific attention to interns' self-awareness regarding diversity issues and support of interns' ongoing growth in this area is an emphasis of supervision.  Interns’ therapy work is videotaped to facilitate the supervision process.

(2) Peer Supervision of Individual Caseload - Interns meet as a group during the fall semester for peer supervision of their individual therapy work. Staff members join this meeting on a rotating basis so that interns have the opportunity to talk about clinical work with as many staff members as possible.

(3) Supervision of Group Work - Supervision is provided for each counseling and/or therapy group offered by the intern. When co-leading a group with a staff member, supervision is provided by that staff person. If an intern has chosen to co-lead a substance abuse treatment group, supervision is provided by the Coordinator of Substance Treatment Programs. If and when two interns co-facilitate a group, appropriate supervision with a staff member is arranged. Additionally, all group co-leaders meet as a large group for peer supervision on a weekly basis for one hour.

(4) Supervision of Supervision: Externship Program - In the spring semester, interns supervise students from local doctoral programs in counseling and clinical psychology. They conduct individual supervision with an assigned psychology extern for two hours per week. Interns receive supervision of their supervision during a weekly two-hour group supervisory seminar.

(5) Supervision of Outreach and Consultation - Interns meet individually with the Assistant Director for Outreach and Consultation on a regular basis to discuss their goals related to providing outreach and consultation and progress toward those goals.

(b) Supervision Given

Supervision of Psychology Extern - Interns supervising an extern meet with that student individually face-to-face for two hours per week to discuss case management, assessment and treatment of clients, and general issues pertaining to their caseload and placement at the Center.

(c) Training

(1) Intern Seminar - Interns receive regular in-service training through the Intern Seminar. These seminars, each lasting 1.5 hours, are designed to provide the interns with theoretical and practical information relevant to various areas of intervention, as well as the opportunity to discuss special topics of interest to them in their professional development. The majority of the Center staff is involved in designing and coordinating this seminar, with different staff members, in consultation with the training director, coordinating and presenting different modules. The modules are: Assessment and Diagnosis, Multicultural Issues, Professional Issues / Professional Identity, Therapy Approaches (including empirically supported treatments), and Special Topics (e.g. career development; psychotropic medications; treating survivors of sexual abuse; etc.). Also included within the Special Topics module are two series of seminars, one addressing supervision and one addressing substance abuse treatment.

(2) Psychiatric Mental Health Consultation - The psychiatrists on staff are available for consultation, back-up, and in-service training opportunities. There is the opportunity for collaboration regarding case management and disposition, as well as the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary treatment manner with other mental health professionals.

(3) Counseling Center Staff Meetings/Staff Development - Weekly staff meetings are held, usually covering a 2-3 hour period. The purposes of staff meetings are to convey information from the Division of Student Affairs to Counseling Center staff, make announcements of relevance to the operation of the Counseling Center, discuss administrative issues germane to Center programming, and provide staff development opportunities. Interns are expected to participate as colleagues.

The staff development component is seen as an opportunity for in-service training. Issues of particular interest to staff are identified and either consultants are brought in to present on particular topics, or staff members and interns may present on areas specific to their interest and expertise.

The Counseling Center is in full support of the continued development of interns above and beyond that offered through Center involvement and programming. Interns are encouraged to develop their identity as professional psychologists by membership in relevant organizations, attendance at outside workshops, and local, regional, and national conventions. Professional leave as well as limited financial support has been made available for these activities.

To further facilitate professional development, each staff member and intern has a computer and printer in her/his office.

(4) Case Management - Recognizing the need for effective case management and time to process and reflect upon on-going clients, interns are expected to take time to watch video of their clinical work, write notes, and prepare for supervision.

(5) Intern Support - Every week, interns have an hour-long meeting designed to provide them with support time. Interns alternate between meeting on their own and meeting as a group with the training director. Interns decide how to best utilize this time together. They may discuss reactions to the internship, process experiences they have had, and address various issues that arise during the course of the week. The training director may seek feedback and provide information regarding meaningfulness of activities, staff interaction difficulties, unmet needs, mentoring, administration and program development. Development of supportive group cohesiveness among interns is encouraged.

Elective Activities

Electives:

Though we call them electives, every intern is required to select at least one elective activity. Interns who are still working on their dissertations have an average of 1 hour per week (or about 23 hours per semester) to devote to elective activities. Interns who have finished their dissertations have an average of 4 hours per week (or about 72 hours per semester) to devote to elective activities. Some or all of these hours may go toward an apprenticeship. Elective hours that don’t go toward an apprenticeship can be filled with other elective activities of the intern’s choosing. Suggested electives are listed on the internship website and in the intern handbook. Interns may also propose electives that are not listed there to the training director who will make a decision with the intern about whether the elective can work. There is generally a lot of flexibility about elective choice as long as the elective is relevant to the intern's professional development and the Counseling Center mission. Supervision of elective activities will be determined by the training director based on the best match between the intern’s training goals and staff expertise.

Apprenticeship:

Subcategory of elective. Working closely with one person who is in a particular role to learn about and assist with that role. The number of hours required for the apprenticeship can vary depending on the availability and interests of both the intern and the mentor and should be established at the beginning of the apprenticeship. The hours can average anywhere between 1 and 4 a week (with up to 4 being a possibility for interns who have completed their dissertations). Supervision is provided by the mentor


Electives as differentiated from Outreach:

Core outreach requirements are 80 hours over the course of the year, including time in outreach meetings, outreach supervision, preparing and delivering outreach programs. Interns are required to develop a major outreach focus as well as to participate in more general and varied outreach topics throughout the year. The outreach director provides general supervision of outreach. This supervision may be augmented by supervision from other staff with expertise in relevant content areas. As an elective, interns may choose to do additional work beyond the 80 required hours of outreach.

The following list provides examples of potential elective activities, but is in no way exhaustive. Interns may, in consultation with the training director, create whatever unique training activity that they wish, utilizing any campus resources that are available. Depending upon how much time is available, interns may participate in more than one elective.

Examples of elective activities
1. Apprenticeship opportunities

Interns have the opportunity to pair up with a senior staff member who is coordinating an area of interest to the intern (examples below) and shadow the staff member on their coordinator responsibilities as well as assisting with responsibilities as agreed upon between the intern and staff member. Interns may apprentice with the following staff members:

(a)Training Director

Intern sits on the Training Team committee, participate in the Intern Selection committee, and takes on additional tasks related to coordinating the predoctoral internship program as agreed upon between the intern and training director.

(b) Externship Coordinator

Intern assists with coordinating the extern seminar, extern selection, and planning for extern orientation, and other tasks related to coordinating the externship program as agreed upon between the intern and externship coordinator.

(c) Outreach and Diversity Coordinator

Intern assists with the coordination of general outreach administration and peer education program, sits on the Counseling Center Diversity Committee, sits on the university-wide Student Affairs Diversity Committee, assists in coordination of multicultural training (for peer educators, externs, and senior staff), contributes to multicultural outreach programming, and takes on additional tasks as agreed upon by the intern and the assistant director of outreach and diversity.

 

(d) Eating Disorder Services Coordinator

Intern sits on the Eating Disorder Outreach Committee and Eating Concerns Consultation Team. Intern also actively participates in the planning and delivery of Love Your Body Week and National Eating Disorders Awareness Week activities. Lastly, intern coordinates a Student Bodies group or assists in the running of the Body Image Peer Education Program.

(e) Groups Coordinator

Intern assists in organizing the group supervision meeting agendas, providing support to group leaders in planning for their groups, planning and assessing PR efforts for the various groups offered each semester, and engaging in broader strategic planning and assessment initiatives for the groups program. The intern also could take on additional tasks as agreed upon by the intern and the groups coordinator.

(f) Clinical Services Director

Intern learns about the various clinical services duties and activities (e.g. managing the clinical services system and procedures, managing unusual clinical and case management situations, interfacing with office staff with respect to clinical functions, resolving any difficulty that affects the smooth operation of the Counseling Center), handles or collaborates on selected routine tasks (e.g. coordinating requests for release of records and reports, convene the Suicide Tracking System meetings at times, data production and maintenance, and any of the above items), and takes on additional tasks as agreed upon by the intern and clinical services director.

(g) Sexual Assault Services Coordinator

Intern sits on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Committee, aids in sexual assault programming, and co-facilitates the Sexual Assault Survivor Support Group. Additionally, intern assists in the running of the Sexual Assault Awareness Peer Education Program or assists in coordinating sexual assault training (for peer educators, externs, housing and residence life, and TU police department). The intern also could take on additional tasks as agreed upon by the intern and the sexual assault services coordinator.

(h) Substance Abuse Treatment Coordinator

Intern sits on the Substance Education and Concerns Committee (SECC) and the SECC sub-committee, Alcohol Programming. Intern also actively participates in all planning and implementation of substance abuse prevention programs, such as, but not limited to, the Save-A-Life Tour and National Alcohol Screening Day. In addition, intern co-facilitates either the substance use education or the substance therapy groups program. The intern also could take on additional tasks as agreed upon by the intern and the substance abuse treatment coordinator.

(i) Counseling Center Director

Intern meets with the Counseling Center Director to discuss management and leadership issues, how decisions are made regarding agency policy and planning, dealing with staff issues and conflict, and developing an understanding of how the Center fits in with the Division of Student Affairs and the university community. Projects and tasks may develop as a result of mutual interests.

2. Research and Evaluation


Interns who are still working on their dissertations may elect to put additional time toward research by embarking on a research project of their own choosing, utilizing the research seminar for support. They may use counseling center data or collect their own. They also may elect to assist with counseling center data collection and management, or another ongoing counseling center research project. If interns have completed their dissertations, it is expected that they will use at least one hour per week, on average, of their elective time to be involved with some type of research. They may elect to do research beyond this basic requirement if they so choose.

3. Clinical Services with a Particular Population

Interns who wish to gain specialized experience with clients who have a particular type of clinical issue that would lend itself to counseling center treatment (e.g. eating disorder relapse prevention; substance abuse issues; clients dealing with LGBT issues; etc.) can arrange a clinical elective by requesting referrals of clients with this issue and arranging for supervision of those clients by a staff member who has special expertise in that area.  This clinical work would be considered an elective in that it would be above and beyond the clinical work required as part of the core internship activities.

4. Liaison with Other Campus Departments


Interns may cultivate relationships with other members of the campus community (e.g. Athletics, Women’s Center, Office of Diversity, Office for Students with Disabilities) and serve as a Counseling Center liaison to those groups, providing consultation and clinical services as appropriate.

5. Career Services / Teaching


The Career Center offers a two-credit academic course in career and life planning called Personal Life and Career Planning. Interns who are interested in co-teaching this class with a Career Center staff member may do so as an elective activity during the fall semester.

6. Intern Selection Committee


An intern may choose to participate on the intern selection committee even if they have not chosen to pursue an apprenticeship in training. The intern selection committee consists of two senior staff members (including the training director) and one intern who represents the intern group. The committee reads all applications, decides whom to interview, and, following all interviews and review of feedback, decides who and in what order applicants will be offered positions.

7. Diversity Committee


An intern may choose to participate on the Diversity Committee even if they have not chosen to pursue an apprenticeship with the Multicultural Coordinator. This committee consists of four senior staff members and one intern and meets on a monthly basis. The committee's purpose is to plan and implement in-service trainings and other activities to continue ongoing awareness of and sensitivity to multicultural issues within the Counseling Center



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