Psychology Internship Training Program
APPIC Match Number: 159811
The University Counseling Center (UCC) at the University of Utah is committed to providing training that facilitates professional growth and competence. The multidisciplinary training and varied theoretical orientations of professional staff provide a rich environment for intern development.
The UCC internship has been continuously accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1979; our next re-accreditation Site Visit will be in 2030 as we were successfully granted a full 10 year reaccredidation at our most recent site visit in 2020. Our internship nicely fits APA's definition of training in Health Service Psychology: We provide training experiences in the "delivery of preventive, assessment, diagnostic, and therapeutic intervention services relative to psychological and physical health" in preparation for our interns to become "licensed as psychologists at the independent practice level" (APA, 1996; APA, 2011).
- The Commission on Accreditation
- American Psychological Association
Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
The UCC was established in 1950 and has dynamically adapted to needs of students over the years. In 1972, three independent campus mental health agencies--the Marriage and Family Clinic, the Mental Health Unit of the Student Health Service, and the Counseling Center--were consolidated into the UCC. Thus, the UCC employs a multidisciplinary approach to service delivery with practitioners from the disciplines of psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, and psychiatric nursing. The Center serves a student population of over 34,000 individuals. As the flagship of the Utah System of Higher Education, the University of Utah attracts students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 110 foreign countries. Opportunities are available to work with nontraditional, international, and ethnically minoritized students.
Founded in 1850, the University of Utah is the oldest state university west of the Missouri River. The University is situated on a sprawling landscaped 1,534-acre campus with more than 300 buildings, a medical campus, and a research park. It is a center of community culture with active research institutes, libraries, art museums, a natural history museum, laboratory and professional theaters, modern dance and ballet, and a wide variety of music programs. More than 3,200 full-time faculty members have made distinguished contributions in teaching, research, fine arts, and public service.
The University is located in Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah, which is located on the traditional and ancestral home of the Ute, Goshute, Paiute, and Shoshone nations. The campus is nestled in the foothills of the awe-inspiring Wasatch Mountains at the eastern edge of the city. A four-season climate and surrounding alpine country invite outdoor activity such as camping, hiking, kayaking and mountain biking. Many world-famous ski resorts are located within 45 minutes of the campus. Salt Lake City is the home of a nationally recognized symphony and opera company, ballet company, repertory dance company, and several active theater groups. We are in the top 15 metropolitan areas ranked by LGBT percentage in the U.S. (Williams Institute, 2021), and have a thriving queer community. While Utah as a state is not known for racial/ethnic diversity, 36.4% of Salt Lake City's population identifies as Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latina/o, or two or more races. Sports enthusiasts enjoy professional basketball (WNBA Utah Starzz and NBA Utah Jazz), professional soccer (NWSL Utah Royals FC and MLS Real Salt Lake), minor league baseball (Salt Lake Bees), and minor league hockey (Utah Grizzlies). Salt Lake City was the site for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and is still a major hub for Olympic training in winter sports. In addition there are five National Parks in Utah: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion; seven National Monuments; and two National Recreation Areas.
UCC Mission Statement
The purpose of the University Counseling Center (UCC) is to facilitate and support the educational mission of the University of Utah. We provide developmental, preventive, and therapeutic services and programs that promote the intellectual, emotional, cultural, and social development of students, staff, and faculty. We advocate a philosophy of acceptance, compassion, and support for those we serve, as well as for each other. We aspire to respect cultural, individual and role differences as we continually work toward creating a safe and affirming climate for individuals of all ages, cultures, ethnicities, genders, gender identities, languages, mental and physical abilities, national origins, races, religions, sexual orientations, sizes, and socioeconomic statuses.
The University Counseling Center (UCC) provides counseling, educational, and developmental services to the university community. The UCC is committed to increasing awareness, knowledge, and advocacy about human diversity and culture so that meaningful, effective interconnections can lead to adaptive changes on individual and societal levels. We recognize that people do not live outside of cultural contexts, and we actively explore the impacts of systems of power and oppression in our understanding of mental health and mental health treatment. Our goal is for all eligible students, faculty, and staff to be able to access our services and feel accepted and understood regardless of culture, ethnicity, gender (including identity and expression), generation, lifestyle, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, size, national origin, language, or physical and mental functioning.
As mental health professionals who adhere to the respective professional ethics and standards of the various mental-health disciplines represented at the UCC, we have a personal and professional responsibility to:
- Identify and understand our own attitudes, biases, assumptions, and values about human behavior;
- Recognize and demonstrate awareness of clients' world-views, including his/her/their attitudes, biases, assumptions, and values;
- Educate ourselves so that we can better understand the influence and impact of our culture within the counseling relationship;
- Provide multiculturally-oriented and effective counseling (e.g., appropriate help-giving practices, intervention strategies, and cultural structures) to all eligible students, faculty, and staff; and
- Promote the intellectual, emotional, social, psychological, and/or spiritual development of our clients and campus community.
In order to meet this goal, we consistently strive to integrate multiculturalism into the everyday functioning and structure of our agency, including the organizational, administrative, training, service, and individual levels. While this integration of multiculturalism is reflected in the UCC’s policies, procedures, and programming, our mission to promote multiculturalism and eliminate prejudicial and discriminatory practices (APA, 2003) extends not only to ourselves, but also outside our agency to the campus and surrounding communities. As detailed below, UCC has numerous campus and community diversity-related organizational partners and is an institutional member of the LGBTQ-Affirmative Therapist Guild of Utah.
The doctoral internship program in psychology offers broad education and training with a focus on the specializations of Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology. As mentioned, the internship is consistent with APA's definition of training in Health Service Psychology in that we provide experiences in the delivery of preventive and therapeutic interventions services to address psychological and physical health (APA, 1996; APA, 2011). We prepare our interns to become licensed as psychologists at the independent practice level.
The UCC espouses a Scientist-Practitioner philosophy of training responsive to its multicultural setting within a university community. The UCC is committed to providing generalist training that facilitates growth and competence and integrates the application of current scientific and cultural knowledge, principles, and theories in the provision of professional services. Interns learn to apply their skills within a multicultural and ethical service delivery environment.
The internship training program builds on professional knowledge acquired during doctoral training related to the following substantive content areas of general psychology: biological bases of behavior, cognitive-affective bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, and individual behavior (Belar & Perry, 1992). Interns are expected to integrate science and professional practice sufficiently to demonstrate assessment and intervention skill and ability with diverse target individuals and groups. As articulated by Stoltenberg, Pace, Kashubeck-West, Biever, Patterson, and Welch (2000), our training program envisions the Scientist-Practitioner as a professional who is trained “to identify a problem, gather relevant data, formulate hypotheses, and test these hypotheses in a systematic manner.” For example, integration of the Scientist-Practitioner philosophy is evident in the training provided in session-to-session utilization of the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychology Symptoms, or CCAPS. We agree with the assertion of Stoltenberg, et al. (2000) that “the scientist role is as important in the moment-by-moment process of clinical activity as it is in conducting controlled empirical studies.”
The Scientist-Practitioner philosophy of training is closely tied to the UCC model of service delivery. The UCC service delivery model is based on the Interactive Cube Model (Pace, Stamler, Yarris & June, 1996) adapted from the Cube Model (Morrill, Oetting, & Hurst, 1974) in which interventions are defined in terms of their targets, purposes and methods. Interventions may be directed toward the (a) individual; (b) individual's primary groups (e.g., family, life partner(s), close friends); (c) associational group (e.g., class, club); or (d) institution or community. Purposes of intervention may be (a) remediation; (b) prevention; or (c) development. Methods of intervention can be through (a) direct service; (b) consultation and training; and/or (c) media. The Interactive Cube Model is responsive to changes in higher education and the world-at-large with increased emphasis on flexibility, interdependence, and collaboration within the university community. The internship training program is structured to expose interns to a variety of targets, purposes, and methods of service delivery. Thus, the UCC internship prepares broadly trained professional practitioners to offer services that are preventive, developmental, and therapeutic.
The primary purpose of the UCC is to facilitate and support the educational mission of the University of Utah. We do so by providing preventive, developmental and therapeutic services that range from learning skills and career development to psychotherapy and crisis intervention. Training related to ethical, legal, and multicultural/diversity issues is infused throughout the program. An overarching goal of the psychology internship training program is to prepare professional health service psychologists who demonstrate “a research orientation in their practice and a practice relevance in their research” (Belar & Perry, 1992).
The UCC provides a rich environment of interdisciplinary training for five separate training cohorts. In addition to the health service psychology interns, we offer a social work internship for four advanced standing or second year Master's of Social Work students as well as practicum for two first social work students. In addition, all doctoral students in Counseling Psychology from the Department of Educational Psychology complete a counseling practicum at UCC, and doctoral students in Clinical Psychology from the Department of Psychology participate in a clinical assessment practicum and a psychotherapy practicum at UCC. The UCC is also building an undergraduate internship program, which we will pilot during the 2023-2024 school year.
Focus of Training at UCC
The UCC provides services that are preventive, developmental and therapeutic and that range from crisis intervention and psychotherapy to career development and learning skills. The UCC mission encompasses provision of mental health services within a diverse University community, preventive and developmental programs designed to help students take maximum advantage of their university experience, consultation and outreach to enhance the campus environment for student development, training opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students, teaching at the undergraduate level, and research and evaluation of program effectiveness. The UCC staff is diverse in professional training and theoretical orientations, though we share values related to anti-racism, social justice, inclusion, and challenging the white supremacist assumptions of many western approaches to mental health. All psychology internship positions provide generalist training in individual, couple and group psychotherapy; assessment; crisis intervention; classroom teaching; clinical supervision; consultation and outreach; research; and professional development. Training related to ethical, legal, and multicultural/diversity issues is infused throughout the program. In addition to training within the UCC, psychology interns are encouraged to collaborate with professionals outside the Center to provide service within the broader University community.
An over-arching goal of the psychology internship training program is to prepare professional psychologists who demonstrate “a research orientation in their practice and a practice relevance in their research” (Belar & Perry, 1992). The training program prepares interns for careers as staff members in counseling centers at colleges and universities or as faculty members in academic departments at institutions of higher education. Interns who complete the program also are prepared to work as professional psychologists in other outpatient practice settings (e.g., primary care medical clinics, community mental health agencies, etc.). It is expected that intern applicants will have achieved basic didactic education in the following areas (Belar & Perry, 1990): biological, cognitive/ affective, social, and individual bases of behavior. In addition, applicants are expected to have engaged in supervised practicum experiences in counseling and psychotherapy. The developmental focus of the internship training program is to facilitate integration of these components with applied practice, so as to advance each intern's level of professional competence.
General Program Goals
The training staff at UCC has identified 9 major internship training goals:
|Ethical and Legal Standards||Interns will demonstrate ethical decision-making and conduct consistent with the ethical and legal standards of professional psychology. Interns will handle increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence during the course of their training.|
|Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors||Interns will adhere to professional values with integrity, continuously acquire new skills and knowledge in the practice of psychology, and respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence.|
|Individual and Cultural Diversity||Interns will increase their awareness, knowledge, sensitivity, and skills in providing culturally competent professional psychological services to diverse individuals and groups who embody broad dimensions of intersectional, cultural, and personal backgrounds.|
|Communication and Interpersonal Skills||Interns will identify and practice effective verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills to interact competently and professionally with clients, colleagues, supervisors, and trainees. Interns will develop meaningful relationships in their professional roles.|
|Consultation and Interprofessional/ Interdisciplinary Skills||Interns will acquire knowledge and skills to perform consultation and outreach within university and community settings as well as collaborate with other mental health professionals.|
|Research||Interns will demonstrate integration of empirical science and clinical practice to produce and disseminate new knowledge, critically evaluate and use current knowledge to solve novel problems, and apply research in clinical settings.|
|Intervention||Interns will demonstrate competence in evidence-based clinical interventions with clients presenting with a variety of concerns across psychotherapy modalities.|
|Assessment||Interns will demonstrate competence in conducting evidence-based assessments and integrate assessment related data into therapeutic intervention.|
|Supervision||Interns will gain experiential knowledge and skills to mentor, monitor, and evaluate trainee competence development in the professional practice of psychology as well as respond professionally to feedback with their own supervisors.|
The primary training method is experiential. Interns spend approximately 55% of their time in direct service activities including providing individual, relationship, and group counseling; conducting clinical intakes; providing clinical supervision; engaging in consultation and outreach; conducting psychological assessments; and co-teaching a class. Interns co-facilitate therapy groups with permanent clinical staff members and may conduct relationship therapy under supervision once initial couples/relationship therapy training has been initiated. In addition, interns have four hours of protected time each week to engage in scholarly activities.
While the UCC internship is generally a 40 hour per week experience, there is some variability due to the academic calendar and university holidays. During peak periods, interns can expect to work 40-45 hours per week; during university break periods, however, interns may be less heavily scheduled. The internship program is defined as a 2000 hour experience. Therefore, in a year comprised of 50 weeks, interns are responsible to average 40 hours per week in order to fulfill internship requirements. One-quarter of this time, or 500 hours, will be spent in the provision of direct service, or "Mental Health Therapy," as defined by Utah statute.
Training methods and activities are sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. For example, interns acquire skills for conducting intake interviews in the following sequence:
- During Orientation, they receive didactic instruction in the policies and procedures for conducting intake interviews, read the UCC clinical services manual regarding intake interviews, watch role plays of intake interviews by UCC permanent clinical staff members, and engage in role-played interviews with peers
- Interns observe, in vivo, permanent clinical staff members conducting actual intake interviews
- When prepared, interns conduct intake interviews in the presence of a permanent clinical staff member who observes and provides feedback; this is repeated until a permanent clinical staff member approves the intern to conduct intake interviews independently. This is referred to as being "cleared" for independent intakes
- Interns conduct intake interviews independently
- In the multidisciplinary Clinical Team meeting, interns present brief case conceptualizations and oral summaries of the intake assessment for case disposition, incorporating clinical interview assessment with data from the CCAPS
- Interns receive feedback from the Team regarding their intake presentations
- Interns may consult with their Team Leader or any other permanent clinical staff colleague regarding problematic intake interviews either during or after the session
- Interns have the opportunity to test their intake hypotheses by comparing their clinical interview assessments to CCAPS scores of intake clients and by following up with the ongoing assigned therapist to determine the accuracy of their initial evaluations.
Training in other service delivery areas of the UCC is similarly sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity.
Training methods and activities also utilize the unique aspects of the environment at the University of Utah to provide comprehensive training and experience in principles of multiculturalism. For example, since ~20% of clients presenting for intake identify as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (fka "Mormons"), a training module in the initial orientation and training schedule acquaints interns with cultural practices, religious beliefs, unique terminology, and church resources as they relate to the practice of psychotherapy in this public university. Interns can use this knowledge and awareness with their clients, so as to communicate accurate empathy and develop appropriate treatment plans that are respectful of clients' religious, spiritual, and cultural values.
Throughout the fall and spring semesters, interns attend the Critical Positionalities Seminar along with the four social work interns. This seminar embraces multimodal and multi-genre forms of inquiry into the implications of our positionalities as therapists and educators working in intercultural settings. Contrary to traditional approaches to multicultural training, this seminar rejects notions of cultural competency and mastery as sufficient preparation for counseling and educating diverse clientele. Instead, we invite participants to play with each other in the shadows of our own governing paradigms (Anzaldúa, 2002) as we search for new avenues of counseling and educating across differences. This includes having participants develop strong relationships with each other in order to practice vulnerability in the seminar. In the fall and spring semesters, interns are also expected to work with the Systems Intervention Project (SIP) coordinators to develop and implement a project using their theoretical and experiential knowledge. This project should center the voices of underserved populations and/or the embodied wisdom of those who live with different issues in order to better serve our campus community.
Psychology interns receive two hours each week of regularly scheduled individual supervision with their primary supervisor, a psychologist who has been licensed for at least two years. All interns have two different primary supervisors at UCC during the training year (one for the fall semester, and another for the spring/summer semesters). In addition, interns receive a half-hour of individual supervision/training from their group therapy co-facilitator and a half-hour of small group supervision regarding their teaching. These supervisors/trainers may be from disciplines other than psychology (e.g., social work). Interns typically receive additional individual supervision on research, testing, and outreach/consultation activities from the persons responsible for training in those areas. Interns also may receive individual supervision/consultation from any permanent staff member as needed.
Interns typically receive 4-6 hours a week of small group supervision and training through consultation and seminar groups. These provide a forum for presentation of cases, discussion of clinical and multicultural issues, exchange of ideas, mini-lectures on selected topics, review of research and theoretical articles, and monitoring of ethical concerns. Some training seminars are exclusively for psychology interns (e.g., Psychology Training Seminar and Supervision of Supervision Seminar), some are for social work and psychology interns (e.g., UCC Training Seminar), and others are attended by interns and permanent clinical staff members (e.g., Clinical Case Consultation, and Clinical Teams).
General Outcome Measures
During orientation and training sessions at the beginning of the training year, interns work with the Training Director to plan and set goals for service delivery and training activities which include counseling, teaching, outreach/consultation, research, and providing clinical supervision. This initial plan is refined as the need arises, so that interns can adapt their training experiences in light of their own needs and those of the Center.
Interns are expected to achieve intermediate to advanced competency in each of the 9 goal areas described above. Evaluation is both formative and summative. Interns receive performance feedback on a daily or weekly basis as they function in various capacities within the UCC. A Preliminary Review is held mid-way through Fall Semester where all permanent clinical staff members discuss their observations of each intern’s performance. If deficits are identified, then the primary supervisor discusses the concerns with the intern, and together they plan training experiences to increase the intern’s level of skill. There are two Performance Evaluations, one at the end of fall semester and one just prior to the end of the internship, where interns receive oral and written feedback concerning their performance. If an intern’s performance is not considered to be at the intermediate or advanced level of competency then the supervisor, along with the Director of Training, works with the intern to develop a remediation plan so the intern can achieve the necessary level of proficiency to successfully complete the internship.
Proximal evaluation measures include:
- Review of the content of interns' Direct Service Agreement and activity summaries.
- Contributions in training seminars.
- Staff observations and feedback in the preliminary review and in the two formal performance evaluations.
- Titanium reports and documentation of number of intakes and ongoing counseling hours completed.
- Monthly reports from the Director recording the percent of actual to targeted hours of intake and returning appointments, and the range of these percentages for permanent staff over the same time period.
- Primary supervisor’s written evaluation of intern’s performance.
- Client reports of behavior change via the CCAPS.
- Written instructor evaluations regarding intern’s teaching.
- Ratings by practicum supervisee(s) on supervisor evaluation forms.
Distal evaluation measures include:
- Length of time to complete doctoral degree following internship.
- Obtaining a professional position in psychology relevant to the intern's long term career goals.
- Achieving licensure as a psychologist.
- Professional contributions of former interns to their institutions or agencies, their communities, the discipline of psychology, and/or national or international issues related to research and practice in psychology.
- Presentation records of former interns at national, regional, state and local professional meetings.
- Publication records of former interns who are in academic and applied settings.
- Participation of former interns in local, regional, national, and international professional organizations.
- Alumni Follow-up Survey.
Direct UCC services include preventive, developmental, and therapeutic procedures designed to: (a) remove existing psychological barriers to personal growth and functioning and (b) assist in the actualization of individual, group, and institutional capabilities.
Counseling and Psychotherapy
Individual and Couples/Partnerships
Through a 12-session brief therapy model, clients are assisted in increasing their personal and academic functioning. Interns may see a small number of clients for more than 12 sessions if they can provide a treatment rationale that is approved by the clinical team. Psychiatric evaluation by psychiatric nurses, as well as referral to more appropriate community resources, may be part of an assessment/treatment plan.
UCC has a strong group therapy program. Each intern participates as a co-therapist for a process-oriented therapy group. There are several theme or special issue groups including several graduate student groups, Skills Group, separate Women's and Men's Self-Compassion Group, body image group, as well as general Yalom-type, Interpersonal Process Groups. Interns co-facilitate one group each fall and spring semester, and have the option of co-facilitating a 2nd group in the summer.
Intakes and Crisis Intervention
All UCC psychology interns provide brief intake appointments on a weekly basis, and staff those intakes with their Clinical Team. Interns also provide some limited crisis coverage time, along with permanent clinical staff members, on a rotating basis on Fridays. Interns always have permanent clinical staff back-up in the agency while they are providing these services. This dual approach to intake appointments provides rich clinical training in assessment and crisis work for interns and accessible services for UCC clients.
The S.W.A.M.P. (Skills Workshops and Mindfulness Programming)
Since 2013, interns have been trained to provide mindfulness programming through first our Mindfulness Clinic, then our Mindfulness Center, and now the S.W.A.M.P. (Skills Workshops and Mindfulness Programming). The S.W.A.M.P. provides services aimed at reducing stress, managing anxiety, and regulating emotions through workshops and other forms of support. The S.W.A.M.P. also has an array of online resources useful in learning relaxation and meditation skills.
Teaching a Credit-Bearing University Class
Interns' teaching is conceptualized as a developmental intervention that is psychoeducational in nature. Teaching opportunities are dependent on sufficient course enrollment.
Identity and Inclusivity (ED PS 3010)
All four psychology interns normally have an opportunity to co-develop and co-teach a course that meets the diversity education requirement of the University of Utah. The course is meant to assist undergraduate students in exploring and understanding human experiences from various systems, cultures, world-views, identities, and values. Co-teachers may decide to create a more didactic or discussion focused curriculum (or a hybrid), and may consider providing selected readings, films, panel discussions, and guest speakers to supplement experiential learning, lectures and discussion (3 credit hours). Interns receive a half hour per week of supervision of their teaching in the semester they are co-instructors.
Collaborative Consultation & Outreach
In the semester they are not teaching, interns are expected to engage in 4 outreach projects/presentations. Interns who are co-teaching are expected to engage in 2 outreach/presentations during that semester. Outreach may include synchronous or asynchronous presentations for classes, student organizations, or staff/faculty groups, as well as participation in campus-wide events (e.g., the yearly Wellness Fair), and content creation for the UCC's social media platforms.
Faculty and Staff Consultation
Interns may provide consultation services to administrative units, academic departments, and student service agencies. Activities may include: (a) responding to campus crises, (b) helping faculty or staff members manage psychological or social problems they encounter with employees or students, (c) skills training (e.g., stress management, communication), and (d) organizational development.
Systems Intervention Project (Previously referred to as Diversity Initiative)
An important application of consultation and outreach for UCC interns is the design and implementation of a Systems Intervention Project (SIP) under the guidance of the SIP Coordinators. Interns are encouraged to work collaboratively with another intern on a project that has either been identified as a UCC or campus need by the SIP coordinators, or to identify a service need for a population which may be societally or structurally marginalized and/or traditionally underserved.
In the fall semester interns design a SIP to meet the needs of an underserved population on campus; this initiative is then typically carried out in the spring and summer terms. These initiatives may involve collaboration with other Student Affairs agencies or student groups on campus. Some examples of previous SIPs include:
- A workshop series on academic success for students diagnosed with ADHD (still running as our "Mental Coaching" workshops)
- A 3-part training for all U of U mental health providers on working effectively with South Asian clients
- A collaboration with Academic Advising to train advisors in trauma-informed approaches when working with students
- A campus-wide "community read" centering Indigenous writings about the experiences of Indigenous students
- "Feeling Your Feed: A Panel Discussion about Social Media and Mental Health"
- A survey of BIPOC clients about their experiences at the UCC, and an analysis and training to UCC staff about the results
- Relationally-oriented community building with the Pacific Islander Student Association
Interns provide individual clinical supervision to practicum counselors who are 2nd-year doctoral students in the U's Counseling Psychology program. Agency practicum counselors have two individual supervisors with whom they meet each week: an intern supervisor, and a licensed permanent clinical staff member. Interns participate in a weekly Supervision of Supervision Seminar which includes small-group supervision of supervision, discussions of models of clinical supervision, case presentations of supervision, and discussions of supervision issues. This supervision model allows excellent training for intern supervisors as well as extensive oversight of practicum counselor development.
Interns conduct assessments including clinical interviews and selected standardized measures of ability, personality, and achievement with individual clients. Interns are expected to write one formal integrated assessment report each semester as well as a written summary of results and recommendations for the client's use. They participate in an Assessment Seminar, a module within the Psychology Training Seminar, where principles of assessment in clinical practice are discussed and test reports are reviewed, with particular attention to social justice issues in assessment.
Counseling Center Staff
Many perspectives are represented by UCC staff, and are readily accessible to interns, including counseling psychology, clinical social work, marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, and psychiatric nursing. The core professional staff is supplemented by selected Staff Associates, including student affairs professionals, faculty members in academic departments, and practitioners in the community who provide additional training. Staff members participate in agency administration and serve as coordinators of intervention areas. Permanent clinical staff members provide back-up for interns dealing with clients in crisis. Interns consult with staff psychiatric nurses about issues related to medication and hospitalization.
The UCC as a whole is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) and is also a member of:
- Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC),
- Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA),
- Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD),
- Association for the Coordination of Counseling Center Clinical Services (ACCCCS),
- Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach (AUCCCO), and
- Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH).
Supervision, Feedback and Evaluation
Psychology interns receive feedback concerning their performance as UCC staff members. This ongoing, shared assessment is an integral part of the learning process and includes evaluation of ethical and professional behavior and assessment of skills and individual styles of counseling. Copies of "Trainee Rights and Responsibilities and Due Process Procedures," "The Comprehensive Evaluation of Student-Trainee Competence in Professional Training Programs," and "Personal Disclosure Policy for UCC Trainees" are provided during the initial orientation and training period. (Please see the Psychology Internship Training Manual.)
The agency employs a comprehensive evaluation model developed by a task force of the APA's Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC; APA, 2004). This model recognizes the importance of evaluating not only the acquisition of counseling, intervention, and teaching skills, but of other elements of professional development and functioning (i.e., cognitive, emotional, psychological, interpersonal, technical, and ethical functioning).
A licensed psychologist is responsible for the direct supervision of an intern's counseling and psychotherapy cases. Interns meet with their primary supervisor for two hours a week and may consult more frequently as needed. Each intern also receives regular feedback about other UCC experiences from permanent clinical staff members directly responsible for those activities. Early in the training year a preliminary review is conducted so that adjustments in interns’ training and responsibilities may be made when needed. Twice a year, permanent clinical staff members provide comprehensive formal, quantitative, written evaluations. (Please see trainee evaluations in the Psychology Internship Training Manual.) This evaluative feedback is aggregated, summarized, and presented to each intern. Similarly, interns complete written evaluations about the quality and style of the supervision that they have received and share that information with their supervisors twice a year. A written report on each intern's performance is sent semiannually to the director of the intern's academic program. At the end of their internship, psychology interns complete an Exit Survey and an Exit Interview with the Training Director, once their evaluations have been finalized.
All interns receive two hours of individual weekly supervision from UCC psychologists who have been licensed a minimum of two years. Formats are diverse including observation, co-therapy, review of electronic recordings, case discussion, and review of written case documentation. In addition, interns conduct group therapy with permanent staff co-therapists, and receive a 1/2 hour of supervision following their group.
UCC Training Seminar
Psychology and Social Work Interns meet jointly for this weekly seminar which runs fall and spring semesters. Seminar topics rotate and are presented by UCC staff and guest speakers with expertise in each of the following areas:
- Outreach & Consultation
- Group Therapy
- Partnership/Relationship Therapy
- Applied Ethics
- Critical Positionalities (the UCC's diversity seminar)
Psychology Training Seminar
Psychology Interns meet in a weekly seminar led by agency psychologists for discipline-specific training in the following areas:
- Evidence-Based Practice
- Professional Development
- Standards, Licensing, and Credentialing
Theoretical and experiential supervision issues are discussed and small group supervision-of-supervision is provided. Trainees present their supervision work with doctoral practicum counselors via electronic recordings and discussion. They give and receive feedback on their supervisory skills. This training group meets every week for one hour throughout the academic year and is facilitated by the Training Director.
Clinical Team Meeting
Interns meet weekly for one hour with members of their integrated vertical clinical teams to present intake assessments, manage disposition of clients, and acquire their case loads. They observe permanent staff and provide modeling for practicum counselors on their teams with respect to presenting cases, giving and receiving feedback, and providing recommendations. They learn to collaborate with colleagues to provide the best disposition and treatment planning for each client.
Psychiatric Nursing Consultation
Interns may refer clients to our psychiatric nurse practioner for joint case management including diagnostic consultation and/or medication evaluations. Interns are encouraged to participate in these diagnostic interviews with their client's permission.
Other Training Activities
Interns may participate in program evaluation research and needs assessment. They may collaborate with other UCC staff and interns related to ongoing UCC research projects or may initiate their own projects. Research activity is supported through access to data and/or research participants, allocation of weekly research time (4 hours/week), and consultation on experimental design and analysis.
Trainees normally serve on at least one committee within the UCC such as the Intern Selection Committee, Training Committee (as cohort reps), or Outreach Committee. They also may serve on ad hoc UCC committees. Opportunities are sometimes also available to serve on university-wide committees such as the "Pride Week" programming committee.
Multicultural Staff Development
UCC permanent clinical staff are encouraged to attend events provided by the university's Student Affairs Diversity Counsel as well as events put on by the U's Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Permanent clinical staff are given 2 hours/month to work individually or in affinity groups on multicultural staff development.
Clinical Case Consultation (Optional)
Interns may attend this weekly meeting where particularly difficult or challenging cases are discussed and consultation obtained with the Clinical Director, the psychiatric nursing staff, and other permanent clinical staff members. This is a good opportunity to give and receive clinical input and support while coordinating the care of clients presenting with more severity. Interns may also consult with members of DESRV (Disordered Eating Support & Referral Vehicle) on a bi-weekly basis around issues of disordered eating and body image. DESRV includes a member of the UCC's psychiatric staff, the lead DESRV therapist, and the UCC's care manager.
Special Workshops & Trainings
From time to time, special workshops and trainings are made available to UCC clinical staff psychology including psychology interns and other UCC trainees. For example, all staff and trainees receive yearly, mandated training on suicidal and homicidal risk assessment. Permanent clinical staff members and interns also have opportunities to receive training on counseling around religious issues. Interns are encouraged to present at the Utah University and College Counseling Center Conference, and their attendance fee is paid by the UCC. There are also various staff development-oriented "Lunch & Learns" offered throughout the year. As mentioned, the UCC is also an institutional member of the LGBTQ-Affirmative Therapist Guild of Utah. As such, Guild trainings are available to UCC staff members and interns at low or no cost.
Interns at the UCC are expected to participate in some experiential learning activities across the year that require some self-reflection and appropriate self-disclosure. Such activities are completed in the interest of developing self-awareness as a therapist-in-training, particularly in increasing one's multicultural awareness, knowledge and skill. For example, interns normally attend a Student Affairs New-employee Orientation each fall that includes a module of diversity training focusing on identification of various identity statuses. Opportunities exist to continue this diversity training via a certificate program offered by the University's Student Affairs Diversity Counsel.
University Agencies Associated with Training
Many university agencies provide interns with opportunities for outreach and consultation. These agencies include (but are not limited to) Career & Professional Development Center, Center for Equity & Student Belonging, Women's Resource Center, Center for Student Wellness, CSW's Victim-Survivor Advocates, Academic Advising Center, Center for Disability & Access, International Student & Scholar Services,Veterans Support Center, LGBT Resource Center, Housing and Residential Education, and University Student Apartments.
Physical Facilities and Equipment
The UCC is located on the 4th floor of the Student Services Building and provides individual offices for interns, group therapy rooms, the S.W.A.M.P. room, and a professional library with reference materials. Individual offices are equipped with network-linked personal computers and digital recording and viewing equipment. Via the Student Services Computer Network one can access MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and Outlook, and various library databases. The agency uses Titanium, a scheduling and record-keeping software system accessible in every intern office. We also use University of Utah accounts for various cloud services, including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Office 365, HIPAA-compliant Zoom, and UBox.
The Student Services Building is centrally located on campus and also houses the Career and Professional Development Center, University College Advising, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Admissions, and Registration.
Application for Internship
We welcome applications from all interested and qualified psychology intern candidates! Applicants will apply to the internship by forwarding all materials via the AAPI Online. Details about the AAPI Online can be found at the APPIC website.
Preference in the selection of psychology interns will be given to applicants whose prior clinical and professional experience demonstrate strong goodness of fit with the above counseling center internship description. Completion of one's preliminary (or comprehensive) examinations is required for application, and students are encouraged to complete most or all of their dissertation requirements prior to beginning the internship. Criteria for selection include clinical experience, letters of recommendation, alignment with the values and mission of the UCC, academic performance, and performance in a video call interview. Please see the Application Instructions & Checklist for more detailed information.
In an effort to avoid undue financial burden for any intern applicant, and to standardize our interview process, we do not conduct in-person interviews. Top candidates are all interviewed by online video call. We invite you to talk to both current and former interns to find out more about how our site could be a potentially good fit for your training aspirations.
APPIC Match Statement
The UCC follows the APPIC Match Policies and agrees to abide by the APPIC Policy that no person at the UCC will communicate, solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information prior to the release of the Match results.
UCC Policy Regarding Academic Programs Requesting Additional Contracts and/or Evaluations
The UCC psychology internship program at the University of Utah endorses the APPIC Match process as binding. The UCC therefore does not enter into additional training contracts or written training agreements beyond what is required to participate in the APPIC Match. If your academic program requires such a contract, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your Director of Clinical Training (DCT) about this requirement now.
Similarly, as detailed above, interns at the UCC receive ongoing formative and summative evaluative feedback from supervisors throughout the training year. These evaluations are based on our program's philosophy of training, training model, and the goals, objectives, and competencies that define the UCC internship. At mid-year and again at the end of the year the internship Training Director sends the academic program DCT a letter summarizing the intern's performance to date. If requested, the DCT may also receive a copy of the primary supervisor's evaluation of the intern. Therefore, if you are enrolled in an academic training program that requires additional departmental program evaluations, these will not be completed by UCC training staff at the University of Utah. Your program may choose to use the data from our evaluations to complete their own forms. Again, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your DCT if you have questions about such requirements.
University Employment Requirements
Employees at the University of Utah must meet certain pre-employment requirements as outlined in University Policies. These requirements include eligibility for legal employment in the U.S. (sometimes called the I-9 requirement) as well as the ability to pass a criminal background check to verify that candidates have no criminal or other record that would preclude employment in the University's judgment. For more information on the University's criminal background checks, please refer to University Rule 5-130 B. Background checks are conducted following the APPIC Match, but the outcome of these checks has the potential to preclude employment (see APPIC Match Policy 6.b).
Internship Admissions, Support and Initial Placement Data
Finally . . .
We hope that you will strongly consider applying to the psychology internship training program at the University Counseling Center at the University of Utah. While this can be stressful time, we wish you the best of luck with the application and match process!
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The University of Utah is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and seeks to provide access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. Reasonable prior notice is needed to arrange accommodations.
All interested persons are encouraged to apply.