UCS

APA-Accredited Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

The program at University Counseling Services (UCS) is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

APA Accreditation

Our full-time internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Any inquiries regarding the accreditation status of our internship training program should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation at the following address.

History of the Doctoral Internship at UCS

University Counseling Services (UCS) has been providing training for graduate students in psychology since Fall Semester 1968.  In 2009, the training program received APPIC membership.

Our program was awarded APA-Accreditation on November 8, 2011.  In the fall of 2018, our program received APA Re-accreditation for more 10 years.  Our next site visit will be in 2028.

Supportive Learning Environment

Starting at the top, our director, Dr. Pearce (former Training Coordinator) is an avid supporter of the Internship Program.  She secures resources, promotes our goal of providing excellent training, and demonstrates true interest in the well-being of our interns.  Our well-qualified staff members are kind and caring.  We take our work seriously, but at the same time have a lot of fun and laughs. Staff members treat our interns with respect, support, and interest.  Our wonderful administrative staff are available to help interns navigate technical, equipment, scheduling, and administrative challenges.  We are honored to “walk with” and guide interns as they complete the final step in their important journey towards becoming skilled, ethical, contributing psychologists.

Training Model

Our Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology at UCS is based on a Developmental-Practitioner Model of Training.  The Training Program provides supervised, planned, sequential, and experiential psychological practices including clinical assessment, intervention, outreach, and consultation, as well as supervision of peer educators.  Supervision, training, and experiential learning are informed by scholarly material and research to support evidence-based practices. As part of our model of training, we strive to provide an optimum learning environment that allows interns to: 1) build on the knowledge and skills they acquired during their doctoral training, 2) obtain profession-wide competencies, and 3) prepare for the independent practice of Health Service Psychology.  Vital to the learning processes are the committed training and supervisory staff who support and challenge interns in a developmental process geared towards competency acquisition. Supervisors guide interns to refine their professional skills through both experiential practice and engagement with scholarly knowledge.  

Our Philosophy of Training includes multiple components 1) a multidisciplinary approach, 2) a focus on experiential learning (under supervision, 3) an emphasis on cultural competence, 4) an emphasis on competent service delivery, 5) a focus on professionalism (which includes ethical behavior), and 6) a mutual evaluation process.

The first component is based on our conviction that there is merit in utilizing a multidisciplinary approach to mental health service delivery.  UCS interns are part of a multidisciplinary mental health staff housed within a university community.  Interns have the benefit of engaging with staff from a variety of disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, social work, and counseling in higher education), theoretical orientations, professional interests, specializations, and backgrounds.  This provides interns with opportunities for multidisciplinary interaction, collaboration, and a rich learning environment.  Furthermore, training in a university environment affords interns a unique opportunity to learn and work within a broader community. 

A second component of our Philosophy of Training is “learning by doing,” whereby supervised professional practice provides interns with critical didactic and experiential learning opportunities.  Interns are able to learn and refine skills by integrating psychological science and practice as they engage in the provision of psychological services to clients, including clinical assessment, individual and group interventions, crisis intervention, and case management.  Interns also learn through supervised experience in non-clinical areas such as outreach and consultation to the campus community, as well as the training and supervision they provide to student peer educators.  Supervised professional practice by multiple supervisors exposes interns to different perspectives and approaches.

A third component of our Philosophy of Training is the importance of preparing interns to serve diverse communities. The Training Program strives to provide a learning environment that allows interns to develop individual and cultural diversity competency.  Multicultural diversity is integrated into all training and supervision activities. Interns have the opportunity to meaningfully explore: their values, attitudes, and behavior, their own multiple intersecting identities, and their awareness and knowledge of the diverse clients they serve.  Further, interns develop skills for assessment and intervention with diverse clients.  Multicultural and diversity seminars include topics of race/ethnicity and racism; national origin and xenophobia, class/socioeconomic status and classism, gender and sexism, gender identity and transphobia, sexual identity and heterosexism; religion and religious oppression, ability and ableism; and age and ageism. Seminars also address historical experiences and clinical implications of oppression, differential privileges, identities, and access to resources.  The focus on individual and cultural diversity also includes population-specific training (e.g., First Generation College Students, Chicana/Latino, African-American/Black, LGBTQIA, Hard-of-Hearing and Deaf, Asian-American, International, Men).

A fourth component of the Philosophy of Training is the focus on training interns to develop into competent health service psychologists who will be well-prepared to provide health care services, whether specifically in a university or college counseling center or in other mental health care settings.  Throughout the internship year, interns have the opportunity to function in the multiple roles of a psychologist. Training and supervision activities are designed to fortify interns with culturally competent direct service skills, including campus-based outreach and clinical services.

A fifth component of our Philosophy of Training centers around professionalism.  Our Program considers the development of an intern’s professionalism critical for the transition from graduate psychology student into an entry-level psychologist.  Professionalism includes elements such as self-awareness, knowledge, integrity, accountability, responsibility, effective communication with clients and colleagues, and collegial and collaborative professional relationships. It also includes personal maturity, emotional stability, and the ability to balance multiple professional roles and responsibilities. Interns are expected to demonstrate the ability to monitor internal states and behaviors, engage in reflective practices (including assessing strengths and areas of growth), and attend to self-care. Subsumed within the obligation of professionalism are the foundational pillars of sound ethical practice and the integration of professional practice with scholarly inquiry. We assist interns in the development of professionalism through didactic, observational, and experiential trainings.  Our faculty provide role modeling via mentoring relationships, supervision, co-facilitation, co-presentations, and professional interactions. The structure of the Training Program encourages increasing levels of autonomy over the course of the internship, allowing interns to work more independently as their capabilities expand.

A final component of our Philosophy of Training is the essential role that a mutual evaluation process plays in facilitating the professional and personal growth of interns, as well as the ongoing growth of the Training Program. This underlies our Program’s commitment to reciprocal evaluations, both ongoing informal feedback and formal evaluations. The reciprocal nature of the evaluation process is important, because it allows interns to develop their evaluative skills, while also providing an avenue through which interns receive educative feedback. The Training Program expects interns to make developmental changes throughout the course of the training year, therefore our informal and formal evaluations assess interns’ varying developmental levels over time, thus allowing us to accommodate interns’ changing needs. Similar to informal feedback, formal evaluation is intended to be a collaborative process with interns and supervisors completing written evaluations of one another, and interns completing evaluations of the Training Program.  Feedback provided by interns is utilized to make changes and improvements in the Training Program.

Program Aims & Profession-Wide Competencies

Aim

While our Training Program is designed to provide interns with opportunities to develop skills and competencies for working in a university or college setting, the Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology at UCS may be broadly applied.  Indeed, the aim of our Program is to train interns to become culturally-competent, scientifically-minded, clinically and professionally skilled, and ethically sound entry level health service psychologists, enabling them to practice in a variety of settings.

Competencies

Consistent with the American Psychological Association’s Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychology, our training program provides interns with training in nine (9) Profession-Wide Competencies:

1. Research
2. Ethical and legal standards
3. Individual and cultural diversity
4. Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors
5. Communication and interpersonal skills
6. Assessment
7. Intervention
8. Supervision
9. Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills

In addition, our training program provides interns with training in an additional Site-Specific Competency:

10. Outreach and community consultation

Facility and Equipment

The physical layout of UCS helps facilitate our training program’s open-door policy because all of our offices are housed in one location on the 5th floor of Bayramian Hall (Suite 520).  This close proximity allows interns to observe and interact with counseling staff for consultation, as needed on a daily basis. Interns are each provided with an individual private office for their professional use during the training year.  Intern offices are located together within a mutual hallway, which allows for easy interaction among the cohort.  Intern offices are well-furnished with a desk, desktop computer, printer, chairs, side table, bookshelf, and white-noise machine.  Each intern office is equipped with a phone and voicemail, and a webcam for digital recording of clinical sessions.  On their desktop computer, interns have access to the electronic scheduling and record-keeping program used by UCS (Point and Click), the university network system, the Internet, and electronic mail privileges.  Interns have signs with their names on their individual office doors and general UCS business cards.  Interns have mailboxes located in the same location as staff/faculty mailboxes and have access to various office machines (e.g., photocopier, fax, shredder, etc.) as well as office supplies.  Interns are able to personally decorate their offices to make their work space comfortable while reflecting a professional atmosphere.

UCS has a reception area for clients, two large group rooms, a conference/training room, and a relaxation room.  These are utilized for meetings, training activities, group therapy, and workshops.  A large screen television is located in our conference room that is utilized for viewing digital recordings in weekly video group/peer supervision and for PowerPoint and related videos/DVD’s for professional seminars and training modules.  UCS has a peer education room that provides workspace for the four peer education programs offered through the center and a professional resources library located in the conference room.  There are several storage/supply rooms that house Xerox and fax machines, mailboxes, supplies, and outreach/consultation materials. 

COVID Comment:

As long as some of our work is conducted remotely, interns are issued a (loaner) computer to conduct their work and attend trainings.