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Psychology Internship Program
Overview

Business Hours:
Monday thru Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Appointment-Scheduling hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am-12:00pm & 1:00pm-4:00pm
Phone: (512) 471-3515 - Student Services Building 5th Floor
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Overall training goal
Many of our interns aim for a Counseling Center position as their first job, but the functions and services of our Center prepare interns well for a variety of positions, especially those in outpatient settings.

APA Accreditation
The Counseling and Mental Health Center has a long and distinguished history of providing doctoral internship training in health service psychology. As the first University Counseling Center-based internship program to be accredited by the American Psychological Association, we have enjoyed continuous accreditation for more than 50 years. This reflects CMHC's commitment to training as part of its overall mission. The education and training of psychology graduate students has always had high importance because we believe in the concept of contributing to the advancement of our profession. Additionally, we believe that the internship program aids in the continuing education and workplace morale of our professional staff by involving them in challenging and stimulating training activities.

In 2016, our internship program successfully completed the standard re-accreditation process required of all programs by the APA Commission on Accreditation. We were subsequently notified that our program was awarded re-accreditation for seven years, through 2023.

Profession-Wide Competencies
CMHC’s psychology internship program provides experiences designed to expand interns’ proficiency in the 9 competency areas identified by APA. These competency areas are:

  • Research
  • Ethical and Legal Standards
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity
  • Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  • Communications and Interpersonal Skills
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Supervision
  • Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

Training Model
The training programs at CMHC are built on the premise that successful preparation of mental health professionals is dependent on the on-going development of professional competencies. Interns in our program bring many strengths, add to and expand their skill-sets and clinical knowledge base, and learn ways to respond to the evolving mental health needs of today’s university students. Our training model includes a focus on profession-specific skills that are developed through the interns’ provision of direct services and participation in targeted training activities, an emphasis on diversity in its broadest sense and our Self-and-Systems approach, which stresses the importance of professional self-reflection and growth.

Direct services provided by interns include individual counseling, group interventions, crisis counseling, supervision of practicum students, and prevention and outreach activities. The training activities consist of weekly individual and group supervision, membership on clinical teams, weekly seminars, and preceptorships/apprenticeships.

  • The importance and mutuality of individual and systemic perspectives
  • Self-awareness and the integration of personal and professional growth
  • Pluralism (quoting the American Heritage dictionaries, pluralism has multiple, interrelated meanings, including "a conviction that various religious, ethnic, racial, and political groups should be allowed to thrive in a single society," and "the belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life")
  • Ethical standards and practices
  • Professionalism and the development of professional functioning
  • The change process: developing a working relationship, assessment, problem definition and formulation, interventions, termination, and evaluation

The model also articulates a number of important values that we hold as a training program:

  • Training should be experiential and supervised
  • Learning is a developmental process
  • Respect for diversity
  • The agency climate provides a balance of support and challenge, and allows trainees to be learners - to own their strengths and acknowledge their areas of growth
  • Active trainee involvement and risk-taking, in that trainees take initiative and responsibility in the training process
  • Training experiences promote personal growth and responsibility
  • The importance of balancing responsibility to the trainee, consumer, and agency
  • Training experiences must go beyond the acquisition of knowledge and skill to include integration, awareness, and complex reasoning
  • The relationship is a key element in the change process
  • Apprenticeship experiences, with staff serving as role models for trainees
  • Peer learning
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Trainees should be socialized to the values of the profession
  • Social and ethical responsibility
  • Trainees should develop an awareness of issues of power and its impact on those with whom they work
  • The importance of developing professional support networks
  • Training experiences should promote leadership qualities and professionalism

Training Experiences
Emphasis is placed on experiential learning under close supervision, along with peer group and trainer role modeling as additional learning tools. Interactive, skill-building seminars and individual and small group tutorials are used as supplementary learning methods. Interns receive on-the-job training in the full range of university psychological services including individual counseling, group interventions, crisis intervention, clinical supervision of practicum-level trainees, and prevention and outreach services. Opportunities to initiate or continue the development of one or more practice specialties are also provided.

Professional Role
Since the internship is typically the capstone training experience, we believe it is particularly important for interns to possess an appreciation of the professional role they will undertake once the year is completed. This includes an understanding of ethical principles and practices, an awareness of significant challenges and trends within the field, the development and implementation of life-long professional development and learning activities, a continual examination of personal world views and their impact on professional functioning, and a sense of responsibility to contribute to the welfare of the profession and society. Training staff and interns are expected to approach their work in a scholarly manner by keeping informed about the latest theory, research, and practice especially as they apply to psychological training and services in a university setting.

Diversity
The CMHC staff is strongly committed to addressing the needs of a diverse student population, and our internship program strives to incorporate and highlight issues of difference as a fundamental part of the training experience. Ethnic minority and international students represent nearly 50% of our student body, and we believe that our client population is a microcosm of the spectrum of cultural differences found in the larger university community.

CMHC Statement on Diversity

Engaging in discussions about diversity-related topics is a rewarding and often challenging experience. The complex intersection of perspectives, personal and professional identities, and the unique values and life experiences that individuals bring to such discussions adds to the richness of such a process, and can, at times, evoke discomfort. Therefore, we endeavor to approach these interactions with respect and openness. The American Psychological Association's statement on "Preparing Professional Psychologists to Serve a Diverse Public" provides guidance in this area, and in our training programs, we strive to follow the principles set forth in this document so that we can engage these topics in a thoughtful and respectful manner which enhances personal and professional development.

Use of Self
Regardless of the specific work activity, a primary "thread" running through all our training activities is the skill of "Use of Self" and its variants. For us, this means assisting the intern in exploring and understanding the qualities and dynamics that they bring to each interpersonal encounter and how these facilitate or hinder effective interactions. It also means that the intern is encouraged to become more attuned to their own thoughts and feelings in working with clients, and recognize how this increased self-awareness can be used to better understand client dynamics and develop effective treatment strategies. Because we believe in the working alliance as an indispensable ingredient in any helping relationship, we encourage interns to recognize, improve, and employ those personal qualities that will assist in forming effective working relationships with clients, peers, Center staff, and other members of the university community.

Because our internship program is based largely on a relational, use-of-self training model, and because we believe that optimal professional development occurs within the context of self-reflection and personal exploration, our various training activities will, at times, ask interns to disclose personal information. Our training staff takes very seriously its responsibility to foster and maintain a safe, trusting, and supportive environment that will allow such disclosures to occur in accordance with the goals and objectives of our training model.

(This section is intended to satisfy Section 7.04 of the APA Ethics Code regarding our responsibility to notify applicants of the requirement for self-disclosure of personal information.)

APA Ethics Code

APA accreditattion 1966




We're here for you.    We recognize that many UT students are being impacted by historical and recent events. The CMHC holds firm to the university’s values and commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our staff are here to help students navigate through these times. Click here to learn about our resources.



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