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Psychology Internship Program
Training and Service Activities

The information below describes the current training and service activities for the CMHC psychology internship program. Please note that the activities and time commitments discussed below reflect the 2019-2020 training year and are subject to change.”

Individual Clinical Services

Group Services

Prevention and Outreach

Supervision Training

Diversity Training

Additional Training Experiences

August Orientation and Training Program

Weekly Training and Service Activities

Individual Clinical Services

U.T.'s diverse student population provides interns with opportunities to work with a wide variety of clients. Interns work closely with their clinical supervisor, training director, the Brief Assessment and Referral Team staff, and the Front Desk and Referral Office staff to ensure that the composition of their caseload is diverse and meets their individual training needs. In addition to their individual clients, interns provide walk-in crisis counseling coverage throughout the year. Interns may also choose to participate in responding to traumatic events (e.g., death of a student) that occur on campus. Interns are not expected to provide after-hours emergency coverage, but may participate in after-hours responses to traumatic events in coordination with CMHC staff members.

The clinical model offered in the Center allows for interns to gain various experiences in providing individually-focused treatment. Students seeking services have a brief conversation with a staff member who conducts a brief assessment as part of the process of assisting them in finding appropriate services. For students who are referred into the CMHC clinical system, this may mean a referral to Single Sessions, a Same Day appointment, or a series of individual sessions. As mentioned above, interns are involved in providing crisis counseling (or Same Day appointments) throughout the year. Clinicians in our Center function in Clinical Teams and these teams work together to ensure that students receive thoughtful care during times of crisis. In Single Sessions, therapists meet with clients for an appointment that is scheduled to be a one-time only meeting. Students placed in these sessions may be seeking a brief consultation about a specific concern or life event, or may be interested in seeing what counseling services can offer. Therapists work collaboratively with students in these sessions to address the immediate concern and to foster strategies that the student can apply to address future concerns. Other students will be scheduled to work with clinicians on a short-term, but weekly, basis. The length of treatment is decided as the client and the intern work together, and in collaboration and consultation between the intern, the intern's supervisor, the clinical team, and the Clinical Services Director. The clinical system is designed to provide the maximum number of students the opportunity to receive services while also promoting some flexibility, based on the clinical needs of individual students, in the length and scheduling of treatment provided. The majority of clients attend 3-5 sessions.

Clinical Supervision and Training. Interns receive two hours per week of individual supervision from a licensed psychologist. The focus of this supervision is the treatment of the intern's clinical caseload, discussions of aspects of clinical work in general, and an exploration of issues relevant to professional development. Supervisors are assigned once each semester based on intern preferences, training needs, and supervisor availability. Interns attend a weekly Individual Seminar where they develop skills and insight via a number of methods (e.g., case presentations, discussions of systemic factors impacting clinical work, didactic presentations on relevant clinical topics, processing of issues related to the professional use of self). Throughout their training, interns are encouraged to explore their roles as therapists and how they may use themselves more effectively as they work with a variety of clients.

Additional Training Options. Within the service needs of the Center, interns may choose to focus on particular areas of clinical interest such as substance abuse, relationship violence concerns, and problematic eating patterns, and/or on aspects of clients' experiences related to their intersecting identities (e.g., gender and gender identity, racial/ethnic identities, physical ability status), to name a few.

Group Services

CMHC's group program is a strong and established program and an integral part of our agency, as it is our main resource to provide long-term services to clients. During the Fall and Spring semesters, we typically offer more than 25 process-oriented, structured, and theme groups on a variety of topics. We also offer a smaller number of groups in the summer. Group topics vary from year to year depending on student needs and staff interest and expertise. Some examples of groups offered include: general process groups, Mindful Eating and body image groups, gay and bisexual men's support group, managing anxiety, grief and loss, mindfulness-meditation, and self-compassion. To view a complete list of our groups from the current semester, please see our group services page.

Group Services

Groups are assigned at the beginning of each semester based on intern training needs, schedules, and availability, with input from interns regarding their goals and preferences in this area. Psychology interns generally co-lead two groups in the Fall semester and one group in the Spring and Summer semesters with a CMHC staff member, although interns may be able to co-lead a group in the Spring or Summer with a fellow trainee (depending on previous experience).

Group Supervision and Training. All interns receive one hour of individual supervision weekly for each of their groups. This supervision may include group skills development, conceptualization, group development, co-leadership processing, use of self in group therapy, etc. If an intern's co-leader is a staff member, this staff member is also the intern's supervisor. If an intern's co-leader is another trainee, a staff member serves as the supervisor for both group leaders.

Additional supervision for group takes place in the Group Seminar that all interns attend. This seminar meets every other week for approximately 1 1/2 hours.. The format is semi-structured with significant experiential and process components, though it is not a process group. The seminar assumes basic knowledge of group theory and emphasizes critical thinking about the application of theory to the groups each member is offering. Thus, the discussion stays relevant to what is actually occurring in trainees' groups.

Additional Training Options. Due to the size of our Center and the role of groups in our agency, trainees are able to develop skills in marketing groups and in making effective group referrals. Occasionally, interns have the opportunity to be involved in developing and leading an entirely new group. There are also opportunities to learn specialized treatments for certain presenting concerns in a group format, such as in our anxiety, mindful eating, and survivors of interpersonal violence groups. In addition, Austin has an active and energetic Group Psychotherapy Society that includes current and former CMHC staff members.

Austin Group Psychotherapy Society

Supervision Training

Interns have the opportunity to supervise doctoral-level counseling or clinical psychology practicum students, or master's level trainees, during the Spring semester. During the Spring semester, interns receive additional individual supervision from their primary clinical supervisor focused on their supervision activities, and participate in a weekly Supervision of Supervision seminar. In this seminar, various models of clinical supervision are discussed, and recordings of interns' supervision of practicum students may be reviewed.

Diversity Training

Training in diversity issues is an essential component of our training program, and interns have been an active and visible force in the agency's efforts to educate ourselves and the campus community regarding these issues.

Diversity training begins during the August Orientation, as a variety of discussions on diversity topics provide the basis for acknowledging and addressing these issues over the course of the internship year. The Diversity Seminar continues this training by addressing a broad spectrum of multicultural issues throughout the year. Other seminars also incorporate these issues into the training experience.

In our clinical services area, the University's large and diverse student body provides interns with opportunities to work with persons of differing cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual/affectional orientations, genders, gender-identities, physical abilities, religious orientations, and ages. Interns work with their clinical supervisor and the Brief Assessment and Referral Team to ensure that their caseload is diverse. Our group services area also provides interns with the opportunity to co-facilitate groups for students with shared identities. These may include (depending on the semester) groups for women, men, African American students, Hispanic students, Asian American students, gay men, and lesbian women, to name a few. Other areas of specific interest to an individual intern may be identified for inclusion in the intern's group intervention experience.

Through our Prevention and Outreach area, interns are involved in workshops, outreach programs, and consultation projects that expose them to a wide range of interventions with diverse populations.

Our Center also has a Diversity Awareness and Education Committee (DAEC) that focuses on developing diversity training experiences for our staff, and ensuring that our Center is welcoming to students from all backgrounds.

Statement on Diversity

Prevention and Outreach

During a typical year, our Prevention and Outreach area reaches approximately 25,000 members of the UT community. Prevention and Outreach encompasses a wide variety of activities and programs. We provide workshops on topics such as stress management, eating disorders/body image issues, and suicide prevention to student organizations, residence hall staff, and other groups. CMHC staff members are also dedicated to providing programming to our diverse student population, including outreach to LGBTQ, international, Latinx, Asian American, and Black and African American students. Additionally, CMHC's Voices Against Violence provides programming on issues of interpersonal violence and stalking.

In addition to workshops, Prevention and Outreach sponsors larger campus-wide events such as Take Back the Night (which is part of the VAV programming during Sexual Assault Prevention Month) and activities related to Suicide Prevention Week. Prevention and Outreach staff also develop a wide range of psychoeducational materials.

Interns can get involved in the Prevention and Outreach area in a variety of ways, including presenting workshops for a variety of student groups, assisting with the implementation of campus-wide events, serving on various campus committees, and developing psychoeducational materials.

Additional Training Options. Interns may choose to focus additional attention in the Prevention and Outreach area through a variety of activities that meet the needs of the Center. Past examples include: serving on the campus Wellness Network, contributing content for CMHC's website, and developing and implementing workshops for international students.

Additional Training Experiences

Intern Support Hour. The intern cohort members meet for one hour per week for the Intern Support Hour. The general purposes of this required experience are to foster integration of personal and professional growth, facilitate supportive and genuine peer relationships, provide opportunities to learn conflict resolution skills and apply them in a professional environment, develop insight and perspectives related to organizational and professional role issues, and any other issues relevant to professional development. The interns and the Support Hour leader discuss the format of the Hour, and the content and format of the Hour may change throughout the year, based on the evolving needs of the intern cohort.

The Support Hour leader is selected by the Training Director, is not a staff member of CMHC, and is usually not affiliated with The University. The leader provides periodic updates to the Training Director about various specified aspects of the meeting (e.g., attendance; concerns that the leader has about the experiences the interns are having in the Center; needs for clarification of policies/procedures and expectations). While the Intern Support Hour is not evaluated, attendance is required. Interns have found this meeting to be a unique opportunity and a very important aspect of their internship experience.

Professional Issues Seminar. Issues of professional development are an integral part of this seminar. Topics may include legal and ethical issues, career opportunities in psychology, insurance and managed care, private practice, professional organizations, risk management, licensure process, etc. This seminar also provides extensive support for interns' job search activities.

Diversity Seminar. Diversity themes are an important focus at CMHC and are included in this weekly seminar. The seminar is a place for interns to explore the intersectionality of identities, individual and systemic factors that contribute to oppression and marginalization, and interns’ own strengths and growth areas in terms of multicultural aspects of professional development.

Apprenticeships. We define apprenticeships as those on-the-job training experiences in which an intern works alongside a staff member to carry out a service activity. The emphasis of the apprenticeship is on "learning by doing" and the modeling of skills by the staff member. The types of apprenticeships that are available are limited only by the interns' and staffs' creativity, providing an excellent opportunity for interns to tailor the program to meet their training needs. Interns are allocated a certain number of hours each week to participate in apprenticeships with staff.

Examples of apprenticeships include: working on an project with an administrator, jointly designing and implementing a psychoeducational outreach program, developing and implementing targeted interventions to address specific clinical issues, etc.

Preceptorships. We define preceptorships as one-on-one or small-group tutorials where interns are able to study a focused topic with a senior staff member. Like apprenticeships, preceptorships allow interns to concentrate on areas of personal interest. Examples of preceptorships might include focused study in such areas as anxiety disorders, Counseling Center administration, developmental theory as it applies to college students, use of psychotropic medication, treatments for sexual trauma, and diversity issues. Again, opportunities are limited only by the creativity and interests of staff and interns.

Research. CMHC supports the interns' dissertation work in several ways. Interns may choose to devote some of their apprenticeship/preceptorship hours for their dissertation throughout the year. Skilled research consultants are available on campus to assist with research design, data analysis, statistics, and computer usage, and U.T. has one of the largest academic library systems in the United States. Access to computers for data analysis and word processing are also available.

Psychology interns deliver a research-based presentation during their internship year. This presentation can be focused on the interns' dissertation or other previous research, a research proposal, integration of research with a clinical case, or a topic of interest to a particular interns.

In addition, interns may become involved in research activities within the Center and may choose to collaborate with staff members in developing research projects or publication activities. CMHC is also the national coordinating site for The Research Consortium of Counseling and Psychological Services in Higher Education, composed of approximately 70 college and Universities that participate in nationwide studies on college student mental health.

The Research Consortium of Counseling and Psychological Services in Higher Education

August Orientation and Training Program

A distinctive feature of our internship is the month-long August Orientation and Training Program that begins upon the interns' arrival. A variety of presentations, experiential workshops, and other activities are scheduled to help acquaint interns with their roles and responsibilities at CMHC. During this period, interns work with a temporary supervisor, who assists the intern in the orientation process and in the process of self-assessment with regards to goals, strengths, and areas of growth.

In addition to the variety of training activities offered during this program, informal social events are scheduled to help interns build group cohesiveness and to aid in meeting CMHC staff members. Below is a listing of sample topics for the August Orientation and Training Program (subject to change each year).

August Orientation and Training Program Sample Topics

  • Orientation to CMHC services areas
  • "CMHC Voices Against Violence" Program
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Mindfulness Training
  • Taking care of your playful self
  • Substance use treatment
  • Managing urgent care situations
  • Working with students who are members of the LGBTQ communities
  • Counseling students with motivation problems
  • Ethical & legal issues
  • Gender issues in counseling
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Specialized clinical interventions, including eating disorders and PTSD
  • Single session training
  • Short-term counseling
  • Crisis and suicide intervention training
  • Overview of the MindBody Lab and the Integrated Health program

Weekly Intern Training and Service Activities

The psychology internship training program at CMHC reflects a belief in a generalist training model that exposes interns to the many functions and service delivery areas common to University Counseling Center settings. The training program has been designed to promote each intern's personal and professional development and to be sensitive and responsive to individual needs and interests.

Although internship training can be intense and stressful at times, interns are actively encouraged to limit themselves to a 40-hour work week. Of course, as with most University Counseling Centers, we experience heavier demands for our services during certain times of the year that require additional hours from staff and interns. Nevertheless, learning to set limits, establishing reasonable goals, and taking care of oneself are important components of the training experience at CMHC.

The table below describes anticipated time allocations for each major training and service activity for interns during 2017-2018. Please note that the activities and hours listed are illustrative only and are subject to change each year.

Psychology Intern Time Allocations: 2019-2020

(Subject to Change)
Activity     Fall         Spring         Summer    
Clinical Services
       Single Sessions 2 2 2
       Counseling Sessions 12 12 12
       Crisis Shift 2 2 2
       Group Interventions 3 1.5 1.5
       Individual Counseling 2 2 2
       Group Interventions 2 1 1
       Supervision of Supervision 0.5
       Indivdual Seminar 2 2
       Diversity Seminar 1.5 1.5
       Professional Issues/Group Seminars 1.5 1.5
       Intern Support Hour 1 1
       Supervison of Supervision Seminar 1
       Summer Seminar 2
Supervision of Practicum Student 2
Apprenticeships/Preceptorships 3 2 9.5
Clinical Team Meeting 1.5 1.5 1.5
       Meeting with Training Director 0.5 0.5 0.5
CMHC Staff Meeting/Clinical Services Meeting 1 1 1
Admin/Case Managemment Time 5 5 5
Totals 40 40 40

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