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Psychology Internship Program
Training and Service Activities

The information below describes current training and service activities for the CMHC psychology internship program. The activities and time commitments reflect the 2022-2023 training year and are subject to change.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to consider the health and welfare of our students, trainees and staff, CMHC is making appropriate modifications, such as the use of telehealth and technologies that support remote learning and supervision. The level of on-site versus off-site involvement by interns will vary, depending on circumstances.

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

UT Austin’s diverse student population provides interns with opportunities to work with a variety of clients. Interns work closely with their clinical supervisor, training director, Brief Assessment and Referral Team staff and Front Desk and Referral Office staff to ensure that their caseload is diverse and meets their training needs.

Interns also provide walk-in crisis counseling coverage. They are not expected to provide after-hours emergency coverage but may participate in after-hours responses to traumatic events (e.g. a student death) with CMHC staff.

The clinical model offered in CMHC allows interns to gain various experiences in providing individually focused treatment. Students seeking services have an initial conversation with a Brief Assessment and Referral Team member who conducts a short assessment to help them find appropriate services. Students may be referred into the CMHC clinical system for a single session, same day appointment or series of individual sessions.

CMHC clinicians work in Clinical Teams to ensure that students receive thoughtful care during times of crisis. These teams coordinate crisis interventions that are needed within CMHC. Interns participate on Clinical Teams one day per week.

In single session appointments, therapists meet with clients for what is intended to be a one-time meeting. Students placed in these sessions may be seeking a consultation about a specific concern or life event or may be interested in seeing what counseling services can offer. Therapists work collaboratively with these students to address the immediate concern and explore strategies that the student can apply to future concerns.

Other students are scheduled with a clinician on a short-term, weekly basis. Treatment length is decided as the client and intern work together and in collaboration with and consultation among the intern, their supervisor, the Clinical Team and the Associate Director of Clinical Services.

The clinical system is designed to provide the maximum number of students the opportunity to receive services, while building in limited flexibility for treatment length and scheduling based on the student’s clinical needs. Most clients attend three to five sessions.

Clinical Supervision and Training

Two hours per week of individual supervision from a licensed psychologist. Supervision focuses on the treatment of the intern's caseload, discussions around clinical work in general and exploration of issues relevant to professional development. Supervisors are assigned once each semester based on intern preferences, training needs and supervisor availability.

Weekly Didactics/Group Supervision. Supervision helps develop skills and insight via 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, etc. Interns are encouraged to explore their roles as therapists and how they may use themselves more effectively in their work with various clients.

Additional Training Options. Within CMHC’s service needs, interns may focus on areas of clinical interest such as substance abuse, relationship violence, problematic eating patterns and/or aspects of clients' experiences related to intersecting identities (e.g., gender and gender identity, racial/ethnic identities, physical ability status).

Group Services

CMHC's strong, established group program is an integral part of our organization and is our main resource to provide longer-term client services. During typical fall and spring semesters, we offer more than 25 process-oriented, structured and theme groups on various topics, offering fewer in the summer. Topics vary each year depending on student needs and staff interest and expertise. Topic examples include general process, mindful eating and body image, gay and bisexual men's support, managing anxiety, grief and loss, mindfulness-meditation and self-compassion.

Find a list of current groups

With input from interns regarding their goals and preferences, groups are assigned at the start of each semester based on intern training needs, schedule and availability. Psychology interns typically co-lead two fall semester groups and one spring and summer semester group with a CMHC staff member. Depending upon previous experience, interns may co-lead a spring or summer group with a fellow trainee.

Group Supervision and Training.

Weekly, one-hour individual supervision for each group lead by the intern. 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, the staff member serves as the intern's supervisor. If an intern's co-leader is another trainee, a staff member serves as the supervisor for both trainees.

Every-other-week group seminar (approximately 1.5 hours). Attended by all interns, the format is semi-structured with significant experiential and process components, though it is not a process group. To keep discussion relevant to what is occurring in interns’ groups, the seminar assumes basic knowledge of group theory and emphasizes application of theory to those groups

Additional Training Options. Due to CMHC’s size and the role of groups in our organization, trainees can develop skills in promoting groups and making effective group referrals. Occasionally, interns may help develop and lead a new group. Opportunities exist 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, energetic Group Psychotherapy Society that includes current and former CMHC staff members.

Austin Group Psychotherapy Society

Supervision Training

Interns may 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 the intern’s supervision activities. Interns also participate in a weekly Supervision of Supervision seminar during which 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. Interns have been an active and visible force in our organization’s efforts to educate ourselves and the campus community regarding these issues.

Diversity training begins at August Orientation during which discussions on various diversity topics provide the basis for acknowledging and addressing these issues throughout year. The Diversity Seminar continues this training by addressing a spectrum of multicultural issues. It 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 related to multicultural aspects of professional development. Other seminars also incorporate diversity 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, racial identities, 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 a diverse caseload. Group services also provide interns with the opportunity to co-facilitate groups for students with shared identities. Areas of specific interest to the 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 range of interventions with diverse populations.

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

Statement on Diversity

Prevention and Outreach

CMHC is dedicated to providing programming to our diverse student population, including outreach to LGBTQ, international, Latinx, Asian American and Black and African American students. CMHC's Voices Against Violence provides programming on issues of interpersonal violence and stalking.

The Longhorn Wellness Center (LWC) supports the missions of University Health Services (UHS) and CMHC as a “shared” department by addressing priority college health issues. LWC staff utilize multi-level, evidence-based prevention strategies such as peer education, social marketing, social norm campaigns, environmental change and strategic campus partnerships to achieve program objectives.

Interns have the opportunity to get involved in CMHC outreach such as programming or writing psychoeducational materials and, where applicable, in LWC initiatives.

Additional Training Options. Interns may choose to focus additional attention related to prevention and outreach through activities that meet the needs of the organization. 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 meets one hour per week for the Intern Support Hour. The general purposes of this 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 explore other issues relevant to professional development. The interns and the Support Hour leader determine the format of the hour, which may change based on evolving needs of the 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 aspects of the meeting such as attendance, concerns they have about experiences the interns are having in the organization, needs for clarification of policies/procedures and expectations, etc. The hour is not evaluated, but attendance is required. Interns have found this meeting to be a unique opportunity and an important aspect of their 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 efforts.

Apprenticeships. We define apprenticeships as on-the-job training experiences in which an intern works alongside a staff member to carry out a service activity. The emphasis of apprenticeships is "learning by doing" and the modeling of skills by the staff member. Types of apprenticeships 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 a project with an administrator, jointly designing and implementing a psychoeducational outreach program, developing and implementing targeted interventions to address specific clinical issues, etc.

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

Research. CMHC supports interns' dissertation work in several ways. Interns may devote some of their apprenticeship/preceptorship hours for their dissertation. Skilled research consultants are available on campus to assist with research design, data analysis, statistics and computer usage and UT has one of the largest academic library systems in the United States. Access to computers for data analysis and word processing is available.

Psychology interns deliver a research-based presentation during their internship year, which 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 the intern.

Interns may become involved in CMHC research activities and may choose to collaborate with staff members to develop research projects or publication activities. CMHC is the national coordinating site for The Research Consortium of Counseling and Psychological Services in Higher Education, composed of approximately 70 colleges 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. Presentations, experiential workshops and other activities are scheduled to help acquaint interns with their CMHC roles and responsibilities. During this period, interns work with a temporary supervisor who assists with the orientation process and the process of self-assessment with regards to goals, strengths and areas of growth. Informal social events help interns build group cohesiveness and aid in meeting CMHC staff members.

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 functions and service delivery areas common to university counseling center settings. The program is 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. As with most university counseling centers, we experience heavier demands for 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. The activities and hours listed are illustrative only and are subject to change each year.

Psychology Intern Time Allocations: 2022-2023

(Subject to Change)
Activity     Fall         Spring         Summer    
SERVICE DELIVERY
Clinical Services
       Single Sessions 2 2 3
       Counseling Sessions 12 12 12
       Crisis Shift 2 2 2
       Group Interventions 3 1.5 1.5
TRAINING & SUPERVISION
Supervision
       Individual Counseling 2 2 2
       Group Interventions 2 1 1
       Supervision of Supervision 0.5
Seminar
       Individual Seminar/ Group Supervision 2 1
       Diversity Seminar 1.5 1.5
       Professional Issues/Group Seminars 1.5 1.5
       Intern Support Hour 1 1
       Supervision of Supervision Seminar 1
       Summer Seminar 2
Supervision of Practicum Student 2
Apprenticeships / Preceptorships 2.5 2 8
Clinical Team Meeting 1.5 1.5 1.5
       Meeting with Training Director 0.5 0.5 0.5
ADMINISTRATIVE / OTHER
CMHC Staff Meeting/Clinical Services Meeting 0.5 0.5 0.5
DEI Weekly Activity 1 1 1
Admin/Case Management Time 5 5.5 5
Totals 40 40 40



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