Skip to content
The University of Texas at Austin - What Starts Here Changes The World The University of Texas at Austin Division of Student Affairs

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 2023-2024 training year and are subject to change. CMHC staff who lead or provide seminars within the CMHC training programs have joint faculty appointments within the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and College of Education.

Individual Clinical Services

Group Services

Prevention and Outreach

Supervision Training

Understanding the Intersection of Identity and Mental Health

Additional Training Experiences

August Orientation and Training Program

Weekly Training and Service Activities

Individual Clinical Services

UT Austin’s large student population provides interns with opportunities to work with clients presenting with a variety of specific experiences and concerns. 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 varied and meets their training needs.

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

The clinical model offered at 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 determine appropriate services. Students may be referred into the CMHC clinical system for a single session, same day appointment or a 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 (including interns) 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 between the intern, their supervisor, the Clinical Team and the 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. Supervisor assignments are made at the beginning of each semester based on intern preferences, training needs and supervisor availability.

Weekly Individual Seminar/Group Supervision
Seminar experiences help interns 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 their strengths and knowledge more effectively in their work with clients.

Additional Training Options
Within CMHC’s service needs, interns may focus on areas of clinical interest such as substance use, relationship violence, problematic eating patterns and/or other aspects of clients' experiences related to intersecting identities (e.g., living with a disability; first-generation student status; holding an identity from a marginalized population).

Group Services

CMHC's strong, established group program is an integral part of our organization and is our main resource for providing longer-term client services. We offer a large number of process-oriented, structured and theme groups on various topics, with new groups being offered each year. Topics vary 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

Group assignments are informed by input from interns regarding their goals and preferences, with consideration of interns’ training needs, scheduling issues and availability. Psychology interns typically co-facilitate two fall semester groups and one spring and summer semester group with a CMHC staff member. Depending upon previous experience and available supervising staff, interns may co-facilitate a spring or summer group with another intern.

Group Supervision and Training

Weekly, one-hour individual supervision for each group co-facilitated by the intern
Supervision may include group skills development, conceptualization, co-leadership processing, use of self in group interventions, etc. If an intern's co-facilitator 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.

Additional Training Options
Due to CMHC’s size and the role of groups in our organization, interns can develop skills in promoting groups and making effective group referrals. Occasionally, interns may help develop and facilitate 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 individualized supervision from their primary clinical supervisor focused on the intern’s supervision activities. Interns also participate in a weekly Supervision seminar during which various models of clinical supervision may be discussed, and recordings of interns' supervision of practicum students may be reviewed.

Understanding the Intersection of Identity and Mental Health

Training on the intersection of identity and to mental health is an essential component of our educational program. Interns are active and visible contributors to our clinicians’ efforts to educate ourselves to better serve the needs of all student populations. Training for psychology interns begins in August Orientation, during which, discussions on salient topics provide the basis for acknowledging and addressing these issues throughout year. The Diversity Seminar continues this training by addressing a spectrum of issues related to individual and cultural differences in both clinicians and clients as it relates to the therapeutic process. This seminar is intended to engage interns in discussions that enhance their abilities to provide culturally-informed, effective mental health services.

In our clinical services area, the university's student body provides interns with opportunities to work with persons of different 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 varied caseload. Group services also provide interns with the opportunity to co-facilitate groups for students with shared identities.

Prevention and Outreach

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.

Interns are expected to engage in prevention and outreach activities during the internship. Due to the busy clinical schedule during the long academic semesters, interns typically take part in prescheduled activities during these semesters and focus more intently on creating their own prevention-related activities during the summer months.

Interns may use their Preceptorship/Apprenticeship hours to focus on prevention and outreach activities.

Additional Training Experiences

Intern Support Hour
The Intern Support Hour is a period of time that is reserved in interns’ schedules as a time and space for interns to seek and provide support to one another and to engage in self-care and self-reflection. Interns are required to devote time to the Support Hour. The Support Hour has taken a variety of forms over the years, including a facilitated hour or, more recently, as an independent hour. Interns may be asked to develop a basic plan for how the hour could be used to support their needs.

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.

Specialty Seminar
Interns participate in this weekly seminar, which is facilitated by clinical staff members who provide leadership in specific clinical service areas. On a rotating basis, interns meet with leaders in the areas of Mindful Eating, Voices Against Violence, Substance Use Support, and Group Services. Interns are presented with didactic information about these areas and have the opportunity to discuss clients, assessment and treatment considerations, consultation related to these areas, etc.

We define apprenticeships as applied clinical 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 staff members’ 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 members.

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 at CMHC are one-on-one or small-group tutorials where interns study a focused topic with a staff member. Like apprenticeships, preceptorships allow interns to concentrate on areas of personal interest. Examples include areas such as anxiety disorders, CMHC administration, developmental theory as it applies to college students, use of psychotropic medication, treatments for sexual trauma, etc.

Research and Dissertation Support
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. Psychology interns deliver a research-based presentation during their internship year. This can be focused on dissertation efforts or other previous research, a research proposal, integration of research with a clinical case or a topic of interest to the intern, or other approved professional topic. Some interns have used this presentation time to prepare for professional “job talks” or conference presentations.

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

A distinctive feature of our internship is the August Orientation that begins upon the interns' arrival. Presentations, experiential workshops and other activities are scheduled to help acquaint interns with their CMHC roles and responsibilities, familiarize themselves with staff members, and build cohort relationships. Early in August, interns meet with potential individual supervisors and possible group co-facilitators, submit their preferences to the Training Committee, and are assigned to their fall semester trainers. Their individual supervisor (among others) assists with the orientation and the process of self-assessment with regards to goals, strengths and areas of growth. Informal social events further 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 includes interns in 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.

Recent Psychology Intern Time Allocations

(Subject to Change)
Activity     Fall         Spring         Summer    
Clinical Services
       Single Sessions 2 1 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
       Individual Seminar/ Group Supervision 2 1
       Specialty Area Seminar 1.5 1.5
       Professional Issues/Diversity Seminars 1.5 1.5
       Intern Support Hour 1 1
       Supervision Seminar 1
       Summer Seminar 2
Supervision of Practicum Student 2
Apprenticeships / Preceptorships 2.5 2 9
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 0.5 0.5 0.5
Weekly Professional Development Activity 1 1 1
Admin/Case Management Time 5 6.5 5
Totals 40 40 40

cmhc logo
facebook twitter instagram tumblr