Orientation to Internship
All interns participate in comprehensive orientation activities for three weeks prior to the beginning of the Fall Semester. All major SCC services, the training program, and major university agencies are reviewed in a sequence that fosters knowledge and adaptation. The intern has the opportunity to become acquainted with all senior staff and support staff. Staff will provide training seminars on different topics during orientation. Adequate time is provided to settle into the intern's office, visit informally with staff and other interns, and explore new surroundings. Interns also attend a 2-day retreat out of town to facilitate group relationships.
The Texas Tech University Student Counseling Center subscribes to a Practitioner-Scholar model of training for the predoctoral intership. The primary training modality is experiential, with these experiences informed by scholarly research and activity. Interns are encouraged to incorporate scholarly findings into their practice via didactic seminars, the clinical supervision they receive from staff members, and through their own research activities (dissertation and/or participation in SCC research activities). Training experiences are structured sequentially and build upon the knowledge and experience gained in previous training experiences. Training experiences prior to internship are also considered in structuring the training program for each intern. Expectations regarding intern competence increase as the year progresses, with the expectation that graduating interns can perform as generalists in entry-level postdoctoral positions in a variety of settings. Training guidance throughout the internship year is delivered at a level which matches each intern’s developmental needs. Supervisors and other professional staff recognize that beginning interns may require more instruction and hands-on guidance initially. Over the course of the year, interns are expected to gain more autonomy in their functioning – likewise, supervisory relationships with interns are expected to become more consultative in nature as the intern gains in experience. In addition to growth in clinical skills and experience, internship is also a time of significant growth for interns in their identity as psychologists. Supervisory relationships are expected to change as interns’ need for specific clinical guidance shifts to a need for more collegial mentoring.
The internship program at the Texas Tech University Student Counseling Center is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. The program's next scheduled review for re-accreditation will occur in 2012. Internship training is conceptualized as a logical extension of academic and practicum training. The professionally supervised training activities, however, are characterized by greater depth, breadth, duration, frequency and intensity than practicum training. Applied experiences, supervision, and the various training components are organized with the understanding that interns need greater guidance initially, but can assume more autonomy as the year progresses. Delivery of psychological services to the Texas Tech community is guided by the application of current scientific knowledge, principles, and theories aimed at maximizing effectiveness. Fashioned in compliance with APA's (2002) Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology, the program requires that all interns demonstrate an intermediate to advanced level of professional psychological skills, abilities, proficiencies, competencies, and knowledge in the areas of:
- Theories and methods of assessment and diagnosis and effective intervention (including empirically supported treatments).
- Theories and/or methods of consultation, evaluation, and supervision.
- Strategies of scholarly inquiry.
- Issues of cultural and individual diversity that are relevant to all of the above.
Furthermore, the training program maintains that training considerations will take precedence over service delivery while assuring that client welfare remains a priority.
Policy on Personal Disclosure by Interns
During the internship year, many training activities involve opportunities for personal exploration and reflection that include disclosure of personal information. These activities are seen as essential in promoting interns’ development and skills as a psychologist, and it is our intention that personal disclosures are done in a training environment characterized by trust, safety, and respect. Training staff are careful to avoid misuse of this information. While there is not an expectation that personal disclosure needs to occur at every opportunity, there is an expectation that the intern will participate at a level that furthers his or her professional development.
Goals for Internship Training
The SCC Internship program is committed to preparing skilled psychologists. The SCC provides a wide range of services and activities that give the interns a realistic view of the practice of psychology. The diverse composition of the staff, as well as diversity in professional interests, allow for this goal to be met. Furthermore, the program strives to attain the following goals:
- To provide interns with a wide range of professional activities in order to ensure a well-rounded training experience.
- To foster and promote the integration of the science of psychology and the professional practice of psychology and to promote the interactive relationship between the two.
- To nurture the development of a strong psychologist identity that is congruent with personal and moral values.
- To support the development of ethical integrity in interns as future psychologists.
- To nurture the interns professional development and self-confidence and prepare them for employment in the profession of psychology.
- To increase the interns' appreciation of individual differences and multicultural competency.