Program Structure
The internship program begins on August 1st, and ends on July 31. All interns are based within the Counseling Center , but also spend some of their training time in other settings on campus. Services in the Counseling Center provided primarily between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m., with late hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until 7 p.m. during fall and spring semesters. Additionally, staff members and interns provide some psychoeducational outreach programs and crisis intervention services which take place during the evening hours. Interns also participate in providing walk-in crisis consultation on a rotation basis during the hours the Counseling Center is open. Work weeks usually will vary between 40 and 45 hours per week and per university policy for all staff, include a non-paid 45 minute lunch break daily. Approximately half of the interns’ time is spent in direct clinical or consultative services, with the other half divided between supervision, seminars and administrative/case management duties.

Each intern will experience several different clinical supervisors during their training. The Primary Supervisor, a licensed psychologist on the CAPS staff, meets individually with the intern for a minimum of 2 hours per week. An additional hour of individual supervision each week is provided by the Case Supervisor; case supervision typically focuses on a particular client or type of intervention. Interns receive additional supervision on their outreach, group and consultation experiences. Typically, each intern will spend an average of 5-6 hours per week in supervision, with a minimum of 3 hours per week of individual supervision.

Georgia State University Counseling Center Trainee Self-Disclosure Policy:
Training staff at the Georgia State University Counseling Center value training psychologists who are culturally competent and skilled in developing effective therapeutic relationships. Because of this value, in our intervention, supervision and training activities, there is a focus on the “person-of-the-therapist” as well as the identity development of the therapist with regard to privilege and oppression, and how this may impact the quality and effectiveness of work with clients and consultees. Trainees may be asked to reflect upon and share the ways that their own personal qualities, reactions and experiences as well as their intersecting cultural identities influence and are impacted by their clinical work in supervision and other training settings. Such exploration and disclosure is not intended to serve as psychotherapy for the trainee, and is focused on enhancing self-awareness and professional development as related to the trainee’s clinical practice during the training program. Supervisors and other training staff are expected to explore relevant information in a respectful, non-coercive manner, within the context of a safe and supportive professional relationship. Information shared in supervision is not considered confidential or privileged communication and if material is shared that has an impact on the intern’s work at the Counseling Center, this may be shared with the training committee in regular monthly meetings to review trainee progress and plans.

Interns participate in a number of didactic training experiences while at the Counseling Center. The training seminars are taught by Counseling Center senior staff, as well as clinicians with specialties in various areas and are designed to enhance and supplement the learning that occurs through supervision and clinical experiences.

  • Seminar
    Intern Seminar meets each week during the academic year for two hours, and explores a broad spectrum of theoretical and applied clinical issues. These include Ethics, Cultural Diversity, Treatment of Trauma, Motivational Interviewing, Assessment and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders, Psychopathology and Diagnostics, Crisis Assessment and Intervention, Short-term Therapy Models, Professional Development Issues, as well as Clinical Theories and Methods. This seminar combines didactic presentations with case discussions, and the curriculum is flexible in order to reflect the interests and needs of the current intern class.
  • Crisis Intervention Supervision Group
    Interns participate in the Center’s walk-in clinic along with senior staff, to assist students who come into the center in crisis during office hours. During the early part of the year, interns work closely with senior staff to assess and intervene, but they are allowed to assume more responsibility as the year progresses and they gain experience. Crisis intervention activities may include case management with agencies on- or off-campus, consulting with parents, faculty members or peers who are concerned about a student on campus (within the limits of confidentiality), or providing debriefing after campus emergencies. A senior staff member is always available for consultation.In addition to individual supervision, a weekly, 1-hour seminar provides group supervision and didactic information related to clients who present via the Counseling Center Walk-In Service. The seminar is provided by a licensed psychologist who serves as Coordinator of Urgent Care & Suicide Prevention. In addition, a licensed psychologist is always available for individual consultation and supervision when interns are covering the Walk-In Clinic.
  • Supervision of Group Therapy
    Interns have the opportunity to co-lead a group with a licensed senior staff member. Weekly supervision follow each group session is provided by the licensed staff member who is supervising the group. Didactic material may include discussion of the stages of group development, theories of group process and ethical issues in group leadership as they apply to the group being co-led.
  • Case Conference
    Interns participate with our multidisciplinary senior staff each week in case conference, during which interns and senior staff rotate presenting clinical cases with specific consultation questions for discussion. Once a month, this meeting includes our staff psychiatrist as well as the three psychiatry fellows from Emory University.
  • Direct Clinical Service and Applied Experiences
    Each trainee is involved in a number of types of applied experiences during the training year. Direct clinical service includes initial consultation assessments, brief psychotherapy with individuals and couples, group therapy, longer-term therapy, as well as crisis intervention. Trainees also gain experience with outreach and consultation, peer supervision, case management and other activities related to elective experiences. Each intern is expected to provide a minimum of 500 hours of direct, face-to-face, clinical service during the year in order to successfully complete internship and meet Georgia licensure requirements.
  • Psychotherapy
    The Georgia State University Counseling Center provides counseling and psychotherapy services to an undergraduate and graduate student population which reflects society’s diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, gender, SES, gender identity and religion. Clients at the Counseling Center present with a wide range of needs and concerns, ranging from developmental or transitional difficulties to serious, chronic psychopathology. Interns gain experience in using a variety of theoretical orientations and interventions to assist clients’ growth and remediation. Each intern typically has a caseload of about 12 – 15 clients.In addition to brief therapy clients (typically seen for up to 15 sessions), interns may carry one long-term client for the duration of the internship year. It is also expected that each intern will have the opportunity to co-lead a therapy group during the internship year. Interns are involved in case selection, following their initial consultation assessment, with input from supervisors and the Associate Director of Clinical Services. This ensures that each intern’s caseload is appropriately diverse, but also allows interns to focus on developing specialty or interest areas.
  • Campus Outreach and Consultation
    Interns have the opportunity to provide psychological and systems-oriented consultation for professional and paraprofessional staff on the Georgia State University campus. Typical services include crisis management assistance, consultation for non-urgent student concerns, paraprofessional training, providing outreach workshops to address concerns within the residence halls and mediation of organizational or staffing issues. Interns receive supervision from the Associate Director for Psychological and Health Services or another senior staff member on their consultation activities.
  • Group Supervision of Individual Therapy
    The Director of Training leads a weekly one-hour supervision group for Psychology Doctoral Interns. This supervision group includes the opportunity to learn specific didactics related to individual psychotherapy as well as a space for more in-depth exploration of psychological assessment and crisis intervention.
  • Psychological Assessment
    Interns gain significant diagnostic and assessment experience by conducting weekly initial consultation assessment interviews, which focus on eliciting the information needed to formulate initial treatment plans for new clients. Georgia State University’s Counseling Center does not typically conduct much formal psychological testing. However, interns have access to a number of assessment instruments and are encouraged to use them in collaboration with their supervisors as clinically useful.
  • Crisis Intervention
    Interns participate in the Center’s walk-in clinic along with senior staff, to assist students who come into the center in crisis during office hours. During the early part of the year, interns work closely with senior staff to assess and intervene, but they are allowed to assume more responsibility as the year progresses and they gain experience. A senior staff member is always available for consultation.

Additional Training Activities:
In addition to the training experiences outlined above, interns have the opportunity to participate in other ongoing training activities within the University. Interns are also allowed professional development leave time (up to 3 days) for conference or workshop attendance. Each intern receives four hours of research time per week, which may be used for dissertation, intern in-reach project or other research projects.

  • Elective Training Experiences
    Interns may elect to gain experience with providing consultation in several other settings within the University. Electives are typically matched to an individual intern’s areas of interest.
  • International Student Programs Consultation
    Interns with an interest in international cultural issues may choose to provide consultation for Georgia State University’s Office of International Student Life. Possible services to students from outside the United States include crisis intervention, psychoeducational programs, assisting program staff with cross-cultural communication skills, and research regarding the needs and concerns of the international population. Supervision is provided by a CAPS staff psychologist.

Training Goals:
The internship training program at Georgia State University Counseling Center provides supervised applied experience to graduate students in clinical psychology and counseling psychology. The general goals for the program are:

  • To develop each intern’s applied skills and competence in the areas of psychotherapy, crisis management, consultation, outreach, supervision and diagnostics.
  • To develop each intern’s professional identity within a generalist model, in order to allow for competent and ethical professional functioning in a variety of settings and roles.
  • To develop each intern’s cultural awareness, sensitivity and competence to provide services to diverse client populations.
  • To develop each intern’s ability to utilize theory and science to inform the practice of psychology and provision of consultative and therapeutic services.

Specific training goals at CAPS vary according to the level of experience and the professional discipline of the trainees. In addition, individual goals for the training year are developed by each trainee, in conjunction with their primary supervisor. Specific training aims for the internship are listed below.

Overview of Psychology Doctoral Intern General Training Aims:
The Training Aims of the internship training program are to provide comprehensive training that prepares interns for the varied professional roles assumed by professional psychologists. These Training Aims reflect the Profession-wide Competencies that have been identified by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Specific competencies for each area are detailed on intern evaluation forms, which are included below. By the end of the internship year, each intern should have achieved an intermediate to advanced level of competence in the following areas:

  1. Research: Interns should be competent consumers of the scientific literature, particularly as it applies to their clinical and consultative work.
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards: Interns should understand and adhere to the American Psychological Association Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, as well as the Georgia Laws which govern the practice of applied psychology.
  3. Individual and Cultural Diversity: Interns should demonstrate understanding of, and sensitivity to, issues of human diversity as they impact the clinical, consultation, outreach, supervision and research functions of psychologists.
  4. Professional Values, Attitudes and Behaviors: Interns should be able to demonstrate values, attitudes and behaviors which are consistent with those of the psychology profession. These include reflective practice and self-awareness, appropriate professional conduct, self-care and the ability to manage personal stressors and reactions.
  5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Interns should demonstrate appropriate verbal and written communication skills with clients, colleagues, supervisors, outreach/consultation constituents and other CAPS staff.
  6. Assessment: Interns should be able to perform psychodiagnostic assessment using clinical interviews. The intern should be able to complete written reports of initial assessment findings, along with recommendations for treatment disposition in the electronic medical records system using Counseling Center templates for documentation. The intern should be able to develop and communicate appropriate written and verbal feedback regarding client diagnoses, conceptualization and treatment needs following initial assessment.
  7. Intervention (Psychotherapy/Case Management/Crisis Intervention): Interns should demonstrate competence in providing direct case management and clinical services, which may include short- and longer-term individual, group and couples’ psychotherapy, clinical case management and crisis intervention. Interns should be able to provide crisis management services, including assessment of suicide/homicide risk, appropriate use of consultation with other professionals and identification and utilization of campus and community resources. It is expected that interns will use supervision experiences to develop a theory-based conceptualization for each client, utilize relevant scholarly literature to direct treatment planning, and to intervene appropriately, based on client needs.
  8. Supervision: Interns should become familiar with models of supervision and increase their supervision competence through both role-play in supervision seminar and supervision of a practicum student in the areas of outreach and structured groups.
  9. Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills: Interns should have an understanding of theoretical models of consultation and outreach, and demonstrate applied proficiency in consulting with systems, including provision of outreach/preventive programming. Interns should demonstrate competence in collaborating and consulting with mental health and healthcare professionals from other disciplines.

The Georgia State University Counseling Center doctoral internship program measures intern growth and competence over the year in using a number of methods. These include:

  • Participation in weekly individual and group supervision, case conferences, seminars and meetings
  • Ability to articulate diagnostic impressions, conceptualization and treatment plan for initial consultations and ongoing therapy cases during weekly supervision meetings.
  • Supervisor review of session video recordings and intern clinical documentation
  • Ability to articulate relevant clinical assessment, client safety and crisis management concerns to supervisors when managing crises with ongoing clients and during walk-in shift coverage
  • Supervisor ratings of intern achievement on Center evaluation forms
  • Intern ratings on pre- and post-internship self-assessment forms
  • Intern maintains a diverse caseload
  • Ability to articulate relevant issues related to cultural and individual diversity during weekly supervision meetings
  • Information regarding licensure, employment and other career achievements via former intern surveys
  • Interns’ ability to articulate professional development and career goals with clarity and awareness of own strengths and areas for growth during supervisor and Training Director meetings

Minimum Thresholds for Achievement for Expected Competencies:
On their final evaluations, interns must receive ratings of 3 “Average performance for intern in training” or above, on all the evaluation items, in order to complete the internship successfully.

Intern Evaluation Form

Evaluations occur at regularly scheduled points during the internship year. Informal evaluations may be scheduled for mid-fall semester in November. Formal evaluations are scheduled for February and July. All training faculty, including supervisors and seminar instructors, meet at each designated evaluation time to discuss each intern’s progress through the internship program. The purpose of these evaluation sessions is to integrate feedback on intern performance from as many sources as possible and provide the training director, training committee and supervisors with sufficient information on intern progress to provide program modifications when needed in order to appropriately support and challenge each intern. The primary and secondary supervisors are responsible for completing a written evaluation of the intern that describes the intern’s performance during the evaluation period. (Supervisors and interns can view a copy of the evaluation form on the I drive under Training on computers in the Counseling and Testing Center.)

The training director will add administrative feedback with regard to the intern’s attendance, punctuality, professionalism and other related issues. The training director is responsible for integrating feedback into a report that is sent twice a year to the intern’s academic training director. All evaluation reports will conclude with the most appropriate evaluation statement listed below checked off.

  • The intern is performing within general standards. Any problems encountered are seen as normal professional developmental issues.
  • Problems identified in the report have been noted and are significantly below minimum standards of practice. A plan of remediation has been identified and will be addressed in subsequent supervision.
  • Problems reflected in this report warrant discussion or further action by the training committee.

Interns and supervisors meet at a scheduled evaluation session to exchange feedback. During the informal evaluation sessions, this feedback is oral, while during the formal evaluations the feedback exchange is both written and oral. During formal evaluation sessions, the supervisor and intern will discuss the written evaluation of the intern and the intern’s evaluation of the supervisor prior to submitting both forms to the training director. The intern’s evaluations, signed by both intern and supervisor, will be included in the intern’s file. The intern’s signature does not necessarily reflect agreement with the content, but rather that the document has been presented to and reviewed by the intern. Interns may provide a written reaction to the evaluation report. The intern’s written reaction is also submitted to the training director and included in the intern’s file.

Interns are expected to rate their overall experience of the internship at midyear and at the end of the year on the Intern Training Evaluation. (This form is available on the I drive under Training on computers in the Counseling Center). Interns are also invited to share their experiences of the strengths and weaknesses of the internship with the training director during administrative seminar. The training director and training committee use written and oral feedback from the interns to modify the internship program as appropriate.