Program

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.

Supervision:

For each of the two 6-month periods, each intern is assigned two hours per week of individual supervision with licensed psychologists to supervise their individual client caseload. Interns work with two supervisors (one primary and one secondary) and divide their caseloads enabling them to get two supervisory perspectives. Interns will be provided a list of eligible supervisors from the clinical staff. Every supervisor is a Licensed Psychologist. Interns are expected to gain intensive individual supervision with at least two licensed psychologists over the course of the internship year. However, in specific circumstances approved by the Coordinator of Training, interns may select to work with only one supervisor for 2 hours per week. Supervisors monitor the intern’s caseload, and co-sign all initial consultations, case notes, and termination summaries. Webcam recordings, discussion, and role plays are utilized. Supervision with other counseling staff or psychiatrists on specific individual clients, group clients, or couples is arranged as desired or needed.

Group supervision of individual clients is provided during the weekly case conference (1 hr) which is led by a licensed psychologist and attended by the training team members and senior staff; as well as in weekly intern group supervision with only interns and the Coordinator of Training (1hr).  Supervision of individual clients is also provided during weekly Consultation/Crisis Team (1 hr) supervision which is led by the Coordinator of Urgent Care and Suicide Prevention. This hour of group supervision provides interns with the opportunity to present to peers and the Coordinator of Urgent Care those cases which have come up during their walk-in or crisis coverage during the week.

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.

Training Didactics:
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:

Interns are fully informed of the following supervision procedures during orientation. They are provided copies of the evaluation form for Evaluation of Intern for Profession Wide Competencies for trainees which is available on each intern’s desktop. At the two formal evaluation periods during the year (Mid-year and End of Year), there is an evaluation meeting where all supervisors and seminar leaders discuss with the CoT their assessment of each intern’s progress.

Interns are informed at orientation about formal evaluation meetings in early February and in mid-July. Other evaluation meetings may be scheduled as needed. Supervisors indicate that they will be providing the intern with feedback during formal meetings about their overall performance and progress throughout internship. All supervisors complete a written evaluation of the intern they supervise during their 6-month assignments based on the profession wide competencies set by APA along with other areas of clinical and professional development. The second round of evaluations occur toward the end of the training year (mid-July). Interns have the opportunity at the end of the Fall Semester to request a change of supervisor for the second half of their internship year in order to experience more supervisory styles and theoretical orientations. Supervision reassignments begin in February after mid-year evaluations are completed.

Successful evaluation is defined by intern performance meeting the Minimum Level of Achievement (MLA) on each APA Profession Wide Competency (PWC) by all evaluators. MLA at the mid-year point is denoted as being a rating of 3 or higher on each PWC assessment subitem and a mean rating of 4.0 or higher on the overall average of subitems for each PWC. MLA at the end of the year is denoted as being a rating of 4 or higher on each PWC assessment subitem and a mean rating of 4.0 or higher on the overall average of subitems for each PWC.

The CoT keeps each intern’s home institution informed of the intern’s training experiences and progress over the course of the internship year. Summary letters are written by the CoT and are sent at mid-year and at the year’s end to the academic training director at each intern’s home institution. At this time, the CoT may also elicit feedback regarding how well the program is meeting the interns’ needs and expectations throughout the training year as needed.

At the midpoint and end of the year, interns also complete an Evaluation of Internship form that solicits their overall feedback regarding the various seminars and supervision as well as other training experiences. Each intern meets with the CoT at the end of the year to process training strengths and growing edges. A final report of the intern’s progress is then sent to their home institutions.