Philosophy of Training
Preparing Professional Psychologists to Serve a Diverse Public
This statement was developed by the Education Directorate’s Working Group on Restrictions Affecting Diversity Training in Graduate Education, and approved by the Board of Educational Affairs in March 2013.
Statement of Purpose
For psychologists to competently serve all members of the public now and in the future, professional psychology training programs strive to ensure that psychology trainees demonstrate acceptable levels of knowledge, skills and awareness to work effectively with diverse individuals. Clients/patients are complex individuals who belong to diverse cultures and groups. Trainees also bring a complex set of personal characteristics and diverse cultural or group memberships to the education and training process. An important component of psychology training to explore is when and how trainees’ world views, beliefs or religious values interact with and even impede the provision of competent professional services to members of the public. It is essential that potential conflicts be acknowledged and addressed during training so that psychologists are prepared to beneficially and non-injuriously interact with all clients/patients. This statement is intended to help training programs address conflicts between trainees’ worldviews, beliefs or religious values and professional psychology’s commitment to offering culturally responsive psychological services to all members of the public, especially to those from traditionally marginalized groups.
Doctoral Internship at Georgia State University
The training program at the Counseling and Testing Center includes a doctoral internship in health services psychology. The internship is conceived as the capstone year of the doctoral training experience in clinical and counseling psychology that provides an opportunity for interns to develop professional autonomy while working under the supervision of experienced professionals. This transitional year encourages interns to formulate a deeper understanding of their theoretical orientation while building skills in individual, group and couples therapy, crisis intervention, consultation, primary prevention, outreach and assessment with a diverse university student population.
The training staff works within a practitioner-scholar model with an emphasis on the development of the intern. This practitioner-scholar model focuses upon the practical integration of empirical knowledge into clinical work, guided by mentoring supervisory relationships, discussions with peers and senior staff in weekly case conferences and didactic training. The primary focus of the training program is clinical work with an urban university population that is diverse in terms of many variables including age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status and presenting concern. This broad training experience prepares interns to move comfortably and competently into a variety of outpatient settings. A major strength of training at the Counseling and Testing Center is the multicultural opportunities available due to the diverse student body and training staff of Georgia State University.
In addition to clinical experiences available, the Counseling and Testing Center is committed to serving as an engaged campus partner and provides proactive programming and wellness based outreach to the campus community. The center is a key member of the Healthy State Committee and, as such, regularly partners with a variety of departments on campus to host campus events, health fairs and workshops on topics such as stress management, time management, relationship skill building and assertiveness training. Interns are given the opportunity to co-facilitate these workshops and to lead them independently.
Supervision focuses on helping interns develop and refine methods of intervening therapeutically that are grounded in theory and research. Emphasis is placed on development of the strengths of interns. The center highly values the abilities and talents brought by interns and strives to integrate each intern into the full operation of the center as an independent professional. Interns will have the opportunity to serve on center committees, present clinical questions and offer feedback in regular case conference meetings, make suggestions and give insights on the operation of the center and pursue professional development through conference and workshop attendance. The staff of the center is diverse and offers a variety of theoretical orientations and training backgrounds. Interns are given the opportunity to be involved in the selection of their individual supervisors and are involved in identifying their needs and goals for the internship year.
The training program is a member of Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
50 1st Street, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979
Email: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
Web: American Psychological Association Accredited Programs