The NC State Counseling Center supports students by offering personal, academic and career counseling. The staff is multidisciplinary, and although staff members may have some specific area of expertise, all are considered generalists. Interns will be trained in virtually every area of center functioning in order to prepare them for practice as a generalist first, while supporting each trainee’s distinct professional interests and skills. Training is viewed as a way to contribute to the profession, but also as a way to ensure that we stay current on practice issues. Trainees also infuse our center with the energy and enthusiasm that is both valued and supported.
The training program is based on the values inherent in the Practitioner-Scholar model. Learning that comes through direct experience with others and thoughtful self-reflection is valued by the training staff here at the Counseling Center. As scholars, the training staff recognizes the importance of theory, research and critical thinking. Both practice and scholarship are essential to preparing new mental health professionals to work effectively with diverse individuals and groups in a rapidly-changing world. The training staff seeks to foster a lifelong commitment to the integration of self-reflective practice and scholarly examination.
Becoming a competent psychologist requires graduated experiences and training; therefore, the NC State Counseling Center offers training experiences which offer developmentally appropriate experiences as the year progresses. The didactic instruction and supervised practice opportunities will vary based upon Fellows cohort needs, input from Fellows and requirements based upon APPIC and APA accreditation standards. As trainees gain experience, expectations for more advanced professional skills, greater self-awareness and autonomous functioning increase.
A high value is placed on the integration of one’s personal and professional identities. The training staff strives to tailor each interns’ experience to their individual needs within the structured activities of our training program. Ongoing self-assessment of one’s strengths and limitations is encouraged. When coupled with the supervisory feedback of multiple staff members who are committed to training new professionals, there is great opportunity for personal and professional development.
Fellows learn through direct experience under close supervision and are encouraged to also utilize their cohort group for learning and support. All staff involved in training will be expected to serve as a mentor and positive role model. Interactive, skill-building seminars are used as an additional source of learning. Trainees receive on-the-job training in the full range of university psychological services including individual and group psychotherapy, intake assessment, psychological assessment, urgent care, on-call, clinical supervision, multicultural competence, program development and outreach services. Opportunities to initiate or continue the development of specialties or areas of interest are also provided.
Orientation and training will occur when Fellows begin in August. Presentations, trainings, and other activities are scheduled to assist trainees in transitioning to our setting. Initial assessment of skills in various areas of professional functioning determines each intern’s areas of strength and areas for growth. During this time, each intern is given the opportunity to explore goals for their training experience and to discuss ways to maximize opportunities in individual areas of interest. An attempt is made to match interns to supervisors based on interns’ areas of interest and individual needs.
In addition to the variety of training activities offered during orientation, informal social events are scheduled to help Fellows build group cohesiveness and to aid in meeting Counseling Center staff members.