Model of Training Program – Psychology Internship

Training Model

The training program is based on the values inherent in the Practitioner-Scholar Model.  Interns are taught to value 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.  We assist interns as they learn more about how to integrate critical thinking skills, a strong theoretical foundation, empirical evidence and the use of local data (data collected from the NCSU Counseling Center population) to inform and guide their clinical work with clients.  The overall goal is to produce well-rounded professionals who are able to execute an approach with clients supported by empirical evidence, self-reflection and critical thinking.  The training staff also seeks to foster a lifelong commitment to the integration of self-reflective practice and scholarly examination.

This training model is supported through opportunities for interns to be challenged and stretched beyond their current developmental stage.  Interns will also be supported through supervision as they address important developmental questions, and explore how to integrate the practitioner-scholar model into their practice.  Additionally, a range of supervisory experience will be presented so as to expose interns to a variety of clinically and empirically sound approaches.  An increasing level of autonomy will be offered as the year progresses, and as interns demonstrate progression within the practitioner-scholar model.

Training Philosophy

Generalist Training Through Direct, Supervised Experience

Interns gain needed skills during the internship year, while 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.

Integrating Personal and Professional Identities

Interns learn the importance of 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.  Interns will be encouraged to continually seek awareness of self and use this information to define strengths and areas for development.  Interns’ examination of personal values will help them to discover the impact of their beliefs on professional functioning.  Increased personal awareness should also assist trainees in understanding their role in interpersonal dynamics and their role in personal and professional interactions.  Furthermore, the emphasis placed upon personal understanding as part of professional development may require that interns be asked to consider issues that are somewhat personal in nature.  Every effort is made to provide a safe and nurturing environment which respects disclosure and protects interns’ confidentiality. The internship training program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association’s 2002 Ethical Standard 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information) as contained in the Revised Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002).

Infusing Sensitivity and Appreciation for Issues of Diversity/Multiculturalism

Diversity is a core value here at NCSU’s Counseling Center.  Interns are encouraged to explore their beliefs, attitudes and skills in order to assess and increase their multicultural competence. In support of the desire to foster diversity, the Counseling Center is committed to developing diversity training for staff.  The Center also hosts the Multicultural Committee, which examines varying aspects of diversity related to the Center’s practice.  An attempt is also made to recruit diverse staff and trainees, and consistently work to ensure that the Center is welcoming to students and staff from all backgrounds.  Multicultural training is also provided to interns through training seminars and is woven into all aspects of training.

The Counseling Center recognizes that factors such as multiculturalism, race or ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion, and range of ability affect college students’ lives and sometimes present unique challenges.  The Counseling Center values each student’s individuality and commits to welcoming all people with respect and sensitivity.  Counseling Center staff also attends to their own professional development by participating in training and programs designed to enhance their understanding of the needs diverse people.