In the Department of Psychology the internship is an opportunity for the student to use both the knowledge and the interpersonal and research skills acquired during the master's program. The intern has learned and demonstrated both knowledge and skill during previous classes and supervised practicum experiences, and now combines them in a work setting related to their field of study. The intern generally functions as a full or part-time staff member in a company or agency. With this work experience, the completion of an oral presentation, and an integrative paper, the intern will fulfill the internship requirements. Counseling students complete the 1000 hour requirement across three semesters, and the Industrial-Organizational students will complete the 600 requirement across one semester.

Counseling Internship Guidelines and Requirements

The student begins by meeting with the internship chairperson well before the start of the final internship semester to establish a written agreement on the requirements and due dates for various components of the internship portfolio. A Practicum and Internship Application must be submitted and signed by all appropriate parties.

Prior to beginning your clinical placement you should thoroughly review the Practicum Internship Description. This will be distributed during the Pre-Practicum class.

Internship Portfolio

A complete Internship Portfolio will be composed of the following sections:

Overview of the Site and Activities

  1. A narrative description of the practicum and internship placement sites (e.g., location, staff composition, services provided, resources, client base etc.)
  2. A narrative description of supervision received. This section should identify supervisor(s), supervisor’s qualifications and role in the agency, and method(s) of supervision (e.g., individual, group, use of audio, video, co-therapy etc.)
  3. A narrative description of the administrative activities of the intern (e.g., maintaining clinical files, discharge/termination notes, research activities etc.)
  4. A narrative description of the range of clinical activities in which the intern was involved, such as assessment (conducting psycho-socials, intake sessions, administration/interpretation of psychological or psycho-social assessment instruments), individual counseling, couples and family counseling, group counseling, psycho-education, and outreach activities.
  5. A summary of the amount of time spent performing each of the clinical activities described in (iv). Include logs in appendices: logs should include number of hours in direct service activities and types of direct service activities (i.e., individual, group, couples or family therapy), types of issues addressed (e.g., mood disorders, adjustment issues, substance misuse), number of hours in supervision and format of supervision (e.g., individual, group etc.), number of hours in observation, training/professional development, and administrative activities.
  6. An evaluation of the site(s), identifying the strengths and weaknesses in your training experiences.

Integrative Theoretical Paper

In this section of your portfolio you will provide an integrative paper that pulls together and applies previous coursework, theoretical and empirical literature, as well as practicum and internship experiences, to describe the evolution of your professional identity, as well as your practice as a counselor-in-training. Throughout your graduate experience you have been exposed to a variety of models of human growth and development, differing theories of change, as well as differing approaches to the counseling process. In this time you have had the opportunity to apply and evaluate the principles and techniques associated with these theories and models in your work with clients. This section of the portfolio gives you the opportunity to integrate and articulate in a scholarly fashion how these experiences have informed your unique and evolving theoretical orientation as well as your practice style. The following sections may be helpful in orienting you to the major components considered necessary for this section. It is essential to incorporate clinical examples of your work as a counselor in this section. In incorporating these examples it is imperative that you alter any identifying information to ensure the protection of client confidentiality.

For sections 1 through 8, please provide appropriate theoretical and empirical support for your position.

  1. Outline and discuss your theory of personality – addressing the question what makes people feel, think and behave as they do.
  2. Outline and discuss what it means to be psychologically healthy.
  3. Discuss what you believe contributes to psychological distress and the maintenance of distress.
  4. Discuss what you believe contributes to the alleviation of psychological distress. In this section provide a clear and thoughtful conceptualization and discussion of the counseling process, from initial sessions to termination. Accompany this with appropriate theoretical and empirical literature that both clearly and critically illustrates what informs your approach to clients, as well as your choice of treatment strategies and interventions. Provide case examples to demonstrate your position.
  5. Provide your thoughtful assessment of clinical work as a scientific endeavor. (i.e., involving the gathering and assessment of data, formulation, testing and reformulation of hypotheses based on clinical observation as well as the relevant theoretical and empirical knowledge base, and lastly the selection and modification of intervention strategies based on the former). For this discussion provide a detailed response that illustrates the complexity with which you view this process.
  6. Discuss your view of the role, value and impact of research or empiricism on clinical practice more generally. In doing so, clearly identify and explicate how your coursework in research design, statistics and your exposure to the empirical base of the profession informs your perception of well-designed and useful research versus research that is ill-designed and problematic. Additionally, please discuss how your view as outlined impacts your professional practice and how you plan to continue to integrate empiricism in your clinical practice beyond your graduate training.
  7. Provide a critique of your evolving theoretical orientation in terms of its practical application. In this critique please discuss your perception of the practice scope of your clinical competence and skills. In this include a description of the boundaries that define your practice range and the activities or types of clinical work that fall beyond that. Please also describe your plans regarding continued professional development including plans for additional training and continuing education activities.
  8. Describe how you experienced diversity issues during your training. What relevant issues or dilemmas arose in this regard? How did clients perceive you, especially those with different ethnic, religious, cultural, gender, sexual orientation, and/or age characteristics than you? How did you perceive these differences? What are the ideals and behaviors, if any, that counselors should strive for when working with individuals who differ from their own reference group?
  9. Comprehensive Reference List

Note: Additional information or readings may be requested or assigned as stipulated by one’s internship committee, but these additions will not replace or constitute major revision of the core portfolio requirements.

Appendices to Include

  • Resumé/Vitae
  • Practicum Logged Hours (as outlined in section A part v)
  • Internship Logged Hours (outlined in section A part v)
  • Advanced Internship Logged Hours (outlined in section A part v)

Documentation of successful completion of oral exam, consisting of completed Internship Project Form, and Portfolio Approval/Signature Page.