Doctoral Internship Overview
Counseling Center Mission
The Mission of the Counseling Center is to facilitate student success and psychological well-being through culturally sensitive clinical services, outreach, and consultation. In keeping with the educational mission of the university, we also contribute to the mental health professions by serving as a training site for graduate students in psychology and counseling. We support the professional development of our staff and strive to embody the wellness we promote within the campus community.
The Counseling Center fosters a community that values and respects diversity. An inclusive definition of diversity recognizes the variety of personal and social experiences that make individuals and communities different from one another. These differences include race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, size, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, genetic information, veteran status, and the many other ways one might identify.
The Doctoral Internship program is an integral part of the mission of the Western Washington University Counseling Center, and the entire professional and support staff is involved in the supervision and training of our interns. The training program’s aim is to prepare interns to function competently and independently as psychologists. We aim to graduate interns who are clinically skilled, who practice ethically, and with cultural humility, and who have developed a well-defined professional identity. The program follows a practitioner-scholar model of professional training for psychologists, which emphasizes experiential learning. As a practitioner, the intern applies the knowledge gained from scholarly and scientific evidence to clinical practice. As a scholar, the intern is engaged in study of the science of psychology and mental health and is encouraged to contribute to the profession through involvement in scholarly activities. In addition, the training staff provides a wide variety of clinical and supervision orientations used in training.
The aims of the doctoral internship program are:
To provide a high-quality training experience for individuals who have progressed through doctoral studies in the field of psychology
To provide a training experience that will result in interns being eligible for licensure as psychologists
To provide interns with opportunities for the refinement of the basic skills necessary to practice as a professional health service psychologist and to expose interns to related areas of practice
To provide a training experience that is flexible enough to allow individuals to meet their personal and professional needs
Psychology Intern/Doctoral Intern
- Provide clinical assessments with triage-based disposition and referral.
- Provide individual counseling for students within a brief and focused counseling model (Interns are able to see a limited number of cases for more long-term therapy).
- Assist students in need of more frequent, long-term, or specialized services find off-campus professionals for referral.
- Provide coordinated services for clients between the Counseling Center, Alcohol and Drug Consultation and Assessment Services, CASAS (Consultation & Sexual Assault Services), the Student Health Center psychiatrists, Disability Resources, Residence Life, and various off-campus services.
- Facilitate and co-facilitating groups, workshops, and psycho-educational outreach.
- Provide at least three (3) hours per week of scheduled Same-day Drop-in Consultation time for WWU Students.
- Participate in the weekly intern seminar, staff meeting, medical consultation meeting, peer consultation group, and other Counseling, Health, and Wellness and division meetings and events.
- Receive a minimum of two (2) hours per week of individual supervision and two (2) hours of program supervision activities.
- Serve in the after-hours on-call counselor rotation, at times determined jointly by the Director, Training Director and clinical supervisor. The on-call counselor will be expected to serve during times the university is in session and take a portion of call during breaks. The on-call counselors must be available and able to respond immediately to phone calls and to be on-site within 30 minutes. If a large-scale crisis occurs, the counselor will be expected to be part of a team of responders which could be after-hours, on weekends, or at other times outside the workday.
The Doctoral internship is 2000 hours to be completed over the course of 12 months. The purpose of the internship is to provide experience in the various activities practiced by a Health Service Psychologist. The Counseling Center is committed to the achievement of excellence in the internship experience it provides. Interns gain exposure to the variety of professional activities and service delivery systems that exist in a contemporary college or university counseling setting. The expectation is that interns will profit from the training experience in terms of professional and personal growth. Opportunities exist to individualize aspects of the program so that special needs, skills, or areas of interest can be addressed or developed. Upon completion of the program, it is hoped that interns will view the experience as a valuable capstone to their formal graduate training, and that they will be capable of assuming positions of responsibility in the field.
Internship positions are open to students in doctoral programs who are preparing for a career in health service psychology. Doctoral internship applicants must follow APPIC (Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers) guidelines and timetables regarding the submission of their application materials. The Counseling Center is currently unable to offer practicum opportunities for doctoral or master's level students at this time.
The Counseling Center at Western Washington University is a unit of Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services, a department of the Division of Enrollment and Student Services and is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS). Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services is dedicated to promoting the mental and physical wellbeing of Western Washington University students.
Currently, the Center includes eleven full-time clinical professionals and three to four doctoral interns, supplemented by two full-time support staff. Staff members practice in a variety of counseling modes and represent a number of theoretical approaches to counseling and psychotherapy. Case conferences, professional development programs, and consultation activities help each staff member share and expand their individual skills.
Stipend and Benefits
The Doctoral internship currently is funded at an annual stipend of $36,200, and, as a one-year non-exempt staff position, includes benefits offered to professional staff employees. Information about benefits is available online at https://hr.wwu.edu/benefits-disability-and-leaves.
Doctoral interns also benefit from dissertation release time, professional development time and monies depending on annual budget.