Training Activities

Core Training

In compliance with Washington State law, interns must devote at least 25% (i.e. 500 hours) of internship hours to direct clinical service.  Interns will also receive a minimum of 2 hours of individual supervision per week, 2 hours of group and peer supervision/consultation, and a minimum of 2 hours of other learning activities.  Counseling Center interns are required to participate in the following activities:

Triage/Single Session

Responsive service is a crucial aspect of the Center’s Multiple Pathways to Healing system of wholistic care. Along with senior staff, doctoral interns will be scheduled a minimum of one weekly three-hour drop-in consultation block. During this time, they will conduct triage or single session treatment with campus students who request services. The triage requires counselors to be able to assess a student’s appropriateness for center services, the pathway most appropriate for a student’s presenting issue allowing for timely, individualized, and collaborative assignment and/or referral to a community resource. In the University setting, single session treatment is often a powerful and appropriate form of direct service. Interns will have the opportunity of being able to work with clients in a one session framework to help re-direct them in their self-guided work toward wellness

Initial Intake Interviews

The assessment and diagnosis of incoming clients is a central function of the Counseling Center.  The intake counselor is responsible for clarifying the presenting problem, assessing its severity, judging the need for timely interventions, and discussing with the client the treatment alternatives that are available. Prior to conducting initial assessments on their own, interns observe/conduct them with senior staff. Once trained, interns are responsible for a minimum of four (4) hours of initial assessment duty per week. Formal psychometric assessment is not part of the initial assessment interview process. Limited opportunities for testing may be available as part of ongoing counseling provided by interns.

Individual and Group Counseling

Direct counseling/psychotherapy is one of the major emphases of the internship program. The internship experience is viewed as one of the best opportunities for the psychologist in training to gain a broad range of experience with clients while receiving intensive supervision. Interns will gain experience with a number of different kinds of cases, requiring different interventions. The Center operates primarily using brief models of counseling, although interns do have some flexibility to see clients for longer term work. Interns should expect to spend a minimum of 15 hours a week in direct, face-to-face client contact.  That average will likely be higher during times of peak demand (October through May) in the traditional academic year. 

Group activities are considered to be the preferred modes of treatment in many situations.  Interns are required to participate in at least one multiple-session group as a leader, co-leader, or process observer.  Group offerings vary each quarter, and include general process groups, as well as theme- and identity-based groups. Interns meet with senior staff members early in the year to identify possible options. View a sample of our current group offerings.

Crisis Management

It is reasonable to assume that individuals who are involved in providing counseling services will have to develop skills in crisis intervention. Although the Center treats crisis management as a shared staff responsibility, interns are expected to be able to respond to the crises experienced by their own clients.  Assistance is available for the intern, or any staff member, in those instances where an emergency situation may require hospitalization or other atypical measures.  Once trained, interns participate in the daily crisis consultation rotation (minimum of one hour per week). Interns are also part of the after-hours backup crisis coverage rotation. This involves providing support to primary coverage providers. Interns will be responsible for 4-6 weeklong slots per year.

​​​​​​​Clinical Supervision

Interns receive supervision in a number of different ways. Each intern will meet with a senior staff member (primary supervisor) for two hours a week to receive supervision of his/her individual counseling caseload and related activities.  Primary supervisors are licensed as psychologists in Washington State.  Interns may also work with senior staff members in a number of other areas such as outreach, group programs, consultation, etc., and will be supervised by the participating senior staff member for those activities. Interns are generally required to videotape all individual counseling sessions, unless specifically exempted by the clinical supervisor.  Interns should always be prepared to present tapes for supervisor review.

​​​​​​​Intern Seminar

Interns attend a weekly two-hour seminar, with topics determined to have particular relevance for WWU interns. Drug and alcohol assessment, specific applications of psychometric assessment instruments, neuropsychology, stress management, and working with eating disorders are a few examples of topics that may be addressed in the seminar. 

​​​​​​​Case Presentations

Approximately midyear, each intern is required to conduct a formal case presentation of their work with a client selected in consultation with their clinical supervisor.  The presentation is given to the intern cohort and clinical supervisors.  Presentations include a written case synopsis, videotape segments, and testing data (as appropriate). Presentations last 2 hours and include time for the presenter to solicit feedback on the case from audience members. 

​​​​​​​Case Consultations

Interns participate in peer consultation group and medical consultation hours. Intern peer group meet one hour every other week to discuss cases presented by your peers. Interns also participate in the medical consultation meeting with Health Center physicians. Interns are encouraged to present their cases at these meetings as appropriate.

​​​​​​​Outreach and Consultation

The Counseling Center has an active consultation and outreach program serving the university community and campus organizations.  These consultations extend the skills and expertise of the staff to the larger community, broaden the Center’s contacts, increase the Center’s awareness of psychological needs, and contribute to the visibility of the Center.  Interns are required to participate in on-going consultation and outreach efforts and/or to initiate new ones.  Outreach opportunities include training and facilitating developmental and educational activities on campus.

Typical Schedule

Direct Service (Weekly Hours per Academic Quarter)
  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Intakes/Counseling 10+ 10+ 10+ 10+
Group 1 1 1 0
5 5 5 2
Outreach 2 2 2 1
Total Direct Service 18+ 18+ 18+ 13+
Supervision (Weekly Hours per Academic Quarter)
  Fall Winter Spring Summer
1:1 Supervision 2 2 2 2
Supervision of Group 1 1 1 0
Group Supervision 2 2 2 2
Informal Consultation 1 1 1 1
Total Supervision 6 6 6 5
Intern Seminar Supervision (Weekly Hours per Academic Quarter)
  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Didactic Seminar 2 2 2 2
Total Intern Seminar 2 2 2 2
Intern Center Meetings (Weekly Hours per Academic Quarter)
  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Staff Meeting 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Med Consult 1 1 1 0
Center Committees (IAT) 1 1 1 1
Total Center Meetings 3.5 3.5 3.5 1.5
Administrative Activities (Weekly Hours per Academic Quarter)
  Fall Winter Spring Summer
6 6 6 6
Professional Development 2 2 2 2
1 1 1 1
Admin General 1 1 1 1
Total Administrative Activities 10 10 10 10
Total Hours per Week
Fall Winter Spring Summer
~40 ~40 ~40 35+ to allow for job search & dissertation release time