Purpose & Goals
The primary purpose of our internship training program is to prepare broad-based generalists to function independently as psychologists in a university counseling center environment as well as in a variety of mental health service delivery and academic settings. The training is composed of learning experiences focused on building and refining skills in a wide range of activities preparing trainees to work with of adult and young adult populations. The internship is an intensive, year long, 2000-hour, full time training program that integrates knowledge, applied skills, and competence in individual and group therapy, outreach programming, consultation to the University community, clinical assessment, and supervision of master's or doctoral-level practicum students. We believe that interns learn best in a congenial, supportive and yet challenging atmosphere, where they receive continuous instruction, supervised hands-on experience, frequent feedback, and encouragement to move steadily toward greater independence. We operate from a developmental framework, recognizing different challenges at each of the phases of the internship year. Training needs and goals are identified early in the year, and activities are chosen to help interns meet their specific goals. Internship experiences are graded and sequential in nature, increasing in depth, breadth and intensity and giving interns an opportunity to develop skills and to increase in competencies over the course of the year.
All professional staff members share a strong commitment to the training program and all participate in the internship training program. Staff members serve as mentors and models for interns, available to provide instruction, supervision, mentoring, and feedback as needed. Interns grow in autonomy during the year, serving first as staff members-in-training and eventually as more independent team members. Over the course of the year, interns develop stronger identities as psychologists and greater clarity about their professional senses of self. We also work to help interns develop awareness and appreciation for the rich sources of diversity in themselves and their clients. As an agency we share a common value for sensitivity to and appreciation of diversity, and apply this value to the internship training program through activities that deepen self awareness, build multicultural skills and sensitivity to individual and cultural differences, and facilitate application of this awareness and skill set in psychological practice. We see this as one of the key learning experiences of internship, and we are committed to helping interns grow in their abilities to work with clients who present with diverse perspectives related to culture, race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, ability, and gender.
The internship training program at Counseling & Psychological Services is based on the practitioner-scholar model of training. This model emphasizes continuous instruction and integration of the interplay between practice and scholarship. We emphasize the application of science in professional practice through didactic instruction in training activities and seminars, the use of hypothesis testing in diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical intervention choices, and through the use of assessment, research data, and clinical literature to inform clinical decisions. We define scholarship broadly to include theory, empirically-based research and analysis of current trends in the profession, and the use of scientific methods and critical thinking in the process of clinical decision making. Internship experiences are designed to integrate this base of scholarship with the practice of psychological intervention.
From this philosophy and model, we have one overall aim of the internship training program: Produce graduates who are skilled in the interface between science and practice and prepared for entry into the practice of health service psychology. From this overall aim comes a broad array of training activities that will provide opportunities to develop and hone practice competencies. In accordance with the Standards of Accreditation for APA accredited internships, the training program at CAPS focuses the training components on the nine profession-wide competencies: research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, consultation and inter-professional/interdisciplinary skills.
Interns achieve proficiency in these competencies via our twelve-month, 2000-hour internship, consisting of service activities, training activities, and professional development activites.
Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy
Interns spend twelve to fifteen hours each week providing individual counseling to UNC Charlotte students. Counseling & Psychological Services works from a short-term counseling model ( 4-6 sessions per counseling contact) and interns will work with their supervisors to identify clients to work with on a longer term basis. Interns have the opportunity to broaden their clinical experience base through work with a variety of client issues ranging from developmental concerns such as adjustment to college to more psychologically challenging clinical issues such as working with eating disorders, bipolar and mood disorders and trauma concerns. Among clients presenting with personal concerns, a wide variety of problems are represented, including relationship concerns, stress and anxiety management, and depression.
CAPS provides daily intake and on-call coverage to assess new clients, manage crises, and to provide consultation to the University community. Interns participate in this important service by providing one four hour Counselor on Duty shift where they will meet with students for initial consultations. During the Counselor on Duty shifts, interns will also take responsibility for managing emergencies, crises, and for consulting with faculty and staff who contact the Center.I
Process and Structured Groups
Our group program is central to Counseling & Psychological Services and reflects the most recent advances in best practice guidelines for group psychotherapy. We currently offer five to six process oriented therapy groups each semester (including a therapy group for female survivors of sexual trauma) and numerous structured groups (e.g., Social Confidence, Veteran's Group, Empowered Black Woman, True Selves). We also have a number of workshop offerings that focus on skill building for students presenting with concerns related to stress/anxiety, depression, and relationships. See our current group offerings here and our workshops here. Interns co-lead one process-oriented and one structured group or workshop with a senior staff member each semester. Interns receive supervision from their group co-leaders and participate in the bi-weekly group case conference, where leaders engage in rich discussions using digital recordings. These meetings provide training on group development, diversity issues, co-leadership dynamics, and a variety of other topics. Leaders rotate presenting group material for peer feedback and discussion.
Outreach and Consultation
Interns are required to participate in a minimum of seven outreach and consultation programs per year and are given flexibility to allow many of these programs to match their specific clinical interests, including particular topics and/or serving particular communities on campus. In order to ensure the intern has exposure to the various components of outreach and consultation, as reflected in our our Outreach Mission Statement, no more than three of the seven outreach and consultation programs may be tabled events and liaison relationship building. In addition to the seven outreach and consultation programs, interns will also be required to complete a Wellness Passport Program in the fall semester and a year-long Community In-Reach Project (CIP), both with the mentorship and support of the senior staff. The CIP is a project in which interns choose a specific campus community, often one that is marginalized or underserved, and take steps to reach into that community to address issues related to well-being and mental health.
Interns will provide individual supervision for a doctoral-level psychology or counseling practicum student in the Spring semester. This supervision is in turn supervised by a senior staff member. Supervision of supervision is provided to interns in a supportive group environment, where issues such as supervisor development, learning training concepts, use-of-self in supervision, supervisee concerns, and other relevant issues are addressed.
Although we do not provide extensive training in the use of psychometrics, interns obtain additional experience in the objective assessment of personality, intellectual functioning and symptom inventories. They meet biweekly for didactic instruction and discussion of the theory of therapeutic assessment, each instrument, selection of clients, report writing, and feedback sessions. Instruments commonly used with our specific population include the MMPI-2, NEO-PI, BDI, BAI, TAT, Eating Disorder Inventory, and Trauma Symptom Inventory. Interns are required to complete two assessment batteries during their internship year. Each test battery will include a minimum of two testing instruments.
Counseling Center staff members are committed to providing quality supervision. Interns are supervised closely and in a number of formats.
Each intern receives two weekly hours of individual supervision by a licensed senior staff psychologist. To allow exposure to alternative styles, interns switch supervisors at midyear. While we believe that our training program satisfies the requirements for licensure in most states, it is the responsibility of the intern applicant to contact the licensing boards in the states in which they desire to practice to determine the specific requirements for supervision.
Intern Case Conference
For one hour each week, interns meet as a group with a senior staff member who provides additional supervision in a case-presentation format.
Intern Professional Practice Seminar
Interns meet weekly with staff for more in-depth training on clinical topics of interest and relevance to a counseling center population. Typical topics include developmental issues in college students, interpersonal treatment of depression, cognitive treatment of anxiety, substance abuse, sexual assault, and working with individual and cultural diversity.
Although we do not provide extensive training in the use of psychometrics, interns obtain additional experience in the objective assessment of personality, intellectual functioning and symptom inventories. The assessment seminar meets biweekly for didactic instruction and discussion of the theory of therapeutic assessment, each instrument, selection of clients, report writing, and feedback sessions. Instruments commonly used with our specific population include the MMPI-2, NEO-PI, BDI, BAI, TAT, Eating Disorder Inventory, and Trauma Symptom Inventory. Interns are required to complete two assessment batteries during their internship year. Each test battery will include a minimum of two assessment instruments.
Individual and Cultural Diversity Seminar
The goals of the ICD seminar are to enhance the development of core competencies in working with clients from diverse perspectives related to culture, race, class, sexual orientation, gender, spiritual affiliation, and ability. The seminar will focus on many areas, including counselor self-awareness, awareness of other cultural perspectives, and the exploration and development of culturally sensitive interventions, strategies, and techniques. Self-awareness in this context includes world views, cultural/ethnic/racial identity, values and belief systems, attitudes, levels of acculturation and social justice advocacy in clinical practice.
Supervision of Group Therapy
Interns meet weekly with their senior staff co-therapist to process their groups. Additionally, all group leaders meet biweekly in group case conference. This meeting is focused on consultation and ongoing growth in the facilitation of interpersonal process groups. This meeting provides a rich training experience through use of recordings, discussion of journal articles, and case consultation. Areas of focus include attending to aspects of cultural identity in group, ethical considerations, managing challenging group dynamics, and group interventions.
Supervision of Supervision Seminar
During the Spring semester, interns meet for 90 minutes per week with a senior staff member. These meetings involve case management, discussion of assigned readings and discussion of personal and professional issues that arise as a result of providing supervision.
Interns engage in a variety of formal and informal professional development activities throughout the internship year. These activities include:
Clinical Case Consultation
Interns participate in our staff-wide small clinical case consultation groups. These consultation groups each consist of a mix of 4-5 senior staff, interns, and postdocs. The consultation groups meet every two weeks and focus on providing consultation to one another on challenging clinical cases as they arise throughout the year.
Quarterly Diversity Workshops
Senior staff and trainees participate in diversity workshops at CAPS four times throughout the training year. These workshops are focused on discussions related to multiculturalism, social justice, various identities and communities, power, oppression, and privilege. Examples of past workshops have included discussions of micro aggressions in counseling work, micro aggressions in supervision, religion and spirituality, and issues related to ability.
Interns each have the opportunity to serve on one or more committees within Counseling & Psychological Services throughout the training year. Those committees currently include Diversity and Inclusion, Outreach, Clinical Services, Training, and Wellness. Our committees are a valuable introduction to the behind the scenes and administrative work that shapes our Center, and we benefit from having our intern’s perspectives represented. Interns may also have opportunities for committee work within the Division of Student Affairs, depending on the needs of the Division and the interests of the intern. Examples of other committee assignments include the multi-disciplinary Eating Disorder Treatment team. Interns participate in the recruitment and selection process of the following year's intern group by reviewing applications and by having contact with prospective intern applicants.
Professional Development Meetings
All CAPS clinicians (senior staff, interns, postdoctoral fellow, and practicum students) engage in a variety professional development trainings throughout the year. These include twice-yearly meetings focused on staff sharing information from conferences and trainings, a weekly series in the early spring semester dedicated to interns and postdocs doing professional job talks/case presentations, and a series of in-depth professional development on a specific topic in the summer.
Interns meet as a group with the Training Director every two weeks to discuss issues related to their experiences over the course of the year. Common topics include how to move into the role of a professional, job search strategies and licensure issues, dealing with difficult clients, and how to manage paperwork demands.
During the second half of the training year, interns will have the opportunity to connect with a senior staff member in a mentorship role. This may focus on a specific area of professional practice or professional identity development.
Research, Professional Writing, and Presentations
The internship sets aside four hours per week for work on doctoral dissertations, other research projects, and preparation for presentations to professional groups.
Interns participate in monthly meetings of the professional staff throughout the year. These meetings are an opportunity to share information relevant to CAPS services, meet campus partners, get feedback from trainees and staff, and discuss emerging trends in campus mental health.
Internship applicants must have completed at least one year of supervised practica, all required doctoral coursework, and comprehensive examinations in counseling or clinical psychology and have successfully completed their dissertation proposal meeting.. We prefer candidates who have had a practicum placement in a university counseling center, and who share a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The deadline for applications for the 2021-2022 class is November 1, 2020.
This year the application process will occur online. See the APPIC website for more details and instructions. We will not accept any paper materials.
The electronic application includes:
- Completed AAPI
- Curriculum vita
- Cover letter explaining interest in this site, how this internship fits with your experience & training goals, how your experience would contribute to our program & how this training experience fits with your longer-term career goals.
- Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which address your recent clinical experience.
We participate in the computer match program through National Matching Services. Our match number is 141111. Intern applicants who wish to participate in this match must complete and send NMS an "Applicant Agreement" form, which can be obtained from the NMS website. Just click on "Applicant Registration" and you will be taken to a form where you can request an application online.
Our Center agrees to abide by the APPIC Internship Offers and Acceptance Match Policies (April 10, 1999), specifically, that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant. A copy of these policies may be obtained from the NMS website.
In compliance with employment policies of the state of North Carolina, interns matched with our site are required to participate in pre-employment background checks. Applicants for consideration will be sent a Disclosure and Authorization Statement with information and signature to facilitate this process. The checks will be conducted by an agency contracted by the University and the results will be considered before hiring decisions are final. Applicants who match to our program but do not successfully pass the background check will be dismissed from internship (see APPIC Match Policy 6b). Applicants are welcome to discuss any questions about this procedure with the Training Director.
The internship is a twelve month full-time position that begins in early August. Salary will be $35,569 for the 2021-2022 year. Benefits include medical coverage, sick leave, eleven university holidays and 24 days of vacation per year for which payout at the end of the year of half the days not taken. Interns have private offices with telephone and computer (with Internet access), library privilege, and access to the University computer system for statistical analysis. Some financial support and leave time for professional development is also available.