Training Activities

Direct Service Activities

Initial Assessments

Once Fall Quarter commences toward the end of September, interns begin engaging in direct service activities. Initially, they are in the role of observing senior staff conducting initial assessment interviews, gradually becoming more active participants, before being approved to conduct assessments on their own. Because the assessment process is considered to be more complex and require greater familiarity with the campus community and resources, interns are likely to see individual clients for ongoing counseling appointments before they are approved to conduct assessments on their own. Typically, after 3-5 co-assessments (or within a couple of weeks), interns are deemed ready to conduct solo assessments. Once deemed ready, interns are cleared to begin doing their own initial assessments. Initial assessments up to 4 hours per week until they have established their case load and then as needed.

Drop-in Triage/Consultation

In a similar vein, drop-in consultation triages and crisis consultation appointments require nuanced knowledge of a number of campus systems and resources, which interns typically need time to acquire. On rare occasions, they may be needed to cover crisis appointments later in the fall, but they are not typically scheduled to provide same-day consultation coverage for those appointments until Winter Quarter. At that point, they are scheduled to cover one three-hour shift per week. Same-day Consultation/Crisis Coverage: 3 - 5 hours per week.

Individual/Couples Counseling

Interns gradually develop a caseload of individual clients, beginning early in Fall Quarter, with clients typically coming from co-conducted initial assessments. Other clients are added to intern caseloads from internal referrals from other clinical staff members. All referrals to interns must be reviewed and approved by the intern’s supervisor, the Assistant Director for Clinical Operations, or the Coordinator of Training; however, over the course of the internship year, interns are afforded increasing degrees of input and autonomy regarding the composition of their individual caseloads. Individual/Couples Counseling: 15 hours per week (average).

Group Counseling

Interns are required to co-facilitate at least one multi-session skills or process-oriented group during the fall, winter, and spring quarters during internship. Interns are assigned group and co-facilitators through a process of matching intern preferences and any stated preferences of senior staff co-facilitators. At the beginning of internship, the intern cohort meets with each senior staff member who will be leading a group, so that interns have the opportunity to learn more about the nature of the groups offered and identify which ones (and which facilitators) they would like to work with. Groups typically run for 90 minutes, and typically, interns co-facilitate the same group throughout the internship. Interns increase their level of involvement over the of the course of the year, as they are expected to transition from primarily observing and taking secondary roles, into larger roles as co-facilitators of over the course of the group, as they form their identities as group facilitators. Group counseling (co-facilitating): 1.5 hours

Alongside their growing caseloads, interns also participate in peer consultation to allow opportunity to give peer supervision bi-weekly throughout the academic year. This experience is also supported with didactic training on supervisory models commonly used in the field as well as specific training on the Competency based approach to training at the doctoral intern level. While this activity is not able to be counted as adding to the direct service hours total, it is a direct activity in which interns participate.

On-call Coverage

Beginning in Spring Quarter, interns are introduced into the backup after-hours on-call rotation. The after-hours backup duty involves being available (by phone) to consult with the phone service (Protocall) that serves as first responder to anyone contacting the Counseling Center outside of regular business hours. Backup duty may also necessitate going to on-campus locations to provide services in the event of a significant crisis. When serving as the backup on-call counselor, interns are expected to consult with their supervisor, or a member of the Center’s management team, when there are questions as to the appropriate course of action to take in any non-routine calls, they may receive. Functioning in this capacity requires to have developed a solid working knowledge of university and local resources, as well as demonstrating sound judgment and the ability to think quickly and remain calm under stressful and unpredictable circumstances. After Hours Backup: Approximately 4-5 weeklong shifts per year.

Indirect Service Activities

Intern Seminar (2.0 hours)

The intern seminar meets weekly for two hours, 10 am – 12 pm on Fridays, throughout the internship year. The seminar is primarily in a didactic format, featuring presenters from the Counseling Center staff, local practitioners in the community, and allied health professionals and faculty from WWU. Early in the internship, most topics involve allied presenters discussing the services their particular units provide to the student community and how they work collaboratively with the Counseling Center. These particular seminars are also meant to educate interns about the particular issues and needs that are relevant to the various student communities. Examples include the Student Health Center, Prevention & Wellness, and CASAS. The majority of the seminars later into the training year address clinical issues and treatment modalities, often in a multisession format. Examples include ACT, working with first generation students, LGBTQ+ students, personality disorders, disordered eating/health at every size, feedback informed treatment, sex therapy, etc. All of the didactic seminars involve a presentation of information by the presenter followed by discussion and questions.

Inclusive Action Team (IAT) (1.5)

IAT consists of an individual and a systemic component that mutually inform our cultural humility practices. The individual component comprises regular weekly staff meetings centered on critical conversations regarding power, privilege, and oppression that pertain to the educational materials (books, podcasts, etc.) chosen as the topic for the academic quarter (Table 1). The systemic component includes a collaborative analysis and restructuring of our Center’s healing practices to better support BIPOC students through culturally informed practices. In addition to these activities, staff regularly contribute to a cultural humility reference list that contains multiple articles and other didactic resources oriented around social justice and cultural humility. Interns are active participants in these efforts and are encouraged to supplement the assigned material for the quarter with readings from the reference list.

Cohort Peer Consultation Group/Meeting with Coordinator of Training (1.0 hour)

Interns have off setting meetings with each other (Cohort Peer Consultation Meeting) and with the Coordinator of Training. These bi-weekly meetings allow for the cohort to establish a connection with each other and with the Coordinator of Training. In the Cohort Peer Consultation meeting, they are able to consult with each other regarding their training experience, their clinical work, and professional topics of interest. This meeting is patterned after a similar meeting that senior staff engage in that encourages ongoing consultation and relationship building between peers within the center. The intern cohort’s bi-weekly meeting with the Coordinator of Training is an opportunity to get additional supervisory/consultation perspectives of their work with clients and overall.

Staff Meeting (1.5 hours)

Staff meetings are held on Tuesday mornings, from 8:30-10:00, and involve interns, senior staff clinicians, prevention and wellness staff; temporary clinical staff; and center support staff. Meetings operate with a standard agenda that begins with a “wellness moment,” in which staff members rotate responsibility for leading grounding/ rejuvenating activity of their choosing. Regular agenda items also include reviews/updates of clinical services, the group program, the training program, outreach, case management, and Director’s updates. Periodically, guests from other departments are invited to attend, generally with a focus on making connections and discussing potential collaborations. In terms of training, these meetings are meant to allow interns to get better oriented to the university mental health as well as relationship building with non-supervisory member of the center. As the training year progresses, interns are encouraged to step into a more professional role in the staff meetings – taking more of a lead in their group work, IAT (Inclusive Action Team) work, and overall problem solving and collaboration that is typical of Counseling Center work.

Group Supervision (1.0 hour)

The intern cohort meets with one of the supervision team (typically one of the psychologists who is not supervising an intern for individual clinical work) for an hour a week during the internship year. The agenda is established primarily by the intern cohort. Group supervision meetings typically are used as a space for interns to discuss their clinical experiences on internship – questions, concerns, successes, struggles, etc. At times, the meeting may have a more professional development focus, as interns have an opportunity to raise clinical questions and receive feedback from their peers and a senior staff member.

Med Consult (with mental health providers from Student Health Center; 1.0 hours)

Interns participate in a weekly meeting with physicians and psychiatrists from the Student Health Center, to discuss shared clients, as well as didactic information on psychiatric issues of relevance (e.g., medication, severe mental illness, and medical health related issues impacting mental health, such as sleep hygiene). Interns are invited to discuss clients they share with the Health Center, as well as clients they wish to consult about.

Individual Supervision (2.0 hours)

Interns must receive a minimum of two hours per week of individual, face-to-face supervision throughout the internship year. Content of supervision involves a review of the intern’s cases, watching videotapes of sessions or discussion of live observation from that week, discussion of professional issues, addressing policy and procedural questions, etc. In order to provide exposure to different supervisory styles, interns receive supervision with one primary supervisor for the first half of the training program and then receive supervision from another supervisor for the remainder of the training experience.

Supervision of Group Counseling (.5 to 1.0 hours)

On average, interns devote one hour per week to receiving supervision pertaining to their group counseling activities. Supervision encompasses time spent with the senior staff co-facilitator preparing for the upcoming group session and debriefing after the most recent session occurs.

Clinical Paperwork (5.0 hours)

Interns, on average, have five hours per week they can reserve for writing case notes for regular counseling sessions. This number is based on the Center’s allocation of an hour of paperwork time for every three counseling hours. In general, documentation time for initial assessments and crisis consultation appointments is built into those appointments.

General Administration (1.0 hours)

Administrative time may encompass a variety of different activities, such as preparing for supervision (reviewing tapes, clients to be discussed, questions/issues to be addressed in supervision); dissertation-related issues, contacting home institutions, responding to emails and other correspondence, outreach preparation, etc.

Typical Weekly Schedule (by quarter)

Direct Service

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Intakes/Counseling 12+ 12+ 12+ 10+
Group 1.5 1.5 1.5 0
Consultation/Triage/Crisis 3 3 3 3
Outreach 2 2 2 As needed
Total Direct Service 18+ 18+ 18+ 13+

Supervision

  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 Seminars

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Didactic Seminar 2 2 2 2
Center Committees (IAT) 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Total Seminars 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Center Meetings

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Staff Meeting/Work Groups 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
Med Consult 1 1 1 0
Total Center Meetings 2.5 2.5 2.5 1.5

Administrative Services

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Paperwork/Documentation 6 6 6 6
Professional Development 2 2 2 2
Consultation/Communication 1 1 1 1
General Admin 1 1 1 1
Total Administrative Activities 10 10 10 10

Total Hours/Week

  Fall Winter Spring Summer
Total Hours/Week 40 40 40 33.5+

Note: Hours/week during summer quarter allows for job search/dissertation release time