Philosophy and Faculty
The CSUMB Psychology Internship utilizes a practitioner-scholar model in which research informs practice. Emphasis is placed on integration of scientific findings (e.g. evidence-supported treatments) in clinical practice along with experiential learning through formal supervision and informal collaboration and consultation with staff as needed. Interns are encouraged to practice self-reflection, critical thinking, and ethical decision-making over the course of their training.
The program is designed to foster an advanced learning environment where interns develop the competence and professionalism necessary to transition from graduate psychology students into entry-level professional health service psychologists. The CSUMB Psychology Internship values a developmental/mentoring method of training in which observation of and interactions with more advanced clinicians are a primary conduit of learning. Trainee development is additionally promoted through a process of graduated apprenticeship where professional tasks increase over time in intensity, frequency, duration, complexity, and difficulty. This allows the intern to progress from a place of dependency on the knowledge and guidance of supervisors and trainers, to interdependency, to independent practice that is collegial and collaborative. The CSUMB Psychology Internship provides its interns a carefully designed structure of training events and experiences, including practical seminars and instruction in evidence-based treatments, ethics, and multicultural competence. Another primary vehicle for learning is the direct provision of clinical care under intensive supervision by experienced, integrative practitioners. Ultimately, interns gain exposure to the many roles and responsibilities of a health service psychologist in a university counseling center, which provides a strong foundation for future work in such a setting.
The CSUMB Psychology Internship Program Training Committee is led by the Training Director, Dr. Amy Miller. The Training Committee is also comprised of two additional CSUMB PGCC Staff members.
During the internship year, interns will receive training in the following program competencies:
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Consultation
- Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
- Cultural and Individual Diversity
- Ethical and Legal Standards
Supervision is one of the core elements of the internship training program at CSUMB. All interns will receive a total minimum of 4.5 hours per week of supervision. The purpose of supervision is to provide an environment of safety and openness for interns to acquire and improve clinical skills, to prompt self-reflection, to increase the mentalization of clients’ experiences, and to monitor and evaluate progress through the internship year. Interns are also expected to provide ethical and quality services to clients and will receive developmentally appropriate supervision in these areas. Thus, supervision is meant to be supportive and challenging, providing scaffolding as interns prepare for independent practice as psychologists.
One licensed psychologist serves as primary clinical supervisor for each intern. Interns receive a total of two (2) hours of individual supervision each week from their primary supervisor. The intern’s primary supervisor will rotate mid-year to provide exposure to variety supervisory experiences. Supplemental supervision is provided by other program supervisors on an as-needed basis, and is determined individually based on caseload specificity and rotation assignment. Digital audio and video review is utilized by supervisors as means of observing interns’ work and strengthening the supervision process. Thus, the individual supervisor evaluates progress, cultural competency, professionalism, and clinical skills directly through audiovisual means.
Weekly group supervision will be required and conducted with all interns for 2.5 hours per week. One hour per week includes supervision of supervision that interns provide to master’s level or practicum trainees. Supervision of supervision is intended to ensure that clients are receiving the best care possible, that master’s level trainees are receiving quality supervision, and that interns are developing competency in provision of supervision. Provided that good supervision also requires self-awareness by the supervisor, awareness of mutual reactions (transference, countertransference) between intern and trainee are also discussed. By the end of the training year, interns will have developed competency in the ability to provide sensitive, culturally-competent, developmentally sensitive supervision through modeling and direct instruction provided in the supervision of supervision group.
The second hour of weekly group supervision consists of video review of client sessions. All interns will share video recordings of sessions, providing an opportunity for growth and support through community observation of clinical material. This also allows interns to practice accepting and providing appropriate feedback as peer professionals. Engaging collaboratively on clinical growth and ethical practice allows interns to prepare for professional consultation outside of the training environment. Supervision will be guided by a clinical psychologist, who will also provide observations and reflections on interns’ development. Thus, the total sum of these supervision hours allows for the facilitation and assessment of competency in all areas expected of psychologists in independent practice.
Interns will participate in a weekly 30-minute supervision meeting with the Training Director to discuss professional issues. This time is designed to provide a forum for interns to reflect on their individual and collective internship experiences. Interns share in identifying, exploring, and processing salient professional issues that arise in the field of psychology, and expand their ability to engage in program evaluation and establish a strong professional identity as a Health Service Psychologist. The objective is to develop reflective skills and multiple ways of knowing legal, ethical, and other professional practice issues; to solidify the development of professional identity; and to provide a space where interns can engage in difficult conversations and provide peer consultation with each other.
All interns will participate in 2 hours of didactic activities each week. Interns will be provided with a calendar of didactic topics for the year and are expected to attend each week (see Didactic Schedule for detailed information on trainings). Didactics are lead by PGCC staff and invited speakers, sample didactic topics include: intervention skills for brief therapy models, domestic violence, boundaries/multiple relationships and ethical issues, suicide and violence assessment, professional development (e.g., applying for next training positions, preparation for licensure in psychology, job interviews), eating disorders, substance abuse, and empirically-supported treatments for various presenting concerns and client populations. Additional focus will be placed on topics of diversity such as LGTBQ students, understanding unique issues in working with students with disabilities, learning about issues faced by undocumented college students and providing care for veteran college students. These seminars will develop interns' knowledge and competency when working with diverse student populations in a university counseling setting. The Diversity Didactic Seminars will be augmented by the Diversity Experiential Seminars. A didactic attendance policy is included at the end of the handbook.
This seminar will occur on a monthly basis to engage interns in a deeper level of self-reflection related to diversity areas. The development of competency in multiculturalism is emphasized during this seminar by exploring different dimensions of diversity. For example, topics that will be addressed in the seminar include but are not limited to race/ethnicity, racism, classicism, heterosexism, oppression, privilege, class/socioeconomic status, gender, sexual identity/orientation, and ability in addition to the intersectionality of these areas. The training in this seminar is based on the idea that increasing the awareness of one's own values and assumptions will assist with growing into a competent clinician. Consequently, the Diversity Seminar is an opportunity for interns to further explore and develop their awareness through discussions and experiential exercises. The seminar will rely on experiential activities that are geared towards integrating a deeper understanding of the unique challenges faced by marginalized communities. Additionally, interns will have an opportunity to focus on their own identities as well as areas of oppression, privilege and biases. The seminar will be held in two hours in order to allow time for interns to process their reactions and ideas. Interns will also be encouraged to participate in other diversity training opportunities such as ally trainings (i.e., LGTBQ, Undocumented College students, etc.) and the National Building Coalition Institute (NCBI)
In order to ensure that emotional safety of interns, information discussed in this group is entirely confidential and is not part of the evaluation process. For this reason, the Training Director will also be involved in this seminar only on an intermittent basis and it will be led by a senior staff member.
Interns will each complete one formal case presentation per semester to be delivered to the PGCC staff during the weekly Clinical Meeting. The focus of this presentation is on providing a demonstration of their overall clinical work with a client with the agency. Supervisors may assist trainees in any manner they wish with case presentations to assure preparedness. Interns are encouraged to utilize feedback from their presentation to improve upon their skills for possible future use in their job search process. Feedback from the participants may be provided to the primary supervisor for inclusion in evaluations.
Interns will complete one project related to program development, consultation, or program evaluation within the CSUMB Psychology Internship and/or within other University departments. Interns will receive significant time and guidance during the early months of the internship to determine what their community contribution project will be. Interns will receive assistance in determining areas of need and possible projects in order to fulfill this requirement. Interns will collaborate with supervisors and senior staff to determine the nature of their project, and must be approved by the Training Director before interns may begin further work on the project. Interns will also receive guidance and support by senior staff on creating a timeline and identifying objectives for the project. Once these are determined, interns will work in coordination with other departments and other professional staff within the counseling center to complete this project. Depending on the nature of the project and the experience of the intern, they will work relatively autonomously, while the projects are overseen by the Training Director and senior staff. In this way, the level of oversight of each project will be dependent upon the project itself, the intern, and the level of competency required for each. As a result, the projects will start out with relatively high guidance and support, and the autonomy of the interns in completing these projects will be adjusted appropriately to each specific situation.
Interns will complete a Learning Portfolio at the completion of their training year. The purpose of the portfolio is to summarize the experiences that have been gained during the internship experience. It can serve as a record of professional development during the training year. The portfolio is similar to the portfolio in which faculty members provide to evaluate for tenure and promotion. The portfolio reflects a capstone of goals that were established at the start of the internship year and can help with presenting the training and professional experience to future employers at a university counseling center.
Interns are allotted time for participation in professional development activities. These might include working on dissertation activities, reading professional literature, conducting field-related research, or attending field-related workshops, seminars, and professional conferences.