Description of Activities
Interns provide short-term treatment based on a 12 session model. It is expected that each intern will also work with two long-term clients. Although interns will receive training for couple’s therapy, please note that this service has a modest request rate from students. Interns have the option for 2 long-term clients.
The Counseling Center offers process, support, and psycho-educational groups. Interns have the opportunity to co-facilitate with a senior staff member. Additionally, as part of our Live Group Program, they will conduct a group with team observation. Interns typically shift roles at the beginning of Spring semester.
Group offerings vary with student demand. Below are offerings:
- Interpersonal relationships
- Graduate students therapy
- Women’s therapy
- Peace with food and body image
- LGBT support
- Managing moods
- Managing Anxiety
- International Tea Time
- Latina support
- Grief and loss (Spring Semester)
- Self-Discovery Thru Creativity
- Academic anxiety
- Mindfulness and Meditation
- Social Confidence
- ADHD support group
- Overcoming Writers’ Block
Interns are expected to conduct intakes for cases assigned to them. Intake sessions serve as a means of collecting initial assessment information and determining probable case disposition (short-term, long-term, psychiatric referral or outside referral). An intake report is completed and discussed with the Primary Supervisor.
The center currently relies on triaging all requests for services with a phone assessment system to determine students need for crisis services, short-term services at SCS, or a community referral. During the summer, interns will have the experience and training to perform this service.
Interns cover a two-hour crisis shift each week, during which they respond to “walk-ins” and emergency appointments. Additionally, they may provide phone consultations to faculty, staff, parents or peers who are concerned about the welfare of a student. They are supervised by members of our crisis team. During the summer, when the demand of services is slower, this increases to two full day shifts. Interns will also meet regularly for crisis supervision.
Supervision of Practicum Counselor
Interns provide weekly supervision to doctoral level practicum counselors from local doctoral programs. Each practicum student has both an Intern Supervisor and a Staff Supervisor.
Consultation & Outreach
A wide variety of consultation and outreach opportunities are available to interns. Interns may make presentations on topics of interest such as stress management, intercultural dialogues, eating disorders, couples communication, overcoming writing problems, and etc. They may collaborate with other departments in planning and implementing outreach programming. Interns may also participate in campus interventions in response to campus tragedies.
Social Advocacy Project
In an effort to understand the role of advocacy within psychology, interns are encouraged to explore addressing mental health disparities in public health. They may choose to identify a clinical or cultural population, and use their creativity to address any disparities or reducing barriers to treatment with students and/or staff. Interns participate in a Social Advocacy Project of their choosing, with the approval of the TD. They may opt to take part in a university-sponsored event such as National Black History Month, Take Back the Night, Equal Marriage Rights Initiative, and etc. In such cases, interns will take an active role in collaborating with the university department, program, or committee responsible for putting on that project or event (e.g. attend planning meetings or help with a specific part of the program). Or, they may initiate a relevant project that addresses mental health disparities or barriers to treatment.
Interns have the opportunity to provide training for counselors-in-training at our Center (Practicum Counselors and Social Work Interns). This training covers both a topic of clinical interest and a presentation about their advocacy work, the Social Advocacy Project. They also have the opportunity to provide training for Peer Educator/Mentor programs offered by various departments on campus.
Interns will attend a minimum of two testing seminars with an emphasis on CCAPS, differential diagnosis, ADHD assessment, and learning disabilities. These are conducted by a psychologist affiliated with Disability Services. Interns complete two test batteries on students. For their testing report, interns will complete one test battery on a student referred for attention concerns or a Learning Disability. This is supervised by a licensed psychologist at Disability Services or SCS. This training component is being reviewed and is subject to change.
Supervision matches are yearlong, and are established by a mutual decision-making process. Each intern receives two hours of weekly supervision with a primary supervisor, a licensed psychologist, and with a delegated supervisor. According to the California Board of Psychology, licensed mental health providers, such as psychiatrists, social workers, and marriage and family therapists may serve as delegated supervisors. As an interdisciplinary staff, we value the benefit of interns being trained by licensed as delegated supervisors. Some states may require all supervision to be provided licensed psychologists only. It is suggested that applicants research state requirements for internship training, the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards is a good resource. We will do our best to accommodate special requests, but cannot guarantee our ability to do so.
Intern Seminar Series
These weekly two hour seminars provide interactive training on treating clients with specific problems or disorders (e.g. disordered eating, social anxiety, depression), therapy skills and techniques (case conceptualization, mindfulness and affect regulation, therapeutic communications) applied theories (e.g. CBT, ACT, DBT, Interpersonal), and ethical and professional issues (i.e. therapist/client attractions, job search).
Group Training. Interns co-facilitate process, psycho-educational or support groups with senior staff members. Afterwards, they debrief and plan with their co-facilitator. Some groups also have a process observer who articulates process observations to the group. In these instances, they participate in group supervision as well.
Live Group Training
USC offers a truly distinctive group training opportunity, that being our Live Group Program. Using a treatment team approach, two interns facilitate a group, while the other two interns along with the group supervisor observe. “Real time” feedback is provided to the leaders by the observers who phone in their observations and suggestions. After sessions are finished, all team members convene to discuss group dynamics and plan future strategies. All interns have an opportunity to both observe and co-lead a Live Group. The intention is to provide a supportive, lively learning environment.
Supervision of Supervision
Interns meet weekly as a team to discuss the supervision they are providing to the practicum counselors. Models of supervision, multicultural supervision, and ethics are part of the team discussions. Supervision will address identifying the developmental needs of the supervisee, fostering the supervisory relationship, providing feedback, and monitoring client welfare.
Diversity Colloquies provide didactic coverage of salient facets of working with specific populations such as ethnic/racial minorities, LGBT or differently-abled students. Once broad cultural groups have been covered in our Diversity Colloquies, this meeting converts into weekly, one-hour Diversity Dialogues which include experiential exercises, guided discussions, culture-sharing, self-reflection and exploration, and case discussions.
Video Case Conference
Interns attend a weekly one hour video case conference meeting, during which each will present video excerpts of her or his work with individuals and couples. This team meeting showcases the interns’ clinical work and provides an opportunity for them to receive feedback from their peers as well as the staff supervisor. Interns help their peers explore case conceptualization, transference and counter-transference, treatment options, and clinical challenges.
The month of August is dedicated to orientation, clinical training, team building and facilitating the interns’ transition to USC and the Los Angeles area. Typical orientation activities include an all staff retreat; diversity training; an introduction to therapeutic issues relevant to college mental health; introduction to outreach and consultation; visits to key campus departments; and the establishment of campus liaison projects.
The evaluation process is an essential component of our training program. Interns are formally evaluated and given feedback twice a year regarding their overall performance and their progress as clinicians. Likewise, twice a year interns formally evaluate their supervisors and they provide feedback about the training program. In addition, informal quarterly meetings with the intern are held to assess progress and for interns to share their satisfaction with their learning goals.
All Staff Meeting
This weekly meeting is attended by the senior staff and the trainees from all of our training programs. Since the primary purpose of these meetings is to address the administrative business of Student Counseling Services, interns learn about the internal workings and systems issues of a university counseling center.
Intern Business Meeting: Interns meet weekly with the Director of Training to discuss office protocol, procedural questions, professional issues, and the myriad of internship-related issues or questions that arise.
Time reserved for clinical paperwork, phone calls, tape review, and administrative tasks.
Interns have the opportunity to join an on-going or ad hoc administrative committee such as: Intern Selection, Practicum Selection or campus committees, such as the Eating Disorders Treatment Team.
Staff Meeting Facilitation
Interns have the opportunity to facilitate one of our All Staff Meetings. Interns prepare for their facilitation under the guidance of the Center Director.
Interns do a rotation in which they assist the Center Director in making case disposition assignments of clients on our waitlist. They help determine the level of staff (practicum, intern, senior staff, etc.) suitable for treating a particular case.
There are occasional speakers or training that may occur in addition to the above activities.