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Counseling and Psychological Services

About the Internship

UVa CAPS’ American Psychological Association accredited program provides doctoral internship training in Health Service Psychology (HSP) within a multidisciplinary university counseling center context, and in a manner consistent with Professional Psychology in Health Care Services: A Blueprint for Education and Training (APA, 2013). Accordingly, psychologists such as those functioning within university counseling centers are recognized as Health Service Providers if they are duly trained and experienced in the delivery of preventive, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention services relative to the psychological and physical health of consumers (see the linked document above for further details on HSP). The internship program offers three full-time, 12 month positions.

Our internship program provides a structured and progressive training experience to foster the development of core clinical and counseling skills, as well as individual interests and specialties. It is the intention of the training program to prepare interns for general health service psychology practice in a wide range of clinical settings in which the focus is primarily psychotherapy treatment and psychological assessment. Furthermore, the program supports training of psychologists who are competent to serve all members of the public, and fully endorses Preparing Professional Psychologists to Serve a Diverse Public (APA, 2013) as an essential component of our profession.

Our training is based on a developmental approach, which builds on the knowledge and skills that interns acquire during doctoral training and prepares them for entry level positions as health service psychologists. Training activities primarily focus on experiential components, supported by didactic material, to facilitate learning in the provision of clinical services to students, consultation to University personnel, psycho-educational programs to the University community, utilization of research and scholarly material to support evidenced-based practice, and provision of supervision. The internship program also provides interns with the added opportunity to develop more robust assessment skills through an optional rotation at the Students with Disabilities Access Center (SDAC). Interns further develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to support professional functioning in the areas of ethics, cultural and individual difference, use of supervision and consultation, and overall professional deportment including values and attitudes, and communication/interpersonal skills. Our psychotherapy training focuses upon the application of brief insight-oriented therapy models, informed by psychodynamic, affective neuroscientific, and emotion/attachment based research and theories of development.

Noted strengths of our program include supervision in contemporary brief dynamic psychotherapy, group therapy, and risk assessment, as well as integration of cultural training into all aspects of the program. In addition, as members of multidisciplinary treatment teams, interns benefit from the opportunity to hone clinical skills in a collegial atmosphere that recognizes the complexity of human experience and values multiple clinical perspectives.

The activities listed are the core training activities required of all interns. Interns are expected to work 40-50 hours per week.

(The American Psychological Association can be contacted by mail at 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002, and by phone at (202) 336-5979.)

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