Training Activities

Individual Supervision: Each intern is directly supervised by a licensed senior staff psychologist for 2 hours a week. Senior staff supervisors interact with interns during the three week orientation session before the beginning of the fall semester. Interns have the opportunity to express preferences for specific supervisors. A different supervisor will be selected for the spring semester. All supervisory assignments are negotiated with the training director. All senior staff meet on an episodic basis to monitor the professional growth of each intern.

Clinical Training & Multicultural Modules: This seminar is taught by a variety of staff and focuses on current topical clinical and professional issues which impact the practitioner in the delivery of service. Seminar components include several sessions on intersecting identities, trauma treatment, shame & self-compassion, experiential techniques, among many others.  Each seminar will include multicultural components, as this is integrated into the work we do.  Because of our commitment to diversity (See Diversity Statement), multicultural topics continue to be integrated in the program’s other seminars and supervision sessions throughout the entire internship year.

Seminar topics are designed to be sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity, moving from common-factors topics to more specific topics. Interns meet for this seminar throughout the training year. The seminar is two-hours long in the fall and one-hour long in the spring and summer semesters.

Supervision of Supervision Seminar: During fall and spring semesters, interns participate in a 1-hour supervision of supervision seminar which focuses on supervision theory and practice. This seminar provides an opportunity for interns to develop an approach to the supervision of doctoral students which is grounded in a theoretical perspective and developed through feedback concerning their supervisory style. Interns record their supervisory sessions with doctoral practicum students and share these videos in the group supervision format of this seminar.

Group Counseling Seminar: Interns meet bi-weekly for an hour with the group counseling coordinator to discuss a wide range of topics relevant to group counseling. In addition, interns discuss their current group experiences in a group supervision format.

Eating Disorder Case Conference: Interns meet bi-weekly with the eating disorder coordinator to receive supervision and training for providing eating disorder assessment, individual, and group counseling.  A wide variety of topics will be covered throughout the year including working with diverse populations, eating disorders therapy within different theoretical perspectives, and working within a multidisciplinary treatment team.

Clinical Case Conference on Individual Counseling: During the year, interns meet in a group supervisory/case conference format which focuses on their clinical work in individual counseling.  Clinical case conference is an opportunity for interns to discuss clinical cases and to process their reactions in a supportive group climate.  It is hoped interns will openly share internal reactions that impact professional work.  Each intern is required to do a formal case presentation of their clinical work in preparation for anticipated job interviews.  Interns are provided with feedback from staff members about their formal case presentation.

Intern Projects

Throughout their internship year each intern will conceptualize and implement a comprehensive Intern Project. Interns will chose an under-served or marginalized population on the Iowa State University’s campus that is of particular interest. They will then establish an ongoing relationship with this organization, student group or population. They will first assess the needs of the group then establish a training that utilizes their own skills and knowledge as early career professionals.  They will also provide at least one original presentation or training to this group, which they will present to the senior staff as a culmination of their training at the end of the year. The purpose of the Intern Project is to develop intern’s skills in systemic assessment, collaboration and public speaking in order to foster self efficacy and confidence as part of their professional development process. Throughout the year, interns are able to consult with staff members on an as needed basis.

Examples of Intern Projects might include:

  • Establishing a relationship with the International Students and Scholars office, assessing needs, providing consultation and establishing a lunch series to help international students at ISU.
  • Establishing a relationship with The Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success, assessing needs, putting together a manual to train new sitting group leaders.
  • Training various campus and student leaders on students in distress

Meetings and Administrative Activities

Case Management/Computer Work:  Interns are given time each week for case notes, correspondence, and case management related to supervising a practicum student, such as tape viewing and signing off on case notes.  Each intern office has a computer which ties into the agency network.  Memos and other types of correspondence are relayed to staff members through an email system,  Case notes and other clinical information are entered into a computer database.  Daily schedules of duties are available through the scheduling program of the agency.

Staff Meeting/Professional Development: Interns, along with other staff members, attend a 2 hour staff meeting once a week to discuss counseling center duties, review crisis cases, highlight upcoming campus activities, and to have input into center policies and procedures. Staff meetings are devoted to the “business” of the agency and professional development activities.  Once a month, during the second hour of a staff meeting, a staff member takes the lead in discussing a diversity-related topic.  This could be something personal to the staff member’s experience or a presentation of a topic in which they have been recently educated.  Staff members are encouraged to share reactions and thoughts to the material presented in order to deepen diversity awareness and development.

Clinical Case Disposition Team Meeting: Interns serve on a team that covers the triages and crisis work for a particular day along with senior staff, post-docs, and clinical graduate assistants.  The team meets at the end of the day for an hour to discuss triage level and disposition, so that clients can be assigned by team leaders on Fridays. In this way, interns can request client assignments that meet their training needs.  Team meetings are a wonderful opportunity for interns to learn about clinical assessment and treatment planning.

Special Emphasis Areas

 For four hours each semester, interns choose additional activities that individualize their learning experience. There are a number of options that can be selected to fill out the weekly schedule. Interns choose one per semester with the approval of both the area supervisor and the training director. Please see the Special Emphasis Area section for more details.

Dissertation Support Meetings

The interns can meet individually with a senior staff member to either monitor dissertation progress or contract for participation in agency research projects. The dissertation support meetings can be modified depending on intern needs, but typically the focus is threefold: providing structure and accountability for dissertation progress; support and problem solving for difficulties during the dissertation process, and statistical consultation. These meetings are set up on an as needed basis.