The University of Maryland Counseling Center internship has a long and respected tradition of excellence. Established in 1969, the intern training program received full APA accreditation in 1985. This Center's excellence is founded upon and nurtured by the uniformly held belief that the training of emerging psychologists is one of the most important and valued activities we perform. As an agency and as individual supervisors, we see the Internship Program as central to the vitality and quality of our organization, and consequently, we invest much time and emotional energy in providing the highest quality training and supervision possible. In short, we truly enjoy and highly value our interns.
Our internship provides training to individuals pursuing professional career positions in college or university settings, primarily counseling centers, academic posts or a combination of both. As such, we provide experience and supervision in the job functions of individual and group counseling, consultation, supervision, research, administration, and program development with clientele who are primarily college students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the academic community.
Our program is primarily agency-oriented. In accordance with APA accreditation and specialty guidelines, we have defined a sequence of extensive and intensive professional experiences that are applied to all interns. In addition to these common activities, there is some flexibility for each intern to build in individualized experiences that specifically address his or her needs. By and large, however, our program applies a uniform training model to all interns.
Our program seeks to develop broad-based, generalist-oriented professionals who will be prepared to function in any of the many roles assumed by counseling psychologists in university counseling centers. As such, the training program adheres to a scientist-practitioner philosophy with an apprenticeship-training model. Within this context, each intern has some opportunity to engage in specializing experiences. However, we formally emphasize a generalist orientation.
Although our Internship Program is uniform in structure and format, our appreciation of individual differences and awareness of uniqueness are expressed in important ways. We seek interns who reflect a range of cultural, racial, and demographic differences. We continue to add culturally sensitive individuals to our diverse staff as a way to provide appropriately varied role models. In addition, we strive to enhance in our interns what we hope is an already present, an appreciation for individual differences through formal training and informal weaving of these values into our everyday work life.
The scientist-practitioner training model serves as the over-arching educational philosophy of the Counseling Center and our internship program. We believe that the integration of science and practice is critical to one's identity as a counseling psychologist. Meara et al. (1988) describes the scientist-practitioner model as:
The systematic and thoughtful analysis of human experiences and judicious application of the knowledge and attitudes gained from such analyses. An attitude of scholarly inquiry is critical to all of the activities of those educated in the scientist- practitioner model. (p.368).
Since its inception, the Counseling Center has provided emotional-social and vocational counseling and related services while contributing to the field of counseling psychology through its research and other scholarly pursuits. Although clinical practice in a counseling center setting is the primary focus of the internship program, the integration of science and practice in the training of interns is two-fold: (1) it encourages the integration of empirically based evidence to inform clinical practice; and (2) it facilitates the investigation of new ideas and programs through research involvement. The strongest applicants to our program tend to be those from scientist-practitioner oriented programs where our training approach is consistent with that of the academic program.
The scientist-practitioner philosophy is clearly stated in the overall mission and operation of Maryland's Counseling Center. By way of a scientist-practitioner philosophy, we use an apprenticeship method to accomplish this training. We often refer to the internship as the training ground by which we teach, evaluate, and prepare interns for the role of the professional psychologist. This method of training goes hand and hand with the training philosophy. Our training sequence is developmental and planned, and it builds on the growth of new skills and the refinement of existing skills to satisfactory levels of competency. Interns are supervised in each training activity, with the quality of supervision changing over time from a skill based case management model to a collaborative professional development model.
The professional identity of the vast majority of the core training staff is grounded in a scientist-practitioner perspective. Most staff psychologists hold affiliated academic rank in the Counseling Psychology or Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education programs, where they teach courses, supervise students, and some serve or have served on theses and dissertation committees. The training staff serves as model generalists, where several members are involved in scholarly research and/or contribute to the field through their involvement in professional organizations. The Counseling Service division of the Center, has its own research committee where staff members are engaged in outcome studies of the impact of service activities. In many cases, staff conduct their own research and integrate recent findings and developments in their work in counseling, supervision, consultation and outreach.
The Counseling Center continues to generate quality research and contribute to the field through publications in refereed journals and presentations at professional conferences, serving on editorial review boards or as ad-hoc reviewers for academic journals. The Center's Retention Study Group conducts needs assessments by academic concentration and a study of students' withdrawal behavior annually. The Center is also home to two databanks, the Data Bank for Mental Health Professionals of Color and the Disability Services Directors' Annual Data Bank. In addition, Counseling Center staff consult and serve as a resource to students, faculty and staff on the campus and at institutions of higher education across the country.
Meara, N. M., Schmidt, L. D., Carrington, C. H., Davis, K. L, Dixon, D. N., Fretz, B R., Myers, R. A., Ridley, C. R., & Suinn, R. M. (1988). Training and accreditation in counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 16, 366-384.
The University of Maryland Counseling Center internship begins in early July and ends in June.
The internship experience at the University of Maryland Counseling Center can be divided into 4 components:
- Summer Orientation Activities
- Service Activities
- Supervision and Training Activities
- Administration/Professional Activities
At the start of the internship, the emphasis is on structured training and orientation. However, over the course of the year, it is expected that interns will assume more responsibility for their professional development.
Summer Orientation Activities
The Counseling Center's activities are usually slower in July and August. As such, they are ideal months to orient new interns and to provide structured, intensive training in important areas such as brief assessment procedures and observation, cross-cultural counseling issues, consultation theory and skills, crisis intervention, and agency research and evaluation. The interns are introduced to all Counseling Center staff through formal presentations and informal social gatherings. They also learn about campus offices and personnel including the Behavioral Health Service (psychiatric services housed in the University Health Center), University Career Center, The Department of Resident Life, etc.
By August, experiences training in clinical service delivery increase to include brief assessment procedures, emergency coverage, and individual counseling.
Direct Clinical Service Activities
|Interns carry an individual caseload of 9-12 clients per week. Care is taken to balance caseloads with a range of presenting concerns, from developmental problems to more severe psychopathology, clients with academic/career concerns, and a variety of identity-related concerns. We focus on short-term therapy training, but interns can take on 2 long-term cases each year.
|Each intern conducts 3 brief assessments per week. This activity provides experience in brief assessment and disposition decision-making (internal referral to various treatment modalities or off-campus referral). It may also involve short-term treatment intervention, psychiatric consultation, and crisis intervention.
|Each intern provides 2-3 hours of “Counselor on Duty” coverage during our business hours during which they see drop-in clients who are presenting with urgent concerns. Consultation is always available to support interns when responding to clients in crisis.
|Interns co-lead a weekly, 1.5-hour process-oriented therapy group starting in the Fall and running through the Spring semester. They may have the opportunity to co-lead a second structured or theme-oriented group during the Spring semester. Most groups are co-led with a senior staff psychologist.
|Each intern will spend 1 hour a week facilitating a CBT-based 3-part workshop series that teaches coping skills and strategies for addressing anxiety (Anxiety Toolbox) or depression (Getting Unstuck).
|Each intern will conduct 3 assessment batteries during the year that include 2 ADHD and 1 career assessment. Interns write formal assessment reports for the ADHD assessments and provide feedback to clients about their evaluations while under the supervision of our assessment coordinator.
|Supervision of a Practicum Student
|Interns typically provide supervision to one beginning practicum trainee each semester during the academic year.
|Outreach and Consultation Activities
|Interns provide several outreach presentations during the training year. This typically includes a variety of psycho-educational presentations for individual courses, student organizations, or groups of faculty/staff. Interns also are assigned to present a wellness topic from the Counseling Center’s online wellness workshop series. In addition, interns respond to consultation phone calls received from parents, faculty, and staff during the hours in which they are a “Counselor on Duty” (see above).
Our relationship with the Department of Resident Life also provides the opportunity for a consultation experience. Each intern, along with a senior staff supervisor, provides consultation to a community of residence halls. This may involve a variety of activities including Resident Assistant training, emergency mental health back-up, outreach programming, needs assessment, and/or organizational development.
Interns may elect to participate in other consultation and outreach contracts depending on time and interest.
|While the interns’ major involvement will be in the Counseling Service, we are committed to providing a breadth of training experiences. Therefore, interns choose from one of a number of rotation placements. Each rotation includes engaging in service activities (e.g. clinical work OR outreach programming, consultation, outcome evaluation) as well as training and supervision time with a designated staff member. (Note, availability of some placements can vary year to year).
Choices may include:
Examples of projects and activities that recent interns have engaged in at their Rotation/Placement:
Supervision and Training Activities
The hallmark of the internship is the intensive, varied, and comprehensive supervision model. A primary goal is to expose interns to a range of quality supervisors who vary in training, demographics, style, and orientation. Typically, the intern will have one primary supervisor who will supervise them over the course of the year, and one secondary supervisor who will change at mid-year. This arrangement allows for continuity and breadth of experience. Supervision involves audiotape and videotape review, occasional direct observation, and co-leading conjoint or group work.
|Interns receive two hours per week of individual case supervision (including intake and assessment supervision) from two different licensed senior staff psychologists. One of these assignments typically changes for the second semester. Assignments are made by the Training Director on the basis of intern needs, goals, personal preferences, and staff availability during the Fall semester. In the Spring, interns' preferences for supervisors are given primary consideration and negotiated for them where possible.
|Group Counseling Supervision
|The senior staff co-leader of the intern's therapy group provides supervision over the course of the year. If an intern chooses to run a second group in their second semester (usually a theme-oriented or structured group), they will have an additional 30 minutes of supervision for that group, most often with a different group supervisor.
|Supervision of Practicum Supervision
(Sup of Sup, 90 minutes/week)
|Interns who supervise practicum students receive 1.5 hours of group supervision per week provided by a senior staff psychologist. This includes group discussion, review of video sessions, and one live observation each semester.
(one hour a month, or as needed)
|Each intern is assigned to a senior staff consultation supervisor for the year who also serves as a consultation partner for the Resident Life contract. Additional consultation supervision may be provided by the chair of the Consultation & Outreach Committee.
|Interns participate in 2 weekly case conferences: intern case conference and senior staff case conference. Intern case conference (1 hour per week) provides interns the opportunity to formally and informally present case material and to discuss case management with each other and a senior staff case consultant. Each intern is also assigned to one of the two senior staff case conference groups (1 hour per week) where formal case presentations are made by participants to each other and, often, an outside case consultant (usually a counseling psychologist or clinical psychologist from the campus or Washington, D.C. area).
Other Training Activities
(1.5 hrs, every other week)
|During this year-long seminar, clinical, consultation, and professional/administrative topics are presented and/or discussed by interns, participating staff, and invited guests. Through this seminar, a variety of topics are presented by members of the Counseling Center staff and other professionals who have expertise in areas such as eating disorder treatment, trauma, genograms, licensure, and other professional development issues. A majority of the sessions focus on multicultural topics such as working with specific student poulations (Latinx, trans, LGB+, international, undocumented, etc.) Each intern is responsible for developing and presenting a seminar on a topic of their choice during the Spring semester.
(1.5 hrs, every other week, alternating with Intern Seminar)
|During this year-long seminar, interns meet with two senior staff co-facilitators to explore and develop self-awareness of their identities. Interns interview each other (with the help of the facilitators) regarding their daily lived experience of a particular facet of their identity, and typically have the opportunity to present 4 times in their internship year. A few key objectives include:
(12-24 hrs a year)
|Interns and senior staff attend 2 to 4 staff professional development sessions each semester. In-house or off-campus experts present didactic and experiential training material in a variety of staff-selected areas. Topics from the recent past include psychopharmacology, supervision, cultural awareness, treatment of trauma, gender identity, and legal/ethical dilemmas in counseling and consultation.
- Staff Meetings (weekly)
Interns participate in all Counseling Service staff meetings and Center-wide staff meetings (several times per year)
- Meetings with the Training Director (weekly)
The cohort of interns meets weekly with the Training Director to discuss expectations, questions and concerns, process group dynamics, and discuss professional development issues throughout the year.
- Committee Meetings (variable)
If time permits, interns are encouraged to serve on at least one Counseling Service Committee (Research, Consultation & Outreach, Direct Service, or Training). Participation typically spans the year.
Research and Development Meetings (approximately 1 hour a month)
Interns are expected to attend as many of the weekly lunchtime Research and Development meetings as possible, during which time campus members (faculty, staff, academic administrators, and department chairs) present on a variety of psychological and administrative topics of interest to various segments of the College Park community. Interns will also each present their research at one of these meetings.
Research (4 hours per week)
Interns are granted one-half day per week (which may be completed off-site) for dissertation research, program development activities, and other scholarly pursuits, such as their "small r" research project.
- This "small r" project is designed to enable interns to collaborate with each other to complete a piece of research usually based on agency data during their internship year. Typically interns will present their “small r” project results for the Counseling Center staff as well as in a poster at a professional conference (Big 10 Counseling Centers Conference or APA Convention).
- Our internship program places considerable emphasis on dissertation completion. We would like you to take full advantage of the internship experience, which will be more likely accomplished when your final dissertation oral defense is completed at or before the end of your internship.
Examples of recent “small r” research projects
Class of 2021
Zounlome, N. O. O., Arévalo Avalos, M. R., McNeil, V. A., Vernay, C. N., Wang, Y-W. (2021) Racial Stress, Racial Identity, & Psychosocial Outcomes Among Black University Students.
Class of 2020
David, J., Keum, B., King, J., Kline, K. (2020, February). Unwanted sexual experiences among university students: Relations to student distress, service utilization, and counseling dropout.
Class of 2019
Polihronakis, C. J., Chadwick, C., Li, X., Welch, J., & Wang, Y.-W. (2019, February). The role of client-therapist racial-ethnic match in short-term therapy treatment outcomes. Poster presented at the Big Ten Counseling Centers Conference, New Brunswick, NJ.
Class of 2018
Drinane, J. M., Winderman, K., Roberts, T., Freeman, V. F., & Wang, Y.-W (2018, February). Invisible identities in psychotherapy: Sexual identity based disparities in outcome. Poster presented at Big 10 Counseling Centers Conference, College Park, MD.
Class of 2017
Gale, M. M., Franco, M., Hutman, H., & Reese, E. (2017, February). Sociocultural factors and referral outcome: An exploratory investigation. Presented at the Big 10 Counseling Centers Conference. Urbana-Champaign, IL.
Class of 2016
Choi, N., Ege, E., Ikizler, A., & Giordano, N. G. (2016, February). The impact of client and counseling center variables on early termination for sexual minority clients. Poster presented at the Big Ten Counseling Centers Conference, West Lafayette, Indiana.
Class of 2015
Kivlighan, M., Jung, A., Berkowitz, A., & Hammer, J. (2015, February). The differential engagement of diverse clients by therapists: A multi-level analysis of therapist effects. Poster presented at the Big Ten Counseling Centers Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska.
Class of 2014
Tian, L., McClain, S., Moore, M., & Lloyd, H. (2014, February). The impact of ethnic identity and self-compassion on acculturation stress in Asian international students. Poster Presented at the Big Ten Counseling Centers Conference, Columbus, Ohio.
Class of 2013
Lewis, J. A., Rao, M., Raque-Bogdan, T. L., & Lee, S. (2013, August). Examining the influence of ethnic identity and meaning in life on career decision-making self-efficacy. Poster presented at the 121st Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Class of 2012
Green, C., Merson, E., Chiao, H., and Seo, H. (2012, August). Suicidal ideation among college students: Stressors and stress-related growth. Poster presented at the 120th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Orlando, Florida.
Our Internship activities, training, and evaluation process are driven by the following Goals and Objectives, which are based on the American Psychological Association’s Standards of Accreditation:
GOAL #1 – Research: To foster interns’ knowledge, skills, and competence sufficient to produce new knowledge, to critically evaluate and use existing knowledge to solve problems, and to disseminate research.
GOAL #2 – Ethical and legal standards: To foster interns’ knowledge and understanding of applicable ethical and legal guidelines and statutes and foster their skill in responding ethically and legally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence.
GOAL #3 – Individual and cultural diversity: To foster interns’ ability to conduct all professional activities with sensitivity to human diversity, including the ability to deliver high-quality services to an increasingly diverse population.
GOAL #4 – Professional values, attitudes, and behaviors: To foster interns’ ability to respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence.
GOAL #5 – Communication and interpersonal skills: To foster interns’ competence in all forms of communication required by their professional roles.
GOAL #6 – Assessment: Foster interns’ competence in conducting psychological and career assessments.
GOAL #7 – Intervention
Objective 7a – Individual Therapy: To foster opportunities for developing skills in the provision of individual emotional and career counseling and psychotherapy.
Objective 7b – Group Therapy: To foster opportunities for developing skills in the provision of group counseling and psychotherapy.
GOAL #8 – Supervision: To foster interns’ development of skills in the provision of clinical supervision.
GOAL #9 – Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills: To foster interns’ development of skills in the provision of outreach and consultation to other mental health professionals and to other campus stakeholders (faculty, staff, parents, campus entities, etc.)
Our internship training program is committed to providing the best possible training experience for our interns. Training involves a variety of experiences including direct service activities, training seminars, research, and professional development sessions. We consider evaluation and feedback critical to interns' overall development. Our apprentice method of training is focused on guiding interns through their development toward greater levels of independence and autonomy as scientist-practitioners. We are focused on identifying and enhancing strengths, as well as identifying and remediating areas of further growth and skill development.
The Training Director schedules several meetings with members of the supervisory staff over the course of the internship year. Individual meetings with interns are also held at various points during the internship. Formal meetings with interns and their supervisors are held twice a year, at the mid-year and at the end of the year. Intern evaluation is also conducted via Progress Reports, which supervisors complete regarding the performance of each intern. Items in the Progress Reports reflect the areas listed in the program’s goals and objectives. Progress report forms are completed and submitted to the training director at these meetings and are used to write a summary of interns' progress in the program. This summary is sent to the Director of Clinical Training and academic advisor at the intern's academic institution.
Internship Completion Requirements
By the end of the internship year, interns will have:
- Received an average rating of competent or greater (5 or higher) on the areas listed in the Goals and Objectives as reflected in the Progress Report items.
- Successfully completed direct service requirements
- Successfully completed the Small r Project and the resulting manuscript
- Conducted at least six outreach presentations
- Successfully completed three assessment batteries and resulting integrated reports (one psychological/personality, one career, and one ADHD)
- Completed several other administrative tasks (record of activity hours and clients seen, evaluations of all supervisors and of the program overall, etc.)
The University of Maryland Counseling Center doctoral internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Any questions or concerns regarding guidelines, policy, procedures or accreditation standards should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation. The Commission of Accreditation is "responsible for the accreditation of education and training programs in professional psychology consistent with its recognized scope of accreditation practice and its published policies, procedures and criteria." (Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology, 2007).
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N. E.
Washington, D. C. 20002
Office Phone: (202) 336-5979
Office Fax: (202) 336-5978
The University of Maryland Counseling Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services, Incorporated.
International Association of Counseling Services, Inc.
101 S. Whiting Street, Suite 211
Alexandria, VA 22304
Office Phone: (703) 823-9840
Office Fax: (703) 823-9843