Internship Competency Areas

According to the new Standards of Accreditation, our internship focuses training on 9 profession-wide competencies (PWC) and one program-specific competency areas. These are:

Profession-Wide Competencies

  1. Research
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards
  3. Individual and cultural diversity
  4. Professional values and attitudes
  5. Communication and interpersonal skills
  6. Assessment
  7. Intervention
  8. Supervision
  9. Consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills

Program-Specific Competency

  1. Assessment of risk using the Suicide Tracking System (STS)

The required training and service delivery activities are based on these competencies.

Practice Service Delivery Activities

Initial Consultation (IC): A 20-30 minute session with the student during which the counselor and student make decisions about the most effective next steps for support or treatment.

Crisis intervention: Crises are seen within the Initial Consultation and at times may require the IC to be extended beyond the 30-45 minutes.

Brief Individual Psychotherapy: While the Counseling Center does not have any session limit, the aim of these individual sessions is to focus on an identifiable goal.

Group Counseling: Interns are expected to co-facilitate a minimum of 1 therapy or support group during each of the Fall and Spring semesters of their internship year. Beginning in the Spring semester, those who desire more group experience have the opportunity to facilitate a second group, through one of two options: (A) co-facilitating a second group with a senior staff clinician; or (B) partnering with another intern to co-facilitate a skills- and/or support group under the supervision of a senior staff clinician. For more information on our groups, please visit https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/counselingcenter/our-services/group-therapy/

Outreach and Consultation: Interns participate in outreach activities by 1) volunteering to provide programs requested by members of the university community; 2) facilitating workshops regularly offered by the Center; 3) participating in programming initiated by the Center; and 4) developing an independent outreach project in a concentration area to address a need they have identified in the community. Each intern is expected to do at least 5 outreach programs/semester, facilitate a 1 workshop series/semester (first as a co-facilitator and then independently) and complete an independent outreach project.

Formal Clinical Case Presentations: Interns will present a case to professional staff using a format provided by the Training Director. This component is intended to provide interns with an opportunity to demonstrate to the professional staff, their capacity to conceptualize, plan, and implement a treatment in a theoretically coherent fashion.

Intern Topical Presentations: Before the end of the internship year, each intern will be expected to present on a clinical/professional topic of their choice to the staff. These presentations usually happen in July and are along the lines of a seminar where, once the presentation is completed, there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Outreach Project: The Outreach Project is an opportunity for interns to express their passion and creativity while utilizing their outreach and consultation skills. The goal of the Outreach Project is for interns to contribute their specific interests and skills to the overall work and mission of the JHU Counseling Center. Interns will be required to do a brief presentation on their project in July.

Supervision of externs: During the Spring semester, interns will supervise School of Education externs who will be conducting workshops with students. Interns will receive group supervision from the Associate Director of Outreach for this training activity.

Learning Supports

Orientation: Interns receive an orientation to the internship program, the Counseling Center, and the university community during the first three weeks of the internship. During this time interns are trained in the workings of the Counseling Center as well as meet with University staff with whom the Center has frequent and critical contact.

Individual supervision: Interns will have two primary supervisors, one for each half of the year. All primary supervisors are licensed as psychologists in the State of Maryland. Primary supervisors will provide two and a half hours of regular individual clinical supervision per week for Initial Consultations, brief individual therapy, crisis intervention services, consultation, and case management. Interns will also receive additional supervision for their group work and outreach activities.

Supervision of Peer Supervision (SOPS): This is a weekly seminar co-facilitated by one or more licensed psychologists with a focus on developing interns’ supervisory skills. Interns will role play as supervisor and supervisee to discuss cases that the supervisee is working with.

Training seminars: Interns participate in a series of 2 hour seminars which meet bi-weekly from September through July with a break between semesters. The majority of these seminars are didactic lecture-discussion programs, supplemented when possible by videotape demonstrations and stimulus training. Seminar topics cover areas relevant for clinical practice in a university counseling center.

Multicultural Seminar Series: This series alternates with the training seminars noted above. The format of the seminar includes both didactic training and experiential exercises. The goal is for interns to reflect on their own privileged and oppressed identities, gain more insight into their own biases and understand how these may impact the therapeutic and other professional relationships.

Intern Support Group: Interns meet for one hour per week to process their experience in the internship and the Center and to discuss general matters relevant to professional development. The group is facilitated by a licensed clinical social worker whose focus of service within the Center is significantly different from the psychologists on the staff. This component is intended to directly support the emotional development of interns in a manner that complements efforts provided in supervision.

Weekly check-in meeting. Interns and the TD meet for an hour every week as a group to discuss a variety of topics. Generally, meetings earlier in the internship year are focused on logistical processes and acclimatizing to the CC. Over time, these discussions focus more on professional development and other topics.

Other Administrative and Professional Activities

Case Management Meeting: Interns participate in weekly 2-hour case management meetings. These meetings focus on clinical and case management issues, such as internal and external referral of cases, ongoing crisis situations, clinical difficulties, ethical and legal issues, and the tracking of clients with significant suicidal features.

Staff Business Meeting: Interns are involved in weekly meetings devoted to the administrative business of the Center. These meetings offer interns opportunities to observe and participate in management of the Center, through such activities as the development of Center policies and procedures.

Professional Development Programs: Interns are expected to participate in the professional development activities of the Center.

Sample Intern Weekly Schedule

Initial Consultation (IC)5.5 hours (2 shifts)
Individual supervision2.5 hours
Supervision of Peer Supervision (SOPS)2 hours
Suicide Tracking System (STS)2 hours
Staff Meeting1 hour
Intern support group1 hour
Group (including supervision of group)2 hours
Workshop2 hours
Committee participation.5 hour
*18.5 hours
**Supervision of externs1 hour
**Group supervision (with Associate Director of Outreach)1.5 hours
*21 hours

*The rest of the time is available for ongoing clients, case management and other Center-related activities.

**2nd semester only and contingent on the Center having externs that year.