Specialization Areas & Intern Projects

Areas of Specialization

Interns are able to receive additional training in one clinical specialization area during the training year.  A specialization provides interns with in-depth training that would go beyond the otherwise generalist nature of working in a university counseling center and prepares interns to take on a coordinator role following graduation (e.g., substance abuse services coordinator, eating disorder services coordinator, multicultural coordinator).  However, interns may choose to forego a specialization in lieu of a more generalist training experience. Available specializations will include focused education, supervision, and provision of service in one of the following areas:

  1. Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention

In collaboration with the Office of Wellbeing, the UCC can offer many opportunities for one intern to specialize in substance abuse prevention and intervention efforts each training year. Based on the availability of these opportunities, the intern selecting this specialization may participate in trainings on Motivational Interviewing and the BASICS model, co-facilitate educational groups with the Assistant Director of Wellbeing, shadow and conduct one-on-one BASICS sessions with mandated students, conduct substance misuse assessments at the UCC using the AUDIT, and provide short-term treatment to students presenting with substance abuse issues as a primary concern. The intern who selects this specialization would receive secondary supervision and consultation from a UCC clinician trained in the provision of substance abuse treatment. Dr. Daniel Paredes and the Coordinator of Substance Abuse Services (currently vacant) serve as secondary supervisors for this specialization.

  1. Disordered Eating and Body Image Concerns Prevention and Intervention

The UCC is able to offer many opportunities for one intern to gain specialized training in the prevention and treatment of disordered eating and body image concerns each training year.  The intern selecting this specialization area may conduct eating disorder assessments utilizing the EDI-3, provide treatment to students presenting with disordered eating and body image issues as a primary concern, and attend biweekly meetings of the Eating Assessment and Treatment (EAT) Team, which is a multidisciplinary team composed of a professional counselor, a physician, and two nutritionists. The intern may also be involved with the training and coordination of the Body Project, a campus-wide effort to promote body-acceptance. The intern who selects this specialization would receive secondary supervision and consultation from a UCC clinician trained in the provision of eating disorder treatment. Currently, Dr. Emily Teague Palimieri and Dr. Denisha Champion, serve as secondary supervisors for this specialization.

  1. Outreach and Intervention for an Underrepresented Population

While all interns will have the opportunity to work with diverse students across campus, interns selecting this specialization choose an underrepresented population (e.g., International students, LGBTQ+, first generation college students, African American students, etc.) on campus with which to specifically connect.  Interns collaborate with campus partners such as the Intercultural Center, the Women’s Center, the LGBTQ Center, First in the Forest, and International Students and Scholars to organize outreach programs addressing the specific needs of these students and provide consultation regarding student mental health concerns in the chosen population.  Interns are expected to develop knowledge of nuanced mental health concerns and skills in providing clinical services to students from their chosen population.  Knowledge, skills, and awareness will be developed through secondary supervision and consultation from UCC clinician(s) with advanced training in working with specific client populations and by attending trainings and completing readings in that area.  More than one intern may choose this specialization area provided that each intern chooses a different population to specialize in working with. Interns who choose this specialization  receive secondary supervision from Ms. Orita McCorkle or another staff member with specialized knowledge in working with the intern’s chosen population of interest.

Intern Projects

Throughout the training year, interns are required to complete certain projects in order to enhance their learning and to ensure that they are participating in all facets of university counseling center work.

  1. Outreach Programming for Underrepresented Populations

During the fall and spring semesters, interns are each required to develop and implement at least two outreach events addressing the unique needs of underrepresented populations (e.g., International students, LGBTQ+, first generation college students, African American students, etc.) on campus.  Interns incorporate their specialty focus or an area of clinical interest into one of these outreach programs to foster understanding of the intersection of minority status and mental health (e.g., eating disorders in the Latino population, substance abuse among International students, etc.).  Interns may consult with the Assistant Director for Outreach and Prevention and/or the Outreach Coordinator during the development of their program, and may utilize UCC staff members in the implementation of the program if needed.

  1. Program Evaluation

Interns are expected to participate in a program evaluation project during the spring semester, which will examine some facet of the outreach or clinical services offered by the UCC.  This may include looking at client satisfaction surveys or feedback on outreach programs, change in CCAPS scores of clients in group therapy versus individual therapy, or utilization rates of new services or programs offered by the UCC.  Results of the program evaluation are presented as a poster at the annual Campus Life Assessment Expo which takes place each May.  Interns utilize the Assistant Director for Clinical Services as a resource for knowledge and consultation during the development of their project and data analysis.

  1. Professional Research Presentation

Interns are given dissertation or personal research release time of up to 2 hours per week during the academic year and approximately 4 hours per week during the summer months.  Interns are required to disseminate the research they have conducted during their internship year through completion of a professional research presentation to the UCC staff and campus colleagues.  Whenever possible, the intern’s research presentation should be on a topic relevant to their experience with the WFUCC Psychology Internship.  Research presentations take place at the end of the training year.

  1. Case Presentations

In order to assist interns in honing their case presentation skills, which are important for professional job interviews, interns present their work with a client twice during the internship year to the UCC clinical staff.  Case presentations include general background information about the client, a summary of treatment, the intern’s conceptualization of the client based on his or her theoretical orientation, a brief video clip from a session with the client, and specific questions to the group about perceptions of the client and/or strategies for working with that client.  These presentations take place during group supervision meetings and last for one hour including feedback and discussion.