Counseling Center

Training philosophy

The doctoral internship at the University of Washington Counseling Center can be defined as a Developmental Model that is informed by psychological theory and research. The basis of our training program is developmental in nature and applies a graduated model of learning as we provide graduate students with a rich and varied learning experience that combines practice with science. The Counseling Center recruits students from scientist practitioner, practitioner, and scholar practitioner academic departments. These students come with the foundation of theoretical and research based knowledge and a readiness for intensive training in clinical practice. The primary focus of the internship training is to assist interns in integrating this academic foundation with professional practice. This is accomplished by facilitating professional learning and personal growth by means of supervised clinical experience, didactic seminars, continued exposure to psychological literature, and collegial interactions and mentoring throughout the year.

Upon completion of the internship, the developing professional should have sufficient experience in a university counseling center and general psychotherapeutic practices to confidently and competently carry out the responsibilities of an entry level professional in a variety of settings. Our training is focused on the following ten overarching training objectives:

  1. Intake Assessment, Diagnosis, and Case Conceptualization
  2. Intervention (Includes Individual, Group Therapy, Career Counseling, and Crisis Intervention)
  3. Psychological Testing
  4. Consultation
  5. Outreach
  6. Professionalism
  7. Use of Supervision
  8. Management and Administration
  9. Individual and Cultural Diversity
  10. Ethical and Legal Standards Related to Psychology

The primary focus of the internship training is to assist interns in expanding their knowledge and increasing their expertise in counseling with a diverse student population. The training program is committed to providing interns with training in diversity. This training encompasses increasing awareness of different lifestyles (e.g. sexual/affectional orientation, physical challenge, nontraditional student age, etc.).

The program is dedicated to the enhancement of the ethical and professional development of interns. Interns are encouraged to make professional contributions in staff case conferences, seminars, and outreach presentations.

In accordance with the premise that individual change occurs within the context of significant human interaction, the supervisor-intern relationship is intended to be an important and necessary ingredient for the development of professional competence. Therefore, interns are provided with in-depth supervision.

Student Disclosure of Personal Information : We concur with and affirm the principles set forth in the 2003 APA Ethical Guidelines related to student disclosure of personal information (Ethical Standard 7.04).  However, we also acknowledge that personal history/experiences, values, and beliefs may affect professional activities.  Interns are encouraged to share such information in supervision, consultation, or other activities in which the intern feels that such information may be useful to help them understand their own functioning as a professional.  In order to encourage professional development, supervisors or others may ask interns to reflect upon their experiences, values, and/or beliefs if they notice professional behaviors that may indicate personal history affecting professional performance. Nevertheless, interns may always choose what to disclose and how much to disclose, and will not be penalized for this choice. We assert that supervision is not therapy, and again stress that disclosure of personal information remains the choice of the trainee.