Counseling Center

Intern Applicant FAQs

What is the developmental model?

The doctoral internship training program at UWCC is based on a developmental model of training. The professional training model and educational philosophy of the internship program is to provide training grounded in the core competencies and the scientific principles of the profession, with an emphasis in the area of applied practice. The internship training program has, at its foundation, a belief that trainees learn best in a supportive, challenging, experiential, and didactic training environment in which the relationship between the trainees and the trainers is paramount. Training staff affirm that trainees are engaged in a developmental process, and offer a variety of graduated and sequential training experiences including strong supervisory and mentoring relationships. Our objective is to support and train psychology doctoral students’ transition into competent, ethical, independently functioning psychologists who will contribute to the welfare of society and to the profession. The developmental training model encourages trainees to engage in graduated “learning by doing” that is enhanced and deepened with seminars and consultations.

What is the culture like at UWCC?

Prior interns have described the culture at UWCC to be busy, supportive, challenging and fun. UWCC is a fast-paced counseling center that serves many students daily. Whereas training staff understand and acknowledge the embedded hierarchy in a training program, interns have reported that the culture still felt collegial and collaborative, with the environment being team-oriented, consultative and friendly.

What is an emphasis area?

An emphasis area can be either a type of service or a particular clinical issue that you want to gain greater expertise with. Emphasis areas can be either half-year or full-year, depending on the topic. Each intern is able to choose one of the emphasis areas that are offered by staff and will meet with his/her emphasis area supervisor weekly. Emphasis area tasks can range from facilitating a group, to working with a particular committee on campus, to learning a new therapeutic technique. Typically, emphasis areas that are offered are training and supervision at a university counseling center, trauma, mindfulness, couples therapy, and multi-cultural issues. Staff availability, intern interests, and the needs of the center are determinants in which areas of emphasis are offered.

Generally speaking, what have former interns said about their experiences at UWCC?

We highly recommend that applicants contact current interns to gain perspectives on what training here can be like. We think it is best for all parties when interns are able to have fuller knowledge about what we offer and which areas of training are more limited. Our staff recognize that internship is the capstone of your doctoral-level education, and interns should expect to feel supported as a trainee. UWCC is a busy and rigorous environment. Each intern who comes to our internship site will have specific skills and experiences that will both benefit the clinical team as well as the University community. Interns have noted that the feedback they offer the team about their experiences is taken seriously and held with integrity. Many interns also have said they feel integrated as part of the UWCC team.

What characteristics would be best for an UWCC intern to have?

Interns that report having a successful and beneficial year at UWCC usually have 1) self-awareness to accurately assess both strengths and areas of growth and utilize this knowledge to be able to sculpt their training experiences and needs; 2) the ability to balance being a trainee and a professional—able to learn, ask questions, seek guidance, and absorb the information being provided while also developing confidence in their skills and strengths and abilities to contribute to the mission of the UWCC; 3) time management and the ability to handle a busy and rigorous year of training; 4) interest in the training provided by the UWCC and the role and duties of a health service psychologist; and 5) self-care coping strategies. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list!

How is self-care for interns supported?

There are several ways that an internship at UWCC will offer self-care activities. First, as an intern you are offered the excellent health benefits that permanent staff are offered. Secondly, interns are also eligible for University holidays and personal holidays, as well as sick time and annual leave. The UWCC is a center that also likes to have fun, and there is a Celebrations Committee that manages the many annual events we offer throughout the year (i.e. annual picnic, quarterly games night, etc.). For instance, interns are invited to participate in our birthday buddy system in which a staff member volunteers to help celebrate your birthday.

Is it true that it rains all the time in Seattle?

Actually, a lot of Seattle residents are drawn to the area because of the weather. It does rain frequently, especially during the late fall and winter months. However, the rain tends to be lighter and does not usually accumulate. The rain equates to an overall cooler temperature as well as a lush landscape. A lot of our interns appreciate living in Seattle because of the environmental beauty of the Northwest. We are surrounded by gorgeous mountains and near Puget Sound. Seattle also has major lakes (Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Green Lake) where boating, swimming, and walking trails are available. Seattle is also known for its coffee roasting, craft beer industry, and music scene, and there are endless affordable activities to do in the city. Seattle also has an extensive bus system as well as bicycle lanes within the streets, so many residents are able to live here without a car.