The basis of the doctoral internship program in psychology at the University of Rochester's University Counseling Center is an apprenticeship model that promotes the professional growth of the psychology intern with the goal of enabling him/her to competently function in doctoral level positions in psychology. To this end, we employ a structured experiential model with exposure to gradually increasing levels of professional responsibility. A series of graduated and comprehensive learning tasks are designed to meet the following objectives: (1) competencies in diagnostics and assessment, (2) skills in delivering effective time-limited and on-going psychotherapy treatment, with a special emphasis on psychodynamic theory, practice and process (3) ability to effectively present outreach programs and provide consultation, and (4) competencies in supervision of more junior therapists, all while practicing ethically, with sensitivity to others, attention to multicultural best practices, and awareness of self.
The UCC training program is based in a belief of the importance of self-reflection and critical thinking in the practice of professional psychology. The model of training in which we collectively engage at UCC is best described by the concept of the "reflective practitioner" as defined by the experienced professional-in-action. We bring an intellectual rigor to the practice of our craft (therapy) and an unwavering reflection upon that practice (through supervision and seminars). We embrace the scientist practitioner model and we view the internship year as a pivotal clinical year that is essential for the development of all professional psychologists. Therefore, we emphasize the integration of scientific findings and the use of critical thinking into clinical practice and do not require direct research experience as a component of the internship.
We give individualized attention to an intern's professional goals and level of professional development within a carefully designed structure of training events. The primary vehicle for learning is the direct provision of clinical care under intensive supervision by experienced practitioners. Full time interns receive five hours of supervision each week, supplemented by several practice oriented seminars. Other training methods include clinical observation of supervisors' work in a regular clinical case conference, and selected didactic offerings. We include instruction in empirically supported treatments, focusing on brief psychodynamic therapy as a primary intervention and including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as important supplements.
We make every effort to provide all trainees with a teaching atmosphere designed to be conducive to productive learning. A supportive administration, a training staff dedicated to excellence in clinical teaching, individualized attention to the professional needs of our trainees, and frequent opportunities for trainees to meet and exchange ideas with each other and with training staff, contribute substantially to an ambience of high morale.