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University Counseling Center

Social Work Internship

Training Philosophy

The UCC social work internship is designed to prepare ethical and multicultural sensitive professional clinical social workers who can move with competence, creativity and flexibility into a variety of professional positions. Of particular distinction in social work education and philosophy are the emphases on empowerment, advocacy, social welfare and justice; as well as ecological, theoretical and practice approaches to clinical work.

UCC values a multicultural, multidisciplinary and multi theoretical learning and working environment. Enhancement of multicultural skills is an important aspect of our program, with interns participating in a weekly multicultural seminar and staff actively engaged in examining our own multiple identities. Our staff and training program is interdisciplinary, involving clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, psychiatrists and a psychiatric nurse practitioner. The diverse theoretical approaches utilized by staff enrich our work while our shared awareness of developmental issues and of brief therapy provides common ground.

The UCC training program is based in a belief of the importance of self-reflection and critical thinking in the practice of professional social work. 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 bio psychosocial 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 evidence based findings and the use of critical thinking into clinical practice.

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. Interns receive four 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.

Social Work Internship