Direct Clinical Services
Individual Psychotherapy (approximately 12-14 hours per week). Interns’ caseloads are comprised of a combination of brief and longer-term psychotherapy cases. Decisions about the duration of therapy and frequency of sessions are based on the assessed needs of the client and are made by the client and therapist in consultation with the therapy supervisor.
Group Psychotherapy (1.5 hours per week). Interns co-lead an interpersonal process therapy group with a staff member for the duration of the training year.
Couples Therapy (at least one hour per week during the second semester). Interns provide couples therapy to at least one couple starting spring semester. Interns may have the opportunity to provide therapy to an additional couple, with supervisory approval.
Assessment (3 hours per week). Interns conduct 3 regular initial consultations per week throughout the training year.
Crisis Consultation (1 hour per week beginning spring semester). Beginning their second semester, interns conduct 1 crisis consultation hour per week. In summer, interns additionally share responsibility for triage coverage.
Supervision and Training of Externs (1 hour per week for 9 months). Interns provide one hour of individual supervision for the psychotherapy work of an advanced psychotherapy and contribute to their evaluations, under the supervision of the training staff.
Outreach and Consultation (variable hours throughout the training year). All interns are expected, individually and/or as co-facilitators, to implement at least three psycho-educational outreach programs as well as design at least one original outreach program.
Rotations Community Service Rotation, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Mind-Body, and Outreach are potential rotation options (two hours per week for a minimum of 9 months). Interns participate in at least one specialized placement during the majority of the year. Brief descriptions of the potential options are below.
- Involvement in community services, such as counseling at a refugee treatment clinic for survivors of political torture;
- Co-facilitation of a DBT therapy group with potential provision of supervision opportunities;
- Co-facilitation of an ACT-based group focused on managing anxiety;
- Co-facilitation of 4-week workshop series (self compassion, Koru mindfulness) and potentially a range of services (e.g., biofeedback, MPEAK, trauma-informed yoga) focused on overall mind-body wellness;
- Additional outreach and primary prevention efforts on campus, as well as involvement in the administrative functions of outreach services.
Administration (variable). All interns participate in application review for the externship and internship searches, and serve on either the Intern or Extern Selection committee for interviewing and selecting the following year’s interns and/or externs. At times, there are other opportunities to serve on Counseling Center committees that deal with organizational matters, such as preparation for accreditation review or the Multicultural Staff Meeting Committee, in order to provide experience in the management and decision-making processes of an educational and mental health agency.
Professional Presentation (one hour). Each intern makes a scholarly presentation to staff in the Professional Issues Seminar.
Clinical Training Activities
Supervision (approximately four to six hours per week).
- Primary Supervision: Each intern meets individually two hours per week throughout the year with a Primary Supervisor, who has responsibility for the intern’s overall experience, including the majority of his or her psychotherapy cases and general professional development.
- Secondary Supervision: A second training staff member provides another hour of weekly individual supervision as Secondary Supervisor for initial consultations and two long-term cases, to focus in greater depth on the therapeutic dynamics, including transference, counter-transference and parallel processes as they develop over the course of treatment. Video/audio tape is reviewed in both primary and secondary supervision experiences.
- Supervision of Group Therapy: Group therapy work is supervised by another member of the training staff, who also generally co-leads the treatment group with the intern.
- Supervision of Supervision: The intern’s supervision of a single case of an advanced psychotherapy extern is supervised by a member of the training staff in a group format in the Supervision Seminar.
- Supervision of Rotation: Weekly supervision of the intern’s rotation activities is also provided by a designated staff member.
- Supervision of Outreach: additional supervisory coverage and specific consultations are arranged for outreach
Primary, Secondary and Group Supervisors are assigned by the Training Director during orientation, based on the interests and preferences of the trainees and the recommendations of the Training Committee, with the option of re-assignment by the Training Director to another supervisor later in the year when warranted. While we attempt to honor trainees’ preferences, we are not able to guarantee that you will be assigned to your top choice as we try to also balance clinical needs and other logistical issues. This multilevel approach to training is designed to allow the intern to work closely with several supervisors over the course of the year to promote effective alliances and learn from differences in perspectives and approaches in the development professional identity.
Seminars (approximately four to seven hours per week for two semesters). In keeping with the goals of the training program, seminars are intended to explore core theoretical, technical, ethical, scientific, multicultural, and diagnostic issues as they relate to the delivery of clinical services in a university setting. Seminars are developmental in nature. To those ends, both general readings and case-based presentations are used to facilitate interns’ conceptual formulations and integration of theory, research and practice. Seminar leaders and other participants provide peer consultation regarding case materials of each intern.
- Assessment: (first three weeks of orientation). This seminar focuses on ethics, principles, and practices for clinical evaluation, including the consultation process, diagnostic screening, crisis assessment, mental status examinations, and diversity considerations. Emphasis is given to the development of a focused and comprehensive disposition with treatment options and recommendations, and on presenting relevant information orally as well as in a written psychological report. Integration of assessment-related data and norms and practices for clinical documentation are also addressed. The format includes didactics, use of video demonstration, discussion, intake observation, and assigned readings. A number of staff present on assessment of specialized areas, including eating disorders and substance abuse.
- Multicultural Psychotherapy: (weekly for at least two semesters). This seminar addresses diverse clinical issues through reviewing case presentations by interns and seminar leaders, including videotaped sessions by interns. The seminar is meant to be a dynamic learning experience in which interns explore their identities, transference, and counter transference while developing the skill of supporting their colleagues in advancing in their journey as well. Articles assigned in the seminar are meant to stimulate critical thinking and subsequent dialogue in the seminar. The first semester focuses more on building safety, exploring values, value conflicts, and attending to the ways in which identity factors manifest in the therapy space. The second semester focuses on privilege and oppression, transference and countertransference, conflict, resistance and complexities related to termination. Throughout the year the seminar examines more broadly the therapist’s role, values and experience, incorporating theory with practice in the treatment process.
- Supervision: (weekly for two semesters). This seminar provides group supervision of the interns’ Tertiary supervisory work with advanced psychotherapy externs. Theory, ethics, principles, multicultural factors and developmental stages of supervision are examined and applied. The learning process is structured around group discussion, individual presentations of supervisory session material, and assigned readings.
- Group Consultation: (biweekly throughout the year). This group consultation meeting serves as a space for UIC Counseling Center staff clinician and trainee group co-facilitators to share, discuss, process, and consult about group therapy related dynamics, concerns, and successes. Areas of discussion have included but are not limited to the following: (1) stages of group, (2) group conflict, (3) termination, (4) ethics, (5) multicultural development and issues in group, (6) transference/countertransference, (7) different levels of intervention (e.g., individual, interpersonal, group-as-a-whole), (8) co-leadership dynamics, and (9) group policies (e.g., the group contract, attendance issues, and the treatment frame). In addition, this group consultation meeting provides the opportunity for UIC Counseling Center staff clinicians to mentor trainees on group therapy treatment and dynamics as such trainee group co-facilitators are able to observe, interact with, provide feedback to, and consult with staff in this group therapy themed consultative space.
- Group Psychotherapy: (weekly for Fall semester). This seminar is devoted to the theory and practice of group treatments, including preparation and selection of members, co-therapy dynamics, group norms and cohesion, critical incidents, and termination. Presentation of the interns’ group work usually provides the focus and material for discussion of conceptual, multicultural, and ethical issues.
- Professional Issues: (bi-weekly for at least two semesters). A series of presentations and discussions relating to both theoretical and applied aspects of clinical work is led by clinical staff, postdoctoral fellows, and outside experts; interns, externs, and postdoctoral fellows attend, and staff have the option to attend. Multicultural issues with different populations, empirically supported therapies, integration of theory, ethical and legal dimensions of practice, and future professional directions are examples of the topics presented. While Center staff and outside experts present most of the topics, a major learning experience for interns is the requirement that each lead a session of the seminar to address a relevant clinical subject of their own choosing. The intern thereby has the opportunity to develop more expertise in presenting a professional topic with the integration of research and to prepare for subsequent post-doctoral or employment interviews, in which such a presentation may be necessary.
- Psychiatry and College Mental Health: (bi-weekly for two semesters). This seminar introduces the role of psychiatry in the college mental health setting, specifically addressing issues related to split treatment and collaborative care, as well as when to consider referral to psychiatry and treatment with psychiatric medications. It also reviews general medical problems and substance use issues which may present with psychiatric symptoms, and the medical evaluation of psychiatric disorders. Medications are discussed through case examples. The seminar also provides the opportunity for discussion of cases and special topics with the psychiatrist on staff at the university counseling center.
- Outreach: (weekly for Fall semester). This seminar focuses on the philosophy and techniques of outreach and primary prevention, program development of specific psycho-educational workshops, and related topics. Seminars include didactic instruction, tailored readings, mock presentations, and videos. Content includes conducting needs assessments, creating multiculturally sensitive programming, and strategies to enhance engagement. The projects of each intern are developed and reviewed in group discussions at the meetings.
- Couples Therapy: (weekly during Spring semester). Didactic instruction on couple therapy models and orientations, assessment of couple dynamics, presentations, and concerns, and how to implement effective strategies to improve communication and emotional connections. Additional forms of instruction include role plays, use of vignettes, reviewing interns’ work with couples via audio or video tape presentation, and readings. Content throughout the seminar includes role of therapist, systemic conceptualizations, commitment, infidelity, and diversity considerations.
Other Training Activities
- Intern Support Group: Interns have a weekly scheduled support group meeting on Fridays at noon among themselves and without staff involvement. The meetings are encouraged as an opportunity for interns initially to better their relationships with each other and develop mutual support, as well as to subsequently discuss or process the internship experience or other areas of mutual interest.
- Initial Consultation Review (ICR) Meeting: All staff and trainees are assigned to one of four ICR teams that occur weekly, where initial and crisis consultations are presented, challenges with treatment planning are discussed, and cases are assigned.
- Meeting with the Director of Training: In order to promote regular and open communication with the interns, the Director for Training will meet with the interns biweekly
- Multicultural Staff Meeting: Approximately once per semester, the staff will gather together for an extended multicultural staff meeting. These dates will be circulated in advance, and everyone is expected to cancel clients and other commitments in order to attend.