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Clinical Training Activities

Individual Clinical Supervision

Throughout the training year, doctoral interns receive 3 hours of weekly individual clinical supervision from two supervisors.  A licensed psychologist provides two hours of supervision, and a third hour of supervision is provided by a second licensed psychologist or licensed mental health provider (e.g., licensed clinical professional counselor, psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker).  The two supervisors oversee an intern’s individual therapy caseload and facilitate the development of competencies in case conceptualization, treatment planning, intervention, and culturally-aware and -affirming practice.  Individual Clinical Supervision is also focused on interns' clinical access work, including initial assessment, diagnosis, crisis intervention, risk management, case management, and third-party consultation.  Issues pertaining to professional development are also addressed in supervision.

Individual Supervision of Group Psychotherapy

When co-facilitating a psychoeducational, support, or interpersonal process therapy group, interns receive 30 additional minutes of weekly individual supervision from their staff co-therapist.  Interns meet with their staff co-therapist following the provision of the therapy group to debrief the session, discuss group process and conceptualization, and plan for future sessions. 

Group Supervision of Access & Crisis

Following their orientation period, interns meet weekly during Fall and Winter Quarters to receive group supervision of their access and crisis work, which includes weekly same-day access shifts (i.e., daytime on-call hours), scheduled intake assessments, and afterhours on-call duties.  For Northwestern students seeking services through CAPS, a same-day appointment or scheduled intake will be their first point of contact with our agency.  In these initial encounters, interns must be prepared to respond intentionally and flexibly to a diverse clientele whose concerns and needs vary in urgency and complexity--all while prioritizing client safety and maintaining a working knowledge of campus and community resources that may be useful to clients.

This group supervision experience supports interns development of competencies in triage, clinical interviewing, risk assessment and management, crisis intervention, coordination of client care, clinical consultation, and third-party consultation.  Cultural, ethical, and legal considerations in access and crisis work are addressed throughout.  After interns have gained some familiarity with the CAPS clinical access system and procedures, they and the group supervisor(s) incorporate case and documentation examples from their own work for discussion around particular challenges, questions, and themes.  Given the group format, interns will have the opportunity to consult and learn from one another as they together acclimate to the unique and challenging role of access clinician in a university counseling setting. 

Group Supervision of Community-Based Internvention

Interns meet monthly in a group format to receive supervision of their community-based intervention (CBI) work, which includes outreach, education, and prevention activities.  The CBI supervisor may also assist interns in facilitating liaison relationships with various campus partners and advise on consultative responsibilities involved in maintaining and deepening these connections

Each intern participates in CBI activities for at least three academic quarters. Interns begin by participating in CAPS' outreach during new student orientation activities, staffing tabling events, and providing informal support to students.  Throughout the training year, interns then assist with the delivery of existing CBI programming (e.g., workshops, educational presentations, affinity spaces) or they may choose to collaborate with staff to develop their own programming in response to requests from campus partners or liaisons.  

For Let's Talk, interns provide up to three academic quarters of informal drop-in consultation for students at a designated Let's Talk site on campus. The intern receives supervision and mentoring for the Let's Talk services from the CAPS' senior staff member who has an ongoing partnership with the campus office which hosts their site. 

The Interns' Emerging Expertise Presentation offers an opportunity for interns to craft a didactic presentation that highlights their clinical, professional, and research intereststhereby strengthening interns' foundation for for future contributions and professional identity. This presentation is given to the CAPS staff in the spirit that honors the interns' emerging wisdom, special interests, and expertise. Interns are encouraged to use this opportunity to demonstrate their ability to integrate science with clinical practice and deliver a didactic presentation that benefits the work of mental health clinicians.

Group Supervision of Multicultural & Social Justice Issues in Counseling

During Spring Quarter, interns meet weekly for Multicultural and Social Justice Issues Group Supervision.  This experience complements the Multicultural and Social Justice Issues Seminar, providing opportunities for interns to consolidate and apply their learning as social change agents and culturally-aware and -affirming practitioners. Using a case conference format (incorporating video recordings when possible), interns take turns sharing their clinical work and centering issues of power, privilege, oppression, and identity in the context of the therapeutic relationship, case conceptualization, diagnosis, treatment planning, intervention, and/or advocacy.

Group Supervision of Supervision

During their final academic quarter of internship, with supervision provided by a licensed psychologist, interns engage in experiential learning through peer supervision with their fellow psychologists-in-training.  This group supervision experience begins with an overview of the practice of clinical supervision and the various models of supervision, then the exploration of the commonalities and differences among training supervision, peer supervision, peer support, and consultation.

The goal of peer supervision is to build a sound, lifelong mechanism for consultation that is foundational to effective, reflective, sustainable, and ethical clinical practice. Skills in peer supervision include expression of peer support and compassion, giving and receiving feedback, self-examination, problem-solving, healthy negotiation of one’s own and others’ power and needs, and mindfulness of group dynamics, countertransference, and parallel process as applied to the peer supervision group.

Interns rotate in the group leadership role. The peer supervision leader’s tasks involve rapport building and containment, moderating and facilitating structure and focus for the meeting, summarizing themes discussed by the peers, facilitating discussion and feedback among the peers, assisting with theory application, centering multicultural and social justice considerations, ethics, problem solving, and process observation tasks (i.e., awareness of group dynamics including group development stages, how the group deals with conflict, parallel process, and encourage the expression of reactions, feelings, and behaviors). 

Intern Seminar

This weekly 2-hour seminar facilitated by is designed to span the broad range of interns’ learning needs during the internship year. Utilizing a variety of formats (e.g., didactic, discussion of readings, case presentations, etc.), the seminar exposes interns to training in core competencies and related areas, often including: (a) Psychotherapy and Crisis Intervention, (b) Clinical Assessment, (c) Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Psychotherapy, (d) Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychotherapy, (e) Psychiatric Consultation, (f) Outreach and Preventive Interventions, (g) Professional Development, and (h) Clinical Supervision and Training. To address growth in these core competencies, the Intern Seminar incorporates a number of modules throughout the year.

Psychiatric Consultation Module: A CAPS psychiatrist presents several psychiatric topics such as Advanced Mental Status Examination, the DSM diagnostic system, collaboration between psychologists and psychiatrists, ADHD, assessment and treatment of sleep disorders, and bipolar disorders.

Multicultural and Social Justice Issues Module: A quarter-long combination of didactic, experiential, and discussion-based formats aimed at deepening the interns' awareness of self and others as multicultural beings navigatingand professionally positioned to effect change inan inequitable society and world. In the context of interns’ clinical work and professional development, cultural humility, social identity, power, oppression, privilege, accountability, and advocacy are issues of focus. To enhance interns’ self-reflection and learning, a priority of this module is establishing a community of safety and nonjudgment. Outside of this seminar module, interns’ multicultural proficiency is emphasized in training experiences throughout the year.

Clinical Assessment and Psychotherapy Module: Topics may include evidence-based therapies and the assessment and/or treatment of suicidality, substance use disorders, eating disorders, trauma, personality disorders, and anxiety disorders. 

Clinical Supervision and Training Module: Discussions follow readings and didactic presentations about the various models and best practices of supervision, and the application of these models to peer supervision

Professional Development Module: Integrated into the seminar throughout the year, topics in this module may include professionalism, self-care, preparing for the post-internship job search, developing a job talk/formal case presentation, or establishing a private practice.