Skip to main content

Clinical Training Activities

Individual Clinical Supervision

Throughout the training year, doctoral interns receive 3 hours of weekly individual clinical caseload 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-responsive practice.  Individual Clinical Supervision also focuses on interns' access caseload, which includes clients with whom they are working for clinical assessment, crisis intervention/follow-up, and case management.  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 therapy groups to debrief the session, discuss group process and conceptualization, and plan for future sessions. 

Group Supervision of Access & Crisis Work

Following their orientation period, interns meet weekly during Fall and Winter Quarters to receive group supervision of their access and crisis work; this includes weekly same-day access shifts (i.e., daytime on-call hours for intake assessment, crisis support, and consultation), scheduled intake assessments, and afterhours on-call duties.  For Northwestern students seeking services through CAPS, a same-day appointment or scheduled initial assessment will be their first point of contact with our clinic.  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 clinical interviewing, risk assessment and management, crisis intervention, coordination of client care/disposition planning, clinical consultation, and third-party consultation.  Cultural, ethical, and legal considerations in access and crisis work are addressed throughout.  After interns have gained familiarity with the CAPS clinical access system and procedures, they and the group supervisor(s) incorporate case and documentation examples from their own work.    

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

CBI activities extend throughout training year, beginning with new student orientation programming.  Interns then assist with the delivery of existing CBI programming (e.g., workshops, educational presentations, affinity spaces) or collaborate with staff to develop and deliver their own programming in response to requests from campus partners or liaisons.  

For Let's Talk, interns may 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 develop and deliver a didactic presentation highlighting their clinical, professional, and/or research intereststhereby strengthening professional identity development and a foundation for future contributions to the field. Interns present to CAPS staff and are encouraged to use this opportunity to demonstrate their ability to integrate science with clinical practice to benefit the work of mental health clinicians.


Group Supervision of Supervision

During the second half of the training year, interns' engage in supervised experiential learning through peer supervision with their cohort members.  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 goals of peer supervision are to:  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

Facilitated by CAPS staff members (and occasionally local community professionals), this weekly 2-hour seminar is designed to span the broad range of interns’ learning needs during the internship year. Incorporating a variety of formats (e.g., didactic, discussion of readings, case presentations, etc.), interns receive training in core competency areas, 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 several modules throughout the year.

Psychiatric Consultation Module: CAPS psychiatrists present on topics such as therapist-psychiatric collaboration/consultation, advanced mental status examination, and the assessment and/or treatment of ADHD, sleep disorders, and bipolar disorders.

Multicultural and Social Justice (MCSJ) Issues Module: Typically a quarter-long, MCSJ combines didactic, experiential, and discussion-based formats to deepen interns' awareness of self and others as multicultural beings navigating an inequitable society and world.  In supporting interns' development as agents of social change, cultural humility, social identities, power, oppression, privilege, and advocacy are often topics of focus. 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: Incorporates the theoretical, conceptual, and empirical knowledge base that informs best practices for culturally-responsive clinical 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.