Training Methods

Aim, Competencies, and Training Methods                                                                 

Aim of the Internship in Health Service Psychology

The overarching aim of the internship is to prepare scientist-practitioner psychologists to serve diverse University-based individuals and communities.

As scientist-practitioners, interns gain entry-level competency in the nine Profession-Wide Competencies:  Research, Ethical and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Professional Values and Attitudes, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Assessment, Intervention, Supervision, and Consultation and Interprofessional/ Interdisciplinary Skills.

Services Provided by Interns

Supervised experiences provide grist for the mill of all other training components. The largest proportion of time is spent providing clinical services.  Interns provide individual and group psychotherapy, under the supervision of primary clinical supervisors, a clinical emphasis supervisor, and a group co-facilitator.  Additionally, they conduct four initial contact clinical interviews weekly, serving in the role of consultant-on-duty (COD). In the Outreach area, interns provide approximately one hour of psychoeducational programming each week. In the Training area, interns provide clinical supervision to a doctoral-level practicum student during spring semester. For administrative experience, interns serve on at least one administrative committee within the UCS.

Clinical Emphasis

Each intern selects a yearlong clinical emphasis focused on evidence-based interventions.  Within the emphasis, each week, the intern provides three to four hours of individual or group services.  They also complete relevant readings and receive one hour of weekly clinical supervision. 

The following options are offered for the 2019-2020 year:

Treatment of Eating Disorders,  Kelly Clougher, Ph.D., Supervisor
Time-limited Psychodynamic Therapy, Audrey Bahrick, Ph.D., Supervisor
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Jeremy Kinser, Ph.D., Supervisor 
Services to Mandarin-speaking Clients, Scott Liu, Ph.D., Supervisor
Serving Student Athletes, Aubrette Kinne, Ph.D., Supervisor
Serving Residence Education Students, Patrick Galligan, Ph.D.

The menu could expand, based on staff members' areas of expertise.  It is unlikely, but possible, that the range of options could decrease, again depending on the range of staff members’ areas of expertise.

Outreach Mentorship

Interns work with an Outreach Mentor who is a professional staff member on an organizational project.  The Outreach Mentors lay groundwork with another campus agency or population, and they supervise the interns’ involvement in a substantive consultation and programming effort.  The consultation projects incorporate considerations of individual and cultural diversity and/or include a social justice component, and the projects include an outcome evaluation process.

There were six Outreach Mentorship options available for the 2019-2020 year. 

Kelly Clougher, Ph.D. – Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness (BIEDA)
Kelly Clougher, Ph.D. - Cultural Houses - Latino/Native American Center
Jeremy Kinser, Ph.D. - Asian/Pacific-American Center
Patrick Galligan, Ph.D. - Residence Education Services
Dawn Bates, Ph.D. - Residence Education Services
Jeremy Kinser, Ph.D. - Using technology to Outreach to the University Community

The menu could continue to expand, based on staff members' areas of expertise and depth of relationship staff members have established with other collaborative units.  It is unlikely, but possible, that the range of options could decrease, again depending on the range of staff members’ areas of expertise and depth of relationships that they maintain with other communities.

Individual Supervision

Interns meet with their primary clinical supervisor for two hours weekly. In addition, they meet with their clinical emphasis supervisor for one hour weekly. In the fall, they meet with an intake supervisor for a half-hour each week. In the spring, they add an hour of individual supervision of supervision. Throughout the year, they meet with their group supervisor/co-facilitator for .5 to 1 hour each week. Interns are expected to be active participants in negotiating the goals and process of their supervision. For information about our training staff, please see the University Counseling Service Clinical Staff list.

Group Supervision

  • Brief Therapy Supervision: Interns read about brief approaches, discuss case conceptualization, and make case presentations, which include recording review. (1 hour weekly, spring and summer) 
  • Assessment Seminar: Interns read about initial assessment interviews. They discuss their assessment cases and make case presentations. They gain exposure to the use of personality testing and cultural considerations in case conceptualization, writing two integrated reports (1 hour weekly, fall).
  • Supervision-of-Supervision: Interns discuss supervision models, techniques, and issues in conjunction with their supervision of practicum students. They review recorded supervision sessions. (1 hour weekly, spring)


Interns meet as a group for seminars throughout the year. The task of negotiating productive professional relationships is considered to be an important part of the developmental work of the internship. Interns are expected to contribute positively to the learning environment they create within their peer group.

  • Evidence-based Practice Seminar: Interns read articles and discuss the implementation of evidence-based interventions.  They participate in four two-hour sessions for each of the following approaches:  Interpersonal Process Group Psychotherapy, ACT, and Time-limited Dynamic Psychotherapy (TLDP).  (2 hours weekly, fall).
  • Outreach and Consultation Seminar: Interns use a group format to discuss issues related to program development, implementation, and evaluation as well as receive supervision for ongoing campus consultations. (6 hours fall semester)
  • Diversity Seminar: Interns are exposed to identity development models and multicultural theory. They present cross-cultural clinical cases. The seminar focuses on privilege and oppression, and on broad aspects of identity, including gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, religion/spirituality, nationality, and disability. Topical presentations are followed by reflective process meetings (1 hour every other week, fall and spring)
  • Psychiatric Consultation: Interns join UCS clinical staff in meeting regularly with a psychiatrist from Student Health Services to discuss referrals for medication, diagnostic issues, and continuity of care. (1 hour monthly)

Developmental Sequencing

While interns function quite autonomously, the curriculum sequence incorporates increasing complexity of tasks and greater independence within each task over the course of the year. The developmental sequencing is incorporated in several ways.

The internship begins with a three-week orientation program. During the first week, interns spend much of their time with the Director of Training, getting acquainted with agency policies and procedures and with training opportunities. They gather information relevant to supervision and professional collaborators. During the second week, the emphasis is on further exposure to the entire training staff and to some closely-related University agencies. During the third week, they participate in workshops and begin clinical activities.

During the fall semester, interns are paired with consultant-on-duty (COD) mentors who provide modeling, consultation, and supervision for the interns' initial assessment interviews. For half of fall semester, mentors work with their assigned mentees for the weekly four-hour clinical consultation shift, in addition to a half-hour weekly supervision time.

Interns provide primary clinical supervision for practicum students during the spring semester. The task of balancing client welfare with responsibility for facilitating growth in the supervisee is a highly complex task. Thus, supervision is introduced after interns are familiar with the UCS.

During the fall semester, the intern is paired with an Outreach Mentor to help facilitate the intern's entry to University organizations. Throughout the remainder of the year, interns develop, deepen, and maintain their programs and projects.

Infusion of Individual and Cultural Diversity

The UCS is committed to recruiting and maintaining a diverse staff in order to provide a rich training environment. We have incorporated a staff diverse in the intersections of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion and spirituality, age, language, and gender.

To retain diverse staff and promote the development of diverse trainees, the UCS strives to recognize expertise, support projects, honor differences, and provide professional development opportunities. Diverse staff members are sought out for seminar presentations, supervision, clinical referral, and programming on the basis of their professional specializations, which often overlap with personal identities. Staff meetings always provide a designated time for sharing information about campus and community cultural events and special diversity programs. Annual staff retreats include a multicultural sharing, reflection, or educational component. Professional development time each semester is dedicated to sharing cultural knowledge and experience.

The UCS has a long history of working to incorporate multicultural awareness. We have integrated multicultural training within the intern curriculum and have included cultural competency in the performance criteria for all clinical staff. The UCS has offered services in Spanish for over 30 years. We currently offer services in Spanish and Mandarin, in addition to English.

UCS staff members have worked to develop a physical and emotional work environment that affirms people of color; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals; and people with disabilities, religious diversity, and international ties. We are continuing to deepen our efforts to develop and sustain an inclusive and welcoming environment. We have selected artwork to communicate inclusion.

  • Clinical Roles. In their clinical roles, interns may request case assignments to broaden exposure, competence, or specialization in working with individuals from specific cultural or identity groups. All clinical staff members, including interns, are expected to consider the ways that the identities of the staff members and clients affect our relationships.
  • Outreach and Consultation. Interns select an Outreach Mentor. With their mentors, they implement organizational consultation projects. Interns are required to identify the individual and cultural diversity issues and social justice issues that influence the groups with whom they work. They identify how those issues affect their consultation work.
  • Supervision and Training. In supervision and training, interns have requirements and options for the development of cultural competence and sensitivity. Diversity issues are explicitly incorporated into all seminars, and are a focus for some workshops (e.g., multicultural identity awareness). Diversity Seminar is held every two weeks throughout fall and spring semesters. During the fall, Diversity Seminar focuses on race and ethnicity. During the spring, the focus is broader and incorporates difference in sexual orientation, class, gender, religion, and disability, and their intersections. Diversity within supervision dyads is discussed within the Supervision Seminar; discussion of difference is encouraged within all supervisory dyads.

We train in a manner consistent with the University of Iowa Human Rights Policy  Our training program will provide the opportunity and requirement for trainees to acquire and/or deepen their competence to work with people who represent a full range of diverse identities, including the range of sexual orientations and gender identities.  All of our trainees are required to engage in learning about the range of multicultural competencies, and trainees must demonstrate willingness to serve people who represent the full range of identities.  Refusal to engage in these efforts, or in the case of internship, failure to reach the exit criteria identified for the competencies, may result in dismissal from the program.

*We define cultural diversity as personal or social identities based in cultural, individual, group, or role differences including, but not limited to, those based on race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, mental health status, relational and family status, religion, spirituality, language, nationality, citizenship status, social class, economic status, veteran status, disability and ability, gender identity and expression, body type and size, as well as diverse ideas, values, and lifestyles. 


Sample Training Contract

(minimum hours)

*The following is an estimate of interns' weekly time commitments and activities

Clinical Services Provision
Individual/Couples 10.0
Intake/Crisis Intervention 5.0
Group Psychotherapy 1.5
Clinical Emphasis 3.0

Program and Consultation Service Provision
Outreach and Consultation 1.0

Supervision Received
Individual Clinical Supervision 2.0
Clinical Emphasis Supervision 1.0
Intake/Crisis Intervention Supervision (fall) 0.5
Individual Supervision of Group Work 1.0
Seminars and Case Conferences 3.5
Supervision of Supervision (spring) 1.0

Other Activities
Supervision of Practicum (spring) 1.5
Professional Development 3.0
Agency Meetings 2.0
Preparation for Counseling, Programs, Clinical Emphases
and Seminars/Case Conferences 2.0

*Total to maximum of 45 hours per week.