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
  • Consultation
  • Interprofessional / Interdisciplinary Skills.

Training methods:

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 University Counseling Service.

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. 

These are the likely options for the 2023-2024 year:

  1. Treatment of Eating Disorders
    Potential Supervisors: Kelly Clougher, Ph.D., Holly Davis, Ph.D., Holly Nicely, Psy.D., Tianyi Xie, Ph.D.
  2. Sport Psychology
    Potential Supervisors: Aubrette Kinne, Ph.D., Patricia Espe-Pfeifer, Ph.D.
  3. Services to Mandarin-speaking clients,
    Supervisor: Scott Liu, Ph.D.
  4. Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy
    Supervisor: Marie Adams, Ph.D.
  5. Group Therapy (Intern will co-lead additional groups beyond the generalist requirement for one process group. The additions could include brief skills-based groups as well as additional process groups.)
    Supervisor: Scott Liu, Ph.D.
  6. Substance Use Disorder Treatment
    Supervisor: Heidi Schmitt, L.I.S.W.
  7. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
    Supervisor: Tianyi, Xie, Ph.D.
  8. Working with Survivors of Sexual or Interpersonal Trauma
    Supervisor: Holly Nicely, Psy.D.

Interns work with an outreach mentor who is a licensed 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.
These are likely outreach mentorship options available for the 2023-2024 year: 

  1. Heidi Schmitt, L.I.S.W.Collegiate Recovery Program
  2. Tianyi Xie, Ph.D. – Social Media
  3. Aubrette Kinne, Ph.D. – Athletics
  4. Tianyi Xie, Ph.D.- Body Image and Eating Disorder Awareness (BIEDA) student organization

The menus for the CS Emphases and outreach mentorships may increase, based on staff members' areas of expertise and depth of relationship staff members have established with other collaborative units. It is possible that the available options could decrease depending on the range of staff members’ areas of expertise and depth of relationships that they maintain with other campus offices. If an intern’s CS Emphasis and outreach mentorship have the same theme and are supervised by the same psychologist, as would be the case for serving student athletes, the emphasis supervisor would provide one hour of supervision each week to address the intern’s needs related to both clinical service and outreach related to the emphasis.

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. 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.

  • 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 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, DBT, and Time-Limited Dynamic Psychotherapy (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. (7 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)

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.

University Counseling Service (UCS) is committed to recruiting and retaining 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, ability status, and gender identity.

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. We currently offer services in Korean and Mandarin, in addition to English.

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 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

The following is an approximation of interns' weekly time commitments and activities, as these activities will vary from week to week.

Clinical services provision

Activity Hours
Individual 8.0
Intake/crisis intervention 4.0
Group psychotherapy 1.5
Clinical emphasis 5.0

Program and consultation service provision

Activity Hours  
Outreach and consultation 1.0  

Training service provided

Training Hours
Supervision of Practicum (spring) 1.5

Individual supervision received

Supervision Hours
Individual clinical supervision 2.0
Clinical emphasis supervision 1.0
Intake/crisis intervention supervision 0.5
Individual supervision of group work 0.5
Outreach mentorship 0.5

Group supervision and seminars 

Activity Hours
Group supervision and seminars 4.0

Other activities

Activity Hours
Agency meetings 2.0
Preparation for counseling, programs, clinical emphases and seminars/case conferences 3.0
Clinical documentation 4.0


Maximum of 40 to 45 hours per week.