NAU's Counseling Services' Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology prepares interns to function as generalist Health Service Psychologists with a specialization in service delivery to university students in an integrated health care system. Our developmental approach to training adheres to the APA's Standards of Accreditation and incorporates graduated experiences and skill-building, experiential learning and self-reflection, thereby contributing to a trainee's overall enhanced professional competence. Interns engage in generalist training via the provision of individual, couples, and group counseling, daytime and after-hours crisis intervention, and referral services. We place a strong emphasis on creating personalized training programs and the integration of personal and professional identities. We facilitate this through the consistent focus on ethical decision-making, commitment to the understanding of multiculturalism, and a belief in close supervision as the cornerstone of a quality training experience. In addition to ongoing supervisory feedback, interns are encouraged to engage in their own self-assessment. This occurs from the beginning of trainee orientation in August through the culmination of their internship.
NAU’s Counseling Services embraces the training of emerging Health Service Psychologists as a core value of the center. As such, training during internship is rooted in the “Practitioner-Scholar” model and values the integration of science and scholarly knowledge in the practical application of psychology. Training is regarded as a cornerstone of our service delivery system as well as an opportunity for us to give back to the profession via fulfilling generativity needs. We feel this is reflected in our staff’s commitment to training and mentoring interns in up-to-date, empirically supported research and theory, which in turn contributes to the ongoing professional development and continuing education of senior staff in best ethical and clinical practice. This dedication to training also resonates down to our trainees in that the emphasis on fostering their professional identities comes first and foremost above clinical demand and service. While the balance between learning opportunities and clinical work ebbs and flows during the academic year, graduated and structured training opportunities are integrated into the work week to ensure that trainees get a rich and dynamic training experience that meets their personal and professional needs. As a means of safeguarding trainees’ professional development and training, interns, supervisors, and administrative staff work in concert to clearly identify developmentally appropriate training goals and objectives in keeping with the center’s mission, all the while tracking the interns’ progress throughout the year. Supervision is one method of gatekeeping in which interns work individually with primary and secondary supervisors to ensure their training needs and goals are being met. Additionally, training opportunities in outreach, consultation, behavioral health, multicultural competence, and case conceptualization exist in multiple realms, thereby challenging professional staff and interns and promoting a sense of collegial respect and growth. Our training program also includes ongoing occasions where interns are encouraged to participate in APA approved continuing education programs and trainings. None of these training experiences are superseded by the clinical demand of the center and are considered an integral element of NAU’s CS mission to train ethical, skilled, and multiculturally competent Health Service Psychologists.