UNIQUE UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER INTERNSHIP: The internship at UW Tacoma Psychological & Wellness Services (PAWS) is unique among UCC internships. Our student population is racially/ethnically diverse, traditional and non-traditional in age, economically disenfranchised, and from regional high schools and community colleges. Many are the first in their family to attend college. Ten percent are military affiliated. A fair number present with trauma histories. These are bright, dedicated students and our campus takes pride in their accomplishments. We enjoy a close relationship with Student Affairs, which offers interns the opportunity to learn about all aspects of student life. As therapists, we are honored to serve our students, and we hope you will find as much fulfillment in working here as we do. In addition, our staff is enthusiastic about training; we value the development of trusting professional relationships, the use of supportive feedback, and dedicated efforts toward social justice. Please visit our website and open the PDF document that describes our internship program. There, you will see details about our student population, PAWS mission and values, and the philosophy and specific elements and time commitments of our internship training program. Our website is typically updated by September 1 each year.
While the PAWS internship is not yet APA accredited, trainees from APA-accredited doctoral programs have matched with us, as we utilize the nine APA Profession-Wide Competencies. Further, the Training Director is in the process of writing the self-study (the first step in the process of applying to APA for accreditation), and plans to submit it to APA in the winter/spring of 2022. Following review of the self-study by APA, a site visit will be scheduled. Once an internship program has its site visit scheduled (and assuming accreditation follows), trainees who complete the internship that year will be able to claim that the program was APA-accredited when they attended. The program does not have control over the timeline for review and accreditation. Please check with your department’s Director of Clinical Training to before you apply to ensure you are authorized to apply to our site!
The current program has undergone some very positive changes since 2018-2019 when we did not accept interns for one year due to staffing changes. We note this so that you can make sense of data that you see, and so that if you request to speak with previous interns, you understand that there are two cohorts of interns (from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 training years) who have completed the program in its current form.
*Weekly Activities: 20 hrs Direct Clinical Service [group therapy, individual therapy, Drop-in/crisis sessions (NO after-hours crisis on-call), occasional outreach, supervision of practicum trainees (depending on time of year and availability)]; 3 hrs Didactic Seminars (1.5 hr Clinical & Professional Topics and 1.5 hr Multicultural); 4+ hrs Receiving Supervision (2 hr 1:1 sup, 1 hr group sup/case conference, 1-1.5 hr sup of groups, 1 hr sup of sup); Other Activities include clinical documentation/case management and 1 hr staff meeting. Interns' direct service hours are closely monitored and capped to ensure that the educational experience of internship is prioritized; the internship position is non-exempt from overtime and interns are not permitted to work more than 40 hr/wk. At full capacity, interns spend approximately 50% of their time per week providing direct clinical services.
Supervision of Practicum Trainees: The CAPS practicum program is technically a “pre-internship” in WA parlance, and as such, practicum trainees (from regional doctoral programs) must receive their supervision from a licensed psychologist. Thus, to afford interns the opportunity to supervise, we initially have interns observe individual supervision of practicum trainees by senior staff. Later, senior staff sit in with interns as they provide supervision to practicum trainees. Interns may also provide some training to practicum trainees during the weekly practicum seminar.
Psychological & Wellness Services Staff: PAWS is staffed by four full-time licensed psychologists. Our leadership structure includes the Director, Training Director, Groups Coordinator, and Outreach Coordinator. A full-time Program Coordinator provides administrative support services. We have also added a full-time Health Promotions Specialist to the team (and hence, changed our name from Counseling & Psychological Services to PAWS). Each clinician is highly invested in our training program and is eager to support interns’ personal and professional growth throughout the year. Our staff have a variety of theoretical orientations but all work within a developmental framework. We all share a commitment to diversity and social justice. We would love to welcome you to Washington!