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Externship Description

An externship experience at CAPS is designed to give doctoral and master’s level students the opportunity to further enhance their counseling skills and develop their own natural counseling style that is consistent with their theoretical orientation, values and beliefs.  A secondary and equally important goal of externship is the development of professionalism. 

This externship provides doctoral and master’s level students with supervised experiences in short-term individual therapy, intake assessment, case disposition and management.  Additional opportunities may be available in group therapy and outreach depending on a student’s prior clinical training and training requirements.  Opportunities are not available in assessment and couples counseling. Availability of additional clinical opportunities will be based on a student’s level of doctoral or master’s training and clinical experience and interests, as well as on CAPS system needs. As a part of our training program at the Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CAPS), we value a focus on self-examination. Externs are invited and expected to share personal reactions and to engage in a process of self-examination in supervision. 

Students benefit most from an externship at CAPS that spans the duration of the academic year.  It is the expectation of CAPS, that students wishing to complete an externship experience be enrolled in course credit for the hours earned during their placement. Semester long externship placements may be considered on a case by case basis but are generally not preferred.

EXTERNSHIP OBJECTIVES:

  1. Perform counseling center duties including short term individual therapy, as well as any additional clinical duties negotiated as part of the externship placement (e.g. group therapy, outreach). 
  2. Develop skills to accept feedback from supervisors, including a focus on self-examination. 
  3. Effectively collaborate with a multidisciplinary staff, including psychiatric providers and case managers.
  4. Integrate science and practice to impact treatment with clients.
  5. Demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity to multicultural issues relevant to both professional development and specific cases.  This includes a willingness to explore issues related to race, culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, spirituality/religion, socioeconomic status, ability/disability status, etc.  
  6. Demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity to ethical issues relevant to specific cases and act in accordance with the Ethical Code of the American Psychological Association.

MINIMUM EXTERNSHIP REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Provide individual psychotherapy to 5 (doctoral practicum) or 10 (masters internship) clients weekly.
  2. Actively participate in 1.5 or 2 hours of individual supervision weekly, depending on the size of the caseload.  In the fall semester, supervision will be with a licensed psychologist.  In the spring semester, supervision will be with a doctoral intern or post-doc, who will receive supervision of supervision from a licensed psychologist.  For Masters Interns, ½ of their client caseload will be supervised by a doctoral intern or post-doc and ½ will be supervised by a licensed psychologist.  
  3. Students will also participate in a one-hour weekly externship seminar. In seminar, students will engage in group supervision and are invited and expected to share personal reactions, to engage in a process of self-examination, and provide interpersonal feedback to one another.  Time in seminar will also be spent discussing topics such as current caseloads, crisis situations, general therapy information, assigned readings, etc.  (1 hour)
  4. Complete paperwork within one week of scheduled client appointment.  Notes documenting urgent concerns should be completed in the same day.  (1-4 hours note-writing time depending on client caseload at CAPS)
  5. Be aware and compliant with CAPS policies and procedures.
  6. Seek consultation as needed outside of the scheduled supervision.

The doctoral practicum typically totals 8.5 hours minimum (9.5 hours with a one-hour lunch break), unless you have made other arrangements with the externship coordinator at CAPS.  With a 1-hour lunch break, this externship placement can be completed in one work day.  If externs would prefer to spread their hours out over two days, this could be arranged as well. Students traveling to Penn State CAPS from a distance will be responsible for any housing and food costs, should they decide to stay overnight in State College.

Note:

Additional training opportunities may be available in group therapy and outreach for doctoral practicum students. Opportunities are not available in assessment and couples counseling. Availability of additional clinical opportunities will be based on a student’s level of doctoral training and clinical experience and interests, as well as on CAPS system needs. 

The master’s internship totals 20 hours minimum (plus 2 one-hour lunch breaks) per week. The internship is usually completed in two full days and one half-day each week. Masters interns will co-facilitate one therapy group or clinic with a senior staff member each semester.

Clinical hours listed above may be divided differently depending on program requirements (doctoral practicum or master’s internship), student experience, and training interests (e.g. 3 individual psychotherapy hours and 1.5 hours of group therapy).  Number of notes hours and time in supervision will be adjusted as needed depending on clinical caseload (e.g. more notes time as needed, 1 hour of individual psychotherapy supervision for 3 client hours, 1.5 hours of individual psychotherapy supervision for 5 client hours, 1 hour of group therapy supervision if co-leading a group).

APPLICATION PROCESS

            Students interested in the externship at CAPS should obtain application materials from their home program or contact the Externship Coordinator, Desiree Howell, Ph.D. to request the application materials.  These materials can be sent to the student via email.  Dr. Howell’s contact information is listed below.  All questions pertaining to the externship should be directed to Dr. Howell.  All externship applications are due by Friday, February 15, 2019 at 5 p.m.  Students may submit applications earlier.  Interviews will be scheduled as applications arrive, with interviews continuing through Thursday February 28.  Final decisions will be made by Monday, March 4 with a total of 6-8 externship placements available. 

Note: This externship placement is an unpaid position.

 

CONTACT

Desiree Howell, Ph.D.

Externship Coordinator

Center for Counseling and Psychological Services

501 Student Health Center

Penn State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814)863-0395

Fax: (814) 863-9610

e-mail: dsh22@psu.edu

Penn State Student Affairs
Counseling & Psychological Services
Main Location

501 Student Health Center
University Park, PA 16802

Additional Locations

3rd Floor Bank of America Career Services Building
University Park, PA 16802

Allenway Building (Downtown)
315 S Allen Street
State College, PA 16801