Overview of the Preinternship
The doctoral preinternship program is a 9-month, approximately 15 hr/wk training experience for two doctoral students in counseling psychology or clinical psychology. PAWS invites applications for the preinternship each winter for two positions that begin in early September for orientation prior to autumn quarter and continue to the end of spring quarter in June. Preinterns conduct individual therapy, participate in a weekly seminar, have the option of joining PAWS staff for campus outreach, and are co-supervised by a psychologist and a doctoral psychology intern. Preinternship trainees record their sessions, utilize Titanium Schedule software to complete notes, and are provided private offices for their work. A comprehensive orientation is provided in September to ensure that preinterns are socialized into the PAWS team as well as UW Tacoma campus services, and are prepared to provide resource referrals and document their notes in the electronic system.
What is a Preinternship?
In the state of Washington, where a postdoctoral training year is not required for licensure in the state (so long as other requirements are met), students may opt to obtain a “practicum” (first clinical training experience) and then a “preinternship” (advanced/additional clinical experience) before applying for the doctoral psychology internship. If students meet the requirements for each of these, they may be eligible to obtain licensure in WA without completing postdoctoral supervised hours. While not all doctoral students opt to take this route, and instead do plan to gain supervised post-doctoral experience (particularly if they are interested in future licensing outside of WA), many students in our region are looking for this type of training experience. In order for PAWS to attract strong candidates and ensure that our trainees have already completed at least one year of clinical training, we technically offer a preinternship. Thus, we follow the state guidelines for the preinternship described in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-924-053.1 We meet the preinternship guidelines through:
- 9 hours of scheduled individual clients per week*
- 1.5 hours of individual co-supervision per week by a licensed psychologist with two years post-license experience and a doctoral psychology intern
- 1.5 hours of didactic seminar, facilitated on a rotating basis by CAPS psychologists and selected outside speakers
- Quarterly written evaluations of trainees and supervisors
- Administrative time for completing session notes, related charting duties, and preparation for supervision
- Occasional check-in meetings with the Training Director
- Opportunities to co-facilitate outreach events with PAWS staff and/or interns
*While preinterns are expected to schedule 9 client hours per week, we cannot guarantee a specific number of clinical hours over the course of the preinternship training year. Actual clinical hours depend on client demand and use of services. For example, caseloads tend to build slowly as classes begin autumn quarter. We do, however, prioritize trainees when making client assignments.
1 Washington State Legislature. (n.d.). Preinternship. Accessed August 11, 2020.