The PAWS clinical staff are highly invested in providing supervision. This section details the four types of supervision interns receive.
Supervision is one of the primary tools utilized to assist interns in their training and development. As such, it is an important focus of the internship experience. Interns receive two hours of weekly individual supervision from a Licensed Psychologist. For licensure purposes, some states require that interns receive supervision from a psychologist who has been licensed for at least two years. Thus, all individual supervisors at our site meet this criterion. The supervisor is responsible for overseeing the intern’s caseload, signing off on the intern’s drop-in and individual therapy notes, and providing clinical supervision. Interns and supervisors maintain secure, private, shared access to the intern’s client list (which the trainee updates weekly) as well as the intern’s videos of individual therapy (which the intern deletes after supervision each week).
Supervisors assume the liability and professional responsibility for the clients with whom the intern works. Thus, acceptance of a particular client onto an intern’s caseload is up to the discretion of the intern’s individual supervisor. Agency demands and availability of particular client characteristics also influence disposition of clients to an intern’s caseload. PAWS typically uses an absorption model whereby clinicians assign same-day appointment clients to themselves for ongoing therapy if they have room on their caseloads. If the clinician’s caseload is full, they assign clients to other clinicians who have openings.
Each intern is supervised by at least two different psychologists over the course of the year. Final supervision assignments are made by the Training Director in consultation with staff, and with consideration given to goodness of fit and supervisor availability.
Supervision of Groups
Interns and their group co-facilitators meet weekly for supervision of groups. Supervision of groups is facilitated by the groups coordinator, who is a licensed psychologist. At these meetings, discussions focus on group processes and presenting video recording of group sessions. The group supervision format enhances training by exposing interns to a variety of group types, facilitation styles, and client presentations. It also provides interns with practice giving peer feedback related to clinical intervention. Typically, the group co-facilitators also meet for 30 minutes before or after their group for planning purposes or debriefing.
Group Supervision/Case Conference
Case conference is a weekly one hour group supervision in which interns and senior staff rotate sharing about current clients through formal written and oral presentations in which video recorded therapy sessions are shown. A senior staff psychologist presents on a client once every four meetings, and the two interns are scheduled in the subsequent two meetings with the same senior staff member in attendance. On the fourth week, all staff and interns are invited to attend All Staff Case Consultation, bringing cases they would like to discuss to an informal group consultation format.
The group supervision/case conference is designed to allow interns the opportunity to exchange feedback with peers and senior staff, demonstrate their application of research to their clinical work, and consider how intersectionality impacts the their clients’ mental health. It also gives interns an opportunity to develop their oral and written presentation skills and to demonstrate their skills in assessment, case conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment planning. As senior staff rotate throughout the year, interns have regular contact with a variety of senior staff psychologists. All Staff Case Consultation provides interns with exposure to an even greater variety of client descriptions and interventions.
Intern case presentations include a written report with specific elements outlined, such as client demographics, presenting concerns, therapy goals, diagnostic information, theoretical discussion, the appropriate application and interpretation of one or more assessment instruments (e.g., CCAPS), as well as exploration and discussion of multicultural factors. A research component is also included, as interns cite at least one scholarly article and describe its relevance to the case. The written report is accompanied by a selected portion of session recording of no less than 5 minutes. Senior staff case presentations are typically oral only, as senior staff are not expected to present a written report or to record their sessions.
Supervision of Supervision
Each intern meets weekly for one hour with the senior staff psychologist who provides co-supervision with them to the practicum trainee. Early in the year, when the psychologist takes the lead, interns reflect on what they have observed of the practicum trainee’s competence, share ideas for supervisory and/or client intervention, and discuss their self-assessment of supervisory skills. Later in the year, when the intern takes the lead, supervision of supervision provides the intern with the opportunity to receive feedback about their developing supervisory competence, among other typical tasks of supervision. Supervisory triads may shift throughout the year, with interns and/or supervisors changing in order to increase the breadth of the experience and expose trainees to various supervisors/supervisees.