The internship year begins with a comprehensive, structured three- to four-week orientation to the internship, during the month of September. The orientation is designed to welcome interns and begin to integrate them into Psychological & Wellness Services. Interns are introduced to the PAWS mission and values and are informed about the training program’s model, aims, competencies, service and training activities, administrative details, and referral sources. During orientation, each intern will complete a self-assessment which will assist in formulating training goals for the year.
The orientation program is developed and coordinated by the Training Director with input and participation from the staff. Orientation is an ongoing process, and interns are encouraged to consult with their supervisors and/or any senior staff member throughout the orientation period and the internship year.
All staff and interns attend this weekly meeting designed to communicate items of interest or concern related to Psychological & Wellness Services. Any staff member may place an item on the agenda to be discussed by emailing the Director. One common topic is how many openings each intern/clinician has to take on new clients. As Staff Meeting occurs every Wednesday morning, clinicians may wish to review their caseloads on Tuesday in preparation for this discussion.
Meetings with the Training Director
The Training Director meets with each intern individually on a regular basis to informally check in about how the internship training is meeting their needs and to solicit feedback about the training program. The Training Director keeps an open door policy and interns are encouraged to meet informally and/or request additional meetings to focus on training concerns.
Time is provided for other activities such as completing clinical notes and paperwork, reviewing session recordings, case management, and completing any readings assigned for seminars.
Release time for the dissertation defense is included in interns’ benefits; interns do not take annual leave for this milestone. Professional development release time may also be available for interns to attend workshops and conferences. Some funding also may be available, but is not guaranteed.
During the interns’ drop-in coverage and at other times, they may be asked to consult with faculty, staff (including Student Affairs partner offices), parents, or other students concerned about a UW Tacoma student (or client). These consultations involve communicating the limits of confidentiality, actively listening to concerns, providing information about how to refer a student to PAWS or to crisis resources, sharing other area resource information, and making recommendations about how to approach difficult conversations such as referring a student for counseling services. Interns then follow up with appropriate documentation.