Professional Training

Primary Aim and Competencies

Counseling / Professional Training / Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology / Primary Aim and Competencies
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The primary aim of the internship is to prepare interns for professional practice in health service psychology.  This is accomplished through the development of nine core competency areas which are outlined below.  These competencies are developed through engagement in the training activities of the internship. 

  1. Research
    Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skill, and competence to critically evaluate scientific literature and apply findings to professional roles.  
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards
    Interns will demonstrate ethical and legal knowledge, ethical decision making, and commitment to ethical practice.  
  3. Individual and Cultural Diversity
    Interns will develop skills in the area of multiculturally competent practice, self-awareness, understanding of the impact of privilege and marginalization, and sensitivity to the impact of intersecting identities on client presentation and experience.  
  4. Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
    Interns will demonstrate self-awareness, knowledge of strengths and areas of growth, limits of competence, and openness to learning.  Interns will demonstrate a commitment to professionalism, cultural humility, and conscientiousness.
  5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
    Interns will demonstrate interpersonal effectiveness in all professional relationships (e.g.,  with clients, peers, supervisors).  Interns will demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  6. Assessment
    Interns will demonstrate the ability to integrate formal assessment data (e.g., CCAPS, CAMS, external psychological assessment reports) into client conceptualizations and treatment planning.  Interns will demonstrate cultural sensitivity in the administration and interpretation of all assessment results.
  7. Intervention
    Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills in the implementation of empirically- and theoretically-informed interventions in the areas of individual therapy, group therapy, crisis intervention, outreach, and triage assessment and disposition.  
  8. Supervision
    Interns will provide a safe and constructive space for practicum students they supervise.  Interns will demonstrate a comprehensive theory of supervision, provide developmentally appropriate feedback to practicum students, and apply appropriate criteria for evaluation and feedback.
  9. Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
    Interns will demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills when consulting with other members of the University community.  Interns will demonstrate understanding of ethical considerations, appropriate clinical judgement, and an professional behavior in the role of consultant.  

Virginia Commonwealth University
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Richmond, VA 23284
Phone: (804) 828-6200

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