Doctoral Internship FAQ

Does this program prepare students to be health service psychologists? And what does that mean?

Yes, Counseling Services' internship is in alignment with the American Psychological Association’s (APA) training model in health service psychology. This term does not signify that our internship focuses primarily on behavioral health or primary care settings. Rather, this internship maintains a primary focus of preparing doctoral interns to be well versed in the skills and responsibilities associated with a counseling center psychologist, while also supporting interns' interest in other areas of practice such as academia or community counseling. Psychologists are recognized as health service providers if they are duly trained and experienced in the delivery of preventive, assessment, diagnostic, and therapeutic intervention services relative to the psychological and physical health of consumers based on:

  1. Having completed scientific and professional training resulting in a doctoral degree in psychology;
  2. Having completed an internship and supervised experience in health care settings;
  3. Having been licensed as psychologists at the independent practice level (APA, 1996; APA, 2011). 

Please see APA's site for more information about health service psychology and the competencies that APA has designated for this next step in our profession. 

Do I need to have work or practica experience providing direct service to students in a college counseling center?

Yes. We require that interns have some previous experience in a college or university counseling center. This experience can be in the health and counseling center at a college or university, but not in a separate department such as the departmental clinic that serves students and the larger geographical community. We have found over the years that interns fit better with our site if they understand the role of a college or university counseling center as they have experience and are passionate about working in this type of setting. Other clinical practica settings, in addition to a counseling center, are also encouraged as this broadens one's clinical skills.

Do we accept contracts from your home university programs?

No. If you are accepted for an internship at the University of Oregon, you will have a contract with the UO and thus we cannot enter into another contract with a different university as well.

Do you accept applications from international students?

Yes! In addition to US citizens and US permanent residents, international student applicants on an F-1 student visa with a CPT appointment are encouraged to apply for our doctoral internship program. We value the contributions and perspecticves that international students bring to our center, our campus, and student community and we are happy to talk about how to make your CPT a few days less than a full year so that you are able to obtain an OPT visa the following year. Please email Training Director Eric Garcia, and we can talk through options for eligibility to our internship program.

Do I have to send letters from a clinical supervisor and counseling center staff member?

Yes. We need a letter from a counseling center staff member who supervised your practicum or other clinical work at a university counseling center. This feedback from a clinical supervisor, who understands university counseling center settings and your clinical skill set well, helps us evaluate whether you are a good fit for a university counseling center internship setting. Even though a recent supervisor is preferred, if you only have only one practicum at a university counseling center and it was earlier in your training, a letter of reference from that earlier supervisor is still preferred. On the other hand, if you feel there is more than one person who can attest to your qualifications, please feel free to send letters from them as well. You will not be penalized for sending more than three letters although we may have each reviewer read only three.

Do I have to be from an APA-accredited university?

Yes. We only rank applicants from APA-accredited and CPA-accredited programs, so it is necessary that your program is fully accredited prior to your interview. In other words, if your program is not accredited by the time we offer you an interview, we would not include you on our rank order list even if you successfully completed our screening process. 

Who is involved in training?

Everyone on staff in Counseling Services is involved with some aspect of training. Primary supervision is provided by senior clinical staff who are licensed in Oregon. All clinical staff take part in training seminars, secondary consultation, mentoring, co-leading therapy groups, and other internship activities. Administrative staff work closely with interns in such areas as the transition to the internship, clinical and administrative record keeping, scheduling, and computer and audio-visual support.

How many hours per week do interns work and what is the stipend?

Generally, interns work 40-45 hours on average per week, with around 25 hours being spent in direct service. During the summer months and slower break periods, interns tend to work 40 hours per week at most. During fall, winter, and spring academic terms, they work closer to 45 hours with a few 50 hour weeks. The stipend is $33,000. Interns accrue 184 hours of vacation leave (23 days), but they are required to take 80 hours (10 days) during the last two weeks of the internship. Interns are encouraged to take most of remaining hours during break periods so that clinical services are not interrupted. Interns also use vacation leave for job interviews, usually in the winter and spring terms.

How does Counseling Services reflect its commitment to individual and cultural differences?

Counseling Services staff are dedicated to the intentional inclusion of multicultural competence in all areas of their work and represent a wide range of individual and cultural diversity. The staff reflects differences in racial and ethnic background, national origin, sexual identity, religion and spirituality, age, and gender. Our entire staff shares the goal of providing sensitive, high quality services to diverse people. We strive to create an environment where all people feel welcome. We attempt to facilitate mutual respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic, national, and cultural backgrounds, sexual and affectional orientation, mental and physical abilities, language, class, gender, age, body size, religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as other types of diversity. As a staff, we address issues of multiculturalism through our clinical work, seminar training, programming, consultation and outreach, and staff development.

Cultural and individual diversity is infused throughout all aspects of the intern’s learning environment. This occurs through staff attention to diversity issues as they arise in the natural course of the interns’ service delivery, collegial interaction, supervision, and explicit didactic focus. Specific examples of internship activities that focus on awareness of individual and cultural differences include: attendance at professional staff development workshops with senior clinical staff on a variety of topics related to multiculturalism, participation in process-oriented intern multicultural seminars throughout the year, optional attendance at summer brown-bag lunches to watch diversity related videos, and participation in rotations that involve working with culturally diverse students.​

Does Counseling Services use distance education technologies?

Like many university counseling centers, we are utilizing teletherapy and telesupervision to comply with social distancing while serving our students. Doctoral interns have received training in teletherapy and are providing individual sessions to clients as appropriate. 

Who should I contact if my question is not answered above?

Please email, and we will either respond to you directly or forward the question to the appropriate person.