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Internship Competencies

Internship Training Competencies

The CSUSM Student Health and Counseling Services Psychology Internship has established the following expected competencies and elements for the psychology internship training program:

Competency Area One: Research

  • Interns will demonstrate the substantially independent ability to critically evaluate research.
  • Interns will demonstrate the substantially independent ability to disseminate research or other scholarly activities (e.g., case conference, presentation, publications) at the local (including at CSUSM), regional, or national level.
  • Interns will seek out research articles and/or other evidence-based resources to inform their practice.
  • Interns will compare and contrast evidence-based practices and approaches with other theoretical perspectives and interventions in the context of case conceptualization and treatment planning.

Competency Area Two: Ethical and Legal Standards

Interns will be knowledgeable of and act in accordance with each of the following:

  • The current version of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
  • Relevant laws, regulations, rules, and policies governing health service psychology at the organizational, local, state, regional, and federal levels.
  • Relevant professional standards and guidelines. 
  • Interns will recognize ethical dilemmas as they arise and apply ethical decision-making processes in order to resolve the dilemmas.
  • Interns will conduct selves in an ethical manner in all professional activities.

Competency Area Three: Individual and Cultural Diversity

  • Interns will demonstrate an understanding of how their own personal/cultural history, attitudes, and biases may affect how they understand and interact with people different from themselves.
  • Interns will possess knowledge of the current theoretical and empirical knowledge base as it relates to addressing diversity in all professional activities including research, training, supervision/consultation, and service.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to integrate awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences in the conduct of professional roles (e.g., research, services, and other professional activities). This includes the ability apply a framework for working effectively with areas of individual and cultural diversity not previously encountered over the course of their careers. Also included is the ability to work effectively with individuals whose group membership, demographic characteristics, or worldviews create conflict with their own.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to independently apply their knowledge and approach in working effectively with the range of diverse individuals and groups encountered during internship.

Competency Area Four: Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors

  • Interns will behave in ways that reflect the values and attitudes of psychology, including integrity, deportment, professional identity, accountability, lifelong learning, and concern for the welfare of others.
  • Interns will engage in self-reflection regarding one’s personal and professional functioning; engage in activities to maintain and improve performance, well-being, and professional effectiveness.
  • Interns will actively seek and demonstrate openness and responsiveness to feedback and supervision.
  • Interns will respond professionally in increasingly complex situations with a greater degree of independence as they progress across levels of training.

Competency Area Five: Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Interns will develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of individuals, including colleagues, communities, organizations, supervisors, supervisees, and those receiving professional services.
  • Interns will produce and comprehend oral, nonverbal, and written communications that are informative and well-integrated; demonstrate a thorough grasp of professional language and concepts.
  • Interns will demonstrate effective interpersonal skills and the ability to manage difficult communication well.

Competency Area Six: Assessment

  • Interns will demonstrate and understanding of human behavior within ts context (e.g., family, social, societal, and cultural).
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge of functional and dysfunctional behaviors including context to the assessment and/or diagnostic process.
  • Interns will select and apply assessment methods that draw from the best available empirical literature and that reflect the science of measurement and psychometrics; collect relevant data using multiple sources and methods appropriate to the identified goals and questions of the assessment as well as relevant diversity characteristics of the service recipient.
  • Interns will interpret assessment results, following current research and professional standards and guidelines, to inform case conceptualization, classification, and recommendations, while guarding against decision-making biases. Intern will distinguish the aspects of assessment that are subjective from those that are objective.
  • Interns will demonstrate current knowledge of diagnostic classification systems, functional and dysfunctional behaviors, including consideration of client strengths and psychopathology. 
  • Interns will communicate orally and in written documents the findings and implications of the assessment in an accurate and effective manner sensitive to a range of audiences.

Competency Area Seven: Intervention

  • Interns will establish and maintain effective relationships with the recipients of psychological services.
  • Interns will develop evidence-based intervention plans specific to the service delivery goals.
    Interns will implement interventions informed by the current scientific literature, assessment findings, diversity characteristics, and contextual variables.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to apply the relevant research literature to clinical decision making.
  • Interns will modify and adapt evidence-based approaches effectively when a clear evidence-base is lacking.
  • Interns will evaluate intervention effectiveness, and adapt intervention goals and methods consistent with ongoing evaluation.

Competency Area Eight: Supervision

  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge of supervision theory and strategies.
    Interns will apply supervision knowledge in direct or simulated practice with psychology trainees, or other health professionals. Examples of direct or simulated practice examples of supervision include, but are not limited to, role-played supervision with others, and peer supervision with other trainees.

Competency Area Nine: Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  • Interns will apply this knowledge in direct or simulated consultation with individuals and their families, other health care professionals, interprofessional groups, or systems related to health and behavior.