The University of Utah’s University Counseling Center (UCC) selects, trains and hires student interns every year to work with those who seek its services.
These interns are instrumental in assisting UCC with providing many forms of assistance to staff, faculty and students at the U. Psychology interns come from schools around the country and are generally doctoral candidates who assume a full-time position at the U. The social work interns at the UCC are master’s students at the U who are enrolled in the social work program and work part-time for a calendar year.
“All trainees are provided with extensive supervision of their clinical services and ongoing training throughout their time at the UCC,” said Steve Lucero, who is a licensed psychologist and the associate director and training director at the UCC. “The UCC generally employs around 20 trainees annually and 16 permanent clinical staff each year.”
During the past year, four psychology and four social work interns have been working with the UCC. The psychology interns in 2017-18 came from institutions all over the United States, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the University of Louisville and a number of schools in between.
They come to work at the U as they finish their doctorate degrees. Most of these interns have completed the majority of their academic work, and they end up finding their way to the U to complete their dissertations. Each intern has different fields of interest and responsibilities, but all work together under the same roof.
Interns participate in and facilitate a variety of services, including couples and group therapy, as well as intake services, workshops, outreach, consultation, teaching and research. Interns may also interact with the new Mindfulness Center on campus and instruct individuals on mindfulness skills.
Many of these interns have specific areas of expertise and interests ranging from working with LGBTQ+ youth to cognitive behavioral psychology. These interns also manage Diversity Initiatives — projects chosen by the interns themselves to provide increased access to the members of the U’s community from marginalized backgrounds.
“The UCC has a strong emphasis on multiculturalism, diversity, inclusion and intersectional identity development, meaning that we strive to offer additional support to those from disenfranchised backgrounds,” Lucero said.
UCC clients are often off campus and 25 years or older. The interns work to serve UCC clients from all different backgrounds.
The interns selected go through a rigorous application and training process that can take years. The psychology interns at UCC apply through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Match Program, which evaluates, interviews and places candidates at their respective internship sites. The APPIC Match Program partners with the U to place psychology interns in the UCC, while social work interns are chosen through their master’s program.
More information about the internship programs, specializations, ongoing projects, past work, instructions and qualification for an internship position within social work or psychology can be found on the UCC’s website at https://counselingcenter.utah.edu.
“While they receive extensive training during the course of their time at the UCC, their primary mission at the UCC is providing for the needs of University of Utah constituents, primarily both undergraduate and graduate students,” Lucero said.