Areas of Emphasis
Interns may devote three hours per week to develop and/or be exposed to an area of special emphasis, based on their training interests. These activities may fall under two broad areas: clinical activities and non-clinical activities. Clinical activities are defined as providing direct services to clients (such as but not limited to: working with trauma clients, couples, veterans, eating disorder clients, etc.).
Non-clinical activities include program development and evaluation, participation in counseling center research, and counseling center administration. Interns who choose non-clinical activities as part of their specialized training experience may be asked to do their specialization during the low clinical demand times of winter break and the summer months, so that they are able to accrue the necessary clinical direct service hours toward completion of their internship.
Developing an area of special emphasis is not a required activity of this internship program. For interns who choose not to develop an area of special emphasis, their three hours per week will be converted to seeing additional clients at the center.
Listed below are some examples of areas of special emphasis that have been available to our past interns. CCPPS strives to be as accommodating as possible to an intern’s specific training needs, and this is especially true regarding areas of special emphasis. At the beginning of the internship year, interns will meet with the Training Director and discuss their interest in developing an area of special emphasis and to identify a supervisor who can mentor them in these activities.
Interns interested in the duties involved in administration of counseling center/clinical operations/training may opt to pursue an opportunity to work with the respective directors. This area of special emphasis may include discussion of administrative issues and functions with the respective director, committee work, working on ongoing projects and/or developing and completing a new administrative project.
Interns interested in working with the LGBTQ+ community at WVU may opt to pursue this area of special emphasis that focuses on both outreach and clinical activities. Interns may serve on the LGBTQ+ Commission, help coordinate and co-facilitate Safe Zone trainings across campus, support LGBTQ+ student groups, partner with the LGBTQ+ center, co-lead an LGBTQ+ support group, and develop competency working with LGBTQ+ clients in individual or group therapy.
This area of specialization would provide interns with the opportunity to engage in both clinical and non-clinical activities surrounding outreach intervention and advocacy. Domains of activity might include acting as a liaison between the Carruth Center and the Office of Health and Wellness promotion to plan collaborative outreach campaigns, engaging in direct outreach with the campus community, and initiating connection with multiple campus offices and/or student groups to assess campus need and then planning outreach programs.
The multicultural area of special emphasis provides opportunities to foster cultural competency with diverse student populations. Domains of activity can include: clinical work (e.g., co-facilitating a support group for LGBTQ+ students or international students), outreach (e.g. social marketing for international students), research (e.g. utilization data of various groups on campus), developing trainings (e.g. for staff, interns, graduate assistants, and practicum students) and administrative (e.g. helping facilitate the diversity committee).
Research & Evaluation
CCPPS recognizes the importance of measuring the impact of our services on those we serve. This area of special emphasis involves learning about the unique opportunities and challenges of performing research and evaluation in a university counseling center. Domains of activity may involve discussing research issues, assisting in ongoing data collection and analysis, and conducting a research project within CCPPS.
A Note on Working with Athletes
Although WVU has a well-known Sport, Exercise and Performance (SEP) Psychology program, there are only limited opportunities for interns to work with student athletes. As SEP students are prioritized for training experience in athletics, it would be challenging to offer enough experiences for a prospective intern to make this an area of emphasis for their training. However, there may be opportunity to see some athletes if they present to the center and to receive didactic training on working with student athletes as a part of our rotating seminar.