The Howard University Counseling Service offers predoctoral internship training in psychology, the goal of which is to prepare students for the practice of professional psychology.
The Howard University Counseling Service Internship Training Program in Psychology uses a practitioner-scholar model to achieve the goal of preparing interns to become competent, well-rounded entry level psychologists with special competencies working with a diverse population. An amount of personal disclosure is also an integral part of the training program. Interns complete one full-time year of specialized training in the substantive area of clinical/counseling psychology. Their workload includes the following:
- Clinical and training activities
- Administrative activities
- Professional development
- Teaching and supervision
Interns gain skills and competencies, primarily through direct service delivery and specialized supervision, in individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, assessment, outreach and consultation. This is achieved in the context of a program that offers didactic and experiential exposures, of which in depth training in diversity issues is a vital element.
The internship training program is sponsored by Howard University, which has among its primary functions the provision of service to a population of recipients sufficient in number and variability to provide interns with adequate experiential exposure to meet its training purposes, goals and objectives.
Howard University's mission is central to everything we do and is found in a 1989 resolution of the Board of Trustees. Howard University is a comprehensive, research-oriented, historically Black private university providing an educational experience of exceptional quality to students of high academic potential. The University is dedicated to attracting and sustaining a cadre of faculty who are, through their teaching and research, committed to the development of graduates and to the quest for solutions to human and social problems in the United States and throughout the world.
The mission of the University Counseling Service is to provide psychological services, crisis intervention, testing, outreach activities, alcohol/drug prevention and education services to help students meet challenges in learning and contribute to the total and optimal development of the individual for the purpose of making maximum use of their personal resources.
The university has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students and is situated in the heart of Washington DC where demographics continue to change rapidly. Students comes from all 50 states more than 88 foreign countries. Our population includes students across the life span (ages 16 to 74) and groups who are diverse in age, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and socioeconomic strata. The multiplicity of our student enrollment affords the University Counseling Service (UCS) the opportunity to serve a clientele that is widely representative of the global diversity found in modern American society.
UCS provides individual and group counseling/psychotherapy for students dealing with personal, social, emotional and educational concerns; specialized workshops and primary prevention outreach programs for a number of problems (stress, depression and anxiety management, study skills, suicide education and prevention, drug and alcohol prevention activities, date rape, career choice, the National Depression and National Alcohol Screening Day activities; psychodiagnostic testing; crisis intervention, grief counseling; and consultation to various units of the University.
The program's training goals and objectives are achieved by providing trainees the opportunity to work with children and adults on a rotation in the Child Guidance Clinic, a branch at the Social Services Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court. Also, they are afforded an additional experience of working a rotation on the Inpatient Psychiatry Unit of Howard University Hospital.
The UCS internship program in psychology is an integral part of the mission of Howard University and is represented in the institution's operating budget and plans in a manner that enables the program to achieve its goals and objectives.
Howard University acknowledges the internship as an integral part of the mission of the UCS through its annual budget allocations for stipends, a full benefits package, and monies for staff development and facilities. The internship program has been fully funded since its inception in 1978 and the stipend was increased in 2009 to $ 25,000.
The UCS internship requires of each intern one full year of full-time training to be completed in no less than 12 months. The UCS does not offer half-time internships. In the case of extreme hardship, a trainee may be given an extension of time, but not to exceed 24 months. The internship begins each year on August 01 and ends on July 31 of the following year.
Interns typically work a 40-50 hour week, from Monday through Friday. Interns may work longer hours while on the court rotation and during the months from October through March which seems to be the peak months for new clients to present for services. In addition, a number of the formal training activities end in April, which keeps the average work hours at approximately 40 to 50 per week. Interns completing the court rotation, typically spend an additionally 10 to 15 hours fulfilling report writing responsibilities. Interns complete a minimum of 2000 hours for the training year (i.e. 50 weeks at 40 hours per week).