Counseling & Psychiatric Services

SMU Pre-Doctoral Psychology Internship/Fellowship Program

(A Captive Internship Placement for University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas)

Southern Methodist University Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is a highly regarded internship/fellowship site for University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas clinical psychology doctoral students who desire to gain experience in psychotherapy and in working with college populations. The internship/fellowship is a half-time, twelve-month training program running from August to August each year. Fellows are required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week, and are paid a flat rate stipend with benefits through UT-Southwestern.

Fellows at this rotation work as members of an inter-disciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, and substance abuse counselors. The clinical work of fellows focuses on providing quality evaluation, counseling, treatment and crisis intervention (including rotating after-hour call duty) to SMU students. Issues addressed in counseling include the following: adjustment issues, relationship concerns, sexuality issues, emotional problems, substance abuse, and eating disorders The objective of the internship/fellowship is that each fellow be able to enhance fellowsí clinical skills, diversity understanding, and professional development in order to treat diverse individuals with a wide variety of psychological problems, and to conduct appropriate consultations. The primary emphasis is on providing fellows with rich and varied training experiences to assist them through this critical transition period in their growth and development into professional psychologists.

Fellows typically see a caseload of approximately 12-14 clients per week. Most individual clients are seen for short-term therapy.

In addition to conducting individual therapy, other internship responsibilities include:

* Conduct triage interviews and intakes sessions.

* Provide day-time crisis services.

* Rotate after-hour emergency call duties.

* Participate in multidisciplinary case consultations.

* Participate in didactic presentations on professional issues.

* Conduct workshops on campus.

Fellows may also have the opportunity to create and co-lead therapy groups, assist in university outreach, and liaison with a university department. Fellows are given autonomy with outreach presentations based on their level of comfort regarding making presentation. They have access to an extensive array of workshop and outreach materials on site, and are encouraged to consult with senior staff members for help in developing workshop and outreach programming.

Supervision & Meetings

Individual Supervision: Each fellow is assigned a supervisor who is a licensed psychologist at CAPS. A minimum of one hour of face-to-face individual supervision is provided each week. Supervisors serve as mentors and role models to process clinical experiences, integrate theory, apply scientific knowledge, exchange ideas, review technical aspects of clinical work, and provide support and feedback. Fellows and supervisors also discuss basic and advanced therapeutic skills, case conceptualization, diversity considerations, interventions and timing, crisis management, ethical and legal considerations, and proper documentation. Supervisors regularly evaluate and discuss progress toward the fellow competency goals as well as the goals established by the fellows at the beginning of the year. The supervision time also affords the fellow and the supervisor the opportunity to develop a mentoring relationship where issues such as adjustment to the internship, development of professional identity, dissertation progress, and job search strategies might be discussed. Other senior staff are also readily available for consultation.

Group Supervision: Fellows attend group supervision every Tuesday morning, which includes case consultations and case presentations. Group supervision provides fellows with an opportunity to gain feedback and share information with other fellows, and to address any internship-related issues with the training director.

Staff Meeting: Fellows are included in weekly staff meetings, where they have the opportunity to learn about new developments and relevant issues at the health center news and on the SMU campus.

Application to Internship/Fellowship: Interested UT Southwestern students should arrange for a SMU CAPS interview during the early spring semester for the following internship year beginning in August. Preference is given to incoming 4th-year students due to the complex demands of the Center. For more information, contact Dr. Cathey Soutter at CAPS (csoutter@smu.edu).