The Vanderbilt Psychological and Counseling Center is a member of a consortium of five Middle-Tennessee organizations which have come together to offer internship training. The agencies which work together to make up the Consortium include the Vanderbilt University Psychological and Counseling Center, The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Nashville and Murfreesboro, the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Division of Adult Psychiatry (both part of the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry). Each intern completes one day a week at a site other than his or her primary placement as part of their internship. In this way, varied training and experience are assured. For information about the other Consortium members, please contact the Center (615-322-2571) and visit the Consortium Members Information Page.
The Training Philosophy of the Vanderbilt Psychological and Counseling Center
The Psychological and Counseling Center is a multi-faceted facility serving Vanderbilt students, staff, faculty, and their dependents. The pre-doctoral internships offered by the Center in conjunction with the other facilities in the Consortium are fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. The internships at the Center are designed to provide intensive, individualized, professional training experiences in the varied activities carried out by psychologists in an innovative, service-oriented university counseling center. Our program provides training in short and long term individual and group psychotherapy, couples counseling, diagnostic interviewing, crisis intervention, career counseling, outreach and consultation, program development and supervision. Since each intern brings a variety of skills to the internship, we believe that it is important that training in the above areas be tailored to the needs of each. A unique aspect of our program is a shared commitment on the part of the staff to interpersonal conceptualization and theory. However, staff members utilize interventions from a variety of other theoretical orientations, including cognitive-behavioral, feminist, and humanistic. Thus, an intern has the opportunity to master a psychodynamic approach to therapy while at the same time developing his or her own therapeutic style.
Special emphasis is placed on supervision during the internship. All interns are assigned to two psychologists with experience in direct client service as well as training and supervision. Previous interns have lauded their supervision as a highlight of their training experience. Interns meet with each individual supervisor for an hour a week for a minimum total of two hours per week of individual supervision. In addition to the individual supervision, group supervision is offered for group therapy, family therapy, child and adolescent therapy, and eating/body image issues. Another important part of supervision is found in peer consultation. Each intern also has a one day per week assignment to another site in the internship consortium where there is an additional hour of weekly individual supervision.
Interns are given the chance to experience being supervisors by providing individual ancillary supervision to a Master’s level practicum student. Supervision of supervision is provided in a group format. This experience is helpful in developing supervision skills and is another key part of the intern experience.
The staff of the Counseling Center is committed to the affirmation of diversity. Our internship program includes issues of diversity in the didactic training experiences offered as well as in clinical practice. Interns are provided with exposure to clients of differing ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, ages, genders, and abilities.