For more than 20 years, Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) has offered internship for social workers in their final year of advanced study. Our social work training program expanded in 2021 to offer placements for social work interns in their foundational year placement.
Currently, two advanced and two foundational year social work students are placed at CCPH. The advanced SW internship requires 35-hours-per week and the foundational SW internship requires 22-hours-per week. All placements begin mid-August and runs until the end of spring semester classes. Each student makes accommodations for time off with their supervisor. There is a stipend associated only with the advanced social work placement. The predominant client population the interns work with is college-aged or above.
The advanced year social work experience includes 8 – 10 clinical hours each week, with participation in brief intermittent therapy with individuals, and opportunities for clinical work with couples, group therapy, and psycho-educational workshops. CCPH maintains a 24-hour on-call system, and during the training program interns serve on that rotation with a supervisor. Advanced social work interns meet with their primary supervisors for a minimum of two hours each week, and are encouraged to seek consultation from other staff with expertise in specific areas of interest.
The foundational year social work experience includes a focus on psycho-educational workshops, case management, outreach, and brief, intermittent clinical treatment. Foundational year social work interns meet with two supervisors, one that focuses on their clinical development and the other focuses on their outreach work.
The program's multidisciplinary nature is one of its strengths. Interns are assigned to clinical and functional teams which blend social work, nursing, psychiatry and psychology. Advanced year social work and psychology trainees also participate together in seminars focused on treatment and complementary services in college mental health.
Advanced social work and psychology trainees participate together in the following seminars:
Individual Treatment in College Mental Health
The individual treatment seminar is a case-oriented approach to the principles and practice of short-term outpatient psychotherapy in a college mental health setting. Major objectives are to refine the ability to accurately diagnose and select clients for individual brief treatment, explore various theoretical models and psychotherapy approaches that fit within a UCC brief treatment model, and develop a deeper understanding of the complex interweaving identities, life experiences, and symptom pictures that inform clinical decision making in this context. Theoretical and clinical readings provide a basis for the weekly discussion of interns’ ongoing cases. Each clinician involved in training provides a unique perspective, derived from their personal theoretical orientation and experience in the delivery of brief treatment. Topics include treatment course and caseload, higher level of care – details and decision making, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, narrative therapy, trauma informed treatment, family therapy with the individual, psychopharmacology, sexual assault/trauma, first symptoms of psychosis, substance abuse, eating disorders, international students, LGBTQIA students, and gender non-conforming students.
Complementary services in college mental health
Whereas the individual treatment seminar focuses on outpatient psychotherapy with individuals, the complementary services seminar emphasizes development of proficiency in the provision of the various types of non-individual therapy services that clinical staff and interns offer in a brief treatment UCC setting. The coordinators of each of the complementary services program offer multi-week sections to support interns as they learn about and provide all of the clinical services that CCPH offers to students and the university community. Similar to the individual treatment seminar, skills are learned and refined through a combination of theoretical and clinical readings, presentation and intern case discussion. A main objective is to learn how to effectively manage the special considerations of integrating multimodal therapies to fit each client’s unique requests and diagnostic picture in a brief treatment UCC setting. Topics include group therapy, crisis intervention, outreach, behavioral medicine, stress management workshop training, family therapy supervision, intersectionality between therapist and marginalized-privileged identities, and Title IX considerations.
Criminal Records Check (CORI)
Under University of Massachusetts Amherst requirements, employment is contingent upon a successful Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. This will be completed by the university's Human Resources department prior to the start of employment.