The Student Counselling Centre is the primary resource for psychological services and consultation for the University of Manitoba, which constitutes this province’s third largest community. The range of experiences and opportunities this setting provides is ideally suited to candidates looking to develop strong generalist skills with an adult population.
The Psychology internship program is one of three professional training programs in the department. In addition to the internship, we also offer an advanced practicum in Counselling and a field placement for undergraduate and graduate students in Social Work. As a result of this multidisciplinary emphasis, a rich training environment is fostered in which interns can realize their potential as members of a diverse service delivery team.
To guide interns along this developmental path, activities are paced according to the interns’ background preparation and readiness to assume various roles and responsibilities. From our initial orientation phase, where the literature on developmental stages of trainees is reviewed and discussed, through the observation of supervisors conducting intake interviews or groups, and guided practice that characterize the early stages of our training program, the developmental level and needs of our interns are explicitly valued and addressed. Throughout the course of the training year, at a pace guided by stage of development and training needs, interns are gradually exposed to more complex and demanding training experiences (e.g., developing a group program; supervising a practicum student) and assume more responsibility for their work and contributions to the department (e.g., increased case load; facilitating or co-facilitating a group; developing an outreach initiative). By the end of the training year, interns will have a clear sense of what it is like to function as a professional psychologist in a fast-paced and diverse service delivery environment.
The developmental structure of our internship is greatly facilitated by its eschewal of the traditional “rotation” model of internship training. Our program believes that an intern’s professional identity can be most effectively developed through exposure to an environment that closely approximates the actual settings in which professional psychologists practice. For this reason, concurrent experiences are the hallmark of our program. With this structure, interns are able to experience the same range of activities and responsibilities as staff psychologists, see clients based on clinical need rather than rotation length, and develop more substantial relationships with supervisors.