Training Program Policies & Procedures
Staff at the Counseling Center strives to provide a professional and safe environment for clients to explore personal issues in their lives. Interns are encouraged to consider the potential messages being communicated to or interpreted by clients and the professional community through his/her choice of dress. There are some exceptions to the dress code for Counseling Center or JMU events where casual clothing will be specified as the expected or permitted attire.
Recording Therapy Sessions and Notification of Supervision
Interns are required to digitally record their client sessions, and clients are informed of this during the initial assessment session.
Informed Consent Forms
Interns are expected to review confidentiality limitations with clients prior to the initial assessment, initial therapy, and returning client appointments. These forms are given to clients to read and sign prior to their appointments.
Interns must sign a Confidentiality Agreement that indicates that they have been informed of and understand the central importance of confidentiality.
All interns will be required to complete a "Training Agreement" following their orientation session.
Interns receive three hours of weekly individual supervision. They will receive 2 hours of supervision from their "Primary Clinical Supervisor(s)," a Licensed Clinical Psychologist on staff. Primary clinical supervisors supervise the same intern for one semester. Interns also meet with the Training Director, a secondary clinical supervisor, for one hour every week for the entire year. At the start of supervision, each intern will be asked to submit a brief outline or statement of his/her training goals which is based on a self-assessment of skills completed by the intern and feedback from each intern's graduate institution regarding the intern's strengths and suggested areas for improvement at the completion of doctoral level coursework.
Secondary supervisors are staff members who supervise a trainee in a context other than individual clinical supervision (not to be confused with the intern’s secondary clinical supervisor).
All aspects of the Psychology Internship Training Program are evaluated at various points during the training year.
Didactic Training: Interns complete evaluations on all didactic training experiences. Data and written feedback are organized and discussed within the context of the training committee to reflect upon strengths and weaknesses of the program. Based upon the training committee review, the program is revised as needed.
Intern and Supervisor Performance: Evaluation of Counseling Center interns and supervisors takes place informally throughout the supervision process. The evaluation process is formalized in the following manner and at the following times:
- Towards the middle of the fall and spring semesters, the primary and secondary clinical supervisors, as well as the secondary supervisors (e.g., outreach programming, psychological assessment, group counseling, supervision of supervision, etc.), are required to provide his/her intern with a verbal progress report.
- At the same meeting the intern (supervisee) is evaluated, the supervisee provides his/her supervisors with verbal feedback about their performance as supervisors.
- At the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters, the primary and secondary clinical supervisors, as well as the secondary supervisors (e.g., outreach programming, psychological assessment, group counseling, supervision of supervision, etc.), are required to provide his/her intern with a written evaluation.
Overall Evaluation of Training Experiences and Training Director. At the end of each semester, interns evaluate their experiences in the internship program. These evaluations are turned in to the Training Director and used as one of the methods of gathering formative and summative feedback to evaluate the success of program outcomes in the internship program.
Ethical and Professional Conduct
The Counseling Center observes the ethical standards and practices set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Counseling Association (ACA), depending upon each staff member’s professional affiliation, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Internal Governing Policies of James Madison University. As psychologists-in-training, these ethical guidelines require interns to adhere to certain principles that promote client welfare in the context of, and in an atmosphere of respect for the dignity and worth of the individual, and strive for the establishment, preservation, and protection of client’s human rights. While pursuing their therapeutic objectives, Counseling Center interns should make every effort to protect client welfare, and contribute to client well-being within the frame of the established principles and federal and state law.
The Counseling Center training staff recognizes that knowledge of the above guidelines and principles is not always sufficient to ensure appropriate ethical and professional conduct. Interns need to demonstrate the ability to integrate appropriate standards into their own repertoire of professional conduct. Interns should demonstrate sensitivity to ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in their work with clients and carry out appropriate decision-making in these and all other professional situations. Interns should also demonstrate the willingness to appropriately and readily consult with their supervisor and/or other senior staff members regarding concerns or questions related to their professional practice. During orientation, the Training Director advises interns of the due process procedures and their grievance rights. Interns are required to be familiar with and abide by the Counseling Center policies and procedures outlined in the following due process procedures document.
Interns who successfully complete an internship with the Counseling Center are awarded a Certificate of Completion reflecting their accomplishment.
Sick, Vacation, and Professional Development Requests
All sick days and vacation days will be reported to the Training Director. If an intern is not able to attend work due to illness, s/he should call the CC’s voicemail system (540-568-6554) to report that situation. Interns should instruct Support Staff regarding the disposition of scheduled appointments for that day.
Interns wishing to schedule a vacation day(s) or an off-campus professional development experience should complete an Absence Request Form (see Training Manual) and forward it electronically to the Training Director at least 1 week in advance. Additionally, the intern should block off the term of their absence in Titanium. The following parameters must be met:
- During senior staff retreats in September, December, and May, at least 2 clinicians in training must be scheduled to be at the CC
- During the fall and spring semesters, the request involves an absence of 3 or fewer days (extended absences are discouraged during the academic year because of the stress that they can place on the system, but exceptions are made for special circumstances)
If a staff member’s request is out of alignment with one or more of the above conditions, s/he should communicate with the Training Director about the situation.
James Madison University Policies Applying to Psychology Interns
Equal Opportunity: JMU Policy 1302
Discrimination & Harassment: JMU Policy 1324
Disabilities & Reasonable Accommodations: JMU Policy 1331