Counseling Center

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the values of the USDCC training program?

One of the University of San Diego’s core values is community, which speaks to a commitment to creating an inclusive community respectful of the rights and dignity of the indivudal (see for discussion of the University’s core values). Congruent with this, the USDCC is committed to embracing diversity in all its forms. We expect our training staff and interns to have a respect for diversity and a commitment to personal growth in the area. As such, we value self-reflection, especially as it is translated into the action of creating safe and welcoming professional relationships.  As professional psychologists and psychologists in training, we adhere to all aspects of the APA’s ethical code and treatment guidelines in all of our professional work.

Congruent with these aspirations, we welcome applicants in all the diversity they may bring, including but not limited to ability status, age, culture, gender, language, race, religion, and sexual orientation.  We hope that applicants who have special needs during the application or interviewing process will feel welcome to let us know so accommodations may be arranged.

What are the terms of appointment?

The appointment begins August 1, 2016 and ends July 31, 2017.  Salary will be a minimum of $25,334.    The University also provides contributions each month per month toward the purchase of a benefits package.  One of the health insurance options can typically be selected with little or no cost to the intern.  Interns accrue 10 vacation and 12 sick days in addition to 12 paid university holidays and professional development days. A full description of the benefits plan for interns is provided at USD Benefits.

What is a typical intern day like?

It is probably easier to consider what an intern’s overall week is like rather than the days, which can vary quite a bit. The breakdown of how an intern’s work hours are spent is listed in the Chart of Intern's Activities.

What are you looking for in an intern?

Fundamentally, we are looking for interns who really enjoy learning. We hope to provide a training experience where interns learn both about the clinical work of a practicing psychologist, and about themselves as therapists, so interns who are highly committed to supervision and to self-reflection do especially well here. We expect our interns to embrace the many forms of diversity and, while we don’t expect expertise in all of its realms, we do expect openness and commitment to learning in this area. Finally, we want interns who will really become members of our team by working hard, participating in our training experiences, sharing their ideas, volunteering for different activities, and laughing and learning with us. 

What is supervision like at USDCC, and is there anything special I should know about it?

Although supervisory styles vary here, we have in common a value of self awareness. It is common in our seminars and various supervision experiences to ask interns to self reflect, for example to self-examine for biases and countertransference reactions. Supervision is never used as therapy, and interns have the choice of how much to reveal in supervisory settings. At the end of the training year, it is common for our interns to note supervision as the best aspect of their training year and to comment how safe and supported they felt in supervision.

We follow California law in determining who is eligible to supervise, and we meet or exceed the amount of supervision required by state and accreditation criteria. Prospective applicants should be aware that different states may have different requirements for eligible supervisors, though many states may waive their state requirements for those who complete an APA accredited internship, or simply for an internship abiding by its own state requirements. We encourage you to look up the supervision requirements for any state where you may be interested in obtaining a license. The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Psychology Boards ( maintains a handbook of licensure requirements, though the best source of information on licensing requirements is always the licensing boards for specific states and provinces. Though we listen carefully to intern requests regarding supervision, we cannot guarantee the ability to accommodate every request.

What about diversity at USD?

USD is a private, Catholic university with an enrollment of about 8300 students (about 5500 undergraduates). About 31% of the university’s students identify as members of underrepresented groups, with ethnic breakdown as follows using federally defined categories: approximately 53.6% identify as being White, 19% Hispanic/Latino/a, 7.5% International Students, 6.4% Asian, 5.7% Biracial or Multiracial, 3.7% unknown/decline to state, 3% Black or African American, and less than 1% American Indian or Alaska Native. About 41% of the University's students identify as Catholic.  Detailed information is provided about the university’s enrollment at  In general, the Counseling Center’s clients mirror the student body.

Does your site have one theoretical orientation?

Though we do not have one theoretical orientation by intent, many of our staff overlap in theoretical approach. We have many supervisors who have interests in interpersonal and psychodynamic psychotherapy, especially time limited models. Many of our staff also draw from cognitive-behavioral or systems theory within an integrative model. See our individual staff descriptions for more information.

Do USDCC interns get to learn about supervision?

Supervision experiences are provided in two formats: the first, individual supervision with a practicum student from an APA-accredited program in clinical psychology, and the second in group supervision of undergraduate peer advisors.  Through these two experiences, our iinterns have experience in both individual and group supervision, with trainees at different developmental levels.

What about groups?

We ask that interns co-lead one group per semester. In the past few years, interns have cofacilitated process therapy groups, a Women of Color support group, a mindfulness group, and other group options. At a small campus, groups are at times difficult to fill, but we’ve almost always been able to provide our interns at least one semester of group experience (usually two.) When the groups don’t fill, the interns increase their individual clinical hours.

Seminars and in-services

On a weekly basis, interns receive two hours didactic training per week, either in the form of intern seminars, or staff in services. In addition, the USD Wellness Area typically offers two or more continuing education programs the interns attend along with other USDCC staff. In the past, the university has sponsored programming on psychopharmacology, ethics and boundaries in supervision, substance abuse, cognitive behavioral therapy, eating disorders, and men's issues.

Do interns get dissertation or professional development time?

Interns are provided with ten days of professional development leave, which may be used for conferences, job interviews, dissertation or research. Interns are also alloted $200 to spend on professional development needs.

Does the USDCC have taping/recording equipment?

Interns have access to video recording including web cams.

Is there anything special I should know about this internship?

Our interns are very busy during the academic year! While we do have a 40 hour work week, in order to accumulate 2000 hours for the overall internship and 500 clinical contact hours, our interns need to maintain a fairly high clinical caseload. It gets much more relaxed during the winter intersession and the summer. Interns are also highly active in outreach at our site. Finally, like all our clinical staff, interns have intermittent evening and weekend outreach duties. 

Can I come visit?

We are aware that applying for internship and traveling to multiple interviews can constitute a financial burden on many applicants. For this reason, all of our interviews are skype or phone interviews.  However, we also realize that many applicants can’t really get excited about a site unless they have the opportunity to see it and meet some of the staff. Interns who are selected to interview are invited to an optional Open House, which is scheduled after interviews are done, but before ranking lists are submitted.  At the open house, applicants have the opportunity to meet most or all of the training staff and interns. Applicants who cannot attend at that time are welcome to contact the Coordinator of Training to schedule a site visit. These individual appointments can be scheduled as time permits.