The Counseling Center at Notre Dame of Maryland University offers four pre-doctoral externship positions in professional psychology. The training program is designed to provide externs with the opportunity to experience the various functions of a professional psychologist in a university counseling center. Externs carry a full case load of diverse, individual clients and have the opportunity to conduct psychotherapy groups, outreach programs, and consultations with students, faculty, and staff.
Externs at the Counseling Center typically provide individual psychological services for 8-10 hours per week. In addition, externs conduct screening assessments and may meet with students in crisis during their coverage hours. The remainder of the time is spent on individual supervision, group supervision, outreach prevention work on campus, special projects, and administrative work. Externs who are interested in facilitating group therapy, may develop an interpersonal process group and additional supervision will be provided.
The Counseling Center at Notre Dame of Maryland University provides opportunities to work with a highly diverse group of students of varying race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. During the 2012-2013 academic year, 33% of students seen in the counseling center were Caucasian, 33% were Black or African American, and 34% identified as Hispanic/Latino; American Indian; Asian or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
Externs also have the opportunity to work with first-generation college students. Over half of the members of the student body at Notre Dame of Maryland’s Women’s College are the first in their family to go to college. In addition, the Counseling Center is an excellent choice for clinicians interested in working with the LGBT population.
Externs provide treatment for wide range of presenting problems and diagnoses. The range of clinical experiences at the Counseling Center builds a strong clinical foundation that will serve new clinicians in numerous professional settings in the future.
The successful candidate is pursuing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or Counseling, can commit to 20 hours per week for the entire academic year, and has qualities of initiative and autonomy. Some counseling experience is preferred.
Delivery of Services
The Notre Dame Counseling Center offers the opportunity to provide both short-term and long-term psychotherapy. Externs are trained in Individual psychodynamic therapy to help students deal with personal, vocational and educational problems. Students are most often seen at the frequency of once a week though in some cases students are seen on a more intensive basis. Treatment length varies and it is common for students to be seen throughout the year.
Externs have opportunities to co-facilitate a group and are encouraged to co-lead support groups or interpersonal process groups, depending on their interests and current offerings. Each year, the counseling center provides a support group to first year students in the School of Pharmacy doctoral program. In addition, externs have the opportunity to co-lead interpersonal process groups, which typically last throughout one semester. While co-facilitating, externs receive 1 hour of extra supervision per week dedicated to group therapy.
Consultation, Training and Outreach
Externs typically participate in a variety of consultation, training, and outreach on campus. Consultation generally involves coordinating care with off-campus treatment providers, faculty and staf . Externs have the opportunity to provide training to community assistants on a variety of topics including conflict mediation and how to respond to a student in distress. Outreach programs include depression and anxiety screens, eating disorders awareness, and alcohol and drug screens. Externs are encouraged to become involved in one or more training workshops or outreach programs or to develop a program based on their interests.
Supervision and Training
Externs receive 3 hours of clinical supervision per week by a licensed psychologist, which includes 1 hour of individual supervision and two hours of group supervision. Theoretical orientations emphasized in clinical supervision include Interpersonal process and psychodynamic theories. Audio recordings are used in supervision to facilitate empathic immersion, raise awareness of transference and countertransference, and to develop case conceptualizations. Externs are an integral part of our counseling center and additional supervision is provided as needed.
Students are given the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and continuing education programs, including a series of workshops offered by the Baltimore Society for Psychoanalytic Studies, as well as the psychoanalytic film series and monthly case presentations offered by the Baltimore Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.
Evaluation and Feedback
Written evaluation of the extern's progress is conducted at the end of each semester by the supervisor. The extern actively participates in this process by responding to feedback, as well as by giving feedback about his/her supervisory experience.
Candidates must be enrolled in a doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology. Although we integrate interventions from a variety of theoretical orientations, our site is primarily psychodynamic.
The Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Counseling Center views supervision as a means for externs to learn how to conceptualize and intervene with clients, and to recognize, understand, and manage transference/ countertransference reactions as they engage in the therapeutic process with clients. We believe that the therapeutic relationship is the most important vehicle for change in a client’s treatment. As such, one must engage in a process of exploring their own dynamics in order to more meaningfully interact with clients. In accordance with the APA ethics code, section 7.4, it is important for the trainees to be informed that they will be expected to explore and reflect upon their feelings and reactions to clients. We firmly believe all externs could benefit from psychotherapy in order to better look inward and examine one’s own interpersonal processes.
Externship starts mid-August and ends 3rd week of May. Externs must commit to the entire academic year. The hours are flexible and schedules change each semester. Externs work 20 hrs/week over the course of 3 or 4 days and some evening hours are required.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis starting mid-January. Although the application deadline is not until March 1st, we receive a large number of applications each year for a limited number of positions. Offers for interviews will be granted on a rolling basis, and positions will be filled by the end of March. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early!
To apply, please mail or email a CV along with a cover letter and two letters of recommendation to:
Amy S. Provan, Psy.D.
Director of Counseling Center
Notre Dame of Maryland University
4701 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
Phone: (410) 532-5379