Goals, Objectives, and Competencies

Danielsen Institute Clinic

Doctoral Internship Training Goals and Responsibilities

TY 14-15

Training Goals

Foundational Competencies

Goal: Intern demonstrates that she/he incorporates the foundational skills and attitudes listed below as appropriate for entry to practice.


F1. Intern demonstrates self-awareness and self-reflection.
F2. Intern demonstrates intellectual rigor (use of research, literature, and critical thinking).
F3. Intern demonstrates ethical practice.
F4. Intern demonstrates relational skill and maturity.
F5. Intern demonstrates cultural competence and humility.
F6. Intern demonstrates attention to SERT (spiritual, existential, religious, or theological) dimensions.
F7. Intern demonstrates attention to social systems and influences.
F8. Intern demonstrates attention to biological factors.

Functional Competencies

Diagnostic Assessment

Goal: Intern demonstrates competence in diagnostic assessment as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern establishes and sustains alliance during diagnostic assessment.
  2. Intern conducts thorough evaluations.
    • Intern clarifies the client’s symptoms and why the client sought treatment at this time.
    • Intern identifies current psycho-bio-socio-spiritual stressors and resources.
    • Intern appropriately assesses mental status and risk.
    • Intern identifies latent or potential issues, symptoms, etc. which need further exploration.
  3. Intern attends to cultural factors, diversity, and power dynamics in the client’s history and in the intake process.
  4. Intern makes an appropriate intake assessment and presentation.
    • Intern makes efficient, focused presentations to the intake team.
    • Intern makes an appropriate provisional DSM-IV diagnosis.
    • Intern formulates the case in a manner which assists with disposition and treatment planning.
  5. Intern identifies areas which need further exploration and possible assessment strategies.

Clinical skills and practice

Goal 1: Intern demonstrates clinical skill and competence in conducting individual psychotherapy as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern builds and sustains the therapeutic alliance.
    • Building a sense of trust and collaboration
    • Addressing ruptures and repairing the alliance
  2. Intern assesses and manages risk
  3. Intern supports individual and cultural diversity.
  4. Intern supports client agency and empowerment.
  5. Intern cultivates self-care and adaptive coping.
  6. Intern cultivates self-valuing and self-acceptance.
  7. Intern assists clients with containment.
  8. Intern assists clients to deepen their reflection and exploration.
  9. Intern assists clients with emotional expression, emotional processing, and affect regulation.
  10. Intern effectively addresses enactments and other relational dynamics.
  11. Intern facilitates meaning-making.
  12. Intern creates formulations and treatment plans that facilitate psychotherapy.
  13. Intern addresses ethical challenges and considerations in a professional and appropriate manner.

Goal 2:  Intern demonstrates knowledge and skills reflecting professional literature on psychotherapy.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern has a foundational knowledge of relational psychotherapy theory and research.
  2. Intern knows at least 3 current (published in the last two years) research studies on psychotherapy from peer-reviewed journals.
  3. Psychology intern knows at least one empirically-supported, brief treatment approach.

Goal 3: Intern demonstrates skill in engaging SERT[1] issues, dimensions and resources in psychotherapy and outpatient clinical work, as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern demonstrates a humble, open, curious attitude towards SERT concerns and dimensions.
  2. Intern demonstrates skill in exploring and inviting discussion of SERT elements in psychotherapy.
    • Obtaining a spiritual/religious history.
    • Inviting reflection and conversation about SERT elements.
    • Intern incorporates SERT elements into formulations and treatment planning in meaningful ways.
    • Intern obtains knowledge of relevant SERT systems, traditions, and practices.
  3. Learns about particular values, beliefs, practices, affiliations, etc. from clients or colleagues.
  4. Obtains and appropriately uses general information about groups, traditions, etc. to inform and enrich psychotherapy.
  5. Intern demonstrates knowledge of professional resources regarding SERT dimensions in psychotherapy.
  6. Intern demonstrates skill in addressing SERT issues and incorporating SERT resources in psychotherapy
    • Working across difference with humility, respect, and engagement.
    • Broadening and/or deepening reflection and conversation around SERT issues.
    • Helping clients assess constructive and problematic SERT elements.
    • Integrating SERT dimensions within a holistic approach.
    • Assisting clients to work with SERT tensions and struggles.
    • Assisting clients to access SERT resources.
    • Incorporating SERT elements in interventions in creative, inspiring, nuanced ways.
  7. Intern demonstrates awareness of one’s own history, identity, values, and practices as these elements bear upon professional practice and professional identity.
  8. Intern demonstrates qualities and practices which reflect one’s own SERT values, or larger professional ethics, and bear upon professional practice/identity. Examples include humility, courage, honesty, compassion, acceptance, etc.

[1] SERT stands for spiritual, existential, religious, or theological

Goal 4 [if applicable]: Intern demonstrates competence and ethical practice in couple’s therapy as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern will demonstrate competence in assessment, formulation, and intervention with couples/families.
    • Intern demonstrates an understanding of systems theory and an awareness of circular causality in actual couple/family interaction patterns.
    • Intern demonstrates an ability to construct a 3-generational genogram with a couple/family.
    • Intern demonstrates an ability to identify and include cultural, contextual, and religious/spiritual factors when formulating a couples or family case.
    • Intern attends to and works with cultural factors, cultural differences, and power dynamics when working with couples or families.
    • Intern demonstrates an ability to form and sustain a therapeutic alliance with couples/families.
    • Intern demonstrates an ability to communicate and sustain multi-directed partiality.
    • Intern demonstrates an ability to assist couples or families to shift from adversarial blaming to empathy, acceptance, and problem solving.
    • Intern demonstrates familiarity with and an ability to apply techniques from at least two schools of family therapy.
  2. Intern will demonstrate skill and commitment in addressing ethical issues which arise when providing services to couples/families.
    • Intern demonstrates an awareness of unique ethical issues in couples/family therapy, e.g. confidentiality and informed consent with multiple clients.
    • Intern demonstrates an ability to modulate countertransference and maintain appropriate boundaries when conducting couples/family therapy.

Goal 5 [if applicable]: Intern demonstrates competence and ethical practice in providing group psychotherapy as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Demonstrate competence in assessment, formulation, and intervention with groups.
    • Intern is familiar with types of group therapies and is able to differentially select group type to match varied client populations, presenting issues, and treatment goals.
    • Intern is able to formulate and clearly articulate the purpose of the group as perceived by the clinic and the therapist.
    • Intern is able to make use of and uphold the group contract in preparing clients for group membership and in ongoing facilitation of the group therapy.
    • Intern attends to factors of group composition (e.g. heterogeneity/homogeneity, common needs and interests).
    • Intern accurately assesses psycho-bio-social-spiritual characteristic of individual clients in order to make discerning, well-matched dispositions to particular groups.
    • Intern builds rapport and a therapeutic alliance with individual group members and the group as a whole.
    • Intern establishes goals with individual members and the group as a whole.
    • Intern is able to apply theoretical models and research-based knowledge about group therapies to clinical practice with group.
    • Intern is able to evaluate the outcomes of group therapy (e.g. group development, improved communication, mutual aid, and achievement of individual and group goals).
    • Intern attends to and works with cultural differences and power dynamics as they pertain to individual group members, group dynamics, and co-leadership dynamics.
  2. Demonstrate competence in working with ethical and practice issues which arise when providing services to groups.
    • Intern is able to work effectively in a co-leadership team (e.g. establishing good communication with co-leader, sharing tasks equitably, and developing the capacity to reflect on co-leader interventions and dynamics and their impact on the group).
    • Intern demonstrates understanding of and ability to work with
      • Group culture
      • Individual member’s roles
      • Identifying and fostering group strengths
      • Facilitating the process of mutual aid
      • Helping the group to deal with conflict, taboo subjects, avoidance, etc.
      • The relationship between group process and content
      • Stages of group development
    • Intern is able to identify ethical dilemmas in group therapy practice and engage in the ethical decision making when necessary.
    • Intern maintains ethical behavior and appropriate boundaries in conducting group therapy.

Clinical Administration

Goal: Intern demonstrates responsible and professional clinical administration as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern demonstrates attention and skill in talking to clients about fees, balances, and related issues
    • Completes the payment agreement and addendum, and sets appropriate fees.
    • Promptly addresses payment issues, including creating payment agreements and addressing compliance with such agreements.
    • Ensures that clients do not leave with balances, or arranges acceptable plans with administrative staff for any transferring clients who have balances.
  2. Intern completes clinical paperwork in timely and thorough ways.
    • Completes insurance authorizations to ensure no lapse in coverage.
    • Completes treatment records in a professional and timely manner.
    • Completes intake paperwork according to clinic guidelines
  3. Intern communicates professionally and effectively with administrative staff around all administrative tasks (includes paperwork, fees and balances, scheduling, hours tracking, absences, equipment, policies and procedures, etc.).

Professional Identity

Goal: Intern demonstrates professionalism and professional identity as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern demonstrates professionalism in all work interactions.
  2. Intern seeks consultation when appropriate.
  3. Intern demonstrates awareness of and attention to professional identity, including guiding values and ethics, strengths, interests/preferences, areas for growth, and any current limitations.
  4. Intern demonstrates a commitment to on-going learning and formation.
    • Intern engages in training/learning opportunities.
    • Intern practices scholarly inquiry by producing and/or utilizing research, literature, and other professional resources
    • Intern identifies goals and strategies for continued growth/development.
  5. Intern demonstrates awareness of professional issues and engagement with professional organizations or other relevant resources.
  6. Intern attends to self-care.

Psychological Assessment [if applicable for training program]

Goal 1: Intern demonstrates knowledge and skill in administering, scoring, and interpreting psychological tests, as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern correctly administers neuropsychological, psychological and learning disorder measures, especially the following tests/instruments:
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV)
    • Wechsler Memory Scale – Fourth Edition (WMS-IV; selected subtests)
    • Nelson Denny Reading Test
    • Gray Oral Reading Test – Fifth Edition (GORT-5)
    • The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test–Third Edition (WIAT-III)
    • The Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities and Tests of Achievement (WJIII; selected subtests)
    • Rey Complex Figure Drawing & Recognition Test
    • California Verbal Learning Test – Second Edition (CVLT-II)
    • Delis Kaplan Executive Functioning System (D-KEFS)
    • Continuous Performance Test, Second Edition (CPT-II)
    • Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – Adult Version
    • Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III)
    • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2)
    • 16 Personality Factors (16-PF)
    • Various Diagnostic Measures (e.g., Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Trauma Symptom Inventory, The Mood
    • Disorder Questionnaire, Multiaxial Anxiety Questionnaire, etc.)
    • Rorschach Inkblot Test (Exner Scoring System)/R-PAS
    • Thematic Apperception Test
  2. Intern accurately scores neuropsychological, psychological, and learning disorder measures [same instruments as above].
  3. Intern precisely interprets neuropsychological, psychological, and learning disorder measures [same instruments as above].

Goal 2: Intern demonstrates an ability to accurately and effectively integrate test data and clinical information, and provide useful, relevant testing reports, feedback sessions, and consultations, as appropriate for entry to practice.

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern builds and sustains the alliance during testing.
  2. Intern integrates clinical history, referral question and assessment findings in reports, feedback sessions, and consultations.
    • Background information, including individual and cultural diversity
    • Behavioral Observations
    • Results
    • Integration
  3. Intern creates client-specific recommendations based on results.
  4. Intern provides a useful and empowering feedback session.

Goal 3: Interns demonstrates competence and follow-through with administrative aspects of assessment. 

Objectives and competencies:

  1. Intern effectively completes insurance authorizations as necessary.
  2. Intern completes session notes as required.
  3. Intern completes testing report within 2 weeks of final date of testing and gives to supervisor for review.
  4. Intern completes feedback within 3 weeks of the final session.
  5. Intern updates testing schedule in a timely manner.
  6. Intern works collaboratively with administrative staff around issues of insurance and accurate scheduling
  7. Intern turns in Material Request Form at least 24 hours prior to appointment
  8. Intern returns all materials (manuals, unused materials, files etc.) in a timely manner

Additional Professional Domains for Psychology Interns

Goal 1: Interns will demonstrate knowledge of theory and practice principles in the domains of supervision, consultation, and program evaluation.


  1. Intern demonstrates knowledge of theory and practice issues for supervision.
  2. Intern demonstrates knowledge and/or skills in program evaluation.
  3. Intern demonstrates knowledge of theory and practice issues in consultation.

Training Responsibilities

  1. Interns must demonstrate that they are capable of providing adequate client service (with staff support) and benefiting from training opportunities during the training year.
  2. Interns must demonstrate competence relative to our training program goals and objectives (detailed above) to receive certification of successful completion. Competence will be determined through the evaluation and problem resolution procedures of the clinic as described at Orientation and in the Danielsen Institute Clinic & Training Program Policies and Procedures Manual (Manual from here).
  3. Interns must conduct themselves in a professional manner which complies with all applicable legal, ethical, and administrative codes and guidelines, including those detailed in the Manual.
  4. Interns must attend all training meetings, apart from excused absences, and make a good faith effort to participate in training activities.
  5. Interns must notify appropriate staff of all absences as detailed in the Manual.
  6. Interns must meet the service hour targets detailed in their training contract.
  7. Interns must be available to see clients in the evenings as specified in their training contract.
  8. Interns must complete all required paperwork as described in the Manual and/or as directed by Clinic staff.
  9. Interns must make a good faith effort to keep client accounts current.
  10. Interns must consult with supervisors regarding any serious concerns which arise in clinical work, and follow through on any guidance offered by supervisors.