Intern Activities and Leave Policy

A. Intern Orientation

Orientation to Georgia Tech and the Counseling Center is conducted for the first two weeks with additional time allotted in the weeks that follow. This includes participation in the two-day orientation for the practicum students who are beginning in the same academic year. The respective area coordinators will review all the services provided by the Counseling Center, and adequate time is provided for interns to become familiar with the campus and surrounding area. Interns are given time to settle into their offices and visit informally with staff and each other.

B. Weekly schedule

Interns are expected to provide 22 hours of face-to-face clinical contact per week. This includes individual counseling, couples counseling, group counseling, first appointments, assessments and backup coverage.

Supervision

Interns have two hours of individual supervision per week, one half hour of supervision by their group co-facilitator, one hour of assessment supervision, and a one-hour meeting with the training director every other week.

Training Seminar

The interns participate in one two-hour seminar per week on a specialized clinical topic. This training seminar meets on Thursday from 10:00 to 12:00. The topics covered in the fall semester are broad treatment modalities (group counseling, couples counseling, trauma, supervision), and are more specific in the spring (eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.) Interns are invited to request specific topics of interest for the spring and summer training seminars.

Weekly Clinical Meetings

Interns attend the weekly case assignment meeting on Wednesday morning where incoming cases that need to be assigned are discussed. Interns also attend the weekly case conference that meets on Thursday afternoon and includes the psychiatrists and all members of the counseling center clinical staff. There may be additional opportunities to work on Center committees or university committees as well.

Research Release Time

Interns are given three hours each week for individual reading/dissertation research. This time can be accumulated for trips back to the home institution for dissertation committee meetings or may be used on a weekly basis as needed.

General Time Requirements

Interns will complete 2000 hours over the year, with a minimum of 500 direct-service hours being required to meet the licensure requirements for the state of Georgia. Beyond that, interns are offered flexibility in developing their schedule to suit their individual needs. The center is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday and until 7:00 pm on Thursdays. If an intern wants to work late on Thursday, they can take those two hours at other times during the week (come in at 10:00 on Friday for example). are expected to cover specific backup hours and initial consultation hours as assigned by the clinical director, but otherwise may schedule their individual clients at times they find most convenient. The groups will be scheduled in cooperation with their senior staff co-facilitator.

Vacation and other leave

Interns are allotted 8 hours of vacation per month and 8 hours of sick leave per month. In addition, there are 11 paid state holidays including New Years, MLK, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, (2 days) and winter break (4 days). Vacation must be requested two weeks in advance and can be taken with the approval of the training director. Requests can be made by using the timeout system through OHR. In some instances, interns may want to save their vacation time to be used at the end of the internship so they can leave early to begin employment elsewhere. While this places a strain on the backup coverage system of the center, the director will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis. If an intern needs to be out of the office due to illness, she/he should contact the front desk and the primary supervisor to ensure clients are informed. When the intern returns to work they can designate the used sick time through the Timeout system.

A sample of the intern contract is included below.

C. Outreach

Interns are required to present three outreach workshops each semester. These might include presentations with a senior staff member, or tabling events, but should include at least one workshop/presentation that is developed and led by the intern. In addition to this, interns receive training and certification in the suicide prevention method known as QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). Interns are expected to provide three QPR trainings to the campus each semester. 

D. Record-Keeping

The Counseling Center maintains electronic records using Titanium Schedule. The system is easy to use and has a comprehensive tutorial online at www.titaniumschedule.com. Appointment definitions used in Titanium are listed in Appendix B. Interns are expected to document every contact with clients in the client record. Individual appointments, couples appointments and group counseling are designated as such. Other types of contact (by phone, email, or in person) should be documented as “case management” or consultation, along with a copy of the email communication pasted into the note.

  1. Client Files: Client files contain all confidential documents and remain in the counseling center at all times. The center no longer keeps paper files as all records are maintained electronically. If you have an original document that needs to be scanned (a signed release of information for example), please mark it with the file # and place it in the “To be scanned” folder in the secure cabinet in the copier room. The front office staff will scan it into the electronic record.
  2. Progress notes in individual therapy: all progress notes are maintained in the DAP (Data, Assessment, Plan) format. Notes should be written on the day that the student is seen or as soon as possible thereafter. The progress note is an official document and becomes part of the client's file. The note should describe what transpired in the session and in language that is appropriate for the client, other mental health professionals, and legal professionals to read. Speculation should be indicated as such and should be included in the assessment section. All types of contact with clients should be documented in the file. This includes face-to-face consultation, telephone calls, e-mails, contacts with other agencies, etc. The notes should reflect no-shows, cancellations, and attempts to contact the client. All e-mail that is sent to, or received from the client should be copied and pasted into the file. All entries into the client file should be signed by the intern and cosigned by the supervisor.
  3. Progress notes in group therapy: all students who attend group counseling should have a group note included in their chart. The notes should be written in such a way that anonymity of each group member is preserved. First names or initials are acceptable. Once the note has been completed it should be distributed to all group members’ files.
  4. Release of information: the release of information forms are located in the front office and should be used whenever information is requested or released to other agencies. The release of information form should also be obtained from the client whenever they request information to be released to professors, Deans, or other university personnel.