Intern Life

Intern Life 2017-05-31T12:43:05+00:00

The following are fictional case studies to illustrate a typical day in an intern’s life enrolled in our programs.

Joanne Calvert

Joanne completed a four year full time Bachelor of Psychology with Honours degree. She is a first year intern in our 4+2 Psychology Registration Internship Program.

Joanne is registered as a provisional psychologist with PsyBA and works as a child and family worker at a non-government organisation. She is paid $53,000 per annum.

Placement (Psychological Practice)

Joanne works 38 hours per week in her job in Sydney. 32 of those hours are classed as psychological practice and go towards her requirement for registration. The remaining time is spent on administrative tasks that are not psychological in nature.

Direct Client Contact

At least 14 hours of her psychological practice are spent working directly with clients. This involves working face to face with high risk and vulnerable families. Joanne works on a number of issues including:

  • developing a positive therapeutic alliance with the family
  • providing assessment of the needs of the children and the strengths of the family. These may involve semi-structured interviews, observations of the family and/or formal psychometric instruments
  • other areas in which extra support is needed.

Interventions are given to the families and include programs such as:

  • Parenting courses (123 Magic, Positive Parenting, Circle of Security)
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression/Anxiety
  • Supportive counselling
  • Relaxation skills for children experiencing anxiety.

Joanne may also be involved in making mandatory notifications to Family and Community Services in cases of risk of harm.

Client Related Activities

The remaining psychological practice hours involve client related activity such as writing client case notes and reports, communicating with other professionals, discussing clients with colleagues and making notifications.

Individual Supervision

Each week, Joanne meets her supervisor close to where she works for 1.5 hours. She uses this time to discuss client issues, such as:

  • possible assessment tools that would be appropriate
  • how interventions are going
  • any ‘stuck’ areas such as clients not progressing
  • clients ‘resistant’ to change.

She also develops a plan with her supervisor about how and when she will complete the Board registration tasks such as Target Problems, Ethical Dilemmas and Administration of Psychometric Instruments. Any other aspects of the registration program such as self care and role plays to practice specific skills are also covered.

Group Supervision

Each year, Joanne attends eight 3-hour group supervision sessions to share knowledge, ask questions and review clients with other interns and supervisors. Before the meeting, she prepares a short summary of a client she would like to discuss. There is also an opportunity for skills practice such as role plays working with resistant clients and delivering an intervention for anxiety.

Professional Development

Joanne also attends at least 60 hours across seven professional development days each year. These are held on Saturdays at the Crows Nest campus. These cover topics related to the Board’s 4+2 registration guidelines and exam curriculum.

John Ions

John, based in Western Australia, has completed five years of tertiary study in Psychology. He completed a four year full-time Bachelor of Arts (major in Psychology) with Honours degree plus an accredited 5th year in Psychology. John is currently enrolled to do his final year at our 5+1 Psychology Registration Internship Program as an interstate intern.

John is registered as a provisional psychologist with PsyBA and is working as a Rehabilitation Consultant at an occupational rehabilitation provider in Perth. He is paid $65,000 per annum.

Placement (Psychological Practice)

John works 40 hours per week in his job of which 33 hours per week are classed as psychological practice and go towards his requirement for registration. The remaining time is spent on administrative type tasks that are not psychological in nature.

Direct Client Contact

At least 14 hours of his psychological practice are spent working directly with clients addressing their psychological barriers to returning to work after injury. These include issues such as anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, pain and post traumatic stress disorder. He provides interventions such as Relaxation, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Activity Scheduling, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy alongside helping his clients to job seek. He also conducts vocational assessments to help guide his clients if they wish to change careers.

Client Related Activities

He spends around 19 hours doing client related activities in his work role such as writing client case notes and reports, contacting other professionals and reviewing clients with colleagues.

Individual Supervision

John meets weekly with his supervisor in Perth for about 1.5 hours. Occasionally they talk via Skype if one of them is interstate. Over the course of the year, John spends 68 hours with his supervisor. He uses this time to discuss client issues with his supervisor such as appropriate assessments to use with his client, how to blend psychological intervention in with his other work tasks such as job seeking, how to overcome difficulties such as client resistance and chronic pain.

Group Supervision / Residential Professional Development

Twice during the year John travels to Sydney to attend residential intensive Professional Development courses and group supervision with other COPP students. These run from Sunday through to Friday. During each stay, he will attend 30 hours of Professional Development workshops covering topics related to the Board’s 5+1 registration guidelines and exam curriculum. John will also spend six hours in group supervision whilst he is in Sydney.