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CAPS Post-Doctoral Residency Program

Program Description

This residency provides a new professional with the opportunity to enhance and refine their skills in preparation for future career goals. This is achieved through mentoring by current permanent staff members in both general clinical services, as well as areas of interest. The resident in this position will participate in a variety of supervised activities, representing a wide breadth of professional psychology in the university counseling center setting, which includes, but is not limited to: direct clinical service, indirect clinical service, psychological and educational testing, diagnostics, psycho-educational outreach programming, consultation, teaching, curriculum planning, supervision of clinical services (as a supervise, and potentially, as a supervisor of students in training), staff meetings, research, and performance evaluation. Supervision of direct clinical service is also provided in order to accumulate the required number of supervised hours of practice needed for application for licensure as a professional psychologist.


The postdoctoral residency year is used to advance clinical skills and assist in the creation of a professional identity as a member of a multi-disciplinary staff, culminating in full certification as an independently functioning psychologist. The majority of a resident's time is spent in the delivery of clinical services to enhance generalist and specialized skills, with expertise in counseling center functioning. A minimum of one hour of supervision per week is provided. Residents can also consult with other staff members a needed. A developmental model is used in supervision, assessing the appropriate amount of supervision needed based on the residents level of competence and confidence. Typically in the beginning of the year more guidance is needed as the resident acclimates to CAPS. Once supervisors have a better understanding of skill level supervision can be individualized to meet the resident's goals.

CAPS takes a mentorship approach toward expanding on the resident's existing skill set. This is accomplished by creating areas of specialization based on the resident's interest and agency need. Each of these specializations is designed to gradually expose the resident to the administrative duties associated with such areas. Once the resident's skill and interest level is assessed they begin to combine their skills as a general practitioner with those in their area of specialization to form a career path they would like to follow past the residency year. Joining these skills also aids in the development of a solid professional identity. Toward the end of the year mentorship places more emphasis on job search and licensure preparation.


Goals that a resident can achieve include:

  • Development of advanced skills in psychological testing and diagnostic evaluation as it relates to a college population.
  • Exploration and definement of professional identity.
  • Provision of individual, couple's, and group psychotherapy within a brief model.
  • Enhanced skills in crisis intervention and consultation.
  • Further experience in developing, presenting, and evaluating psycho-educational outreach programming.
  • Attainment of hours required for licensure as an independent practitioner.
  • Preparation for long-term career.

Direct Clinical Services

Intake appointments

Residents conduct three intake appointments per week. This number remains the same for the entire year. Intake appointments are scheduled during triage appointments conducted by senior staff members. Both the triage appointment and intake are free of charge. therapists continue with the clients they see for intake.

Ongoing therapy

CAPS provides brief therapy to currently enrolled students. Partners of students may be seen in the context of couple's therapy. Duration of therapy tentatively is determined by the therapist and client during the intake appointment. It is the responsibility of the resident to effectively manage their caseload which consists of 20 to 25 clients per week.

Group therapy

A variety of groups are offered with the standards being process oriented and support. Residents may co-facilitate an existing group with a permanent staff member, or may develop a new group under the supervision of a permanent staff member.


Residents alternate with other staff members to provide one full day of on-call every two to three weeks. Additionally, residents provide after hours on-call one to two weeks during the fall and spring semesters. This entails being reachable by phone or pager weekday evenings until 8 pm and weekends from 10 am to 6 pm. During the summer there are no after hours on-call, however the residents are responsible for the majority of on-call services provided during business hours.

Outreach programming

Periodically outreach programming is requested by specific organizations and groups on campus. Residents develop and provide programs based on agency need. There is also an opportunity to create relationships with different organizations on campus based on the resident's desire and availability. Currently there are teams assigned to specific organizations on campus for the purpose of creating strong relationships with traditionally marginalized students.


Interns, residents, and staff members currently teach an eight week class in the fall and spring semesters called Life Skills to freshman student-athletes. The fall class focuses on issues students new to college might face, such as time management, transition from home to college, grief, drug and alcohol use, stress management, diversity, etc. The spring class focuses on the developmental process of leadership.

Specialization Areas

Alcohol and Other Drug assessment and programming

CAPS provides educational programs and individualized therapy for students who are mandated through the court system. Classes are taught mostly during the day and consist of four consecutive weeks of two hour classes. Assessments are structured interviews that are conducted to determine appropriateness for class.

Clinical/Group services

Although clinical work accounts for the largest percent of the resident's time this specialization would introduce the administrative element behind clinical services. Possible responsibilities include coordinating intake and on-call schedules, collecting and processing statistics regarding the utilization of various services, and compiling data from semesterly service evaluations completed by students. Additionally, the resident in this specialization may take a more active role in the organization and promotion of psychotherapy and support groups offered at CAPS.

Eating Disorders

In this specialization the resident becomes a member of a multi-disciplinary team that meets once a month to discuss current clients. There is an opportunity to co-facilitate and eating disorders support group. Based on presenting issues the resident would be referred a higher number of clients struggling with eating and body image.

Outreach and Consultation

Interacting with and connecting to students throughout campus is an important way of promoting the services that CAPS offers and can be done in a variety of ways. As such there are many experiences that a resident interested in outreach and consultation could gain. These include staffing satellite offices, teaching multiple sections of Life Skill, and coordinating outreach requests. Web based outreach is a new area that the resident may choose to develop and oversee.

Psychological Testing

The resident has an opportunity to join interns and other staff members on the Testing Team. This involves weekly two hour meetings during which current cases, preparation of reports, and proper administration of test measures are discussed. Residents typically complete five to seven cases a year, beginning with a structured interview and ending with a formal testing report. As the year progresses, the resident learns to conduct initial consultations to determine if psychological testing is warranted. Typically utilized instruments include: structured clinical interview, information from family and friends, WAIS-IV, WRAT4, WJ-III Tests of Achievement, DSM-IV ratings, IVA+Plus, CAARS-S:L, Nelson-Denny Reading Test, and a symptom validity test. The MMPI-2, MMPI-2RF, and MCMI-III and are also available for use with testing and individual clients.


For this area the resident would join the training team which meets once a week to discuss issues pertinent to the training of interns and practicum students. Facilitating the practicum student case conference, as well as some of the interns' didactic seminars, would be a responsibility in this area. Residents have the opportunity to work in conjunction with the Coordinator of Training to compile necessary data and reports. They could also be a full member of the intern and practicum student selection committee.

Indirect Clinical Services

Supervision of practicum students

Residents provide one hour per week of supervision for practicum students in the fall semester based on agency need. Supervision of supervision is provided in group format to enhance resident's understanding and skill as a supervisor.

Team participation

CAPS has several different teams based on areas of clinical interest. Teams meet anywhere from once a week to once a month for varying lengths of time. Residents will join teams according to their specialization, but may also participate on other teams based on availability.

Administrative duties

The resident is responsible for completing all paperwork, including notes and reports, in a timely fashion. When supervising, residents are also responsible for reviewing their supervisee's notes and taped sessions. Other administrative duties vary by specialization, team participation, resident interest, and agency need.


The resident is provided with one hour of supervision per week. In addition they are expected to attend weekly case conferences and staff meetings. Though residents function as independent staff members there may be times when they are excluded from participating in meetings and tasks at the discretion of permanent staff.