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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 particular 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: therapy through various modalities (individual, couples, and group; walk-in/crisis assessment), psychological testing, psycho-educational outreach, consultation, and teaching. The Resident participates in all staff activities, such as case conference, staff meetings, and professional development offerings. Supervision of direct clinical service is 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 integration of a professional identity as a member of a multi-disciplinary counseling center 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 also consult with other staff members as needed. A developmental model is used in supervision, assessing the appropriate amount of supervision needed based on the Resident’s 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 concentration based on the Resident's interest and agency need. Each of these concentrations is designed to gradually expose the Resident to 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 concentration 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 related to ADHD, LDs, and Autism Spectrum Disorders in a college population.
  • Development of advanced skills in assessment and intervention of substance use and abuse.
  • Provision of individual, couple's, and group psychotherapy within a time-limited 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.
  • Continued development and integration of a more defined and nuanced professional identity.
  • Preparation for a career path of the Resident’s choosing.

Direct Clinical Services

Intake appointments

Residents conduct three intake appointments per week. This number remains the same for the entire year. The Resident’s case load consists of the clients they see for intake.

Ongoing therapy

CAPS provides time-limited 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 can consist of 20 to 25 clients per week, once the case load is built.

Group therapy

A variety of groups are offered, both process oriented therapy groups and support groups. 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 participate with other staff members in providing walk-in/on-call coverage. The goal of this service is immediate assessment, intervention and case disposition.

Outreach and Consultation

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, in order to provide consultation to a student community. Currently there are teams assigned to specific organizations on campus for the purpose of creating strong relationships with traditionally underserved students. The Resident will also serve as liaison to one of the residence halls on campus


Interns, Residents, and staff members currently teach an eight week Life Skills class in the fall and spring semesters. 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.

Areas of Concentration

Alcohol and Other Drug assessment and programming

CAPS provides specialized assessment for students who are mandated through the court system or through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR), in the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS). These clinicians also offer therapy for student struggling with substance use or abuse.

Eating Disorders

In this concentration the Resident becomes a member of a multi-disciplinary team that meets to discuss current clients. There is an opportunity to co-facilitate an eating disorders support group, and to develop a significant portion of the Resident’s case load of students struggling with eating disorders.

Outreach and Consultation

Interacting with and connecting to students throughout campus is an important way of promoting the services that CAPS offers. There are many experiences that a Resident interested in outreach and consultation could gain. These include teaching Life Skills classes, and helping coordinate 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 the Psychological Testing Coordinator, other staff members, and an intern on the Testing Team, which provides formal psychological testing for ADHD, learning disorders, and autism spectrum disorder, along with personality testing for clients of therapy and psychiatric providers. Activities include participating in weekly ninety minute meetings during which current cases, preparation of reports, and proper administration of test measures are discussed. Residents complete a number of cases a year, beginning with a structured interview and ending with a formal testing report. Residents also often learn to conduct testing screenings and testing consultations to determine if comprehensive psychological testing is warranted and needed. Typically utilized instruments include: structured clinical interview, information from family and friends, WAIS-IV, WRAT4, WJ IV Tests of Achievement, DSM-IV ratings, IVA+Plus, CAARS-S:L, Nelson-Denny Reading Test, and PAI 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 every other week to discuss issues pertinent to the training of interns and practicum students. Facilitating some of the interns' didactic seminars would be a responsibility in this area. Residents have the opportunity to work in conjunction with the Training Coordinator to compile necessary data and reports. They could also be a member of the intern and practicum student selection committees.

Indirect Clinical Services

Administrative duties

The Resident is responsible for completing all paperwork, including notes and reports, in a timely fashion. Preparation for direct care and other professional activities is also completed as needed by the Resident.


The Resident is provided with one hour of supervision per week. In addition they are expected to attend weekly case conferences and staff meetings. Residents are also involved in all staff professional development activities.