CAPS Internship Training Program

Training Model

A Practitioner Model Informed by Theory and Research guides the CAPS Internship. Interns are trained to ground their practice of psychology in theory and research. This model is accomplished in an intensive, supervised university counseling center experience working with a multicultural group of interdisciplinary professionals. Imbued in this model are service provision, didactic and experiential instruction, and the use of psychological theory/research.

Internship is seen as the culmination of training for entry-level professional practitioners. CAPS provides a setting in which interns increase and strengthen their abilities to practice psychology throughout their year at our agency. Interns successfully complete internship when they reach a skill level of competent practice defined by having sufficient ability to practice core skills independently without the necessity of ongoing supervision. Internship training involves developing both core skills and a positive professional identity essential for the work of an entry-level psychologist providing services in:
  • Time-limited and some longer-term therapy
  • Assessment and Diagnostic Interviewing
  • Relationship-based Outreach and Programming
  • Consultation
  • Training and Supervision
CAPS recruits students from scientist-practitioner and scholar-practitioner departments so that they come with a foundation of theoretical and research-based knowledge, and with a readiness for intensive training in practice. CAPS continues interns' training in integrating practice and theory and research as these provide the underpinnings of the practice of psychology. A part of competent practice includes being informed about the seminal and current theoretical and research-bases of psychology. CAPS accomplishes integration through:
  • Therapy, seminar, supervision, and area of concentration
  • Generating clinical hypotheses to explore in supervision
  • Learning the empirical bases that guide the use of comprehensive assessment and case conceptualization
  • Attending professional conferences
  • Participating in in-service training programs on best current practices in clinical practice, (e.g., recent staff trainings have included group therapy, DSM 5, dialectical behavior therapy, multicultural and relational supervision, and crisis response).
The Mentor/Apprenticeship Work Environment is encouraged and developed. It is designed to provide a collaborative milieu for training. This is operationalized in a variety of ways including:
  • Interns are matched with their supervisors for goodness-of-fit.
  • Staff provide clinical and professional identity role modeling.
  • Staff often co-facilitate group therapy with interns.
  • Staff work to create an environment respectful of interns: honoring their cultural identities, valuing their positive self-growth, and establishing a strong work ethic.

This model is guided by seven philosophical tenets, described below which explain the basic values of the CAPS internship.

Training Philosophy

1. Interns are primarily in training.

The primary purpose of the internship is to train interns in the practice of psychology. Intensive supervision is the primary vehicle for training and evaluation.

2. Mentorship is the cornerstone of professional development.

Interns are always under the direct supervision and guidance of several staff members. The CAPS Internship is founded on the belief that individuals grow primarily as the product of significant collaborative relationships. The intern-supervisor relationship provides the foundation for growth in core skill areas and in professional identity development.

3. Interns are in training to develop positive professional identities.

CAPS staff provide opportunities for interns to work with culturally diverse professionals from various university and health center disciplines. Interns are provided time to process and reflect on their experiences in order to promote growth and integration of their professional confidence. This is promoted via relationships with supervisors, with a seminar on professional identity development, peer process group, and a bi-weekly meeting with the Training Coordinator to negotiate the personal and professional challenges of the year. Interns are respected as full members of the CAPS staff.

4. The growth of a professional identity occurs developmentally.

The CAPS Internship provides higher levels of direction and structure initially, with movement towards greater autonomy and responsibility. High levels of structure assist intern transition into a new system by providing guidance and direction. Interns have multiple opportunities to be increasingly autonomous and self-directing in all aspects of their functioning at CAPS as the year unfolds.

5. Training needs are met through the expertise of CAPS staff and other campus professionals.

CAPS provides exposure to a broad range of experiences during the year, both internally and externally. This allows interns to seek their own areas of interest within different venues such as clinical intervention, programming, consultation, psycho-pharmacology, alcohol and other drug work, psychological testing, multiculturalism, scholarly inquiry, and supervision provision. Opportunities are available for interns to work outside of CAPS by interacting with a variety of campus professionals.

6. Individuals learn in individual ways.

The CAPS Internship uses various learning methods including practical experiences, modeling, process-based activities, group, didactic, experiential, and self-guided learning. CAPS provides an environment that is supportive and challenging and based, in part, on an intern's self-assessment. Time is spent initially working with interns to assist them in defining their goals and desires for training. CAPS provides an array of training experiences, venues, and modalities so interns are provided opportunity to learn based on their individual styles.

7. Psychologists are informed through the integration of science and practice.

Theory, research, and practice mutually inform each other. Interns are guided and encouraged in their pursuit of observing, inferring, formulating, and evaluating clinical hypotheses. Interns generate clinical hypotheses based on theory and research.

Training Aims and Profession-Wide Competencies

CAPS Training Aim 

The central aim of the CAPS Internship is to provide a training experience that prepares interns to meet the demands of a health service psychologist serving diverse young adult and adult populations in a comprehensive university counseling center or a related setting.  The competencies developed are applicable to other community settings working with adults such as outpatient mental health programs, employee assistance programs, and private practice.   

Profession-Wide Competencies 

In accordance with the Standards of Accreditation in Health Service Psychology, interns are required to achieve profession-wide competencies in the following areas: 1) Research, 2) Ethical and Legal Standards, 3) Individual and Cultural Diversity, 4) Professional Values, Attitudes and Behaviors, 5) Communication and Interpersonal Skills, 6) Assessment, 7) Intervention, 8) Supervision, and 9) Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills. 

These competencies are achieved and operationalized through the following two overarching training goals at CAPS:

Goal 1: Interns will demonstrate service-oriented competencies as an entry level health service psychologist.  These competencies will be evidenced by:

  1. Evidence Based Assessment: conducting initial assessment, psychosocial assessment, crisis assessment, diagnostic assessment, and conceptualization of presenting concerns.  
  2. Evidence Based Intervention: demonstrating requisite skills in short-term individual and group intervention.
  3. Campus Consultation Skills:  engaging in relationship-based outreach, sharing knowledge through preventive and psychoeducational programming, and providing expert guidance or professional assistance in response to the needs of consultees.
  4. Entry-Level Clinical Supervision Skills:  demonstrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes consistent with the supervisory role. 

Goal 2:  Interns will espouse a solid professional identity as a health service psychologist as evidenced by:

  1. Ethical and Legal Standards: demonstrating the knowledge and behaviors consistent with ethical and legal integrity as applied to all professional roles and activities.
  2. Respect for Individual and Cultural Diversity:  integrating awareness and knowledge of individual and cultural differences (related to self and others) in the conduct of all professional roles and activities.
  3. Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors: establishing positive professional role functioning, engaging in reflective practice, valuing life-long learning, growing/maintaining self-awareness, growing/maintaining multicultural competence.
  4. Use of Research: demonstrating the independent ability to critically evaluate and integrate research into clinical practice, accessing scientific literature related to practice, and disseminating research or other scholarly work for the benefit of contributing to others’ knowledge.
  5. Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Skills:  collaborating effectively with other professionals, and demonstrating knowledge and respect for the roles and perspectives of other professions.
  6. Communication and Interpersonal Skills:  demonstrating strong written and verbal skills, fostering positive working relationships with others, as well as managing difficult communication.

These goals are accomplished by a comprehensive supervised experience in a large university counseling center gaining in-depth practice in the following direct service activities and other internship training opportunities.

Weekly Schedule

The schedules listed below reflect the variability and range of time spent during peak and off times of internship in training, direct, and indirect service. One of the important goals of internships is developing case and time management skills to address this typical ebb and flow. In order to reach the 2000 hour requirement of internship completion, which allows you the most flexibility with regard to future licensure, the work week should average 40-45 hours.

ActivityHours per Week

Direct Clinical Service

  Individual Therapy 10-15
  Intake Assessments 2-3
  Group Therapy 1.5
  Outreach Programming and Consultation 0-2
  On-Call/Initial Assessment Coverage 3-4
  Life Skills Class (1st 8 weeks of Fall Semester only) 2

Supervision

  Individual Supervision 2
  Group Supervision/Process 1
  Area of Concentration Supervision 1 (bi-weekly)
  Training Coordinator/Professional Development Supervision 1 (bi-weekly)
  Provision of Supervision (Fall or Spring) 0-1
  Supervision of Supervision (Fall or Spring) 0-1.5
  Intern Peer Process Group 1 (bi-weekly)

Other Training

  Weekly Intern Seminars 2
  Area of Concentration 4
  Case Conference 1
  Agency/Team Meetings 1-2
  Case Management/Administrative Time 4
ActivityHours per Week

Direct Clinical Service

  Individual Therapy 5-10
  Initial Appointments/Intakes 2-3
  Group Therapy 0-1.5
  On-Call Coverage 4
  Outreach Programming and Consultation 0-2

Supervision

  Individual Supervision 2
  Group Supervision/Process 0-1
  Training Coordinator Meeting 1 (bi-weekly)
  Area of Concentration Supervision 1 (bi-weekly)
  Intern Peer Process Group 1 (bi-weekly)

Other Training

  Weekly Intern Seminars 2
  Area of Concentration 4
  Case Conference 1
  Professional Development 2-5
  Case Management/Administrative Time 4

Direct Service Activities

Interns are scheduled 15-20 hours of direct clinical service each week.  As is typical of University Counseling Centers, the demand for clinical services is heavier in the Fall and Spring semesters as compared to summer semesters and this is reflected in the service delivery estimations noted above. 

Individual Therapy

CAPS approaches therapy using a time-limited therapy model. The number of sessions required for the therapeutic work that a particular student completes is determined by the therapist and the student during their work together.  Although Purdue students are limited to 12 individual sessions per academic year, longer-term therapy is available through group.  Further, interns may choose one client at a time to pursue longer-term therapy with throughout the year if this reflects their training goals.  The most common presenting concerns which Purdue students seek services for include anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, trauma, relationship concerns, and adjustment difficulties.  

Group Co-Therapy: Therapy, Support, and Psycho-Educational Groups

Interns are involved with co-leading at least one of the various groups that are facilitated through CAPS. Interns may be involved with therapy and/or support groups which are focused primarily on the more clinical aspects of clients' presenting problems. Interns may also be involved with workshops and seminars which can be single sessions or multiple sessions and are focused on the more psycho-educational aspects of clients' presenting problems. For a current listing of CAPS group offerings, visit the Group Listings / Times page on the CAPS Web Site.

Initial Assessment and Therapist On Duty (On-Call) Coverage

Initial contact with CAPS and crisis services are available each day to Purdue students. Each intern is scheduled for and provides on-call and initial assessment overflow coverage on a bi-weekly basis throughout the semester. Interns are provided training on conducting a 30 minute consultation to help the student define their presenting problem and to determine how CAPS may assist the student with their concerns. The intern will gather information to assess urgency and risk, and to facilitate the matching of services based on individual need. The intern will discuss therapy options and resources available based on the issues discussed. Interns always have back-up and stand-by supervision in crisis situations.

Psycho-Educational Programming and Outreach

CAPS engages in a wide range of programming and outreach including invited presentations to departments, classes, and residence halls. CAPS is involved with the Residence Hall Liaison Program where each staff member is assigned to a residence hall to assist with programming requests, crisis events, and questions when they arise. CAPS staff also provides relationship-based consultation to the cultural houses on Purdue’s campus including the LGBTQ Center, the Veterans Success Center, the Black Cultural Center, the Latino Cultural Center, the Asian American and Asian Resource and Cultural Center, and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center. Interns are expected to sign up to be on a liaison team to one of these centers which entails spending 1-2 hours at the center every few weeks and occasionally involves outreach programming.

Supervision of Practicum Students

Interns can gain experience in providing individual supervision to doctoral-level practicum students who are in clinical or counseling psychology programs. Interns receive didactic and experiential training in supervision and participate in weekly supervision of supervision meetings. This opportunity is always contingent on the availability of practicum students.  If practicum students are not available for any reason, then a peer supervision experiential approach is used to attain this competency.

Teaching a Life Skills Class

CAPS staff teach an eight week class to first year undergraduate Purdue students with a predominant number of those students being first year student-athletes. The class is focused on issues pertinent to being a new college student. Interns teach one section of this class and are responsible for lectures, group discussions, and evaluation. Interns participate in weekly training meetings to prepare for each class.

Areas of Concentration

At the beginning of the training year interns are asked to rank their preferences for a year-long area of concentration. These require a 4-5 hour per week commitment where interns develop competency with a specialized skill-set. For any given year, the concentrations offered are dependent on staff resources. Similar to matchings for supervisors, interns negotiate with each other regarding their preferences and then they submit rankings of their preferences which are considered when matching interns to their concentration areas. Current areas of concentration are:

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Assessment and Intervention

If the intern is matched with the Alcohol and Other Drug concentration, s/he works with the CAPS Alcohol and Other Drug Program receiving training in and providing alcohol and other substance abuse assessments and intervention. The intern will actively participate in AOD Team meetings and will provide psychoeducational interventions to students mandated for assessment and treatment at CAPS. This concentration involves training in motivational interviewing and harm reduction approaches.

Outreach and Consultation

The intern matched with this concentration area will be exposed to the theoretical and functional skills necessary to lead counseling center efforts to reach out to the campus community. This intern will participate in campus outreach presentations requested through the cultural centers, residential life, athletics, the Greek system, and other campus agencies. An emphasis will be on relationship building with CAPS and other university departments.

Psychological Testing

If the intern is matched to the Psychological Testing concentration, s/he will receive supervision and training in the assessment of developmental disorders. An intern will administer, score, interpret, and write integrated reports and participate in weekly Testing Team meetings. These meetings include in-depth interpretation of results, case conceptualization/diagnosis, coordination with psychiatry, legal issues regarding disabilities, and ethical considerations.

Assessment

Please note that unless an intern is paired with the Psychological Testing Concentration, training in full battery psychological assessments is not offered at this internship site.  Training in assessment is provided in comprehensive intake assessment, diagnostic assessment, comprehensive risk assessment, personality assessment, and in the use of the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS).

Other Training Activities

Individual Supervision

Primary supervision of interns is conducted on a regularly scheduled, individual basis by psychologists licensed in the State of Indiana. Each intern has two clinical supervisors throughout the year. Interns are with each clinical supervisor for half of the year. Primary supervision switches between supervisors at mid-year in January. Interns interview available supervisory staff to rank their preferences for their supervisors for the year. Individual supervision occurs two hours each week with additional individual supervision provided on an as needed basis.

In accordance with the 2010 APA Ethical Guidelines, CAPS does not require the disclosure of personal information within the supervisory relationship. We believe it is useful to share information about how CAPS views self-disclosure in the supervisory experience so candidates are fully informed about the CAPS Supervision Model:

  • With awareness that professional activities may be impacted by personal experiences, beliefs, and values, interns may choose to disclose and are encouraged to do so as long as the intern feels the information has a bearing on their professional functioning.
  • Supervisors may notice significant incidents or patterns in intern professional behaviors that suggests behaviors may be influenced by personal experiences, beliefs, and values. Supervisors may ask interns to reflect on this in the defined context of encouraging professional growth.
  • Interns choose how much and what to disclose. Interns are not penalized for the choice not to share personal information. Supervision is not viewed as psychotherapy.

Interns are expected to be prepared each week for individual supervision. Preparation can involve reviewing digitally recorded clinical sessions, reviewing relevant scholarly literature applicable to clinical work, organizing cases, preparing questions, and reviewing goals to set directions for each supervisory meeting.

Weekly Intern Seminars

Intern seminars are 2 hours each week and involve the interns meeting with members of the CAPS Staff, other staff and faculty at Purdue, or psychologists from the community.  

Seminar goals are:

  1. to provide interns with theoretical and research-based information on key aspects of clinical practice such as empirically validated treatments, drug and alcohol assessment and treatment, brief model therapy, practice ethics, diagnostics, multiculturalism, treatment planning, and supervision.
  2. to provide time for interns to discuss issues important to them in their development as professionals.
  3. to provide structured time for interns to apply the knowledge they gain in seminar to their direct clinical work at CAPS.

Additionally, interns travel with the Training Coordinator 3-4 times during the year to share day-long seminars with the other Indiana University Counseling Center Internships.

Case and Clinical Presentations

At midyear, interns develop and present a formal case presentation to the CAPS staff summarizing their work with a selected client. The purpose of the case presentation is two-fold: to facilitate comfort and strength when delivering professional job interview presentations and to demonstrate the ability to integrate theory, research, and practice. At the end of the year in the summer, interns also provide an empirically informed presentation to staff on a clinical topic which is relevant to our work with the college student population.

Intern Peer Professional Development/Process Group

This group meets every other week and serves as an opportunity for interns to have a confidential space in which to address and process the issues with which they may be struggling during their internship year. Struggles may include adjustment to internship, identity development, cultural issues, post internship concerns, and interpersonal issues.

Conference Attendance

Interns can attend conferences specifically oriented around the university counseling center environment, including: The Big Ten Counseling Center Conference and a regional conference on diversity issues. Interns are encouraged to attend one or more of these conferences during their internship year and funding is typically available to assist this.

Administrative Activities

Case Management

With the support of their supervisory team, interns are responsible for managing their own schedules so that they consistently have a full caseload. In addition to this, administrative time is provided each week to write client reports and case notes, professional letters and e-mails, return telephone calls, consult with other staff, and engage in treatment planning.

Intern Selection

Towards the end of the Fall Semester, and the beginning of the Spring Semester interns participate in the intern selection process. Interns review applicant files, participate in interviewing applicants, make recommendations, and actively engage in all committee meetings, which relate to the selection process.

Staff Meetings

The purpose of the weekly 2-hour staff meeting is for staff to have a set time to share office and university-wide information, process staff issues as they arise, and to share colleagueship. Interns are strongly encouraged to participate in these meetings as full staff members expressing their ideas, experiences, and opinions. The second half of staff meetings rotate with supervisors' consultation, group therapy case conference, and diversity awareness education and discussion. In addition to weekly staff meetings, interns also participate in 1 hour of weekly case conference with the rest of staff.

Evaluation Procedures

Evaluations are designed for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are instrumental in facilitating intern development and growth. The supervisor and intern create a common dialogue during this process that examines competency and formulates a strengths based approach to clinical development.  Interns are provided a formal opportunity with their supervisors to respond to any evaluation they receive.  Evaluation measures and due process policies may be reviewed by contacting the Assistant Director for Training at cjackson1@purdue.edu.

Interns also evaluate all supervisors from whom they receive evaluation. Interns also provide evaluation of their orientation period, of the seminars they receive, and on the overall CAPS Internship experience.

Evaluation of interns occurs three times during the course of the internship year:

October

To set baseline for each intern's skill level and to decide goals for the first half of the internship year. This meeting occurs with the  Assistant Director for Training and the intern's primary supervisor.

January/February

This meeting is a summary of the individual evaluations provided to the intern from their supervisory team and the Assistant Director for Training. Feedback is discussed with the intern at this midpoint of the internship year, and the intern is assisted in generating methods by which to meet their ongoing training goals. 

May/June

This meeting entails the assessment of progress at the end of the internship year. This is a summary of the individual evaluations provided to the intern from their supervisory team and the Assistant Director for Training. The intern receives feedback and is assisted in generating methods by which to meet any final training goals.

Minimal Requirements for Internship Completion

If interns' supervisors and the Assistant Director for Training agree that the following minimal expectations have been met, then the intern satisfactorily passes internship and will be granted a completion certificate.

  1. 2000 Total Internship Hours (both direct and indirect hours)
  2. 500 Direct Service Hours (25% of Total Hours)
  3. Demonstrated expected competencies through evaluations:
    • Minimum overall score of "7" (entry level professional) by the end of internship year in all domains of the primary supervision evaluation, group therapy evaluation, and psychoeducational programming/campus consultation evaluation
    • Minimum overall score of "5" (intermediate level) by the end of internship year on the supervision provision evaluation
  4. 2 Formal Presentations to staff
    • Case presentation in January/February achieving an overall score of "2" (at expected level of competency)
    • Clinical topic presentation in June achieving an overall score of "4" (indicating expectations have been met)
  5. Completion of all hours having conducted oneself in line with APA's Ethical Priniciples and Code of Conduct
  6. Completion of all clinical and administrative paperwork including termination summaries