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Components of the Training Program

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Internship Program provides comprehensive training in health service psychology including experience with access coordination, initial consultations, intakes, day call, crisis intervention, risk assessment, management, and safety planning, brief counseling, individual counseling, consultation, case management, outreach programming with a social justice focus, and working with a diverse and gifted student population.  Interns work as part of a multidisciplinary staff and gain profession wide competencies.  

Clinical Activities

Direct Clinical: Interns are responsible for managing 15 hours of clinical work per week, providing brief therapy to registered Stanford University undergraduate and graduate students. CAPS has created a new access model to help the meet the mental health needs of Stanford students. More information about the new access model can be found here. Interns will conduct Initial Consults & Intakes and assess the appropriateness of the student’s presenting problem to a brief treatment model versus open ended therapy or other resources. Interns will also conduct Follow-up Consults to address student concerns in a brief therapy model. Interns will have the opportunity to provide open ended therapy for the year with up to two students. Interns will have the ability to conduct Access Coordination appointments after shadowing current staff for these brief initial appointments. During the course of the training year, interns will discuss treatment planning in ongoing supervision and gain greater experience and competence in their clinical assessment and interventions. This may include consultation with psychiatrists, referring students off campus for open-ended therapy and collaborations with other staff on and off campus regarding student mental health care.

Day Call: All interns provide one weekly 4.5 hour shift of day call crisis service to the student population. During day call, interns meet with students, professors, Resident Advisors, Resident Fellows or Resident Deans to consult, triage, or assess students for safety issues. Interns consult with staff if a student presents in crisis with potential as a danger to self or others, gravely disabled, or other safety concerns related to abuse. Interns may take phone calls and provide referrals and phone assessment. In the case of a crisis involving potential harm to self or others, interns consult with a senior staff back-up. By the end of internship year, interns will have gained experience with crisis assessment, management, and hospitalizations. In addition, interns may join staff in speaking to various academic departments or resident halls when critical incidents arise.

Groups and Workshops:  All Interns are supported in their interests to develop groups that meet the needs of students or communities.  A list of current groups can be found here. In addition to group counseling; all Interns run a minimum of two Wellness Workshops based in ACT and CBT per quarter.

Training Activities

Clinical Supervision

Interns attend two hours of weekly individual clinical supervision. In supervision, interns are encouraged to develop reflective, introspective clinical and case conceptualization skills that aid in their development as professional psychologists.  Interns are given an opportunity prior to the beginning of the internship to request their supervision preferences and needs through a self-assessment and during orientation as they become acquainted with supervising staff. An attempt is made to match interns to supervisors based upon these preferences. The clinical supervisor carries responsibility for case management, acquainting the intern with the operations of the agency, training requirements, mentoring, and moral support. Ongoing and reciprocal feedback is an important part of supervision. Interns switch supervisors mid-year to diversify their supervisory experience. Evaluations occur mid-year and at end-of-year.

Specialty Rotations

Our internship provides two rotations that focus on specific issues relevant to the student population: eating disorders, and gender and sexual identity. These rotations are designed for the interns to gain knowledge, experience, and competence in how to work with these specific issues in time-limited format.

The Eating Disorders Rotation typically takes place during the fall quarter and is designed to educate interns about the assessment and brief, evidence-based therapy approaches to treat eating disorders in a college mental health setting. Interns will develop knowledge and competence around the assessment, theories, and brief therapies of eating disorders by the end of the rotation. While on rotation, interns participate in the Eating Disorders Care Team, where they can observe and appreciate the complexities of treating EDs from a multidisciplinary perspective.

The Gender and Sexual Identities Rotation will take place in spring quarter and it aims to enable clinicians to become more clinically and culturally competent working with clients across the full spectrum of gender and sexual identities. Topics covered include: sexual fluidity, transgender identities, cultural history of LGBTQIA identities, queer-identified people of color; faith and sexuality, same-sex parenting and relationships, poly and kink identities, same-sex relationship violence, and more. This rotation includes a field trip to San Francisco in which we visit sites that are of cultural, spiritual, and historical significance to the Bay Area's LGBTQIA communities.

Outreach and Social Justice Seminar

This seminar meets weekly in the fall and biweekly in the winter and spring. The goal of the outreach and social justice seminar is to orient trainees to Stanford CAPS values and approach to outreach and assist them through structured sources in increasing competency and cultivating their unique voice in this professional work. The goal of this seminar is to transform learning into implementation of services that extends within and beyond Stanford University student population. The Outreach and Social Justice seminar includes structured a) readings, b) video presentations c) group discussions, d) guest lecturers/thought leaders, and e) experiential activities with the goal to provide a balance between increasing trainees awareness of various cultural groups’ unique experiences and identifying their own strengths and biases related to working with those from different cultural groups. This awareness will help to inform their lens on social justice and subsequently development and execution of a social justice project with marginalized student communities at Stanford. The work of the outreach and social justice project is to assist trainees in providing services that extend beyond traditional clinical services, and provide more culturally sensitive programming. Programming may include consultation, advocacy, education, liaison relationships, clinical and non-clinical services

In addition, interns establish liaison relationships with a community center or other campus partner to collaborate and work with throughout the year to meet the needs of a specific student population. A social justice project is developed that may include outreach programming, consultation, drop-in hours, or other collaboration. Interns present outcomes of their social justice and inclusion outreach project at a staff meeting.

Some of the community centers we collaborate with include:

  • Asian American Activities Center (A3C)
  • Bechtel International Center
  • Black Community Services Center (BCSC and also known as The Black House)
  • El Centro Chicano y Latino
  • Native American Cultural Center (NACC)
  • Women’s Community Center (WCC)
  • Markaz Resource Center
  • Hillel
  • Queer Student Resources (QSR)
  • Institute for Diversity in Arts (IDA)

We always support establishing new liaison relationships through the seminar.

Didactic Seminars

The didactic seminar meets weekly for two hours. This is a topical seminar where presenters focus on topics that are particularly relevant to college mental health. Individual seminars are organized around clinical, diversity, ethics, pharmacological, and treatment model themes.

See an example list of topics covered during Fall 2019

Diversity Seminar

During winter quarter, interns meet with the training director to explore their intersecting identities and how their own beliefs and values may impact interactions with one another and their clients.  Additional topics explored include power, privilege, social justice, and self-care. We believe this is an integral part of fostering personal and professional development working as part of a multicultural organization providing services to a diverse student population.

Professional Development Seminar

This weekly seminar is attended by both psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows and is facilitated by the training director. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a weekly check-in with the training director and a venue for trainees to support and learn from each other. Trainees may seek support for Postdoc or Job applications, review each other’s’ CVs, do mock interviews, process challenges and organizational dynamics and provide feedback to support each other’s professional development.

Case Conference

Each week, interns attend a one-hour case consultation facilitated by a CAPS staff member. This seminar provides interns with an opportunity in peer consultation and supervision.

Clinical Team Meeting

Interns are part of a multidisciplinary (psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists) team that meets weekly for case conference, support, education, and administration.

Intern Group Meeting

The interns' group meeting is run by the interns themselves. It provides opportunities for interns to bond with one another, to set their own agenda for the meetings, to process their training experience, and to provide mutual support.

Friday Staff Meeting

Each week, interns attend a one hour staff meeting. There is both an administrative and educational component to these meetings. 

See an example of the topics covered during the staff meeting   

See a sample schedule