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Frequently Asked Questions

What do you look for in an intern?

CAPS values its interns and the range of clinical knowledge experience, and diversity they each bring to CAPS. There are several dimensions that make up the selection criteria used to evaluate an applicant by the selection committee including experience and interest in college mental health, brief therapy, and crisis intervention. The selection committee also evaluates an applicant's interest and commitment to further developing skills to work with a range of diversity variables. Interns who are successful at CAPS are flexible and adaptable to a changing environment and clinical demands, open to feedback and on-going learning, are self-aware and engage in insightful reflection about their work, are able to work with complex systems, and able to function well independently and autonomously yet know when to consult. Lastly, we value applicants who engage in levity, fun, and enjoy good food as means towards self-care.

What is it like to work with Stanford students?

Stanford University enrolls around 7,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students from all 50 states and 76 countries around the world. For the most recent demographic profile of our student population please visit Undergraduate or Graduate links. Additionally, there is a large International student population at Stanford, both at the undergraduate and graduate level that further adds to the diversity and richness of culture, heritage and traditions. The students that we work with at CAPS not only represent racial and ethnic diversity, but also diversity in regards to gender, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic class. Working with diverse Stanford students is meaningful, and challenging.

How is CAPS integrated with the rest of Stanford community?

CAPS plays an integral role in promoting the physical, psychological and emotional well-being of students during their time at Stanford. We aim to build relationships with different staff and organizations, provide consultation to the community and collaborate on projects aimed at educating and promoting the mental health well-being of students. Approximately 20% of students are seen at CAPS.  In addition to clinical services, we provide consultation and outreach programming to the Stanford community to support the mental health and well-being of Stanford students. 

How is diversity incorporated into the internship?

Diversity is an integral part of the internship throughout the year, that serves as the foundation for which interns start developing a professional identity. In the fall interns attend their Social Justice and Inclusion Outreach Seminar.  During the winter quarter, interns participate in a diversity seminar led by the training director. Both seminars provide an opportunity to engage in ongoing dialogue about multicultural and diversity issues that affect us personally and professionally. Interns are encouraged to examine their own biases, assumptions and identities to gain awareness as to their impact in working with a diverse student population in team meetings, case consultation, and in supervision. The current sociopolitical climate had created a platform for ongoing discussion of all aspects of diversity and how they affect us not only as individuals but also the lives of our students, and as an organization.   This journey of self-exploration is encouraged and fostered through the use of individual and group supervision, attending multicultural conferences, and interacting with the diverse staff represented at CAPS.

Diversity and Inclusion at CAPS

“Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a practice, and equity is the goal.” Dereca Blackmon, DGEN Office
Here at CAPS, we believe that having a diverse staff is not enough. We must also strive toward cultural humility, and inclusive practices so that students of all identities, cultures, and backgrounds have equitable access to mental health treatment and resources. To this end, we make a conscious effort to hire staff who reflect the identities of our students; to offer all our clinicians in-depth training on counseling students from diverse backgrounds; to condemn and combat oppression in every form; and to offer a spectrum of mental health and wellness resources in a variety of locations across campus because we know that everyone’s needs and comfort zones are different.


What are some highlights of the internship? 

There are three notable components of the internship that we want to highlight. First, in order for our interns to develop a sense of confidence and independence in their clinical work, we believe that working with a qualified and competent supervisor in a safe environment is a key component of developing a professional identity. Before the start of internship year, we ask interns to rank their preference for supervisors so that we may best provide an ideal match that will be optimal for intern development. It is our hope that the supervisory relationship evolves into forming life-long colleagues and mentors.

Another highlight of our internship is the opportunity for interns to manage on-call responsibilities. When on-call, interns work together with senior staff backup to manage and respond to various crisis situations, interns transition into more independent crisis management throughout the year. We believe this provides sharpening of clinical intuition and gaining competence in knowing how to assess and handle a crisis and recognizing when to consult with the staff back-up.
Lastly, we offer 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 and experience in how to work with these specific issues in time-limited psychotherapy. Learn more about these rotations.

What is it like being on-call?

Although interns may initially feel anxious and nervous about being on-call, we understand this is normative, and we believe that the clinical competence gained from assessing and appropriately responding to crisis is an invaluable tool to have when working in a university counseling center. It is important to emphasize that the on-call responsibilities follow our developmental model in that interns will have plenty of opportunities to observe, collaborate and obtain support from their on-call team. Interns always have staff back-up, an administrative back-up and a psychiatrist who is available for consultation regarding any medication concerns. The interns will not only gain invaluable experience in managing high risk situations but will also get an opportunity to interact with and learn from the multidisciplinary staff at CAPS.

Are there opportunities for groups?

Yes, there are opportunities for interns to co-lead existing groups or to start a new group depending on their interests and student interest and availbility. Previous trainees have co-led the following: an eating disorders process group, a mindfulness group, women of color support group, native talking circle, and a trans gender group. We also provide Wellness Workshops, RIVER, an ACT based skills group, and Anxiety Toolbox, CBT based skills group. All interns participate in facilitating these workshops throughout the year. Click here for more information on groups.

How are interns integrated into being a part of CAPS?

Interns are fully integrated into the organization.  Yearly, feedback from past trainees is positive on the experience of being valued and supported as a new professional. Trainees will have lots of opportunities to work with different staff members and to experience what it’s like to be part of a dynamic, multidisciplinary counseling center. Previous interns have worked with specific staff members on providing outreach to the community, in co-leading groups and being part of a weekly multidisciplinary clinical team. We try to foster an environment where interns are respected and valued not only for the clinical work they do at CAPS, but also taking the time to celebrate important life events such as getting licensed, first job, and getting married or starting a family.

What do psychology interns typically do after completing the internship?

Previous interns have obtained positions ranging from post-doctoral fellowships to faculty positions at universities. Specifically in the Bay Area, there are post-doctoral positions available at counseling centers, hospitals and community mental health centers. There are also job opportunities at college counseling centers and faculty/academic positions. At least monthly, the training director forwards job announcements to the trainees.  In addition, there is support for an intern’s professional identity in the professional development seminar and in supervision.

Where is Stanford located and what is there to do in the area?

Stanford is located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose. The university is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and to the west of Stanford are the Santa Cruz Mountains and Pacific Ocean, and to the east is the San Francisco Bay. View a list of things to do around the area and obtain information on visiting Stanford.

Take a virtual tour of Stanford.

Where do interns typically live?

Interns living arrangements vary depending on budget, circumstances, and preferences. Some live alone, others with roommates, and others with family. Interns live as far north as SF (about an hour away) or south in San Jose (about 30 minutes away). There are some areas that are more affordable than others. You may want to research rental and consider moving costs in your budget. There are no opportunities to live on-campus and given the nature of our work, it’s not the best option anyway. Interns range in transportation from bikes to train to car. Interns matched at CAPS are connected with a current intern for support with the transition to the area.

Will I be able to find health insurance for $2000?

Currently CAPS offers in addition to the $28,000 stipend, $2000 to be used towards the purchase of healthcare. At this time, we are not certain what all of the implications of the healthcare reform will be, but we are committed to continue to explore options to provide healthcare coverage to our interns. Below are helpful websites that can help you determine your needs and preview different health insurance plans.

Covered California – For Individuals & Families

Provides a summary of California’s Health Care Exchange and online tools to help you learn more about Qualified Health Plans. It contains subside calculators, a listing of all health plans offered in each region and the ability to compare plan rates.

AARP Health Law Answers

This site will allow users to input answers to questions such as age, gender, the number of people in his or her household to produce a report on how they will be covered.

Khan Academy

This link provides a video tutorial of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or “Obamacare.” It covers specific aspects of the PPACA such as individual mandate, pre-existing conditions, insurance exchanges, and subsidies