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Jane Stanford Way, 2023. (AI Edit) Credit: Andrew Brodhead

Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology FAQ

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FAQ Details

  • 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, committed to lifelong learning, self-aware and engage in insightful reflection about their work, culturally humble, 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, creativity, and joy as means towards self-care.
  • What is it like to work with Stanford students?
    • Stanford is a global university that attracts students from all over the world and is situated in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most diverse places in the country. Stanford University enrolls around 7,645 undergraduate and 9,292 graduate students from all 50 states and 117 countries. 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 (11% of  undergraduates and 33% of graduate students) 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 the 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 their mental health and well-being.  
  • How is diversity incorporated into the internship?
    • CAPS intentionally recruits diverse individuals and CAPS staff is a collective of interdisciplinary mental health providers with intersecting identities that represent a range of diversity and are committed to their personal journey of cultural humility and lifelong learning. Diversity is an integral part of the internship throughout the year, that serves as the foundation on which interns engage in their journey of self-exploration and the development of their cultural humility. Diversity is woven through all aspects of the training program with the goal to move beyond multiculturalism, to action in the areas of intersectionality, social justice advocacy, decolonizing mental health, liberation psychology, anti-racism, and the dismantling of white nationalism. Interns participate in a year-long Gender and Sexual Identity (GSI) rotation, Outreach and Social Justice Seminar, and Diversity Book Club. All seminars and supervision 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 of their impact in working with a diverse student population. 
  • What do diversity and inclusion look like 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 continuously 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, in addition to making a conscious effort to hire staff who reflect the identities of our students, we offer all our clinicians  training on counseling students from diverse backgrounds. The current socio-political climate and racial injustice has created a platform for ongoing discussions at CAPS to explore not only how this impacts the lives of our students, but also us as individuals, and Stanford as an organization. We condemn and combat oppression in every form, and offer a spectrum of mental health and wellness resources through a variety of delivery methods and 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 to highlight. First, in order to help our interns to develop a sense of confidence and independence in their clinical work, we place a lot of emphasis on the quality of supervision. We believe that working with a qualified and competent supervisor in the context of relational safety is a key component of developing a professional identity.  It is our hope that the supervisory relationship evolves into forming lifelong colleagues and mentors. Secondly, our internship offers the opportunity for interns to manage on-call responsibilities. While on-call, interns work together with senior staff back-up to manage and respond to various crisis situations, and gradually transition into more independent crisis management throughout the year. This experience provides sharpening of clinical intuition and gained competence in knowing how to assess and handle a crisis, as well as recognizing when to consult. Lastly, we offer three rotations that focus on specific issues relevant to the student population: eating disorders, alcohol and other drugs, 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 crises is an invaluable tool to have when working in a university counseling center and beyond. It is important to emphasize that the on-call responsibilities follow our developmental model in that interns 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 not only gain invaluable experience in managing high risk situations but 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, staff availability for co-leading groups, and the interest and availability of students. Examples of groups co-led by previous trainees include: an eating disorders process group, a mindfulness group, women of color support group, native talking circle, and a transgender group. We also provide Wellness Workshops. All interns are expected to participate in facilitating these workshops throughout the year. During times when the epidemiological situation and safety guidelines prohibit in-person gatherings, we make every effort to create opportunities for interns to participate in group and workshop facilitation via telehealth technologies. Click here for more information on groups.
  • How are interns integrated into being a part of CAPS?
    • Interns are fully integrated into the organization. Every year, positive feedback from past trainees highlights the experience of being valued and supported as a new professional. Trainees have many opportunities to work with different staff members and to experience what it is like to be part of a dynamic, multidisciplinary counseling center. Previous interns have worked closely with specific staff members while providing outreach to the community, co-leading groups, and taking part in the weekly meetings of a multidisciplinary clinical team. We foster an environment where interns are respected and valued not only for the clinical work they do at CAPS, but for what they bring to our community as individuals, and we take the time to celebrate important life events such as getting licensed, landing the first job, 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, interns receive support for their career development in the professional development seminar and in supervision throughout the year.
  • Where is Stanford located and what is there to do in the area?
  • 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 options and consider moving costs in your budget. There are no opportunities to live on-campus and given the nature of our work, it is not the best option anyway. Interns mode of transportation range 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, in addition to the $35,000 stipend, CAPS offers $2,000 to be used towards the purchase of healthcare. At this time, we are not certain what the implications of the continuing policy and regulation changes around the healthcare reform may 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.

Main Quad, sand stone details, 2023. Credit: Andrew Brodhead