Training Philosophy, Program Aims, and Competencies
The CAPS internship training program incorporates current psychological theory and science with experiential learning. It is intended to help interns grow and develop as generalist psychologists. At CAPS, interns gain extensive clinical experience with a diverse range of students and presenting problems.The internship follows a sequential, developmental training process, building upon the knowledge and skills that each intern already possesses and offering opportunities for developing and refining additional clinical skills. The goal for our interns is to facilitate their professional development from graduate student to skilled early career psychologist.
CAPS staff has a strong commitment to training and as the essential mental health service provider for the university, CAPS provides interns with extensive opportunities for experiential learning in all areas of service delivery. CAPS utilizes a developmental approach for the acquisition of clinical skills throughout the year from observational learning in the beginning to more independent practice by end of year. Furthermore, interns’ direct service and socialization into the field is supported through supervision, modeling, consultation, mentorship, and didactic seminars.
Upon arrival, interns begin to assess their professional goals for their training year with guidance from the training director and clinical supervisors. Interns have the opportunity to identify clinical interests and theoretical models as training foci and the training year provides ample opportunities for interns to apply theory to practice. Supervision is regarded as a supportive, mentoring relationship to enable interns to develop professional autonomy and Profession Wide Competencies. The evaluation process thus plays an essential role in the professional development of interns throughout the year. In addition, interns are able to broaden their knowledge and skill base by exposure to the variety of theoretical perspectives and intervention approaches that our multidisciplinary staff brings to the program. Lastly, CAPS offers opportunities for interns to gain experience with a diverse range of students within a multicultural and diverse organization and engage in reflective practice of their intersecting identities and how it impacts their professional identity and their clinical work.
The training curriculum is consistent with the Revised Competency Benchmarks in Professional Psychology (APA, 2012) and the overarching aims of the training program are:
1) To recruit and train ethical, clinically skilled, and culturally humble psychologists who will be prepared for entry level practice in health service psychology.
2) To foster attitudes and behaviors that promote a professional identity as a psychologist through didactic education, experiential learning, mentorship, and supervision.
By the end of the training year, interns will have developed levels of competence consistent with the required Profession Wide Competencies.
- Ethical and Legal Standards
- Individual and Cultural Diversity
- Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills
- Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills
Consistent with our training program's goal to train ethical, competent, and professional psychologists, there are opportunities during the year for personal exploration and self-reflection. Interns are encouraged to appropriately explore historical and personal data that may influence their clinical practice and to continue to reflect and develop introspective skills that aid in their development as professional psychologists. We strive to create an atmosphere in which interns feel safe to explore such issues in training groups and in supervision. Supervisors provide mentorship and consultation to trainees to support their exploration and professional development. Supervisors may consult with one another about trainees when appropriate. CAPS internship program functions in a manner consistent with American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Standards (7.04 Student Disclosure of Personal Information).