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Remember... it is okay to not be okay.

 White Memorial Fountain and all other university fountains will be dry until further notice in keeping with campus water conservation efforts. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Components of the Training Program

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CAPS plays an integral role in Stanford’s commitment to providing a supportive and educational environment by providing high quality, confidential care for students who experience a range of personal, academic, and psychological problems. The internship program provides comprehensive training with initial consultations, intakes, day call, crisis intervention, risk assessment, management, and safety planning, brief individual counseling, consultation, case management, groups, workshops, and outreach programming with a social justice focus, and working with a diverse and gifted student population.  Interns work as part of a multidisciplinary staff.  

Poppy/Illuminating Decorative Accent Line (CAPS)

Direct Service

Interns are responsible for managing up to 22 hours of direct clinical work per week. Interns conduct Initial Consults & Intakes and assess the appropriateness of the student’s presenting problem to a brief treatment model versus open ended therapy or referrals to other resources. Interns also provide Brief Therapy, Groups, Workshops, Consultations, and Outreach. Interns have the opportunity to provide open ended therapy for the year with up to two students. Interns conduct CAPS Connect appointments after initially shadowing current staff for these brief initial screening appointments. During the course of the training year, interns discuss treatment planning in 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.  Depending on the epidemiological situation and public health safety guidelines, some or all of these activities may occur virtually through the use of telehealth.

Interns provide a weekly 4.5 hour shift of Day Call crisis service.  During day call, interns may meet with students, professors, Resident Advisors, Resident Fellows or Resident Directors  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 Consultation and Triage. 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 the year, interns gain experience with crisis assessment, management, and intervention. In addition, interns may join staff in speaking to various academic departments or resident halls when critical incidents arise.

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 three Wellness Workshops based in ACT and CBT per quarter.  Group opportunities may differ depending on telehealth policies and the state of the pandemic.

Training Activities

Clinical Supervision

Interns attend two hours of weekly individual clinical supervision. The CA Board of Psychology has provided a grace period to allow the required one hour face-to-face, direct, individual supervision to be conducted via HIPAA-compliant video. The other hour occurs in-person. 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 three rotations that focus on specific issues relevant to the student population: Eating Disorders, Substance Use, 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 a 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 treating eating disorders in a college mental health setting.

The Substance Use Rotation is designed to educate interns about the assessment and brief treatment of substance use in college students.  Interns gain skills in motivational interviewing and harm reduction models.

The Gender and Sexual Identities Rotation aims to enable clinicians to become more clinically and culturally competent working with clients across the full spectrum of gender and sexual identities.  In addition to the rotation, interns attend a bi-weekly GSI consultation group beginning Fall quarter for support with their clinical work and professional development in working with students presenting gender and sexual identity issues.

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 to assist them through 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  provides a balance between increasing trainees awareness and identifying their own strengths and biases related to working with those from different cultural groups. This awareness helps 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 by decolonizing mental health services, and provide more culturally sensitive programming. Programming may include consultation, advocacy, education, liaison relationships, clinical and non-clinical services.  A establish a liaison relationship with a community center and develop a social justice project  that may include outreach programming, consultation, drop-in hours, or other collaboration. Interns present outcomes of their social justice 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 (Centro)
  • Native American Cultural Center (NACC)
  • Women’s Community Center (WCC)
  • Markaz Resource Center
  • Hillel
  • Queer Student Resources (QSR)
  • Institute for Diversity in Arts (IDA)
  • Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORL)
  • First-Gen and/or Low Income Office (FLI)

We always support establishing new liaison relationships through the seminar.

Didactic Seminars

The didactic seminar meets biweekly 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.

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.  In addition, trainees are assigned a week to lead the facilitation of a professional development topic (salary negotiation, self-care, consultation, work relationship, attraction in supervision) in spring quarter.

Case Conference

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

Clinical Team Meeting

Interns are part of a multidisciplinary (psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and care managers) 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.

Staff Meeting

Interns attend a one-hour staff meeting biweekly. There is both an administrative and educational component to these meetings.