Internship Activities

Most of the direct services activities required of interns mirror the typical direct service schedules of the full-time professional staff CAPS. In addition, interns participate in weekly supervision, educational, and support meetings. The activities which constitute the internship experience at CAPS are described below. Interns typically spend 20 to 22 hours per week in direct service activities. 

Direct Service

Initial Assessment: The purpose of an initial assessment is to: (a) provide a brief risk assessment and (b) disposition the client for the services that best meets the client’s needs. Interns are trained to provide thorough in-person screenings during orientation.

Intake Appointments: During an intake appointment, interns are responsible for gathering the following information: (a) presenting problem(s) and identifying information, (b) psychosocial history (including medical history, psychiatric history, and substance use history), and (c) mental status exam assessment. Furthermore, the interns are expected to utilize the DSM-V for obtaining a diagnosis and determine a collaborative treatment plan with their client. Once interns build their caseload they typically have three intake slots per week.

Individual/Couples Counseling: The provision of counseling is a core activity of CAPS. Most clients seek individual counseling though there are limited opportunities to work with clients who are presenting for couples counseling. CAPS espouses a short-term service delivery model. Consequently, most clients are seen in 6-8 sessions. CAPS has consistently seen a high volume of clients each fiscal year. Interns can expect to carry a steady caseload of clients, seeing approximately 10-12 individual and/or couples counseling appointments per week.

Crisis/Urgent Counseling: Training in crisis/urgent counseling begins during orientation. Interns receive training on risk assessment and crisis intervention prior to seeing any client. Interns typically hold one crisis hour per week. Professional staff members typically hold 1-2 hours of crisis per week based on job duties. Holding one hour per week is consistent with the CAPS professional staff schedules. Interns work closely with their primary supervisors in the delivery of crisis/urgent counseling. Interns are encouraged to seek consultation during their crisis/urgent hours if needed. It is the expectation that interns discuss each crisis hour client during supervision with their primary supervisor even if consultation has already occurred.

Group Counseling: Each intern is required to co-lead at least one group with a senior staff member during the fall and spring semesters. It is expected that one of the groups will be a process group if possible. Interns are trained to provide group screenings prior to beginning a process group.  The presenting needs of CAPS clients determine the number and types of group offerings. Types of groups that are offered include interpersonal process groups, support groups, and psychoeducational groups. 

Outreach and Consultation: Interns provide consultation with faculty, staff, and family members of students. Outreach consists of topical presentations to various campus groups. Interns are required to conduct at least eight outreach programs during the internship year. Four of the eight outreach programs must be in their area of concentration.

Assessment: During orientation, the intern receives didactic training on intake assessments, risk assessments, and clinical diagnosis. In addition, interns receive training on CAPS’ general assessment procedures and the various screening instruments used during the course of therapy (e.g., CCAPS, OQ-45, BDI, BAI).

Provision of Supervision:
Interns provide supervision to a doctoral level psychology student during the internship year. Interns are expected to provide one hour of supervision to the psychology trainee on a weekly basis. Interns are also given one hour of supervision preparation time per week.

Concentration Area:
During the internship year, interns will have the opportunity to pursue a concentrated training in one of the following areas: diversity, eating disorders, and substance abuse. A concentrated training experience allows interns to have an immersed experience in their area of choice. Each area has immersed clinical and outreach opportunities. Interns receive one hour of weekly supervision with their secondary supervisor (supervisor of concentration area).


Primary Supervision: A licensed psychologist provides the primary supervision of an intern during the internship year. For two hours each week, the intern meets with their supervision to focus on case conceptualization, risk assessment, dispositional decision-making, case management, and treatment planning.  Professional development and ethical decision-making is also a focus of primary supervision.

Secondary Supervision: Each intern is supervised by a licensed clinician in her/his Concentration Area for one hour per week. Supervision will focus on clinical services and outreach in the concentration area.

Supervision of Group Work: Throughout the year interns receive supervision regarding group issues with a licensed CAPS clinician.  Group Supervision is an opportunity for interns to discuss group dynamics and consultation with their co-facilitator of their group work. A half hour of supervision is provided each week by the licensed CAPS staff member who is co-facilitating the group with the intern.

Supervision of Supervision: Interns meet as a group for one and a half hours each week for supervision of supervision of doctoral psychology trainees. The interns are supervised by one of the CAPS licensed psychologists.

Intern Case Conference: The Intern Case Conference focuses on the development of conceptual and intervention skills through collaborative case presentations. Interns present digital recordings of counseling sessions. A licensed CAPS staff member serves as a supervisor for each semester-long period (Fall, Spring, and Summer).  The exposure of supervision by several staff members is intended to complement the primary supervision experiences as well as to exposure interns to a variety of theoretical orientations. Intern Case Conference is also an opportunity for interns to utilize and discuss empirically supported treatments, develop skills in giving professional feedback, and consulting with peers about clinical work.

Intern Professional Development: 

Interns receive one hour per week as a group with the Training Director. Interns openly discuss all aspects of the internship such as quality of intern seminars, case management concerns, staff/intern relationships, supervision, and professional development issues. The Training Director serves as an advocate for intern growth and development.

Intern Seminars/Didactics: Intern will receive two hours of training per week in a didactic seminar. Trainings will cover a diverse range of topics pertinent to the practice of professional psychology. Seminars cover empirically supported treatments, ethical decision making, and professional development issues germane to the topic area. 

Diversity Retreats: Interns will meet during orientation, winter break and the summer semester to experience day-long diversity retreats. During the diversity retreats, interns will have the opportunity to hear the diversity life stories of the facilitators. These stories are used as a model of self-disclosure. Interns are then invited to share their own stories of personal diversity. Interns will also experience a variety of experiential activities to enhance knowledge, awareness and skills in the area of individual and cultural diversity.

Meetings/Additional Training

Concentration Team Meetings: UNL Nebraska Eating Disorder Network Student Association (UNL NEDN-SA): Interns who choose the concentration area of eating disorders will attend UNL NEDN-SA meetings with the eating disorder coordinator. UNL NEDN-SA is the student group at UNL focused on advocacy and awareness of disordered eating and eating disorders on campus.

Cultural Competency Team Meeting: Interns who choose a concentration area in diversity (e.g., working with students of color, working with LGBTQIA+ students, working with international students) will attend the CAPS Cultural Competency Team Meeting. This meeting typically averages to be one hour per month (although more time is dedicated in the summer months to prepare for the upcoming academic year) and covers various topics related to diversity issues.

Other Concentration Team Meetings May Include: Campus High-Risk Behavior Task Force, International Student Support Meetings, LGBTQIA+ Student Support Meetings, etc.

Intern/Peer Meeting: Interns will have the opportunity to meet as a cohort on a biweekly basis throughout the internship year. Once per month, a therapist from EAP will come in and lead a process group for interns. This group is confidential and meant to provide support to interns. Interns are expected to use this time to meet as a group.

Cultural Competency Training: Interns will attend CAPS Cultural Competency Trainings. This meeting averages to be twice per month. Trainings are organized by the CAPS Cultural Competency Team and are focused on various topics related to diversity. At times the Cultural Competency Team facilitates the training, and other times a guest speaker is brought in.

Staff Professional Development: Interns will attend Staff Professional Development meetings. This meeting is held once per month. Trainings are organized by the CAPS Professional Development Team and are focused on various topics related to the field of psychology, counseling, and college mental health.

Staff Case Conference: Interns will attend the CAPS case conference meetings weekly. These meetings provide an open forum for interns and professional staff members to discuss current counseling cases. Through case conference interns gain insight into how other professional staff members conceptualize client issues.

Administrative Time

Paperwork: Interns are allotted five hours for documentation of their clinical work.

Supervision Preparation: Interns are allotted one hour per week during their rotation of provision of supervision to prepare. During this hour, interns are expected to review case documentation and videos of their supervisee’s clinical work. Interns are also encouraged to research relevant empirically supported treatments to assist their supervisee’s clinical cases.

Readings and Research: Interns are given one hour per week to read articles and materials provided for the Intern Seminars. Interns are also encouraged to use their time to read literature related to their professional development as well as research empirically supported treatments related to their clinical caseload. Interns are given two hours per week during the summer months in order to adequately research literature related to their summer project.

Case Management: Interns are given one hour each week for managing their clinical caseload. During this time, interns are encouraged to consult family, faculty, staff, and CAPS providers when necessary.

Summer Administrative Project: The interns will be involved in a summer project that corresponds to a CAPS agency need. During the summer, all CAPS professional staff members are involved in summer committees. Interns are encouraged to be involved in one of the committees that is of interest to them. Interns will spend 40 hours during the Summer Semester in this area. The CAPs staff member chairing this committee will oversee the intern’s summer project. Each intern will present a final project to the CAPS staff during the second or third week of July.