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Model of Professional Training

CAPS embraces a practitioner-scholar model of training which emphasizes an experiential component (“learning by doing”), while integrating empirical literature into the practice of psychology. We believe becoming a skilled professional in psychology is a lifelong process that requires self-awareness, a desire for personal growth, openness to feedback and change, and a passion for learning.

We integrate the practitioner-scholar model with training that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. During orientation, interns attend seminars that utilize evidence-based practices and draw upon the empirical literature. As interns begin to take on a clinical caseload, they are able to incorporate what they have learned during orientation into their clinical practice.

Interns meet with the Training Director during orientation to determine appropriate and attainable goals for the internship year. CAPS uses the NICPP Intern Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) grid for these goals (See CAPS Shared Drive under CAPS Internship or the NICPP Website). Based on the mutually agreed upon goals between the interns and training director, the interns have the opportunity to engage in the various activities of a counseling center psychologist throughout the internship year. Examples include: individual, couples, and group counseling; initial evaluations, crisis care coverage; outreach/consultation; use of assessment screenings; and provision of supervision.

As interns begin to immerse themselves in these direct service opportunities, they will consistently receive two hours of weekly supervision from their primary supervisor. The expectation during weekly individual supervision is that interns will seek out the empirical literature and apply evidenced-based practice in their clinical interventions, goals, and treatment planning. Finally, to meet the individual needs and goals of our interns, we grant them the choice to pursue a concentration during the academic year (August through May) in one of the following areas: crisis care; eating disorders, working with diversity, or substance use. After an intern chooses their concentration area and has reviewed their goals for the year with their secondary supervisor, they begin to engage in opportunities that exist within each concentration (e.g., clinical cases, outreach, consultation). Throughout the fall, interns receive supervision from a secondary supervisor in their area of concentration. This starts weekly and then moves to bi-weekly. Starting in February, supervision would be on an as needed basis.

By the end of the internship year, interns will be prepared with the knowledge, awareness, and skills of a generalist. Our interns are well prepared for careers in either university/college counseling centers, community mental health, or private practice.