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Cougar Health Services Counseling and Psychological Services

Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology 2021-2022

Thank you for your interest in the WSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Doctoral Internship Program in Health Service Psychology!

Below you’ll find information on our program’s philosophy, admissions process, training, and services. You may also be interested in learning more about WSU and what it’s like to live in our community.

If you have further questions about our internship program, please feel free to contact us. You can reach our training director, Jane L. Barga, Ph.D., at 509-335-4511 or jbarga@wsu.edu.

Overview

The WSU CAPS Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation. The next APA site visit is scheduled for 2023.

Questions related to the program’s accreditation status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st Street NE
Washington, DC 2002
202-336-5979
E-mail: apaaccred@apa.org
Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation

WSU CAPS is an APPIC member and participates in the APPIC internship match process (APPIC Number 1618 Internship Program).

The four doctoral internship positions available at CAPS for the 2021-2022 training year are full-time, 12-month, professional appointments at the WSU Pullman campus. The internship begins July 1, 2021 and concludes on June 30, 2022. The stipend is $35,622.60 with additional benefits of health coverage, life insurance, sick leave, training leave, and vacation days.

Due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19, CAPS is currently offering mostly telehealth services, with some testing and psychiatry appointments being conducted in-person. As essential service employees, CAPS providers (including interns) may currently work from private CAPS offices or remotely from their local residence. In accordance with local health guidelines and university policy, CAPS will move through the phases of Washington state’s “Safe Start” and will increase or decrease in-person services accordingly. For the latest university updates and information related to COVID-19, see https://wsu.edu/covid-19/updates/

As part of the Division of Student Affairs, Cougar Health Services addresses the mental health needs of students and contributes to the quality of life of the campus community.

Our internship program takes a developmental approach in preparing interns for entry-level positions in a range of health service psychology settings, including university counseling centers.

We provide generalist training while fostering the development of specialized skills in a range of interventions for diverse clientele and needs: individual therapy, groups and workshops, crisis intervention, psychological testing, substance assessment and intervention, outreach, and consultation.

Interns also supervise practicum counselors’ initial consultations, groups and workshops, and outreaches. They may have an opportunity to supervise testing cases and be involved in other aspects of doctoral psychology training.

Interns participate in clinical or teaching-related minor rotations at CAPS or in the medical clinic, or alternatively serve as a liaison to a campus office such as International Programs, Multicultural Student Services, or the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center.

Additional opportunities include biofeedback training and practice, couples counseling, and an optional three-week inpatient psychiatric hospital rotation in Medical Lake, Washington.

CAPS has a Postdoctoral Residency Program, typically with multiple positions each year. CAPS interns are welcome to apply.

CAPS Philosophy, Role, and Mission

Commitment to Diversity

Central to CAPS’ philosophy is value for the worth of every individual and respect for human diversity, which aligns with WSU’s commitment to diversity. As stated in WSU’s Administrative Professional Handbook: “WSU endeavors to model, for the state and nation, a community of individuals who seek what is best for each other.

The University respects and significantly benefits from diversity such as may be expressed through racial/ethnic, gender, cultural, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age, color, creed, nationality, marital status, military status and socioeconomic differences among the faculty, staff, and students.

The University takes seriously its responsibility to offer educational and professional opportunities equitably to all qualified persons it can accommodate. The University, through its curriculum, programs, and services, provides understanding and supportive interaction among diverse population groups and respects individuals’ personal values and ideas.

It is incumbent upon each member of the WSU administration, faculty, and staff to make every good faith effort to fulfill this commitment.”

Student Affairs

CAPS is part of the Division of Student Affairs and shares its philosophy of helping students become integrated into the total academic, social, and cultural environment of the university. Our role is embodied in the statement “helping students help themselves.”

Our primary mission is to assist students in developing lifelong skills that are essential for achieving and maintaining academic and personal competence. We serve as a resource within the university for promoting student well-being and an affirming environment where students can enjoyably live, learn, socialize, and work. Clients often present to CAPS with identity and adjustment challenges typical of college students, as well as more complex longstanding or emerging mental health concerns. Through developmental, remedial and preventive interventions, our services are designed to help students improve their mental health and wellness.

Also central to our mission is training doctoral interns, postdoctoral residents, and graduate students in psychology. We offer supervised training experiences, with an emphasis on clinical service informed by practice, theory, and research.

Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data

Program tables last updated June 1, 2020

Internship Program Admissions

Briefly describe in narrative form important information to assist potential applicants in assessing their likely fit with your program. This description must be consistent with the program’s policies on intern selection and practicum and academic preparation requirements:

We consider applicants from APA-accredited training programs in counseling or clinical psychology who are in their final year of study.

Applicants must be in good standing with their academic department, must have passed their comprehensive exams, and must have defended their dissertation proposal by the application deadline.

Applicants should have previous, well-documented, supervised counseling and crisis intervention experience, and should be prepared to work with clients presenting with moderate psychopathology and a wide range of clinical diagnoses (e.g., anxiety and mood disorders, relational and identity concerns, trauma symptoms, substance abuse, body image concerns and eating disorders, and personality disorder traits).

Applicants must be comfortable working with a diverse clientele. College counseling experience is preferred, but not required.

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? If yes, indicate how many:

Total Direct Contact Intervention HoursYes400
Total Direct Contact Assessment HoursNoN/A

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants.
By the time of application, applicants must have accrued a minimum of 400 doctoral intervention hours (indicated in Table above), 150 doctoral individual adult therapy hours, and have completed at least one written integrated assessment report. They also must have administered at least one WAIS, WISC or WJ Cognitive Assessment (child or adult), and one WIAT or WJ Achievement Assessment (child or adult). Assessment requirements may be fulfilled through practice within a class. Applicants should explicitly address fulfillment of these requirements in their cover letter or AAPI hours.

Application Procedures

Our internship uses the AAPI online process, which is part of the APPIC Internship Matching Program. Please download the APPIC Match Policy and the Matching Program information. Applicants must obtain an Applicant Agreement Package from the above site and register for the Matching Program in order to be eligible for a match to our program. The application deadline is midnight PST on Sunday, November 8, 2020.

The application requires three recommendation letters from those familiar with your recent professional development. At least two of these letters must be from recent clinical supervisors who are familiar with your therapy practice and can speak to your clinical/counseling abilities and needs.

One of these three letters may be from your Director of Clinical Training, who is also required, as part of the APPIC application form, to certify your eligibility and readiness for internship and detail your progress toward completing doctoral requirements. The APPIC form itself does not substitute for a third letter. The recommendation letters should be submitted using the AAPI online process.

The WSU CAPS internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC Policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant prior to Uniform Notification Day.

WSU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Interview Procedures

All interviews will be conducted via Zoom. We will inform applicants of their interview status by December 11, 2020, and hold the interviews during the first half of January, 2021.

Pre-Employment Screening

We conduct pre-employment screening for doctoral interns who match at our site. This involves completion of criminal background checks within the state of Washington and nationwide.

Intern applicants who match for the doctoral internship at CAPS will be subject to a pre-employment background check as a condition of employment. Background checks will be done following the APPIC Match, and offers will be contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

This requires that the intern has no record of criminal history that would prohibit them from providing psychological counseling according to the laws of the State of Washington (see RCWs 43.43.830 – 43.43.842).

Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year

Annual stipend/salary for full-time interns:$35,622.60
Annual stipend/salary for half-time interns: N/A
Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?Yes
If access to medical insurance is provided:
Trainee contribution to cost required?Yes
Coverage of family member(s) available?Yes
Coverage of legally married partner available? Yes
Coverage of domestic partner available?Yes
For details on the university's benefit plans, visit Human Resource Services.
Hours of annual paid personal time off (PTO and/or vacation):16.67 hours/month
Hours of annual paid sick leave:8 hours/month
In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns in excess of personal time off and sick leave?Yes

Other benefits:

  • Dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Voluntary contributions to retirement
  • Up to $250 towards professional development
  • Up to 2.5 days of professional development leave, without prior authorization
  • Free city bus service as WSU employees

Interns are asked to take 5 days of vacation leave at the end of internship to allow CAPS staff transition time between intern cohorts. Interns need to be mindful of the 500 direct service requirement and the 2,000 hour internship requirement when considering how to use their personal time off.

Training Facilities and Administrative Support

CAPS is located in the recently renovated Washington building, along with Cougar Health Services partners and the Access Center. We are within close walking distance of coffee shops and restaurants, the residence halls, campus libraries, and the student union building.

Each CAPS intern has a private office with a sit-stand desk, a desk chair, a small locked filing cabinet, book shelves, therapy furniture, a portable table for conducting psychological assessments, adjustable lighting; a telephone; and a computer with dual monitors, biofeedback capacity, regularly updated software programs and applications, and a printer.

SPSS has been installed on interns’ computers for dissertation or other research. Each computer also has a webcam, internet and email access, Point and Click scheduling and record-keeping system, policies and procedures, outreach materials, training materials, and the intern handbook. If CAPS offers remotely-provided telehealth services at any point during the internship year, interns will be provided with university-owned devices to carry out this work.

CAPS has three group rooms with computer, internet, and projection capacity that are used for provider meetings, groups and workshops, and training seminars. The Center also has a large testing room with individual testing desks and monitoring capacity, a biofeedback room, and a projective sand tray. CAPS has gender neutral restrooms and a kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, and dining access.

Testing Services is located within CAPS and keeps up-to-date, standardized psychological and learning disability testing and assessment instruments. The Director of Testing maintains a library of assessment texts that interns may borrow.

CAPS employs several administrative personnel who provide a wide range of clerical and technical support for the interns.

Initial Post-Internship Positions (2016-2019)

Total number of interns who were in the 2016-2019 cohorts: 12
Total number of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree: 0

For the table below, PD = post doctoral residency, EP = employed position.

 PDEP
Community mental health center01
Federally qualified health center00
Independent primary care facility/clinic00
University counseling center53
Veterans Affairs medical center00
Military health center00
Academic health center01
Other medical center or hospital00
Psychiatric hospital00
Academic university/department00
Community college or other teaching setting00
Independent research institution00
Correctional facility00
School district/system00
Independent practice setting11
Not currently employed00
Changed to another field00
Other00
Unknown00

*Non-UCC university department: disability resource center

Program Philosophy, Aim, Competencies, and Evaluation

Philosophy

Our internship program is based on practitioner-scholar and developmental models. We train interns to ensure their clinical and supervisory work is informed by practice, theory, and research, always with consideration of relevant diversity and identity factors. We understand that professional growth in health service psychology is an ongoing process, with varying degrees of oversight and scaffolding needed at different points in time. We expect that interns will enhance their skills and be able to function more independently as the year progresses, and we adjust the nature of supervision and support provided accordingly.

Aim

The aim of our internship program is to provide the professional training and experience necessary for independent entry-level work as a health service psychologist in a wide variety of settings, including university counseling centers.

Competencies

We are invested in helping interns develop a range of competencies through which they may implement a broad set of skills, theoretical and clinical knowledge, and methods of inquiry in the practice of psychology. Common to these competencies are the further refinement of ethical decision-making and the proficiency to professionally engage in multicultural and diverse settings.

Following the APA Standards of Accreditation, we train and evaluate interns across se nine profession-wide competencies:

  1. Research
  2. Ethical and Legal Standards
  3. Individual and Cultural Diversity
  4. Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  6. Assessment
  7. Intervention
  8. Supervision
  9. Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills

Evaluation

Interns receive ongoing feedback regarding their professional strengths and growth areas across the profession-wide competencies. The Training Committee meets quarterly to discuss and provide verbal feedback to the individual clinical supervisor and Training Director about each intern’s performance. The individual clinical supervisor completes the related evaluation form and discusses it with the intern.

Assuming there are no “below expected level of competence” ratings, the supervisor and intern sign the completed form indicating that it has been reviewed by both parties. Quarterly evaluations are forwarded to the Training Director, and the 6-month and 12-month evaluations are additionally forwarded to the intern’s Director of Clinical Training in their academic department. If an intern receives a “below expected level of competence” rating during a quarterly evaluation, the Training Director will follow intern evaluation and due process guidelines outlined in the Intern Handbook to address the concern. These guidelines are provided to interns on the first day of their internship.

Throughout the internship, the Training Director and Training Committee solicit intern feedback about their training experience. Near the end of the internship year, interns complete an anonymous, comprehensive evaluation of the program and meet with the Training Director to share verbal input. The Training Director and Training Committee draw upon this feedback to adjust and improve the internship program each year.

Training and Supervision

Training Trajectory

The internship year is a time to consolidate existing skills and knowledge, develop new competencies, and transition from a graduate trainee to an entry-level practitioner. In accordance with APPIC policy, at the onset of the internship, the Training Director contacts the intern’s academic program to invite their guidance in working with the intern’s individual needs.

Over the internship year, we facilitate interns’ process of systematically increasing their self-assurance in providing a range of direct services to a diverse clientele. At CAPS, these services include initial consultations, individual counseling, group and workshop facilitation, crisis response and management, AOD interventions, LD/ADHD and psychological testing, outreach and consultation, and provision of supervision. See Direct Services for further description.

We support interns’ growth in providing these services through supervision, sequential and cumulative didactic training, mentoring, modeling, and feedback. Early in the training year, interns are provided with more didactic training, modeling, and close oversight of their activities. As the year and their skills progress, interns gain more independence. By the end of their training year, the expectation is that interns are ready for entry-level practice in a variety of health service psychology settings.

Summer Orientation

Internship training starts six weeks before the academic year begins. This allows for a structured summer orientation period with a gradual increase in direct service delivery.

Training during the summer orientation emphasizes introduction to CAPS policies, procedures, and service delivery. This includes our electronic medical records system (Point and Click), initial consultations, risk assessments, crisis management, telehealth, AOD assessments, group and workshop facilitation, individual therapy, outreaches, biofeedback, LD/ADHD assessment, record-keeping, provision of supervision, diversity awareness, and ethics.

During summer orientation, interns also connect with CAPS and WSU staff, increasing their familiarity with potential supervisors, campus partners, referral resources, and minor rotation options., Individual CAPS providers meet informally with the intern group, often for a snack break or lunch, Interns also have orientation meetings with colleagues from Cougar Health Services, the Dean of Students office, Residence Life, Multicultural Student Services, Gender Expression/Identity and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, Academic Success and Career Center, Access Center, and the International Center.

Interns therefore begin the academic year with knowledge of the work environment, an outline of their training year, and collegial contact and support.

Academic-Year Training Schedule

We use a contracting process at the start of each semester, which is designed to keep the focus on our training objectives and the interns’ training needs, integrating these with CAPS’ overall mission.

Each intern and the Training Director collaborate to develop a weekly schedule specifying general responsibilities as well as those unique to each intern. We establish a contract for a commitment of 40 hours per week, with occasional flexibility.

In a typical week, each intern can expect to:

  • Provide 11-13 hours of therapy (individual, group, workshops, and possibly couples)
  • Conduct 3 initial consultations
  • Cover 1-2 crisis hours
  • See up to 1 IMPACT client (sanctioned alcohol/drug violation intervention)
  • Receive 2 hours of individual supervision
  • Receive 1 hour of group supervision
  • Receive 1 hour of supervision of supervision
  • Participate in one 1.5 hour special topics seminars
  • Engage in 4 hours of testing activities (actual testing or report-writing)
  • Provide 1-1.5 hours of supervision to a doctoral-level practicum counselor
  • Devote 3 hours to a minor rotation experience
  • Attend a 1 hour CAPS provider meeting
  • Have 4-5 hours of administrative time for notes, reading, and service delivery preparation

Other scheduled supervision, training, and service activities include:

  • Bi-weekly 1.5 hour intern process meeting (often held off-campus at interns’ location of choice)
  • Bi-weekly 1.5 hour supervision of groups
  • Bi-weekly 2 hour testing seminar/supervision
  • Monthly 1-2 hour ethics seminar
  • Monthly 2 hour diversity seminar
  • Monthly 1 hour Cougar Health Services meeting
  • Twice per semester, 1.5 hour CAPS Diversity Training. Each semester, two interns co-facilitate these trainings with support from a permanent provider.
  • Outreach presentations – during summer and approximately 4 per semester
  • Consultation services – as needed with colleagues, supervisees, psychiatric and medical providers, campus partners, or individuals concerned about a student

Recent training seminars include the following:

  • Diversity – LGBT+ Support, Men and Masculinity, First Generation College Students, Native American Students, Undocumented Individuals, International Students, Intergenerational Cultural Dynamics, Ability Status, Spirituality, Athletes
  • Special Topics and Other Trainings – Suicide and Risk Assessment, Sexual Assault Response, Shame, Cognitive Processing Therapy, MI/AOD Interventions, Teletherapy, Sex Positivity, Psychodynamic Therapy, Eating Disorders and Body Acceptance, Consultation and Interprofessional and Interdisciplinary Skills, Personality Disorders, Psychopharmacology, Psychosis, Licensure and EPPP, Private Practice
  • Ethics – Supervision, Risk Management, Boundaries and Small Communities, Feminist, Working with Girls and Women, Self-Care, Telesupervision

Minor Rotations

In addition to receiving a common core of trainings and experiences, each intern also engages in select training emphases through one minor rotation each semester. In minor rotations, interns devote three hours a week to services and supervision related to a specific student population, CAPS teaching experience, or clinical area of interest. Exploring and choosing minor rotations occurs in consultation with the Training Director. Descriptions of recent minor rotation options follow.

ADHD and LD Assessment – one semester (fall or spring)

The ADHD and LD assessment rotation is supervised by the CAPS Testing Director. The rotation involves conducting ADHD and LD assessments and writing integrated reports beyond the four required of all interns. The rotation may include assessment screenings, seminar presentations, and other training or clinical tasks per consultation with the Testing Director. Weekly to bi-weekly supervision is provided.

Beginning Practicum Training- one semester (fall or spring)

The beginning practicum training rotation is supervised by the Practicum Coordinator and involves co-teaching the weekly CAPS Beginning Practicum class with the Practicum Coordinator. Class participants are 2nd-year doctoral students from WSU’s Clinical Psychology program who are completing their first year of practicum training at CAPS. This rotation includes curricular planning, development, implementation, and evaluation, which are addressed in weekly supervision meetings.

Behavioral Health – one semester (fall or spring)

The behavioral health rotation is supervised by the CAPS Behavioral Health Psychologist. Interns provide brief therapy for clients whose psychological concerns manifest in a physical manner, or whose medical concerns create psychological distress. Interns may also take a “same day mental health” shift at the CHS medical clinic during which they are available to assist providers with patients needing acute psychological interventions. This rotation requires prior introduction to behavioral health concepts and practices and involves some assigned readings and regular training meetings.

Biofeedback – one semester (fall or spring)

The biofeedback rotation is supervised by the CAPS Board Certified Biofeedback Coordinator. Interns in this rotation learn about mind-body connections and how to help clients increase control over their autonomic nervous system through biofeedback training involving heart rate variability, skin conductivity, or muscle tension. The rotation involves some assigned readings and study, providing two hours of biofeedback appointments weekly, and bi-weekly supervision.

Group Facilitation – spring semester

The group facilitation rotation is supervised by the CAPS Groups Coordinator or another designated permanent provider. The rotation involves co-facilitating one group with the supervisor and engaging in reading and reflection about group process and facilitation. The intern receives supervision on a bi-weekly to weekly basis. An intern may complete this rotation while also co-facilitating another group separately from the rotation.

Couples Counseling – one semester (fall or spring)

The couples counseling rotation is available each semester and is supervised by a designated CAPS psychologist. This rotation involves study of couples counseling theory and approaches, in addition to the opportunity to work with at least one couple over the semester. The intern meets with the couples counseling supervisor on a regular basis for discussion, didactic training and supervision.

Liaison to Multicultural Student Services (MSS) – full academic year

The MSS liaison rotation is overseen by the CAPS Faculty Liaison to MSS, in collaboration with a designated MSS staff member. The intern liaison interacts with MSS retention counselors, graduate assistants, peer mentors, and students; they facilitate awareness of counseling services, provide consultation, conduct outreaches at the MSS centers, and may co-teach a mentoring class. This rotation requires initiative in establishing a regular presence at MSS, networking, and participating in MSS events. Supervision includes reflection, discussion, and readings.

Liaison to International Programs (IP) – full academic year

The IC liaison rotation is overseen by the CAPS Faculty Liaison to International Programs, in collaboration with the International Center Coordinator. The liaison participates in weekly social/educational meetings, facilitates awareness of counseling services, provides consultation services, and conducts workshops for international students and mentors. Creation of an international student support group is a possibility. The rotation requires initiative in establishing a regular presence at the international center and attending student-organized events. Supervision includes reflection, discussion and readings.

Liaison to Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC) – full academic year

The GIESORC liaison rotation is overseen by the CAPS Faculty Liaison to GIESORC, in collaboration with the GIESORC Director. The liaison enhances awareness of counseling services, provides consultation, and may facilitate outreaches and workshops. The intern can expect to participate in select GIESORC-sponsored meetings and special events. They may also co-facilitate the CAPS’ Trans*cend or LGB Support Group. This rotation requires initiative in establishing a presence at GIESORC and attending student events. Supervision includes reflection, discussion and readings.

Administrative and Research Opportunities

Interns have opportunities to develop administrative skills as part of other responsibilities. For example, while working with campus consultation or implementing a group, interns might make decisions regarding program development, resource planning, staffing, and follow-up. Interns are also involved in decision-making process at CAPS. This includes participation in planning workshops and weekly provider meetings, serving on the intern selection committee, and attending case presentations for CAPS employee searches.

We regard research as integral to training and service provision. Interns engage in research as they prepare for outreaches, presentations, training seminars, and clinical work. We periodically conduct a survey review of client satisfaction and other forms of program evaluation regarding both service delivery and training. Interested interns are welcome to participate in such projects.

Interns are also encouraged to remain active in their own research during the internship year.They are asked to present to CAPS providers on their dissertation research, or contribute current research endeavors to CAPS in some other manner. Interns may use some administrative hours during less busy clinical times (e.g., student breaks) for these activities. Computer access, library privileges, and consultation are available to support research and dissertation endeavors.

Post-Academic Year Activities

The academic year finishes in early May. At that time, client caseloads generally become smaller as fewer students are attending summer classes and seeking services. Interns’ schedules also lighten up with a reduced number of trainings, groups/workshops, and outreaches in early summer. During this period, interns often enhance their schedule by engaging in research (e.g., dissertation or CAPS-related research) and collaborating with permanent providers on CAPS summer projects. They may also potentially supervise summer practicum counselors, or choose to participate in a 3-week psychiatric rotation at Eastern State Hospital.

Supervision Received

An important facet of interns’ training is receiving quality supervision. During the summer orientation period, interns have two hours of individual clinical supervision from a CAPS licensed psychologist and two hours of group supervision led by the Training Director. Summer clinical supervisors are assigned by the Training Director.

Over the summer, interns get to know the available intern supervisors and then indicate their supervisor preferences for the fall semester, including the possibility of remaining with their summer supervisor over the fall semester. If their first choice is not possible or advisable for some reason, the Training Director will discuss other options with the intern.

Interns switch clinical supervisors for spring semester, again providing input about their preferences. CAPS supervisors practice from a range of theoretical perspectives, most working from an integrative orientation. Learn more about the CAPS providers here.

In addition to receiving two hours of individual supervision weekly, interns receive regularly scheduled group supervision, group supervision of supervision, assessment supervision, group and workshop supervision, and minor rotation supervision.

CAPS maintains an open-door consultation policy, so interns have ample opportunity for supervisory consultation with CAPS providers who have expertise in diverse areas such as gender and multicultural issues, psychological testing, eating disorders, biofeedback, and sexual trauma response. CAPS psychiatric providers and Cougar Health Services medical providers are also readily accessible for consultations. Click here and select CAPS filters to learn more about the expertise and interests of CAPS and Cougar Health Services providers.

Direct Services

The provision of direct services is a core aspect of our interns’ training experience. CAPS serves as the primary, short-term mental health agency for WSU students. Given our relatively rural and small town setting, local referral resources are limited, and we offer a broad range of services in order to best meet student needs. Our clinicians ground their work in psychological theory and research, integrating consideration of individual and cultural differences, and diversity factors.

Direct clinical services include initial consultations; brief, focused individual therapy (which may include single-session therapy); groups and workshops; biofeedback; crisis intervention; alcohol and other drug interventions; LD and ADHD assessments; outreaches; and consultation. Interns do not have after-hours on-call service responsibilities.

Due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19, CAPS is currently offering mostly telehealth services, with some testing and psychiatry appointments being conducted in-person. As essential service employees, CAPS providers (including interns) may currently work from private CAPS offices or remotely from their local residence. In accordance with local health guidelines and university policy, CAPS will move through the phases of Washington state’s “Safe Start” and will increase or decrease in-person services accordingly. For the latest university updates and information related to COVID-19, see https://wsu.edu/covid-19/updates/

All clinical services, as well as the provision of supervision, count toward the completion of interns’ required 500 direct service hours. CAPS offers reduced clinical service hours during Thanksgiving week, the semester break, and spring break; those are good times for interns to take annual leave or work on research or administrative tasks.

Assessment

Assessment is integral to interns’ training and CAPS service delivery. To develop and refine skills in assessment, problem formulation, and diagnosis, interns regularly conduct initial consultations and risk assessments. Our clinicians use the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS-62) as initial consultation data to inform treatment, and the CCAPS-34 to track client progress and treatment outcomes.

Assessment is addressed through case formulation, diagnosis, and presentation within weekly individual and group supervision. This includes discussion on theoretical and diagnostic issues and guidance in the use of the DSM-5.

Our comprehensive testing services offer interns the opportunity to gain selected experiences in the administration and interpretation of ADHD and learning disability (LD) test batteries, as well as exposure to personality and some neuropsychological testing.

Interns received testing supervision and participate in an assessment seminar that addresses questions of test interpretation, diagnostic formulation, and report-writing. Interns complete at least four full ADHD/LD batteries over the year and may choose a minor rotation in assessment to gain further testing experience.

Individual Therapy

Interns share fully in our provision of therapy services designed to help WSU students improve their mental health and wellness. Our treatment model assumes that the majority of students who seek services at CAPS can benefit from brief, focused counseling in either a group or individual therapy format.

The number of individual therapy sessions is determined by clinical need, as defined by the clinician. For students referred to individual counseling, most meet their treatment goals in 1-6 sessions, and are allowed up to 12 sessions per academic year (with a limit of 25 sessions during their tenure at WSU).

Our clientele present with a full spectrum of concerns, from the more frequent relationship, identity, or developmental issues to more complex affective, anxiety, psychotic, or personality presentations. Clients also seek services to address body image and eating disorder concerns, PTSD, substance use problems, and abuse/assault survivor issues, among others. Interns can expect to work with a number of clients who present in crisis or exhibit moderate or chronic risk. Interested interns may also have the opportunity work with some couples.

Treatment starts with a brief initial consultation, after which a client is referred to appropriate services, including the possibility of individual counseling. Individual therapy interventions are evidence-based and rooted in theory. Interns receive training in CPT (cognitive processing therapy) for treating PTSD, and biofeedback for treating a range of anxiety concerns.

Interns learn to be intentional with their therapy work, facilitating effective treatment and clinical service delivery, and providing referrals to community resources for those students who need or want longer-term or more intense individual therapy.

Crisis Intervention

Interns can expect to work with a number of clients who present in crisis or exhibit moderate or chronic risk. Risk is regularly assessed during each initial consultation, through crisis appointments offered daily during business hours, and as relevant, over the course of therapy. CAPS providers offer empathic support and facilitate safety planning. They help clients in need of voluntary hospitalization or further assessment for involuntary hospitalization access these services at Pullman Regional Hospital. After-hours crises are handled through a contracted crisis intervention service, community resources, and the CAPS Director. Consultation with permanent providers is readily available for interns as they manage client crises.

Groups and Workshops

Our clinicians highly value groups and workshops as primary treatment modalities, and we offer unlimited group and workshop attendance to WSU students.

At the start of each semester, our permanent providers, postdoctoral residents, and interns discuss possible skills-based, support, and interpersonal process groups to offer. These are determined by clinical needs, requests from specific client populations, providers’ interests, and staff and intern expertise.

Groups frequently offered include Understanding Self and Others (interpersonal process groups),, Sexual Assault Survivor Support, LGB Student Support, and Trans Student Support.

Workshop series on Mindfulness, Navigating Distress (ACT-based), Mood Management Skills (DBT-inspired), Anxiety Management (CBT-based), and Increasing Motivation (CBT-based) are regularly offered as a primary interventions for low risk clients.

As group co-facilitators, interns work with senior staff members or postdoctoral residents in preparing and implementing groups. These activities may involve developing the group, helping with its advertisement, holding group orientation/screening meetings, co-facilitating, and evaluating outcomes.

Interns are also involved in groups and workshops by co-facilitating the Mindfulness, Navigating Distress, Mood Management, CBT for Anxiety, or other skills-based workshops with practicum trainees. Interns participate in bi-weekly group supervision of groups, and may also receive supervision for their group and workshop work from a senior co-facilitator or a designated CAPS provider.

Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Interventions

Interns participate in AOD interventions in multiple ways. During summer orientation, they are trained to provide educational outreaches on alcohol use and sexual decision making for incoming first-year and transfer students.

Over the course of the year, interns receive Motivational Interviewing and AOD training to provide 1:1 harm reduction- interventions for sanctioned students who have received AOD violations through WSU’s Center for Community Standards. These interventions are typically single sessions but may lead to follow-up AOD counseling appointments. Finally, interns may provide individual therapy to students who are wanting to address AOD use as primary or secondary concerns.

Outreach and Consultation

In collaboration with Health Promotion, interns provide outreach services to the WSU community throughout the year. They facilitate some outreaches during their first summer of internship and approximately four additional outreaches per semester. Specific experiences reflect a combination of the interns’ training needs and interests as well as the needs of the student population.

Structured outreaches in such areas as test anxiety, healthy relationships, bereavement, or anger management may be provided to campus departments or requesting groups. Some outreaches may be held in the evening (or occasionally on a weekend), outside of business hours. Interns receive flex time for these. Interns also oversee their practicum supervisees’ outreaches. Support for outreach development and implementation is provided by the CAPS Outreach Coordinator and other CAPS providers.

CAPS interns have opportunities to develop consultation and interprofessional communication skills with individuals and groups in both formal and informal contexts. For example, they may provide consultation to Residence Life staff, academic departments, and other campus partners on issues relating to service coordination and student welfare. CAPS clinicians also frequently collaborate and consult with medical and psychiatric providers of Cougar Health Services to facilitate the most effective service delivery to students. Interns who choose liaisons as their minor rotations additionally provide outreaches and consultation for respective campus liaison offices and student populations.

Among our clinicians, there is also an open-door consultation policy, which encourages interns to consult with peers, postdoctoral residents, and permanent providers regarding clinical questions. This policy further facilitates interns’ serving as consultants to practicum trainees.

Provision of Supervision

During the academic year, interns receive hands-on experience supervising practicum students from WSU’s APA-approved doctoral program in Clinical Psychology.

More specifically, they are involved in training and supervising these students in conducting initial consultations, providing outreaches, and co-facilitating skills-based workshops such as the ACT-based Navigating Distress workshop, the DBT-inspired Mood Management workshop, the CBT for Anxiety group, and/or a Mindfulness workshop.

Interns begin group supervision of supervision during summer orientation and receive weekly group supervision of their supervision during the academic year. They also regularly address supervision of supervision with their individual clinical supervisor.

Optional Major Rotation at Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital

Following the second semester of the internship year, each intern may choose to complete a three-week rotation at Eastern State Hospital, a psychiatric inpatient facility located 75 miles from Pullman. The hospital offers intern experiences in acute adult care, forensic services, geriatric services, and habilitative mental health services, all which emphasize an integrated team treatment approach.

During the rotation, interns work from approximately 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (6:30 am to 5:30 pm, counting the commute from Pullman) Monday through Thursday, and have evenings and a 3-day weekend free. Transportation and housing must be provided by the intern. Rotation activities include observation and possible testing, assessment, evaluation, psychotherapy, group work, and/or disposition planning.

During the 2019-2020 internship year, the psychiatric hospital rotation was not available due to COVID-19 related safety concerns. The WSU internship program expects to resume the psychiatric hospital rotation option for interns when Eastern State Hospital is able to provide such training again.