Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology 2022-2023
Thank you for your interest in the Washington State University (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.
Areas of content on this page:
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:
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 2022-2023 training year are full-time, 12-month, professional appointments at the WSU Pullman campus. The internship begins July 1, 2022 and concludes on June 30, 2023. 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 has been offering mostly telehealth services, with testing and psychiatry appointments being conducted in-person. CAPS is preparing to gradually increase our in-person services over the coming months and will continue to follow CDC, Washington state, and WSU guidelines in making decisions about in-person service delivery. CAPS providers are currently working from private CAPS offices. Visit the WSU COVID-19 webpage for the latest university updates and information.
As part of the Division of Student Affairs and Cougar Health Services (CHS), CAPS 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, LD and ADHD assessment, biofeedback, substance assessment and intervention, outreach, and consultation.
In light of our integrated CHS structure, each CAPS intern regularly covers a brief Same Day Mental Health (SDMH) shift in the medical clinic.
Interns choose clinical or teaching-related minor rotations at CAPS or in the CHS medical clinic, and serve diverse student groups as liaisons to campus offices such as International Programs, Multicultural Student Services, the Access Center, or the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center.
Interns also supervise practicum counselors’ initial consultations, groups and workshops, and outreaches. They may have an opportunity to be involved in other aspects of doctoral psychology training.
CAPS has a Postdoctoral Residency Program, typically with multiple positions each year. CAPS interns are welcome to apply.
CAPS Philosophy, Role, and Mission
Central to our philosophy at CAPS is value for the worth of every individual and respect for human diversity. We define human diversity as including, but not limited to age, ability status, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, size, and socioeconomic status. As clinicians, trainers, and an organization, we work to enhance our cultural understanding and honor the unique lived experiences of our clients and trainees. We recognize that our varied histories have contributed to differing worldviews and experiences of power and privilege, and as such, engage in processes to increase self-awareness and identify and address systematic oppression at multiple levels.
CAPS is part of the Division of Student Affairs and shares its aim “to provide services and spaces where all students will grow and succeed.” Student Affairs strives to create a welcoming and inclusive campus community and foster student engagement and leadership development. The role of CAPS within Student Affairs is to facilitate students’ intellectual, emotional, and social growth and development. We serve as a campus resource that promotes student well-being, advocacy, and support.
Our primary mission is to assist students in addressing mental health concerns and developing lifelong skills that are essential for achieving and maintaining academic and personal efficacy. Clients often utilize CAPS to address identity and adjustment experiences typical of college students, as well as more complex, long-term, or emerging mental health concerns. Through a broad range of interventions, we work to help clients understand contextual factors contributing to their distress; explore needs, values, and support; and find meaningful ways to live and achieve their goals.
Also key to our mission is training doctoral interns, postgraduate and postdoctoral residents, and graduate students to become ethical and culturally responsive psychologists. We highly value training and find great enjoyment in it. As supervisors, we emphasize a developmental- and diversity-focused training approach, with an emphasis on clinical service informed by practice, theory, and research.
Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data
Program tables last updated June 1, 2021
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:
CAPS considers 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 should demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the impact of cultural and socio-historical experiences on individuals and communities and be interested in working with clients across a broad spectrum of identities. 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 Hours||Yes||375|
|Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours||No||N/A|
Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants.
By the time of application, applicants must have accrued a minimum of 375 doctoral intervention hours (indicated in Table above). It is preferred that applicants have completed 150 doctoral individual adult therapy hours by the time of application, although due to COVID-19 related impacts on practicum placements, applicants with fewer doctoral individual adult therapy hours and who meet all other application requirements will be considered. By the time of application, applicants must have completed at least one written integrated assessment report and 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.
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 to be eligible for a match to our program. The application deadline is midnight EST on Sunday, November 7, 2021.
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.
All interviews will be conducted via Zoom. We will inform applicants of their interview status by December 10, 2021, and hold the interviews during the first half of January 2022.
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|
- 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 Washington building, along with Cougar Health Services partners and the Access Center. We are within close walking distance of coffee shops and restaurants, residence halls, campus libraries, and the student union building.
Each CAPS intern has a private office with a sit-stand desk and desk chair; therapy chairs; a small locked filing cabinet; bookshelves; 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 projects. 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 may be used for meetings, groups, 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 (2017-2020)
Total number of interns who were in the 2017-2020 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 = postdoctoral residency, EP = employed position.
|Community mental health center||0||0|
|Federally qualified health center||0||0|
|Independent primary care facility/clinic||0||0|
|University counseling center||7||3|
|Veterans Affairs medical center||0||0|
|Military health center||0||0|
|Academic health center||0||1|
|Other medical center or hospital||0||0|
|Community college or other teaching setting||0||0|
|Independent research institution||0||0|
|Independent practice setting||0||1|
|Not currently employed||0||0|
|Changed to another field||0||0|
Internship Philosophy, Aim, Competencies, and Evaluation
WSU’s 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, social justice, 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 offered accordingly.
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.
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 effectively provide services to diverse clientele in multiple settings.
Following the APA Standards of Accreditation, we train and evaluate interns across se nine 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
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 informal and formal feedback about interns’ training experiences. Interns meet individually with the Training Director on a quarterly basis and complete anonymous training seminar evaluations and mid-year program feedback. 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
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.
Internship training starts several weeks before the academic year begins. This allows for a structured summer orientation period with a gradual increase in direct service delivery.
Summer orientation emphasizes introduction to CAPS policies, procedures, and services. Training topics include Point and Click electronic medical records system, initial consultations, risk assessment, 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 to get to know each other better. Interns also have orientation meetings with colleagues from Cougar Health Services, the Dean of Students office, Residence Life, Multicultural Student Services, the Gender Expression/Identity and Sexual Orientation Resource Center, the Academic Success and Career Center, the Center for Civil Rights, the 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 10-12 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)
- Provide 1-2 hours of Same-Day Mental Health coverage in the medical clinic
- Receive 2 hours of individual supervision
- Receive 1 hour of group supervision
- Receive 1 hour of supervision of supervision
- Receive supervision of USO group facilitation
- 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 2-3 hours to a minor rotation experience
- Devote 1-2 hours to a liaison position addressing diverse student needs
- 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 group therapy seminar
- Bi-weekly 2-hour testing seminar/supervision
- Monthly 1.5-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 senior clinician.
- Periodic CAPS Diversity Dialogues
- Opportunity to participate on the CAPS Diversity Committee
- 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 topics include the following:
- Diversity Seminars – LGBT+ Support, Men and Masculinity, First Generation College Students, Native American Students, Undocumented Individuals, International Students, Intergenerational Cultural Dynamics, Ability Status, Spirituality, Athletes
- CAPS Diversity Trainings – Decolonizing Multicultural Counseling, How to Navigate Differences in Belief Systems in Therapy, Religiosity and Spirituality, Microaggressions and Stereotype Threat, Neurodiversity, Sexual Orientation and Gender, Undocumented Students
- Special Topics Seminars – 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
- Testing Seminars – Overview of commonly utilized PVT, CPT, personality, cognitive, neuropsychological, and achievement measures; Learning Disabilities; Dyslexia; ADHD; Evaluating English Language Learners; Multicultural Considerations in Assessment; Special Topics (as determined by cohort): ASD, Expert Witness Testimony, Projective Assessments, Assessment in Private Practice, ESA
- Group Therapy Seminars – Risk Assessment; Group Orientation Interviews; Fostering Yalom’s Curative Factors through Group Leadership; Facilitating Groups Online; Therapist Response Options to Group Therapy Events; Correlation between Verbal Participation and Group Success; Incorporating Social Justice Interventions; Reflective Practice in Group Co-leadership; Power, Reflection and Dialogue in Gestalt Group Therapy
- Ethics Seminars – Supervision, Risk Management, Boundaries and Small Communities, Feminist Ethics, Working with Girls and Women, Self-Care, Telesupervision
- Group Supervision – Therapist Identities and Experiences in Relation to Clinical Work, Theoretical Approaches, Presenting Cases and Providing Feedback, Managing Caseloads, Referring to Groups and Other Resources, Developing Critical Consciousness, Liberation Psychology, Self-Care, Program Feedback
- Supervision of Supervision – Supervisor Competencies, APA Guidelines/Ethics, Supervision Logistics and Records, Telesupervision, Models of Supervision, Supervisory Relationship, Addressing Diversity within Supervision, Giving Feedback, Managing Conflict, Providing Group Supervision
Diversity Liaisons and Minor Rotations
In addition to receiving a common core of trainings and experiences, each intern also engages in select training emphases through diversity liaisons and minor rotations. Exploring and choosing diversity liaisons and minor rotations occurs in consultation with the Training Director.
Diversity Liaison work is carried out over the entire academic year and involves partnering with a CAPS senior provider as a liaison to campus partners working with specific student populations. Examples of organizations CAPS has liaisons with include Multicultural Student Services, GIESORC (Gender Identity Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center), International Programs, Multicultural Greek Council, Access Center, and Trio. Liaison roles may include establishing a presence within the organization served, developing relationships with staff and student leaders, sharing information about CAPS services, offering outreach programming, attending special events, providing consultation, and possibly co-facilitating related groups (e.g., CAPS’ Trans*cend group, or a support group for international students or undocumented students).
For Minor Rotations, interns devote two to three hours a week to a CAPS teaching experience or clinical area of interest. These emphases are each one semester long and in addition to the training that all interns will receive. Descriptions of recent minor rotation options follow; in collaboration with the Training Director, other minor rotations may be possible.
ADHD and LD Assessment
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.
AOD Assessment LD Assessment
The AOD minor rotation is supervised by the CAPS AOD Coordinator. In the rotation, interns may see additional IMPACT appointments, which are 1:1 assessments and brief motivational interviewing-based interventions for sanctioned students who have received an AOD violation at WSU. Interns may also request referrals for AOD cases, deepening their work with substance concerns. It is possible that interns completing this rotation may contribute to AOD outreach development and facilitation. Weekly to bi-weekly supervision is provided.
Beginning Practicum Training
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.
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 will 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.
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.
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 other groups separately from the rotation.
The couples counseling rotation 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.
Outreach – One semester
The Outreach minor rotation is overseen by the CAPS Outreach Coordinator. Interns participating in this rotation will learn about social justice-oriented outreach services and be involved in the development and facilitation of outreach services beyond the minimum requirement. The rotation may also include the creation, implementation, and evaluation of an outreach project to be conducted for a particular student population, within a specific university office, or more broadly across campus. Supervision is provided weekly to bi-weekly.
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. They may be able to serve on additional CAPS committees.
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 regularly 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 expected to remain active in their own research during the internship year. They are asked to present to CAPS providers on current dissertation research or engage in another small-scale psychology related research project and share the outcome of their endeavors with CAPS in some manner. Interns may use some administrative hours during less busy clinical times (e.g., student breaks) for these activities. Computer access, SPSS, library privileges, and consultation are available to support research.
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 indicate their supervisor preferences for the fall semester, including the possibility of remaining with their summer supervisor over the fall semester. Interns switch clinical supervisors for spring semester, again providing input about their preferences. If their first choice is not possible or advisable for some reason, the Training Director will discuss other options with the intern. In addition to receiving two hours of individual supervision weekly, interns receive regularly scheduled group supervision, group supervision of supervision, assessment supervision, and minor rotation supervision.
CAPS supervisors practice from a range of theoretical perspectives, most working from an integrative orientation. CAPS maintains an open-door consultation policy, so interns have ample opportunity for supervisory consultation with senior staff who have expertise in areas such as gender and sexual diversity, social responsiveness, psychological testing, international student needs, military culture, eating disorders, biofeedback, neurodiversity, AOD interventions, outreach, group therapy, and sexual trauma response. CAPS psychiatric providers and Cougar Health Services medical providers are also readily accessible for consultations. Visit the Meet Our Staff page and select CAPS filters to read more about the expertise and interests of our providers and supervisors.
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 has been offering mostly telehealth services over the past year, with testing and psychiatry appointments being conducted in-person. CAPS is preparing to gradually increase our in-person services over the coming months and will continue to follow CDC, Washington state, and WSU guidelines in making decisions about on-site work expectations and in-person services. Visit the WSU COVID-19 webpage for the latest university updates and information.
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 the week of Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day, the semester break, and spring break; those are good times for interns to take annual leave or work on research or administrative tasks.
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 receive 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.
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 most 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 per undergraduate or graduate degree at WSU).
Our clientele present with a full spectrum of concerns, from the more frequent adjustment, relationship, identity, or developmental experiences to more complex affective, anxiety, psychotic, or personality presentations. Clients also seek services to address body image and eating disorder concerns, trauma, and substance use, among others. Interested interns may have the opportunity work with 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, rooted in theory, and tailored to each client’s lived experiences and needs. 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.
Interns can expect to work with 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 access voluntary hospitalization and involuntary hospitalization. After-hours crises are handled through a contracted crisis intervention service, community resources, and the CAPS Director and Associate Director. CAPS interns do not have after-hours on-call responsibilities. Consultation with senior clinical staff is readily available for interns as they manage client crises.
Groups and Workshops
Our clinicians view groups and workshops as primary treatment modalities, and CAPS offers long-term group and workshop attendance to WSU students.
Before the start of each semester, the Groups Coordinator, other senior staff, 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 undergraduate and graduate Understanding Self and Others (USO – interpersonal process groups), Sexual Assault Survivor 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 primary interventions for low risk clients.
Intern pairs co-facilitate USO groups over the course of the academic year and possibly into the following summer. A senior staff member provides live supervision for the USO group and co-leads the intern group therapy seminar.
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. They additionally may be able to co-facilitate another group of interest. Interns participate in a bi-weekly group therapy seminar 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
Outreach Programming is an essential aspect of CAPS that facilitates early intervention and service access, especially by traditionally underserved students and those who may not otherwise seek therapy. 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 student and university needs.
Outreaches are delivered to campus departments and requesting groups. Topics vary and may include such presentations as stress management, self-care, time management, test anxiety, attachment styles and healthy relationships, safe dating, depression, anxiety, bereavement, sleep, physical and mental wellness, anger management, and advocacy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAPS Outreach Coordinator and a doctoral intern developed the “Real Talk Thursday” program, covering wellness topics in 30-minute workshops each week, several of them specific to pandemic-related challenges.
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.
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 groups.
Among our clinicians, there is an open-door consultation policy, which encourages interns to consult with peers, postdoctoral residents, and senior staff regarding clinical questions. This policy further facilitates interns’ serving as consultants to practicum trainees. If working remotely, we utilize videoconferencing for impromptu consultations.
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.
When there are multiple summer practicum counselors at CAPS, interns may be involved in providing their group or individual supervision.