Components of the Internship Program

For the 2020-2021 training year, the counseling center will continue to provide telemental health services, and clinicians (including trainees) will telework for part of the week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trainees will receive telesupervision and participate in didactics virtually. Trainees are provided with the required technology and are asked to have a confidential location in Virginia from which they can provide services. Trainees will receive training in the use of telemental health services and role play these services to ensure they are prepared prior to meeting with students. Overall, we have been able to transfer the majority of our training services to a virtual format through the provision of telemental health services (for brief screening, intake assessment, individual therapy, case management, and group therapy), virtual outreach programming, telesupervision, virtual meetings for didactics, and virtual meetings with campus partners. The center and training program will continue to follow guidelines from the APA Commission on Accreditation and the Virginia Board of Psychology regarding the use of telesupervision and virtual didactics. It is possible this set of procedures will continue during the entire training year and into the next training year (2021-2022) in response to ongoing emergency preparedness procedures.

*Please note these hours are subject to change based on clinical need, time of the semester, and intern interests.

Clinical Activities

Initial Consultation: Initial Consultation (IC) is the primary entry point into the clinical system. The appointment is scheduled for 30 minutes. The purpose of this appointment is to complete a brief screening and determine the next appropriate clinical intervention.

Routine Appointment: Routine Appointments serve as a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment with students with whom the intern will work with as part of their caseload.

Group Screen: Group Screening appointments are completed for students who will be referred to group therapy. May be done individually or with a co-facilitator.

Urgent Appointment: Urgent Appointments are available for students presenting with some risk factors who do not require a same-day Crisis Consultation appointment but should be seen sooner than the next available Routine Appointment. Urgent appointments are scheduled during your daytime on-call shift.

Walk-in Initial Consultation/Crisis Consultation: Same day appointment for students who are in distress or experiencing a mental health emergency.

Case Management: Case Management appointments support clients with getting connected to off-campus support. Appointments are typically 30 minutes but can be longer depending on assessment and treatment planning required to support the student.

Individual Therapy: Individual therapy begins at the time of the Routine Appointment during which the clinician gathers more complete information on the student, clarifies goals of short-term therapy, and begins therapy work with use of therapeutic interventions in session. Individual therapy appointments typically last 45-50 minutes.

Group Therapy: CAPS offers structured and process groups each semester.

Workshops: CAPS offers daily workshops for students.

Community Education/Outreach and Consultation Activities: Interns participate in at least six outreach/community education events during their internship year and as clinical schedules allow. Outreach/community education opportunities may include: speaking to university classes about mental health topics; providing training to University Housing staff; assisting with orientation programs; staffing informational kiosks; providing programming for other university events; or leading a workshop at CAPS. Interns plan and present an Advocacy Project during internship as well. See Administration, Research, Presentations section for more information about the project.

Provision of Supervision: Interns have the opportunity to supervise externs from the Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia-area doctoral Clinical and Counseling Psychology programs. Supervision will occur weekly for one hour. Interns may also have the opportunity to supervise a different supervisee each semester but that will depend on the number of externs working at CAPS that year.

Training and Supervision

Individual  Supervision: Assignments of supervisors are made by the Associate Director, Training Services with the input of the individual interns. Every effort is made to match personal and professional interests, styles, and needs to maximize the effectiveness of the supervisory dyad. The direct supervision focuses on intervention, case management, case conceptualization, and the professional growth of the intern. Supervision includes critiques of digital recordings of therapy sessions. Supervisory assignments are made in July and January. Interns will typically have a different supervisor each six-month period. A minimum of two hours per week are spent in one-to-one contact with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.

Group Supervision: A meeting between the interns and the Associate Director, Training Services or another clinical staff member, will occur weekly. Group supervision will focus on the clinical service and intern professional growth and adjustment.

Supervision of Group Therapy: Supervision of group therapy occurs for 30 minutes, typically immediately after group. It will be provided by your group co-facilitator.

Seminars, including Multicultural Case Conference: Training Seminars include a “mini-course” that focus on a number of topics which include but are not limited to ethical and legal principles, multicultural considerations, assessment, interventions for university populations, and working with specific populations. The seminars are a space to provide training in the competencies required of interns. All seminars integrate diversity concerns, ethics, and current research and are scheduled in a way that takes into account the intern’s developmental level.

Multicultural Lab and Multicultural Case Conference: Provides an opportunity for interns and clinical staff to speak openly about diversity, including transference and counter transference reactions. Interns will also have an opportunity to discuss aspects of multiculturalism during the Multicultural Lab amongst themselves with a CAPS staff member present. This seminar is separate from the Multicultural case conference.

Case Conference: This an opportunity for interns and clinical staff to discuss complex cases, group therapy cases, ethical dilemmas, and case management.

Supervision of Supervision: Interns will meet 90 minutes each week with the Associate Director, Training Services for supervision of the supervision they provide. Time in this supervision will be spent processing the experience of supervision, reviewing trainee performance, reviewing relevant literature related to supervisions and clinical cases, and viewing digital recordings of supervision meetings.

Administration, Research, Presentations

Intern Orientation: A structured orientation to the internship begins the first day of the internship. Additional orientation programs are scheduled throughout July and August. Intern orientation is focused on foundational competency skills. Topics such as policies and procedures, overviews of all service and training activities, overviews of possible areas of focus, and introductions to George Mason University and Virginia are covered. Visits to common referral sources occur to facilitate the building of consultative relationships. Introductory training is also provided on services interns will be expected to provide early in their internship (e.g., Initial Consultations, Routine Appointments, case management, outreach presentations, and group therapy). Intern orientation is led by the Associate Director, Training Services with the participation of all of the clinical staff.

Specialization Area Project: The advocacy project is an opportunity for interns to collaborate with a campus partner to either support their work or enhance the working relationships between our offices. The goal of the advocacy project is to make research-informed, culturally and contextually relevant recommendations to campus partners based on a careful assessment of current needs. The project provides an opportunity for interns to develop additional expertise and experience in an area of interest to them while also developing skills as a culturally-informed professional consultant. Interns will identify a campus partner serving a population of interest and work with that campus partner, with their affirmative consent and collaboratively, to support their work. Through the project, interns can provide consultation about programming needs for campus partners, receive feedback from the campus partner about ideas for enhancing services at the counseling center for a certain student population, or support the campus partner with either developing a new program or conducting an evaluation of a current program. The advocacy project topic must be relevant to the needs of our campus partners and their collaboration with CAPS. Furthermore, the project must serve an underrepresented population.

Intern Case Presentation: Interns present two formal case presentations during internship (one during the fall semester and one during the spring semester). Interns should discuss this requirement with their individual supervisors. Case presentations are attended by CAPS clinical staff. Both case presentations will include a DSM 5 diagnosis and a discussion of the diagnostic process.

Supervision Case Presentation: Similar to the case presentations, interns present a supervision presentation during the training year (during the spring semester). Supervision presentations are attended by CAPS clinical staff.

Staff  Meetings: Interns are invited to participate in staff meetings that includes all CAPS staff.

In Crisis?

Emergency Contacts

Online Crisis Chat

Crisis Text Line

    Text HOME to 741-741

CrisisLink

    703-527-4077

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

    800-273-8255

Veterans Crisis Line

    800-273-8255, Press 1

Mason Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Line

    703-380-1434

TrevorLifeline

    866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline

    877-565-8860

Mason Police

    703-993-2810