Components of the Internship Program

Emergency Contacts

For the 2022-2023 training year, clinical services will be provided via a hybrid model of in-person and telemental health services. Interns will have the opportunity to utilize a hybrid work schedule, including working from the office and teleworking from a confidential location in Virginia a designated number of days, consistent with operations for full-time clinical staff. Given shifts in licensing board procedures over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, all supervision will be held in person with the exception of circumstances that align with the center’s telesupervision policy. This format is subject to change in response to shift in center and university operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specific hours of participation in each of the clinical activities listed below vary based on center need and time of the year.

Clinical Activities

Initial Consultation: Initial Consultation (IC) is the primary entry point into the clinical system. 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 clients with whom the intern will work with as part of their caseload.

Urgent Appointment:  Urgent Appointments are available for clients 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.

Crisis Initial Consultation: These appointments provide same-day support 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.

Individual Therapy: Individual therapy begins at the time of the Routine Appointment during which the clinician gathers more complete information about the client’s presenting concerns, 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 Screening Appointment: Group Screening appointments are completed for clients who will be referred to group therapy. May be done individually or with a co-facilitator.

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

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.

Provision of Supervision: Interns will supervise externs from the local area doctoral programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology.

Training and Supervision

Individual Supervision:  Interns receive two hours of individual supervision per week with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist throughout their training year. The individual supervision focuses on intervention, diagnostic considerations, case conceptualization, and the professional growth of the intern. Interns are encouraged to ask questions about their clinical work, the clinical system, and caseload management regularly throughout the training year. Supervision also includes a discussion of direct observations of services provided, whether live observations of clinical work or observations of recorded sessions. Supervisory assignments are made in July and January; thus, in alignment with expectations from the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, interns will have a different supervisor each six-month period. 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.

Group Supervision: Interns receive at least one hour of group supervision per week with a licensed staff member. Group supervision will focus on clinical service and intern professional growth and adjustment. Group supervision will include case presentations to support intern development related to communication, consultation, and diagnostic impressions.

Supervision of Group Therapy: Interns receive supervision of group therapy from their group co-facilitator.

Supervision of Supervision: Interns receive weekly supervision of the supervision they provide to psychology externs with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Time in this supervision will be spent processing the experience of providing supervision, reviewing trainee extern performance, reviewing relevant literature related to supervision and clinical cases, and viewing digital recordings or discussing direct observations of both supervision meetings and extern clinical work.

Supervisors Meeting: All staff involved in intern supervision and support will meet regularly to discuss intern progress and ways the training team can support interns in working toward their goals. Information discussed during the meetings is not shared beyond the meeting attendees. Interns are encouraged to ask their individual supervisor for information about the content relative to their performance at the meeting for ongoing learning and growth.

Seminars: Interns participate in training seminars throughout their internship year to supplement the direct service, facilitate ongoing learning, and support development related to the competency areas. Interns participate in a biweekly, 90-minute, competency-based seminar organized as “mini courses.” The mini courses focus on legal and ethical principles, assessment, intervention, and research. All seminars integrate cultural considerations, ethics, and current research and are scheduled in a way that considers the intern’s developmental level. Interns will participate in a biweekly, 90-minute Multicultural Lab. This lab is focused on ongoing growth and development of multicultural awareness and skills. Throughout the lab, interns will engage in self-reflection and apply the discussions to their clinical work and emerging professional identity development. Interns will participate in a monthly outreach seminar with the Coordinator, Multicultural Outreach and Prevention. This seminar will be focused on the function of outreach on a university campus, strategies and best practices related to building collaborations with campus partners, completing needs assessments, and cultural considerations with outreach.

Group and other Case Management: These case conference/peer supervision meetings provide an opportunity for interns to participate in multidisciplinary discussions with clinical staff about clinical cases, group therapy cases, ethical dilemmas, and case management.

Diversity Dialogues: All CAPS staff meet regularly to discuss ways to infuse cultural considerations into all aspects of our clinical work.

Assessment: Interns are expected to utilize and incorporate the CCAPS-62 during their initial assessment with clients and the CCAPS-34 during their follow-up appointments with clients consistent with the expectations outlined in the Clinician Manual. Interns will also utilize the DSM 5 Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) with two clients during the training year and write a reflection about their experience.

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 for the internship year as well as procedures of the counseling center. Topics such as policies and procedures, overviews of all service and training activities, overviews of possible areas of focus for interns, 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 programming, and group therapy). Intern orientation is led by the Associate Director, Training Services with the participation of all staff.

Committees: Interns may join a committee during the spring semester of the internship year. CAPS currently offers the following committees: Diversity Committee, Outreach Committee, Technology Committee, and Training Committee. Available committees will be reviewed at the start of the spring semester.

Advocacy Project and Presentation: 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. Interns will present their work at the end of the training year.

Clinical Case Presentation: Interns present two formal clinical case presentations during internship (one during the fall semester and one during the summer semester).

Supervision Presentation: Interns present one formal supervision presentation during the training year at the end of the spring semester.

Staff  Meetings: As members of the team, interns attend relevant staff meetings that includes all CAPS staff.