Components of the Internship Program
*Please note these hours are subject to change based on clinical need, time of the semester and intern interests.
Initial Consultation: Initial Consultation (IC) is the primary entry point into the clinical system. The appointment is scheduled for 30 minutes though typically lasts around 15-20 minutes, and it is usually conducted over the phone. The purpose of this appointment is to determine the next appropriate clinical intervention.
1hr/week each IC is 30 minutes.
Routine Appointment/Intervention: in-person assessment is for students who clinician will absorb into own caseload; the appointment includes assessment, treatment planning, and intervention.
Interns are expected to have 2 in their schedule
Routine Appointment/Group Screen: in-person assessment is for students who will be referred to group therapy; the appointment includes assessment, treatment planning, and completion of the group screen. May be done individually or with a co-facilitator.
Varies based on the number of students in your group
Urgent Appointment: This 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.
1 Urgent Appointment per daytime on-call shift per week.
Walk-in Initial Consultation/Crisis Consultation: Same day appointment for students who are in distress or experiencing a mental health emergency.
These appointments are variable depending on student need. Scheduled during your daytime on-call shift.
Case Management: appointments that support students with getting connected to off-campus support. Usually 30 minutes but can be longer depending on assessment and treatment planning required to support the student.
Personal Counseling: process 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. Personal Counseling appointments typically last 45 minutes.
Interns are expected to have 12-15 per week
Group Therapy/Workshops: CAPS has process groups, skill building groups, and workshops. Groups run for one semester, and students have unlimited access to groups during their enrollment at this university. Interns may also have the opportunity to lead or co-lead structured skills-based workshops.
- Supervision of group work occurs for a half an hour usually immediately after group and is normally provided by a senior staff co-leader.
One group and workshop per semester
On-Call Coverage: Interns also provide after-hours coverage approximately two weeks out of the year. Interns always receive back-up support from their supervisor or another senior staff member. All interns provide daytime on-call coverage every week, as assigned.
Community Education/Outreach and Consultation Activities: Interns participate in at least six outreach/community education events for the year. Outreach/community education opportunities could 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 a “Specialization Area Project” during internship for CAPS staff. 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 psychology programs. Supervision will occur weekly for one hour. Interns will 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 entire professional staff and 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 psychologist.
Group Supervision: A meeting between the interns and the Associate Director, Training Services or another professional staff member, will occur weekly. Group supervision will focus on the clinical service activities of the interns, as well as their professional growth and adjustment.
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 empirically supported treatments, ethical and legal principles, program evaluation and consultation, supervision, multicultural counseling, 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 is scheduled in a way that takes into account the intern’s developmental level.
- Multicultural Case conference, which occurs once a month, provides an opportunity for interns and professional 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 Seminar amongst themselves with a CAPS staff member present. This seminar is separate from the Multicultural case conference.
Case Conference: Occurs for 1-1.5 hours a week. This an opportunity for interns and senior staff to discuss complex cases, case-load, ethical dilemmas, disposition and case management.
Supervision of Supervision and Provision of Supervision: Interns will meet one hour/week with the Associate Director, Training Services to process the experience of supervision, review trainee performance, review relevant literature related to supervisions and clinical cases. These sessions will also include viewing digital recordings of supervision meetings. Interns will also provide supervision to an extern for one hour a week.
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., Routine appointments, Urgent Appointments, Crisis Interventions, case management outreach, risk assessment, and group). Intern orientation is led by the Associate Director, Training Services with the participation of all of the professional staff.
Specialization Area Project: Interns are invited to develop a specialization area project during the course of their internship year. Through this project, interns will identify a consultation question, research data in response to the question, and develop recommendations for the center. Interns will present these recommendations to the clinical staff at the center. The project will focus on enhancing the center structure/functioning, developing partnerships with other offices on campus, or supporting campus partners in their efforts to create an inclusive and affirming university. Interns will receive support from a staff member, pending availability to supervise. Attention to diversity and cultural factors should be infused throughout the project.
Intern Case Presentation: Interns give two case presentations during internship. Interns should discuss this requirement with their individual supervisors. Case presentations are attended by the Training Committee and other CAPS staff. Both case presentations should include a DSM 5 diagnosis, and a discussion of the diagnostic process.
Supervision Case Presentation: Similar to the case presentations, interns are expected to present two supervision presentations during the training year (one each semester). Case presentations are attended by the Training Committee and other CAPS staff.
Staff Development and Meetings: Throughout the year, didactic continuing education presentations are provided for staff and interns. These programs are coordinated by a Staff Psychologist and usually include faculty and staff from the university community and community clinic. Topics usually current topics and issues in the field of psychology and/or university college student development. Interns also participate in weekly staff meeting which includes all CAPS staff.
Crisis Text Line
Veterans Crisis Line
800-273-8255, Press 1
Mason Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Line
Counseling and Psychological Services