Externship Training Program
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at George Mason University (Mason) is pleased to offer a 9-month (during the academic year), 16 to 20 hour/week Externship Training Program! The externship program is ideal for advanced doctoral students in APA-accredited programs in Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology who have interest in working with a diverse population in a university counseling center. It is preferred, but not required, that externs have at least one year of experience providing psychotherapy before the start of the training year. The training year is from August 2023 through May 2024. Orientation will likely begin mid-August 2023 (specific start date to be determined).
Externs can expect to accrue a minimum of 500 total hours (i.e. direct and indirect service). The number of direct service hours externs will obtain varies depending on caseload size and the number of hours per week that an extern is on site. Applicants are encouraged to speak to the Externship Coordinator (Dr. Tabb) if they have questions about whether our site would be able to provide the direct service hours they need.
We welcome externs who are practicing from a range of theoretical orientations! The staff at the counseling center also work from a range of theoretical orientations, including psychodynamic, interpersonal, multicultural/feminist, humanistic, CBT, and ACT. There are a range of supervisory styles, though all are grounded in relational, developmental, and multicultural perspectives.
CAPS provides a wide range of psychological services to the diverse Mason community. We encourage potential applicants to review our website to learn more about the center’s values and services offered to the community. Externs have historically received an honorarium to help cover the travel to campus and/or the cost of parking on campus. The university is also metro-accessible and there is a free shuttle from the metro to campus. The externship experience includes a training component, direct service, and administrative responsibilities in addition to opportunities for participation in other center activities. Please see below regarding the many opportunities offered by the externship program:
- Individual: Each extern will maintain a caseload of at least six to eight clients, and decisions about session frequency (weekly or biweekly) will be based on client presenting concern as well as extern needs. Each extern will participate in intake assessments, case management support, and individual therapy. Offering brief screenings may also be available based on center needs. Consultation procedures and ongoing supervision are established for support throughout the training experience.
- Group: CAPS staff prioritizes providing trainees with the opportunity to co-facilitate group therapy based on interest and group availability.
- Crisis: Each extern may have the opportunity to be involved with the daytime on-call crisis system based on interest and center needs.
- Outreach: Externs will have the opportunity to co-facilitate outreach programming on campus, such as through workshops, presentations, and tabling events based on areas of interest
- Didactic Seminars: Externs will participate in didactic seminars on a range of topics related to clinical practice at a university counseling center. Examples of some topics presented in the past include incorporating multicultural perspectives in clinical work, risk assessment and management, working with specific student populations, and using various theoretical orientations within a short-term model.
- Professional development: Externs provide case presentations to the supervisory team, which allows them to present their clinical work and receive feedback.
- Supervision: Externs will receive two hours of individual supervision, one hour of group supervision, and a half hour of supervision of group therapy if they are co-facilitating a group. Some supervision may be provided by doctoral psychology interns, who will themselves be supervised by a licensed psychologist.
- Note: Availability on Friday mornings is required as that time is reserved for didactics and group supervision.
- Externs will maintain at least two hours of administrative time for the purpose of ethical and timely documentation and addressing any clinical or non-clinical responsibilities.
Evaluation and Feedback:
- Informal feedback will be provided to externs throughout the semester. Formal feedback, including any evaluation forms required by the extern’s program, will be provided at the conclusion of each semester. Externs are evaluated on the range of services provided at this center using the competencies outlined in the Standards of Accreditation for Health Service Psychologists.
Statement on Service to a Diverse Public and Trainee Self-Disclosure:
- As members of the CAPS staff, we consistently strive to integrate our multicultural commitment into the everyday functioning and structure of our agency and training program. Thus, we have adopted APA’s documents “Preparing Professional Psychologists to Serve a Diverse Public: A Core Requirement in Doctoral Education and Training” and “Professional Psychologist Competencies to Serve a Diverse Public“, which were developed by the Education Directorate of the American Psychological Association. Further, we adhere to Standard 7.04 of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002) by identifying our expectations of trainees with respect to self-disclosure of personal information during training.
For the 2023-2024 training year, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the counseling center anticipates continuing to provide a hybrid model of clinical services. Externs will work from a private office at the counseling center on campus to provide both in-person services as well as services via a telemental health platform. The center and training program will continue to follow guidelines from public health agencies, the APA Commission on Accreditation, and the Virginia Board of Psychology. Please feel free to reach out to Dr.Tabb if you have any questions!
Our application deadline will be Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at 5pm EST. We will abide by the Washington, DC area Consortium of Doctoral Programs in Clinical Psychology Externship Guidelines for our recruitment process.
The following application materials should be submitted to Dr. Kevin Tabb, Externship Coordinator via e-mail to email@example.com to apply to the program:
- Cover letter expressing specific interest in this program.
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) covering relevant clinical work and training experiences.
- Unofficial transcript.
- Two letters of recommendation sent directly to the Externship Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). One must be from someone who is familiar with the applicant’s clinical work.
For more information, please contact:
Kevin Tabb, Ph.D.
Counseling and Psychological Services
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 2A2
SUB I, Rm 3129
Fairfax, VA 22030