Internship Activities


The interns participate in an initial, structured orientation period at the outset of their training year which includes specific didactic and practical training modules.  Training modules will cover information about the agency and institution (structure, operations, policies, and procedures as related to the provision of psychological services), special populations and campus constituencies that interns will be working with at CAPS, and ethical and professional issues.  The orientation period will also provide an opportunity for the interns to get to know one another, to be introduced to the staff, and to begin learning about the expectations of them as interns and the agency culture as a whole.  Each intern will receive a written Training Manual which they will be asked to review, and interns will be given the opportunity to ask questions and clarify points.


Clinical Services

Initial Consult/Clinical Assessment

Interns will receive training on conducting initial consult (IC) appointments at CAPS and will begin conducting IC evaluations early in the training year.  Before completing IC independently, interns will have the opportunity to observe two IC sessions conducted by a senior staff member either in vivo or through recorded video.  Interns will offer two IC slots per week.

Individual Therapy

CAPS is a problem-focused, brief therapy agency, with individual therapy being the most common treatment modality. Clients working with CAPS providers can receive up to 10 sessions of individual or couples counseling per academic year. CAPS is a high-volume agency, and interns can expect to carry a steady caseload of clients, providing approximately 14-15 therapy appointments per week. 

Although CAPS is a brief therapy agency, we recognize the training benefit of working with clients in a long-term format.  As a result, interns will have the opportunity to carry one long-term client on their caseload at any time.  Interns must consult with their primary supervisor regarding the identification and selection of an appropriate long-term client.  Long-term clients may be seen by the intern for the duration of the training year or less, as clinically indicated.

Group Therapy

Interns are invited to participate in the CAPS group therapy program, though this is not a requirement of the internship.  The type and degree of participation will be based on interns' interests and personal learning goals and may vary depending on the availability of active groups each semester.  Involvement will also likely depend on a variety of factors, including the intern’s previous level of experience, schedule matches, and the group leaders’ estimation of the impact of intern involvement on the group itself.  Interns who participate in offering group therapy services will receive specific supervision in this area.   CAPS offers several general and topic/population-specific groups throughout the year.  Groups can be a useful referral resource for clients who would like to continue progressing toward their goals at CAPS, but who have reached the limit of their individual sessions.  It is also a way for clinicians to be able to work with clients on a longer-term basis.

There are many ways that interns can become involved in groups.  Interns are eligible to participate in a group as a process observer or to participate as a co-leader with a senior staff member in a psychoeducational/structured group, support group, or process-oriented therapy group.  Which specific group(s) an intern might be involved in will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis between the intern, the Training Coordinator, and the group leader. 

Crisis Intervention

Interns will gain experience in responding to a wide variety of crisis-oriented situations.  The primary modality for this will be in serving as the walk-in or “triage” counselor for a designated shift each week.  Interns will respond to students who are presenting for assistance with crisis situations. University faculty and staff and greater community members who request help with students of concern may also access triage services.

Interns will receive extensive didactic training on suicide and aggression risk assessment and treatment planning, crisis response, providing appropriate community referrals, and working with moderate- and high-risk clients.  In the fall semester, interns will provide triage response under the close supervision of their supervisor and the training staff.  As they gain skills and comfort in responding to crises and in supervisory consultation, interns will move toward more independence in conducting triage assessments and providing crisis intervention.  Interns who are working with moderate- to high-risk clients on their ongoing caseload can expect to receive close supervision on these cases from their primary individual supervisor.

Outreach Services

Interns actively participate in the center’s outreach service (OS) efforts. These include outreach presentations, wellness workshops, liaison service, and tabling events. The academic year-long liaison experience is a unique component of our training program.  The liaison experience is an opportunity for interns to participate in and provide service to the larger campus community, while paired with a CAPS staff member.  The focus and content of the liaison service will be determined based on the intern and staff member pairing and will vary depending on the liaison relationship.

All interns are encouraged to take advantage of as many outreach opportunities as their interests and availability allow.

Supervision of Supervision

Interns will participate in a number of training activities to gain competence in the provision of supervision, including didactic training and experiential training and practice. Interns will engage in supervised peer supervision during fall and spring semesters for one hour per week. Interns will receive group supervision of their supervision during Supervision of Supervision (SoS) for one-and-a-half hours per week. Models of supervision are discussed in group supervision of supervision.


Interns receive at least 2 hours of primary individual supervision and 2-3 hours of group supervision each week. During the Fall and Spring semesters, interns will also receive an additional 1 hour per week of individual specialty supervision. In addition to the 6 hours of weekly supervision described, interns participate in a 1-hour Case Consult meeting once per month in the Fall and Spring. Therefore, regarding required supervision, interns receive a total of 4-6 hours of supervision each week, 2-3 of which are individual supervision, and 2-3 of which are group-based supervision. Interns will receive additional hours of supervision if they participate in providing group therapy, which is encouraged, but optional

Each intern will typically  be assigned a primary supervisor for the entire training year. The assignment of specialty supervisors may change mid-year, in concert with the academic calendar of our university. When matching intern with a specialty supervisor for the second half of the training year, we take into account several factors, including the intern's training goals and supervisor preferences.  

Individual Supervision—Primary

Each intern will receive 2 hours per week of primary individual supervision of their clinical and professional work by a CA-licensed psychologist.  The supervisor will work closely with the intern to design an individualized, graded learning experience within the context of the requirements and expectations of the training program.  The intern and their supervisor will explore the intern’s areas of strength and expertise as well as collaboratively determine areas of professional growth and identify learning objectives for the training year.  Individual supervision will include not only discussion of the intern’s direct and indirect clinical service activities, but will also address issues of professional development, professional identity, and professional enculturation to the field.  As the intern moves closer to independent practice, it is expected that the intern and their supervisor will negotiate a shift in the emphasis of supervision from a more supervisor-directed plan to a more consultative relationship with an intern-directed focus.

Individual Supervision—Specialty

During the Fall and Spring semesters, interns will be assigned to work with a specialty supervisor, with a focus on learning more about a particular client population, theoretical orientation, or presenting concern/diagnosis.  Each intern will receive 1 hour per week of individual specialty supervision of their clinical and professional work by a CA-licensed psychologist, marriage and family therapist, or clinical social worker.  Each semester, a variety of specialty supervision topics will be offered, and intern preferences will be taken into account when making supervision assignments. 

Group Supervision

Interns receive 2-3 hours of group supervision each week for the entire year. The 3 hours of group supervision include 1.5 hours of General Group Supervision and 1.5 hours of Group Supervision of Supervision. During the winter break and summer, interns will receive 2 hours of General Group Supervision.

General Group Supervision

This meeting will be facilitated by the Training Coordinator. During General Group Supervision, trainees will discuss clinical work and professional issues, as well as conduct case presentations with the goals of receiving support, feedback, and recommendations from their peers and the facilitator. Interns are also encouraged to use this group supervision to celebrate successes with clients, to display examples of good clinical work, to discuss professional concerns that impact their work with specific populations or presenting issues, to discuss professional development topics, and to address matters about the dynamic amongst the intern cohort. The focus of this meeting is entirely on the interns’ clinical work and professional development.

Group Supervision of Supervision

Interns will meet as a group with the Supervision of Supervision Supervisor(s) for 1.5 hours of weekly supervision of their provision of supervision work. These meetings will include discussing cases, reviewing supervision videos, providing feedback to help each other reflect and improve on their skills in this area, and exploring professional and developmental issues related to the provision of supervision.

Supervision of Group Therapy Work

Participation in the provision of group therapy is an optional experience for interns, but one that is strongly encouraged.  Interns are encouraged to participate as co-facilitators of a CAPS group with a senior staff member. CAPS offers several groups each semester. Please see the group sections of our website for the current offerings:

Interns will be supervised on their group work by the senior staff co-facilitator and will receive 30 minutes per week of supervision specific to their group work each week that the group is running.  Interns who express interest in providing group therapy services will be paired with a senior staff group facilitator based on several factors, including intern and senior staff preferences, availability, intern training goals, and previous academic and practical experience with group facilitation.  Interns may be involved in no more than two groups at a time.

Case Consult Meeting

Case Consult meeting occurs weekly during the Fall and Spring, and on an as-needed basis during the Summer.  Interns attend once per month, or more often as their interest and schedule permit.  This meeting serves as a peer group supervision for the entire clinical staff.  Interns are encouraged to discuss ongoing cases they are struggling with to receive feedback and suggestions from the other staff in attendance.  This meeting also allows interns to learn from the senior staff who also present cases and seek feedback.  Clinical issues that impact the center as a whole (e.g., emergency situations on campus that CAPS is expected to respond to) are occasionally discussed in this meeting.  In the spring semester, the focus of this meeting shifts toward more formalized case presentations.

Other Training and Professional Activities

Intern seminar is scheduled weekly for a total of two hours.  Seminar topics alternate between Professional Practice issues and Multicultural Competence issues. 

Professional Practice Seminar

This seminar focuses on increasing interns' competence in a variety of professional issues and topics, several of which are specific to working with the CSUF population and a college student population in general. Topics cover issues such as practice within different theoretical models, practice with a variety of presenting concerns and clinical populations, and ethical and professional development issues.

Multicultural Competence Seminar

This didactic, interactive, and experiential seminar focuses on developing interns' competence in multicultural counseling and professional practice with diverse populations.  Seminars will address increasing interns' knowledge, awareness, and skills about competent multicultural practice.  Diversity is broadly conceptualized, and the seminar will invite engagement around a number of dimensions of diversity. 

Capstone Case Presentation

Interns will each complete one formal case presentation to be delivered to the CAPS staff in the Spring semester.  The presentation provides an opportunity for interns to demonstrate their overall clinical work with a client at CAPS.  Interns are encouraged to utilize feedback from their presentation to improve it for possible future use in their job search process.

Professional Development

Interns are allotted time for participation in professional development activities.  These might include working on dissertation activities, reading professional literature, or attending field-related workshops, seminars, and professional conferences.


Staff Meeting

Interns will participate in a weekly administrative meeting with the full CAPS staff.

Individual Meeting with the Training Coordinator

This monthly meeting provides a mean for interns to address any administrative or procedural questions or concerns and to consult with the Training Coordinator about their development and the training program.

Case Management and Documentation

Interns are allotted time in their weekly schedules for clinical documentation and associated follow-up tasks such as clinically-oriented phone calls, resource management, etc.

Supervision Prep

Interns are expected to spend at least one hour per week in preparation for supervision.  This may include activities such as session video review, readings, and other tasks as assigned by supervisor.