The Washington State University (WSU) Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) doctoral internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) Commission on Accreditation (CoA). Questions related to the program's accreditation status should be directed to the CoA: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation; email@example.com; 202-336-5979.
WSU is a land grant university with ~20,000 students attending its Pullman campus, where the program is located. Approximately 40% of students identify as first-generation college students, 30% identify as multicultural, and 7% identify as international. WSU is among the top 39 universities nationally for policies supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students (Campus Pride Index, 2021). The CAPS doctoral psychology internship program is housed within Student Affairs and is an integral part of Cougar Health Services (CHS): CAPS, medical clinic, pharmacy, and vision clinic.
The WSU CAPS internship training takes a developmental approach and focuses on the transition from practicum-level performance to advanced level knowledge, awareness, skills and interventions. The program's aim is to provide the professional training and experience necessary for independent entry-level practice as a health service psychologist in a wide variety of settings, including university counseling centers. CAPS trains interns such that their work is informed by practice, theory, and research and takes into account individual, multicultural, and societal considerations.
Each training year begins with extensive orientation. Over the year, CAPS provides didactic and experiential training to facilitate growth across the profession-wide competencies established by APA (research, ethical and legal standards, diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, and consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills). CAPS offers weekly training seminars and multiple supervision experiences through which interns can address specific training needs and interests. Supervision includes individual supervision, group supervision, supervision of supervision, assessment supervision, diversity liaison supervision, and minor rotation supervision.
Direct services interns provide are individual therapy, groups and workshops, initial consultations, biofeedback, LD/ADHD assessment, substance assessment and motivational interviewing interventions, crisis management, outreach, and provision of supervision. Interns do not have after-hours on-call responsibilities.
Throughout COVID 19, CAPS has adapted its in-person vs. telehealth service delivery based on CDC and university guidelines. All staff currently work primarily from their campus offices and CAPS is offering a hybrid of in-person and telehealth services. The internship provides as much supervision and training in-person as is feasible and effective.
Each intern's training is tailored through participation in diversity liaisons and minor rotations. As liaisons, interns are paired with senior clinicians to collaborate with a university office/organization serving diverse student groups. Examples of such organizations include Multicultural Student Services, the LGBTQ+ Center, International Programs, Student Support Services, and the ROAR program (serving students with moderate intellectual disabilities).
Semester-long minor rotations are clinical or teaching-based. Training and experiences in minor rotations exceed that which all interns receive. Options include but are not limited to: AOD assessment and treatment, behavioral health at WSU's CHS medical clinic, biofeedback, doctoral practicum class co-instruction, groups, LD/ADHD assessment, outreach, or another rotation agreed upon with the Training Director.
Interns are involved in CAPS diversity training, contributing to two clinician diversity trainings each semester. They may also participate on the CAPS diversity committee, which meets 2-4 times/month and guides the planning and implementation of CAPS diversity efforts.
Interns engage in research through seminar and outreach preparation as well as their dissertation progress or a small research project for CAPS. They gain administrative experience through participation in the intern selection process, attendance at CAPS and CHS meetings, organization of diversity trainings, and optional committee work.
CAPS' clinicians highly value training and enjoy opportunities to supervise and mentor interns. The program supports increased independence over the year by systematically introducing more complex responsibilities while adjusting supervisory oversight to enhance interns' professional autonomy. By the end of the training year, it is expected that interns will be ready for entry-level doctorate employment or postdoctoral training in a variety of health service psychology settings.