The internship is an organized health service training program that provides supervised experiences in all CAPS services and functions. The program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. It was re-accredited in 2009 for 7 years under the leadership of Dr. Denise Lucero-Miller. In 2016, it was once again re-accredited under the leadership of Dr. Carmen Cruz. The program is now accredited until 2023. Verification of the program's accreditation status can be obtained through the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation at 750 First Street, NE Washington, D.C. 20002; (202) 336-5979. CAPS places a strong emphasis on training activities and values. Internship experiences are well integrated into the agency as a whole.
CAPS offers unique training opportunities in the following areas:
- The clients of CAPS are drawn from a population of students at TWU that in general are older than traditional age and highly committed to both their academic and personal growth. At the same time, most of these students have experienced significant life trauma and stressors and are at varying points in the process of recovery and healing. Interns, therefore, have numerous opportunities to work with clients who are able to function well while they work on fairly serious therapy issues within a brief therapy model.
- Interns are encouraged and expected to participate actively in organizational planning and in fulfilling service needs. The size and interdependent nature of the agency (including a senior staff to intern ratio of eight to three) provide for first-hand experience in counseling center operation, an opportunity which is not typically available in larger training sites.
- As the only counseling center internship in the nation offered at a women's university, a special opportunity is provided to focus on women's issues throughout their adult life span as well as gender issues across the spectrum. Issues which are especially common among TWU's students are: identity development (especially sexual identity, professional identity, family role exploration), women in transition (divorce/separation, career re-entry, multiple role conflict), and victimization (sexual abuse, sexual assault, relationship violence).The internship also provides interns various opportunities to work with a diverse caseload across intersectional cultural identities. University enrollment is approximately 90% female and 10% male with many students also identifying as gender fluid/TGNC. TWU also has over 50% racial/ethnic diversity, being 11th in the U.S. and 2nd in Texas for racial/ethnic diversity.
- Feedback from previous interns has indicated that the internship experience at TWU has enriched their appreciation for ethical issues. Regular informal discussions of such issues allows interns to integrate ethics into their day-to-day functioning. Similarly, the staff has a commitment to diversity both formally through the training program and informally through everyday discussion of cultural events, customs, food, celebrations/holidays, and literature or films of interest to current staff and interns.
- Supervision is a plus for this site. Interns have a case supervisor for clinical work, internship supervisor for professional and personal development, supervision for group therapy, supervision of their supervision of practicum students and supervision for psychological assessment. Included in supervision of practicum students is a seminar during which interns receive selected books and articles to provide a common research/theoretical foundation for their applied supervision work. There are similar formats for group supervision, case review and assessment seminar.
Philosophy and Goals
The CAPS Doctoral Psychology Internship Program is based on the conviction that personal and professional development are mutually inclusive processes. There is recognition that internship is a critical period of transition and integration. We therefore adhere to a developmental training philosophy that focuses on facilitating learning and skill building by building upon the intern’s existing clinical and didactic knowledge base to facilitate the transition from graduate student to professional psychologist. Intern competencies are assessed during Orientation and in initial supervision meetings across all domains of the internship. Information and formal evaluations are used throughout the year to accommodate the intern’s changing developmental needs. There also exists a strong commitment to providing supportive yet appropriately challenging supervision experiences focused on attention to the use of self as it relates to both personal and professional growth. The training staff is further committed to providing an opportunity for interns to learn and work in an applied setting as a practitioner with a scientific foundation. This translates into a model designed to facilitate intern development through extensive supervision and mentoring, didactics based on the science and practice of psychology, and multiple experiential activities.
The aim of the TWU CAPS Doctoral Internship program is to prepare ethical and culturally responsive, entry-level Health Service Psychologists by providing experiential and didactic training focused on clinical skill development, multicultural competence, and the value of lifelong personal & professional integration and development.
Consistent with APA’s Commission on Accreditation as well as adding to the definition, TWU CAPS defines individual and cultural diversity as including, but not limited to ability status, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, language, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, size and socioeconomic status.
We will facilitate doctoral interns’ achievement of competency in each of the following areas: Research, Ethical and Legal Standards, Individual and Cultural Diversity, Professional Values and Attitudes, Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Assessment, Intervention, Supervision, and Consultation and Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Skills.
In addition to these general goals for all interns, specific individual goals are discussed with interns and approved by the Training Director during August orientation.
Philosophy of Supervision and Self-Disclosure
The training program adheres to the belief that supervision is a valuable and indispensable tool for all trainees and staff. Regardless of the specific work activity, we believe that self-awareness is a critical component of ongoing professional growth. Due to our belief that the therapeutic alliance is a central component of any helping relationship, it is our expectation that interns will recognize, improve, and employ those personal qualities that will enhance their work with clients, peers, other center staff, and the university community. Opportunities for personal exploration and self-reflection that impact professional development inevitably occur throughout the training year. Training staff provide ongoing feedback to promote the integration of personal and professional development.
The internship program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association's 2002 Revised Ethical Standard 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information). When appropriate, interns are encouraged, but not required, to explore historical influences and personal qualities and how these may either help or hinder psychological interventions and professional interactions. Supervisors are committed to creating a safe, trusting, and respectful environment in order to facilitate this exploration. Supervision is never viewed as psychotherapy, but rather promotion of the intern's overall professional development. Training staff, however, have the option to recommend, but not require, outside therapy to individuals who they feel could benefit from in-depth exploration of personal issues which appear to negatively impact their professional development.
An approximation of an intern's weekly training activities is shown below. Training activities vary among interns according to their specific needs. **Based on clinical demand and intern rotation selection, these hours may vary.
|I. DIRECT SERVICE ACTIVITIES||HOURS/WEEK|
|Individual or Couple Therapy||12–15|
|Outreach Presentations/Program Consultation||1|
|Practicum Student Supervision (August–May)||1.5|
|Professional Development Activity/Rotation||(1–3)|
|TOTAL SERVICE ACTIVITIES||22–23 (approx.)|
|II. TRAINING ACTIVITIES||HOURS/WEEK|
|Professional Issues Seminar||1.5|
|Professional Development Activity/Rotation||1|
|Supervision of Group Therapy (Individual & Group)||2|
|Supervision of Supervision (August–May)||2|
|Case Review Meeting||1.5|
|Outreach Supervision/Outreach Planning||1|
|TOTAL TRAINING ACTIVITIES||11 (approx.)|
|III. OTHER ACTIVITIES||HOURS/WEEK|
|Intern Support Meeting||1|
|Preparation for Supervision of Practicum (Video Review)||1|
|TOTAL OTHER ACTIVITIES||8–10 (approx.)|
During the summer semesters, from mid-May to the end of July, interns may receive, if approved, up to 4 hours of scheduled dissertation/scholarly activity time.