APA Accredited Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

The Setting

Rutgers University Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) is a division of Rutgers Health Services. There are two counseling offices on the New Brunswick/Piscataway Campuses where services are offered. The College Avenue office, which serves as the primary office is located at 17 Senior Street on the College Avenue Campus. A second, smaller office is located on the Douglass Campus at 61 Nichol Avenue. All doctoral interns (and practicum and post-docs) will be stationed at the College Avenue Office at 17 Senior Street. As part of the larger University Health Services, CAPS has a close collaborative relationship with the departments of medical services and is closely aligned with a 24-hour acute psychiatric facility (APS) and in-patient unit for students in need of hospitalization. Psychiatric services along with alcohol and drug services are now part of CAPS and housed at the main office on the College Avenue Campus. CAPS provides psychological services to approximately 32,000 undergraduate students and approximately 8,500 graduate students in the New Brunswick/Piscataway area. The client population is an extremely diverse one in terms of ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and socio-economic status. In fact, Rutgers is known to have one of the most diverse student bodies in the country including a significant number of International, Asian-American, Hispanic-American and African-American students. Similarly, the range of presenting problems is equally diverse, providing for the opportunity for in-depth learning experiences with the full range of diagnostic disorders. CAPS offers extensive training as a professional psychologist in a challenging, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment.

The Staff

There are approximately fourteen doctoral level psychologists on staff, three licensed clinical social workers, five psychiatrists and four drug and alcohol counselors. Please refer to the list of current staff members for a description of clinical training and interest areas. In addition to pre-doctoral interns, CAPS training program attracts practicum students at various levels of training from a wide range of master’s and doctoral programs in the tri-state area. Furthermore, we have post-doctoral fellowships available. As a result, the training experience at CAPS is rich in diversity of theoretical orientations and personal experiences, which makes for a broadening of the trainees’ existing theoretical structure.

The Mission

The Center’s primary mission is to be an essential resource for students who seek assistance in dealing with mental/emotional difficulties ranging from mildly troubling concerns to life threatening crises. Secondarily, the Center supports the educational mission of the University by providing advanced training for aspiring mental health practitioners, and by establishing partnerships with faculty, Deans, student organizations and off-campus resources. Finally, in partnership with the Graduate programs in the mental health related disciplines (Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Social Work, School of Education etc.) the Center supports research and training on best practices of prevention, intervention and follow- up support for students.

The Services

Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services provides individual, couples and group counseling, crisis intervention, case management, intake assessment and referral, and is involved in a variety of educational and consultative activities throughout the University. CAPS offices provide professional psychological services to students having concerns within the normal range of developmental issues including a broad spectrum of personal, social, and emotional concerns as well as more severe pathologies and personality disorders. The predominant theoretical orientation of the staff at CAPS is integrative; which includes a blending of psychodynamic, family systems, cognitive-behavioral and humanistic approaches to meet the needs of particular students and/or particular problems. We also draw quite heavily on Developmental Theory. The center is dedicated to offering the most appropriate level(s) and quality of service possible, to the greatest number of students. We do not have a “one size fits all” perspective, and we do not advertise a session limit to the University and broader communities. Instead, we do our best to assess the needs, resources (literal and psychological), and most appropriate treatment goals for each student seeking our services and to devise treatment and follow up plans based on our assessment. The center is open from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. We have recently started limited evening hours four evenings per week until 8:00pm.

The Doctoral Internship Training Program

Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) at Rutgers offers a full-time, funded, APA approved doctoral internship training program in professional psychology to qualified graduate students in clinical and counseling psychology. The purpose of the internship program is to train practitioners who are interested in developing the competence and confidence for work as a psychologist in a comprehensive university counseling service. The competencies developed in the training program at Rutgers CAPS are also applicable to other community settings, such as outpatient mental health programs, employee assistance programs and private practice. The training experience includes the supervised practice of a broad range of professional skills, including assessment, individual and group counseling, community consultation, crisis management, and program development. The internship also allows for the development and implementation of preventative programs and interventions for issues or populations of the intern’s own choosing. The multi-disciplinary staff is involved in all aspects of the training experience and views the interactions with trainees as an integral part of keeping CAPS a vibrant place of learning and growing.

Training Model and Philosophy

Rutgers CAPS operates from a practitioner/scholar model of training which emphasizes teaching the interns how to apply the knowledge acquired through their classrooms, seminars, research and readings into what they do in their clinical work. Didactic seminars and readings are provided to increase the interns’ knowledge base about both clinical work and the client population they will be working with at the center. The didactic seminars are structured to both mirror and facilitate the interns’ developmental process. Thus, the center’s model of training emphasizes the importance of teaching interns how to integrate theory and scientific knowledge into practice while attending to the intern’s developmental needs. The training model also places high importance on teaching interns about professionalism and being part of a collaborative clinical team in addition to learning basic clinical skills. The internship training program at Rutgers CAPS also works from a developmental perspective as it takes an individualized approach to assessing each interns entering skill level and throughout the course of the year, builds upon and expands that skill level. This is accomplished by incorporating the following into the training program:

  • Didactic seminars to enhance the interns knowledge of the current literature and theoretical perspectives so they can integrate these into clinical practice.

  • Guided self observation of direct clinical experience.

  • Opportunities to share clinical work, discuss experiences, and teach others in both formal and Informal formats.

  • Opportunities to learn through direct observation or listening to staff discussions of clinical work.

Training at CAPS is designed to proceed in a sequential fashion, allowing for interns to gradually assume increasing levels of autonomy. One example of this is provided in the way interns learn to do intake assessments. Interns first learn about conducting initial intake assessments within a university counseling setting in a didactic seminar format. The intern will then observe intakes conducted by senior staff clinicians. And finally, Interns will be observed by senior staff clinicians before they are given the task of conducting them on their own. Supervision experiences will likewise be more intensive as the interns initially take on the task of conducting their own intakes and decrease in intensity as interns become more experienced. Lastly, the staff at CAPS believes that intern training needs to extend beyond clinical work and incorporate other basic professional skills of team collaboration and developing administrative skills. Interns are incorporated into staff meetings and meeting with other offices within the Division of Student Affairs (e.g. Residence Life, Deans of Students, Student Services). This inclusion, allows for interns to truly experience the full range of counseling center operations and the importance of working with the campus community. The training program at CAPS also focuses on the development of a strong ethical sensibility in interns. Ethical issues and dilemmas are addressed in seminars as well as within staff meetings and case conferences.

Goals and Objectives of the Doctoral Internship Training Program

Goal 1.0.0: Integration of Theory and Research

The intern will have a thorough understanding of the theory and research of psychological thinking informs their clinical practice and allows them to provide clinical services of the highest quality.

Objective 1.1.0: The intern will develop knowledge and understanding of the theoretical basis that informs clinical perspective.
Objective 1.2.0: The intern will develop knowledge and understanding of the historical and current research that informs the clinical practice of psychology.
Objective 1.3.0: The intern will develop capacity to integrate knowledge of theories and research into their clinical practice

Goal 2.0.0: Assessment Interventions

The intern will function competently in a full array of clinical assessment roles/utilize various methods of clinical evaluation and assessment at CAPS effectively.

Objective 2.1.0: The intern will develop initial phone/triage consultation and assessment skills.
Objective 2.2.0: The intern will develop initial intake interviewing and assessment skills.
Objective 2.3.0: The intern will develop on call  and crisis intervention assessment skills.

Goal 3.0.0: Clinical Interventions

The intern will demonstrate the requisite knowledge and skills in clinical interventions for entry into the practice of professional psychology.

Objective 3.1.0: The intern will develop knowledge and skills in clinical interventions.
Objective 3.2.0: The intern will develop knowledge and skills in providing group treatment skills.
Objective 3.3.0: The intern will develop clinical skills and competencies to provide initial assessment and clinical services to students with substance abuse disorders.

Goal 4.0.0: Outreach and Consultation:

 The intern will provide consistent and competent clinical consultation, as well as engaging and informative outreach presentations, to a wide range of audiences in a college environment.

Objective 4.1.0: The intern will understand the theoretical and practical framework for outreach and consultation in a college environment.
Objective 4.2.0: The intern will provide consultation and/or outreach services to multiple audiences in a college environment

Goal 5.0.0: Professionalism

The intern will develop an integrated professional identity that supports their goals of independent functioning as licensed psychologists.

Objective 5.1.0: The intern will develop a professional identity as an emerging psychologist.
Objective 5.2.0: The intern will incorporate accepted standards of professional psychological practice into their clinical documentation and file management responsibilities.
Objective 5.3.0: The intern will embrace an ongoing commitment to continued learning in both didactic and supervisory venues.
Objective 5.4.0: The intern will be knowledgeable of, and insightful to the implications of, the ethical and legal standards that apply to the field and practice of psychology.

Goal 6.0.0: Supervisory Skills

The intern will provide competent, culturally sensitive and collaborative clinical supervision to trainees in the field of psychology.

Objective 6.1.0: The intern will develop knowledge and skills in providing clinical supervision.

Goal 7.0.0: Cultural Diversity

The intern will develop a professional identity that incorporates an awareness of self and an understanding of and respect for diversity.

Objective 7.1.0: The intern will demonstrate the knowledge, sensitivity and clinical skills needed to work with diverse populations.

Goal 8.0.0: Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration

The intern will demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary clinical setting.

Objective 8.1.0: The intern will demonstrate a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach in the delivery of clinical services. 

Components of the Internship

The internship training program at Rutgers CAPS is highly experiential. Approximately half of the intern’s hours are spent in direct service: individual therapy, group therapy, triage, intake, crisis intervention. Interns also participate in staff meetings and case conferences to permit them opportunities to work collaboratively with a multidisciplinary staff, to seek feedback on their work and to become actively involved in the process of policy decision making. Interns witness staff’s work as they observe intakes, co-lead or observe group therapy, and attend case conferences. Mentorship is an important part of the intern’s experience. The wide variety of supervisory experiences allows interns to have individual contact with a number of staff members, providing a variety of mentors and role models.
Specific components of the program are as follows:

1. Intake Assessment.

Interns provide 1-3 regularly scheduled intake evaluations (new appointments) each week as they build up their caseloads. Intakes form the basis for establishing rapport, clarification/assessment of client needs and goals, behavioral observation, diagnostic assessment, and treatment planning. The number of intakes will vary from week-to-week in order to assist interns in building an initial caseload and to maintain a reasonable number of cases for training purposes.

2. Individual and Couples Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is primarily individual although the intern may have the opportunity to gain some exposure to couples therapy depending on availability of such cases. The Center’s orientation is toward brief therapy and training will be provided on a variety of approaches. Rutgers CAPS does not employ a session limit, as it prefers to make an individualized assessment of the client’s needs. Interns are typically expected to carry an average of 8-12 clients per week, although the number may be higher in times of peak demand and lower during breaks and summer sessions. While interns are exposed to the range of clinical work typical of a university counseling service staff member, a strict ‘training emphasis’ is maintained at all times during the internship training experience.

3. Group Work

Rutgers CAPS offers a variety of therapy groups, general interpersonal groups, specific population-oriented support groups, and skills building groups. Developing and sustaining groups cannot be guaranteed; however, efforts are made to provide interested interns the opportunity to co-lead at least one group during their first year with a professional staff member. Interns are also encouraged to develop groups in their own areas of interest with the guidance of the professional staff.

4. Assessment

In addition to conducting intakes, interns will get extensive training and supervision in clinical triage where they will hone their skills at rapid assessment, diagnosis, case conceptualization and treatment planning. Interns will also learn how to provide ongoing assessments of intake and therapy clients’ symptoms and progress using the OQ45 symptom checklist. Interns will also be given training to conduct mandated assessments of clients with substance abuse issues.

5. Outreach and Consultation

Interns are involved with the Center’s outreach and consultation services to students and to faculty and staff around student issues. Outreach includes activities such as training of residence hall assistants, participation in student and parent orientation programs, and topic-focused presentations and workshops within the university community. Interns will conduct at least 4 outreach programs per year. Consultation involves work with student groups, liaisons with campus offices, and case-based assistance to students, staff, faculty, and parents.

6. On-Call Crisis Intervention and Consultation

Interns are involved in on-call services for a half-day per week starting the first semester of the internship year, following dydactic and experiential training in this area. Daytime on-call services include seeing walk-in clients requiring immediate clinical attention and responding to phone calls from concerned others about urgent clinical matters. Interns begin the year working in conjunction with the on-call therapists, providing triage, conducting evaluations, crisis intervention, and consultations. Interns are generally expected to demonstrate sufficient competence and then assume a more independent role in providing daytime on-call services at their supervisors discretion. Rutgers CAPS staff provide for after-hours coverage on a rotating basis. Interns may be required to participate in the rotation of this coverage at the discretion of the Training Director. Back-up supervision will be provided by senior staff clinicians. Supervision of the interns crisis intervention work will be provided in conjunction with their intake and assessment supervision. Clinical seminar topics on crisis management and intervention are also included within the year long Clinical Topics Seminar.

7. Case Management

Interns are expected to conduct case management activities relevant to the clients with whom they are working. This activity includes writing comprehensive intakes, progress notes, termination summaries, and necessary correspondence. Interns also make necessary referrals to and contacts with faculty, administrators, treatment professionals, and parents as appropriate, and work with their supervisors to conduct case management in an ethical and legal manner. They are responsible along with their supervisors for making sure that relevant documents are counter-signed.

8. Group Supervision

The focus of group supervision will be applying psychological theories to cases and considering the treatment implications of specific diagnoses. It is a forum for interns to discuss both the progress and process of psychotherapy. Interns are expected to actively participate in group supervision by giving and receiving feedback from supervisor(s) and other trainees in a constructive, supportive way. Discussion of these cases is facilitated by the group supervisor who may also model offering consultative feedback to the presenting intern. Both formal and informal case presentations are made by interns throughout the training year.

9. Case Conference/Peer Supervision

Interns participate in peer supervision with each other and with the multi-disciplinary staff at Rutgers CAPS during the weekly case consultation. Small peer consultation groups are formed at the beginning of each semester and rotated to provide for exposure to as many staff members as possible.

10. Individual Supervision

Each intern will have 2 individual supervisors with whom they will meet once a week for individual supervision.

11. Supervision Training

Starting in the first semester of internship, each intern will provide individual supervision to a trainee in the externship (practicum) program. Supervision for this experience will be provided in dyad format and focus on one or two cases. Dydactic and experiential training on the content and process of supervision will be provided in conjuction with this experience. In addition, a year long supervision of supervision seminar will be offered during this experience.

12. Practice Requiring Knowledge of and Sensitivity to Diversity Issues

Given the diverse composition of the student population at Rutgers, interns will need to utilize a multicultural perspective. Knowledge of and sensitivity to diversity issues are essential in all areas of clinical practice and are included in the didactic training seminar. There, the range of cultural theories and specific group issues will be addressed by seminar leaders and invited guests. Diversity issues are also attended to in individual supervision and group supervision.

Professional Identity Competency Areas

  1. Professional Behavior. Interns are expected to demonstrate behavior consistent with Rutgers Staff Handbook and the CAPS Policy & Procedure Manual. These standards include taking responsibility for their schedules, observing expectations of the work place, working cooperatively and courteously with others, representing the agency well, and demonstrating sensitivity to diversity issues in their interactions within and outside the agency. Professional staff models these behaviors for interns and provide necessary instructive information and feedback regarding expected standards.
  2. Ethical and Legal Issues. Interns are expected to be aware of and behave in a manner consistent with ethical standards established by the American Psychological Association and the State of New Jersey. They conform their professional behavior to state legal statues regarding the practice of psychology. They receive training in relevant ethical, legal, and professional standards through training seminars, supervision, and case management meetings.
  3. Scholarly Activity. Interns are expected to demonstrate a commitment to scholarly activity. They remain current with the scientific basis for practice in professional psychology through reading, training seminars, supervision, and professional development programs. They demonstrate scholarly activity and competence by working to complete research requirements for their degrees, presenting in training seminars, and practicing in a manner that is informed by theory and research.
  4. Evaluation and Feedback. Rutgers CAPS recognizes the importance for interns to receive timely feedback regarding their progress and performance in their work. Informal feedback is an integral part of the supervision hour and will be offered routinely. Additionally, formal assessment of the interns’ progress will be made at the end of the fall, spring and summer semesters. Interns are evaluated on all of the objectives listed above. Interns will also be afforded the opportunity to evaluate both supervision and the training program. Correspondence with the intern’s home doctoral program will also be maintained on a twice per year basis.

Doctoral Internship Benefits

The doctoral internship proceeds over a 12-month period on a full-time basis (40 hours per week) beginning Mid-August through Mid-August of the following year. Current pre-doctoral intern fellows are paid $24,000 plus medical benefits through the student health insurance program. Interns will also be granted university library and recreational facilities access for the year. Interns will be given two weeks vacation during the year, plus having University holidays for staff (such as the week between Christmas and New Years). Interns will not have formal sick days, but can take days as needed within the guidelines of the University’s standard of one day per month.

Internship Hours

Interns will be involved with training activities approximately 40 hours per week. Interns are required to complete 2000 hours of training during the internship training year.

Self-Disclosure Policy

Training staff at Rutgers CAPS value the power and complexity of the therapeutic relationship. Because of this value, in our intervention, supervision, and training activities there is a focus on the “person-of-the-therapist” and how this may impact the quality and effectiveness of work with clients and consultees. Trainees may be asked to reflect upon and share the ways that their own personal qualities, experiences and reactions influence and are impacted by their clinical work in supervision and other training settings. Such exploration and disclosure is not intended to serve as psychotherapy for the trainee, and is focused on enhancing self-awareness and professional development as related to the trainee’s clinical practice during the internship. Supervisors and other training staff are expected to explore relevant information in a respectful, non-coercive manner, within the context of a safe and supportive professional relationship. Also in accordance with APA ethics code, section 7.5, it is important for trainees to be aware that the due process procedures for our training programs indicate that the staff may require trainees to obtain psychotherapy in those cases in which a trainee is deemed problematic.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants for the RHS-CAPS doctoral internship training program must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Be enrolled in a regionally accredited doctoral program in Counseling or Clinical Psychology that requires internship training.
2. Pass their comprehensive examinations by the start of internship.
3. Successfully defend their dissertation proposals by the start of internship.
4. Be completed with all doctoral coursework no later than the beginning of the internship.
5. Be certified as ready for internship by their doctoral programs.
6. Have completed a minimum of 500 hours of clinical practica.
7. All agency staff members and trainees are expected to respect the right of colleagues and clients to affirm a gay, lesbian, bisexual orientation and/or transgender identity.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, preferences will be given to applicants who:

  • Are from APA accredited doctoral programs.
  • Demonstrate interest and experience in university counseling center work through practicum, volunteer work, employment or other such activities.
  • Demonstrate a strong and genuine commitment to the study and application of multicultural counseling principles as evidenced by a variety of activities such as coursework, practica, community or professional experiences, research, presentations or publications, other life experiences etc.
  • Demonstrate a strong and genuine commitment to working in a multi-disciplinary setting with a variety of mental health professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, drug and alcohol counselors, clinical case managers) as evidenced through prior experience or being able to articulate the value of working from a multi-disciplinary perspective during the interview.
  • Are interested and invested in participating in a training program that encompasses a “Use of Self” training philosophy, and possesses the necessary characteristics to be successful in such a program (e.g., self-awareness, openness, willingness to self-disclose).
  • Are interested in and have some experience in providing services that utilize a time-limited model of individual psychotherapy (although limited opportunities to conduct longer-term therapy are available).

Application Procedure

The application process for the RHS-CAPS doctoral internship training program will occur on-line through the APPIC website: AAPI online application form.

Application deadline is Monday, November 23, 2015.

Program Code: 1799

The electronic application should include:
1. The completed AAPI online application form.
2. A brief cover letter.
3. A current vitae/resume.
4. Transcripts of all graduate work.
5. Three letters of recommendation by professionals who are familiar with your counseling/clinical experiences and skills. At least one letter should be from a supervisor of a recent clinical experience.

Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by December 15.

RHS-CAPS internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC Policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant prior to Uniform Notification Day. Notification of selection will strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (see APPIC General Policy Regarding Internship Offers and Acceptances which can be downloaded from the APPIC website).

Accreditation Information

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 1st St., NE, Washington, D.C., 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979.
Email: apaaccred@apa.org


For additional information, please contact:
Steven Sohnle, Psy.D., ABPP
Associate Director for Clinical Training
Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
17 Senior Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(848) 932-7884 – phone
(732) 932-8278 – fax

It is the policy of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to make the benefits and services of its educational programs available to students, and to provide equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment, regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, veteran status, and any other category protected by law. The Rutgers University Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment can be viewed at http://policies.rutgers.edu/PDF/Section60/60.1.12-current.pdf. Questions concerning student rights violations should be addressed to Donald C. Heilman, Associate Dean of Students: Compliance and Assessment, Office of Student Affairs (732-932-7109 or dheilman@echo.rutgers.edu). Questions concerning harassment or employment discrimination should be directed to Jayne Munkacsi Grandes, Director, Office of Employment Equity (732-932-3020, ext. 4030, or grandes@rutgers.edu). For the complete text, see the office website at http://uhr.rutgers.edu/equity.