Training Program Overview

Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) at Rutgers offers a MSW training program for graduate students who are pursuing a clinical track in their graduate social work program. The purpose of the internship program is to train practitioners who are interested in developing the competence and confidence for work as clinical social workers 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 internship program at Rutgers CAPS has been developed in accordance with the standards of both APPIC and is APA accredited. 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.

In addition to the counseling internship at CAPS, there is also an opportunity for those students who are interested in pursuing a concentration in addiction counseling. Working with the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program, the intern will be able to develop assessment and diagnostic skills along the substance use continuum, receive training in cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing techniques and work with both mandated and voluntary students who have substance use issues. There are also opportunities for group counseling experiences and outreach in a multidisciplinary environment.

Training Goals

General

The Social Work training program at Counseling, Alcohol and other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services provides experience with the range of psychological services offered in a large, diverse university counseling center. The training program includes doctoral students from the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology as well as MSW students from the School of Social Work.

Our training philosophy emphasizes the development and refinement of sound clinical skills, with an individualized approach to meeting the unique training needs of each student. In addition, practicum students may have the opportunity to participate in a community-oriented consultation and education program, and possibly other more specialized experiences.

Trainees will receive intensive individual and group supervision for both therapy and assessment work. There is an attempt to balance direct experience with clients, with the experiences of supervision from senior clinicians and consultation with peers. We believe that trainees learn not just when they are exposed to a range of clinical experiences, but also when they have time to reflect upon and process their encounters with clients. We expect trainees to improve and develop technical and strategic mastery of therapy and assessment. However, we believe it is even more important that they develop their use of self in the therapeutic process. We expect them to approach the disciplines of social work and psychology in a professional manner.

Areas of Social Work Clinical Training

Trainees will focus on several training goals.
  1. Trainees will learn to provide individual psychotherapy in the college counseling center context. A strong emphasis will be placed on brief models of psychotherapy from a number of different theoretical orientations.
  2. Trainees will learn case management skills, including referrals and collaboration with other clinicians or University professionals when appropriate for the client’s situation.
  3. Trainees will develop knowledge of and sensitivity to diversity issues. Given the diverse composition of students at Rutgers, trainees need to incorporate a multicultural perspective into their clinical work.
  4. Trainees may work on the development of outreach skills, including workshop presentations, community interventions, and participation on committees if opportunities present themselves, at the discretion of their supervisor.
  5. Trainees may learn how to provide group psychotherapy in the college counseling center by co-facilitating a general undergraduate interpersonal group or other therapy group with a CAPS senior staff member. As part of this training, interns will participate in both screening individual clients for inclusion in group and dedicating time after each group therapy session to processing the session with the co-facilitating senior staff member.

Training Structure

Psychotherapy
Social Work interns will see clients at the Senior Street CAPS site in New Brunswick at a mutually convenient time established with your field supervisor. There will always be at least one licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker on the premises those evenings for ad hoc or crisis consultations. Social work interns are responsible for completing all their clinical notes for the day before they leave.

Initially clients will be assigned to the trainees from senior staff that have completed first appointments and screened them for training appropriateness. When possible, social work trainees will sit in and observe senior staff as they do intakes. Ideally, when trainees have openings, they will take on clients whose intakes they have observed with a senior staff member.

Supervision
Trainees will meet for an hour each week with their individual supervisor, who will be assigned to them. Individual supervision will take place during the day at a time to be arranged between individual supervisor and the trainee.

Scheduling

Thursday
Trainees will participate in weekly group supervision on Thursday morning with the CAPS group coordinator, and afternoon training seminars coordinated by the CAPS Associate Director for Clinical Training.

Evaluations

Approach
In general, evaluations in a psychotherapy setting are to be viewed differently than in other contexts. They are collaborative and will require you to unflinchingly explore your own limitations and strengths. Evaluations will focus on expectations and competencies. You will be evaluated on how well you meet expectations for things like attendance, professionalism, productivity, and documentation. More importantly, you will also be evaluated on your competencies in areas like building rapport with clients, clinical interventions, theoretical models, and clinical case formulation. These are expected to improve during you year with CAPS.

There is, however, another level to supervisory feedback. During your early training you are expected to start to develop sensitivity to your own internal processes. No matter which theoretical frame you work in, you should find your own affective responses, fantasies, and thoughts to be barometric indicators of the therapeutic connection, the client’s interpersonal field, and your own unresolved issues. A therapist needs to learn to separate the sources of your subjective reactions from each other. Learning to utilize this rich font of subjective data requires emotional courage, openness to feedback, and deep self-reflection. The feedback you receive about your own self from your supervisors, your peers, and your clients is perhaps the most critical part of your evaluation here. This is ultimately a self-evaluation, but it is at the heart of what makes someone an exceptional therapist.

For Additional Information

Contact Information:
Ellen “Shane” Uber, LCSW, MSW
Social Work Supervisor – Counseling Program
eshane@echo.rutgers.edu

Barbara Kachur-Karavites, LCSW, LCADC
Social Work Supervisor – ADAP Program
barbarak@echo.rutgers.edu
RHS-CAPS
17 Senior Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(848) 932-7884