2023-2024 Academic Year
Internship Program Philosophy
A Unique Training Opportunity
CAPS serves the entire study body at CU Boulder and is affiliated with the Health and Wellness Services division of Student Affairs. Interns at CAPS gain experience working in a multidisciplinary college counseling center setting. As the mental health care provider for the university, CAPS provides both time-limited treatment through individual psychotherapy, group counseling, crisis management and intervention, skills workshops, couples counseling, case management, and mental health outreach and consultation to enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. CAPS maintains liaison relationships and embedded therapist positions across campus and also provides consultation services to the university community (including faculty and staff) on issues pertinent to college student mental health and development. Additionally, CAPS has a staff of psychiatrists and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners to provide medication management to students, and a team of behavioral health providers who work within Medical Services. One of CU Boulder’s key initiatives is Innovation. CAPS is constantly evolving to best meet the mental health needs of students through creative program initiatives (i.e. telehealth,canine-assisted therapy, Let’s Talk, and online psychoeducation-based platforms).
Students present to CAPS with symptoms and concerns related to depression, anxiety, trauma, bipolar disorder, OCD, relationship issues, eating disorders, emotional, physical, and sexual assault or abuse, sexuality issues, problems with alcohol and drugs, stress management, self-esteem issues, grief and loss, family problems, personality-related issues, experiences of oppression, and multicultural identity development. Trainees, along with senior staff, provide services to students who present with a range of concerns and levels of acuity. Our multidisciplinary staff consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. The staff represents and respects a multiplicity of theoretical orientations.
CAPS works closely with Medical Services, the medical facility serving CU students. In addition to providing behavioral health interventions within an integrated care setting, CAPS collaborates with Medical Services staff on select individual cases, particularly clients presenting with eating concerns, those in need of concussion care, and students seeking hormone replacement therapy or gender-affirming healthcare. These integrated treatment teams offer interns opportunities to actively collaborate with primary care providers in supporting students.
Additionally, interns interested in group psychotherapy are likely to particularly benefit from training at our site. Interns participate in weekly in specialized group therapy training and have ample opportunity to run groups of their choosing through the robust group therapy program at CAPS. The group therapy seminar includes didactic and case consultation components.
All CU Boulder students have access to a limited number of free visits per academic year through the student mental health fee. Students who have purchased the CU Gold Health Insurance may be seen in the clinic without additional payment for additional visits (psychotherapy and psychiatry visits combined) per policy year (August to August).
Commitment to Diversity
At CAPS, awareness of social justice issues and multiculturalism is foundational to the work we do. CAPS strives to operate from a social justice lens, understanding that individual differences impact mental healthcare needs as well as models or approaches to service delivery. Staff and trainees regularly engage in multicultural related professional development, and this participation is a written requirement in each staff member’s yearly performance plan. CAPS staff and trainees are invited to serve on the Social Justice and Multicultural Committee, which aims to provide diversity related education, trainings, discussion groups, advocacy, and program development. CAPS uses staff meeting time to invite speakers to provide additional diversity-related trainings. Interns also participate in process-oriented diversity seminars throughout the academic year to strengthen their multicultural competencies. The internship program offers additional multicultural training opportunities, such as serving on the Transgender Care Team and providing clinical and outreach services to underserved student populations.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, CAPS clientele self-identified as 35% male, 43% female, 4% transgender, genderqueer, or gender nonconforming, and 18% did not self-identify. Approximately 26.8% of CAPS clientele self-identified as students of color, including 8.7% Latinx, 9% Asian, 2.2% African American, <1 % Native American, and <1% Arab American. Approximately 21% of CAPS clientele self-identify as LGBTQ+. The average age of a student seeking services through CAPS was 22. Finally, 7.6% of CAPS clientele self-identify as an international students, and 13% report identifying as a first-generation college student
Approximately 26% of our clients were diagnosed with mood disorders, 29% with anxiety or obsessive-compulsive related disorders, 13% with trauma, stressor, or adjustment-related disorders, 5% with substance use disorders, 5% with AD/HD, and 22% with other disorders (psychotic disorders, personality disorders, relationship problems, neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep/medical and other diagnoses). At the time of the screening appointment, 58.2% of students reported prior mental health treatment and 6.7% reported prior psychiatric hospitalization.
Training Program Aim
The aim of the internship training program at CU Boulder Counseling and Psychiatric Services is to train generalist health service psychologists in a multidisciplinary college mental health setting.
The internship year at CAPS is designed to develop each intern’s knowledge, skill and abilities in a wide range of activities. During the orientation period, the training director meets with new interns to discuss each intern’s strengths and needs for further training. The primary supervisor then works with the intern to develop an individual plan to facilitate their professional development during the training year. This plan is designed to balance the developmental needs of each intern with professional considerations, ethical factors and the needs of the clinic.
Interns are required to attend the initial three-week orientation prior to the start of the fall semester. The orientation is designed to acquaint all interns with CAPS policies and procedures, university regulations, ethical and service delivery guidelines and orientation to culturally competent practice. At this time, the interns are also expected to meet and interact with the CAPS staff to develop preliminary supervisory relationships. Interns may then state any preferences for individual supervisors, which will be taken into account when assignments are made. Throughout the year, the training team meets on a bi-weekly basis to evaluate timely issues in the training program. In addition, the training team utilizes time during the summer to evaluate the prior year’s training program and to plan for the upcoming year.
All interns receive training in multiculturally informed care, group psychotherapy, crisis/triage care, telehealth, and the provision of clinical supervision within the general training track of the internship.
Interns can also participate in training in an individual focus area. Current areas of focus include Behavioral Health, AOD, and Transgender Care. The training director will work with interns and primary supervisors to schedule focus area selection at the beginning of the training year. Please note that available focus areas are subject to change based on supervisor availability and clinic needs.
Historically, the program has conducted all supervision and training face-to-face/in-person. However, the program will provide primarily synchronous online training and opportunities for both in-person and telesupervision to ensure the safety of trainees and staff. APPIC and DORA have also released statements supporting the use of telesupervision and telehealth service delivery. Please note that the use of telesupervision and telehealth service delivery are subject to change based on updated guidance from the University, DORA, APPIC, and student needs.
The group therapy training provides the opportunity for an intern to understand and apply current research and theory in group psychotherapy through a combination of didactic and experiential learning. The group therapy training program is a training track in which all trainees participate regardless of other focus interests. The training program consists of a weekly interactive, didactic seminar and co-facilitation of one or more CAPS treatment groups. In addition to supervision in the didactic seminar, interns will receive one-on-one supervision from their staff co-facilitators following each treatment group session.
Standard group offerings include traditional interpersonal process groups, skills groups, and special topics groups. Group offerings vary year to year based on student need, but commonly offered groups include process groups for graduate and undergraduate students, DBT, ACT, mindfulness, body image/eating, trauma recovery, groups for Students of Color, a transgender and non-binary support group, and other identity based groups.
Interns participate in a year-long Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Seminar, facilitated by our staff multicultural specialists. This seminar serves as an intentional space for interns to increase their knowledge, self-awareness, and skills regarding multicultural competencies in psychological services. Seminar consists of personal reflection, cultural sharing, case consultation, experiential learning, readings, as well as didactic presentations by clinical staff and campus partners. The framework of the seminar is structured around social identities, social justice, and social responsibility with emphases on process-orientation, dialogue, intentional sharing and integration of experiential/action as interns see fit.
Training Focus Areas
For the 2023-2024 training year the available focus areas are discussed in greater detail below. The focus area opportunities offered each year are subject to supervisor availability and clinic needs.
Interns in the behavioral health focus area participate in up to 4 hours a week of on-call work within Medical Services. In our integrated model, Behavioral Health Providers conduct brief assessments at the request of medical providers or in response to screening tools for depression, anxiety, substance use and other concerns. BH providers introduce coping skills, stabilize students in crisis, help students with problem-solving and connect students with counseling and other resources. BH providers also provide short-term treatment with a focus on practicing coping skills, enhancing motivation for behavior changes of all types and thinking broadly about the role of stress and mental health conditions in physical health.
Interns will gain valuable experience assessing a wide variety of presenting issues in a timely manner within a fast-paced medical environment. Interns will learn to build rapport with students of a variety of backgrounds who are not necessarily interested in formal mental health treatment, assisting them in a client-centered manner with their concerns as they conceptualize them. Interns also gain experience in communicating their assessments and clinical perspectives as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team.
Participation in this focus area also includes opportunities for additional BH-specific didactic training in the provision of integrated care and its unique challenges and clinical skills. There is also a space for group supervision of BH cases and problem-solving the systemic and communication challenges of integrated care.
Interns selecting the Transgender Care focus area will gain additional training and experience supporting transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) students who seek care at CAPS. Interns will have the opportunity to provide individual therapy to TGNC clients, offer clinical interviews and write letters for TGNC students seeking gender confirming medical care, serve on the multidisciplinary Trans Care Team, attend co-treat visits with medical providers, and possibly co-lead a TGNC therapy group. Past trainees have also developed trainings for staff about best practices for gender affirming mental healthcare, presented at the annual Transforming Gender Conference at CU Boulder, and offered consultation/outreach to campus partners.
The Transgender Care Team is an interdisciplinary group of healthcare providers from CAPS and Medical Services formed to provide interdisciplinary education, training, advocacy and consultation as it relates to the healthcare of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals at CU Boulder. Team members include providers from CAPS (psychologists and psychiatrists), Medical Services, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Center for Inclusion and Social Change, and Office of Victims Assistance. Interns completing this focus area will attend monthly team meetings and receive clinical supervision from licensed staff regarding unique challenges and experiences of TGNC students. Interns will also gain knowledge and experience with the WPATH Standards of Care, mental health assessment and letter writing in support of medical transition following WPATH standards; collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches to transgender care; and developing policies and procedures to improve care for TGNC students.
Interns selecting the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) focus area will gain additional training and experience supporting students with co-occurring disorders or substance use concerns. Interns will have the opportunity to provide individual therapy to AOD clients, offer clinical interviews and conduct substance abuse evaluations, serve on the multidisciplinary AOD Team, possibly collaborate with campus partners such as CUCRC, and possibly co-lead a co-occurring disorder support/therapy group. Past trainees have also developed trainings for staff about best practices for treating students with substance use concerns, presented at the conferences, and offered consultation/outreach to campus partners. Those interns interested in pursuing their LAC credentials may have an opportunity to count their internship hours toward their LAC supervision requirements.
The AOD Team is an interdisciplinary group of healthcare providers from CAPS formed to provide interdisciplinary education, training, advocacy and consultation as it relates to the healthcare of students encountering substance use issues at CU Boulder. Interns completing this focus area will attend team meetings and receive clinical supervision from licensed staff regarding unique challenges and experiences of students seeking substance use treatment. Interns will also gain knowledge and experience with motivational interviewing, stages of change and corresponding interventions and techniques. Additional training topics will reflect licensure requirements, including principles of addiction treatment, infectious medical concerns in addiction treatment, related pharmacology, service coordination and professional and ethical practice in AOD care. Cultural competency in AOD treatment will be explored throughout our work, with consideration of the experience of substance use within racial and ethnic populations. Interns are encouraged to consider opportunities for developing policies and procedures to improve access and care for students with co-occurring disorders during their training experience.
Interns in the Sports Psychology Focus Area participate in a 4-6 hour block located at the Center for Psychological Health and Performance (PHP) at CU Boulder Athletics. The Focus Area includes up to 4 hours clinical provision and a clinical supervision hour from a licensed mental health clinician with expertise in sport, exercise and performance psychology.
The PHP team operates as a mini counseling center embedded within athletics and provides clinical services to student-athletes on an individual and group level. Additional services include: team workshops for sports performance enhancement; consultation with staff and coaches; integrated care plans between athletic trainers, team physicians, and coaches when needed and with appropriate releases of information; educational trainings to athletic department staff.
Primary clinical services for student-athletes involve challenges with anxiety, depression, grief/loss (end of career, injury), ADHD, stress management, eating concerns, and substance misuse to name a few. Clinical service provision is viewed as brief and intermittent with a focus on providing coping skills, problem-solving, normalization of mental health within a stigmatized population and culture of athletics, and conflict resolution strategies.
Interns will gain valuable experience working within a college athletics system, particularly if there is interest in specializing in sports, exercise, and performance-based work in the future. Interns will learn how to navigate boundaries and confidentiality within an embedded model in a fast-paced environment and with a unique client population of high-performing student-athletes. Interns will learn to build rapport with student-athletes, who are among the most diverse individuals on campus regarding race, ethnicity, and SES.
Supervision, Evaluation and Professional Development
Interns receive two hours of weekly individual supervision from a CAPS staff psychologist.
They receive an additional hour of individual or group supervision on their focus area activities from their secondary supervisor, who is a licensed professional with expertise in the focus area.
An intern receives supervision from each co-facilitator with whom the intern co-leads a group.
Our goal is that each intern co-leads one group per semester. Interns also participate in a weekly small-group case consultation meeting. The case consultation meeting is a multidisciplinary group where complex client cases are presented and discussed using a multidisciplinary consultative approach.
Supervision and evaluation are an on-going process at CAPS. We believe that in preparing to be a professional, each intern should systematically increase their confidence and skill in providing a range of interventions to various clients and systems. This objective is pursued through collaborative work with experienced staff and appropriately supervised clinical practice. Video equipment is also regularly used in supervision. Comprehensive on-going evaluation of the intern's professional development is an integral part of the training process. In addition to the on-going feedback provided in individual supervision, specific times are designated for both informal and formal assessments of each intern. In January and July, each primary supervisor receives written and/or oral evaluations from all training team members and reviews progress with each intern. Interns are evaluated on their competency in each of the nine competency areas outlined by APA.
A complete copy of the evaluation is placed in the intern's file, and a summary of the evaluation is sent to the intern's academic training director. The intern also receives a complete copy of their evaluation if desired. Interns also have the option of requesting to meet with the supervision team in January of the training year to receive oral feedback from the entire team.
Interns have opportunities to provide formal and informal evaluations of the program and other professionals throughout the training year. In January and July, interns are asked to complete written evaluations of their supervisors and to review the evaluations with the training director who is responsible for overseeing the quality of supervision given to each intern. If interventions are needed on behalf of the intern, the training director and intern will develop an appropriate plan of action that both protects and serves the needs of the intern. For program evaluation purposes, interns complete evaluations on each of the training seminars, meet bi-weekly with the training director to give feedback throughout the training year and meet with the training director in July at the end of the training year to provide overall feedback on their training experience at CAPS. Interns are also asked to provide an anonymous written evaluation of the internship program to the training director at the end of the training year. The training team will use the feedback to help develop the program to meet interns' training needs. Interns are also contacted for a one-year follow-up evaluation after their internship is completed. Annual summer updates and requests to follow the professional development of former interns are sent periodically after graduation from the internship.
Structured training is provided to interns through several venues.
- Interns participate in 4.5 hours of didactic seminars each week during the fall and spring semesters. Seminars focus on such professional issues as case consultation, collaborative practice, diversity and multiculturalism, ethics, group therapy practice, crisis care, trauma, job search and EPPP, and supervision and consultation.
- Interns are also supervised on a weekly screening shift where they learn to quickly assess incoming clients and manage crisis and emergency situations. Supervisory consultation and backup are provided to interns at all times, and particularly while learning crisis management skills.
All of the major activities in which interns participate in are geared toward promoting their professional development. Formal training and supervision activities comprise approximately 25% of an intern’s weekly schedule. Clinical service delivery hours are limited to no more than 50% of an intern's time. The training director, all primary supervisors, and all consulting staff have appropriate licenses and credentials.
Below are typical time allocations for each major activity in which interns participate fall through summer semesters. Interns are expected to work 40 hours per week.
- Multicultural Seminar: 1.5 hours weekly for fall and spring terms
- Group Therapy Seminar: 1.5 hours weekly
- Professional Issues Seminar: 1.5 hours bi-weekly
- Primary supervision: 2 hours
- Focus area supervision: 1 hour
- Multidisciplinary case consultation meeting: 1 hour
- Supervision of supervision: 2 hours (spring and summer semester)
Direct Service Hours
- Individual therapy hours: 10-14 hours
- Group/workshops: 2-4 hours
- Intakes: 3 hours
- Screening/crisis coverage: 2-3 hours
- Focus area service (if selected): 4 hours
- Staff meeting: 1 hour weekly
- Paperwork/administration: 6-8 hours
Internship Admissions, Support and Initial Placement Data
Internship Program Admissions
Data program tables updated September 1, 2022.
As articulated in Standard I.B.2, programs may have “admission and employment policies that directly relate to affiliation or purpose” that may be faith-based or secular in nature. However, such policies and practices must be disclosed to the public. Therefore, programs are asked to respond to the following question:
Does the program or institution require students, trainees, and/or staff (faculty) to comply with specific policies or practices related to the institution’s affiliation or purpose? Such policies or practices may include, but are not limited to, admissions, hiring, retention policies, and/or requirements for completion that express mission and values. No
|Annual stipend/salary for full-time interns||$35,568|
|Annual stipend/salary for half-time interns||N/A|
|Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?||Yes|
|If access to medical insurance is provided:|
|Trainee contribution to cost required?||Yes|
|Coverage of family member(s) available?||Yes|
|Coverage of legally married partner available?||Yes|
|Coverage of domestic partner available?||Yes|
|Hours of annual paid personal time off (PTO and/or vacation)||176 hours|
|Hours of annual paid sick leave||120 hours|
|In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?||Yes|
Other benefits: Interns are offered enrollment in the University's retirement savings plan. Interns are also provided with an RTD EcoPass for Boulder/Denver public transportation.
*Note: Programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.
- Total number of interns who were in the 3 cohorts: 9
- Total number of interns who need not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree: 0
|Type of Facility||PD||EP|
|Community mental health center||0||0|
|University Counseling Center||6||0|
|Veterans Affairs Health Care System||0||0|
|Health Maintenance Organization||0||0|
|Independent practice setting||1||0|
Note: "PD" = Post-doctoral residency position; “EP” = Employed Position. Each individual represented in this table should be counted only one time. For former trainees working in more than one setting, select the setting that represents their primary position.