What type of clinical experience and personal qualities do you look for in an intern?
We are drawn to intern applicants with a range of counseling and clinical knowledge and experience. The majority of our interns had previous clinical experience in counseling centers, provided brief therapy and crisis intervention, and were clearly interested in internship training in a university counseling center. Interns who are successful at CAPS are flexible, collaborative, open to feedback, self-aware, and reflective; are interested in psychotherapy integration; and can adapt to an environment with high clinical demands and varied responsibilities. Lastly, we value interns who engage in self-care, enjoy working as part of a team, and are supportive of their cohort.
What is the ethnic representation of the USF student population and the students with whom we work at CAPS?
USF typically enrolls approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States and worldwide. Available data from enrolled students for Fall Semester 2021, who chose to self-identify, indicated the following: African American/Black (7%), Asian American/Asian (22%), Latinx (21.0%), Native American (0.1%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.5%), White (27%), and Multiracial (8%). The clients at CAPS self-identify at similar percentages. There is a large international student population at USF (13%), at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which further adds to the diversity and richness of culture, heritage, and traditions. USF students and CAPS clients represent not only racial and ethnic diversity but also diversity with regard to gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic class, age, ability, culture, national origin, language, and more. We appreciate the multiple identities that clients and therapists bring to the work at CAPS.
Are there opportunities to facilitate groups?
Yes, there are opportunities for interns to co-facilitate. Typically, they will partner with a licensed psychologist to co-facilitate support, psychoeducational, or interpersonal process groups. Previous trainees have co-led the following: Reclaiming Self (a group for adult children of addicts), Understanding Self and Others, ACT for Anxiety and Depression, Wise Mind (DBT Skills), and Grief Support groups.
Are there opportunities to do outreach?
Absolutely! Interns have an integral role in the provision of outreach to the campus. CAPS frequently receives requests from the campus community to facilitate workshops, conduct trainings, and implement preventative mental health programs with aims to reach out to underserved populations. Past projects have included providing training to resident advisors, presenting to families of incoming students, organizing sexual assault awareness month events, and acting as guest presenters for USF courses. Finally, doctoral interns serve as liaisons to residential life, providing consultation to resident advisors and resident directors, as needed.
How are supervisory assignments made?
During the summer before internship begins, interns complete a self-reflection questionnaire about their supervisory needs and professional goals. The training staff meets to discuss possible matches, and supervisors are then selected based on trainee needs and clinical interests, as well as staff capacity. Interns will have the opportunity to be supervised by several licensed staff psychologists through participation in two individual supervisions (one with a primary supervisor and one with a delegated supervisor) and two group supervision meetings per week.
Are there opportunities for testing or conducting couples therapy?
There are a number of brief self-report assessment measures available to use in working with clients. Our staff regularly utilizes the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS-64, CCAPS-34) in our work with clients. Formal testing batteries are not a training component of the CAPS internship. Interns may have the opportunity to see a couple during the training year, although couples therapy is not a significant component of the internship.
My experience in brief therapy and/or crisis intervention is limited. Will I receive training in these areas?
Yes, interns receive significant training in brief therapy and crisis intervention during orientation, training seminars, and through individual and group supervision. This is a major training component of the internship program.
Where do interns typically live, and how do they commute to campus?
Living arrangements vary, depending on budget, circumstances, and preferences. Some interns live alone, others with roommates, and others with family. Similar to other CAPS staff members, interns have lived in San Francisco, South San Francisco, the East Bay, Marin County, and the Peninsula/South Bay. You may want to research rentals and consider moving costs in your budget. There are no opportunities to live on campus. USF's Off-Campus Living department provides resources and consultation for those who are relocating.
Transportation options include BART trains, MUNI buses and trains, Cal Train, Uber/Lyft, bikes, and cars. Commuting is the norm in the Bay Area and is convenient and accessible through an extensive public transportation system. USF offers a monthly $81 transit benefit for employee mass transit commuting (when not working from home due to COVID-19 precautions).
How do interns survive on the stipend?
It is a challenge, but many of our interns have found creative ways to manage living expenses with the current stipend. As you can probably expect higher housing costs, it will be important to research the rental market, since some areas are more affordable than others. In the Bay Area, many people have roommates well beyond your college years, and there are always people looking for roommates on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other housing sites. Given the high cost of living, it’s a great way to make housing more affordable and expand your social circle. Certain things, such as fresh produce, can be less expensive in the Bay Area than in other cities. Since the food is grown locally and neighborhood farmers markets are aplenty, you can take advantage of lower costs and find restaurants serving food from just about any culture at reasonable prices. There is always something fun and inexpensive (or free) to do, including numerous festivals, shows, and other events throughout the Bay Area.
What do Interns typically do after completing the internship?
The majority of our interns have obtained postdoctoral fellowships at university counseling centers, medical centers, and community mental health centers. Others have acquired staff positions or opened a private practice, particularly those living in states that do not require postdoctoral hours for licensure. Some have pursued faculty/academic positions or some combination of the above.