Santa Clara University


Doctoral Internships

The CAPS Doctoral Psychology Internship Program at Santa Clara University provides comprehensive training in college mental health including experience with intakes, assessments, crisis intervention, suicide assessment and management, individual and couples counseling, group psychotherapy, consultation, case management, and outreach activities.

CAPS primarily works within a brief psychotherapy model; however, interns are given the opportunity to carry a few longer term clients for an enhanced training experience. CAPS is part of the Cowell Center, which includes the Student Health Center, and interns work as part of a multidisciplinary staff.

Note: All training time credited to the internship is post-practicum and doctorate.

APPIC Membership

The CAPS internship program is a member of the Association of Post-doctoral and Psychology Internship Centers (APPIC). Our program adheres to APPIC Match policies and participates in the APPIC Match. For both Phase I and Phase II of the APPIC Match, applicants to our internship program must utilize the Online APPI to submit their applications. No supplemental materials are required at our site. We do require that the application be completed in full and certified by application signature and date. Results of the APPIC Match constitute binding agreements between applicants, internship programs, and APPIC that may not be reversed without APPIC’s consent.

As an APPIC member, our program conforms to the basic ethical requirements of the profession as set forth in the current APA Ethical Principles for Psychologists. This 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.

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Philosophy & Goals

The CAPS internship program is based upon a Practitioner-Scholar model of training.  Interns learn by doing, by reflecting on their work in supervisory consultation with staff, by observing professional activities and practices of staff, and by scholarly inquiry. The model incorporates current psychological theory and science with experiential learning and is focused on helping interns to grow and to develop as generalist psychologists with an area of expertise working in college counseling centers.  The goal over the course of the year is for interns to achieve multiple competencies allowing them to practice independently and to function as professional and ethical psychologists. 

Throughout the training year, experiential learning is informed by the theory and science of psychology in supervision and didactic training seminars. The internship follows a sequential, developmental training process, building upon the knowledge and skills that each intern already possesses and offering opportunities for developing and refining additional clinical skills. The goal for our interns is to facilitate their professional development from graduate student to skilled psychologist.

Upon arrival, interns begin to assess their professional goals for their training year with guidance from the Training Director and Clinical Supervisors. Interns have the opportunity to identify clinical interests and theoretical models as targets for training and are given training and supervision opportunities in identified areas. The training year provides ample opportunities for interns to apply theory to practice. Supervision is regarded as a supportive, mentoring relationship to enabling interns to develop professional autonomy and competence. The evaluation process thus plays an essential role in the professional development of interns throughout the year.  Interns receive formal, written evaluations twice a year: at mid-year and at the end of the internship. Interns will be evaluated on items relevant to both clinical and nonclinical activities sampling such items as functioning as part of a team, capacity for professional development, relationships with support staff etc.

By the end of the training year, Interns will have developed competence with: intake interviewing, clinical assessment, crisis intervention, brief and long-term individual psychotherapy, couples counseling, assessment, and case management. Interns are also trained in and deliver interventions in BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) a motivational interviewing and assessment tool used with substance abuse. Additionally, interns provide structured workshops and outreach programming and consultation to the larger campus community. Outreach has included such topics as stress management techniques, characteristics of healthy relationships, recognizing signs of anxiety and depression, and facilitating a referral to CAPS.

Consistent with our training program's goal to train ethical, competent, and professional psychologists, there are opportunities during the year for personal exploration and self-reflection. Interns are encouraged to appropriately explore historical and personal data that may influence their clinical practice and to develop reflective, introspective skills that aid in their growth as professional psychologists. Supervisors provide mentor-ship and consultation to trainees to support their exploration and professional development. Supervisors may consult with one another about trainees when appropriate. CAPS internship program functions in a manner consistent with American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Standards (7.04 Student Disclosure of Personal Information).


CAPS places a high value on the appreciation of diversity, which is conceptualized broadly and across many dimensions.  We work hard to ensure that all members of our staff, including trainees, feel fully valued and respected for the diversity they bring to our site.  We engage in on-going efforts to provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive services to our clients and the larger campus community.  The internship program supports these efforts and places an emphasis on the development of culturally competent knowledge, awareness, and skills for our trainees.  Interns at our center are expected to develop competencies to effectively serve diverse populations, including clients whose identity, beliefs, worldviews, or cultural background may create personal conflict with that of the intern.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

Santa Clara University is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer committed to excellence through diversity and inclusion, and, in this spirit, particularly welcomes applications from women, persons of color, and members of historically underrepresented groups. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or other protected category in accordance with applicable law.

Intern Training Goals

Goal #1:To develop competence in ethics and legal matters

Objective(s) for Goal #1:

  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge of APA ethical principles.
  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge of the laws and regulations related to the practice of professional psychology
  • Interns will demonstrate awareness of the complexities in exploring ethical issues.
  • Interns will demonstrate skills in implementation of these laws and ethical principles in a culturally sensitive manner.

Goal #2:Interns will develop clinical skills required for professional practice in psychology with a specialization in college counseling

Objective(s) for Goal #2:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to conduct initial assessments, develop case conceptualizations and treatment plans, and make appropriate case dispositions.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to work within a range of therapeutic modalities based on the unique needs of the client.
  • Interns will demonstrate the integration of theory and research into multi-culturally aware clinical practice.

Goal #3:Interns will develop the skills to effectively respond to crisis situations.

Objective(s) for Goal #3:

  • Interns will demonstrate the consultation, collaboration, and documentation skills necessary to effectively assess all safety and risk factors and to effectively intervene in crisis situations.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to effectively handle disposition, documentation, and follow-up with the crisis situations.

Goal #4:Interns will develop the ability to consult and collaborate with an interdisciplinary staff, the campus community, and off-campus community in a multi-culturally sensitive manner.

Objective(s) for Goal #4:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with peers, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with the Cowell Center practitioners, faculty, administrators, and other student affairs professionals.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with other mental health professionals, agencies outside of the university, and family members, when appropriate.

Goal #5:Interns will develop knowledge, awareness, and skills for working with individual and cultural diversity.

Objective(s) for Goal #5:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to continuously examine their own attitudes, assumptions, behaviors, and values in working with individual and cultural diversity issues.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to provide services sensitive to individual and cultural differences.
  • Interns will demonstrate awareness of the cultural biases inherent in psychological theory and interventions.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to seek consultation and to pursue further learning regarding diversity issues.

Goal #6:Interns will develop a professional identity as a psychologist.

Objective(s) for Goal #6:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to interact in a multi-culturally sensitive and professional manner with a diverse group of peers, supervisors, administrative and professional staff.
  • Interns will demonstrate professional responsibility with case management, documentation, and time management.
  • Interns will demonstrate professional maturity.

Goal #7: Interns will develop the ability to provide outreach, consultation, and liaison.

Objective(s) for Goal #7:

  • Interns will demonstrate competence in facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to support the work of others in the university and to provide appropriate information and guidance regarding psychological issues.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to participate in community activities and establish relationships with other university colleagues.

During the Orientation period at the beginning of the internship,  both the CAPS Intern Training Manual and the CAPS Policies and Procedures Manual will be distributed and reviewed. The CAPS Training Manual includes information about due process and grievance procedures. Trainees are responsible for being familiar with, and adhering to, both of these documents.

Direct Clinical Services

Weekly Clinical Activities

Interns manage up to 20 hours of direct service per week. This includes weekly intakes and assessment, crisis hours for urgent appointments, consultations, referrals and individual, couples, or group psychotherapy.

Direct Service

Interns provide initial assessments and brief therapy for registered Santa Clara University undergraduate and graduate students. Interns also have the opportunity to provide longer-term therapy with a few clients with supervisory approval. In addition, interns gain experience with couples, groups, and referring students for medication or to outside therapists for on-going therapy. Interns interface with other support services, both on and off campus regarding student mental health and welfare. Interns also discuss their treatment plans in ongoing supervision and gain greater experience and competence in their clinical interventions.

Initial Intake Assessments

Interns establish a therapeutic relationship and assess the appropriateness of the student’s presenting problem to a brief treatment model versus longer term therapy. Interns also develop skills conducting assessments for a range of presenting issues, providing crisis intervention, conducting differential diagnosis, referring for medication evaluation, and engaging in collaboration with other sources.

Crisis Intervention

Interns have a range of opportunities to mange crises in the course of their ongoing therapy with students. Additionally, interns are assigned to a crisis hour appointment time on scheduled days for urgent student needs. Interns consult with staff if a student presents as a danger to self or others or is gravely disabled. In addition, interns may join staff in speaking to various academic departments or resident halls when critical incidents arise.


Interns participate in various types of outreach to the Santa Clara University community during their internship year. Outreach encompasses preventative work and may include responding to an event on-campus. Interns may present to residence hall staff, student, faculty, staff, or administration groups requesting mental health information. Each student, along with a CAPS staff member, is assigned to a particular residence hall to help with consultation and programming activities throughout the year.


Interns provide consultation to faculty, staff, Residence Life, Graduate Deans, and/or students. This consultation may occur over the phone or in person. Interns also participate in community activities and establish relationships with other university colleagues.

Training and Supervision Activities

Clinical Supervision

Interns attend two hours of individual clinical supervision weekly, with a primary and secondary supervisor respectively. In individual supervision interns are encouraged to develop reflective, introspective clinical and case conceptualization skills that aid in their development as professional psychologists. Supervisors are assigned to interns by the Training Director and an attempt is made to match interns to supervisors based upon intern training goals and preferences.

The clinical supervisor carries responsibility for case management, acquainting the intern with the operations of the agency, training requirements, mentoring, and moral support. Additionally, interns participate in a weekly group supervision seminar under the supervision of the Training Director. At CAPS, all trainee therapy sessions are videotaped.

Supervision includes review of video tapes as well as progress and process notes, in addition to any other clinical and ethical concerns related to the case material and the therapeutic relationship. Ongoing and reciprocal feedback with all supervisors is an expected part of our internship program. Formal evaluations occur mid-year and at the end-of-year.

Didactic Seminars

The didactic seminar meets weekly for two hours. This is a topical seminar where presenters focus on topics that are particularly relevant to college mental health. Individual seminars are organized around clinical, cultural, pharmacological, and treatment model themes. Seminar topics may include:

Trainee Peer Support Group

This group meets weekly for an hour and is self directed by trainees. This meeting is intended to provide a venue for trainees to support and learn from each other. Trainees may seek support for applications, review each others’ CVs, do mock interviews, process challenges, and provide each other feedback to support each other’s professional development.

Case Conference

Each week, interns attend a one hour case consultation attended by the CAPS clinical staff as well. In Fall quarter, the clinical staff presents cases. In Winter and Spring quarters, interns alternate with staff members in the presentation and discussion of cases. A formal write-up of the case, including reasons for consultation, is done for each case presented. This seminar provides interns with an opportunity to observe clinical staff at work and to present to staff and peers in a formal, structured way.

Staff Meeting

Interns participate in the CAPS weekly staff meeting which discusses CAPS policy and clinical issues.

Cowell Center Meetings

Interns at CAPS are a part of a multi-disciplinary team including psychologists, psychiatrists, dieticians, medical providers, insurance coordinators, a case manager, and a student-staffed Emergency Medical Team (EMT). On a monthly basis, interns participate in two Cowell Center- wide activities: 1) A center-wide staff meeting devoted to information sharing, policy making, and activities related to the integration of Cowell Center’s health and mental health activities; and 2) A case consultation meeting where information is communicated regarding shared cases between the health and mental health teams.

Training Activities & Time Allocation

The number of hours required to complete the internship is 1,840 hours.

Activities Hours/week
Direct Services: Intake assessments, individual counseling, group co-facilitation 20
Formal Training Individual supervision (2), group supervision (2), staff case consultation (1), training seminars (2), peer support groups (1) 8
Administrative Case documentation, case management, supervision preparation, preparation for programming 10

Interns also participate in two Cowell Center-wide activities on a monthly basis: an interdisciplinary team meeting and an interdisciplinary case conference; outreach and consultation hours are variable and do not occur on a weekly basis.

Applying to the Internship Program


Applicants must be advanced doctoral students who have fulfilled all of the following:

Application Procedures

To apply for our Doctoral Internship, we require that you apply via the AAPI Online site which may be accessed at Once on the site, please click on "AAPI Online." Your online application must include the following:

Deadline for Applications

To be considered for the internship of the academic year 2016-2017, all application materials must be uploaded on to the AAPI Online by 5:00 p.m. (PST) on Monday, November 9, 2015. Your application will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. Selected applicants will be contacted for interviews. We will make every effort to notify all applicants of their status by December 11, 2015.

At that time we invite applicants that we have selected to individual on-site interviews. Selection can be a stressful process and we want to provide you with as much information as possible. If you have additional questions not answered from the website or APPIC listing, please contact Dr. Rosemary Ellmer at or call 408-554-4501.

We will be participating in the APPIC match process coordinated by National Matching Services, Inc. In order to participate and be considered by our site, you must register with National Matching services by requesting a packet of materials. This can be done by phone at (416) 977-3431 or online at

Our program code number is 2133.


CAPS offers two full-time (40 hours per week), twelve-month Doctoral Internship appointments, beginning Monday August 15th, 2016 and ending Friday, August 18, 2017. The stipend for the internship is $24,000 for the training year.

Internship Program Documents
Contact Information

Throughout this process, you are welcome to contact the Training Director if you have any questions.

Rosemary Ellmer, Ph.D., M.Div.
Counseling and Psychological Services
The Cowell Center
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
Phone: 408-554-4172
Fax: 408-554-5454