Clinical Predoctoral Internships

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The major goal of the SJSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)' Pre-doctoral Internship Program is to provide high quality learning experiences to interns in counseling and clinical psychology in preparation for a career in mental health. To help attain this goal, the counseling faculty has a strong commitment to supervise, teach, and mentor our trainees. Our training is guided by a Practitioner-Scholar model in which we train clinicians to be informed of theory and research in the science of Psychology.

Our predoctoral internship program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA). We are proud members of the Association of Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA) a national organization for training programs within university counseling centers.

Our supervisors represent a broad base of theoretical backgrounds, thus interns are exposed to various models. We emphasize short-term treatment approaches that meet the needs of a diverse student body. We are committed to training pre-doctoral interns for work in a diverse world. While the field of psychology as a whole has embraced the importance of multicultural awareness and competence, this is a commitment that we reaffirm daily. We live and work in the midst of one of the most diverse communities in the world and provide trainees experiences to engage in social justice work.

We strive to provide interns with challenging and developmentally appropriate training experiences. We accomplish this by emphasizing training that is sequential, cumulative, and graded in complexity. We provide didactic trainings, experiential learning (direct service), mentorship, and role modeling from various staff members. We encourage self-examination and awareness of the impact of self on others.

At CAPS we believe that different levels of trainees have different developmental needs. We work with post-doctoral residents, pre-doctoral psychology interns, and advanced practicum counselors. Pre-doctoral interns are separated for some components of training so that we may address your unique developmental needs. Pre-doctoral interns meet with post-doctoral residents and advanced practicum counselors for some components of training in order to optimize the diverse perspectives that arise when combining various training levels.

CAPS abides by the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Conduct of Conduct. Our program meets state licensure requirements for internships and provides broad training covering all the major areas of knowledge and skills expected of a psychologist in a university counseling center setting (Standard 7.01), provides an accurate description of the training program, goals and objectives, stipends, benefits and exit criteria (Standard 7.02), provides training as described in the program materials (Standard 7.03), does not require interns to disclose or discuss personal information except as it is related to their developing skills and professional effectiveness (Standard 7.04), does not mandate outside therapy experiences (Standard 7.05), provides evaluations of interns in a timely manner (Standard 7.06), and prohibits sexual relationships between interns and supervisory staff (Standard 7.07).

We have outlined the following training goals and objectives:

Intern Training Goals

Goal 1: To develop competence in ethics and legal matters and explore ethical issues through a multicultural lens.


  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge of APA ethical and legal principles.
  • 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 multiculturally aware clinical skills required for professional practice with diverse clients.


  • Interns will demonstrate multicultural knowledge, awareness, and skills when conducting clinically proficient assessments, case conceptualizations, treatment plans, and interventions.
  • 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 multiculturally aware clinical practice.

Goal 3: Interns will develop the skills to effectively respond to crisis situations in a manner that is respectful of diverse cultural experiences.


  • Interns will demonstrate incorporation of multicultural knowledge, awareness, and skill in assessing for risk factors and responding to crisis situations.
  • Interns will demonstrate the consultation skills necessary to develop appropriate interventions in crisis situations.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to effectively handle diverse dispositions of individuals in crisis, document, and follow-up with 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 multiculturally sensitive manner.


  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with peers, supervisors, and administrative professional staff.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with University personnel, off-campus mental and medical health providers, off-campus community members, and families and friends of students.

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


  • 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.


  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to interact in a multiculturally 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 begin to develop their own therapeutic style.
  • Interns will begin to develop their own areas of expertise and specialization.

Goal 7: Interns will develop the ability to provide multiculturally focused outreach and social justice interventions.


  • Interns will demonstrate a commitment toward reducing oppression and injustice in the University community and in the community as a whole.
  • Interns will demonstrate competence in facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to participate in community activities and establish relationships with other university colleagues.

These goals will be addressed and facilitated through modeling by professionals, supervision, didactic training, experiential learning, and mentoring. These goals will be assessed by providing written and verbal feedback to each pre-doctoral intern (see Training Manual section: "Assessment of Trainee Progress").


San José State University CAPS is a department within the Division of Student Affairs at San José State University. CAPS offers services designed to help San José State's diverse student body of 30,000 identify and accomplish their academic and career goals, enhance personal development, meet life's challenges, and improve interpersonal relationships. CAPS is established as a comprehensive counseling center offering core clinical services, developmental and life skills interventions, consultations, and outreach to our diverse student population. Short-term counseling and psychotherapy are the primary means of direct service delivery.


CAPS provides quality services to students so they can achieve their goals of becoming successful graduates of San José State University, both academically and socially. To fulfill this objective, we look at the whole student and provide guidance and tools to become productive and well-rounded. To do that, professionally trained psychologists, social workers, and counselors are available for students on an individual or group basis for counseling on a myriad of psychological and academic issues. In addition, we provide services such as outreach presentations for students, student groups, staff/faculty, and staff consultations on issues of student mental health and campus climate; and professional training, teaching, and supervision for future mental health personnel, consistent with the educational mission of the university.


CAPS provides services for all enrolled students of San José State University. The student population of SJSU is a highly diverse group. For example, there is no one clear majority group (more than 50%) in terms of ethnicity on the campus and ages range from late teens to many students in their fifties. In addition, there is diversity around ability/disability, religion, culture, sexual orientation, value systems and lifestyles.


CAPS' staff utilize a variety of theoretical positions including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, feminist, gestalt, humanistic, and systems perspectives. Generally, an integrated approach to counseling and psychotherapy is shared by the staff.


Training in cross-cultural therapy and counseling is integrated into most, if not all, training activities. As noted, SJSU CAPS serves a highly diverse population. Pre-doctoral interns participate in a Diversity Process Group and Social Justice and Outreach Training Series where social justice and outreach issues are integrated and discussed in depth. Pre-doctoral interns are also encouraged to serve as consultants to campus cultural groups. Lastly, CAPS hosts a yearly conference: Multicultural Training Day. Trainees and Training Directors from university counseling centers in the Bay Area are invited to attend and share in a day of multicultural learning and dialogue.


There are four major component areas of the Training Program. These areas are Cultural Diversity, Training, Direct Service, and Indirect Service.

Cultural Diversity:

This component is considered to be the most important of the training program for interns and is woven throughout all other components. Cultural diversity themes appear in individual and group sessions, supervision, in the outreach programming in which interns take part, in the training seminar presentations, and in clinical meetings. In addition, there are many seminar experiences focusing on self-awareness of cultural identities. Pre-doctoral interns participate in two unique experiences (fully described below): Social Justice and Outreach component and Process Group in Diversity. Additionally, CAPS hosts an annual one-day Multicultural Training Day conference, which pre-doctoral interns attend.



Didactic Training Seminar: The Training Seminar meets weekly and is co-led by one licensed clinician and one Multicultural Post-doctoral Resident. During the weekly Training Seminar, various clinical topics are presented and discussed by faculty at CAPS. Common training topics include: intervention skills for brief therapy models domestic violence, cultural-double-bind, working with specific cultural populations (e.g., ethnic groups, international students, sexual identity, gender identity), boundaries/multiple relationships and ethical issues, suicide and violence assessment, professional development (e.g., applying for next training positions, preparation for licensure in psychology, job interviews), eating disorders, substance abuse, and empirically-supported treatments for various presenting concerns and client populations. The exact content of the trainings varies based on the needs of the training cohort. During the Fall and Spring semesters, advanced practicum counselors may be invited to attend select didactic training presentations.

During the summer months, Pre-doctoral Interns will receive additional training in the following topics: preparing to conduct clinical supervision, couple's counseling, and other topics deemed developmentally appropriate for the pre-doctoral intern cohort. Pre-doctoral interns will also be required to deliver a training seminar presentation on an area of scholarly inquiry (e.g., dissertation project, other current research). These summer topics are tailored to the needs of the interns as we fill in gaps in training and move the pre-doctoral interns toward readiness for postdoctoral placements.

Diversity Process Group: The Process Group in Diversity is an opportunity for trainees to develop their awareness in diversity through discussion and experiential process. Our agency believes that self-awareness is vital to the development of the competent practitioner. Trainees may be invited to present on their own cultural identity. Staff may be invited into the seminar to model sharing about their own unique identity statuses. A trainee may be excused from participating in the Diversity Group through consultation with their primary supervisor and Training Coordinator. Pre-doctoral interns are combined with advanced practicum counselors for this experience. It is the Training Committee's philosophy that including a diverse group of individuals (including diversity in training levels) enriches the discussion in this seminar. In order to ensure the emotional safety of trainees, information discussed in this seminar is entirely confidential and is not part of the evaluation process.

Social Justice and Outreach Series: The Social Justice and Outreach Series during the Fall semester is led by a licensed clinician. Trainees will discuss the role of Psychologists in addressing social justice issues that may prevent or alleviate mental health struggles; explore the relationship between social justice and the development of outreach services and programs; and may help in developing specialization areas in which they focus their outreach efforts (e.g., LGBT student services, cross-cultural center, international students, substance abuse, eating disorders and body image, suicide prevention). Pre-doctoral interns are combined with advanced practicum counselors for this experience. It is the Training Committee's philosophy that including a diverse group of individuals (including diversity in training levels) enriches the discussion. Pre-doctoral interns benefit from learning of the outreach experiences of the Multicultural Post-doctoral Residents and may have opportunities to collaborate with the Residents on projects. 

Group on Groups & Workshops: The Group seminar is led by a licensed clinician. The seminar focuses on assisting and supervising trainees as they develop, market, and co-lead therapy groups and psycho-educational workshops. Pre-doctoral interns are required to co-lead therapy groups with a staff member or a Multicultural Post-doctoral Resident. Thus, the Post-doctoral Residents also attend this seminar to benefit from shared processing of group therapy experiences. Information regarding performance in this seminar, as well as performance when leading groups and workshops, may be provided to the individual supervisor for inclusion in the semester evaluation process.

Testing and Measurement Seminar: The testing and measurement series is led by a licensed Psychologist. The seminar is designed to review tests and measures originally introduced in doctoral programs and to emphasize the cultural complexities of interpreting testing data. Pre-doctoral interns will be required to administer approximately two small batteries and discuss ethical issues in the administration of test instruments and diagnosing. This is a small component of the training experience. Information regarding clinical skills developed in this seminar may be provided to the individual supervisor for inclusion in the semester evaluation process.

Supervision/Case Consultation:

Individual (1:1) Supervision: CAPS meets or exceeds the supervision requirement in the Board of Psychology's Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) regulation. Each pre-doctoral intern will be provided with supervision for at least 10% of the total time worked each week. At least two hours per week of individual face-to-face supervision are provided each week. Supervisor assignments for the Fall semester are made by the Training Committee. Pre-doctoral interns are required to change supervisors during the second semester to obtain a breadth of orientations, techniques, and styles. For the second semester, trainees' preferences for supervisors are solicited and considered in assignments made by the Training Committee. Every effort is made to match requests.

Group Supervision: Group supervision occurs one hour per week. Group supervision is led by a licensed clinician. Group supervision provides a forum for discussing clinical work and improving clinical skills. Group supervision also provides the format for presenting formal case presentations (see “Other Training Opportunities”). The CAPS Psychiatrist frequently visits this meeting to provide opportunities for case consultation.

Clinical Consultation Meeting: This weekly meeting is for all faculty counselors, educational counselors, psychiatrists, and trainees. It is an opportunity to present cases to one another and engage in clinical consultation. The emphasis in the meeting is on viewing our work as a team effort to provide the best possible service to students.

Audio/Video Recording: In order to provide specific and in-depth feedback, supervisors require that pre-doctoral interns audio- or video-record all client sessions. Recorded sessions are provided to the trainees' supervisor and may be reviewed with the trainee during supervision or outside of supervision times. Trainees inform clients of the recording requirements at the same time they inform clients of their supervision, which is usually during the first session. Should a client not want to be recorded, the client will be reassigned to a non-recording counselor within the agency. Sessions are digitally recorded and stored on a secure server for three weeks. Recorded sessions are for training purposes only and are not available for use outside of Counseling Services. If a client wishes to obtain recorded sessions, the trainee must consult with their primary supervisor. Any recording taken out of CAPS is a violation of this policy and subject to disciplinary actions.

Direct Service:

Direct service hours are provided through individual, couple, and group counseling sessions; outreach presentations; and assessment/crises coverage. The provision of direct service hours are done through consultation with your primary supervisor. Pre-doctoral interns are expected to accrue 24.5 hours of direct service per week.

Individual/Couple Psychotherapy: Pre-doctoral interns are expected to accrue the majority of the direct service hours through work with individual clients. The size of the caseload varies considerably depending on whether clients are seen weekly or less often. Clinical load may also vary during slower times of the year, such as winter break and the beginning of fall semester, and higher during peak times such as midterms and finals.

  • Assessment/Crisis Coverage: Assessment/crisis coverage requires a 4.5 hour assigned shift between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. San José State University students who wish to receive personal counseling complete computerized paperwork and then immediately meet with the assessment/crisis counselor who is on duty. These sessions generally last 15- 20 minutes and are designed to “assess” the student's reason for wanting personal counseling and to clarify risk factors. After the assessment, if determined to be appropriate for our services, the student is generally placed on the waitlist to be assigned to an appropriate counselor. Each semester, a variety of crisis cases demand our attention. These include walk-in clients who seem to be in crisis, calls from staff in the residence halls, or requests from faculty or staff to consult about troubled students. In addition to the assigned shift, from time to time all counselors may be called on to assist with crisis situations.

Pre-doctoral interns are not responsible for after-hour emergency coverage. All after-hours emergency coverage is managed by licensed clinicians on staff.

Group Therapy: Pre-doctoral interns may be involved in providing group therapy. Formation of groups will be discussed in orientation, individual supervision, and the Group on Groups and Workshops Seminar. Pre-doctoral interns are required to co-lead therapy groups with a Multicultural Post-doctoral Resident or licensed faculty member. Groups are supervised by the leader of the Group on Group Seminar or the licensed clinician co-leading the group.

Outreach and Workshops: Pre-doctoral interns are expected to be involved in various Counseling Services programming. Pre-doctoral interns are encouraged to gain presentation skills by observing and then co-presenting psycho-educational workshops. Interns are required to deliver a minimum of one workshop per semester, although our expectation is that interns will significantly exceed this requirement. Interns are required to have one workshop per semester observed. The observer, a faculty counselor or post-doctoral resident, will complete a feedback form which will be reviewed with the intern and provided to the individual supervisor. The “Spartan Success Series,” managed by Educational Counselors at CAPS, provide opportunities to lead workshops such as: stress management, internet addiction, time management, and cross-cultural communication skills. Pre-doctoral interns may also be part of programs presented during re-occurring campus events such as Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Transgender Awareness Week, The Tunnel of Oppression, or African American History month. Time spent on these projects varies widely. Pre-doctoral interns are welcome to suggest programs based on their interest areas.

Indirect Service:

Peer Support Meetings: Pre-doctoral interns are encouraged to attend a weekly meeting to support each other and process their unique developmental experiences. Meetings may focus on supporting each other through transitions, increasing accountability regarding progress on dissertations, discussing issues that come up around working in CAPS, and processing the dynamics within the cohort.

Case Management: Pre-doctoral interns schedule time into their weekly schedules to complete their case records, review session recordings, and attend to other administrative tasks. In addition, certain blocks of free time for this will present themselves from time to time (e.g., cancellations, no-shows).

Other Consultation, Club, or Committee Work: In the past, trainees have become involved with other organizations or programs that correspond to their own interests. These have included the Mental Health Ambassadors (student group de-stigmatizing mental health services), Thousand Stars (suicide prevention programming), and Peers In Pride (LGBTQ mentoring program) or the larger LGBTQ Resource Center; Career Services; Health Services; MOSAIC Cross-cultural Center; Cesar Chavez Community Action Center; Women's Resource Center; Athletic Department, etc.

Attendance at Division or Departmental Meetings and Functions: Our program values collaboration with other campus members and exposure to the larger picture of university functions. Thus, pre-doctoral interns attend various meetings throughout the year that involve the larger staff and faculty of San José State University. These include: Division of Student Affairs Professional Development Day, Division of Student Affairs Town Hall Meetings, and various university social functions or celebrations.

Other Training Opportunities:

Case Presentations: Pre-doctoral interns are required to give a minimum of two formal case presentations over the course of the training year. Case presentations are delivered during the Group Supervision meetings. Supervisors may assist trainees in any manner they wish with case presentations (e.g., review write-up, attend presentation.). The pre-doctoral intern will receive feedback from the group supervision leaders and this information may be provided to the primary supervisor for inclusion in semester evaluations.

Grand Rounds: CAPS values ongoing trainings for all levels of trainees and faculty and staff. Thus, CAPS provides between 2-16 hours of department-wide “Grand Rounds” each academic year. These presentations may be provided by staff/faculty within the Department or by outside presenters.


Our training program for pre-doctoral interns is for 2000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE), accrued over 12 months. Training generally begins around mid-August. We will solicit 4 pre-doctoral interns. Pre-doctoral interns are expected to be available during CAPS business hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays.


We offer a stipend of $26,000. In addition to the stipend, pre-doctoral interns will receive excellent medical and dental benefits as well as various staff privileges (e.g., library use, access to a campus gym, reduced rates on public transportation). Unfortunately, parking permits are not included. Pre-doctoral interns may purchase campus parking permits through Parking Services (approximately $300 for 12-months of parking).


We participate in the APPIC match and use the APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI Online). To access the AAPI, please visit: The website provides instructions for how to complete and submit your APPI online application. If you have not requested an applicant agreement form and materials describing the APPIC Internship Matching Program, please contact the National Matching Service (NMS) at

Our information for NMS is as follows: San José State University, Counseling Services *APPIC Member Number: 2143 *APPIC Match Number for NMS: 214311

We understand that the selection process can be quite stressful. We are happy to provide as much information as possible to make the process more pleasant. At our site, applicants are initially screened based on the information provided in the AAPI. Those applicants who are determined to be a good fit will be invited to interview with two to three members of our Training Committee. Only phone interviews will be available. Interview offers will be made no later than mid-December. If you have not heard from us by mid December then you are welcome to contact the Training Coordinator to inquire about your application status. Phone interviews will occur in the middle or later parts of December and in early January. After the interview process, we are unable to provide information regarding our applicant rank list. Our program has agreed to abide by the APPIC Policy that no member on our staff will solicit, accept, or use any ranking related information from any intern applicant. If you perceive that a program violates this APPIC Policy, we invite you to discuss this matter with your academic program training director.


If you find that your questions are not answered by our website information (please see the full Training Manual link), please contact the Training Coordinator, Colleen Johnson, Ph.D. (

Our internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association.  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 Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 336-5979