Psychology Internship in Health Service Psychology

 Predocs 2011 Header


The major goal of the SJSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)'  Psychology 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 psychology 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 psychology 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, 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, psychology interns, and advanced practicum counselors. Psychology interns are separated for some components of training so that we may address your unique developmental needs. Psychology interns meet with postdoctoral 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 Code 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 health service 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 competencies and elements:

Aim of Psychology Internship: To train entry-level psychologists whose professionalism includes self-awareness, culturally-responsive practice, and communication/interpersonal skills, for ethical and effective practice in the field of Health Service Psychology.

Intern Training Competencies

Competency A: Intervention

  • Client risk management and confidentiality
  • Therapeutic Alliance
  • Case Conceptualization and Treatment Goals
  • Therapeutic Interventions
  • Effective use of emotional reactions in therapy (countertransference)
  • Group Therapy skills and preparation
  • Outreach design and delivery

Competency B: Ethical and Legal Standards

  • Knowledge of ethics, law, CSU policies and CAPS department guidelines

Competency C: Awareness of Own Cultural and Ethnic Background

  • Sensitivity and knowledgeable of client diversity
  • Awareness of cultural and ethnic background

Competency D: Effective Participation and Collaboration with Interdisciplinary Staff and the Campus Community

  • Consultation
  • Effective participation and collaboration with interdisciplinary staff and the campus community

Competency E: Assessment

  • Diagnostic Skill
  • Psychological test selection and administration
  • Communication of psychological test findings

Competency F: Supervision

  • Uses supervision productively

Competency G: Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors

  • Record keeping and documentation
  • Efficiency and time management and self-management

Competency H: Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Professional communication and interpersonal interactions

Competency I: Research

  • Integrating research into practice and applying evidence based principles

These competencies 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 psychology intern.


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 integrative, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, feminist, multicultural, 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. Psychology interns participate in a Diversity Process Group and Social Justice and Outreach Training Seminars where social justice and outreach issues are integrated and discussed in depth. Psychology interns are also encouraged to serve as consultants to campus cultural groups. Lastly, CAPS hosts an annual 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. Psychology interns participate in two unique experiences (fully described below): Social Justice and Outreach component and Process Group in Diversity. 



Didactic Training Seminar: The Training Seminar meets weekly and is primarily led by the Intern Training Coordinator. The weekly seminar encompasses 3 large components: clinical topics, psychological testing topics, and professsional development topics. First, various clinical topics are presented and discussed by a variety of presenters at CAPS and outside presenters. Common training topics include: how to work with trauma survivors, cultural-double-bind, working with specific cultural populations (e.g., ethnic groups, international students, LGBTQ populations), conducting various modes of therapy, learning how to do supervision and more. Second, the seminar includes training on psychological assessment (e.g., CCAPS, CAMS, eating disorder assessment) in which interns will be trained on (in Fall) and asked to use with a client and conduct a testing report on (in Spring). This is a small component of the training experience. Furthermore, the seminar will also include training coordinated by a licensed psychologist on professional development topics (e.g., applying for next training positions, preparation for licensure in psychology, job interviews) throughout the year. 

Diversity Discussion Group: This group is an opportunity for both interns and post-docs to
develop their awareness in diversity through discussion and interpersonal group process
and is led by a licensed psychologist. It is conducted for 1.5 hours per week, subject to
change based on the group's interest and needs. Our agency believes that self-
awareness is vital to the development of a competent practitioner. Thus, trainees will
be invited to present on their own cultural identities, discuss diversity issues that arise
in the everyday setting and larger society, how these relate to their own social
identities, and reflect on how these impact interpersonal and relational dynamics. The
purpose of this is to help trainees advance their multicultural awareness and cultural
humility in order to better serve their clients. Although this group serves clinical work, it
is not supervision or about specific cases. In order to ensure the emotional safety of
trainees, information discussed in this group is entirely confidential and is not part of
the evaluation process.

Social Justice and Outreach Seminar: The Social Justice and Outreach Seminar occurs during the Fall semester and is led by a licensed psychologist. Both interns and post-docs will be a part of this seminar. 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 develop 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). It is the Training Committee's philosophy that including a diverse group of individuals (including diversity in training levels) enriches the discussion. Psychology interns benefit from learning of the outreach experiences of the Multicultural Postdoctoral Residents and may have opportunities to collaborate with the Residents on projects. 

Group on Groups & Workshops: The Group seminar is led by a licensed psychologist and meets once for 1 hr every other week. The seminar focuses on guiding and supervising trainees as they develop, market, and co-lead therapy groups and psycho-educational workshops. Psychology interns are required to co-lead therapy groups with a staff member and possibly a Multicultural Postdoctoral Resident. Information regarding performance in this seminar, as well as performance when leading groups and workshops, may be provided to the individual supervisor and Training Coordinator 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 psychology 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. Psychology interns are required to change supervisors during the second semester to obtain a breadth of orientations, techniques, and styles. For the Spring semester, trainees' preferences for supervisors are solicited and considered in assignments made by the Training Coordinator. Every effort is made to match requests. Furthermore, trainees may have a different supervisor during the winter and summer semesters and matches will be decided based on supervisor availiability given the smaller number of supervisors that work during these semesters.

Group Supervision: Group supervision occurs 1 hour per week. Group supervision is co-led by a licensed psychologist and a Multicultural Post-Doc Resident. 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”). Interns are required to do 2 formal case presentations (1 in Fall, 1 in Spring).

Clinical Consultation Meeting: This weekly consultation meeting is for all staff clinicians, educational counselors, psychiatrists, and trainees. It is an opportunity to present cases to one another and engage in clinical consultation. This meeting occurs in a large group format and small group format every other week.

Audio/Video Recording: In order to provide specific and in-depth feedback, supervisors require that Psychology 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 some time. Recorded sessions are for training purposes only and are not available for use outside of CAPS. 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; consultations, assessment and crisis service. The provision of direct service hours are done through consultation with your primary supervisor. Psychology interns are expected to accrue 20.5 hours of direct service per week in the Fall and 22.5 hours in the Spring semester. Commonly, this increases to 24.5 hours during the Summer semester.

Individual/Couple Psychotherapy: Psychology 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.

Triage/ICON (Initial Consultation) and Crisis Coverage: Triage/Initial Consultation appointments are generally the entry point for our students and typically last approximately 20 minutes (ICON are 45-50 mins). They are designed to assess students' reasons for wanting personal counseling, risk, and safety.  Following the triage/ICON, it will be determined whether CAPS services or outside services would be best for student; either an appointment at CAPS, the CAPS waitlist or a referral will result.  Crisis services is offered by CAPS Monday - Friday during hours of operation.  A variety of crisis cases do come in every semester and include walk-in clients in crisis, phone calls from University Departments (i.e., Residence Halls, Student Conduct, Student Health Center, etc) or requests from faculty to consult about students they are concerned about.  Interns cover 2 hours of crisis per week.  Interns are not responsible for any after hours crisis coverage. 

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

Outreach and Workshops: Psychology interns are expected to be involved in various CAPS programming. Psychology interns are encouraged to gain presentation skills by observing and then co-presenting psycho-educational workshops and other outreach requesrs. Interns are required to deliver a minimum of one workshop per semester and are evaluated on this. The observer, a CAPS clinician or postdoctoral resident, will complete a feedback form which will be reviewed with the intern and provided to the individual supervisor. Furthermore, 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. Psychology interns may also be part of programs presented during re-occurring campus events such as Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Transgender Awareness Week, or African American History month or our recurring RIO workshops. Time spent on these projects varies widely. Psychology interns are welcome to suggest programs based on their interest areas.

Indirect Service:

Meeting with Training Coordinator: Psychology interns meet with the Training Coordinator once every two weeks (once/wk since shelter-in-place) for 30 mins to check in about their adjustment to CAPS and discuss professional development issues. This time is to support the interns in their adjustment to internship and to help them prepare for their next steps in their career.

Peer Support Lunch Meetings: Psychology interns are encouraged to attend a weekly lunch 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: Psychology 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 at times 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), Active Minds, and Peers In Pride (LGBTQ mentoring program) or the larger Pride and Gender Equity Center; Career Services; Health Services; MOSAIC Cross-cultural Center; Cesar Chavez Community Action 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, psychology 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: Psychology 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 (1 presentation per semester). Supervisors may assist trainees in any manner they wish with case presentations (e.g., review write-up, attend presentation.). The psychology 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 clinicians and staff. Thus, CAPS provides different trainings each academic year. These presentations may be provided by staff/faculty within the Department or by outside presenters. A common one throughout the past few years has been the ASIST training on suicide prevention.


Our training program requires a minimum of 1900 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) and strongly encourage our Psychology Interns to complete 2000 hours to meet various state licensure requirements. Training generally begins around mid-August. We will solicit 4 psychology interns. Psychology interns are expected to be available during CAPS business hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays.


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


  • A completed APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) form accessed at 
  • In your cover letter, please describe your qualifications and professional experience that would make you a good match with our site, and elaborate on your specific goals for internship.
  • Current curriculum vita.
  • Official transcripts of all graduate work.
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two from supervisors who are familiar with your more recent clinical work.

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

For additional information regarding applying for our internship, see our Internship Admissions, Support, and Initial Placement Data.

If you find that your questions are not answered by our website information, please contact the Intern Training Coordinator, Minji Yang, 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

Please see our SJSU CAPS Psychology Internships Position Announcement for more information.