Student Recreation and Wellness Center

Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology

Description of the Center

Student Counseling and Psychological Services offers training programs for doctoral interns and graduate students. Services include individual, couples, and group psychotherapy, crisis intervention, medication evaluation and management, psychological assessment, drug and alcohol use assessment, educational workshops and presentations, consultation, and referrals to community health care providers. These services are undertaken in accordance with the following philosophy:

Counseling and Psychological Services Philosophy

Student Counseling and Psychological Services strives to enhance the psychological health and personal effectiveness of students, thus empowering them to maximize their personal adjustment and individual accomplishments. In providing services, the staff attends to remedial, developmental, and situational concerns, recognizing that the interaction between the stress associated with the academic environment and individual developmental periods may lead to problems that can be alleviated through therapeutic intervention. CAPS works in concert with the university community to create an environment that helps students to understand and respond to challenges and opportunities in a way that enhances their personal and academic development.

CAPS is a department of the Student Wellness cluster of the Division of Student Life at UNLV. Together with the Student Health Center, Jean Nidetch Women’s Center, Office of Student Conduct, Rebel Wellness Zone, and Disabilities Resource Center, the Student Wellness cluster works collaboratively to achieve the goals indicated by the following mission statement:

Student Wellness Mission Statement

The mission of Student Wellness is to advance the optimal wellness of UNLV students, thereby enhancing their lives and their academic success. To fulfill our mission, Student Wellness affirms the importance of working in partnership with the greater university community; respecting individual differences and cultural diversity; and providing quality services and programs that address the physical, emotional, social, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, and occupational dimensions of life.

CAPS Staff

The professional staff consists of six psychologists, a licensed clinical professional counselor, a psychiatrist, a part-time psychologist, and a care manager. Additionally, there are a number of administrative staff and student workers who support the clinical staff and assist in CAPS operations. Each year, we typically have approximately 4 graduate-level practicum students, and two interns.

Philosophy and Goals of the Training Program

The doctoral internship is designed to train interns to be competent, entry-level generalist psychologists. CAPS provides a setting in which interns increase and strengthen their abilities to practice psychology throughout their year. Interns successfully complete their internship when they reach a skill level of intermediate to advanced competence practice defined by having sufficient ability to practice core skills without ongoing supervision. Training involves developing both core skills and positive professional identity essential for the work of an entry-level psychologist. Interns gain experience by participating in a wide range of supervised professional activities within a major university counseling center, including:

  • Individual and couples therapy from a brief treatment model.
  • Group psychotherapy.
  • Crisis assessment and intervention.
  • Assessment and diagnosis.
  • Supervise therapists in training.
  • Case management.
  • Outreach, educational workshops and presentations, and consultation across the university.
  • Research, training, and other activities appropriate to the setting.
  • Rotations including, but not limited to: behavioral health, eating disorders, multicultural competence, outreach.
  • The internship training program emphasizes professional identity development, ethical decision making, and multicultural competence.

Goals of the UNLV CAPS doctoral internship include:

  1. To foster clinical competence as an entry level generalist professional psychologist.
  2. To cultivate a commitment to diversity and provision of culturally competent services.
  3. To develop knowledge, skills, and ability to implement effective outreach, programming, and consultation.
  4. To facilitate competence in supervision.
  5. To develop scientific and professional knowledge, identity, and ethical integrity.

Qualifications of Candidates

Minimal Eligibility and Qualifications

Applicants must complete all formal requirements towards Ph.D. or Psy.D. candidacy in Counseling or Clinical Psychology (preferably APA accredited), including:

  • All course work necessary for the title of doctoral candidate including comprehensive exams.
  • Acceptance of dissertation proposal by dissertation committee no later than the APPIC ranking date.
  • Clinical experience with college student population preferred.
  • A minimum of 500 cumulative supervised hours in direct clinical service as defined by APPIC criteria.
  • At least 400 direct therapy hours; with no less than 300 accrued during the doctoral program.
  • Experience with intellectual and personality assessment measures and a completion of a minimum of 4 integrated assessment reports.
  • Hours must be accumulated no later than the APPIC ranking date.
  • CAPS seeks individuals who are team players, have strong communication skills, practice good self-care, are open to learning, value consultation and supervision, and value self-reflection as a tool for professional development.

Internship Responsibilities and Expectations

The UNLV CAPS Doctoral Internship is a 2000 hour experience, with the expectation of 500 hours of direct service activities. Interns will be able to gain experience through a wide range of activities some of which will be negotiated individually by each trainee based on their interest areas and the needs of the center. The doctoral internship in professional psychology includes these components:

Direct Service

  • Intake Assessments
  • Brief Individual and Couples Counseling
  • Group Counseling
  • Triage Coverage (4 hours/week)
  • Supervision of a therapist in training
  • Consultation

Training Activities

  • Training Seminars, including: Multicultural Seminar, Intern Case Conference, Supervision of Supervision, and Clinical and Professional Issues Seminar. Additionally, training seminars will include didactics such as:
    • Brief Psychotherapy
    • Crisis/Suicidal/At-Risk Clients
    • Ethics
    • Group Counseling
    • Couples Counseling
    • Mindfulness
    • Theories of Psychotherapy
    • Eating Disorders
  • Clinical Assessment Team meeting
  • Individual Supervision
  • Supervision of Group Therapy
  • Meeting with the Training Coordinator
  • Staff Meeting

Other Activities

  • Prep time/Admin time/Dissertation time.
  • Specialty rotation depending on intern interests and center needs. Examples include, but are not limited to: Behavioral Health, Eating Disorders, Multicultural Competence, Disabilities, and Outreach.

Training Year and Benefits

We will offer two positions for the 2015-2016 internship year. The internship is 40 hours/week starting August 10, 2015. The stipend will be $25,000 plus benefits paid monthly. Interns also receive university holidays and annual, sick, and professional development leave. The leave is intended for an intern’s dissertation defense, job interviews, and conferences. The timing of this leave is subject to approval of the Training Coordinator. All interns will have a private office with a computer, printer, webcam for videotaping, and library privileges.

Sample Schedule

Weekly Activities for CAPS Interns (approximate)
Intern weekly Activities Fall Hours/Week
Spring Hours/Week
Summer Hours/Week
Direct Service
Individual/Couples Therapy* 12 12 14
Intakes 3 3 3
Group Therapy 1.5-3 1.5-3 1.5
Triage 4 4 4
Clinical Total
*Hours will adjust depending on number of groups
20.5-22 20.5-22 22.5
Other Service
Supervision of Practicum Student 1 1 0
Outreach/Consultation 1 1 2
Total 2 2 2
Clinical and Professional Issues Seminar 1 1 0
Individual Supervision 2 2 2
Group Supervision 1 1 1
Intern Case Conference (every other week) .5 .5 .5
CAT Meeting 2 2 2
Supervision Seminar/Sup of Sup (weekly) 1 1 0
Multicultural Seminar (every other week) .5 .5 0
Clinical Specialty Supervision 1 1 1
Training Total 9 9 6.5
Support Activities
Dissertation/Research Time 2 2 2
Intern Meeting 1 1 1
Administrative/Case Management 5 5 5
Staff Meeting .5-1.5 .5-1.5 .5-1.5
Support Activities Total 8.5-9.5 8.5-9.5 8.5-9.5
Total 40-41.5 40-41.5 40

Commitment to Diversity

The UNLV CAPS doctoral internship recognizes the importance of cultural and individual differences and diversity in the training of psychologists. The training program is committed to providing a rich multicultural experience for interns.  As a campus community, U.S. News and World Report named UNLV as tied for the 2nd most diverse college campus in 2015. Additionally, UNLV was designated as a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) by the U.S. Department of Education in December 2012. See the following links for additional information:

UNLV is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer Committed to Achieving Excellence Through Diversity.