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 (CAPS)

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)adheres to the procedures established by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) for the recruitment and selection of doctoral interns. 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.

The CAPS internship has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since November 8, 2016. For questions related to the internship program's accreditation status, please contact the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 
750 First St, NE 
Washington, DC 20002-4242

Telephone: (202) 336-5979

CAPS is a proud member of APPIC. CAPS Program Code Number for the Match: 2293

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, a licensed clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse 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 2-5 graduate-level practicum students and 2 interns.

Philosophy and Goals of the Training Program

The internship training is based on a Practitioner-Scholar model with a primary emphasis on competence in the practice of professional psychology that is influenced by the science of psychology.  Theory, research, and practice mutually inform each other. Interns are guided and encouraged in their pursuit of observing, inferring, formulating, and evaluating clinical hypotheses. Interns generate clinical hypotheses based on theory and research. The integration of science and practice is encouraged through the use of seminars, readings from scholarly publications, generating clinical hypotheses to explore in supervision, learning the empirical bases that guide the use of comprehensive assessment, and participating in professional development activities on best current practices in clinical practice.  A part of competent practice also includes being informed about the influential and current theoretical and research-bases of psychology and other related fields, especially evidence-based treatment. 

CAPS is part of the Student Wellness cluster, which embraces balanced, holistic health and wellness. The doctoral internship is designed to train interns to be competent, entry-level generalist psychologists. The internship training program emphasizes professional identity development, ethical decision making, and multicultural competence. CAPS provides a setting in which interns increase and strengthen their abilities to practice psychology throughout their year. Training involves developing both core skills and positive professional identity essential for the work of an entry-level psychologist. Interns work with a multidisciplinary staff who offer diverse backgrounds and various theoretical orientations, including evidence-based treatment. Interns have a unique opportunity to work within a center that includes a Behavioral Health Team, which serves as a bridge between the Student Health Center and CAPS to offer collaborative and integrated care. Interns gain experience by participating in a wide range of supervised professional activities within a large, urban, diverse university counseling center, including:

  • Individual, couples, and group therapy from a brief treatment model.
  • Crisis assessment and intervention.
  • Assessment and diagnosis.
  • Individual and group supervision.
  • Seminars (Multicultural, Case Conference, Clinical and Professional Issues, Supervision of Supervision).
  • Provision of supervision.
  • Case management and referrals to community mental health care.
  • Outreach, educational workshops and presentations, and consultation across the university.
  • Research, training, professional development, and other activities.
  • Optional rotations including, but not limited to: behavioral health, eating disorders, multicultural competence, outreach. Rotations include one hour of individual supervision/week with licensed staff.
  • Attendance and participation in staff, Clinical Assessment Team (consultation), joint provider (Student Health Center), and cluster (Student Wellness unit) meetings

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.
  • 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 2016-2017 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
Rotation Supervision 1 1 1
Professional Development Supervision 1 1 1
Training Total 10 10 7.5
Support Activities
Dissertation/Research Time 2 2 2
Administrative/Case Management 5 5 5
Staff Meeting .5-1.5 .5-1.5 .5-1.5
Support Activities Total 7.5-8.5 7.5-8.5 7.5-8.5
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:

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) is a large, urban, and diverse campus located in the heart of Las Vegas. According to the 2013 US Census estimate, the population of the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 2,027,828. The 2010 Census reported that the racial composition of Las Vegas was 62.1% White, 31.5% Hispanic or Latino, 11.1% Black or African American, 6.1% Asian, 4.9% Multiracial, .7% Native American, and .5% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. At UNLV, the main Paradise campus, where CAPS is located, is just over a mile east of the Las Vegas Strip.

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

CAPS offers bilingual therapy (Spanish and Hindi).

CAPS/Student Wellness has ADA approved wheelchair accommodations for doors, hallways, and an emergency wheelchair stairwell system (Evacu Trac).

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