Santa Clara University


Pre-Doctoral Internships

The CAPS Pre-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 pre-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 an apprentice-mentor developmental training model that incorporates current psychological theory and science with experiential learning. Trainees learn by doing, by reflecting on their work in supervisory consultation with staff, by observing the professional activities and practices of the staff, and by scholarly inquiry. It is intended to help interns grow and develop as generalist psychologists. At CAPS, interns gain extensive clinical experience with a diverse range of students and presenting problems.

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 enable 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 evaluations twice a year. In addition, Interns are able to broaden their knowledge and skill base by exposure to the variety of theoretical perspectives and intervention approaches that our multidisciplinary staff brings to the program.

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 mentorship 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).

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.

Intern Training Goals

Goal 1

Interns will demonstrate both the clinical skills and the knowledge of ethical and legal principles required for professional practice in psychology.

Goal 2

Interns will develop skills for working with individual and cultural diversity.

Goal 3

Interns will demonstrate growth in the development of professional identity as a psychologist, and in professional roles and behavior.

Goal 4

Interns will demonstrate the ability to provide consultation, education, outreach, and liaison.

Goal 5

Interns will demonstrate the ability to use supervision effectively and to understand the importance of ongoing supervision, lifelong learning, and self care.

During the Orientation period at the beginning of the Internship, Interns will receive both the CAPS Intern Training Manual and the CAPS Policies and Procedures Manual. 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. These materials will be reviewed during the initial Orientation period.

Direct Clinical Services

Weekly Clinical Activities

Interns manage up to 20 hours of direct service per week. This includes weekly intakes and assessment, a daily crisis hour for urgent appointments, consultations, referrals, outreach 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 care. Interns also discuss their treatment plan 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 each day 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.

Cowell Center Meetings

Interns at CAPS are a part of a multi-disciplinary team including psychologists, psychiatrists, dieticians, medical providers, insurance coordinators, 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
Direct Services: Outreach, consultation 3
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 9

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 Predoctoral 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 2015-2016, all application materials must be uploaded on to the AAPI Online by 5:00 p.m. (PST) on Monday, November 3, 2014. 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 12, 2014.

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 predoctoral internship appointments, beginning Monday August 17th, 2015 and ending Friday, August 19, 2016. The stipend for the internship is $23,000 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
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
Phone: 408-554-4172
Fax: 408-554-5454