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Doctoral Internship

The CAPS Doctoral Psychology Internship Program in Health Service Psychology 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 doctorate.

Application Deadline: November 3, 2023

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.

Learn More

The Santa Clara CAPS doctoral internship in health service psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association. Inquiries regarding the accreditation of our internship training program may be directed to:

APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation 
750 First Street, NE • Washington, DC • 20002-4242 
Phone: 202-336-5979

The Office of Accreditation’s web address may be accessed here: You may also email the Accreditation Office at

The CAPS internship program is based upon a Practitioner-Scholar model of training.  Interns learn by doing, by reflecting on their work in supervisory consultation with staff, by observing professional activities and practices of staff, and by scholarly inquiry.

The model incorporates current psychological theory and science with experiential learning and is focused on helping interns to grow and to develop as generalist psychologists with an area of expertise working in college counseling centers.  To this end, consistent with the APA’s Commission on Accreditation, our program aims to create opportunities and environments for interns to build profession-wide competencies to enter the profession of health service psychologists. These include: research, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values and attitudes, communication and interpersonal skills, assessment, intervention, supervision, and interpersonal/interdisciplinary skills. The goal over the course of the year is for interns to achieve competence in these domains allowing them to practice independently and to function as professional, effective, and ethical psychologists. 

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, 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.

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 for individuals with substance use issues.

Additionally, interns provide structured workshops and outreach programming and consultation to the larger campus community. Outreach has included such topics as stress management techniques, 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).


At CAPS, we are committed to providing culturally attuned and humble training for our interns and a training program that is welcoming to all members of our team. We place a high value on the appreciation of diversity, which is conceptualized broadly and across many dimensions. We work hard to ensure that all members of our staff, including trainees, feel fully valued and respected for the identities they bring to our site. We engage in ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive services to our clients and the larger campus community.  The internship program supports these efforts and places an emphasis on the development of culturally competent knowledge, awareness, and skills for our trainees.  Interns at our center are expected to develop competencies to effectively serve diverse populations, including clients whose identity, beliefs, worldviews, or cultural background may create personal conflict with that of the intern.

Goal #1:To develop competence in ethics and legal matters

Objective(s) for Goal #1:

  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge of APA ethical principles.
  • Interns will demonstrate knowledge of the laws and regulations related to the practice of professional psychology
  • 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 clinical skills required for professional practice in psychology with a specialization in college counseling

Objective(s) for Goal #2:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to conduct initial assessments, develop case conceptualizations and treatment plans, and make appropriate case dispositions.
  • 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 multi-culturally aware clinical practice.

Goal #3:Interns will develop the skills to effectively respond to crisis situations.

Objective(s) for Goal #3:

  • Interns will demonstrate the consultation, collaboration, and documentation skills necessary to effectively assess all safety and risk factors and to effectively intervene in crisis situations.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to effectively handle disposition, documentation, and follow-up with the 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 multi-culturally sensitive manner.

Objective(s) for Goal #4:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with peers, supervisors, and administrative staff.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with the Cowell Health Center practitioners, faculty, administrators, and other student affairs professionals.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to consult and collaborate with other mental health professionals, agencies outside of the university, and family members, when appropriate.

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

Objective(s) for Goal #5:

  • 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.

Objective(s) for Goal #6:

  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to interact in a multi-culturally 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 demonstrate professional maturity.

Goal #7: Interns will develop the ability to provide outreach, consultation, and liaison.

Objective(s) for Goal #7:

  • Interns will demonstrate competence in facilitation and presentation skills.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to support the work of others in the university and to provide appropriate information and guidance regarding psychological issues.
  • Interns will demonstrate the ability to participate in community activities and establish relationships with other university colleagues.

During the Orientation period at the beginning of the internship,  both the CAPS Intern Training Manual and the CAPS Policies and Procedures Manual will be distributed and reviewed. 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.

Weekly Clinical Activities

Interns manage up to 20 hours of direct service per week. This includes weekly intakes and assessment, crisis hours for urgent appointments, consultations, referrals 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 and welfare. Interns also discuss their treatment plans 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, referrals for medication evaluation, and engaging in collaboration with other campus and community support services.

Crisis Intervention

Interns have a range of opportunities to manage crises in the course of their ongoing therapy with students. Additionally, interns are assigned to a crisis hour appointment time on scheduled days 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 as a liasion to a particular campus partner to help with consultation and programming activities throughout the year.


Interns provide consultation to students, faculty, staff, residence life, other university departments involved with supporting student welfare. This consultation may occur over the phone or in person. Interns also participate in community activities and establish relationships with other university colleagues.

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 and mentoring experiences. 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:

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, therapists, psychiatrists, dieticians, medical providers, insurance coordinators, a case manager, 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 cross disciplinary case consultation meeting where information is communicated regarding shared cases between the health and mental health teams.

The number of hours required to complete the internship is 2,000 hours.



Direct Services: Intake assessments, individual counseling, group co-facilitation


Formal Training: Individual supervision (2), group supervision (2), staff case consultation (1), training seminars (2), trainee group meetings (1)


Administrative: Case documentation, case management, supervision preparation, preparation for programming





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.



Date Program Tables are updated: 8/19/22

Program Disclosures

Does the program or institution require students, trainees, and/or staff
(faculty) to comply with specific policies or practices related to the
institution’s affiliation or purpose? Such policies or practices may
include, but are not limited to, admissions, hiring, retention policies,
and/or requirements for completion that express mission and values?

_____ Yes

____X_ No

If yes, provide website link (or content from brochure) where this specific information is presented:


Internship Program Admissions

Applicants must be advanced doctoral students enrolled in an APA-accredited graduate program in clinical or counseling psychology. Academic coursework and preparation must be in accordance with APA accreditation standards, and all required coursework must be completed prior to the start of internship. To be considered for the internship, applicants should have completed their practica, have passed their comprehensive examinations, successfully submitted their proposal for dissertation, and accrued a minimum of 450 intervention hours prior to submitting their application.


Favorable consideration will be given to applicants who completed or have made substantial progress towards completion of their dissertation by the start of internship and/or who have had prior experience in counseling centers. Successful applicants typically have a strong interest in working with young adults and collegiate mental health, within a multiculturally diverse setting. They are also interested in increasing their knowledge and experience in a variety of domains, including individual and group therapy, prevention and outreach activities, consultation, and supervision.

Minimum Required Hours at Time of Application:
     Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours: Yes, 450 hours.
     Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours: No, no required assessment hours.
Described any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:


Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year

Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Interns


Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Interns


Program provides access to medical insurance for interns?

If access to medical insurance is provided:

  • Trainee Contribution to cost required?
  • Coverage of family member(s) available?
  • Coverage of legally married partner available?
  • Coverage of domestic partner available?

Program provides an additional stipend towards proof of paid annual health insurance policy.







Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (PTO and/or Vacation)

144 hours

Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave

 64 hours

In the event of a medical condition and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?


Other Benefits (please describe):

  • Each intern has an office, equipped with a computer, internet/printer access, digital recording technology, voicemail, and personalized business cards.
  • Library privileges may be available for interns on a limited basis.
  • Interns may also be eligible to purchase access to the Malley Fitness Center on campus on a monthly basis for a reduced fee.

During the winter holiday break when CAPS is closed, interns are “gifted” approximately 6 additional days off. Interns are provided with the following University Holidays:

New Year’s Eve, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day

*Note. Programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.


Initial Post-Internship Positions



Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts


Total # of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/are completing doctoral degree





Academic Teaching



Community Mental Health Center






University Counseling Center



Hospital/Medical Center



Veterans Affairs Health Care System



Psychiatric Facility



Correctional Facility



Health Maintenance Organization



School District/System



Independent Practice Setting






Note: “PD” = Post-doctoral residency position; “EP” = Employed Position. Each individual represented in this table should be counted only one time. For former trainees working in more than one setting, select the setting that represents their primary position. 


Contact Information


Throughout this process, you are welcome to contact the Training Director if you have any questions.

Estrella Ramirez, Ph.D.

Counseling and Psychological Services
Santa Clara University
Cowell Center
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-1055
Phone: 408-554-4501
Fax: 408-554-5454