APA Accredited Psychology Internship Program
The psychology internship year is the culmination of a formal education process through which trainees learn to apply the breadth of their psychological knowledge to their professional roles. The internship program at CAPS uses the practitioner-scholar model to promote the development process in which interns move from the role of student to that of colleague. Interns are encouraged to take an active role in designing their training to meet their professional goals, interests and developmental needs.
Interns receive scholarly training and supervision while participating in a broad range of activities that occur in university counseling centers. The center offers training experiences designed to help interns further develop their clinical skills, ethical decision-making abilities and professional identity in order for them to function as generalists in applied settings. Pursuant to those goals, interns are trained and supervised in providing clinical services, supervision, consultation and community outreach, as well as teaching and working within a larger organizational system.
Recognizing that interns begin the internship with unique interests and abilities, an effort is made to individualize the training program to meet their specific goals. During the initial weeks of the internship year, the interns become aware of the services CAPS provides and the role they play in providing these services. The intern, the Coordinator of Training, and supervisors identify the training needs and goals of the interns.
While the majority of training occurs in the context of supervision and service delivery, interns also participate in small-group discussions, seminars and case conferences to complement their training and prepare them for clinical work in the field. CAPS staff believes that personal development and maturity are cornerstones of professional competence and identity. Every effort is made to provide a supportive environment that models and attends to personal growth.
Clinical Service Training Activities
Individual/Couples Counseling and Psychotherapy. Interns accrue experience in treating students with a wide array of presenting issues, from adjustment and developmental concerns to more severe psychopathology. The cultural diversity and uniqueness of clients is affirmed and valued. Interns maintain a caseload of 14 to 17 individual and couples clients (less while on external rotation).
Group Counseling. Interns co-facilitate one or more counseling groups each semester. An intern and a senior staff member co-lead the group. The senior staff member provides supervision. Group offerings vary from semester to semester, and groups vary from general process groups to specialized groups for students with eating disorders, depression and the like. CAPS is currently offering Mindfulness training in a group format as well.
Provision of Supervision. Interns will have the opportunity to supervise graduate level counselor trainees from the CAPS Counselor Internship/Psychology Practicum Program (CIPPP), depending on the number of CIPPP trainees accepted into that program. Interns will provide one and one-half hours per week of individual clinical supervision for their assigned CIPPP trainees.
Outreach Programming and Consultation. Outreach programming aims to provide preventive psychoeducation or early intervention to students. Initial outreach presentations are completed with a senior staff member and later may be conducted alone. Interns are required to complete a minimum of eight (8) outreach presentations and activities during the year. CAPS regularly provides valued consultation services to the university community, and this role is integrated into the internship experience.
Crisis Intervention. CAPS provides 24-hour on-call emergency service. Staff members, including interns, are responsible for providing triage services to students during regular office hours. Each staff member is responsible for a portion of the week in which they meet with students who come to our walk-in triage clinic. CAPS also has a staff member available after hours to take emergency calls from students, faculty or parents. Interns are included in this on-call experience in the spring and summer semesters, after they have had the experience with triage in the fall.
Crisis Debriefing. From time to time a traumatic incident on campus requires CAPS staff members to conduct debriefings for groups of students, faculty and/or other University employees involved. Interns can co-facilitate debriefings with senior staff members.
Psychological Testing. CAPS conducts psychological evaluations with an emphasis on learning disorders and ADHD. Interns administer a variety of psychological instruments, evaluate test data and produce a minimum of four (4) written reports during the year.
Core Training Activities
Individual Supervision. Each intern will be matched with a primary supervisor for two (2) hours of individual supervision per week. Interns work with two (2) or three (3) different primary supervisors during the year. In addition, interns may elect to receive secondary supervision from other CAPS staff members. Supervisory assignments are based on intern requests and the training staff's assessment of each intern's developmental needs.
Supervision of Supervision. Interns will receive one and one-half (1.5) hours per week of group supervision focused on their supervision of CIPPP trainees.
Group Counseling Supervision. Supervision of group counseling is provided by the senior staff member with whom the intern co-facilitates a group.
Psychological Testing Supervision. The primary supervisor and the Coordinator of Testing provide supervision of administration, evaluation of the data and report writing.
Case Conference. Interns participate in weekly case conferences. Interns and senior staff present cases on a rotating basis. Discussion centers on case conceptualization, diagnostic and treatment concerns.
Intern Support. Interns gather one (1) hour every other week to share their experiences and offer mutual support. Interns have significant input into how this time will be spent. On alternate weeks, interns meet for one (1) hour with the Coordinator of Training. The structure of these meetings may be informal or formal depending on intern interest or need.
Orientation. The interns spend the first few weeks of the internship learning the policies and procedures of CAPS and Redfern Health Center. The interns will also participate in activities designed to assist them in becoming familiar with the university at large. A variety of workshops and presentations are included in the orientation.
Training Seminar. Senior staff members, interns and special guests present seminars on professional and clinical issues for two (2) hours each week. The seminars combine didactic and experiential learning, and focus on current professional issues. Examples of seminar topics include, but are not limited to multicultural issues in counseling, supervision, hypnosis, dealing with grief, legal and ethical issues in counseling, suicide, and working with clients with eating disorders. Training seminars frequently offer opportunities for self-exploration and personal growth as part of a holistic learning process that continues throughout ones professional career.
Administration. Interns participate in staff meetings, case management meetings, committees, and various staff retreats throughout the year. CAPS provides time for these and other administrative responsibilities.
Specialized Training Opportunities
These specialized training opportunities supplement an intern's core training activities.
Research Emphasis. Interns spend two (2) to four (4) hours per week on research projects. Interns can use this time for the dissertation or doctoral project during fall semester and will participate in a CAPS-related research project during spring and summer semesters. Projects will be developed in conjunction with the Coordinator of Research and may include working with a senior staff member for an ongoing project, developing a project with fellow interns, or working on an independent project. Currently, CAPS is engaged in an effectiveness study for group treatment of alcohol and drug issues. Other projects include evaluation of CAPS programs, client satisfaction survey research, and the development of treatment outcome-oriented research.
Inpatient Emphasis (summer only). Our internship program has made arrangements with Marshall I. Pickens Hospital, a private psychiatric facility, for interns who want to gain experience assessing and treating inpatient populations.
Evaluation and Feedback
Evaluation of Interns. All CAPS staff members provide feedback to assist with the evaluation of interns. Primary supervisors and some program coordinators formally evaluate each intern's progress at the end of every semester. Evaluators assess current strengths and areas for growth, and evaluations are used to focus the next semester’s supervision. The Coordinator of Training gives each intern a complete description of the evaluation procedures at the beginning of the year. Less formal evaluations are scheduled mid-semester in the fall and spring. At the end of fall semester and at the end internship, a summary of evaluations is sent to the intern’s graduate program documenting the intern’s training activities and development over the course of the internship.
Evaluation of Supervisors and Internship Program. Interns are asked to evaluate their supervisory experiences and the internship program at the same time they are being evaluated. This information will be used to make agreed-upon adjustments in the methods of supervision and training to better meet intern needs.
Internship Faculty and CAPS Staff
Each CAPS staff member offers valuable contributions to the internship experience, including supervision, mentoring, consultation, evaluating interns, giving them feedback, and providing support to interns as they evolve into psychologists. CAPS senior staff members have different training backgrounds, thus they will provide different types of training experiences.
Primary supervision and all other forms of training are provided by the following CAPS senior staff members:
Raquel Contreras, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and became CAPS Director in July 2002. Prior to joining CAPS, she was the Director of Psychological Services at the International Pain Institute-Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She has also served as Associate Director and Coordinator of Training at the Texas Tech University Counseling Center. As a site visitor for the American Psychological Association’s Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, she has conducted numerous accreditation reviews. Dr. Contreras works from a psychodynamic orientation with integrative interventions. She is English-Spanish bilingual and emphasizes multicultural competence. Her professional interests include administration, multicultural competencies, training and supervision.
George Atkinson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist. He arrived in Clemson after completing his internship with the Student Counseling Service at Texas A&M University. He finished his doctoral work in counseling psychology at the University of Memphis. His professional interests range from the use of hypnotherapy repetitive patterns, enhancing performance and relationship issues to testing for learning disorders and assessing for adult ADHD. Dr. Atkinson has served a five-year term on the S.C. Board of Examiners in Psychology. At CAPS, he serves as Associate Director and CAPS Coordinator of Testing and Evaluation Services.
Harold Stevens, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist. He arrived at Clemson in 2003 after working at Texas Tech for 10 years where he served as a staff psychologist and Assistant Director. His professional interests are in multicultural issues, supervision and the process of therapy. At CAPS, Dr. Stevens serves as Assistant Director and the CAPS Coordinator of Counselor Internship/Psychology Practicum Program (CIPPP).
Laura Haley Creel, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and the CAPS Coordinator of Psychology Internship Training. She earned her doctorate in counseling psychology from Auburn University in 2006. She arrived at Clemson in fall 2006 after completing her psychology internship and doing postdoctoral work at the University of Oregon Counseling and Testing Center. Dr. Creel works from a psychodynamic and existential theoretical orientation, and was trained as a generalist. Her professional interests include eating disorders, physical and sexual trauma, relationships, women's issues, personality disorders, psychoeducation for college students and training/supervision.
Dale L. Sanders, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist and the CAPS Coordinator of Consultation and Outreach. Dr. Sanders earned his doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in 2003. Dr. Sanders completed his psychology internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Devereux Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sanders works from a psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and humanistic orientation. Dr. Sanders' professional interests include psychopharmacology, administration, and supervision, and he enjoys working with children, adults and families.
With the exception of primary supervision, additional forms of training and support can be provided by the following CAPS senior staff members:
Kelly Bollinger, M.Ed., LPC, CACII, is a licensed professional counselor, a certified addictions counselor, and the CAPS Coordinator of ACTT, which stands for Assessment, Choices, Training and Transitions. ACTT provides clinical services for Clemson students who have alcohol and other drug-related issues. The program includes assessment, group and individual counseling, and prevention education. Ms. Bollinger earned her graduate degree from Clemson University.
Birmagidra Gainor, Ph.D., LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and the CAPS Coordinator of Research Services. Dr. Gainor oversees research activities that take place at CAPS including program evaluation, consultation about dissertation research, and other research projects in which CAPS engages. Dr. Gainor earned her doctorate degree in counseling from the University of Georgia in 2010 and completed her psychology internship at the Counseling and Human Development Center at the University of South Carolina. Currently, she is pursuing licensure as a psychologist in South Carolina.
Amy Massingill, M.Ed., LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and the CAPS Coordinator of Triage Services. Ms. Massingill monitors the provision of triage services through our walk-in clinic, CUNow. She assists CAPS Case Manager in ensuring that students who seek services are matched with a counselor or group, or are given appropriate referrals. Ms. Massingill earned her graduate degree from Clemson University.
Kimberly Poole, M.Ed., LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and the CAPS Coordinator of CU CARES, which stands for CU Counseling, Advocacy, Referrals, Education, and Support. CU CARES offers clinical and support services to the victims of sexual trauma and relationship violence, as well as providing education, outreach, and training about these issues for the Clemson campus as a whole. Ms. Poole earned her graduate degree from Clemson University.
Josh Queen, M.Ed., LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and the CAPS Coordinator of LPC-I Internship Training Program. This newest level of training at CAPS is designed to provide the professional development and clinical experiences needed for Master's level counselors to obtain licensure for independent practice in South Carolina. Mr. Queen earned his graduate degree from Clemson University.
Christopher Ruth, M.A., is a staff counselor and the CAPS Coordinator of Group Services. Mr. Ruth oversees the development and implementation of various types of group counseling offered at CAPS. Mr. Ruth is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in counseling psychology from West Virginia University and completed his psychology internship here at CAPS in 2011.
Chana Skelton, M.Ed., LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and the CAPS Case Manager. Ms. Skelton oversees the case management process to ensure that all students who seek services are matched with a counselor or group, or are given appropriate referrals. Ms. Skelton earned her graduate degree from Clemson University.
The CAPS administrative staff plays a vital role in the day-to-day functioning of our agency, and they provide invaluable support and assistance to interns throughout the internship year. Shayna Arrowood serves as CAPS Administrative Assistant and Ashton Dixon serves as CAPS Administrative Specialist. In addition, CAPS employs part-time clinical staff members who have diverse training backgrounds and can also contribute to the internship experience by providing support, consultation, and feedback.
Internship Dates and Benefits
- The internship year begins August 1 and ends July 31.
- The stipend is $23,600 and interns receive health, dental, and life insurance benefits, as well as retirement planning options.
- As full-time university employees, Interns accrue 9.38 hours of paid annual and 9.38 hours of paid sick leave per month. They also receive 13 paid official university holidays.
Counseling and Psychological Services is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Association of Counseling Center Training Agents (ACCTA). The Psychology Internship Program was first accredited by the American Psychological Association's Commission on Accreditation (CoA) in 2004. CAPS was reaccredited in 2009. For further accreditation information, contact the Commission on Accreditation, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Telephone: 202-336-5979. TDD/TTY: 202-336-6123.
Internship Selection Process and Applications
- The prospective intern should be a doctoral candidate from an APA-accredited program in counseling or clinical psychology who has successfully completed all course work and passed all qualifying examinations. At least 500 intervention and assessment hours should have been accrued during doctoral practica experiences upon submission of the internship application.
- Completion of the Dissertation Proposal is preferred. Completion of the Dissertation is strongly encouraged.
- Applications should be electronically submitted by November 5. Please note that the entire APPIC website in currently under revision and the CAPS site information and previous application deadline of November 15 cannot be updated at this time.
To apply, please submit the following:
- APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI).
- Three letters of reference.
- All information submitted to National Matching Services is sufficient.
Application Review: The CAPS intern selection process occurs in three (3) stages: initial screen; detailed review; and interview. The Coordinator of Training completes the initial screen by reviewing all submitted applications to evaluate whether or not each applicant meets minimum criteria set by CAPS for further consideration. The remaining eligible applicants are evaluated by the CAPS Internship Selection Committee who complete a detailed review of the application materials. After the detailed review, approximately thirty (30) qualified applicants are chosen for a phone interview. At any point in the screening process, any applicant who is no longer being considered will be notified by e-mail of her/his change in status. By December 15, all applicants will be notified of their interview status. It is important to note that CAPS typically sends these notifications on December 15.
Interview, Follow-up, and Ranking: Applicants selected for the phone interview will be sent an e-mail invitation along with scheduling instructions. Interviews typically occur in early January. The interview is 30-45 minutes in length, and multiple CAPS staff member participate. Applicants are encouraged to ask questions about our site, and time is allotted for that purpose. After the interview, each applicant will contacted by a current CAPS Psychology Intern or staff member to give applicants an additional opportunity to ask questions. The follow-up phone contact is done out of courtesy and is not evaluated. Once all interviews are completed, the CAPS Internship Selection Committee will rank the interviewed applicants and submit the rankings to the Internship Matching Program. Occasionally, an applicant will be dropped from consideration after the interview is completed.
Site Visit: While CAPS does not conduct on-site interviews or open house events, prospective applicants are welcomed to visit our facility. Applicants who wish to visit our site are asked to notify CAPS in advance of their arrival so that we may have staff available to conduct a tour and/or answer questions. Please note that site visits in no way affect applicant ranking decisions, and we at CAPS abide by all APPIC Match Policies (see below).
Selection: Upon a successful match, entry into the CAPS Psychology Internship Program is contingent upon completion and acceptance of the Clemson University employment application. In addition, matched internship candidates are required to undergo a Pre-Employment Investigation, which will include a criminal records check, loan default check, and a national sex offender registry check. Matched internship candidates will be accepted into the CAPS Psychology Internship Program pending favorable background investigation results. For more information or questions about this policy, please contact Clemson University's Office of Human Resources at: 864-656-2000.
Internship Matching Program: Our site is registered to participate in the APPIC Internship Matching Program. To be considered for our site, applicants must be registered with National Matching Services.
- Our APPIC member number is 1720.
- Our APPIC Internship Matching Program code is 172011.
APPIC: We follow APPIC Internship Matching Program policies for the internship selection process. As such, 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 (APPIC Match Policies, 2012-2013, Item 5a). APPIC guidelines are available at http://www.appic.org.
For additional information, contact:
Laura Haley Creel, Ph.D.
Coordinator of Psychology Internship Training