Graduate Training Program

Welcome from UCLA CAPS’ TRAINING DIRECTOR


Dear Prospective Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the graduate training programs offered at UCLA Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). We offer these four training programs:

  • an APA doctoral internship in Health Service Psychology
  • a postdoctoral fellowship for psychologists who have completed their degrees and an APA internship
  • a practicum for UCLA Ph.D. students in Clinical Psychology
  • an internship for UCLA Masters’ students in Social Welfare

All of our programs provide excellent training opportunities in providing multiculturally-competent brief and evidence-based treatments in a variety of modalities to our extremely diverse student body, and focus on the acquisition of ethically-based decision making and professional development.

I hope the information provided below provides you with useful information regarding our programs’ components, goals, and application processes.  If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at pkassel@caps.ucla.edu

With best wishes,


Peter Kassel, PsyD
Training Director, UCLA CAPS 

About CAPS: Staff and Setting

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a multidisciplinary counseling center for the UCLA student community, offering individual, group and conjoint counseling and psychotherapy to students; prevention and outreach, consultation and education to students, staff and faculty; and training programs for graduates in the mental health professions. We are a multiethnic and multicultural staff of psychologists, clinical social workers and psychiatrists, all of whom have varied training and interests. Our staff is one of the most diverse in the nation.

Students present to UCLA-CAPS with a full range of concerns, from normal developmental issues to severe psychopathology. CAPS offers a variety of interventions to address these concerns. Last year we provided direct clinical services to over 8,600 UCLA students and outreach services to more than three times that number, providing an unusually rich opportunity to work in a variety of modalities with a large and diverse population.

APA Accreditation

The UCLA-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: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation. You may also email the Accreditation Office at apaaccre@apa.org.

UCLA Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and state Laws and University Policies, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, medical condition (cancer related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran.

The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. For additional information about this policy please view the Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy Regarding Academic and Staff Employment.

Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology

The APA-accredited doctoral internship program in psychology at UCLA's Counseling and Psychological Services invites applications for the 2017-2018 training year.

The deadline for applications is: November 3, 2017

Interviewees will be notified on: December 1, 2017

The training year duration is: August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2019

We welcome and encourage applications from diverse individuals. Our program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. For further information regarding APA accreditation, you may contact the APA Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation by phone at (202) 336-5979 or (202) 336-6123 TDD or at the following website: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation. You may also email the Accreditation Office at apaaccre@apa.org. We are a member of APPIC, participate in the APPIC Match (Program Code 113511) and adhere to all APPIC Match policies regarding selection and notification.

Applicants selected to interview will be notified by e-mail on December 4, 2017, at which time instructions about scheduling an interview will be provided. Applicants not selected will be notified by e-mail by December 6, 2017. Interviews will be conducted in person or by video on January 3, 4 and 8 2018. 

Application Qualifications & Procedures

Qualifications

By the start of internship, applicants must be advanced doctoral students who meet all of the following requirements:

Current enrollment in an American Psychological Association-or Canadian Psychological Association-accredited doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology

  • Successful completion of all required coursework and practica prior to start of internship
  • Successful completion of doctoral comprehensive exams
  • Completion of a minimum of 1000 supervised hours of practicum experience, of which 500 hours are face-to-face intervention hours, by application deadline.
  • Verification by the director of training of readiness for internship
  • Clearly identified experience conducting intakes, providing crisis assessment and intervention, and providing empirically supported brief therapy
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two from supervisors familiar with recent clinical work. one letter must be authored by a current supervisor.

Procedures

The deadline for applications is November 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

To apply for our Doctoral Internship, applicants should apply via the AAPI Online site. From the APPIC homepage, click on "AAPI Online." Your online application must include the following:

  • A completed APPIC Application for Psychology Internship (AAPI) form. The AAPI may be downloaded from http://www.appic.org.
  • Submission of cover letter describing qualifications and professional experience compatible with training at UCLA CAPS. Applicants are asked to clearly identify experience conducting intakes, providing crisis assessment and intervention, conducting brief empirically-supported therapy, and to elaborate on training goals specific to CAPS.
  • Current curriculum vita
  • Official transcripts of all graduate work
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two from supervisors familiar with recent clinical work. One letter must be authored by a current supervisor.

An interview (either in-person or by video) will be required of all finalists. Interviewees will be notified on December 2, 2016.

Final acceptance to the UCLA-CAPS doctoral internship training program is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background investigation (i.e. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice fingerprint scans) at the commencement of the internship.

UCLA-CAPS adheres to all APPIC internship selection policies. In keeping with these policies, CAPS does not solicit, accept or use ranking-related information from any intern applicant.

Please refer to the APPIC website for the most recent copy of Internship Offers and Acceptances.

For correspondence and inquiries, please email the Intern Applications Coordinator.

Philosophy of Training

The CAPS training program adheres to a Scholar-Practitioner model. Focusing on the clinical application of scientific findings, a broad array of supervised clinical, outreach and prevention experiences and formal and informal didactic settings promote the acquisition of practice skills and the development of critical thinking.

We regard our doctoral interns as professionals in training, and accordingly the training program is developmental in its focus. We believe that professional development and competency as a newly-practicing psychologist results from cumulative and developmental immersion in broad clinical experience rooted in empirical evidence and supported by skilled professionals serving as supervisors, teachers, and role models. Recognizing that interns begin their internship year at varying developmental levels, an assessment is made of their training needs at the start of the year and expectations are individually tailored. After a year of close supervision, we expect each intern to have developed an increased level of clinical competence and autonomy, heightened professional identity and ethical awareness, and an enhanced understanding of self in preparation for independent functioning as a clinical psychologist.

We train our interns to be generalists, with particular expertise in working with a college population. Over the course of the year, interns provide individual, couple and group psychotherapy, emergency assessment and response, crisis intervention, psychological assessment, and outreach/prevention and consultation to the university community. Interns are encouraged to develop specific expertise with special populations and these interests are taken into account when making assignments; however, such interests are considered as secondary to generalist training.

An appreciation of human diversity is a cornerstone of our training program. Honoring these values, the training program seeks to recruit a range of candidates, including those from diverse backgrounds and with diverse interests. Our highly diverse clinical staff trains interns in the competent provision of services to UCLA's pluralistic student body. The diversity of our staff and our clientele provides interns with an unusual opportunity to gain specific clinical experience and expertise with a broad spectrum of individually and culturally diverse clients across a full range of health and psychopathology. A variety of training experiences complement these clinical experiences, and lead to the acquisition and development of knowledge, awareness and skills related to multiculturally-competent case conceptualization and care.

Over the course of the year, interns are expected to refine their sensitivity and competence in service delivery to students of varied racial, cultural, religious, gender, sexual orientation, physical and age groups. Professional diversity is also valued, as our staff consists of psychologists, clinical social workers and psychiatrists, and trainees from psychology, social work, and psychiatry residency programs.

Intensive supervision is a distinguishing feature of CAPS internship training and encompasses a variety of theoretical frameworks. Interns are frequently asked to reflect on personal issues potentially affecting their professional functioning as therapists, trainers, consultants and colleagues. While we strive to respect interns' privacy rights, the disclosure of personal information pertinent to interns' professional roles in the context of their supervision is routine and expected.

Finally, our training program operates in a context of ongoing reciprocal evaluation and feedback. Such periodic evaluation ensures that interns, as well as supervisory staff, are progressing in their individual and professional development goals.

Goals of the Training Program

The CAPS training program prepares psychology doctoral interns to function as multiculturally-competent and ethical professionals with specific expertise in addressing diverse college or university populations and a clear sense of their early professional identities.

Consistent with this aim, the internship has the following three objectives:

  1. Facilitation of interns' clinical competence across the full range of professional services for a diverse undergraduate and graduate student clientele
  2. Promoting interns' ethical behavior and sensitivity to ethical and legal issues
  3. Fostering interns' professional identity development as psychologists

These objectives are articulated in the program’s focus on the following competencies: research; ethical and legal standards; individual and cultural diversity; professional values, attitudes and behaviors; communication and interpersonal skills; assessment; intervention; supervision; and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills. 

The full-time, twelve-month Doctoral Internship in Psychology provides trainees with the opportunity to receive an intensively supervised experience in delivering a range of multiculturally-aware and competent mental health services to a large public university student body and in providing prevention, outreach and consultation to the campus community. Interns receive training in brief and intermittent individual therapy, group and couple therapy, emergency response, crisis intervention, psychological assessment and diagnosis, consultation, prevention and outreach, and ethical and legal regulations and practices. Training occurs experientially via clinical work, case consultation, and outreach to the campus community, and in a variety of formal and informal didactic settings.

CAPS provides interns with the opportunity to interact with colleagues in other disciplines without the artificial hierarchical constraints present in many other clinical settings. Observing and functioning within the CAPS community of psychologists, clinical social workers and psychiatrists is an invaluable experience in the development of interns' professional identity, integrity and independence. Routine interdisciplinary interaction is present throughout the department via clinical collaboration, case conferences, committees, staff development activities and training activities.

Description of Training Activities

Individual Therapy

Interns provide up to 16-18 service hours per week. CAPS provides empirically supported treatments within a brief treatment setting.

Group Therapy

UCLA-CAPS features one of the largest and most highly-utilized counseling center group programs in the nation. Opportunities include general psychotherapy groups, interpersonal process groups, empirically supported group treatments for a variety of mood and anxiety difficulties, groups for building and enhancing skills in emotional regulation (based on DBT), and several theme-oriented groups targeted to specific populations including eating disorders, bereavement, women, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-students, and writers of theses and dissertations. Our three- to five-session Wellness Skills Groups are structured interventions focusing on various stress management techniques and topics, including cognitive-behavioral approaches, biofeedback, procrastination and test-anxiety.

Interns co-lead therapy groups with licensed staff members, and may have the opportunity to create a group.

Emergency and Crisis Evaluation and Intervention

As they gain familiarity with CAPS and University and community resources, interns join the staff Urgent Coverage rotation, responding to students presenting with urgent or emergency concerns.

Campus Prevention and Outreach

Serving as consultants, trainers and educators, the CAPS staff participates in many efforts to enhance the quality of student life, and offers services not only in our offices but throughout the campus. Members of the staff lead discussions and make presentations to such groups as residence hall advisors, peer counselors, faculty and academic support service staff. Interns are expected to participate in the department's ongoing projects and encouraged to initiate, design and implement others in which they have particular interest.

Supervision

Interns receive two hours weekly of one-to-one supervision and participate in a weekly two-hour supervision group. All supervision is provided by licensed staff members. Additional supervision is provided weekly for prevention/outreach activities, group psychotherapy and psychological assessment.

Supervision of Graduate Students in Clinical Psychology

Doctoral interns provide weekly supervision to UCLA Ph.D. students in Clinical Psychology, and are supervised on their supervision within a group format. Supervision sessions are videotaped and reviewed to enhance foundational learning of supervision practices.

Training Seminars

Interns attend a full time, 3 week Summer Orientation Seminar, led by various staff members and local mental health professionals. These seminars orient new interns to services at UCLA-CAPS, clinical procedures, and the campus community and focus on training Interns in the variety of activities they will engage in during the year. These include specialized treatment topics, risk assessment, legal and ethical requirements, emergency management and consultation, CAPS policies and procedures, and designing workshops.

The weekly Training Seminar addresses an array of clinical and professional issues, such as clinical proficiency in the treatment of ethnic minorities, specialized interventions and treatment topics, sport psychology, eating disorders, and mental health law and ethics.

The CBT and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Models seminars are conducted in the summer. Each of these two seminars provides roughly 15 hours of in-depth instruction in CBT and Dynamic theories and interventions including traditional CBT and third wave interventions such as mindfulness, ACT, and DBT, and psychodynamic and contemporary analytic psychotherapy. Additional brief seminars provide instruction in empirically-supported group treatments for anxiety and depression.

Assessment Seminar. During the internship year, Interns conduct ADHD assessments. The weekly ADHD Psychological Assessment Seminar provides an overview of testing instruments and methods typically applied in these assessments. Interns receive group supervision of assessment cases throughout the year within this weekly seminar.

Staff Meetings and Staff Development

Interns attend monthly staff meetings. Additional meetings are devoted to in-service training for the entire staff.

Sample Schedule
  • Individual and Group Intervention --- 12-14 hours
  • Individual supervision --- 2 hours
  • Group supervision --- 2 hours
  • Supervision of group treatment --- .5-1 hour
  • Prevention/Outreach – 1-2 hours
  • Supervision of Prevention/Outreach – .5 hours (4-5 hours/quarter)
  • Training seminar --- 2 hours
  • Psychotherapy Models Seminars --- 4 hours (summer only)
  • Assessment Seminar and Supervision --- 1 hour
  • Staff meeting/Staff development --- .5 hours (twice monthly)
  • Office work/charting --- approximately 10 hours
  • Urgent and Emergency coverage --- 1.5 hours
  • Psychological testing --- variable
Stipend

The stipend for a full-time twelve month appointment is $30,000. Benefits include generous vacation, sick leave, medical coverage and up to 40 professional development hours.

Licensure Hours

The doctoral internship in health service psychology at UCLA-CAPS is a full time (40 hours per week), 12-month internship, from August 1, 2017 to July 31, 2018 for a total of 2080 hours. Interns utilizing their full vacation and holiday leave and all sick time will have completed 1,768 hours. Successful completion of the internship requires a minimum of 1,768 hours.

Requirements for Satisfactory Progress and Program Completion

To progress satisfactorily through the doctoral internship training program, on the mid-year evaluation interns must receive 90% of scores at or above the level of "inconsistently demonstrated competency" (score of "2" or greater). Should an intern fall below this standard, a remediation plan will be implemented. Any score of "1" (indicating performance "below competency expectations") on any competency will lead to the immediate implementation of a remediation plan, and be the focus of the mid-year evaluation meeting with each intern and his/her/their supervisors and training director.

To successfully complete the doctoral internship training program, on the final intern evaluation interns must receive 90% of scores at or above the level of "demonstrated competency" (score of "3" or greater) and complete a minimum of 1768 hours.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program for Psychologists

UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers four postdoctoral fellowship positions in health service psychology for psychologists who have completed their doctoral training and internship in APA-accredited programs.

Important Dates:

Fellowship duration: 12 months

Application deadline: January 5, 2018

Finalists invited to interview will be contacted by: January 19, 2018

This 12-month full-time Fellowship provides advanced clinical training and supervision with a focus on brief empirically-supported therapies with undergraduate and graduate students in a multidisciplinary, multicultural university counseling center. 

UCLA CAPS is a vibrant and highly utilized counseling service, situated centrally between the residence halls and the Student Union and adjacent to Pauley Pavilion, the Wooden Recreation Center and the Ashe Student Health Center. UCLA’s student population is considerably diverse along almost every dimension and reflects a remarkable array of ethnic, socio-cultural and religious backgrounds. Clients present with a broad range of psychological and psychiatric problems, from developmental issues typical of college age individuals to debilitating conditions requiring psychiatric hospitalization. Last year, direct clinical services were provided to over 8,000 UCLA students and outreach services to more than three times that number, providing an unusually rich opportunity to work in a variety of modalities with a large and diverse population. Please visit the main CAPS website to learn more about CAPS services and programs.

General Fellowship Information

Fellows’ responsibilities include intake assessment, crisis intervention, individual and group psychotherapy, assessment, supervision of practicum Ph.D or masters in social welfare students, and workshops and presentations for the campus community.

  • Fellows are expected to provide a minimum of 24 hours of direct service weekly, design and implement programs for targeted populations, and develop unique areas of additional campus prevention and outreach in consultation with CAPS staff members. Other programmatic responsibilities may be added.
  • Treatment modalities featured at CAPS include: Unified Protocol for Emotional Disorders; CBT (including exposure interventions); mindfulness-based interventions; dialectical behavior therapy based interventions; ACT; integrative psychotherapy; and brief dynamic therapy.
  • A minimum of four hours of supervision will be provided weekly, consisting of two hours of individual supervision weekly and two or more additional hours related to group treatment, prevention and outreach activities, and other direct service activities.
  • For purposes of licensure, it is expected that Fellows will accrue over 1,700 hours of supervised professional experience by the completion of the training year. This number is an estimate and depends on the fellows’ schedule and activities.

Required Qualifications

Without exception, applicants must have completed an APA-accredited internship and possess a doctoral degree in counseling or clinical psychology from an APA-accredited graduate program by the start date of the Fellowship (August 1, 2018). Unfortunately we are not able to entertain applications from candidates who will not have graduated by July 31, 2018 and/or did not attend APA-accredited doctoral programs and internships.

Demonstrated interest and experience working with diverse multicultural college student populations and established experience and clinical competency with brief psychotherapies are required. Fellows must also demonstrate considerable experience in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and the integration of emotional regulation skills and distress tolerance into general clinical practice.

Pursuant to University of California policies, this Fellowship requires a satisfactory completion of a background investigation (i.e. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice fingerprint scans) prior to the start of the UCLA CAPS Fellowship. The investigation is conducted following an offer of acceptance into the Fellowship program, and final acceptance into the UCLA CAPS Fellowship is contingent upon the results of this background investigation.

Benefits & Compensation

The Fellowship includes medical benefits (including dental and vision). The stipend for the Fellowship is $40,000.

Application Procedures, Interviews, and Notification Dates

Our Postdoctoral Fellowship Program follows the guidelines set forth by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Center (APPIC). Postdoctoral selection guidelines in effect for the 2018-2019 year can be found at the APPIC website. 

Our Postdoctoral Fellowship Program uses the APPA CAS (APPIC Psychology Postdoctoral Application - Centralized Application System). Applicants should complete and submit the APPA CAS application at this website:
https://appicpostdoc.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login 

The specific application requirements for the UCLA CAPS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program are indicated below as well as within the APPA CAS system. The following must be submitted through the APPA CAS system by January 5, 2018:

  • A cover letter indicating your specific interest in the UCLA CAPS Fellowship
  • An updated curriculum vita, including the anticipated date of your graduation
  • Three letters of recommendation from sources familiar with your clinical skills and academic background. One of these must be from your APA-approved internship site Director of Training. 
  • A letter (statement) from your dissertation Chair stating your anticipated defense date.

Please contact Peter E. Kassel, Psy.D., Director of Training by e-mail or telephone (310-825-0768) if you have further questions.

Practicum Program for Doctoral Psychology Graduate Students

UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides practicum experience for UCLA Clinical Psychology doctoral students in their third year of training. The practicum provides an opportunity to gain broad experience in providing empirically supported treatments in short-term individual psychotherapy to undergraduate and graduate students, and gain some exposure conducting group psychotherapy. CAPS practicum students also may attend the numerous continuing education activities throughout the year hosted by CAPS, and on occasion may participate in outreach activities on the UCLA campus.

Practicum students treat clients with a wide range of presenting concerns, from normal developmental issues to severe psychopathology. Given the nature of the multicultural and multiethnic student population at UCLA, practicum students gain considerable experience providing a range of services to diverse populations (e.g., cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds; socioeconomic status; gender and sexual orientation; age; dis/ability). Trainees participate in CAPS’ general case distribution via intakes, meaning that trainees see an extremely diverse cross-section of presenting difficulties and manage clinical care including crises and hospitalization accordingly.

One of the hallmarks of the CAPS practicum experience is comprehensive supervision of all clinical activities. Practicum students receive two hours weekly of individual supervision from psychology interns or postdoctoral fellows, and attend a weekly group supervision meeting with other practicum students and other graduate trainees. Group psychotherapy activities are also supervised. The training experience at CAPS places a strong emphasis on empirically supported treatments (e.g., CBT, ACT, mindfulness-based approaches, and short-term dynamic treatment). Given the multidisciplinary nature of our staff, practicum students also gain experience consulting with psychiatrists and social work members of the CAPS staff.

Application and Contact Information

To inquire further or to apply, please email Tanya Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Director of Training and Practicum Coordinator at tbrown@caps.ucla.edu.  Applications should include a letter of interest, your CV, and two letters of reference.

Contact Dr. Brown for the deadline for receipt of materials.

Practicum Program FAQs

  1. I’m not sure of my schedule next year; is there any flexibility in terms of the days and times of my hours at CAPS?
    Yes. While you are required to be at CAPS 12 hours per week, there is flexibility in terms of when those hours occur. We try to work with the practicum students to accommodate their hours. Practicum students can also shift the days they work at CAPS from quarter to quarter, should such a change be necessary.
  2. When does the training year start?
    The practicum lasts from mid-September through the end of the following Spring Quarter. Also, there is a 10-day summer orientation at the start of August which practicum students are required to attend.    
  3. I am currently a client at CAPS, and I’m wondering if it will be awkward working there as a trainee.
    Many of our past trainees have been clients at CAPS and most people find it comfortable to transition into the role of trainee. If a practicum student is a current client at CAPS and wishes to continue individual therapy, arrangements can be made to receive follow up care at Behavioral Health Service located in the UCLA Medical Center.
  4. Is a lot of time spent devoted to paperwork and documentation at CAPS?
    All documentation is completed electronically. While documentation is one of many core competencies required of psychologists in this setting, documentation is streamlined as much as possible and all notes have templates.

Internship Program for Social Work Graduate Students

UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers a 20 hour per week field placement to Second Year UCLA Social Welfare MSW students.

A Second Year field placement at CAPS focuses on the development of fundamental clinical skills needed to work with a variety of mental health issues - with an emphasis in working with the university student population. MSW interns will have a primary individual supervisor and will receive a minimum of 1 hour of individual supervision per week. There may also be opportunities for group supervision, didactic seminars and other learning experiences. MSW interns will have experiences in individual and group therapy, assessment and triage, case management, outreach, staff meetings, and multidisciplinary consultation. Interns will audio or video record all of their individual therapy sessions to be viewed by their supervisor and utilized in teaching.

If you are interested in a CAPS MSW Field Placement, please contact Deborah Green, LCSW at CAPS or the UCLA Department of Social Welfare Field Education Department.

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