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UCLA Counseling and Psychological Center

About

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 Kei Takahashi, Psy.D., Assistant Director of Training and Practicum Coordinator ktakahashi@caps.ucla.edu. Applications should include a letter of interest, your CV, and two letters of reference.

Contact Dr. Takahashi 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 16 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 2-week 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.