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About the Internship Program

The primary goal of the internship program at CAPS is to prepare trainees for functioning as independent professional psychologists with specific skills in the treatment of college students in a multicultural setting. The program consists of numerous clinical and didactic opportunities that build upon each other, thus allowing the intern to gradually attain increasing levels of clinical autonomy through the course of the year. Interns have the opportunity to develop strong generalist skills, and they are given opportunities to individualize their training experiences by requesting exposure to specific populations and electing apprenticeships.  

Interns are exposed to activities that help them to build profession-wide competencies in the following areas: intervention, ethical and legal standards, individual and cultural diversity, professional values, attitudes and behaviors, communication and interpersonal skills, providing supervision, consultation and interprofessional/interdisciplinary skills, and engagement with research in its application to clinical populations. Our internship offers the opportunity for interns to develop specific knowledge and skills in the following areas through elective clinical and didactic exposure/concentrations (called “apprenticeships”): risk assessment following community incidents involving student safety; group psychotherapy; assessment (in collaboration with our Department of Psychology at Stony Brook), and outreach and programming to student athletes. Interns may have the opportunity to develop their own interests and specializations by communicating their interest in working with specific populations.

Our internship program has been primarily psychodynamic in perspective since its inception. We have since integrated alternate treatment modalities, so that we now consider ourselves an integrative psychodynamic program. We begin by assessing what it is our clients need and what their capacities are; we develop a clinical formulation that informs the treatment trajectory. Many of our clinicians work from an integrative perspective, for instance incorporating relational psychodynamic work with third-wave behavioral approaches (e.g., mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, ACT, DBT), family systems, attachment theory, feminist therapy, and other theoretical perspectives in helping our clients achieve change. It is our goal to assist interns in honing their own individual clinical perspectives through exposure to a range of treatment perspectives that have empirical, scientific support.

Our internship program gives particular attention to multicultural awareness, in concern for the diversity of the student population that we serve and in concern for our belief in the importance of training professionals who are well-equipped to provide services to all individuals. The internship training program functions with an explicit awareness of the importance of affirming the experiences of LGBTQ-identified students as well as individuals from racially- and religiously-persecuted groups.

Interns participate in a number of experiential activities, including the provision of individual and group therapy, along with acute crisis management. Interns receive significant supervision and didactic training in support of these experiences. Interns have an opportunity to supervise a practicum student. 

CAPS at Stony Brook University is committed to maintaining consistency and rigor of training in tandem with careful attention to health and safety parameters during the COVID pandemic. We have transitioned to a telehealth model with a hybrid approach to staff and trainee presence in the building for a reduction of density. We will make adjustments to our approach as developments arise in concern for health and safety regulations and per guidelines of the University and state. We welcome questions from applicants about our approach for balancing consistency and rigor of training, commitment to serving our University students, and health and safety concerns of all involved.  

About the University

campus pictureStony Brook University is one of the State University of New York's four University Centers.  Stony Brook has a population of approximately 26,000 students.  CAPS is located on Stony Brook’s West campus where students are enrolled in Baccalaureate, Master’s, Graduate certificate, and Doctoral programs.  CAPS has a satellite office on East campus (Health Science Center) where students are enrolled in the following schools: Dental Medicine, Health Technology and Management, Medicine, Nursing, and the School of Social Welfare. The student body at Stony Brook is exceptionally diverse. With regard to data from 2016, the ethnic distribution of the total student body was recorded as: 44.6% White, 34.9% Asian, 10.8% Hispanic or Latino, 8.0% Black or African American, 0.9% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.3% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, with 8.3% Race/Ethnicity unknown. (*individuals may appear in more than one category; the sum of categories may exceed 100%). With regard to International student data recorded in Fall 2013, 3757 students originated from 109 countries; the countries with the largest representation were China, South Korea, India, and Taiwan.

About CAPS

The mission of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Stony Brook University (SBU) is to provide psychological and psychiatric services in support of student’s health and well-being as they pursue their academic careers.  An interdisciplinary team of licensed and certified mental health professionals provides psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment to the student population as well as immediate help in psychiatric emergencies.  We provide individual and group therapy (process group, meditation groups, and groups for students from underrepresented populations).  We tend to see students for brief treatment.  Many clinicians have strong backgrounds in relational psychodynamic work, while others work from a more cognitive behavioral or integrative perspective.

Two administrative support staff members - along with student employees - provide clerical support to staff and interns.  Copying, printing and scanning resources are readily available.  IT support (for issues regarding computers, printers, and the electronic medical record keeping system) is provided by a team that includes a full-time employee and four student assistants.  The university provides typical office software (e.g., Word, Excel, Power Point) and the CAPS/CPO electronic scheduling and record keeping system (Medicat) has been programmed with customized templates for clinical contacts. SPSS is provided to staff as needed.

About the Population

CAPS at Stony Brook University serves the student body of the university.  As is consistent with national data regarding trends in college mental health, SBU students seek mental health services in increasing numbers.  Students seek services for a range of issues, including anxiety and depression, substance use issues, reactions to recent or past trauma, eating disorders, and relationship difficulties.   Many students come with preexisting mental health issues.  As emerging adults, students often grapple with developmental concerns including issues regarding sense of self (e.g., sexual and gender identities; cultural, racial and ethnic identities).