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Training

CAPS is excited to offer Master’s and Doctoral level training in college counseling. CAPS adheres to a practitioner-scholar model with an emphasis on the ongoing professional development of trainees to become autonomous clinicians. This model involves the practical application of scholarly knowledge through the delivery of psychological services taking into account individual, cultural, and societal factors. The primary goal of all CAPS training programs is to provide a generalist training for graduate students as a platform in future training and, ultimately, in their professional career. {Adapted Willaim & Mary}

A Letter from the Training Director

Dear Applicant

Thank you for your interest in the University of Richmond Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) advanced training for graduate students. We invite applications from students enrolled in Master of Counseling (or equivalent) or Ph.D. or Psy.D. in Clinical or Counseling Psychology degree programs. Our training site endorses a developmental model of supervision and training, reflecting a focus on development of competencies consistent with a trainee's experience. Threads of cultural competence are woven throughout all aspects of training. To enhance the learning process, our staff is committed to integrating development of clinical competence and ethical practice with professional growth in the context of a supportive environment.

In 2020, CAPS became integrated with several other student development offices that form a Well-Being Unit, reflecting a commitment to UR students emotional, physical and mental holistic wellness.  While CAPS operates as an independent unit, we are closely aligned with our partners in the Student Health Center, Health Promotions and Recreation offices.  While the training experience is predominantly with CAPS, trainees have opportunities to learn about and from these student development offices (as well as others) in gaining an understanding of college counseling center work within Student Development.

Staff at UR CAPS include clinicians with backgrounds in clinical and counseling psychology,  (licensed clinical psychologists in VA), counselor education and masters in counseling (licensed professional counselors) and master’s of liberal arts (office manager).   Most staff are part of the Training Committee, which is highly committed to training and supervision.  CAPS staff deeply value diversity and integrate a multicultural lens across all aspects of training. The advanced practicum offers experience with diverse students in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socio-economic class, physical ability, and religious affiliations, who are dealing with various presenting concerns on different levels of severity. The staff represents diversity along many of the same characteristics.

The selection committee seeks applicants who are a) looking for clinical experience in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, b) interested in intense training in brief consultation, individual counseling, skill-building programs and seminars, and process groups, c) committed to learning and growing through support and challenge.

We know the application and decision-making process can be challenging. Providing you with information to make a well-informed choice is important to us. We are glad to answer your questions about our training program. Please feel free to contact me by…

Thank you again for your interest in our graduate training program!

Doctoral Advanced Practicum

The CAPS doctoral (advanced) practicum training model is developmental in nature, considering the experiences obtained from academic programs and during previous training experiences. Trainees are assisted in learning, applying, and refining their counseling and therapy skills, theoretical orientation, and conceptualization of clients through individual supervision, group supervision, instruction and on-going feedback using an apprenticeship model. Formal and informal feedback about the advanced practicum experience and the individual trainee's development is completed and exchanged throughout the year.

Master's Level Training

The CAPS master’s level training is developmental and tailored to a trainee’s specific needs given previous training and future goals. While different elements may be emphasized given a trainee’s career goals, core components of the training experience include continuing to develop therapy skills through individual and group counseling experiences under close supervision, working on an evolving theoretical orientation for case conceptualization and engaging in skill building practices through presentation of psychoeducation material in small group settings. Outreach to specific campus groups also is considered a core component of the training with some ability to tailor the experience to a trainee’s interests.

Training Philosophy

While the primary focus of UR CAPS training is clinical work with traditionally aged college students, the experience also provides broader training in college student development in a multicultural context. CAPS, as part of the Well Being Unit, is at the forefront of providing proactive programming and wellness-based outreach to the campus community. CAPS staff facilitate programs and seminars on such topics as stress management, mindfulness, emotional regulation, effective communication, self-care, and self/time management. CAPS also partners with other campus departments to provide additional offerings related to affinity groups, sexual assault advocacy, career exploration, and other foci.

Trainees are given the opportunity to co-facilitate these workshops as well as lead them independently. [Adapted from Georgia Tech]

An important value held by our staff is that the implementation of therapeutic skills must be adapted within different groups to meet unique needs. Students at University of Richmond have diverse identities and experiences. We recognize and appreciate the potential impact of

diversity in terms of culture, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, level of ability, and other factors. We believe that effectiveness in our profession is not simply the result of skill acquisition but, rather, is the successful synthesis of competence and personal maturity, which results in self-aware and ethical behavior. UR’s CAPS strives to develop its staff and trainees to this end. Opportunities in the training program reflect these values.

The training staff believes that psychological theory and research provide a foundation for conceptualization and intervention. Counselors and psychologists should strive to understand major counseling and psychotherapeutic theoretical models and the relevant research on these models and use these models in practice. Members of the staff represent and draw on many different theoretical orientations in their approaches to therapy, supervision, and consultation. The Center staff welcomes discussions of professional issues with trainees.

While the Center's staff utilizes different theoretical frameworks, there is a shared commitment to create an atmosphere conducive to professional and personal growth. The staff strives to provide practice and training experiences that create a challenging, intellectually stimulating, and open environment in which new ideas can be explored and nurtured. The staff encourages trainees to assess their professional strengths and weaknesses. The training committee makes every effort to honor requests to develop individual learning experiences in areas of desired professional growth. [Modified from Appalachian State University]

CAPS Undergraduate Internships
CAPS Outreach Internship

Outreach Intern duties and responsibilities center on various outreach and educational programs (for UR students) on issues related to college student mental health and wellbeing, under the supervision of Dr. Kris Day. These issues may include positive psychology, stress management, relationship issues, CAPS services, online mental health screening tests, and wellness issues (e.g., exercise, sleep). CAPS interns are encouraged to collaborate and co-program with other groups and organizations (e.g. Active Minds, Images, Web Bandits, PSMAs). The CAPS interns are involved in planning a "Stress Out" event near the end of each semester (usually in partnership with Chaplaincy staff). About a half dozen students are typically selected for this internship.

CAPS Peer Support Specialist Internship

The peer support specialist internship is open to all students who are interested in being a point of contact for students who may be in need of immediate mental health assistance through a text warm line. This position will provide hands-on experience to students who may be interested in pursuing future careers in mental health, counseling, healthcare, and/or any person-centered, help-related fields. Peer support specialists will receive appropriate training in Fall 2020, and commit to at least six hours per week of shifts as a peer support specialist for the new campus text-in warm line. The warm-line is a non-urgent text option for UR students, and will be available to receive texts during designated evening and weekend hours (at least one late-hour shift will be required each week). Specialists will be expected to offer confidential, empathetic support to students who reach out for assistance, under the supervision of Dr. Kris Day. Training will prepare the peer support specialists to handle the situations they may come in contact with, so no prior experience is required to be considered. A half dozen or more students may be selected for this new internship.

CAPS Research Internship

The Research Intern will work with the CAPS Director, Dr. Peter LeViness, to create and analyze appropriate datasets available to CAPS that pertain to college student mental health. The work may include data entry, converting Excel files into SPSS, merging SPSS files, running analyses in SPSS (e.g., means, frequencies, Chi-square), creating charts, tables, and Excel files of the results of various analyses. There may be opportunities to co-present aspects of data analyzed to appropriate audiences on campus. An interest in statistics and data analysis is required for this internship. Some experience using Excel and SPSS is also very valuable. 1 student will be selected for this internship.