Doctoral Internship

Doctoral Internship in Professional Psychology

Dear Prospective Applicant,

I am pleased that you are considering Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) for your internship training. CAPS at Penn offers a full-time, 12-month, APA-accredited doctoral internship in an academically rigorous, exceptionally diverse urban setting. As a counseling center, CAPS has a tremendous commitment to training future psychologists. Training activities are woven into every aspect of the center's functioning.

Interns receive intensively supervised experiences in providing individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, initial evaluations, crisis consultations, and supervision. These experiences provide the intern with the background necessary to function as a psychologist in a variety of professional settings. Our former interns have obtained employment in counseling centers, academia, research settings, mental health agencies, business settings, and private practice.

I hope that you will find the overview included in this website as well as the more detailed description in our downloadable pdf helpful in your decision-making process. If you choose to apply to Penn, we follow all of the notification guidelines established by APPIC and our application deadline is Sunday, November 1, 2015. If you have other questions, feel free to email me at or call 215-898-7021.


Cyndy Boyd, Ph.D.
Associate Director/Training Director
University of Pennsylvania
Counseling and Psychological Services

Philosophy of Training

The internship program at CAPS is based on a practitioner/scholar approach to training in which we emphasize learning through and the integration of science and practice under close clinical supervision. Interns receive intensive training and experience in performing the central responsibilities of a psychologist in a multidisciplinary counseling center setting. These responsibilities include: individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, diagnostic assessment through triage and intake interviews, crisis consultation, supervision of practicum students, and outreach and consultation.

In all of these endeavors we also strive to foster interns' growth in providing services to a diverse population through an emphasis on self-awareness, greater understanding of sociocultural contexts, and a focus on the role of culture in all areas of the interns' work. Professional identity development is also a priority, as interns evolve from experienced trainees toward independent practitioners over the course of the year. We aspire to train interns to become highly ethical and competent generalists who have acquired skills to intervene directly with clients in the role of clinician and in the campus community in the roles of consultant and advocate.

The University of Pennsylvania is a world-class university located in the heart of Philadelphia, which has a very vibrant mental health community with many training opportunities. Where possible, the internship draws upon the considerable resources of the university and the city to enhance the training program. For instance, we offer seminars led by experts from the community on assessment, brief therapy, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

As a center whose senior staff is comprised of licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, we value a multidisciplinary approach to training and service delivery. We emphasize the development of the interns' capacity to work collaboratively with psychology colleagues and professionals from other disciplines. The externship, social work, nurse practitioner, post-doctoral psychology, and psychiatry residency training programs at CAPS also contribute to the multidisciplinary learning environment. All members of the staff participate in interns' training through formal and informal supervision, team meeting collaboration, consultation, and seminars.

Clinical Practice with an Emphasis on Social Identities

The University of Pennsylvania is a culturally diverse institution, with students from all over the country and all over the world, representing a broad spectrum with regard to race, class, ethnicity, age, religion/spirituality, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ability. At CAPS, we are committed to training interns to integrate a multicultural perspective into all areas of their work . We facilitate this in a number of ways. First, interns have extensive experience consulting and collaborating with a culturally diverse group of professionals from a number of mental health disciplines through participation in a multidisciplinary treatment team. Second, awareness of the cultural identities of both therapist and client is integral to case discussions in individual and group supervision. Third, a multicultural perspective is infused into training seminars. In particular, interns participate in a variety of multicultural seminars throughout the year that highlight self-awareness, social identity, themes of privilege and oppression, and relevant knowledge and skills. Fourth, interns participate actively in the outreach program, where they design and conduct programs to reach both specific and highly diverse cultural groups on campus. Stemming from a social justice model, interns also choose a concentration in outreach. Each available concentration has been developed with the goal of intervening on the community level to make the campus community and/or services more inclusive and accessible to marginalized or underserved groups.

Integration of Science and Practice

We train our interns to take a scholarly approach to their clinical practice activities at CAPS. We strive to help them develop skills in applying clinical theory and empirical research to case conceptualization, treatment planning, and clinical interventions. In seminars, individual supervision, case group, and group supervision (of supervision) we incorporate readings and discussion of theoretical and empirical literature relevant to clinical practice in an outpatient setting. We hope to help interns continue to elaborate and expand upon their theoretical orientation to clinical practice. We also hope to increase their knowledge base regarding the scientific basis for a variety of treatments and practices in psychology.

Professional Identity Development

We view the internship as the capstone of the doctoral level psychologist's training. Therefore, we believe it is particularly important for interns to develop an appreciation of the professional role they will be adopting once their training is completed. We devote some of our intern seminars and intern meetings to discussions of professional issues for beginning psychologists such as, career development, job search, licensure requirements, continuing education opportunities, and work/life balance. Time is also spent discussing the evolving role of psychologists in society and psychologists' role in creating social change. Additionally, interns are afforded numerous opportunities to establish close working relationships with staff members from a wide variety of professional and theoretical backgrounds. Through their direct work with staff via collaboration and consultation across a wide range of professional services, interns have many opportunities to begin to develop an identity as a professional psychologist. We believe that the strong generalist skills they attain through our internship will enable them to become psychologists who are skilled in both community and individual levels of intervention and are prepared to work in university counseling centers as well as a multitude of other professional settings including, but not limited to: community mental health centers, academia, private practice, schools, and hospitals.

Ethical Practice

We strive to train interns who will become practitioners with the highest ethical standards. During the year, there are ethics seminars devoted to teaching interns about contemporary ethical issues, especially issues relevant to college counseling, but also more broadly to ethical decision-making. Ethical issues are also routinely discussed in individual and group supervision. Additionally, our staff clinicians are expected to conduct themselves in a highly ethically competent manner and to model this conduct for all of our trainees. At CAPS we particularly value the use of consultation and collaboration in ethical decision-making and interns have many opportunities to see this in action in multidisciplinary team meetings and formal and informal staff collaboration meetings.

Self- Awareness*

We also believe that reflectivity is an integral part of being a counseling or clinical psychologist. Therefore, we encourage interns to develop self-awareness skills in a variety of ways in the course of the internship experience.  Interns are encouraged in supervision and in seminars to explore their own identities, beliefs, and values and to better understand how their unique backgrounds shape their approach to their work and impact their interactions with clients. In addition, supervisors create a space where interns can share their reactions to their clients, supervisors, and supervisees. We hope to teach interns to use these reactions as an important source of data about themselves, their clients, their supervisees, and the therapeutic or supervision process. It is our belief that such dialogues will enhance their conceptualizations and treatment, as well as their supervisory relationships.

Since we believe that self-reflection is essential to the supervisory process, interns will be explicitly invited, at times, to disclose personal information. Our supervisory staff is deeply invested in maintaining a safe, trusting, and supportive environment so that interns will feel comfortable with self-disclosure.

*This section is intended to satisfy Section 7.04 of the APA Ethics Code regarding our responsibility to notify applicants of the requirement for self-disclosure of personal information.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1. The Consolidation of Professional Skills in Psychology

Objective 1:

To train interns to work collaboratively in a multidisciplinary setting.

Objective 2:

To train interns to develop culturally competent clinical skills in the areas of diagnostic assessment, individual and group psychotherapy, crisis intervention, outreach and consultation, and clinical supervision.

Objective 3:

To train interns to integrate science with practice.

Goal 2. To Develop an Integrated Professional Identity as a Psychologist

Objective 1:

To train interns to understand and apply professional ethics and standards

Objective 2:

To train interns to gain a greater sense of self-awareness as a clinician

Intern Time Commitments

The internship is a 2,000 hour training program. The internship begins Monday, August 1, 2016 and ends Monday, July 31, 2017. 

The internship program consists of three essential components
The intern's weekly schedule is approximately as follows:

1. Service Activities

  • Individual Therapy (10-12 hours)
  • Group Therapy (1.5 hours)
  • Intake Assessment (1-2 hours)
  • On Call Counselor (1.5 hours)
  • Telephone and Walk-in Triage (2 hours)
  • Outreach Programming and Consultation/Career Development Workshops (approximately 20 hours per semester)
  • Supervision of Externs (1 hour)
  • Presentations to Practicum/Social Work students and Professional Staff (2 hours per year)

2. Training Activities

  • Individual Supervision with Primary Supervisor (minimum 2 hours)
  • Individual Supervision of Group Therapy (.5 hour)
  • Case Group (1.5 hours)
  • Supervision of Supervision (1.5 hours)
  • Individual Consultation and Supervision of Presentations to trainees and/or staff (5-10 hours per year)
  • Supervision of Outreach Concentrations (as needed, typically averages 1 hour biweekly)
  • Multicultural Case Group (1.5 hours for 2nd 1/2 of the year)
  • Multidisciplinary Clinical Team Meetings (1 hour weekly)
  • Dissertation Support Group (1 hour biweekly)
  • Intern Meeting with TD (1 hour, every other week)
  • Intern Support Lunch (1 hour)
  • Professional Topics Seminar (1.5 hours)
  • Group Therapy Seminar (1 hour biweekly)
  • Outreach and Consultation Seminar (1 hour biweekly)
  • Social Identity Exploration Seminar (1 hour monthly)
  • Social Justice Seminar (1 hour monthly)

3. Administrative/Professional Development Activities

  • Staff Meeting/Staff Development (2 hours)
  • Committee Membership (Outreach, Training, Eating Concerns, Sexual Trauma Treatment, or Wellness, 1 hour)
  • Client Preparation and Record Keeping (3-4 hours)
  • Conferences/Workshops

Interns spend approximately 16 hours per week in training activities, which have been structured to be sequential, increasing in complexity, and supportive of interns' increasingly independent functioning. The training year begins with a three-week orientation as an extensive introduction to the center's various programs, staff, other related university offices and resources, followed by a developmental progression of didactic and clinical activities. Interns typically work approximately 40-45 hours per week.  Some evening and weekend hours are required to fulfill outreach programming needs and to complete small reading assignments for seminars. 

Intern Stipend and Benefits

The Counseling and Psychological Services Doctoral Internship Program offers a full-time, twelve-month internship for doctoral-level graduate students in counseling psychology or clinical psychology. Each intern position pays a stipend of $27,675.

Interns will receive the following benefits:

  1. Ten paid vacation days. The University is also on holiday for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
  2. Five Professional Development days for conferences, workshop and dissertation.
  3. Holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Break, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  4. Health insurance is provided for interns and is available for an additional fee for partners and dependents.
  5. Professional liability coverage provided to all staff by the University.
  6. Use of University facilities such as the libraries.


Applicants must be advanced doctoral candidates from counseling psychology or clinical psychology programs. Preference will be given to applicants from APA-approved programs. Applicants should have passed doctoral comprehensive examinations prior to applying to the internship. They should also have completed at least two years of supervised practicum experience at the doctoral level (minimum 500 hours), including 100 hours in formal supervision. Applicants will be assessed on their overall readiness for internship and their professional interests and goals as they relate to the Counseling and Psychological Services Doctoral Psychology Internship Program.

Application and Selection Procedures

The application process will occur on-line through the APPIC website: AAPI online application formApplication deadline is Sunday, November 1, 2015.

The electronic application should include:

  1. The completed AAPI online application form.
  2. A brief cover letter.
  3. A current vitae/resume.
  4. Transcripts of all graduate work.
  5. Three letters of recommendation by professionals who are familiar with your counseling/clinical experiences and skills. At least one letter should be from a supervisor of a recent clinical experience. 

Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by December 15.

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 prior to Uniform Notification Day. Notification of selection will strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (see APPIC General Policy Regarding Internship Offers and Acceptances which can be downloaded from the APPIC website).

The University of Pennsylvania values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran in the administration or its educational policies, programs, scholarship and loan programs, employment, recreational, athletic or other university administered programs. Questions or concerns regarding the University's equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and activities or accommodations for people with disabilities should be directed to: Director of Affirmative Action, Suite 228, 3600 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021. 215-898-6993 (voice) or 215-898-7803 (TDD).