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 typically see students for 10 sessions or less per academic year. Many clinicians have strong backgrounds in relational psychodynamic work, while others work from a more cognitive behavioral or integrative perspective.
Three administrative support staff members 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).
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 a diverse population of college students. 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.
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. We integrate techniques from many treatment modalities including psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, and mindfulness 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 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 individuals from all segments of the general public. The CAPS/CPO 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 religious 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 these experiences. Interns have an opportunity to supervise practicum students. Please see below for a detailed description of activities.