Below are past interns' reflections about their training experiences. We hope you find this information useful as you start your internship applications process.
How would you describe your internship training year/CAPS/CSULB campus experience? Please feel free to respond to one or all of these in the space provided.
- The experience was a very positive one. I felt supported, challenged in a good way, and valued as a trainee and professional. I learned and grew in the area of multicultural counseling through addressing diversity in supervision, group supervision, and staff discussions. I became confident working in different capacities (e.g., outreach, process group, etc.) and was prepared for a postdoc in college counseling.
- My training experience at CAPS at Long Beach was excellent! I felt supported in my development as a psychologist. Additionally, I felt welcomed and integrated as part of the CSULB team. After my experience at CAPS, I felt prepared to work at a university counseling center. If one is interested in working at a university counseling center with a diverse student population, then CAPS would be great place for that experience.
- I loved my time at CAPS and was sad that it ended. From beginning to end it felt like I had landed right where I was supposed to be. The relationships I formed with staff have outlasted my internship and I am eternally grateful for the staff's investment in training. My favorite thing about my time at CAPS is working with the students. I LOVE LOVE LOVE CSULB's students. I was able to essentially strengthen my specialty areas working with students of color, first generation students, and survivors of sexual trauma.
- Supportive, balanced, and diverse.
- Student population at CSULB is very diverse. It’s a challenging yet rewarding year.
- I loved my internship year at CSULB CAPS. Everyone is invested in training and genuinely cares about the interns in their professional and personal growth. I felt supported and knew I could ask for help when needed. The staff and student population is very diverse. I enjoyed all the training seminars and definitely appreciated the emphasis in diversity and multiculturalism. I was able to use my voice, propose ideas on projects I was interested in, given the autonomy needed for my professional growth, and felt like I was part of the team. I will miss working at CAPS!
What was unique about your internship training at CAPS?
- The diversity of the student population and students' presenting concerns reflected more concerns found in community counseling. Consequently, it impacted the clinical experience and provided opportunities in working with a variety of concerns. The diversity of the staff at CAPS was also welcoming and refreshing to see.
- I think what made my training at CAPS unique was a combination of feeling safe and supported, my desires to stretch beyond conventional, and space to do so. CAPS training staff were supportive in my endeavors to further develop uniquely according to my interests in body inclusive work and creative interventions. Thus, I was able to strategically tailor my professional development with these goals in mind. Ultimately, this set a strong foundation for me to move forward in confidence and with invaluable experiences that support my approach to the work.
- Diversity training, warm and friendly environment.
- I appreciate the opportunity to create my own consultation project to work with the population that I am very interested in. I also appreciate that we have a very caring training director who cares about both of my professional and personal growth.
- The staff genuinely cares about the interns! Everyone is invested in the personal and professional development of the interns and I felt very much supported throughout the year when challenges in different area of my life arose. I was able to propose ideas and tailor different internship experiences (e.g., consultation project, outreach workshops) to my interests.
- The immense diversity among students on campus, the range of student issues I was able to gain experience in, and the fact that this was my first full time clinical position were unique for me.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with incoming interns to help with the transition to internship and working at CAPS?
- Take the time to genuinely self-reflect as you complete the work in order to get the most out of your training and use your intern cohort to process, help each other, and have fun!
- *Complete dissertation before starting internship. A good dissertation is a "done" dissertation. :) *Transitioning into an 8a-5p schedule took a bit of time.
- Get to know all of the staff; they all have special gems that only they can offer you. Be your own advocate. Ask for what you need or want, the worst thing that can happen is that you are told no and then you go back to the drawing board with support and new ideas...And lastly get to know the campus, go for walks, eat lunch outside on the grass, and at the end of the year sit by the fountain during graduation time and take in all the excitement.
- Take advantage of all of the opportunities you have and don't be afraid to ask questions, propose ideas, etc. You will get out of the experience what you put into it! :)
- Renting an apartment in Long Beach is challenging. Look for apartments early! Make sure that you have healthy doses of self-care. Take advantage of the nice weather and beaches; you deserve it!
- If you can, finish your dissertation or get as much of it done as possible before internship starts! The staff here is very supportive if you are still working on your dissertation during internship, however, you will reduce your stress load if your dissertation is done. If anything comes up during the year, don’t hesitate to talk about it with your individual supervisor, group supervisor or seminar leaders! Seek support and access the resources you have here at CAPS.
- I would encourage interns to challenge themselves and use internship year to develop their professional identity. Clinical work is challenging, but also extremely rewarding, and I hope interns come in with an open mind and explore different facets of being a full time university counseling center clinician at CAPS.