Direct Service Activities
Each intern carries 12 individual cases and one therapy group per week, with case management and system linkage, client advocacy, and clinical documentation as required. Interns spend one day per week (Thursday) at the Chicago CAPS office at Northwestern University’s Chicago Campus which serves graduate and professional programs, including law school, medical school, and graduate programs in health and biological sciences. Clients at the Evanston CAPS constitute about three-quarters of an intern’s caseload, and they are both undergraduate and graduate students. The other quarter of an intern’s caseload are graduate or professional students from the Chicago Campus, thereby enhancing the diversity of developmental stages among interns’ clients.
Each intern co-leads a process-oriented psychotherapy group with a Senior Staff co-therapist for 1.5 hours per week, three academic quarters. The intern is involved in the pre-group screening interviews and shares the responsibility with the senior co-therapist for the clinical documentation.
At the Evanston CAPS, each intern serves as a crisis and triage counselor for 4 hours (1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) one afternoon per week. Each intern is also responsible for three hours per week of intake availability, one of which is urgent intake during the period of 4 hours per week as a triage/crisis counselor. Interns rotate with staff to provide after-hours on-call crisis coverage; on average, interns are responsible for covering one week of after-hours on-call per quarter. Case management related to intake, urgent, and crisis contacts will vary over the year, but will average 2 to 3 cases per week.
Interns provide intake assessments during three time slots each week. The intern integrates available data with clinical information gathered from the intake interview to develop a diagnostic formulation and treatment plans for the client, and collaborates with the client to initiate appropriate services. The intern is responsible for the follow-up case management for each client seen at intake. The intern completes a written intake report with input from the Case Management Supervisor.
Supervision and Training
Interns develop skills as trainers by providing individual clinical supervision to externs. Each intern is assigned as a supervisor for an Advanced Therapy Extern for the academic year. They meet face-to-face one hour each week to discuss and review developments in three of the extern’s clients. Interns may also be engaged in other training activities such as seminar presentations, paraprofessional skill training, etc. All interns participate in the selection of the following year’s Advanced Therapy Externs. In collaboration with mentoring senior staff, interns are active participants in all stages of the selection process, including the review externs’ application materials, and interviewing and ranking of candidates.
Outreach and Education
Interns co-facilitate semi-structured to structured workshops throughout the year. Some of the workshops are under the rubric of CAPS’s Stress Management Clinic, which uses biopsychological techniques to help students reduce stress and anxiety, including biofeedback, meditation, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral approaches. Interns also serve as liaison to assigned academic departments and residence halls to provide consultative services and programming as requested. Outreach programs may vary in topic and format, and might include presentations on developmental or mental health issues for students (e.g. eating disorders, stress management), paraprofessional skill training sessions, debriefing sessions for critical events, or presentations about CAPS services.
Each intern conducts at least five psychoeducational outreach programs for campus groups. At least two additional presentations on suicide prevention are required. At least one workshop for the Stress Management Clinic is required, often conducted in the summer quarter. Finally, a Media Intervention project involves the designing of informational material on mental health issues targeted for dissemination to the broader campus community.