Carnegie Mellon University

2023-2024 Program for Doctoral Psychology Practicum and Psychiatric Psychotherapy Rotation at CMU CaPS

Training Setting

Carnegie Mellon is a global research university with more than 15,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff. Recognized for its world-class arts and technology programs, collaboration across disciplines, and innovative leadership of education in the fields of Business Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Public Policy & Information Systems, and Science, Carnegie Mellon is consistently ranked among the top 25 universities in the United States.

The Carnegie Mellon University Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CaPS) operates within the Division of Student Affairs (DoSA) in a university setting which offers significant support for students beyond that of the counseling center.  Collaborating with the greater university community affords a trainee exposure to the multidisciplinary aspects of working in a university counseling center.   CaPS provides comprehensive psychological services to the campus community; both graduate and undergraduate students receive services through CaPS. While direct clinical service is a significant focus of CaPS, the center also provides other services to the university community including consultation and outreach programming.

Training Program Philosophy and Training Opportunities 

The program for doctoral psychology practicum training and psychiatric psychotherapy rotation starts in mid-August 2024 and ends in mid-May 2025. Central to the program’s value is a social justice aspiration that strives to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practices. The program is an opportunity to build upon developing psychotherapeutic skills via supportive reflection on clinical, personal, and professional development.  Our training model emphasizes 1) attending to and supporting the trainee’s developmental needs; 2) beginning the development of one’s professional and personal identity and self-awareness; and 3) integrating practice and clinical theory. The training program is developmental in nature and attentive to the individual needs of trainees with varying levels and breadth of knowledge and expertise.  Training experiences build gradually throughout the year and are based upon the trainee’s readiness as gauged by their supervisor and the Practicum Program Coordinator.

The practicum experience at CMU CaPS centers on experiential training in the provision of individual therapy with the opportunity to engage in group therapy.  Individual psychotherapy is the major focus of the practicum training at CaPS. CaPS clinical and training philosophy is grounded in developmentally informed depth-oriented therapy by understanding people in context. Supervisors’ orientations vary, including psychodynamic, relational-cultural, humanistic/existential, and third-wave CBT. CMU CaPS offers a brief treatment model, which can vary depending on the clinical needs of the client. Typically, students are seen for about a semester. Trainees may have the option to carry longer-term clients based on clinical needs and upon consultation with their individual supervisor.

This program requires a minimum of 16 total hours per week, consisting of the following training activities: 9-10 hours of direct service, 1-2 hours of supervision (1 hour by CaPS staff with an additional hour of supervision by a doctoral psychology intern in the spring semester), 3 hours of seminars and didactic training, and 1-2 hours of paperwork. Seminars and didactic training activities take place Thursday mornings from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and in-person attendance is mandatory. The training program requires videotaping of all therapy sessions with consent gained from their clients. 

Candidates with specific interests in the intersection of university counseling center work, depth-oriented psychotherapy, and social justice aspiration are encouraged to apply. Consistent with CaPS DEI Mission, the training program is committed to offering a training environment that acknowledges and takes steps to ameliorate the impact of the system on historically marginalized groups. The training program welcomes candidates who bring intersectional identities to be a part of the center. 

Training Program Resources

CaPS office is located on the second floor of Morewood Garden E-Tower, 1060 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213.  Each practicum trainee is assigned an office (which might be a shared space with a full-time staff member on their work-from-home day).  Trainees have access to administrative support, a copier/printer/scanner, and standard office supplies.