Carnegie Mellon University

2021-2022 Doctoral Psychology Practicum and Psychiatric Externship Program at CMU CaPS


Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon is a global research university with more than 12,000 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 supports 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 Opportunity

The doctoral practicum and psychiatric externship starts at the end of August 2021 and ends mid-May 2022. This program is an advanced practicum training opportunity that requires a minimum of 16 total hours per week, consisting of the following training activities: 9-10 hours direct service, 1-2 hours individual supervision (1 hour by clinical staff with additional opportunity to be supervised by a doctoral psychology intern or a postdoc), 3 hours didactic training, and 1 hour paperwork.  Seminars and formal training activities take place Thursday mornings from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and attendance is mandatory.  In order to be consistent with APA requirements, we require videotaping of all therapy sessions; these will be reviewed in supervision. 

The Practicum experience at CMU CaPS centers on experiential training in the provision of individual therapy.  This is the major focus of the practicum at CaPS.  Therapists at CaPS are varied in their training and orientations.  CaPS clinical philosophy is grounded in insight-oriented and depthful therapies, pulling from psychodynamic, humanistic and existential frameworks with a focus on social and cultural attunement . Additionally, CMU CaPS is committed to social justice and the values of inclusivity. We strive to implement these values in our training and clinical service delivery. 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 a longer-term client based on clinical need and consultation with their individual supervisor.

Candidates with specific interests in the intersection of UCC work, depth oriented psychotherapy, and social justice orientation are encouraged to apply. Consistent with CaPS DEI Mission, the training program is committed to offer a training environment that acknowledges and takes step to ameliorate the impact of system on historically marginalized group. The training program welcomes candidates who bring intersectional identities to be a part of the center. Individuals with open curiosity, interests in giving and receiving feedback, and flexibility will be the best fit for this program.

Program Training Resources

CaPS office is located at 1060 Morewood Avenue, Morewood Garden E-Tower, Room 236; Pittsburgh PA 15213.  Each practicum student is assigned an office (which might be a shared space) within the center equipped with a desk, computer, chairs, and lamps. Interns have access to administrative support, a copier/printer/scanner, and standard office supplies.

Training Philosophy

The doctoral practicum experience 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 development of one’s professional and personal identity and self-awareness; and 3) integrating practice and clinical theory. 

Our training program is developmental in nature and as such is sensitive to the individual needs of trainees with varying levels and breaths 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.