Training Opportunities.


Training Opportunities

Training in Professional Psychology and Counseling

In a Nutshell

The externship site is a university counseling center with a diverse client population, integrative supervision, and community psychology opportunities. Interventions utilized include individual and group therapy as well as therapeutic workshops in a stepped-care model. In addition, trainees will be expected to provide some limited outreach work in the community which might include psycho-educational workshops, consultations, or assisting training for staff or student groups. Supervision is integrative rather than eclectic. Training offered in psychodynamic, motivational interviewing, IPT, schema, CBT, existential, brief dynamic, trauma-informed, mindfulness, culturally-sensitive psychotherapy, and systems/community psychology. Our focus is on the trainee’s personal and professional growth through refining clinical/counseling skills, exploring personal style and developing a professional identity. Comprehensive intake assessments, brief psychotherapy, substance abuse treatment, outreach, and consultation are strong components of training. Trainees are encouraged to pursue their interests in both outreach and psychotherapy. Most therapy is brief treatment, but there are no specific session limits for clients in need.

General Information

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is a division of Campus Life and Student Affairs and exists to help students function more effectively in the Drew community. The focus of our center emphasizes psychotherapeutic treatment, personal development, prevention, as well as remedial treatment. Information and counseling are provided to Drew students to help them deal with their individual concerns. In addition, the professional staff offers a variety of services, programs, and groups designed to augment students’ growth and development. Our purpose is to assist graduate, social, and academic development, and the achievement of their life goals.

Drew University’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services has a friendly staff of five full-time and one part-time professional therapists. Though the bulk of our work is group and individual psychotherapy, we also provide primary and secondary prevention work, congruent with our community psychology model. Our clients present with a surprisingly broad range of problems and levels of psychopathology. Many are from families with limited financial means or come from cultural backgrounds that frown upon therapy.

Our clients present with a wide variety of issues, levels of functioning, and psychopathologies. The University is located in the New York metropolitan area and is generous with financial aid, therefore we see students from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities. While most of our clients are undergraduates, we also see students from the Caspersen School of graduate studies and the Theological School, including seminary students studying for the ministry.

Approach to Training

Our primary goal is to assist trainees to integrate their clinical, professional and ethical skills so that they will function independently and competently as professional psychologists or counselors.  Our focus is on the trainee’s personal and professional growth through refining clinical/counseling skills, exploring personal style and developing a professional identity. Though most of the work here is clinical, all trainees are encouraged to engage in community prevention work by running workshops or functioning as a consultant.

Trainees whose professional goals include working with campus populations or private practice are most likely to find this practicum or residency relevant.

Training experiences are provided in individual, group and some limited relationship (couples) counseling for approximately 16 hours minimum total per week.  Trainees may receive two and a half hours of group supervision and one hour of individual supervision per week by a licensed clinician. Recordings of sessions, informal presentations, and sometimes case write-ups are employed.  Supervision sessions address all the activities, clinical and professional, engaged in during their work at the Center. Clients are initially assigned to trainees by senior staff until they learn our procedures for doing intake assessments.

Practicum/Internship/Externship Training

Graduate students who are enrolled in a program in counseling, clinical, professional psychology, or related discipline are eligible for our training program. They are generally expected to work for approximately 16 hours a week (two full days or the equivalent). Additional time can be arranged.

Most of the focus is on individual and group psychotherapy and clinical counseling. Beginning students will gradually increase the number of clients they see during the first semester, receiving intense supervision for the cases they do see. As their skill set increases, they will be assigned to more cases and eventually will also do initial intake sessions and assessments with clients. More advanced practicum students will start with a larger caseload and do intakes earlier. If scheduling permits, practicum students will be also be given the opportunity to co-lead a therapy group.

Though the bulk of the work involves counseling and psychotherapy, trainees are expected to assist with some prevention or outreach work as part of our community psychology focus. This may involve writing flyers, consulting to a student group, training paraprofessionals, or running workshops. Occasionally, the trainee may run a workshop at night or on a weekend. If a trainee wants to do prevention or outreach work with related to a particular topic, population, or problem area we will endeavor to support that work.

The unpaid practicum is for a nine-month period, generally following the academic calendar. Practicum students may come in earlier if they wish to assist in the training CAPS staff provides for various campus groups including Residence Life Staff, Peer Mentors, Faculty Advisors, or the Orientation Committee.

Postdoctoral Residency in Professional Psychology

Postdoctoral residents should be able to use the time here as an opportunity to refine their clinical skills and develop new competencies. The goal is to ultimately function as an independent professional psychologist by the end of the residency year. The atmosphere is non-hierarchical and collegial and the resident is treated as a professional member of our staff and expected to share their therapeutic insights both informally and during group supervision. We encourage residents to explore their own therapeutic “style”  while maintaining an authentic therapeutic stance.

Postdoctoral Psychology Residents serve a nine-month period with a flexible start date between August 15th and September 1st. Postdocs may start in mid-August and end in mid-May if they elect to assist in training university professional and student staff, like Resident Assistants, Peer Mentors, Faculty Advisors, etc.  The stipend for 9 months will include employee benefits. Candidates for the post-doctoral position must have completed all formal course work toward their doctorate in counseling, clinical, or professional psychology.  Supervised practicum and comprehensive examinations should have been completed and anticipate that all graduation requirements will be completed prior to September.

The Training Program and Activities

Weekly Meetings

There are regular meetings scheduled for supervision and consultation each week:

All trainees will attend:

  • 1 1/2 hour trainee supervision group, usually on Thursday mornings
  • 1 hour trainee supervision group on assessment and treatment of substance abuse, usually on Thursday mornings
  • individual supervision with a licensed psychologist:
    • 2 hours for postdoctoral residents
    • 1 hour for practicum students
    • 1 additional hour for practicum students who are working at least 2 days/week with a secondary supervisor to intensely focus on a specific case

In addition all trainees are invited to attend:

  • 1 hour group supervision together with all senior staff
  • 1 hour didactic professional development meeting
  • 1 hour case assignment/administrative/planning meeting

Supervision Philosophy

We believe in meeting the specific training needs of each individual student or post-doctoral resident. Clinical supervision not only focuses on empirically validated techniques and strategic interventions but also on the therapist “use of self”. Beginning therapists are usually asked to pick a specific theoretical orientation and receive supervision from that orientation. As they become more experienced, they are encouraged to conceptualize their cases in ways that are integrative and multidisciplinary. More advanced clinicians are encouraged to work with new diagnostic populations and smooth the seams between theory and practice. Post-doctoral residents are expected to be able to function as an independent professional psychologist by the end of their work here.

Professional Development

All trainees are invited to participate in the weekly training seminar focusing on issues related to clinical practice or college counseling. Presentations are facilitated by staff and trainees can present on a topic of interest if they are motivated to do so.

Release time is granted so that trainees may attend local conferences. Very limited funding may be available for this for Postdoctoral Residents.

Outreach and Consultation

Trainees may offer workshops and presentations on campus on a variety of topics, including: substance abuse, suicide prevention, eating disorders, stress and stress management, time management, LGBTQ Ally training, social skills, and relationship issues.  Trainees may also have the opportunity to present to university classes. If a trainee has a particular passion or interest and wants to develop their own community-focused program they are encouraged to do so.