Doctoral psychology interns are an integral part of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at Southern Utah University. Interns are encouraged to actively participate in various aspects of CAPS’ functioning and to assume a major role in the delivery of services. CAPS is committed to maintaining an internship program that facilitates learning and professional development for interns. Our staff places a high premium on creating an environment that is professionally stimulating, open to change, and sufficiently flexible to accommodate individual training needs. Through the internship program, CAPS supports the mission of Southern Utah University to “engage students in a personalized and rigorous experiential education.”
Southern Utah University enrolls a significant number of students from rural areas throughout Utah and is located in a rural community. The majority of Utah’s population resides along the Wasatch Front, a 75-mile strip of land in Northern Utah. The Wasatch Front comprises 5% of Utah’s land mass but is home to 75% of the state’s population. The remainder of the population resides in the 95% of Utah’s land mass comprised of rural and frontier areas. Interns quickly learn to practice psychology in a small community and to provide clinical services to students from historically underserved rural areas. SUU students from rural areas often have limited financial resources, lack adequate health insurance, and face stigma when seeking mental health services. Through didactic and experiential opportunities, interns learn to 1) work in a setting that lacks adequate health care services and infrastructure (e.g. no local psychiatrist, no local inpatient mental health treatment) and to 2) develop sensitivity towards and understanding of the unique aspects of students’ rural culture.