History, Philosophy, Goal, and Model


Michigan State University Counseling and Psychiatric Services (MSU CAPS, previously MSU Counseling Center) Psychology doctoral internship training program has been continuously accredited by APA since 1979.


MSU CAPS is multiculturally-focused, inclusive, collaborative, holistic, and guided by the expanded definition evidence-based practice and the scientist-practitioner model.  A public health and wellness framework that defines student development within a broad cultural, systemic, psychological, and biological framework structures our services.

We assert that becoming a professional health service psychologist involves not only the acquisition of skills and the application of research and theory but a socialization process as well. This process is an integration of professional identity and personal maturity. It incorporates a personal knowledge of self, sound judgment, comfort with pluralistic environments, and a sense of responsibility to oneself, to the profession, and to society. Given our training program’s goal to prepare effective professional health service psychologists with a consolidated professional identity, opportunities for personal exploration and reflection occur throughout the year. When appropriate, trainees are encouraged, but not required, to explore historical influences and personal data that may affect subsequent clinical practice. The MSU CAPS training program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association’s 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information) as contained in the Revised Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (APA, 2002).


The training program’s goal is to prepare effective professional health service psychologists (generalists) with a consolidated professional identity. Although this is done in a university health system context, we believe that our functions and services prepare psychology interns for a variety of positions and settings.  The training program provides doctoral interns with training experiences and graduated responsibilities that further their development as professionals who possess a sense of integrity, are multi-culturally competent, and skilled at communicating across disciplines.


The training program utilizes a local Clinical Scientist (Sticker & Trierweiler, 1995) model with an emphasis on “multiple ways of knowing.”This model emphasizes that clinical intervention and science should be embedded in an understanding of our student/client’s culture, region, and context. We also affirm that best practices for clinical practice are collaborative and include the client/student’s preferences and contexts combined with clinical judgment.