Wichita State University Counseling and PREVENTION SERVICES
The primary purpose of the Wichita State University Counseling and Prevention Services (WSU CAPS) is to provide mental health treatment, training and prevention in order to support WSU community wellness, while fostering optimal academic and personal growth. The range of services offered gives interns the opportunity to broaden and hone their skills in many areas of general psychological practice.
About WSU CAPS
With an enrollment size of approximately 16,000, WSU is the only urban-serving university in the state of Kansas and has the most diverse student body of all of the Kansas universities. We attract a large international student group with our world class engineering and business colleges. Clients at CAPS are diverse in terms of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and disability; and we work with clients with a range of presenting concerns—from temporary life stressors to chronic, severe mental illness. As such, our interns are able to gain a broad range of experiences during their training here.
Our office primarily provides services to enrolled students, though time-limited therapy and consultation services are made available to university faculty and staff as well. In keeping with our university mission, the office is also responsive to the needs of the non-university metropolitan community, and our staff provides consultation and training, as well as limited direct services when appropriate.
Wichita State University complies with all state and local requirements regarding COVID-19. Currently, a COVID-19 vaccine is not required by Wichita State as a condition of employment. Although the university has rescinded all campus-wide mask mandates, please keep in mind that, in certain cases, there may be programmatic or facility requirements dictating the wearing of masks. The university will continue to monitor the COVID situation on our campus and in our community and will be prepared to pivot back to a mask mandate if the situation warrants.
CAPS is located within WSU's newly built Student Wellness Center. The building is shared with Student Health Services, the YMCA, and an urgent care center.
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CAPS clients are diverse in terms of both demographics and presenting problems. During the 2020-2021 academic year, clients identified as the following:
Age: Range = 17-68; mean = 23.65; median = 21; mode = 20
Race/Ethnicity: 58.9% Caucasian/white, 8.7% Asian, 10.3% Hispanic/Latinx, 9.4% African American/black, 6.3% Multi-racial, 3.2% other, 2.7% no response
Gender: 33% male, 60% female, 4% self-identify/transgender/non-binary/non-conforming/fluid, 3% no response
Sexual Orientation: 66% heterosexual/straight, 27% lesbian/gay/bisexual/questioning, 3% self-identify, 5% no response
Additionally, 29% of our clients identified as first-generation students, and 9% identified as an international students.
The Work Environment
One of the unique features of CAPS is the great care that is taken to ensure a working atmosphere characterized by openness, warmth, and support. Our staff is small enough to allow for a personable environment in which we take care of and support one another. We emphasize a life-work balance and encourage our interns to fully embrace this (that means going home at 5:00 and leaving the work at work!). We routinely spend time together as a staff by holding monthly potlucks and frequently engaging in other shared activities.
Take a moment to get to know some of our Student Wellness Center staff!
APPROACH TO Training
CAPS takes a strength-based approach to training. As part of the onboarding process, interns will be asked to take CliftonStrengths which will identify their top five talents. This information is then used to inform the goal-setting process and to identify training activities that are particularly well-suited for the intern. This helps ensure that training at CAPS is personalized and individually-tailored to each intern's specific strengths and needs. Through this process, we hope to assist our interns in tapping into their full potential and increasing their overall quality of life.
The training at CAPS is also designed to ensure adequate breadth. The range of services offered at CAPS gives interns the opportunity to broaden and hone their skills in many areas of general psychological practice, and we invite interns to participate in all aspects of our office's operation. While certain training activities are expected of all interns, we strive to promote autonomy as well. We support our interns in making their own decisions and we encourage them to develop their own areas of special interest and expertise.
Interns typically provide individual therapy to 15-20 clients per week. Actual caseloads vary based on the demand for services and the intern's commitment to other clinical activities (outreach activities or groups). While our office does not impose session limits, we encourage interns to operate within a brief model of practice when possible. Our staff is diverse in regard to theoretical orientation, and as such, interns are encouraged to work from their own orientation and to continue to develop their theoretical orientation throughout the training year.
Interns are scheduled for approximately two hours of crisis/walk-in appointments each week. The nature of these appointments vary. At times, the session is focused on helping the client manage acute distress in which there isn't a significant safety concern. Other times, clients come to our office presenting with significant suicidal ideation, intent, and plan. During the 2018-2019 academic year, CAPS had 266 crisis appointments and approximately 8% of all sessions (not just crisis) at CAPS required the use of a suicide-specific intervention. CAPS uses the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) to assess suicidality and to inform treatment.
Interns often have the opportunity to work with a few couples during their internship year. For interns without previous experience in this area, co-therapy with supervisors or other clinicians is possible.
Our center has continued to steadily grow our group programming through in-person and Telehealth services. Interns are expected to help facilitate at least one group throughout the training year. Previous interns have helped with existing groups as well as created their own. Historically, we have offered several Dialectic Behavioral Therapy Skills groups, several Understanding Self and Others process groups, and a variety of support groups each semester. To get an idea of what groups are historically offered, please refer to our website.
Consultation and Outreach
An integral part of the interns' experience at CAPS is in outreach and consultation/liaison work. Interns choose a specific office or department in the university and work to become the center's primary liaison with that area/department. Skills in networking, program development, organizational consultation and program evaluation are all developed. Past interns have served as liaisons for campus departments such as International Education, Housing and Residence Life, Nontraditional Students Organization, Greek Life, Student Health, LGBT student organizations, and Disability Services.
Interns also have the opportunity to hone their skills in developing and presenting outreach programs to the university. Interns develop and implement programs on a variety of topics based on campus needs. Subsequently, it is expected interns will leave their internship with a portfolio of presentations and programs they have developed. Past topics have included health and wellness, time management, stress management, relationships, communication, and diversity.
As part of continuing relationships with the WSU Psychology Department and other local training departments, CAPS accepts doctoral and masters level practicum students for clinical training. Interns typically act as the primary clinical supervisor for one or more practicum students during the year. Supervision of supervision is provided in a group format every two weeks during which the supervisee's clinical work and progress is discussed. As the intern's training progresses, exploration of ethical dilemmas in training becomes a frequent topic during these group supervision sessions.
As members of WCPIP, interns also attend weekly didactic seminars. These are typically two hours in length, with topics covering a range of issues related to the general practice of psychology. To learn more, please click here.
Interns also participate in weekly staff meetings in which WSU and CAPS-related updates and concerns are discussed. Additionally, clinical case conferences are held monthly and provides the opportunity for CAPS staff and trainees to meet as a group to process and present clinical cases, as well as to discuss issues of interest.
Areas of Emphasis
Interns have the option to select one (or more) of the following areas of emphasis:
Group therapy is an increasing mode of intervention at the center. Interns will gain exposure to the group process, co-facilitation of groups with clinical staff, and assessing group outcomes. Interns will be responsible for assessing group demand, creating, marketing, and leading either a process or psychoeducational group.
Interns participating in the multicultural emphasis will assist with outreach presentations to the campus community related to multicultural issues or concerns and have the opportunity to be a liaison to multicultural/diversity groups on campus. There may also be an opportunity to assist in the facilitation of a transgender or LGB support/therapy group.
Interns who select this emphasis will provide additional outreach presentations to the campus community. Opportunities for extra liaison work and creating new programs will also be made available.
Interns will have the opportunity to involved in programming on prevention-related topics. These include providing training to student groups on healthy relationships, responsible substance use, and sexual health. Interns may also have the opportunity to serve on the University Prevention Services Advisory Board or the Sedgwick County Suicide Prevention Coalition. If desired, interns can also learn to administer substance abuse assessments to students who have violated university substance policies.
Training and Supervision
Interns who select this emphasis will be offered additional opportunities to participate in training-related activities, such as assisting in the review of applications (for all levels of training, including practicum and internship for masters and doctoral students in psychology, counseling, and other related fields) and participation in the interview and selection process. Additional opportunities to provide supervision will also be made available when possible. Interns who select this area of emphasis will also be encouraged to volunteer as the Intern Liaison for their cohort. As Intern Liaison, the intern will attend meetings with the Coordinating Committee twice per month and get firsthand experience in the operation of an APA-accredited doctoral internship. Please note that training experiences and opportunities vary widely year to year and that specific opportunities cannot be guaranteed; however, interns choosing this emphasis will be provided ample opportunity to participate in training-related activities throughout the year.
Interns will gain exposure to activities in order to introduce them to administrative functions of a Clinical Director within a university counseling center. Activities will include coordination of a clinical service delivery model, records management, policy development, strategic planning, and other related issues
Get to Know the Training Staff!
Rachel Amerson, Ph.D., T-LMLP
Clinical Psychology, Virginia Consortium Program, 2022
Dr. Amerson is the LGBTQ+ coordinator for WSU CAPS. She completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at Texas State University and a master's degree in psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology, a joint program between Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, and Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2022. She completed her internship with WCPIP, with her primary site at Wichita State University CAPS. Dr. Amerson's therapeutic style uses Feminist and Relational-Cultural theories. Her areas of interest include students with marginalized identities, especially within the LGBTQ+ community, identity, relationships, outreach, and supervision. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and family.
Strengths: Input / Intellection / Empathy / Adaptability / Relator
Margarita Baez, MS, LCPC
Clinical Mental Health Counseling, John Brown University, 2016
Margarita is a mental health counselor and BIPOC coordinator for WSU CAPS. She earned her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2016 from John Brown University in Arkansas. Her therapeutic style is integrative with strong base in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Areas of interest include depression, anxiety, women’s issues, emerging adulthood issues, intergenerational trauma, trauma, career development and interpersonal issues.
Strengths: Empathy / Achiever / Developer / Learner / Restorative
Selena Jackson, Ph.D., LP
Clinical & Counseling Psychology, University of South Alabama, 2018
Dr. Jackson is WSU CAPS's Associate Director, Training Director and WCPIP's Training Director. She earned her doctorate degree in combined Clinical and Counseling Psychology from the University of South Alabama. She completed her doctoral internship with WCPIP at Prairie View, Inc. as her primary site and the WSU CAPS as her secondary location. Her therapeutic style is integrative where she frequently incorporates Dialectic Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing through a biopsychosocial perspective. Dr. Jackson considers herself to be a generalist with special interest in working with international students, multicultural and diversity issues, anxiety/depression/stress, personality disorders, and relationship concerns. In her free time, she enjoys traveling overseas with family and friends, attending theatre productions, watching college football, trying out new recipes, and is an avid Harry Potter fan!
Strengths: Arranger / Context / Harmony / Connectedness / Relator
Christopher Leonard, Psy.D., LP
Clinical Psychology, Spalding University, 2014
Dr. Leonard is the Director of Counseling Services at WSU CAPS. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Quincy University and his master's and doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Spalding University. He completed his doctoral internship with WCPIP at the Wichita State University Counseling and Prevention Services. His past experiences include university counseling centers, community mental health crisis center, state psychiatric hospital, state prison, and community mental health services. Dr. Leonard's therapeutic style blends cognitive behavioral and humanistic theory, while utilizing evidence-based interventions. His areas of interest are supervision/training, outreach, anxiety/depression, group therapy, crisis intervention, and men’s issues. As a native of Illinois, he is a Chicago Bears fan. He also enjoys golfing, running, and spending time with his family.
Strengths: Strategic / Context / Restorative / Futuristic / Positivity
Jessica Provines, Ph.D., LP
Clinical/Community Psychology, Wichita State University, 2006
Dr. Provines is the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs over Wellness and also serves as the Chief Psychologist of WSU CAPS. She is a three-time graduate of Wichita State University, receiving her Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology in 2006. She completed her doctoral internship with WCPIP and worked as an adult out-patient therapist with Prairie View's DBT Treatment Team before returning to her WSU roots as a staff psychologist where she has led DBT skills groups for 15 years. Dr. Provines has worn many hats within CAPS during her tenure, including trainee, Staff Psychologist, Training Coordinator and Associate Director coordinating clinical services. She is the former Training Director of WCPIP and currently serves as the lead administrator for the campus Wellness Team, which is comprised of CAPS, Campus Recreation and Student Health Services.
She describes her clinical orientation as integrative in nature, with a strong background in empirically validated treatments. Her therapeutic style has influences from mindfulness-based cognitive therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). She has been intensively trained by Behavioral Tech, LLC in DBT theory and techniques. Areas of interest include anxiety/mood disorders, personality disorders, primary prevention, outreach, and supervision.
On a personal note, Dr. Provines is an avid Shocker sports fan. She and her family enjoy traveling, camping, boating and attending music concerts as often as possible.
Strengths: Individualization / Achiever / WOO / Communication / Input
Samantha Tedder, M.S., LMLP
Clinical Psychology, Emporia State University, 2020
Samantha is the Groups Therapy Coordinator at WSU CAPS. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in Sociology and Women Studies from Wichita State University and master’s degree in clinical psychology from Emporia State University. She completed her internship at Wichita State University, working at WSU CAPS and has led various interpersonal process groups, support groups, and skills groups both in-person and via telehealth. Samantha’s therapy style is integrative with a strong basis in cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy with a person-centered approach. Her areas of interest include working with first generation students, anxiety disorders, women’s issues, identity development, and interpersonal relationship issues. She is also the Greek Life Liaison for WSU CAPS which includes providing various outreach requests with these students. In her free time, she enjoys reading Stephen King or watching scary movies, finding new music, and playing games with friends.
Strengths: Harmony / Consistency / Discipline / Empathy / Communication
Marci Young, Psy.D., LP
Clinical Psychology, The Wright Institute, 2017
Dr. Young is the WSU CAPS's Director of Prevention Services. She earned her undergraduate degrees in psychology and anthropology from the University of Utah, and earned her masters and doctorate degrees in clinical psychology from The Wright Institute, Berkeley. Dr. Young’s therapeutic style is integrative, utilizing evidence based treatments such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT), interpersonal, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) through a multi-cultural lens. Dr. Young is a generalist, and has areas of interest that include prevention, addiction, and anxiety and mood disorders. In her free time, she and her family enjoy hiking, camping, scuba diving, reading, and traveling.
Strengths: Relator / Individualization / Arranger / Responsibility / Deliberative
Internship Stipend and Benefits
The twelve-month stipend for the year is $25,771.20. As a WSU employee, interns are eligible for full university benefits including a generous vacation and sick leave accrual, many paid holidays, and medical, dental and vision insurance after a 30 day waiting period with coverage to begin on the 1st of the following month. For a complete description, please visit our benefits website.
In addition, interns have easy access to the educational, recreational, computer, and library services of the WSU campus. Their research interests and dissertation requirements are supported at our office, and each intern's office is fully furnished and equipped with a computer, high speed internet access and e-mail. Interns are also provided with professional liability insurance and CAPS pays for the interns initial licensing fees (as a master's level psychologist) at the beginning of the year.
Please note, however, that appointments are contingent upon the completion of a criminal background check as required by the State of Kansas. Please refer to the WSU Human Resources website for more information. While these are conducted following the APPIC Match, the outcome of a background check has the potential to preclude appointment.
Rachel Amerson, Ph.D. | Wichita State University | Counseling and Prevention Services | 1845 Fairmount Box 92 | Wichita, Kansas 67260-0091 | 316-978-4792 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Counseling and Prevention Services