Opportunities for professional experience in mental health.

Clinical Training Program

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Clinical Training Program at Rhode Island School of Design Counseling and Psychological Services (RISD CAPS). 

Please look over the following information about our training program and application process. Feel free to contact RISD CAPS and/or the Assistant Director-Training, Nikole Barnes, LICSW with questions or for additional information.

Program Details


RISD CAPS offers clinical training opportunities in college mental health for Psychology practicum students and Second Year Masters Social Work students. This is a 9-10 month training program consisting of 3-4 days per week; Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with Wednesday & Thursdays being required days. The primary focus of RISD CAPS is to provide counseling services to a creative, diverse and accomplished student population. RISD CAPS offers short term counseling, urgent/same day appointments, intake assessments, group counseling and flexibility for some long-term treatment as discussed with the clinical team and trainees’ direct supervisor. Trainees typically carry a weekly caseload of 10-15 individual clients and engage in co-leading one clinical group. Trainees are expected to engage in two outreach events in the academic year, which may require after hour or weekend participation.

Training Philosophy

RISD CAPS is dedicated to the process of training students through the use of a trusting supervisory relationship. We encourage trainees to develop their own individual styles of counseling, with a solid foundation of experience and education to support their own professional growth. Supervision is a highly valued and essential component of our training program. Through dialogue and self-reflection, the focus of supervision is not only trainees’ clinical work, but also the professional and personal development of the therapist-in-training.

Through individual and group supervision, the use of process notes, videotaping, and a variety of opportunities to present and discuss one’s clinical work, trainees leave RISD CAPS with increased experience, competence, and comfort conducting initial assessments and brief psychotherapy.

Clinical Training Program Goals

The training program at RISD CAPS is designed to be a practical, pragmatic training for graduate students in the core functions of a psychologist or social worker in a college counseling center. Trainees have the opportunity to participate in a full range of activities engaged in by RISD CAPS staff, including psychotherapy, outreach program development/presentation, case management and consultation. The development of the intern’s identity as a social worker/psychologist is an important part of the training experience. Aspects of that identity that are emphasized include ethical awareness, appreciation of group and individual differences, and development of one’s personal style as a professional.

All aspects of the training program are designed to facilitate the goals of the training year. Through the seminar & speaker series, staff reading discussions and in-services, the trainee’s knowledge base is broadened in specific topical and theoretical areas relating to brief treatment in a college setting. This may include but not limited to eating disorders, LGBTQAI+ theory and practice, mindfulness, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, gender and racial identity development, social justice theory and advocacy, suicide assessment etc. Through the case conferences and clinical team meetings, trainees refine their skills in presenting clinical work using the knowledge gained to discuss the intersections of their clinical awareness and experiences. Through group supervision, trainees learn to be an effective peer supervisor with their colleagues, gain support and develop as group members. Trainees are expected to present one clinical case at the end of each semester. RISD CAPS values the trainees as part of our staff and encourages them to share ideas and interests for seminar topics to further support professional growth and self-advocacy.

Application Process

If you are interested in a position for the 2022/23 academic year, please submit your completed application by Friday, December 31, 2021 to Nikole Barnes, LICSW. No applications will be accepted after this date unless prior arrangements have been made. Applicants will be contacted the second week of January for video interviews.

The following materials should be submitted with your application:

  • A cover letter detailing interest in the position
  • Current curriculum vitae or Resume
  • Three (3) Professional References
  • One (1) recommendation letter
    (preferably a placement supervisor)

Materials can be sent to:

Deborah Levans, LICSW

RISD CAPS, Two College Street, Providence RI, 02903-2784


Current Trainees

  1. Aisha Fara, University of Massachusetts Boston
  2. Sarah Palomo, Smith College

Previous Trainees:

  1. Emily Ditomasso, William James College
  2. Fathima Ali, William James College
  3. Grace Mullane, William James College
  4. Hillary Black, Simmons College
  5. Katherine Harris, Simmons College
  6. Lauren Whittle, William James College
  7. Michelle Solomon, William James College
  8. Alexa Brewer, William James College
  9. Allison Silvers, University of Hartford
  10. Andrea Medaris, William James College
  11. Ben Cooley Hall, William James College
  12. Bryn Martinez, University of Rhode Island
  13. Carrie Powell, Lesley University
  14. Emily Gray, University of Hartford
  15. Cayla Tepper, Smith College
  16. Grace Waite, William James College
  17. Lucia Andrade, University Massachusetts-Boston
  18. Connor Curtis, Boston University
  19. Tyler Delaney, University of Massachusetts Boston
  20. Julia Colombo, Rhode Island College
  21. Katie Giardino, Smith College

About RISD

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design. Each year, approximately 2,400 students from around the world pursue a studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 fine arts, design, architecture, and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York.

Hours & Appointments

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Monday – Friday
Please call during business hours to schedule an appointment.

Extended Hours

8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

During fall and spring semesters.


72 Pine Street, 2nd floor

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