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Common Questions about BYU CAPS Internship

Who may apply?

We encourage applications from all clinical and counseling doctoral students based in the U.S. and Canada. While we may be impressed with candidates from other countries, we are not set up to examine the equivalency of coursework.



Do I have to convert to the LDS religion or will I be pressured to do so for this internship?

Absolutely not! There will be no pressure to convert. Furthermore, as a rule there is no proselytizing to the interns. In fact, religious differences in our interns are something that we see as a great benefit towards diversity. Therefore, we highly prize spiritual and religious diversity, including those who do not identify as religious/spiritual.

However, given that the population of the student body at BYU is predominantly Latter-Day Saints (LDS, Mormon), our interns have often found it helpful to become familiar with some basic theology and practices in order to increase the cultural competency with our populations. If you don't know much about Mormons, no need to worry, we provide training to help you learn more about the Mormon culture within the BYU internship. A great multicultural benefit to our training site is that you will gain the opportunity to work with numerous religious clients.



Have you had interns who are not LDS?

Definitely! It is quite common for us to have interns who do not identify as LDS.



As an applicant who is not LDS, will I be at a disadvantage?

Definitely not! As stated above, applicants who are not LDS or Mormon are prized due to their diversity.



Will I be asked to change my therapy approach to follow LDS and BYU philosophies?

Not at all! At BYU-CAPS, all psychologists practice in accordance to the legal and ethical guidelines established by the American Psychological Association. Accordingly, we respect and support the client’s right to self-determination.



Is the Honor Code enforced, or is it just something that you have to sign but no one really follows?

The honor code is derived from former BYU students pledging to align themselves with the values of the sponsoring institution. The honor code has evolved into a commitment expected of all students and employees. During the time that you are an intern you are expected to live according to the honor code.



Since BYU is sponsored by the LDS church, what kind of religious activities does the CAPS engage in and will I be expected to participate?

CAPS faculty respects the right of each intern to determine their spiritual or religious identity, including not identifying with a specific spiritual or religious orientation. While some departmental meetings, university faculty meetings, and classes may begin with prayer, an intern is NOT expected to pray or participate in the prayer if they desire not to do so.



After reading the Honor Code, I'm clear on the grooming standards and the expectation to stay away from the substances listed. I'm not clear exactly what is meant by "living a chaste and virtuous life." Can you please explain what BYU means by this?

For the official policy, please click here.



What impact does the BYU Honor Code have on Confidentiality?

None! The Honor Code does not impact the confidentiality maintained at CAPS in any way. We uphold and are bound by the ethical code of APA. If a client requests communication between CAPS and any agency or person, we only communicate the specified information after the client has completed our Release of Information.



I am not familiar with the LDS religion, how familiar do I need to be or should I be to apply?

In order to apply one need not be familiar at all. We welcome applicants at all levels of familiarity. We work hard to be a training site that is welcoming and inviting to all interested applicants no matter where they are in their professional development. Not only does this apply to therapy skills, assessment experience, and theoretical development, but also included the level of knowledge and awareness of the LDS religion, practices, and the LDS culture.



In order to become more familiar, what readings do you recommend


We feel the following resources provide a good introduction. Suggested web resources include:
Basic beliefs
Texts considered scripture

Past interns have found Mormonism for Dummies or the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mormonism to be useful. We have copies of each of these books and are more than willing to provide you a free copy at your request if desired.



What type of Clientele does BYU CAPS serve?

The range of difficulties that students struggle with at BYU is the same as you would find at other universities. It includes difficulties ranging from major depression, eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, OCD to homesickness, perfectionism, and test anxiety.



Is there anything special about the client population at BYU?

As stated above we work with a wide range of clinical pathology. However, due to the fact that BYU students are very bright, highly conscientious, insightful, compliant, extremely motivated, intellectually competitive, and academically successful, this often leads to higher levels of perfectionism and anxiety—a common presenting problem.



Considering the Honor Code, are alcohol/drugs even an issue on BYU's campus or addressed at CAPS?

While the frequency of alcohol and drug related issues on campus are not common (See BYU's continued ranking on the Stone Cold Sober Campuses list) they do exist. We both see and treat individuals struggling with these issues. In addition, there is an added layer of complexity with these difficulties. Typically, the drug or alcohol problem is not only causing problems in students' lives, but they often find themselves hiding it from everyone (due to drinking alcohol being an honor code violation) and feeling distressed over the conflict between their values and their behavior.



Does CAPS practice pastoral or Christian counseling ?

No! While the students at BYU are typically religious, there is a large range in their religious/spiritual identity. Accordingly, spirituality or religion can be brought up by the client in therapy, however, members at BYU-CAPS steer clear of pastoral or Christian counseling.



This internship looks really good on paper, is it really that good?

With the feedback of previous interns and the efforts that faculty and staff make to continually improve the program we would have to respond with a resounding Yes!



What recreational opportunities does the Provo area offer?

In addition to the arguably "Best Snow on Earth" for skiing, this area also offers wonderful hiking, biking, running, and all the outdoor sports that may be found in a mountain regions with four seasons.


For additional questions:


As we are striving to answer FAQs here, we are also looking to add questions that are not represented. If you would like to suggest a question please email michael_adams@byu.edu.