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Graduate Practicum Training Program

Dear Prospective Applicant:

Welcome to the website of the Texas State Practicum Program. 
We appreciate your interest in our Psychotherapy Practicum and hope that you find the information you need within these pages.  If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to call or email Dr. Clare Duffy at cmd101@txstate.edu or call (512) 245-2208.

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Practicum Program Description

The Practicum Program at the Texas State University Counseling Center provides training in individual counseling.  Practicum Counselors are typically students in their second or third year of their doctoral program in counseling or clinical psychology or students in the second year of a master's program in psychology or counseling.  The practicum is a 9-month training program that focuses on: (a) becoming an effective practitioner who is guided by knowledge of clinical theory, (b) developing an increasing awareness of ethical/legal/professional standards of practice, (c) developing sensitivity to individual differences while integrating the significance of multiculturalism and diversity, and (d) developing an openness to learning.  We strive to meet you where you are as a trainee and encourage you to develop your own therapeutic orientation during your year here as a Practicum Counselor.  Practicum Counselors work with Texas State students who present with a wide variety of issues, ranging from adjustment disorders, difficulties in managing stress and affective concerns, relationship and developmental problems, to issues of self-esteem and self-worth and challenges in transitioning to college life.  Our staff and training program is multidisciplinary, involving psychologists, licensed professional counselors, and a psychiatrist.  We value a range of therapeutic perspectives within our staff and hope that our training environment enriches the professional development of our trainees.  The Counseling Center encourages an "open-door" policy which helps form a productive working alliance between staff and trainees in our Center.

Eligibility

We require potential applicants to our program to have obtained at least two semesters (preferably three) of basic graduate coursework in counseling or psychology.  Preference is generally given to doctoral level trainees.

We have three positions in our practicum program annually.  We recruit our Practicum Counselors from Master's and Doctoral Programs in the Austin-San Antonio area. 

Activities and Responsibilities

Practicum Counselors are asked to choose between two options regarding the structure and hours of the practicum experience.

Option A will consist of 16 hours each week and the Practicum Counselor is expected to spend two full days each week at the Counseling Center, with one of those days being Friday.

Option B will consist of 12 hours each week and the Practicum Counselor will work with the Practicum Coordinator to identify a schedule that will fit both the Counselor's and the Center's needs. The Practicum Counselor must be at  the Center from 1:00-3:00 pm on Fridays. Please see below for more detailed information about the two options for placement. (Note: Please make sure to identify which option you are applying for in your application.)

Practicum counselors are supervised by pre-doctoral psychology interns, who in turn are supervised by a licensed psychologist.  All Practicum Counselors receive two hours of individual supervision from their intern supervisor and one hour of group supervision with a staff psychologist weekly.  All supervision of the Practicum Counselors is overseen by the Practicum Coordinator. Prior to seeing clients, Practicum Counselors participate in two weeks of extensive orientation to the Center. During this orientation, Practicum Counselors are given an overview of the policies and procedures of the Center as well as the opportunity to meet the staff in a relaxed, collegial setting.  The Practicum Orientation also provides an introduction to psycho-educational issues in college/university life as well as an introduction to key offices such as the Office of Disability Services, the Alcohol and Drug Compliance Office, Career Services and the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion with which the Counseling Center regularly interacts.

Opportunities for group psychotherapy experiences, the administration of objective and projective assessments, and university community outreach activities may be available for Practicum Counselors who express an interest in participating in these areas. Due to the limited time at the Center, these additional opportunities will only be available to Practicum Counselors that choose Option A for the structure of their placement.

An important aspect of our program is attention to the learning needs of each Practicum Counselor.  While you are part of "the Practicum Counselors" as a group, we attend to your individual learning goals as a beginning therapist as we integrate you into the collaborative setting of the Counseling Center.

Time Schedule of an Average Week for Practicum Counselors

Option A:

Training Activity Estimated Time**
Individual Psychotherapy/Group Therapy  8 hours
Individual Psychotherapy Supervision  2 hours
Practicum Case Group Supervision  1 hour
Administrative Duties and Preparation for Supervision  5 hours
Total  16 hours

Option B:

Training Activity  Estimated Time **
Individual Psychotherapy 6 hours
Individual Psychotherapy Supervision 2 hours
Practicum Case Group Supervision 1 hour
Administrative Duties and Preparation for Supervision 3 hours
Total 12 hours

 ** These numbers are averages and subject to change. Additionally, these hours may involve change in the second semester based on the anticipated increased skill level of the Practicum Counselor as well as the potential opportunity for Practicum Counselors to co-lead a group at the Center during the spring semester.

Individual Psychotherapy

After their orientation to the Counseling Center and in consultation with their supervisor, Practicum Counselors begin to see clients.  Practicum Counselors start with four to six clients (depending on Option A or Option B) and gradually increase the number of clients assigned during the fall semester to a maximum of six to eight clients (depending on Option A or Option B) This increase in clients is predicated on the Practicum Counselor's comfort level in their role as a therapist, ongoing evaluation by their supervisor and the Practicum Coordinator, and the needs of the agency.

Supervision and Training

An effective and collaborative supervisory relationship between a Practicum Counselor and their supervisor is highly valued in the practicum program.  The assignment of a supervisor to a particular supervisee is determined by the training needs of each part of the supervisor-supervisee dyad.  The development of a productive working alliance between a supervisor and supervisee is an important quality for both training and quality client care.  During the spring semester, each Practicum Counselor will change their individual psychotherapy supervisor.  Practicum Counselors are expected to videotape all of their client sessions and to review at least one of these sessions in preparation for weekly supervision.

We maintain ongoing communication about your progress with your training program, the Training Director, and the Practicum Coordinator as a part of your participation in the Practicum Program.  Evaluations of your progress are completed at the middle and end of each training semester.

Practicum Case Consultation/Group Supervision

During the fall semester, Practicum Case Consultation/Group Supervision is led by one of our staff psychologists and focuses on the professional development of the Practicum Counselors through the emphasis on case conceptualization and presentation skills, the discussion of professional development issues, and issues of multiculturalism and diversity related to psychotherapy.  During the spring semester, clinical staff members rotate as facilitators of Case Consultation/Group Supervision which encourages a multi-theoretical flexibility of case conceptualization and treatment.  Practicum Case Consultation/Group Supervision is held weekly.

Preparation for Supervision

Practicum Counselors are expected to use this time to complete client case notes, review clinical tapes of their work with clients for supervision, return telephone calls, consult with staff, compose business/professional letters related to client care, and perform other case management activities as needed.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Application Process

If you are interested in applying for our Psychotherapy Practicum you will need to provide:

  • A transcript of your graduate coursework with at least 24 hours completed or in progress.
  • Two references ( please provide email addresses or phone numbers where they could be reached) to give information on your academic and/or clinical work.
  • Curriculum vita
  • Statement of interest (How would a practicum training experience at Texas State University benefit your professional and academic goals/plans?)
  • Texas State Practicum Application Form
  • An on-site interview

Application deadline is February 10, 2017 
On-site interview dates will be scheduled between February 20 - 24, 2017.

**If needed by the Practicum Counselor, commuter parking will be paid for by the Counseling Center. 

If you have any questions about our application process, please contact me.  I appreciate your interest in our practicum program and hope that you will apply should you feel our program can meet your training needs.

Sincerely,

Clare Duffy, Ph.D.

Practicum Program Coordinator