Counseling Center

Practicum Program Description

The University of Washington Counseling Center (UWCC) Practicum Program is designed for advanced doctoral students enrolled in a psychology program. Students must have at least one prior clinical practicum placement that included direct therapy experience. The UWCC practicum program provides supervised experience and training primarily in short-term individual counseling. Other supervised opportunities include: conducting intake assessments; providing outreach programs; conducting career assessments and counseling; and possibly co-leading a psychoeducational group. Practicum students weekly receive one to two hours of individual supervision, attend a training seminar, and participate in a multi-disciplinary staff case consultation group. Digital taping equipment is available, as practicum counselors are required to videotape every counseling session. This is a non-paid practicum and it requires a 9-month commitment, beginning Monday, September 7, 2015 and ending Friday, June 17, 2016.

Practicum Program training activities

Direct service

Practicum counselors provide short-term individual counseling to UW students who present with a wide range of presenting concerns including adjustment disorders, mood disorders, family of origin issues, developmental issues and more. Practicum counselors may work with one client on a long-term basis. After receiving extensive intake assessment training, practicum counselors begin to conduct their own intakes. In addition, practicum counselors are trained in conducting outreach presentations and are required to observe one outreach in the fall quarter and to co-facilitate one outreach presentation for winter and spring quarter. Practicum counselors will also receive training in career assessment and counseling, be a part of the monthly Career Roundtable discussion group, and be able to provide 1 to 3 career assessment batteries per year. Practicum counselors may have an opportunity to co-facilitate a psychoeducational group.

Supervision

Individual supervision is regarded as central to the practicum experience. Practicum counselors are assigned two supervisors across the year: one licensed clinical staff member for the first part of the year and one doctoral intern for the latter part of the year. Supervision sessions with the doctoral intern supervisors will be videotaped and the doctoral intern supervisors are supervised by a licensed psychologist. The functions of these supervisory relationships include: monitoring client welfare; enhancing practicum counselor skills; enhancing multicultural competence, promoting personal and professional growth; and evaluating the practicum counselor’s professional development on a continuous basis. Practicum counselors will also attend a weekly 1.5 hour multidisciplinary staff case consultation group with doctoral interns, psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed social workers.

Training Seminar and group consultation

For 1.5 hours a week, the practicum counselors will be provided with either a didactic seminar or a case consultation group. The Coordinator of Practicum Training (Dr. Charisse Williams) will facilitate the didactic components and another training staff member will be facilitating the group consultation meetings. The didactic component of the seminar provides practicum counselors with relevant information and research on mental health issues (e.g., crisis intervention, cultural competence, career counseling and assessment, ethics) while the case consultation serves to enhance the practicum counselors’ clinical skills and self-awareness. Peer supervision, feedback, and collaboration are encouraged throughout the program and Center.

Mid-year multicultural retreat

This is a one-day multicultural retreat that will take place in February. This training experience is facilitated by the Coordinator of Practicum Training. Although enhancement of multicultural awareness, skills, and knowledge will be integrated and emphasized throughout the year, this retreat will provide practicum counselors an opportunity to explore and review their intersecting identities as counselors and to develop personal and professional goals in their pursuit of multicultural competence.<

Professional Development

Practicum counselors have the opportunity to attend in-service trainings and Continuing Education Unit (CEU) presentations throughout the year as they are available.

Practicum Counselor’s Contract

A 20 hours/week (minimum) contract is required for all practicum counselors.

Schedules for practicum counselors are developed in consultation with the Practicum Coordinator at the start of the year. Practicum Counselors must be available all day Mondays and Tuesdays.

Sample 20-hour Practicum Training contract

Activity Number of hours per week*
Individual therapy 8-12
Psychoeducational group Optional (0-2)
Intake assessments 1-2
Career roundtable 1 hr / month
One outreach presentation per quarter -
Individual supervision 1
Training Seminar & group consultation 1.5
Consultation team 1.5
Case management 4

*These numbers are averages and are subject to change
.

Facilities

Each practicum counselor office contains digital recording equipment and playback access, a computer with Internet and University of Washington library database access, and a printer. Typically, each counselor has her or his own office. However, shared office arrangements are made when schedules and space conflicts occur.

Applying for an internship

Practicum counselors have the option of applying for the internship program at the Counseling Center. All applications from current (or past) practicum counselors will be reviewed in a similar manner to our other internship application. No special considerations will be provided for current trainees. While we hope you decide to apply to our practicum training program, we know that applying for an internship site within which you are currently training can be a stressful experience so we would like you to consider the impact of this situation (and all of its possible outcomes) carefully as you consider applying for a practicum counselor position here.