UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN


Practicum

We are glad that you are interested in finding out more about our practicum program at the Counseling Center! We have a long tradition of providing quality practicum training to students. We invite you to read over the information provided here about our practicum training and consider applying if you feel that the program meets your interests and needs. We also invite you to check out the rest of the Counseling Center’s website for more information about our Center!

Beginning Practicum

Beginning Practicum Program Goals
As a therapist-in-training, to develop and refine skills in:

  • establishing strong relationships with clients
  • conceptualizing clients and their concerns
  • developing and applying a theoretically based plan for treatment with each client
  • using your awareness of yourself as a therapeutic tool

As a colleague-in-training, to:

  • learn how to use supervision effectively
  • give and receive professional, timely, and appropriate feedback to your peers
  • actively participate in developing and maintaining an atmosphere of trust and support during your practicum experience here
  • participate as a professional in a university counseling center agency and to learn the workings of such agencies

Requirements

  • status as a current graduate (doctoral preferred) student in a counseling or clinical psychology program
  • successful completion of a counseling skills course
  • successful completion of a counseling theories overview course

Expectations
16-20 hour time commitment each week, for the academic year (mid-August to mid-May). These hours will consist of:

  • four to six direct service hours of individual therapy each week for the fall semester; all client sessions will be audio taped or videotaped
  • five to seven direct service hours of individual therapy each week for the spring semester
  • one and a half hours of individual clinical supervision each week (provided by the Center)
  • two hours of group supervision each week (provided by the Center)
  • one hour of practicum seminar each week (provided by the Center)
  • observation of five Initial Appointments over the course of the academic year
  • discretionary time used to listen to tapes, write notes, prepare for individual and group supervision, and read assigned articles/books

Advanced Practicum

Advanced Practicum Program Goals
As a therapist-in-training, to develop and refine skills in:

  • establishing strong relationships with clients
  • conceptualizing clients and their concerns
  • developing and applying a theoretically based plan for treatment with each client
  • using your awareness of yourself as a therapeutic tool
  • group therapy (optional observation depending on availability)

As a colleague-in-training, to:

  • learn how to use supervision effectively
  • give and receive professional, timely, and appropriate feedback to your peers
  • actively participate in developing and maintaining an atmosphere of trust and support during your practicum experience here
  • participate as a professional in a university counseling center agency and to learn the workings of such agencies

Requirements

  • status as a current doctoral student in a counseling or clinical psychology program
  • successful completion of a counseling skills course
  • successful completion of a counseling theories overview course
  • at least one successfully completed therapy practicum placement

Expectations
16-20 hour time commitment each week, for the academic year (mid-August to mid-May). These hours will consist of:

  • five to ten direct service hours of individual therapy each week for the fall semester; all client sessions will be audio taped or videotaped
  • one and a half hours of individual clinical supervision each week (provided by the Center)
  • two hours of group supervision each week (provided by the Center)
  • one hour of practicum seminar each week (provided by the Center)
  • half hour of supervision each week with group therapy facilitator (if participating in optional group process observation)
  • participation in Initial Appointment training
  • discretionary time used to listen to tapes, write notes, prepare for individual and group supervision, and read assigned articles/books

Our philosophy of training is:

  • to offer supervised clinical experiences to practicum students, who come from counseling or clinical psychology programs
  • based on a developmental mentoring model, which is sensitive to the developmental needs of practicum students throughout the year, providing them with necessary supervision and support
  • to provide training and experience in planning and delivering high quality direct clinical services to clients
  • to assist practicum students in further establishing and developing a professional identity as knowledgeable, skilled, and ethical psychologists-in-training
  • to focus on supporting the development of solid clinical and professional skills in working with the university student population
  • to infuse sensitivity to issues of diversity throughout the training program
  • to allow for an unfolding exploration of identities and how our various identities and experiences interplay with professional activities

What we look for in a practicum student:

  • self-motivation and self-direction
  • identifiable training goals and objectives
  • a foundation of basic skills and knowledge and a willingness and interest in further development throughout the year

Clinical experiences

Individual and Couples Counseling (couples opportunities less frequent)

  • the opportunity to gain experience in brief, intermediate, and long-term counseling with undergraduate and graduate students presenting with a broad range of presenting concerns
  • a diverse caseload in terms of severity of concerns, client populations, and clinical issues

Group Therapy Process Observation (optional and dependent on availability)

  • the opportunity to monitor group dynamics of a therapy group
  • participates as part of the group treatment team with the staff facilitators
  • includes supervision with one of the staff facilitators every week

Initial Appointments/Assessments (advanced practicum)

  • work under the developmental training model with the trainee’s clinical supervisor to learn the Center’s initial appointment system
  • advance toward conducting initial appointments independently

Supervision experiences

Individual supervision

  • one and a half hours per week of intensive, individual supervision focusing on individual caseloads
  • two different individual supervisors over the course of the academic year, to allow practicum students the opportunity and the exposure to different theoretical orientations and styles; there is also an opportunity to be supervised by a doctoral intern during the spring semester
  • supervisory assignments are derived from practicum student input and supervisor’s theoretical orientation; final matches are determined by the Practicum Training Chair

Group supervision

  • two hours per week of group supervision, led by Practicum Training Chair; group consists of both beginning and advanced practicum students
  • focus on development of conceptual and intervention skills through case presentations

Our staff consists of 21 clinical counselors, representing a range of theoretical orientations.

Additional experiences

Practicum Special Topics Seminar

  • one hour per week didactic seminar led by the Practicum Special Topics Supervisor

Outreach (recommended)

  • the Center provides a wide range of programming on campus
  • trainees are encouraged to participate in outreach programming in the area of their choice by teaming up with clinicians who work in that area of specialization

Treatment Teams (optional)

  • depending on trainee interest and schedule, practicum students may attend treatment team meetings in the Center
  • treatment teams meet either one hour per month or per week and are available for the following: alcohol and other drugs, eating disorders and disturbances, trauma, performance anxiety

Evaluation and feedback

  • practicum students receive ongoing formal and informal feedback from their supervisors throughout the year and are encouraged to engage in a process of self-assessment
  • Summary evaluations by the practicum students’ individual supervisors are sent to the practicum student’s department at the end of each semester
  • evaluation forms are completed by individual supervisors and returned to the Practicum Training Chair at the end of each semester
  • written feedback from the practicum students is obtained regarding their individual supervisory experiences as well as the overall practicum experience

Application Process

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program in psychology at an accredited university.
  • Send your completed application (linked below); a cover letter describing your interest in our site and goals for the practicum; a current vita; and contact information for two references (at least one of whom is familiar with your clinical skills) to the address indicated.
  • NOTE: Practicum Counselors will need to be available on-site Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon for group supervision and training seminar.
  • Your application will be reviewed by the Practicum Training Chair and by the Practicum Training Committee.
  • You may be asked to participate in a 30-minute interview in-person or by phone with the Practicum Training Chair and a member of the Practicum Training Committee.
  • Direct any question to Jodi Thomas, Psy.D., Practicum Training Chair, (217) 333-3704.
  • APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE RECEIVED BY February 10, 2014 FOR FULL CONSIDERATION
  • Practicum_Application-2014-2015 - PDF / Practicum_Application-2014-2015 - DOCX