Clinical training is an integral part of the clinical counseling program. The clinical Internship/practicum experience is organized to correspond with the sequencing of the curriculum. Clinical practicum and internship training plays an important role in the integration of theory, research and practice. Clinical practice provides opportunities for students to integrate critical thinking and hypotheses testing into their clinical activities and to assimilate an empirical, scientifically informed approach to clinical practice.
The department works collaboratively with a number of training sites in the area to ensure appropriate training opportunities exist for the students. Training settings include, but are not limited to, hospitals, medical centers, community mental health centers, school districts, and, to a lesser extent, private practices. During their practicum and internship training experiences, students gain experience in general therapy and assessment skills. Opportunities for the student to receive training focused in certain areas of interest and specialized are arranged from time to time; however, the general focus of the training program is to ensure that the student receives a broad based, foundational training experience in therapy and/or assessment techniques. Although the department primarily has a cognitive-behavioral orientation, students are often exposed to multiple theoretical orientations and intervention techniques during their practicum/internship experience. The Clinical Counseling student begins applying to training sites toward the end of their first year of full time study and begins the practicum/internship experience at the beginning of their second year of full time studies. The student will accumulate a minimum of 700 hours clinical experience by the conclusion of their graduate studies. The student’s advisor and the Director of Clinical Training work closely with the student to facilitate placements that are consistent with the student’s training needs and career goals. The Director of Clinical Training also works with the different sites to ensure that practicum experiences are appropriately supervised and structured to meet the training needs of students.