Skip to Main Content

Clinical Practica

Clinical training is considered an integral part of the doctoral program in clinical psychology. Clinical practica are organized to ensure a progression of clinical training experiences that correspond with the sequence of the course curriculum. Clinical practicum 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 off-site practicum training sites in the Illinois and Wisconsin areas. These settings include but are not limited to hospitals, medical centers, community mental health centers, school districts, and private practices. The department also has clinical programs that are supervised by department faculty. Students gain experience in general therapy and assessment skills, as well as training specifically in the three training tracks offered in the department, psychopathology, neuropsychology and health psychology. Although the department has a cognitive-behavioral orientation, the practicum training at the different sites expose students to multiple theoretical orientations and intervention techniques

Beginning in the first year, each student begins a series of practicum experiences that will total a minimum of 1000 hours (34 credit hours). Typically, students have an average of 2000 hours of clinical training by the time they apply for internships. Ideally a student obtains a breadth of clinical experiences including diagnostic interviewing skills, assessment and intervention skills. Clinical practica in Year 1 and Year 2 are designed to provide students clinical training in fundamental intervention and assessment skills. Training in the first two years is expected to prepare students for more advanced clinical training in years 3, 4, & 5 in track specific areas.

First Year Students are typically assigned to a practicum placement. The objective of first year practicum training is to introduce students to a setting providing clinical services so that a student is able to understand the roles and functions of clinical psychologists. First year students are typically expected to spend 6-8 hours per week in clinical practicum training. Placements include Head Start of Lake County, Healthy Families, Lovell FHCC, Vista Medical Center, and DuPage County Psychological Services.

From the beginning of the Second Year until the approval of the Masters Thesis proposal, students spend an average of 10-12 hours per week in clinical practicum training. The second year practicum consists of clinical service in a community-based setting coupled with a yearlong didactic course. Students first meet with the DCT and their respective advisor to discuss training and career goals in order to determine the appropriate placement for the second year practicum. Placements include psychological assessments for schools and adult centers as well as psychotherapy at the Lovell FHCC. Primary supervision will be provided on-site; however, a secondary supervisor will be assigned from the faculty to assist if necessary. To balance training, all students will have the opportunity to do both assessment and psychotherapy in their second year.

After approval of the Masters Thesis proposal, students may spend a maximum of 12 hours per week in practicum training. Students at this level typically choose practicum placements that are more intensive and closely match their area of interest (i.e., psychopathology, health psychology, and neuropsychology). The Director of Clinical Training works with the student to facilitate specific placements.

Sample Practicum Placements

Health Psychology
AMiTA-Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital
Loyola University Medical Center
Lutheran General Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
RFUMS Interprofessional Care Clinic
University of Illinois Medical Center

Pediatric Psychology
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Healthy Families
Shriners Hospitals for Children
University of Chicago

Advanced Neuropsychology Practicum - Private Practice
Chicago Neuropsychology Group
Loyola University Medical Center Neuropsychology Services
Medical College of Wisconsin – Adult Neuropsychology
University of Chicago Neuropsychology Practicum
UIC Adult Neuropsychology Service

Adult and Adolescent Substance Abuse Program – Lake County
Adult Substance Abuse Program – Women’s Residential Services
Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
Division of Psychological services: 19th Judicial Circuit
DuPage County Psychological Services: 18th Judicial Circuit
Lake County Health Department of Probation – Drug and alcohol rehab
Naperville Pediatric Psychology and Development
Northpointe Resources
University of Chicago Department of Psychiatry
Warren Township Youth and Family Services

Our students have matched at many APA-accredited internship sites around the country, including from the following list:
Brown Alpert Medical School
Children’s Hospital Boston
James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Facility (VA)
Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Kennedy Krieger Institute/John Hopkins School of Medicine
Lexington VA Medical Center
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Metrohealth Medical Center
Milwaukee VA Medical Center
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Naval Medical Center, San Diego
Northern California Psychology Internship Consortium
Portland VA Medical Center
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/ University Behavioral Health
Rush University Medical Center
Southlake Community Mental Health/ Regional Mental Health Center
Southwest Consortium Predoctoral Psychology Internship
Springfield US Medical-Federal Prisoners
St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital
Tulane University School of Medicine
University of California-Los Angeles Neuropsychiatric Institute
University of California-San Diego/ Veterans Affairs
University of Chicago Medical Center
University of Florida Health Science Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center
University of Michigan Human Adjustment
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry
VA Chicago Health Care Center
VA Connecticut Healthcare System
VA Edward Hines, Jr.
VA John D. Dingell VA Medical Center
VA Gulf Coast Veteran Healthcare System
VA Maryland Healthcare System
VA Medical Center, Milwaukee Mental Health Division
VA Northern California Health Care System
VA Palo Alto Healthcare System