General Course Information for PSY651C: Counseling Practicum III

Course: PSY651C - Counseling Practicum III
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

Part three of a four part field practicum in which students work as counselor trainees under the supervision of a licensed therapist. Students also participate in an academic seminar at the University. Students select an approved practicum site and accumulate 100 hours of counseling experience that includes 75 hours of face-to-face work with clients during a three-month period. Regular course work continues during this period. The academic seminar meets one and one half hours per week and runs concurrently with onsite work. Seminar work focuses on professional and training issues, including process issues, case conceptualization, oral, written and videotaped presentations and integration of relevant research. On-site psychotherapy and supervision hours may be used as partial fulfillment of required licensing hours. Grading is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory only. This three-month seminar may meet in the late afternoon outside of regular class hours. Grading is by S or U only. Course is eligible for an 'IP' grade.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify presenting problems by assessing client's initial concerns to determine purpose of seeking therapy.
  • Identify human diversity factors to determine how to proceed with client's treatment.
  • Formulate a diagnostic impression based on assessment information to use as a basis for treatment planning.
  • Identify precipitating events related to client's presenting problems to determine contributing factors.
  • Formulate a treatment plan within a theoretical orientation to provide a framework for client's therapy
  • Prioritize treatment goals to determine client's course of treatment.
  • Establish a therapeutic relationship with client to facilitate treatment.
  • Identify nature of client's crises to determine what immediate intervention is needed.
  • Describe transference and countertransference issues common in therapeutic relationships, discuss them as they occur in the practicum experience, and make relevant changes in counseling behaviors.
  • Identify ethical and legal standards involved in specific cases particularly those involving informed consent, therapeutic boundaries, management of ethical issues, confidentiality and privilege including exception, and professional conduct.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures