PSY651A Counseling Practicum I

Lead Faculty: Dr. Brian P. Tilley

Course Description

Part one 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.

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.