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Practicum Training Program

Welcome from the Assistant Training Director

Thank you for your interest in the Practicum Training Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University. The practicum experience starts mid-August and ends with the conclusion of the spring semester. Applications will be accepted from April 1st until May 11th at 5:00 pm. Interviews for selected applicants will be held at the end of May. Applicants will have the choice of an on-site interview or skype interview.

The Practicum Training Program endorses a developmental model of supervision and training, reflecting a focus on development of competencies consistent with a practicum counselor’s level of experience. To enhance the learning process, the clinicians in the program are committed to providing an experience that integrates development of clinical competence and ethical practice with professional growth and development in a supportive atmosphere.

I hope that the following pages will provide you with the information you need to determine whether the FSUUCC training program will be a good fit for you. I know that the application and decision-making process can be challenging, and I would like to provide you with as much information as possible.

If you have additional questions about the Practicum Training Program after looking through the information, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail at ylangdon@admin.fsu.edu or by phone at 850-644-TALK(8255).

Thank you again for your interest in the Practicum Training Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University.

Sincerely,
Yvonne Langdon-Maduekwe, Ph.D.
Assistant Training Director
Licensed Psychologist

Mission Statement

The Practicum Training Program is an integral part of the mission of the University Counseling Center at Florida State University. The entire clinical staff is involved in the supervision and training of our practicum counselors. The practicum experience is a time to develop one’s professional skills, prepare to engage competently, and identify as a counselor in training. The program attempts to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to learning by providing practicum counselors with an appropriate blend of support and challenge. The practicum counselors are seen as emerging professionals and are treated accordingly, giving them a balance of autonomy and structure. The practicum counselor’s “growth edges” are focused on in an attempt to facilitate their growth throughout the practicum experience.

Philosophy of Training

The goal of the Practicum Training Program is to provide doctoral program students with a focused and intensive experience in providing individual counseling to the University Counseling Center clients and to provide the practicum counselor supervision and clinical training in the following areas:

  • Clinical skills and competency in providing individual counseling as a practicum counselor.
  • Understanding of and competence in the process dimension of counseling as well as use of the counselor’s self and the counseling relationship as agents of change.
  • Working competently and compassionately with clients from diverse life backgrounds and with wide-ranging presenting concerns.
  • Developing skills for working with a multidisciplinary professional staff in a large university counseling center.
  •  Utilizing a developmental mentoring model, which is sensitive to the developmental needs of practicum counselors throughout the practicum experience, providing them with necessary supervision and support.
  • Providing training and experience in planning and delivering high quality direct clinical services to the center clients.
  • Establishing and developing a professional identity as knowledgeable, skilled, and ethical clinicians in training.
  • Infusing sensitivity to issues of diversity throughout the program.
  • Allow for an unfolding of exploration of clinical and professional identities and how our various identities and experiences interplay with professional activities.

Professional Ethics

Practicum counselors are expected to follow ethical guidelines and principles as established by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS). They are expected to be aware of and adhere to pertinent Florida laws governing professional practice. All practicum counselors must maintain ALL client information confidential as required by law and the APA and IACS ethics codes. Ethical issues are integrated into all discussions regarding service delivery and the over all practicum experience in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University.

Clinical Staff at the UCC

The clinical staff of the University Counseling Center is multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse. It includes licensed psychologists, licensed mental health counselors, licensed clinical social workers,a licensed marriage and family therapist, registered art therapists, masters interns and doctoral interns. All of the clinical staff are generalists and see students presenting with a variety of mental health concerns.

Structure of the Practicum Training Program

The practicum experience requires 20-24 hours per week of on-site commitment, in the University Counseling Center, from the practicum counselor. While there is some flexibility in adapting the practicum requirements to the criteria set by the practicum counselor’s department, it is the practicum counselor’s responsibility to negotiate and adjust his/her time management style to meet these requirements. Please note that the Practicum Training Program undergoes periodic revision and therefore changes to some aspects of the specific program details may be made prior to the beginning of the training period.

Orientation

Practicum counselors are required to participate in a scheduled orientation during their first week in the University Counseling Center. Please note that the orientation occurs prior to the start of the Fall academic semester. The purpose of the orientation is to introduce the practicum counselors to the structure and mission of the Practicum Training Program, organization structure, and clinical services provided, along with policies and procedures of the program. The orientation will include, but is not limited to a brief overview of working with diverse populations, therapeutic modalities, common clinical areas of interest [i.e. belief systems in counseling and integrating identities]. Orientation will be led by center staff and/or psychology residents.

Individual Counseling Experience

Each practicum counselor is expected to provide a minimum of 8 hours per week to individual counseling sessions. Given the variability in attendance rates and the fact that some clients may be seen less frequently than weekly, practicum counselors will carry an ongoing caseload of greater than eight clients in order to meet this requirement. Practicum counselors will be trained to conduct intakes at the University Counseling Center. The intake is the client’s first extensive experience with a clinician, in this case the practicum counselor.

Crisis Intervention

The practicum counselor will have the opportunity to participate in the walk-in system through observations and supervised practice.

Group Counseling

The practicum counselor will have the opportunity to co-facilitate a group during the Spring semester. This option is available to practicum students who commit 24 hours to the practicum experience at the University Counseling Center.

Individual Supervision

Each practicum counselor will receive 1.0 hour per week of one-to-one individual counseling supervision, and more if determined necessary by the supervisor(s) of record. Supervisory pairings and group assignments will be made at the beginning of the practicum experience by the Assistant Training Director. Practicum counselor’s supervision schedules will be set by the supervisor of record based on the practicum counselor’s schedule.

Group Supervision

Practicum counselors are required to attend group supervision weekly for 1.5 – 2.0 hours on Thursday mornings between the hours of 8:30 am and 12:00 p.m. (Specific time TBA). They will meet with Assistant Training Director for 30 minutes and with the Group Supervisors for 1.0 – 1.5 hrs. for the duration of the practicum experience. Practicum counselors will need to arrange their academic course schedule in order to participate in the meetings with the Assistant Training Director and group supervision. Practicum counselors are able to adjust almost every other aspect of the practicum experience to fit their academic schedule.

Group supervision provides an opportunity for practicum counselors to process, learn, share, and teach each other about doing individual counseling with University Counseling Center clients. Group supervision will cover a range of clinical presentations, diversity topics, utilize case presentations, and video reviews of the practicum counselor’s counseling sessions with center clients. Various collaborative learning methods may be used in the group supervision to foster cohesiveness, mutual learning, and respect for diverse theoretical and worldviews.

Practicum Seminars

The practicum seminars are an integral part of the Practicum Training Program. Practicum counselors receive seminar trainings on a variety of topics. The format is both didactic and discussion/process oriented in nature. The topics covered pertain to major areas of knowledge needed to be a competent clinician.

Diversity

The University Counseling Center staff is strongly committed to addressing the needs of a diverse student population, and the Practicum Training Program strives to incorporate and highlight issues of diversity as a fundamental part of the practicum experience. The University Counseling Center is committed to the promotion and affirmation of diversity in its broadest sense, and its mission requires that people of every background be able to use our services with an expectation of respectful treatment.

The professional ethics and standards of the various mental health disciplines represented in the University Counseling Center place a high value on the dignity and worth of individuals regardless of their gender expression and identity, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental abilities, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic class. Therefore, as part of their professional functioning, all staff members are expected to respect the dignity and worth of the individual, and to strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights.

Time Allocation for the Practicum Training Program

Activity Alloted Time
Weekly Minimum Maximum
Individual Counseling 8 hrs 12 hrs
Individual Supervision 1 hr 1 hr
Staff Meeting
(Mondays 10-11am)
1 hr 1 hr
Practicum Seminar 1 hr 1 hr
Meet with Practicum Coordinator
(Thursdays)
0.5 hr 0.5 hr
Group Supervision
(Thursdays)
1-1.5 hrs 1-1.5 hrs
Case coordination, preparing for supervision, and other practicum counselor responsibilities 2 hrs 3 hrs
Other (crisis intervention, group counseling, etc.) 0 hrs 4 hrs
Totals 20 hrs 24 hrs

Professional Expectations of Practicum Counselors

The Florida State University Counseling Center Practicum Training Program reaffirms its commitment to a policy of equal opportunity and pluralism, thus enhancing diversity and assuring a campus climate that values and respects the worth and dignity of all persons. Therefore, we ascribe to APA’s position statement “Preparing Professional Psychologists to Serve a Diverse Public: A Core Requirement in Doctoral Education and Training” which can be found at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/policy/diversity-preparation.aspx . We train practicum counselors to be well-rounded professional psychologists with the competencies to serve clients representing different forms of diversity. In providing this training, we commit ourselves to creating a supportive training environment that allows for self-exploration and the development of cognitive flexibility.

It is expected that practicum counselors will practice ethical behavior as defined in the APA Code of Ethics and observe all University Counseling Center and Practicum Training Program policies and procedures. Practicum counselors are viewed as emerging professionals and are respected for the services and skills that they provide. Therefore, it is assumed that they will behave in a professional manner. Practicum counselors will also be expected to:

Physically be in the University Counseling Center for a minimum of 20 to a maximum of 24 hours each week

During these hours, it is required that practicum counselors attend and participate in individual counseling, individual supervision, practicum seminar, meet with Assistant Training Director, Group Supervision, and case coordination activities.

Be punctual, consistently attend, and actively participate in the Practicum Training Program

Practicum counselors are expected to be actively involved in individual and group discussions, and to openly discuss and enlist support and assistance with their clinical caseload. Practicum counselors are expected to prepare for supervision on a weekly basis and to initiate and actively engage in discussions which will lead to their professional growth and to receiving the feedback necessary to provide high-quality services to their clients. Practicum counselors are expected to utilize the University Counseling Center resources available to them if their clients experience clinical crises.

Provide 8 to 12 hours each week to be used for scheduling individual counseling clients

During these hours, it is required that practicum counselors will be present in the University Counseling Center, even when no clients are scheduled. It is expected that practicum counselors will use unscheduled time to focus on preparation for supervision, review client files, consult with center clinicians, or to perform case management activities (e.g., making referrals, writing progress notes).

Video record client sessions

Practicum counselors will view videos with their supervisor(s) and in Group Supervision with the licensed clinicians. Digitally recorded material related to clinical work is treated as confidential and practicum counselors are instructed on how to ensure that this material is secured within the University Counseling Center at all times.

Maintain timely and accurate client records

Maintain client records, including written, scanned, and electronic documentation, according to established Practicum Training Program policies and procedures.

Protect and safeguard ALL CONFIDENTIAL client material

Specific procedures for protecting client information will be explained during orientation. Absolutely no records or recordings are allowed to be removed from University Counseling Center premises, under any circumstances.

Dress in a professional manner

Dress professionally, consistent with agency norms for clinical staff members and doctoral intern supervisors. This means no shorts, tank tops, or revealing clothing of any type, or inappropriate foot ware. Please ensure that your professional decorum is neat and appropriate for working with clients in the University Counseling Center.

Evaluation and Feedback

Evaluation and feedback is an ongoing process that occurs throughout the practicum experience. Supervisors and practicum counselors will identify supervisory and clinical goals. Midway through the practicum experience the Assistant Training Director will meet individually with the doctoral intern supervisors, and the practicum counselors to discuss their progress in attaining supervision goals, and to highlight any areas of concern or growth so that the practicum counselors can focus their training efforts on those issues.

A written evaluation process takes place at the end of each academic semester during the practicum experience. Supervisors provide a written summary of the practicum counselor’s competencies and progress. The practicum counselor will complete written evaluations of their experiences with their supervisors, along with an evaluation of the Practicum Training Program as a whole. Each practicum counselor meets with their supervisor at the end of each semester to review and discuss these evaluations, along with conducting an exit interview with the Assistant Training Director at the completion of the practicum experience.

Practicum Training Program Application Process

What we look for in a Practicum Counselor

  • Self-Motivation and self-direction.
  • Open to feedback and willing to learn.
  • Identifiable training goals and objectives.
  • A foundation of basic skills and knowledge.
  • A willingness and interest in further development of clinical skills during the practicum experience.

Guidelines for Practicum Applicants who are former clients of the UCC

  1. Former clients are eligible to apply for practicum positions.
  2. There must be a minimum of one semester between receiving clinical services at the UCC and starting a practicum at the UCC.
  3. Former client’s file will be sealed upon receipt of application.

Minimum Criteria for Eligibility

  • Fall and Spring semester commitment to the Practicum Training Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University.
  • Available to engage in practicum related activities for approximately 20 to 24 hours per week throughout the practicum experience.
  • Currently enrolled in the Combined Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology & School Psychology or the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at Florida State University.
  • Successfully completed at least one clinical practicum within your current program.

If you meet the minimum criteria for eligibility and are interested in applying to the Practicum Training Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University, please submit the following application materials (Please note, the first four documents are available for download below):

Selected candidates with have the opportunity to request an onsite or Skype interview.

Application deadline is May 11th at 5pm.

*** Please note that if accepted into the Practicum Training Program, students must provide proof of their Student Liability Insurance at the start of the Practicum experience. Students must also register for the 2 hour credit of Field Practicum for both fall and spring semesters of their practicum experience. In addition, students must complete the Field Practicum Information and the Field Practicum Placement Forms, which will document their supervisors and contact information at the University Counseling Center. Upon completion of the forms they will be turned in to their Field Practicum Instructor.***

Please send all completed application materials to:

Attention: Practicum Selection Committee
Yvonne Langdon-Maduekwe, Ph.D.
Assistant Training Director
University Counseling Center
Reuben O’D Askew Student Life Center
942 Learning Way, Suite 250
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4175
Phone: (850) 644-TALK(8255)
Fax: (850) 644-3150
e-mail: ylangdon@admin.fsu.edu

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