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Given that we are a Psy.D. Program, there are high expectations regarding practical training. Students who are admitted must have a Master’s degree from a program where they provided counseling under the supervision of an appropriately credentialed professional. Therefore, students are scheduled to begin their practica immediately upon starting the program and continuing at various sites until they leave for internship. The sections below provide some information about practicum and internship training.
Practicum Placements and Supervisors
Students typically participate in three practicum placements that run across Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, spending an average of 16 hours a week on-site (e.g., two full days; this does not include commuting time to and from the placement) during the Fall and Spring semesters and 8 hours a day over the Summer. Within these 16 hours, the goal is for students to have face-to-face contact with an average of 10 clients per week (8 hours in Summer, with 5 of them spent with clients). Thus, the overall goal is for students to have 1500 or more total practicum hours before leaving for internship, at least 500 of which are client contact hours. This will maximize competitiveness for internship and may also help satisfy training hours required for licensure. In fact, the Virginia Board of Psychology changed the regulations so that practicum hours can count toward licensure in certain circumstances and we have designed our practica to meet the requirements. This means that our students will be eligible for licensure in Virginia upon graduation from the Program and passing the national licensing exam.
We are continually adding new sites, but the following places have indicated a willingness to accept qualified Psy.D. students.
- Catawba Hospital
- Community Health Center New River Valley (Christiansburg and Giles County offices)
- New River Valley Community Services (both the ACCESS unit and the Child & Family Services unit)
- Radford University Student Counseling Services
- Salem Veteran's Medical Center
- Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute (Marion)
- Tri-area Community Health Center
- Virginia Tech Cook Counseling Center
- Virginia Tech Autism Clinic
A 2000 hour-long internship is required. We are aware of the issues associated with the internship imbalance and have included several components in the program to maximize the likelihood that our students will be placed in high-quality sites. For example, as discussed above, the practicum training sequence is designed to allow students to receive at least 1500 total practicum hours, 500 of which are in face-to-face contact with clients. The curriculum is also practice-heavy, with several assessment and applied courses.
Below are some of the sites where our students have been accepted for internship:
- College of William and Mary Counseling Center
- Virginia Commonwealth University Counseling Center
- Virginia Tech Cook Conseling Center -- Blacksburg, VA
- Federal Corretional Complex, Terre Haute, IN
- W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center -- Salisbury, NC
- Iowa City VA Medical Center -- Coralville, IA
- Grand Valley State University, Counseling and Career Development Center -- Allendale, MI
- Federal Correctional Complex -- Petersburg, VA
- SWVA Consortium, Stone Mountain -- Pennington Gap, VA
- SWVA Consortium, RU Counseling Center, Radford, VA
- Unviversity of Washington Counseling Center -- Seattle, WA
In addition, Psy.D. faculty have collaborated with the RU administration and Carilion Clinic, which runs the RU Student Counseling Services, along with administrators at Stone Mountain Health Services (http://www.stonemtn.org/) in far Southwest Virginia to develop the Southwest Virginia Predoctoral Psychology Internship Consortium. The Consortium has one slot at Student Counseling Services as well as two slots at Stone Mountain.
Stone Mountain is a Federally Qualified Health Center with several offices located in a very rural part of Virginia, near the Tennessee and Kentucky borders. Thus, the internship is set up for interns who have some experience and interest in working in an integrated care setting with a rural population. In terms of the placements, each of the interns spends 6 months in the Pennington Gap clinic and 6 months in the St. Charles clinic.
RADFORD UNIVERSITY STUDENT COUNSELING SERVICES
RU Student Counseling Services (http://www.radford.edu/content/student-affairs/home/student-health/counseling.html/) is a unit in the Division of Student Affairs. The following information is from the RU SCS website.
Student Counseling Services supports the academic mission of the university through the enhancement of student learning and retention. Student Counseling Services provides learning opportunities for students to grow as individuals, to form deeper relationships with their peers, and to develop as successful members of our community and society at large.
The primary purpose of the Student Counseling Services (RU SCS) is to assist students with typical student developmental issues and to provide short term, professional counseling to students with mental health concerns.
Student Counseling Services (RU SCS) provides quality mental health care to Radford University students, consultative services to the larger community, and training to graduate students in the mental health field. All services are provided under the direction of licensed, credentialed, and experienced mental health professionals. Staff is guided by the highest professional and ethical standards of their professions and is dedicated to providing quality services.