Psychology 840

PSYC 840: Counseling Psychology Practicum I

Prerequisites: Enrollment in PsyD program

Credit Hours: (3)

This course will provide doctoral students with the opportunity to gain actual practical experience providing counseling, assessment, education, and other applied work in a variety of settings. Students will provide services for approximately 16 hours per week under the on-site supervision of a licensed professional and will participate in individual and/or group consultation about client in the department. Training related to cultural diversity, social justice, and evidence-based practice will be infused throughout the course. Students will also receive training in specific content areas each semester. Students must register for 840 for 2 consecutive terms in their first year (i.e., Fall and Spring) and must successfully complete both of them as well as the subsequent summer’s 843 course before they can receive credit for both 840 courses and the subsequent 843 course.  This is a Pass/Fail course.

Note(s): Students must register for 840 for 2 consecutive terms in their first year (i.e., Fall and Spring) and must successfully complete both of them as well as the subsequent summer’s PSYC 843 course before they can receive credit for both 840 courses and the subsequent PSYC 843 course. This is a pass/fail course.


 Detailed Description of Content of Course

 The course may include the following topics:

I.   Professional, ethical, and legal standards of behavior in counseling, assessment, and other applied psychological work, including consultation and documentation

II.  Working with professionals from other disciplines

III. Issues of cultural diversity in mental health intervention and prevention practice

IV. Specific Therapeutic Issues

        a. Serious and persistent mental illness

        b. Substance use and abuse

        c. Mood disorders

        d. Anxiety disorders

        e. Eating disorders and body image issues

        f. Sexuality issues

        g. Dissociative disorders

        h.  Empirically-supported treatments and assessments for the above conditions

V. Individual therapy

        a. Developing the relationship and common factors

        b. The course of the therapeutic relationship

        c. Case analyses and diagnoses

        d. Case conceptualization, goal setting, and treatment planning

VI. Models of therapy

        a. Cognitive and cognitive behavior

        b  Humanistic

        c. Psychodynamic

        d. Brief

        e. Integrative

VII. Therapeutic Issues:

        a. Crisis intervention

        b. Potential Harm to self or others, including possible child or elder abuse

        c. Grief of death

        d. Anger management

        e. Social and coping skills development

        f. Issues of social justice


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will involve group and individual consultation. Individual consultation in the Department of Psychology will take place between a student and a licensed or license-eligible faculty member and will focus on the student’s development and work with clients. The group consultation will include case discussions, readings, and practical experience. It will primarily be conducted as a seminar with an emphasis on student participation.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. Students will learn techniques for effective interviewing and listening

2. Students will be able to apply their knowledge in order to identify biological  conditions, sociocultural issues, thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that may be contributing to difficulties

3. Students will be able to develop and evaluate progress toward short and long term goals

4. Students will be able to identify the variables that create individual differences in people, including biological, social, cultural, ethic, experiential, socioeconomic, gender-related, ability, and linguistic factors, and which contribute to the need to develop unique strategies for intervention with each client

5. Students will be able to identify the important systems in the client’s life, and will understand how conflicts and strengths within these systems are contributing to the client’s current functioning

6. Students will become familiar with a variety of counseling strategies that can enhance client’s behavior, including the development of problem solving skills, conflict management skills, and self-monitoring techniques

7. Students will learn to work effectively with families and other community members  to provide comprehensive services for clients

8. Students will learn how to accurately assess and diagnose mental disorders

9. Students will learn to link assessment information directly with evidence-based intervention strategies in order to help clients- and develop a conceptualization treatment plan that reflects these skills

10. Students will be able to evaluate the extent to which their intervention contributed to the outcome in case, and will be able to identify what factors contributed to the successful outcome of a case

11. Students will be able to identify effect prevention and intervention programs that promote the health and well-being of clients; this includes wellness-oriented programming in addition to programming for high risk problems and crisis response

12. Students will be able to identify social justice issues that arise when working with particular clients and their associated systems

13. Students will be able to articulate their theoretical orientation

14. Students will be able to identify and refer to appropriate community resources


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed using several measures, which may include formal evaluation by the on-site supervisor(s), evaluation by the instructor(s), feedback from clients, and a final comprehensive case presentation.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

December 20, 2007

Revised: October 14, 2011

Approved : December 13, 2011