Practicum and Internship

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program requires both a Practicum and Internship experience for all students.


Mental Health Counseling Practicum (COUN 793)

This course will assist counselors-in-training in developing their professional helping skills and effective counseling style. Upon completion of this course, students will possess an enhanced comprehension of their professional strengths and limitations related to the helping profession.

Students are responsible for acquiring practicum positions and obtaining approval of the Program Director. Specific placements depend somewhat on the background, experience, maturity and capability of the student at the time of placement, as well as chosen concentration or interest area. No particular kind of placement can be guaranteed prior to the student's entry into the program. Brochures listing a variety of potential practicum sites are provided to students.

Students will attend a minimum of eight seminars of three hours each. During these seminars students will discuss cases and various topics pertinent to the practice of mental health counseling in a variety of mental health settings. Students will also meet individually with a university supervisor at least one hour per week. Students are required to be at their practicum site for a total of 150 hours during the semester, of which 40 of those hours need to be direct client contact hours (individual or group counseling), and students are required to record at least one client session each week using the video equipment provided by their primary instructor. Students are required to complete Counseling Process Lab (COUN 788) prior to taking the practicum course. Read the liability insurance requirements described below.

  • The Practicum Handbook  lists and describes student and supervisors responsibilities during practicum.

Mental Health Counseling Internship (COUN 794)

Completion of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program requires an internship experience for students. Two courses are prerequisites for internship: Counseling Process Laboratory (COUN 788) which provides initial development in core counseling skills, reflective listening and establishing counseling relationships; and the Mental Health Counseling Practicum (COUN 793), which offers continued development of professional helping skills and effective counseling style. Internship experiences for students in the Mental Health Counseling program are available through various agencies. Similar to practicum, students are responsible for acquiring an internship site, but may choose to continue in their practicum site for internship.
 
A total of 600 hours of on-site internship experience is required for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. This means students will be expected to spend the equivalent of about 20 hours per week in the internship setting during the 16-week semester. The 600 total hours required for internship can be divided up over two or three semesters with a minimum of two credits required per semester. Supervision for all internships will be provided by professional staff in the setting, and by faculty from the university. Seminar classes will meet bi-weekly and individual supervision sessions are required as part of the internship experience.

The Student Internship Handbook lists and describes student responsibilities during internship.

Liability Insurance

Students are required to obtain liability insurance through the American Counseling Association (ACA) prior to beginning the practicum or internship experience on-site and in the classroom. Students automatically receive the liability insurance by becoming an ACA member (www.counseling.org).