Practicum Training Program
Training future generations of clinicians is a fundamental component of the mental health profession across disciplines including professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, psychology, and psychiatry. All disciplines require practical experience in various treatment settings. The purpose of a training program at CSU Channel Islands (CI) Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is to provide trainees with clinical experience in working with students in a college counseling center setting.
The training program at CI CAPS subscribes to a Practitioner-Scholar model of training, which emphasizes the development of professional skills among clinicians who use evidence-based practices and a commitment to the ongoing cultivation of multicultural competency. The training program is sequential and cumulative in nature and builds on the experience obtained at the clinic.
The benefits to the trainees are that they are provided with substantive and integrated clinical experiences in a college counseling center setting while being supervised by licensed mental health professionals. Trainees practice individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, treatment planning, case management, outreach to the campus community, and building skills in short-term, problem-focused treatment strategies. The practicum also provides an opportunity for personal and professional development. Further, following graduation, trainees will have skills to compete for employment opportunities in a variety of jobs in the field of behavioral and mental health.
Who are the Trainees?
Trainees are graduate students carefully selected to participate in our program, and may be placed from any of several area graduate programs. Students usually have a year or more of clinical experience prior to coming to CI CAPS. They usually work 15-20 hours per week, which can be adjusted to meet the needs of each individual trainee. Full-time and part-time postdoctoral fellows will be considered. However, we are unable to provide funding for postdoctoral fellows at this time.
Progression of Training
The training program is designed to be a planned sequence of clinical experience. Trainees will be given the opportunity to shadow senior staff in doing initial assessments, then begin to do their own assessments, and gradually build their own caseloads. The size and breadth of caseloads are expanded as the trainee develops during the course of the year. There are opportunities to do crisis counseling as part of the daily triage rotation.
Goals of the Practicum Training Program
Practicum students will be developing skills in brief therapy, including building rapport with clients, assessing and setting short-term counseling goals, and continuing the process through to termination.
By the end of the year, students will be expected to demonstrate:
- Diagnostic and conceptual skills - being able to generate an overview of client's presenting concerns and make an accurate differential diagnosis.
- Assessment skills - being able to accurately evaluate the client's presenting concerns, personality dynamics, and psychosocial history.
- Theoretical and research knowledge skills - being able to develop skills and habits in seeking and applying evidence-based practices in the clinical setting, including applying scientific knowledge.
- Treatment plans - utilizing assessment and conceptual skills to formulate appropriate goals for brief therapy and/or community referral.
- Group skills (if applicable) - develop a beginning level of understanding of group dynamics and develop the ability to function as a group co-leader.
- Cross-cultural competency skills - including personal awareness, knowledge of the intersectionality of identities and cultural factors, and skills in culturally-sensitive psychological services.
Personal growth will also be a primary area of emphasis, with students expected to demonstrate:
- Awareness of emotional and cognitive response to client in the context of the counseling relationship.
- Insight into how clinician's personal life experiences can impact oneself, the client, and the counseling process.
Professional development is the final area of emphasis. Students will be expected to demonstrate:
- Principles of ethical practice and decision making, and legal knowledge related to the practice of psychology.
- Ethical awareness of client/therapy issues, including one's own limitations with clients, and how to make appropriate referrals.
- Articulation of professional knowledge and presentation of case material with one's colleagues.
- Intake/Initial Consultation
- Individual Counseling/Brief Therapy
- Group Counseling/Psychotherapy
- Crisis Intervention
- Community Referrals and Case Management
- Record Keeping
- Treatment Plans
- Termination Summaries
- Individual Supervision
- Case Assignment Team (CAT)/Group Supervision
- Training Seminar
- Crisis Debriefing
- Working with Peer Educators
- Written Evaluations
- Case Presentations
- Review of Video Recordings
How to Apply:
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2016-2017 academic year. If you are interested in applying for the 2017-2018 academic year, applications will be due by March 1, 2017.
Please send the following materials to Dr. Gina Albani:
- Cover letter describing interest, special skills, and a statement of personal and professional goals for this training experience
- Curriculum vitae (CV)
- Letter of recommendation from someone with knowledge of applicant’s clinical skills
- Statement from Program Chair or Director of Clinical Training stating applicant is in good academic standing in the graduate program
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Gina Albani at 805-437-2088.