Practicum Training

University Counseling Services (UCS) provides practicum training for doctoral level students in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. The UCS training model is developmental in nature, and the Practicum Seminar coordinates the practical learning experience for Counseling Psychology graduate students. Trainees are assisted in learning, applying, and refining their basic counseling skills, theoretical orientation, and conceptualization of clients through group supervision, case consultation, apprenticeship, instruction and peer feedback. Formal and informal feedback about the practicum experience and the individual trainee's development is solicited and exchanged throughout the year, and evaluative information is communicated to the Psychology Department.

Practicum students make a commitment for two consecutive semesters at UCS, which include, but are not limited to, participating in UCS Training Orientation, weekly Practicum Seminar meetings, and weekly Clinical Disposition Team meetings. The hours indicated below do not include additional training activities.

Average Activity Per Week

Direct Services

  • Individual therapy: 5 hours
  • RAM (initial contact) appointments: 1 hour

Administrative Time

  • Clinical paperwork: 1 hour

Supervision

  • Individual supervision: 1 hour

Training

  • Practicum seminar: 2 hours
  • Clinical Disposition Team meetings: 1 hour

It should be noted that these numbers represent weekly averages. Actual time spent in many activities varies with the ebb and flow of clinical demands during the academic year.

Limited opportunities may be available for practicum students to participate as group process observers at UCS. These opportunities will depend on the agency needs and training requirements for all trainees. UCS does not permit practicum students to provide couples therapy or co-lead group therapy (see Advanced Practicum).

Evaluation of practicum students involves completion of the UCS evaluation forms by individual supervisors. Practicum students will be provided verbal feedback about their progress at mid-semester and written feedback at the end of each semester. A copy of the written evaluations will be provided to the department. All evaluation forms will be placed in the practicum student's file.

To avoid ethical issues stemming from dual relationships, UCS does not accept individuals for UCS graduate clinical training in our Practicum training program who have received clinical services at UCS from a senior staff member.