What is the difference between a practicum and an internship?
There is a clear distinction between the practicum and internship experiences. The first three years of clinical training are devoted to basic skill acquisition in the areas of assessment and psychotherapy. The practicum sites are to serve as laboratory settings that allow students the opportunity for mastering the fundamental skills and knowledge being taught in the introductory courses in psychopathology, assessment, and intervention. The internship experience follows from both this practicum experience and the successful completion of three core practicum courses. Internship training requires more responsibility on the part of the students, with interns viewed as junior colleagues who perform, under supervision, all the duties of staff psychologists. The internship years are designed to prepare the students for the assumption of an autonomous professional role by allowing for the participation in the full repertoire of activities in which psychologists engage. Interns are expected to refine and to coordinate the skills acquired in the first three years of practica training, as well as to acquire new skills that are specifically related to supervision, care management, decision making, and treatment team leadership.
When can I begin a practicum?
Effective fall 2009, students may begin practicum at the beginning of the second year. This means beginning to identify and interview for practicum placements by the end of the first year. Before initiating a practicum, students should discuss their training goals and objectives with the Director of Clinical Training. Please note that practicum credit will not be awarded during the first year.
How do I set up a practicum?
Normally, the student initiates a practicum. The Director of Clinical Training office maintains a list of approved practicum placements. Once the site is identified, the student will be required to provide the setting information via a Training Site Proposal, including the curriculum vitae of the supervisor, and student professional insurance. Practicum experiences must include the following:
1. Supervision by a licensed clinical psychologist.
2.Training in the foundations of clinical practice. Training activities may include, but are not limited to, observing the clinical work of supervisors or trainees, being involved in practice sessions in order to learn therapeutic skills, doing intake interviews with clients, co-leading groups, and participating in clinical "staffings".
3. At least one hour of clinical supervision for each 10 hours of time spent providing direct or indirect professional services. The first hour of supervision each week, however, must be with the primary supervisor in a group or individual face-to-face setting; the remaining supervision may be in either individual or group supervision with a delegated supervisor. Delegated supervisors may hold a license at the master’s level.
4. Exposure to diverse client populations.
What are the practicum requirements?
In accordance with the Clinical Program requirements, all students will complete 1000 hours of supervised practicum experience in clinical settings. In addition to practicum courses [i.e. CP 750 and CP 910], students will be required to present a case from their clinical work to a supervising core faculty member in the Clinical Psychology Program.
How long do I have to complete the practicum requirement?
Students should have completed a minimum of 500 hours of practicum prior to the spring quarter of the third year as a prerequisite for CP910 (Advanced Clinical Practicum). Although 500 hours is the minimum requirement, it is in the student's best interest to have the 1000 hours completed prior to end of third year, enabling the student to then focus on dissertation and internship.
When can I begin an internship?
Students may begin internship work after meeting ten conditions:
1. Successfully complete 1000 hours of practicum work.
2. Complete with a grade of "B" or better an introductory course on the practice of psychotherapy or clinical psychology.
3. Complete with a grade of "B" or better a course in legal, ethical and professional practice.
4. Complete with a grade of "B" or better two required advanced psychopathology courses.
5. Complete with a grade of “B” or better Psych Assessment 1 and 2.
6. To assess clinical competency, students must both complete a clinical practicum course [Process of Psychotherapeutic Process] with a passing grade and meet the competency benchmarks for “Readiness for Internship.”
7. Attendance in the open clinical forum practicum sessions in the first year is mandatory for all first year doctoral students, as is a presentation of a case in the open clinical forum practicum sessions in either the second or third year.
8. Successfully complete all coursework.
9. Successfully pass Comprehensive Exams.
10. Be actively enrolled and in good academic standing.
What are the internship requirements?
Internship experience must include the following:
1. Supervision must be with a licensed clinical psychologist as the primary supervisor.
2. The student must be supervised one (1) hour or ten percent (10%) of the actual time worked each week in direct clinical services in the internship setting, whichever is greater.
3. All primary supervision must be with a licensed clinical psychologist. Delegated supervision may be with a mental health professional licensed at the master’s level.
4. Involvement in diagnosis, treatment planning, case management, intervention, and clinical case review. Students have direct responsibility for client care and manage a caseload.
5. A formal, didactic training program as an ongoing aspect of the program.
6. A variety of direct client contact.
How long do I have to complete an internship?
Students must complete the 1500-hour internship requirement in a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 30 months, with any exceptions needing approval by the Director of Clinical Training. For those pursuing APA internships, the requirement for APA internships is that the internship be a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 24 months. This can be completed in a one-year full time internship placement or in two (one year) half-time internships.
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