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Doctoral Practicum Training

The Practicum Program at the Old Dominion University Counseling Center provides training in collegiate mental health for doctoral students. Practicum counselors are typically students in their third or fourth year of their doctoral program in counselor education, clinical psychology, or counseling psychology.

The practicum is a 9-12 month training program that focuses on: (a) becoming an effective practitioner who is guided by knowledge of clinical theory, (b) developing an increasing awareness of ethical/legal/professional standards of practice, (c) developing sensitivity to individual differences while integrating the significance of multiculturalism and diversity, and (d) developing an openness to learning. We strive to meet you where you are as a trainee and encourage you to develop your own therapeutic orientation during your year here as a practicum counselor.

Practicum clinicians work with Old Dominion University students who present with a wide variety of issues, ranging from adjustment disorders, difficulties in managing stress and affective concerns, relationship and developmental problems, crisis intervention, to issues of self-esteem and self-worth and challenges in transitioning to college life. Our staff and training program is multidisciplinary, involving licensed clinical psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychiatric services. We value a range of therapeutic perspectives within our staff and hope that our training environment enriches the professional development of our trainees. Counseling Services encourages an "open-door" policy which helps form a productive working alliance between staff and trainees in our Center.


Practicum Traning Responsibilities & Activities

Practicum counselors are expected to spend approximately 20-24 hours each week at the Counseling Center. During orientation, practicum clinicians are given an overview of the policies and procedures of the Center as well as the opportunity to meet the staff in a relaxed, collegial setting. An introduction to key offices that we often interact with regularly (such as the Student Health Services, Student Outreach and Support, and the Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity) as well as an introduction to issues in college/university life is also provided during Practicum Orientation.

In addition to providing individual therapy, trainees are expected to co-lead a interpersonal process therapy/themed group with a senior staff member. Opportunities for couples psychotherapy, and university community outreach activities are available for practicum clinicians who express an interest in participating in these areas. An important aspect of our program is attention to the learning needs of each practicum clinician. While you are part of "the practicum clinicianss" as a group, we attend to your individual learning goals as a beginning therapist as we integrate you into the collaborative setting of the Counseling Services.

Clinicial Services

  • Individual Psychotherapy
    Trainees will provide short term treatment using a 10 session model. Typically trainees will see about 6-8 individual clients per week. Trainees are required to record individual counseling sessions with clients. Sessions will be reviewed as a part of the supervision process.
  • Group Therapy
    Trainees will co-lead a interpersonal process therapy/themed group with senior staff. Additional opportunities to co-lead a structured psycho-educational or discussion groups may be available depending on the center's needs and the trainees' interests. Trainees receive at least one hour of supervision for their group work each week.
  • Couples Therapy
    Trainees have an option to work with one or more couples.
  • Crisis/After Hours On-Call
    Counseling Services provides 24 hour crisis on-call services to all ODU students. Each trainee provides crisis on call services during the week they are scheduled to be the on call counselor, during their second semester on site. Their direct supervisor will serve as the immediate back-up for the trainees, and from there other senior staff members are available to all trainees when consultation is needed.
  • Urgent Care/Walk-in Appointments
    Trainees will be assigned weekly urgent care/walk-in appointments, on their late days. At times, based on number of students requiring assessment, trainees will be assigned additional walk-in appointments at the behest of the assistant director and/or the trainee's clinicial supervisor.

Preventative Services

  • Outreach
    Our staff and trainees are actively involved in outreach to the ODU community. Trainees are expected to participate in and develop mental health outreach activities to the campus community. Trainees and staff also meet requests for outreach activities from ODU students, faculty, and staff.
  • Liaison to ODU Community
    Most of our staff has an on-going liaison relationship with a department and/or residential hall. Trainees are encouraged to become involved in these consultation and liaison activities.

Training Activities

  • Case Conferences
    Case Conference provides an opportunity to create a space to facilitate a dynamic exchange of ideas and foster professional growth to better help the students we serve. There are numerous aspects of clinical practice that can be discussed during these meetings including case conceptualizations, cultural diversity, awareness of self as a counselor, treatment planning and interventions, spirituality, integration of knowledge of theories and practice, and crisis intervention skills to name a few.
  • Training Seminar
    Trainees will meet weekly for the training seminar that will highlight clinical topics and activities relative to working in a college counseling center. The primary subjects with focus on: group therapy, outreach, cultural competence, and professional development.
  • Training Didactics
    Trainees will meet weekly with the clinical training coordinator and various staff members for discussions on various mental health topics related to university mental health. Each month, 1 didactic will be dedicated to exploring different dimensions of diversity and intersectionality. Twice during the spring and fall semester trainees will participate in interactive didactic workshops regarding theoretical orientation, to provide more exposure to different approaches to psychotherapy. Didactics are designed to be instructional as well as interactive and trainees are encouraged to engage actively.
  • Trainee Supervision
    Practicum supervision provides an opportunity for therapists-in-training to acquire new skills; hone on-going theoretical orientations; and support and challenge self and fellow trainees in a supportive environment.
  • Group Supervision
    Trainees' group work will be supervised by the senior staff member with whom they co-lead group. In addition to providing trainees with feedback directly after the group meeting, all trainees and staff leading groups will meet for one hour per week to discuss group issues and topics such as group development, group dynamics, group interventions/techniques, co-leadership issues, diversity awareness, and ethic and professionalism.


*Additional Note: All trainees will be required to provide proof of malpractice/liability insurance.

Approximate # of Hours per Week
Clinical Services Fall Spring
  1. Individual
  2. Group
  3. Intakes
  4. Urgent Care/Consultation

6-8

1.5

1-2

1-2(or more as needed)

6-8

1.5

1-2

1-2(or more as needed)

Outreach

Psycho-educational program

Open House/Saturday Functions

OCS Outreach Presentations

1+(Required)

2(Required)

2(Support)

1+(Required)

2(Required)

2(Trainee Initiated)

Professional Training

Didactic Seminar

Training seminar

Assessment Seminar

1

1

1

1

1

1

Administrative

Case Management

Post Group Process Meeting

3

0.5

3

0.5

Supervision

Group Supervision

Individual Supervision

1

1

1

1

Total

20-24

20-24

Students will observe ODU OCS holidays ONLY. All trainees will sign a contract outlining their work activities with the training coordinator. The contract will serve as a guide for the assignment of duties and as a standard for evaluation. Trainees will be required to meet the expectations outlined in their OCS contract.

For more information please contact the Office of Counseling Services at (757)683-4401