Practicum Training

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Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the Doctoral Practicum Training Program Lehigh University's Counseling and Psychological Services (UCPS)!

Our center emphasizes a generalist approach, and our training program offers the core elements of counseling center work; however, the skill set developed is highly transferable to other clinical settings in professional psychology. The position requires doctoral practicum students to be on site 15+ hours per week, which will include direct clinical services (e.g., intake sessions, short-term individual counseling, crisis intervention, consultation, AoD sessions, and/or group counseling), individual supervision, and case conference. Doctoral practicum students can expect to provide 6-10 direct service hours per week.

 

Clinical Training Opportunities

Intake 

Practicum students participate in an initial, intake assessment of student concerns and counseling needs. The intake session offers a practicum student a unique range of training experiences, including conducting a biopsychosocial assessment, assessing student risk, an opportunity to offer psychoeducation, experience in building the working alliance, and creating diagnostic impressions of a student’s presenting concerns.

Individual Therapy 

UCPS offers trainees the opportunity to conduct short-term therapy with diverse undergraduate and graduate students. Client presenting issues cover a wide range of areas (e.g., identity development, relational concerns, career and academic stress, etc.) and psychological severity. Practicum trainees typically meet with approximately 6 to 8 individual clients weekly.

Group Therapy 

The UCPS staff possesses a strong commitment to the group modality of psychotherapy. Therefore, practicum trainees who have completed graduate coursework in group psychotherapy can receive advanced training in this area, dependent upon the number of groups and available supervisors.  In the past, practicum trainees have served as either group process observers or co-facilitators, dependent on developmental level. A process observer serves as the objective observer of group therapy content and process, as the record keeper of group events, and participates in group process with the co-facilitators after a group session. A co-facilitator shares the role of group therapist with a staff psychologist at the center. The co-facilitator utilizes the counseling skills unique to group therapy and typically shares the responsibility of planning, forming, and conducting group therapy with the staff psychologist. Practicum students who express interest in gaining additional experience and training in group psychotherapy should determine their participation with their supervisor. 

Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment 

Practicum trainees can participate in specialized work in the area of alcohol and drug assessment among college students. Trainees can conduct a brief screening intervention for students who violate the University Code of Conduct regarding alcohol or drug use. This screening intervention incorporates a brief clinical assessment of the student’s concerns, administration of psychological tests related to alcohol/drug use, and the use of motivational techniques (see Miller & Rollnick, 2002) when discussing feedback regarding the assessment. Trainees are also welcome to participate in program development and outreach related to alcohol and other drug concerns.

Outreach 

Practicum trainees are encouraged to become involved in multiple aspects of outreach programming. Examples of such outreach experience may include planning and implementing outreach presentations for on-campus student organizations, facilitating dialogue among student groups, or participating in mental health screenings for the University community. Creativity and new ideas are welcomed!

Crisis Intervention 

Practicum trainees have the opportunity to observe student health reviews and other crisis interventions. Additionally, they may independently follow up with clients who have been seen by professional staff for these interventions. In some situations, trainees can co-lead a crisis intervention with their supervisor or other staff psychologists.

Consultation 

Practicum trainees are provided with training and support in the area of professional consultation. Opportunities are presented throughout the year to consult with members of the campus community. Professional consultation may occur through various contexts, including in-person, telephone, or email communication. Typical areas of consultation include: facilitating connection with additional services for students (e.g., academic, medical), helping to support students in response to their concerns about a peer, and discussing student concerns with parents.

Psychological Testing 

UCPS offers a broad range of psychological testing options. For example, trainees have the opportunity to gain experience in administration of the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI), the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) or the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI). Staff psychologists supervise and aide in the interpretation of assessments.

Professional Development

Supervision 

Each practicum trainee receives at least one hour of individual supervision weekly. Supervision is competency-based, focused on the developmental growth and goals of the supervisee. Supervision aims to enhance multiple aspects of clinical intervention (e.g., conceptualization and treatment planning), as well as supporting the professional development of practicum students. Supervisors review video-taped clinical sessions as well as provide formative and summative evaluations.

Case Conference 

UCPS staff participates in weekly case conference meetings. Practicum trainees are expected to present clinical cases each semester. Within the case conference space, trainees engage in dialogue with the full staff to receive case-related feedback and initiate discussion based on clinical need with special attention to topics related to intersectionality and multicultural considerations. 

Practicum Training Seminars 

Practicum trainees participate in orientation training seminars that cover clinical topics including risk assessment, intakes, and substance use interventions. Practicum trainees are encouraged to offer ideas and desired topic areas for our seminar series.

Consultation 

UCPS staff psychologists have an open door policy and welcome questions and concerns from trainees. Practicum trainees can receive consultation from staff members who specialize in specific areas (e.g., sports psychology, eating and body image concerns, multiculturalism, sexual violence) when needed.

On Campus Collaboration 

UCPS staff provides ongoing consultation and outreach programming to academic departments, Lehigh Athletics, the Center for Gender Equity, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Pride Center, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Residence Life, and other campus departments. Practicum trainees are encouraged to participate in aspects that fit their professional and developmental goals.

Please keep in mind that the details outlined on our website are our best efforts to describe the doctoral practicum program. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adjusted our clinical services while adhering to health guidelines and the university’s plans for students, staff, and faculty. These guidelines most likely will continue to evolve. Furthermore, we are consulting with training councils, and adhering to state laws and regulations to uphold the quality and integrity of training.  Lastly, we are mindful of our own resources and limitations to facilitate staff and practicum students’ ability to manage the workload and optimize their well-being. Therefore, practicum students’ clinical activities and supervision described here are only an approximation of training experience. Dependent on guidelines, our training activities have shifted between in person, completely virtual, and a hybrid of the two. This will likely continue to shift based on recommendations. We have been able to continue to provide each aspect of the training outlined, however, at times it may look different than described on the website.

How to Apply 

Please send a cover letter, current curriculum vitae, and the contact information for two references to:

Dr. Gabrielle Rocchino
Lehigh University Counseling & Psychological Services
36 University Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Send electronic applications via e-mail to ghr213@lehigh.edu