Clinical Training Opportunities
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 during a first session, and creating diagnostic impressions of a student’s concerns.
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., career and personal issues) and psychological severity. Practicum trainees typically meet with 5 to 6 individual clients weekly.
The UCPS staff possesses a strong commitment to the group modality of psychotherapy. Therefore, practicum trainees can receive advanced training in this area. Trainees can participate as a process observer or co-facilitator. 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.
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 issues.
Practicum trainees are encouraged to become involved in multiple aspects of outreach programming. For example, trainees can plan and implement outreach presentations for fraternities and sororities, facilitate dialogues for student groups or participate in mental health screenings for the university community. Creativity and new ideas are welcomed!
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.
Practicum trainees have the opportunity to consult with various members of the campus community. Consultation may occur through various medium, including in-person, telephone, or email consultation. Typical areas of consultation include: facilitating additional services for students (e.g., academic, medical), helping students with a friend struggling with psychological concerns, and discussing student concerns with parents.
UCPS offers a broad range of psychological testing options. For example, trainees can administer 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.
Each practicum trainee receives at least one hour of individual supervision from a staff psychologist weekly. Supervision focuses on supervisee’s goals and growth areas (e.g., note writing, assessment interpretation). Supervision aims to enhance multiple aspects of therapy work (e.g., conceptualization and treatment planning) and professional development. Supervisors review video-taped clinical sessions as well as provide formative and summative evaluations.
UCPS staff participates in weekly case conference meetings. Practicum trainees are encouraged to present a case demanding multiple consultation areas. Trainees also engage in dialogue and receive feedback from peers and supervisors.
Practicum Training Seminar
Practicum trainees participate in a weekly training seminar that covers clinical topics including psychiatric medications, diagnosis, and substance use interventions. Additionally, a supervision group is offered during this time for trainees to discuss relevant concerns (e.g., initial anxiety, professional identity) when needed. Practicum trainees are encouraged to offer ideas and desired topic areas for our seminar series.
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 disorders, multiculturalism) when needed.
The Counseling Center does not employ a psychiatrist or offer psychiatric services. Because there often can be significant time delays in getting an appointment with a local psychiatrist, students are encouraged to develop a psychiatric relationship with a professional in their home locale if at all possible. If that is not feasible, students are encouraged to call the offices of psychiatrists they search for on-line, paying attention to insurance costs, distance from campus, and timeliness of the appointment.
On Campus Collaboration
UCPS staff provides ongoing consultation and outreach programs to the athletic teams, academic departments, the Women's Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, LGBTQA Services, Greek Affairs, and residence halls. Practicum trainees are encouraged to participate in aspects fitting their professional development goals.
How to Apply
Please send a cover letter and current curriculum vitae to:
Dr. Aaron Sterba
Lehigh University Counseling & Psychological Services
36 University Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Send electronic applications via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org