We hope you’ll consider our Practicum Counselor training with Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services (CHWS) at the University of Puget Sound! Each year, we select several graduate students in psychology or counseling to join our team. Practicum Counselors may be completing (or have recently completed) their master’s training or may be in their second or later year doctoral training. In addition to bolstering psychotherapy skills, Practicum Counselors gain exposure to a University Counseling Center as they attend meetings, work alongside a multidisciplinary team, and participate in psycho-educational programming. Trainees will have the opportunity to work with a wide array of clinical presentations, including relationship issues, major mood disorders, disordered eating, ADHD, etc.  Thus, pre-interns will develop strong generalist training and learn to work with a variety of presenting concerns and levels of severity. These are unpaid training positions. 

The doctoral Practicum Counseling experience at CHWS is designed to meet APA standards for accreditation for doctoral training and to meet the current Washington State Department of Health guidelines for pre-internship hours. These hours can be counted toward licensure and will prepare you for your doctoral internship. To meet these requirements, graduate students are expected to commit 20 hours per week to this training experience.  Some of our doctoral pre-interns elect to work up to 25 hours per week to engage in training opportunities they are interested in (such as specific groups they want to run).

Please see the Application Process section for details about how to apply and contact information for any questions you may have about the training. 

Counseling Clients

Practicum Counselors agree to having 7-10 direct clinical service hours per week.  Clients consist of primarily undergraduate college students, though there are graduate students who Practicum Counselors may see as clients as well.  Practicum Counselors build their caseload through conducting clinical assessments (called Recommendation and Referral appointments) with potential clients and selecting clients who are appropriate for their level of training.  Clients are seen in-person and via telehealth but clinicians will be at CHWS.   

To provide crisis backup, there’s always a Psychology Staff person present when Practicum Counselors see clients. For this reason, there are no opportunities to schedule appointments outside business hours. Thus, Practicum Counselors must be available to see clients between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Files, notes, and session recordings may not leave CHWS.

Individual Supervision

Practicum Counselors receive two hours each week of individual clinical supervision at CHWS. The supervision is provided in a co-supervision format with a doctoral psychology intern and a licensed psychologist. Thus, Practicum Counselors receive input from two supervisors on case conceptualization, diagnosis, treatment planning, documentation, ethical considerations, etc. Doctoral interns will be responsible for reviewing Practicum Counselor’s recordings of sessions, though there will be direct observation of clinical skills by both the doctoral intern and the licensed psychologist during the year.  Supervision occurs every week throughout the semester.

You and your supervisors will complete evaluations at the mid-point of each semester, then again at the end of each semester. Your supervisor will provide the end-of-semester written evaluations to your academic department. You will also be asked for your feedback on the quality of the training you’re receiving.

Time Commitment

One academic year’s overall time commitment (August - late May) is required of Practicum Counselors. Practicum Counselors begin with us in August for an intensive orientation to the program (approximately 30 hours per week, just for the month of August). They begin individual supervision immediately and begin building a caseload in early September.

The weekly time commitment for Practicum Counselors is 20-25 hours per week.  Practicum Counselors are required to attend some scheduled trainings and meetings each week (see below for more details).  These meetings occur during regular business hours. Some therapy and support groups and some outreach presentations may happen after normal business hours.

Examples of Weekly Activities

A typical week for Practicum Counselor at CHWS includes 7-10 clinical hours (most of these hours being individual therapy hours); 2 hours of individual supervision; time for documentation; time to review recordings of your sessions; weekly CHWS staff meetings; didactic trainings; co-facilitating therapy or support groups.

Potential Practicum Counselor Activities

  • Seeing individual psychotherapy clients each week (required)
  • Co-facilitating therapy or support groups (required)
  • Writing your progress notes for the client files (required)
  • Receiving two hours of individual supervision (required)
  • Attending Intern/Practicum Seminar weekly on Tuesdays (required)
  • Attending Diversity Dialogues on Tuesdays once a month (required)
  • Attending our full CHWS staff meetings, Wednesdays 1-2pm (required)
  • Reviewing recordings of therapy sessions in preparation for supervision (recommended)
  • Administrative time related to client care (e.g., exploring the literature for best treatment approaches)
  • Assisting with outreach programs, as arranged with CHWS staff persons (for example, tabling on substance abuse prevention) (required)*

* = Activity may be outside of practicum office 

Ongoing or Previous Clients of CHWS

Puget Sound graduate students who are themselves past therapy clients at CHWS shall not be excluded from applying for Practicum Counselor positions. Still, they will only be placed if issues related to dual role conflicts, confidentiality, and integrity of files are negotiated to the satisfaction of both the trainee/client and the CHWS Training Director and Director.