Internship / Practicum
The Training Program
This advanced practicum is designed for students who have studied basic counseling theories and techniques who wish to gain experience working with counseling students in a college setting. Trainees will have the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of aspects of a college counseling center at a small liberal arts college. The training program adheres to a practitioner-scholar model of psychological training and service delivery. The practitioner-scholar training model emphasizes the integration and application of critical thinking and skillful reflection across a broad range of experiential activities. The primary goal of the advanced practicum is to assist students in their development to become skilled practitioners. The focus will be on helping trainees develop the skills necessary to use themselves as an important instrument of change in the counseling relationship. Students will be encouraged to focus on their personal growth and increasing self-awareness. Advanced practicum students will be provided with continuous and intensive supervision. Preference is for one-year advanced practicum placements; one-semester placements will be considered.
Objectives of Training Program
- To train ethical and competent psychologists who are capable of functioning independently.
- To expose trainees to the variety of activities and services that a college counseling center provides in a small liberal arts college setting.
- To develop skills in diagnosis, treatment planning, and case management.
- To develop skills and expand therapeutic abilities in a variety of therapeutic modalities, including intake assessment, crisis intervention, individual counseling, group counseling, psychological assessment, and psychoeducational workshops.
- To help increase self-awareness and to help trainees understand how they impact the therapeutic relationship. Trainees will be encouraged to learn how to maximize their unique strengths and minimize weaknesses.
- To provide a training experience which will facilitate the trainee’s understanding of and appreciation for diversity.
- To provide experience in consultation with other professionals on a college campus, including Student Health Service physicians and nurses, the Consulting Psychiatrist, Residential Life staff, Campus Safety staff, Student Affairs administrators, faculty, and staff.
It is the philosophy of the training program that psychologists should thoroughly understand and have expertise in the provision of services involving emotional, psychological, and behavioral disability and discomfort related to personal, social, and academic dysfunction. To facilitate and encourage this development, training experiences may include the following:
Intake Interviewing and Crisis Intervention: All clients are seen for an initial interview to assess the need for services and to make an appropriate referral. Advanced practicum students will have the opportunity to develop interviewing skills, learning how to gather clinical information, conduct mental status evaluations, and foster early relationship building. Trainees will also have the opportunity to develop skills in diagnosis and treatment planning. Occasionally, clients present with considerable distress. Advanced practicum students will be trained in crises intervention to deal effectively with these clients.
Individual Psychotherapy: Counseling Services provides individual psychotherapy to students. While there are no session limits, services are primarily of a short-term nature. However, for reason of professional growth and development, students may provide long-term therapy to selected clients.
Group Psychotherapy: Trainees may have the opportunity to facilitate a psychotherapy group with one of the professional staff members. Counseling Services offers time-limited interpersonal process groups, and structured psychoeducational groups.
Outreach: Counseling Services offers numerous structured, theme oriented workshops. These outreach activities include stress management, identifying depression, relationship enhancement, and training in assertiveness. Each advanced practicum student will have the opportunity to develop and implement an outreach program or prevention program with the supervision of a professional staff member.
Psychological Assessment: Advanced practicum students may gain experience with the administration and interpretation of a number of psychological assessment instruments (MMPI-2, Eating Disorder Inventory, Trauma Symptom Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Personality Assessment Inventory). Emphasis is placed on therapeutic use of the testing instruments and an assessment experience that emphasizes a collaborative process between client and assessor.
Alcohol and Other Drug Intervention and Prevention: Interested students may gain experience conducting alcohol and other drug assessments. There is also the opportunity to provide short-term individual alcohol and drug counseling.
The Anna Howard Shaw Women’s Center: For students who are interested in women’s issues, there is an opportunity to work with the Women’s Center. Experiences may include working with student leaders, designing sexual assault prevention programs, and providing sexual assault crisis counseling.
Supervision and Evaluation: Supervision is the foundation of the advanced practicum. Each intern will receive a minimum of one hour of individual supervision each week. Additional supervision may be provided for trainees engaged in activities such as group psychotherapy, assessment, AOD counseling, and Women’s center work. Evaluation of practicum students is conducted formally and informally thought the year. Supervision and evaluation within Counseling Services is ongoing and occurs through participation, collaboration, presentations, and video and audio recordings of clinical material. At the mid-semester and at end of each semester, trainees and supervisors are asked to complete written evaluations. These evaluations represent the formal aspect of an ongoing interactive process between the practicum student and the supervisor, and provide a forum the supervisor to assess the progress and skills of the intern, and for the practicum trainee to assess the quality and effectiveness of the supervision. As is the case with all professional staff, practicum students will receive anonymous evaluations from a sample of their clients each semester.
Training Seminar: This is a discussion-based group with the advanced practicum students and professional staff on issues related to professional growth and development as psychologists. Seminar topics will cover issues that are particularly relevant to work in a college counseling center environment and to the treatment and developmental issues that are characteristic of a traditional aged college student population.
Psychiatric Consultation Seminar: This seminar addresses issues of psychoactive medications, mind-body interactions, and medical dimensions of the assessment and therapeutic process. Clinical material will be used to identify the indications and counterindication for medication, possible side effects, and the integration of drug treatments with psychotherapy. Specific topics covered in the seminar include assessment and diagnosis, psychiatric medication and referrals, treatment of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, and consultation on specific cases from the advanced practicum student’s caseload. Trainees also have the opportunity to shadow the psychiatrist for an assessment and/or medication management sessions.
The advanced practicum placement will be individually designed to meet each student’s skills, needs and interests.
Albion College has an enrollment of 1,650 undergraduate students; the majority of students are traditional college-aged. All services in Counseling Services are free. Clients present a wide variety of problems with a range of severity, from mild situational adjustments and crises to chronic and severe personality disturbances.
An independent, coeducational, residential college founded 175 years ago, Albion is committed to the liberal arts tradition. Historically related to the United Methodist Church, the College is dedicated to preserving the values of the past, to serving the needs of the present and to anticipating the goals of the future.
Albion College is located in a small community, rich in ethnic diversity, that was founded in 1835 at the “forks” of the Kalamazoo River. Located in the heart of the City of Albion, the College has an unusually attractive and well-maintained campus. Around its central quadrangle, numerous well-equipped classroom buildings, libraries and laboratories support learning and teaching. Just beyond, attractive residence halls, housing cooperatives, College-owned apartments and fraternity houses provide a variety of living arrangements for both independent and affiliated students and for small and large groups. A short walk leads to the largest of several well-groomed city parks, to the College’s theatre and athletic facilities, and to our scenic 144-acre Whitehouse Nature Center.
An Albion education, then, is a distinctive composite of people and programs. The members of Albion's family, extended in time over more than 170 years and in space all around the globe—its students and alumni, its faculty and administration, its trustees and friends—have long attested to the value of this special blend. The achievement of Albion's program can be measured in the success of its graduates in living richly fulfilling lives, many of them as leaders in their fields and communities. The essence of the Albion philosophy and of an Albion education is truly captured by the phrase, “Liberal Arts at Work.”
Letter of Interest
2 Letters of Recommendation
Send materials to:
Barry Wolf, Psy.D.
611 East Porter
Albion, MI 49224