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Practicum Training Program Description

Practicum students will have the opportunity to engage in individual and, when available, group therapy and outreach programming. This opportunity will also involve practicum students in assessing and conceptualizing presenting concerns from a theoretical frame-of-reference and treatment planning and implementation. Given staff availability, practicum students may participate in group therapy as a co-facilitator of a psycho-educational group or as a process observer for one of CAPS' process groups. Practicum students are typically also invited to participate in any continuing education workshops and/or retreats which are brought to CAPS for our staff development activities. Continuing education workshops typically occur about once per year.

Typical Weekly Schedule

The week for CAPS Practicum students can be anywhere from 16-20 hours depending on the individual contract developed by each student. Clearly the more hours you choose to contract for will lead to gaining more clinical hours throughout the year. The schedule listed below is a rough approximation of the time that is spent each semester engaging in training, direct and indirect service provision (based on an average of a 16-20 hour week):


CAPS Practicum Training Fall/Spring Schedule


Hours per Week

Direct Clinical Service

  Individual Therapy 9-13
  Initial Appointments/Intakes 1-2
  Group Therapy (if available) 2


  Individual 1-2
  Case Conference 0-1

Other Training

  Case Management/Administrative Time 2-3

Direct Service Opportunities

Individual Therapy

Practicum students conduct therapy sessions seeing Purdue students in time-limited psychotherapy providing between 9-13 individual therapy contact hours along with 1-2 intakes per week. Every Purdue student enrolled full-time or part-time can receive an initial consultation at no charge during the semester in which they are enrolled to determine on-going therapy and/or medication needs. They are then provided up to 12 sessions per year. There are some opportunities for longer term therapy as well for the training purposes of our practicum students. For example, practicum students may choose one case at a time to work with on a longer term basis in order to deepen their training experience. Practicum students gain experience in conducting intakes which requires assessing and conceptualizing presenting problems from a theoretical frame-of-reference, providing disposition on cases and treatment planning and implementation. The most common concerns presented by Purdue students include anxiety, depression, relationship distress, acculturation concerns, other adjustment distress and stress management. The students who seek counseling services at CAPS are representative of the larger campus community which means that international students represent a fair number of our clients.

Group Co-Facilitation: Therapy, Support and Psychoeducational groups

Practicum students may be involved with process observation or co-facilitation of support and psychoeducational groups which are provided through CAPS. These opportunities are entirely dependent upon staff availability and practicum student readiness for this training experience.

Psychoeducational Programming and Outreach

Practicum students may engage in a variety of programming and outreach including invited presentations to departments, classes, residence halls and fraternity, sorority and cooperatie life. Outreach opportunities for practicum students are often conducted jointly with a member of the CAPS staff.

Additional Training Activities

Individual Supervision

One to two hours of supervision are delivered on a weekly, regularly scheduled, individual basis by CAPS staff and doctoral psychology interns. Typically, one hour of individual supervision is provided during the fall semester by a licensed psychologist and this continues into the spring semester along with an additional hour of individual supervision with a doctoral intern.

Practicum students are expected to be prepared each week for supervision. Preparation can involve reviewing digital video recordings, organizing cases, preparing questions, reviewing empirical literature and reviewing goals for supervision.

Case Conference

Practicum students engage in one hour of weekly case conference meetings during the fall semester. Case conference is initially used to help practicum students acclimate to CAPS and it is a time to review cases, discuss specific struggles as therapists and address any clinical issues such as ethics, multicultural competence, diagnosis and treatment planning. Case conference is a time to seek group support, instruction and process various therapeutic difficulties. The hour of case conference during the fall semester is replaced by an additional hour of supervision provided by a doctoral intern during the spring semester.

Case Management

Practicum students (in collaboration with their supervisors) are responsible for managing their case loads. Administrative time is provided each week to write reports and case notes, write business/professional letters and secure messages, return telephone calls and consult with other staff.

Evaluation Procedures

Evaluations are conducted formally at the end of each semester by your supervisors. You also have the opportunity to evaluate your supervisor and your supervisory experience.