Practicum/Intern Students

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NJCU Counseling Center - Clinical Training Program

Practicum Training

The Counseling Center provides a variety of services and resources, which promote the enhancing of mental, emotional, psychological, and developmental well-being of students in the attainment of achieving goals. The services offered are short-term individual counseling, couples counseling, workshops, support groups, Let’s Talk, crisis resources, consultations, and referrals.

The core of our training program consists of staff who are dedicated to providing opportunities for master’s level graduate students in counseling and social work. Below is a summary of the training and service opportunities available during the practicum experience, including instructions for applying and/or inquiring about the program. We are currently accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Typical Week

Weekly Schedules will vary upon the hour requirements of the trainee’s academic program. Other factors such as office space, trainees outside commitments, and supervisor’s availability will also play a role in determining the trainee’s schedule. Students typically work at the office 20 hours a week to meet their programs face-to-face contact hour requirement. Here is a typical sample weekly schedule:

Individual Counseling

  • Intakes, 1-2 hours per week
  • Individual clients, 10 -12 hours per week
  • Organizational/Preparation Time (notes, reviewing tapes), 2-3 hours

Supervision/Training

  • Individual, 1 hour
  • Group, 1 hour  (day/time-TBD)
  • Clinical meeting/training seminar, 2 hours (day/time -TBD)

Outreach

  • Presentation/Workshops, up to two per semester
  • Preparation, up to 3-6 hours

Group Process Counseling

  • 1-2 hours per week

Length of internship (in months): 9 months

Start Date: September (Orientation date end of August) or January (First week of school)

End Date: Last Friday in May if a September start date, Fourth Friday in December for a January start date.

How many hours/weeks are expected of intern:

20 hours per week is typically necessary to make the required face-to-face contact hours of the program. Less hours (16 hours per week) is possible, but keep in mind that the face-to-face contact hours may not be met.

Interns must be present on site: 

Thursdays for training and meetings (This may change depending on the semester

Specialty tracks:

No specific tracks, but will have exposure to workshops on varying themes, and experience co-facilitating groups, substance use evaluation and treatment, and optional psychotherapy groups.

Number of interns to be accepted for 2022-23:

3-4.

Minimum level of readiness 

Prior clinical experience preferred (at least one Practicum experience seeing clients other than classmates).

Do you provide a stipend? If so, how much?

No, any grant money that is available will be discussed during the interview.

Intake

Practicum students participate in initial intake assessments of students. The intake session offers the practicum student a range of training experiences, including assessing student risk, conducting bio-psycho-social assessments, and creating diagnostic impressions of a student’s concerns.

Individual Counseling

The Counseling Center offers practicum students the opportunity to handle counseling with a variety of undergraduate students. Student issues cover a variety of concerns (e.g., depression, college pressures, anxiety, stress, etc.). Individual counseling consists of 6 short-term sessions, with the possibility of extending this longer if the center does not have a waitlist. Practicum students will predictably meet with 10 to 12 individual clients weekly with the possibility of seeing at least one client the entire semester (14 weeks).

Group Therapy

Practicum students are provided the opportunity to co-facilitate group counseling sessions. A co-facilitator will have the option to collaborate with another staff member, counselor, or intern at the center in implementing strategies and leading group sessions. As a co-facilitator, you will develop the counseling skills that are significant to group therapy and share the responsibility of creating a safe, supportive environment with another member at the center.

Outreach

We encourage practicum students to become involved or assist us in multiple aspects of our outreach programming. The Counseling Center provides planned presentations, training sessions, and/or event support as a collaborative effort with other departments/campus community. It is required that each practicum student complete at least two outreach activities per semester. We also encourage practicum students to assist us in event planning and suggest ideas beneficial to outreach efforts.

Crisis Intervention (Let’s Talk)

Let’s Talk provides students with informal, one-on-one confidential 25-minute sessions. These one-time, 25-minute sessions are not meant to be a substitute for psychotherapy, but rather a meeting with a counselor that is goal oriented.

Practicum students will have the opportunity of working with students who are dealing with personal issues deemed as tense, traumatic, or a situation that is a crisis. Practicum students will be able to provide a confidential 25-minute sessions to aid students with specific personal concerns (e.g., relationship conflicts, advice regarding disagreement with a roommate, stress management skills, academic struggles).

Consultation

Practicum students have an opportunity to consult with various members of the campus community regarding situations concerning students’ mental health.

Supervision

Each practicum student receives one to two hours of individual supervision weekly and one hour of group supervision twice a month, which will alternate with training   on a variety of topics.

Supervision focuses on supervisee’s goals and growth areas (e.g., note writing, assessment interpretation). Supervision also aims to enhance multiple aspects of counseling work (e.g., conceptualization and treatment planning) and professional development. Students will be required to review taped sessions prior to supervision meetings reflecting on self in relation to the work with their client. Supervisors review video/audio-taped clinical sessions, and edit and co-sign notes, as well as provide evaluations as needed by the respective program.

Case Presentations

Each practicum student will be asked to present one case conceptualization per semester during group supervision.

Evaluation Procedures

All staff involved in training will give feedback designed to both support and challenge the trainee’s development. Clinical Supervisor (s) will complete evaluations as required by the program. 

Training

Staff members will provide training based on their area of interest and expertise. The training areas that will be covered throughout the time at the center include case conceptualizations, assessments, crisis/suicide intervention, sexual assault counseling, multicultural counseling, trauma-informed counseling, and group therapy techniques to name a few. Throughout the year university departments and community agencies will provide training in areas that address the needs of university students.

Practicum Application

We prefer individuals who can make the commitment to do a full academic year of training. This would include your internship divided over two semesters and you could have a summer start date. Our center allows for a strong clinical experience with a wide range of issues. This is an unpaid opportunity, unless otherwise noted, but training and supervision are provided.

Interviews

When do you expect to begin interviews?

Interviews will be held on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants will be notified of an interview within two weeks of applying.

Interview process: Interviews are individual, not group. All interviews are held in-person at the Counseling Center, pending pandemic-related changes. The interview process is approximately 1 hour long and consists of the following parts (in no particular order):

  • Individual interview with the Clinical Training Director and another senior staff counselor at the center.
  • Case presentations are not a part of the interview, but candidates will be asked to respond to hypothetical case situations.
  • Informal meeting with current practicum students (depending on availability).

To apply, email the following as an attachment to Dr. John Sherry, Clinical Training Director:

  1. Letter of Interest, which outlines your professional goals, as well as describing why you are seeking to work at the Counseling Center with a university population. Also include your availability for practicum.
  2. Resume or CV
  3. Three references
  • Email: jsherry@njcu.edu
  • Phone: 201-200-3165
  • Fax: 201-200-2558
  • Counseling Center
  • Gilligan Student Union, Room 308