Advanced Practicum Seminars
Weekly, hour-long advanced practicum seminars are an integral part of the training program. The format is both didactic and discussion/process oriented in nature. A wide variety of topics are covered that pertain to major areas of knowledge needed to be a competent clinician. Diversity is infused in all presentations. Particular diversity seminars are also highlighted throughout the year. In addition, ethical issues are covered every other seminar.
Topics covered may include, but are not limited to Triage/Intake Interviewing, Lethality Assessment, Group Therapy, Crisis Intervention, Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse, Couples Therapy, LGBTQ, International Students, Sexual Assault and Abuse Recovery, Biofeedback, and Psychotropic.
Trainees receive a minimum of 1.5 hours per week of individual supervision by a licensed psychologist or licensed mental health counselor. The supervision focuses most intensely on clinical work with individuals, couples, and groups. Trainees video record all counseling sessions and are expected to show these recordings in supervision as cases are discussed. Observation of live work is essential to high quality supervision. All trainees are expected to show tapes in both individual and group supervision. Cases are listed on the APPIC hours documentation template which is maintained by the trainee, and verified against the Titanium schedule at the end of the semester. Supervisors keep track of cases on an ongoing basis by way of the electronic scheduling system, Titanium. All notes are reviewed and signed by the individual supervisor.
In addition to clinical work, supervision encompasses the broad range of training activities: work in consultation and outreach, ethics and professional development. Trainees change supervisors in the Spring semester, thereby giving them the opportunity to experience two different primary supervisors over the course of the year. In the spring, practicum counselors are supervised by interns. Individual supervision sessions of practicum students are video recorded for training purposes and may be reviewed in the intern’s individual supervision and/or group supervision of supervision to assist interns in improving their supervision skills. Interns will also review supervision related issues sans videos in both group supervision of supervision and individual supervision settings. Interns will maintain ongoing dialogues about what may be appropriate to bring up in these settings with practicum supervisees. Supervision is not confidential, but supervisors take great care in guarding supervisees privacy to provide a space for maximum use and growth in/of supervision.
A Supervisor Disclosure Form is signed by the client and trainee informing the client that the trainee is supervised and the name(s) of the trainee’s supervisor(s). This form must be filled out at the beginning of each new client appointment and when supervisor changes occur. Trainees are also required to at least verbally indicate that they are being supervised, indicating the name of the licensed clinician.
In this meeting, trainees meet as a group (with a licensed clinician) and discuss cases, make case presentations, and review digital recordings of clinical work. A formal case presentation is required, as is the showing of at least one recording each semester. It is also an environment to explore and develop an awareness of self as it informs trainees’ work professionally. Great effort is made to make this a trusting environment so that trainees can explore new and creative avenues in their clinical work.
Limits on Confidentiality in Supervision
Supervisors vary in their emphasis on transference-counter transference issues in supervision. Work with trainees on these issues could involve personal disclosures from the trainee. Most supervisors wish to respect privacy on personal issues, yet retain a responsibility for evaluation of trainee performance. Supervisors occasionally may need to consult with their peers on a supervision issue, and would discuss this with the trainee. Supervisors also have opportunities to consult in “peer supervision” on their own supervision issues. Supervision is not to be confused with a therapy relationship, although there may be aspects of supervision which are therapeutic. Trainees are encouraged to discuss the limits of confidentiality with their supervisors. Privacy on personal issues is respected, and if these issues are affecting work performance, the performance issues will be addressed.