Practicum Training Program
About Azusa Pacific University
APU is a comprehensive Christian university of liberal arts and professional programs, with a diverse student body of more than 9,200 students. Ethnic minority students comprise approximately 36 percent of the student population. Student life services, including the University Counseling Center, are primarily oriented toward undergraduate residential students. However, the university also offers services to graduate, adult degree completion programs, satellite campuses, and offsite programs.
Further information about the university may be found at apu.edu/about/.
About the University Counseling Center
The mission of the University Counseling Center is to facilitate the emotional, psychological, social, academic, and spiritual wellness of the Azusa Pacific University student community through high-quality, time-limited counseling and outreach services provided by professionally trained Christian counselors.
UCC services are available to APU students at no cost. Psychotherapy is primarily time-limited, with most students averaging 4–6 sessions per academic year. Occasional exceptions are made to extend treatment to those who have significant need and limited resources.
Training opportunities for doctoral students have been offered at the Azusa Pacific University Counseling Center since 1999, with the Practicum Training Program being formalized in 2001. Our staff is a culturally and theoretically diverse group of professionals committed to providing excellent training and supervision.
Practicum training at the University Counseling Center focuses on gaining experience in providing time-limited therapy to a diverse student population who present with a wide range of developmental issues and psychological disorders.
Our training program emphasizes three areas:
- Psychotherapy Experience
- Supervision and Training
- Supplementary Professional Experience
Learning OutcomesView our Practicum Learning Outcomes (PDF).
Practicum students receive experience and training in the provision of psychotherapy, which comprises approximately 50 percent of their time at the UCC. In addition, students have the opportunity to gain clinical experience in a range of activities (based on client availability and need) including:
- Intake Assessment: Weekly intake interviews and written reports with new clients
- Individual Psychotherapy: Mostly time-limited therapy, with a few long-term cases
- Couples Counseling: Pre-marital and traditional counseling/assessment
- Group Therapy: Co-facilitation of process-oriented and skills-based groups
- Crisis Management: Crisis intervention and consultation (in person and via phone) for APU students, faculty/staff, and parents during assigned walk-in hours
Supervision and Training
Quality supervision is of the utmost priority at the UCC. The UCC utilizes a supervisory team model, in which each trainee has a primary supervisor, and also receives secondary supervision from group co-leaders and other staff. Supervisory issues are handled as a staff team.
- Individual Supervision: Practicum students receive 1 to 1.5 hours of individual supervision each week from a licensed psychologist or post-doctoral counselor. Other staff are available for additional consultation as needed. Practicum students are required to audiotape or videotape all clinical work, and tapes are reviewed in supervision.
- Group Supervision and Didactic Training: Practicum students are required to attend a weekly seminar, which provides 1.5 hours of group supervision and/or didactic training each week. Seminars include topical material on a range of clinical issues, diversity training, and case vignettes. Seminars are provided by various staff members and outside professionals, offering exposure to a range of theoretical orientations and expertise.
- Case Presentations: Each practicum student is required to do two formal case presentations over the training year in the context of practicum seminars. Informal case presentations are also expected on a regular basis during group supervision.
- Evaluation: Ongoing feedback and communication is highly valued at the UCC. Goals are developed with each practicum student at the beginning of the contract year, and progress reports are discussed at mid-semester. Practicum students are formally evaluated at the end of each semester, and given the opportunity to provide feedback to their supervisor and the training director throughout the year.
Supplementary Professional Experience
- Outreach: Practicum students are expected to gain experience in providing creative outreach efforts to the university community. Opportunities may arise to provide psychoeducational presentations in undergraduate and graduate classes. Practicum students can also get involved alongside UCC staff during campus events such as Residence Life's Behind Closed Doors, Healthy Living Week, and the Clothesline Project.
- Consultation: Practicum students serve as liaisons to Residence Life staff and will meet with a residence director to provide consultation and support on a regular basis. Practicum students may also serve as consultants to students, faculty, and staff to answer questions regarding UCC services and to facilitate referrals.
- Psychological Assessment: Practicum students may supplement their normal UCC clinical hours with the opportunity to conduct occasional psychological testing and write-up of an assessment battery, based on client need.
Other supplemental activities may include program development, administrative support, or assistance with staff projects.