Clinical Practicum

Course Details

Course Number: 6173  Section Number: 301

Fall 2013

Location: O'Donohoe Hall

Classroom Number: 110

Days & Times:

Wed 1:30-4:20

Course Attachments

Fall 2013 PSYC 4503 Syllabus  Practicum Syllabus Fall 2013-20130909-115701.pdf


MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Laura C. Spiller   
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Course Objectives



  1. Increase service delivery skills:
  2. Provide psychological services under supervision of a licensed professional psychologist.
  3. Provide and seek peer consultation in group supervision format.
  4. Apply ethical decision-making.
  5. Theoretical case formulation and treatment selection.
  6. Assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of service provision.


  1. Increase professional development
  2. Maintain case files (e.g., intake reports, case notes, termination/transfer summaries).
  3. Preparation of extensive case write-up.
  4. Active consumption of appropriate therapeutic literature.

Course Expectations



  1. Minimum 50 hours of direct client contact
    1. Individual, couple, family, or group psychological services
    2. Psychological assessment with an on-going therapeutic relationship


Students in the Clinic must have a back-up when seeing clients! 

Back-up includes:

a) another practicum students observing or in the clinic office

b) a student worker in the clinic office

c) an available faculty member


  1. Minimum 100 hours of indirect professional service hours.
    1. Individual and group supervision
    2. Psychological assessment without and ongoing therapeutic relationship
    3. Office duties
    4. Shadowing fellow clinician


  1. Attendance of weekly individual and group supervision


  1. Provide services from May 31stto August 5th.
    1. The above hour requirements are minimum requirements.  Ideally students will amass additional hours.  Students are not allowed to terminate service provision upon completion of hours prior to August 5th.
    2. Some students request that they begin working prior to the first day of class or work over break and between semesters.
  2. These hours count towards an ‘Incomplete’ from the previous semester or towards the next practicum.
  3. The practicum site must understand
    1. You are a volunteer and as such MSU is not responsible for any services provided as a volunteer.
    2. A licensed psychologist must be on-site and supervise your work.


  1. Apply for professional liability insurance from American Professional Agency, INC.


Supervision: All students will come to group supervision prepared to discuss their cases.  Attendance is mandatory and absences must be cleared with the instructor or a reduction in grade will occur. 


Scheduled Case Presentations: The 1st45-minutes of practicum (1:30-2:15) will be for scheduled student case presentations.


1. The clinician is responsible for succinctly providing:

                        a. background information

                        b. theoretical approach

                        c. question or concern


2. Participants are responsible for:

a. asking questions that clarify missing information and deepen the understanding of the client.

b. providing ethical and theoretically based interpretations and recommendations.


Clinic students will have a video tape cued to the question/problem section of the last session.


External students will have a one page outline summarizing services to date.

            a. all identifying information will be altered for the protection of the client. 


Individual Supervision will always include videotaped presentations of the therapeutic encounter. Attendance is mandatory and absences must be cleared with the instructor or a reduction in grade will occur. Clinic students need to bring:

            a. Cued videotape

            b. Client files


External students will engage in the supervisory process that is in place at the external placement.


Unscheduled presentations/questions: The last 40-minutes of practicum (3:20-4:00) will be dedicated to case presentations that are determined by questions or problems in therapy that student clinicians choose to bring to the group.  Every clinician should be prepared to discuss at least one client.  If you see clients in the clinic, bring a tape queued to a time in the session you would like to discuss.


Chart Review:  Periodically throughout the semester random client charts will be reviewed.  Each clinician is responsible for making sure that client notes are up to date and signed by the individual supervisor.  If appropriate, treatment plans and transfer/termination summaries must be completed and filed. The chart review will count for 100 points.  Points will be awarded based on the degree to which charts for all clients are complete. Points will be deducted for missing paperwork.


Treatment Plans: By the 3rdsession with every client, clinicians will submit a treatment plan outlining goals for treatment and planned interventions.  The clinician will discuss the treatment plan with the client and involve the client in establishing treatment goals.  The treatment plan will be included in the client’s clinic chart.


Termination and Transfer Summaries:  At the end of treatment, the clinician will summarize the client’s presentation and progress.  This document will be used to facilitate an immediate transfer or follow-up services sought at a later date.


Participation: The 2nd45-minutes of each class (2:25-3:10) shall comprise didactics and discussion of assigned reading. Students are expected to come to the first hour prepared to offer insights, aid in answering comments by other students, prepared to discuss professional development generally as well as at an individual level. This hour should provide a framework for professional development and assist you in obtaining appropriate supervision both with the program as well as once you have left the program.  

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.