Office of Clinical Training

Practicum Experience

Doctoral students in the PsyD program at CNU are required to complete three years, or 1500 hours of practicum training.  In years 2, 3, and 4, students are placed in practicum sites that offer a diverse experience with regard to site, clientele, and clinical presentation.  Practicums promote the integration of academic knowledge with practical experience, preparing students for future training in professional psychology.

The goals of practicum are:

  1. To provide training that is appropriate for the skill level expected of students, integrating theory and practice and allowing for appropriate development and demonstration of the stated areas of competency through the practice of therapeutic techniques needed for treatment of the site’s patients.
  2. To encourage, evaluate, and assist in the personal and professional growth of the student in their role as a future psychologist.
  3. To educate and guide students in the ethical and legal considerations of clinical practice.

Practicums provide students with an opportunity to acquire and demonstrate specific profession-wide competencies.  These identified areas of competency include:

  • Ethical and Legal Standards
  • Individual and Cultural Diversity
  • Professional Values, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Supervision
  • Consultation and Interdisciplinary Skills

Practicum experiences are:

  • 16-24 hours per week
  • Between 9-12 months
  • Typically non-paid
  • Experiential learning through the provision of direct clinical service
  • Training experiences beyond coursework offered on campus
  • Supervised by a licensed mental health professional

Practicum sites include:

  • Hospitals and affiliated mental health clinics
  • Community mental health agencies
  • School districts
  • Specialty clinics (i.e., agencies that specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse)
  • Specialty private practice clinics (i.e., comprehensive assessment clinics)

All practicum training and placement is overseen by the Assistant Dean of Clinical Training within the Office of Clinical Training.