Education | Practicum in Counseling
G524 | 5444 | Dr. Chalmer Thompson
This course is for students matriculated in the master degree program
in counseling, both the community and school tracks. This purpose of
this course is to provide instruction to and supervision for the
practice of counseling. The majority of class time will be spent on
lectures and providing supervision of counseling via review of video-
or audiotaped sessions. Students are expected to read and discuss
assigned readings and prepare formal case presentations. This course
is designed to prepare students to work with clients in a school or
agency setting and to help equip them with the practical skills
necessary to fulfill their role as professional counselors.
Topics covered in this course include biopsychosocial assessment,
ethics, psychopharmocology, and interpersonal process issues related
to counseling. Emphasis in this course is on holistic assessments of
clients and interpersonal approaches to counseling and psychotherapy.
TEXTS (in alphabetical order)
American Psychiatric Association (APA)(1994). Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition. Washington,
Teyber, E. (2000). Interpersonal process in psychotherapy: A
relational approach (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth..
1.Principles of conducting an intake interview, a mental status
evaluation, a biological, psychological, and social history, a mental
health history, and a psychological assessment for treatment planning
and managing client caseload;
2.Application of modalities for initiating, maintaining, and
terminating counseling and psychotherapy with mentally and emotionally
impaired clients, including the utilization of crisis intervention,
brief, intermediate, and long-term approaches;
3.Basic classifications, indications, and contraindications of
commonly prescribed psychopharmaco-logical medications for the purpose
of making appropriate referrals for medication evaluations and
identifying effects and side effects for such medications;
4.Specific principles and models of biological, psychological, and
social assessments, case conceptualization, and theories of human
development and concepts of psychopathology leading to diagnoses and
appropriate treatment plans
During the course of the practicum, you are expected to:
1.Be on site at least 12 hours per week.
2.Attend the practicum seminar from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday of
each week. Class attendance is mandatory. Please arrive on time.
3.Maintain a practice of keeping up-to-date chart/case notes,
completing treatment plans in a timely manner, and performing other
administrative duties required of your site.
4.Seek out individual supervision sessions from the instructor or from
doctoral student supervisors either by the request of the supervisors
or as needed. Students are required to attend one-hour of individual
supervision per week at their site AND with an assigned doctoral
5.Demonstrate proficiency in counseling techniques.
6.Demonstrate responsiveness to sociocultural and sociopolitical
issues as related to issues of content and process in counseling and
7.Read assigned material and complete assignments.
8.Prepare and present two formal case presentations. Along with the
information typically included in these presentations, you are to
begin with some narrative about your personal theory. This personal
theory should address how you: (a) define optimal mental health, (b)
understand how people change or fail to change, and (c) perceive the
goal of counseling. Please include in this personal theory your
understanding of how biological, psychological and social factors
relate to each of the four categories.
The categories used for the case presentations should be as follows:
I. Personal theory of counseling (a-c above)
II. Description of the client
III. Presenting problem
IV. Case conceptualization
V. Interventions used and theoretical basis for their use
VI. Assessment of counseling progress
VII. Analysis of your strengths and weaknesses in working with the
VIII Questions for the class
The second formal case will comprise of any revision of your original
personal theory of counseling and a new case.
The first formal case presentations will occur on February 28th and
March 7th; e second round will occur on the final two class sessions,
April 18th and April 25th. Presentations should be handed in to the
instructor on the day of the presentations. All presentations should
be reported on 8 1/2 X 11 paper and typed double-spaced.
There will be a penalty for late papers (one grade less than earned
for each day after paper is due).
EVALUATION AND GRADING SUMMARY
Counseling performance, class attendance and participation (includes
work with clients and attending to supervision, discussion of cases
and readings, presenting tapes and assignments) (30 points).
Maintaining administrative duties at site (record-keeping, showing up
for appointments, attendance at supervision) (30 points).
Oral and written case presentation I (20 points).
Oral and written case presentation II (20 points).
Topic and Reading Schedule
Introduction and Overview Teyber, Chapters 1 & 2
Introduction to the CHG
The Initial Interview
The Mental Status Exam
Biopsychosocial Assessments Teyber , Chapters 3 & 4
Keltner & Folks reading
Interpersonal therapy Teyber, Chapters 5 & 6
Cognitive-behavioral therapy Teyber, Chapters 7 & 8
Sociocultural factors Teyber, Chapters 9 & 10
"The Lost Children Schwarz and Volgy reading, Sue Reading
of Rockdale County" (video)
Toward the integration of Assigned reading factors that obscure
optimal living; capitalizing on client strengths
February 21 Case Presentations
February 28 Case Presentations
March 7 Open topic
March 14 No Class --SPRING BREAK
March 21 Violence; Ethics Miller reading I
March 28 Child Abuse Reporting Miller reading II
April 4 Evaluating outcomes Assigned reading
April 11 Evaluating outcomes, contd. Assigned reading
April 18 Case Presentations
April 25 Case Presentations
Julien, R. M. (1981). A primer of drug action, 3rd edition. San
Francisco, CA: Freeman.
Keltner, N. M. & Folks, D. G. (1997). Psychotropic drugs, 2nd
edition. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book.
McMullin, R. E. (1986). Handbook of cognitive therapy techniques.
New York: Norton.
Miller, A. (1990). For your own good: Hidden cruelty in
child-rearing and the roots of violence. New York: Farrar. (Miller
reading I and Miller reading II are different segments from this book)
Schwarz, J.E., & Volgy, T. J. (1992). The forgotten Americans:
Thirty million working poor in the land of opportunity. New York:
Sue, S. (1988). Ethnicity and culture in psychological research and
practice. In J. Goodchilds (Ed.) Psychological perspectives on human
diversity in America (pp. 51-85). Washington, D.C.: American