Advanced Psychotherapy Externship Program
The goal of the Advanced Therapy Practicum externship at Counseling and Psychological Services is to practice and further develop the basic skills of psychotherapy. The program uses clinical supervision and didactic and case-based seminars as the primary means for learning to move from conceptual knowledge to planning and implementing treatment interventions, and to appreciate the ethical significance of the work. The objectives are to integrate theory, technique and self-understanding in ways that are conducive to the overall professional growth of the extern.
The CAPS practicum is considered an advanced training practicum for graduate students in clinical and counseling psychology and would typically follow two years of applied clinical experiences, including a preceding testing or diagnostics practicum. Externs are commonly in the early formative stages of their professional identity. Close individual supervision is considered essential for their well-being and development, as well as for their clients.
A subsidiary goal of the externship is to prepare for the internship and a later career in the clinical/counseling field. The program seeks to foster a learning climate that is both safe and challenging, in which the complexities of the therapeutic engagement can be analyzed to the mutual benefit of trainees and their clients. Cases are assigned that are not only commensurate with the level of training and experience of the extern, but that will also appropriately stretch his or her emerging capabilities.
Practicum externs are typically on-site three days a week, for a minimum total of 20 hours a week. On a weekly basis, externs receive 4 hours of individual and group supervision, 1 hour of didactic seminar, and provide 10-11 hours of direct service. The training program begins the first week of September and concludes at the end of the Northwestern University’s Spring quarter. The total practicum externship comprises more than 650 hours of supervised experience.