Practicum III

Course Details

Course Number
PSYC 6173
Section Number
PSYC 6173
Fall 2012
O'Donohoe Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times



Practicum I, II, III

PSYC 6153, 6163, 6173

Fall, 2012


Paul C. Guthrie, Ph.D.

O-113, 397-4178

Class times: 12:30 – 2:00, TR

Location: OD-110


Texts (required):


Yalom, I.D. (2009). The gift of therapy: An open letter to a new generationi of therapists and       their patients. New York: Harper Perennial.

            (ISBN-10: 0061719617 | ISBN-13: 978-0061719615)



McWilliams, N. (2011). Psychoanalytic diagnosis: Understanding personality structure in the        clinical process (2nd ed.). New York: The Guildford Press.

            (ISBN-10: 1609184947 | ISBN-13: 978-1609184940)


Course Description: The practicum courses represent the applied component of your clinical training at MSU. It is in this setting that you begin to apply the training you have previously received to working with clients. Each of the practica consists of 150 clock hours of work, at least 50 of which involve direct contact. The remaining hours consist of a variety of indirect hours, which are defined below. The practicum experience also involves group and individual supervision; this course constitutes the group portion. We will be meeting twice a week to discuss the ongoing clinical experiences of the practicum students, for discussions of readings and for clinical symposia.



Program wide goals of the MACCP

Goal 1:  Acquire a broad knowledge base in clinical and counseling psychology as it applies to theory, assessment, and intervention.

Goal 2:  Demonstrate ethical and multicultural competence in the applications of clinical and counseling psychology to assessment and diagnosis, intervention, and research ethics.

Goal 3:  Communicate in a professional manner in the written and oral formats.

Goal 4:  Be aware of and adhere to the practitioner-scholar model of clinical and counseling psychology, including use of the scientific literature to inform clinical practice.


Goals of the Clinical Practica

GOAL 1: Competence in professional conduct, ethics and legal matters

OBJECTIVE 1.1:  Professional interpersonal behavior: Professional and appropriate interactions with colleagues in the practicum setting such as, treatment teams, peers, and supervisors; seeks peer support as needed.

OBJECTIVE 1.2: Seeks consultation and supervision: Seeks consultation or supervision as needed and uses it productively. 

OBJECTIVE 1.3: Uses positive coping strategies. Demonstrates positive coping strategies with personal and professional stressors and challenges.  Maintains professional functioning and quality client care.

OBJECTIVE 1.4: Professional responsibility and documentation. Responsible for key client care tasks (e.g. phone calls, letters, case management), completes tasks promptly.  All client contacts, including scheduled and unscheduled appointments, and phone contacts are well documented. Records include crucial information.

OBJECTIVE 1.5: Efficiency and time management. Efficient and effective time management.  Keeps scheduled appointments and meetings on time.  Keeps supervisors aware of whereabouts as needed.  Minimizes unplanned leave, whenever possible.

GOAL 2: Competence in individual and cultural diversity

OBJECTIVE 2.1:  Client rapport. Consistently achieves a good rapport with clients.

OBJECTIVE 2.2:  Sensitivity to client diversity. Sensitive to the cultural and individual diversity of clients.  Committed to providing culturally sensitive services.

OBJECTIVE 2.3:  Awareness of own cultural and ethnic background.  Aware of own background and its impact on clients.  Committed to continuing to explore own cultural identity issues and relationship to clinical work. 

GOAL 3: Competence in theories and methods of effective psychotherapeutic intervention

OBJECTIVE 3.1:  Client risk management and confidentiality. Effectively evaluates, manages and documents client risk by assessing immediate concerns such as suicidality, homicidality, and any other safety issues.  Collaborates with clients in crisis to make appropriate short-term safety plans, and intensify treatment as needed.  Discusses all applicable confidentiality issues openly with clients.

OBJECTIVE 3.2: Diagnostic skill. Demonstrates a thorough working knowledge of psychiatric diagnostic nomenclature and DSM multiaxial classification.  Utilizes historical, interview, and psychometric data to diagnose accurately.

OBJECTIVE 3.3: Case conceptualization and treatment goals.  Formulates a useful case conceptualization that draws on theoretical and research knowledge.  If applicable, collaborates with client to form appropriate treatment goals.

OBJECTIVE 3.4: Therapeutic interventions.  Interventions are well-timed, effective and consistent with empirically supported treatments.

OBJECTIVE 3.5: Group therapy skills and preparation. Intervenes in group skillfully, attends to member participation, completion of therapeutic assignments, group communication, safety and confidentiality.  If the group is psychoeducational, readies materials for group, and understands each session’s goals and tasks.

GOAL 4: Competence in scholarly inquiry and application of current scientific knowledge to practice

OBJECTIVE 4.1: Seeks current scientific knowledge. Displays necessary self-direction in gathering clinical and research information practice independently and competently. Seeks out current scientific knowledge as needed to enhance knowledge about clinical practice and other relevant areas.

GOAL 5: Competence in psychological assessment and report writing

Note: This goal may not be applicable to all practicum placements. 

Objective 5.1:  Psychological Selection and Administration. Promptly and proficiently administers commonly used s in his/her area of practice.  If applicable, appropriately chooses the s to be administered.  Demonstrates competence in administering intelligence and personality s.

Objective 5.2:  Psychological Interpretation. Interprets the results of psychological s used in his/her area of practice.  Demonstrates competence interpreting cognitive and personality s. 

Objective 5.3: Assessment Writing Skills. Writes a well-organized psychological report.  Answers the referral question clearly and provides the referral source with specific recommendations.

Objective 5.4: Feedback Regarding Assessment.  Plans and carries out a feedback interview.   Explains the results in terms the client and/or caregiver can understand, provides suitable recommendations and responds to issues raised by client or caregiver.




1. In the semester prior to enrolling in Practicum I (PSYC 6153), students are expected to attend the weekly group supervision/practicum class.  Students are not required to complete graded assignments or enroll in the course. 


2.  Prior to any client contact (approximately 6 weeks prior to the end of the pre-practicum semester), students must apply for and purchase Professional Liability Insurance from American Professional Agency, INC. You can apply for and pay for the insurance online at  Please choose 1 million/3 million as the insurance limits. The cost is for the insurance is $35. Please email a copy of your insurance certificate to the Director of Clinical Training.  Students will need to renew their insurance annually as long as they are providing clinical services as a student. 


3. Students must also complete a criminal background check prior to seeing clients.  The form can be downloaded on the important forms page of the graduate program website ( ).  The completed form should be submitted to the department secretary by mid-term of the pre-practicum semester.


Course Requirements


  1. Students will provide 10-15 hours of practicum related services throughout the entire semester. Students will obtain a minimum of 150 service hours over the course of the semester.  Ideally students will amass additional hours.
    1. Direct contact hours: Students will obtain a minimum 50 hours of direct client contact.  Direct contact hours include:
      1. Individual, couple, family, or group psychological services
      2. Psychological assessment involving client contact
      3. Professional consultation and educational workshops that are clinical in nature
    2. Indirect professional service hours: Students will obtain a minimum 100 hours of indirect professional service hours. Professional service hours include:
      1. Individual and group supervision
      2. Scoring and report writing for psychological assessment
      3. Office duties
      4. Shadowing fellow clinician
    3. Tracking Hours: Hours should be logged in the practicum hours tracking spreadsheet found on the important forms page of the graduate program website.  This first page (showing cumulative hours) should be printed, signed by the individual supervisor and practicum course instructor, and submitted to the director of clinical training at the semester midterm and at the end of the semester. 


Students are not allowed to terminate service provision upon completion of hours prior to end of the semester. Some students request that they begin working prior to the first day of class or work over break and between semesters. These hours count towards an ‘Incomplete’ from the previous semester or towards the next practicum. In some external practicum sites, such as Red River, First Step, or the State Hospital, the programs come to depend on the services provided by practicum students.  Please make sure your supervisor is notified at the beginning of your placement of any time that you will take off between semesters.  Students at these sites may want to limit their time off between semesters to one week.


  1. Evaluation of practicum students:  Individual supervisors will evaluate the student at semester midterm and at the end of the semester. Students are responsible for providing the supervisor with the Practicum Student Evaluation Form, which can be found on the important forms page of the graduate program website.  These forms should be submitted to the director of clinical training. Students will receive an incomplete for the course if these evaluations are not submitted by the end of the semester. 


  1. Chart Review:  Periodically throughout the semester, the director of clinical training will review a random selection of client charts.  Please see the clinic manual for a copy of the chart review checklist and a list of items that should be included in clinic charts. 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. At the end of the semester, students will receive an incomplete if their client charts are not complete.


  1. Treatment Plans: By the 3rd session 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Group 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 may occur. 


Scheduled Case Presentations: The 1st 45-minutes of Tuesday practicum (12:30-1:15) will be for scheduled student case presentations.


1. The clinician is responsible for providing a one page outline summarizing services to date. All identifying information should be altered or removed for the protection of the client. The presentation should include:

  1. background information: demographics, brief history (only what’s relevant to conceptualization)
  2. case conceptualization: problem list, competencies/resources, primary/orienting issue or dx, theoretical conceptualization (using theory to understand why  these problems at this time for this client)
  3. treatment goal & plan
  4. question or concern
  5. video or audio recording cued to relevant section


2. Participants are responsible for:

  1. asking questions that clarify missing information and deepen the understanding of the client.
  2. providing ethical and theoretically based interpretations and recommendations.


Unscheduled presentations/questions: The 2nd 45-minutes of Tuesday practicum (1:15-2:00) 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.


Didactics: Thursday practicum shall comprise didactics and discussion of assigned reading. Students are expected to offer insights, aid in answering comments by other students,  discuss professional development generally as well as at an individual level.


  1. Individual Supervision: Each student clinician will meet at least one hour weekly individually with a supervisor. Individual supervision will often 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:
    1. Cued videotape
    2. Client files with notes completed for sessions since the last supervision meeting


External students will engage in the supervisory process that is in place at the external placement. Students completing practicum in an external setting will meet with one of the clinical faculty for individual supervision of any cases carried in the Psychology Clinic. Students will be expected to follow of the policies in the clinic manual while providing services in the clinic.


  1. Case conceptualization Paper: (100 points each) Every student shall prepare an extensive case conceptualization paper on one client (single spaced). The report shall contain the following areas:
    1. Presenting problem/history of the problem
    2. Relevant history
      1. Family, social, and relational history
      2. Educational/work history
      3. Medical/Psychological history, including substance abuse
    3. ing information (if available)
    4. Theoretical conceptualization of the client(s):  references (3-5) are appropriate here
      1. problem list and how problems are related to one another
      2. competencies/resources
      3.  primary/orienting issue or diagnosis
      4.  theoretical conceptualization (using theory to understand why  these problems at this time for this client)
    5. Summary of the report (1/2-1 page)
    6. Diagnosis across the 5 axes
    7. Treatment goals and strategies (references may be appropriate here).


Rewrites: An initial grade will be given. Should a paper need a re-write, the student will be given the option of (a) accept the current grade or (b) re-write the paper. Should a second re-write be needed, the student may (a) accept the current grade or (b) re-re-write the paper. The third draft will receive a letter grade – 1 grade level, etc.  


Attendance Policy:  Graduate students are expected to make every effort to attend all classes.

Failure to do so reflects on your commitment and professionalism, and will be taken into account

in your evaluations.


Note: Cell phones are to be turned off during class. If you have a situation that requires you to receive calls, you need to contact me ahead of time, have your device on vibration mode, and take the call outside the classroom.


Dr. Paul C. Guthrie (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Submission Format Policy

Note: 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, (940) 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 the 6 hours of Communication Core and 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.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at