Field placement, or practicum, provides students in the Counseling Psychology programs the opportunity to apply academic learning to clinical practice.
Practicum sites include the University’s Community Counseling Centers (Concord, Oakland and Sunnyvale), and two community based programs (the School Based Program and the Family Resiliency Project). While doing field placement at the University's Community Counseling Centers, student are eligible for stipends made possible by a grant from the U.S Health and Human Services Administration.
In addition, the programs have numerous approved external field placement sites throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. These include community mental health programs, private nonprofit outpatient clinics, residential treatment programs, and inpatient and outpatient hospital settings and veteran’s centers. Other placements include substance abuse treatment centers and settings that use specialized techniques, such as sport psychology or expressive arts therapy.
Students are clinical trainees while in practicum, and depending on placement sites, may work with individuals (adults and children), couples, families, and groups. Relationship difficulties, parent-child conflicts, and adjustment problems of adolescents and children are among the many family issues encountered.
Students are trained to conduct screening interviews, crisis intervention, assessment, referral, and community outreach. Students have ample opportunity to share their clinical experience with other trainees and to receive feedback on their work from skilled practitioners. Working with the guidance of experienced, licensed therapists, trainees are assisted in developing therapeutic skills through a variety of means, including individual and group supervision, training sessions, individual and family case seminars, direct observation through one-way mirrors, and use of audio and video.
Counseling Psychology students are required to acquire 225 face-to-face client hours, of which 75 can be client-centered advocacy, in order to pursue licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Professional Clinical Counseling (PCC) students are required to have a minimum of 280 face-to-face client hours in order to pursue PCC licensure. The practicum experience occurs over four quarters (five sessions for Berkeley). Students who are not able to satisfy the required hours during their four quarters/five sessions of practicum, will need to enroll in additional Field Practicum for one or more additional quarters/sessions of fieldwork. Units earned in such additions do not apply toward the 90 graduate units required for the degree.
Supplemental field placement is available for students who wish to gain clinical experience in addition to their required units of field practicum and wish to count those hours of experience towards BBS licensure.