Practicum Training Program

Practicum Training Program

The purpose of this practicum is to develop a practicum student’s counseling skills, such as creating and implementing a treatment plan, using the counseling relationship to further a client’s work, and growing into the use of a theoretical framework. We also want to familiarize practicum students with the unique aspects of working in a university counseling center setting. Finally, this practicum placement is designed to help the student develop in their professional identity as a counselor.

Training Philosophy

Our staff is committed to providing quality care for all of the students who access our services. We believe that a very warm, intensive training environment creates an atmosphere of learning and growth which translates into good client care. We allow practicum students some level of independence, but abide by an open-door policy which allows for spontaneous supervision by various members of the senior staff in addition to weekly scheduled individual supervision time with a specific supervisor. While our staff has varying theoretical views, we all are sensitive to issues of development and multicultural factors in addition to the interpersonal dynamic in counseling. We require practicum students to video tape their sessions, and tape review is a consistent part of supervision.

Expectations of applicants for practicum experience

We maintain a warm, collegial environment and expect that practicum students contribute to that in a positive way by being approachable, amenable to feedback, and eager to learn. We also expect that a potential practicum student would have some awareness of the issues particular to a college population and an interest in working with students from diverse backgrounds. The ideal practicum student for us would be someone interested in the qualities unique to a college counseling center. For SHSU Masters of Clinical Psychology Students: We expect that our practicum students have successfully completed their Practicum I/II experience and have a working knowledge of psychopathology, interviewing techniques and basic psychotherapy theory. For SHSU Counseling Education Students: We expect that students have received approval from their program to complete their internship and have a working knowledge of psychotherapy, interviewing techniques, and basic psychotherapy theory. For non-SHSU Students: We welcome applications from students outside of SHSU. Approval to complete practicum/externship from the student’s program is required, in addition to an unofficial transcript. We expect students to have a working knowledge of psychotherapy, interviewing techniques, and basic psychotherapy theory.

Once you are selected

At present, we require students to be on site a minimum of 20 hours a week for a semester-long practicum placement. Based on programmatic requirements, some students will be eligible to complete a two-semester practicum placement (fall and spring; we do not have practicum positions available for the summer term). A practicum student will be expected to carry a caseload of 8-10 clients as well as attend individual supervision for two hours per week. Practicum students are encouraged to participate as a co-leader of one of our many groups (see our website for a current listing of group options). Practicum students may also co-lead workshops or outreach presentations on various topics. Once a week, the practicum coordinator and practicum students meet in group supervision/didactic training During this time, practicum students learn through group supervision, formal case presentation, and didactic training from staff about topics that are of interest to them or the staff feel are important to practicum students in this setting.

Application and selection procedures including a description of the optimal practicum candidate (i.e., one who best matches the requirements of the site)

To apply, an interested student needs to contact the Counseling Center by phone (936-294-1720) or email Dr. Diane Stoebner-May at ( to express interest in completing a practicum at this site. Application for the site consists of a copy of your vitae and confirmation of satisfactory completion of Practicum I/Interviewing class or practicum at a captured site run by the department in question. After review of applications, we will contact you for an in-person interview with our staff..

Sam Houston Counseling Center

1608 Avenue J., Box 2059  | Huntsville, TX 77341-2059  | Phone: 936.294.1720 | Fax: 936.294.2639