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Graduate Practicum Training Program

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Mental Health Services offers practicum training for graduate students in the fields of counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and social work. We are a learn-by-doing practicum site, using the practitioner-scholar model of training, with a commitment to evidence-based interventions. Across all areas, including individual therapy, group counseling, and outreach, we focus on the provision of ethical service delivery within a brief treatment model. In addition, it is critical to us as an agency to provide culturally relevant services to diverse groups of people and to help trainees gain ongoing multicultural competencies. The practicum program is designed to help counselors-in-training begin to develop their own counseling style, refine their assessment, conceptualization, and therapeutic skills, and grow in personal and professional areas.

Note:  Practicum trainees are not eligible to receive concurrent treatment at MHS during the training year. Students who have sought services at MHS in the past are eligible to participate in the practicum. Moreover, students are eligible to receive services at MHS after their practicum has ended.

Deadline to Apply

Friday, February 4, 2020

Application Process

Graduate students in Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Social Work at UW–Madison, in at least their second year of study, are encouraged to apply. Training  begins in late August for a week-long orientation, and the regular practicum schedule begins on the first day of classes of the Fall semester. Applicants should submit the following materials:

  • A letter of interest outlining theoretical orientation and clinical experience, training objectives, career goals, and other relevant personal and professional qualifications
  • A current curriculum vita

Send application materials as attachments by e-mail to: Benjamin de Boer, Psy.D., Coordinator of Practicum Training Program,

Activities and Responsibilities

Time Requirements: 18 hours/week
Individual Counseling: 6 – 8 hours/week
Group Counseling/Outreach: 2 – 4 hours/week
Individual Supervision: 1.5 hours/week
Group Supervision: 1.5 hours/week
In-service Training: 1.5 hours every other Friday
Group Therapy Seminar/Supervision: 1.5 hours every other Friday (This seminar is required only if providing group counseling.)
Administrative/Case Notes: 4 hours/week

On a weekly basis, individual supervision and group supervision are provided, each utilizing video recording review. Trainees are required to video record all individual counseling sessions.

Individual supervision: Supervisors typically change between the Fall and Spring semesters to increase exposure to a diversity of perspectives. Each supervisor seeks to establish a trusting, challenging, and supportive relationship with their supervisees to foster learning essential to competent clinical practice. Within this supervisory dyad, discussion might focus on the dynamics of the client, the counselor, and the interactions between them; applications of theoretical orientation; therapeutic interventions; implications of counselor-client cultural differences and similarities; and, personal values and professional ethics.

In addition, supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance with organizational standards and practices, including review of clinical documentation.

Group Supervision: As a cohort, trainees meet weekly with the Practicum Coordinator and a postdoctoral resident for group supervision. This meeting is intended to create a safe space conducive to reviewing cases and engaging in self-exploration/evaluation; seeking clarification related to clinical procedures and day-to-day organizational operations; and, integrating aspects of the training experience.

In-service Training: Every two weeks, trainees will participate in didactic seminars, led by various Mental Health Services staff, designed to address key issues related to the delivery of clinical services in a university setting.

Group Therapy Seminar/Supervision: Every two weeks, trainees providing group counseling will participate in this seminar focusing on their role as group facilitators. Didactic training in group modalities – interpersonal process, support/theme, and psychoeducational – will be enhanced by presenting and viewing recorded sessions. The space allows for consultation about interventions, co-leader relationships, ethics, and many other facets of group leadership.