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Graduate Practicum Training Program

Application deadline: February 23, 2024

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Mental Health Services offers robust practicum training for graduate students in the fields of counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and social work.

Across all training programs we believe in equity, supporting growth, using science to ground practice, and the power of relationships. As a program we value the diverse cultural and social identities and experiences our trainees bring to our agency and aim to create a safe space for our trainees to learn and grow as they develop their knowledge, skills, and identities as helping professionals. Our motto is learning by doing under caring supervision and training, that values diverse perspectives, collaboration, and advocacy to support personal and professional growth.

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. Additionally, students are eligible to receive services at MHS after their practicum has ended.

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 with two weeks of orientation, and the regular practicum schedule begins on the first day of classes of the Fall semester.

To apply, submit the following materials:

  • A letter of interest outlining the following: program of study, year in training, theoretical orientation or approaches you gravitate towards, relevant clinical training and work experience, training objectives and career goals and how you believe MHS’s practicum program fits within those goals.
  • A current curriculum vita

Send application materials as attachments by email to:

Michelle Pitot, EdD, LCSW
Assistant Director of Training

Activities and Responsibilities

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Time Requirements: 16-20 hours/week

Individual Counseling: 5 – 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 (Required only if providing group counseling): 1.5 hours every other week on off weeks off in-service trainings
Administrative/Case Notes: 3-5 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 and completion of programmatic evaluations.

Group Supervision

As a cohort, trainees meet weekly with the Practicum Coordinator and a Mental Health Services staff  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.

Staff Meetings/ Professional Development Opportunities

Every week, trainees are invited to attend a weekly staff/ professional development and diversity equity and inclusion meeting, held on Thursdays from 9-10 AM. This meeting rotation focuses on a variety of organizational operations, issues related to diversity equity and inclusion, improving culture/ climate and increasing areas of competence across staff.