Counseling Psychology students are required to complete a minimum of 400 hours of practicum (many students elect to take significantly more), of which 150 are direct client contact and 75 are supervision; the remaining hours are devoted to such activities as writing case notes, processing tapes, preparing for sessions, and attending case conferences and practicum seminar meetings.

It is typical that students take 4 or 5 semesters of Advanced Practicum in order to further enhance their readiness for internship. Students typically log approximately 150 hours of practicum activity over the course of a semester, of which about 40 are direct client contact and about 20 are individual supervision.

For all students, the first practicum is a training clinic at Iowa's University Counseling Service (an APA-approved internship site). Subsequently, students and faculty work jointly to select advanced practicum sites. The variety of sites ensures that students will receive a broad training in different treatment modalities and with a diverse clientele. Additional information and a description of practicum opportunities are available on the UCS website.

Regularly available at the sites are experiences in individual, conjoint, and group counseling/psychotherapy; assessment; and outreach and prevention. Depending on the site, students may gain experience in working with persons who are experiencing substance abuse, marital and family problems, rehabilitation and health concerns, developmental problems, neuropsychological assessment, and severe psychopathology. Furthermore, the clientele across sites present a diversity in age, ethnicity, affectional/sexual orientation, and educational level. Our program is committed to training psychologists to be competent in their work with these diverse populations.

During any practicum, students receive supervision from a licensed psychologist or supervision that is supervised by a licensed psychologist. Faculty members who serve as coordinators of practica and internships conduct ongoing evaluation of all practicum sites.

Policies and Information

Students typically complete their first practicum at the University Counseling Service (UCS), under course number 07P:434. Beginning practicum placements are arranged by counseling psychology faculty. Subsequent practica (called "advanced") may be completed at a variety of approved sites, under course number 07P:453. Students are responsible for applying for advanced practicum placements.

Practicum sites must be approved by the counseling psychology faculty. Students interested in an unapproved site may ask the counseling psychology faculty to consider the site for approval, but may not use the site until it has been approved. Sites may be approved for one individual placement, rather than as a regular approved site for the program. The process for obtaining faculty approval for such "specialized" placements is outlined in the student handbook, which is available online.

Sites beyond a reasonable driving distance from Iowa City may be used only by students who have completed three practica, and then only if the site is approved. Since students at such sites cannot typically attend the practicum seminar, they must (when seeking site approval) show that they will have an experience equivalent to the seminar. This could take the form of participation in staff development sessions, supervised independent readings, or some other experience. Sites are required to provide appropriate supervision, and to require no more than 12 hours per week on-site from each student.

The University provides liability insurance for all students in practicum. Registration is required for liability coverage to be in effect. Thus, students with multi-semester placements who plan to work during semester breaks must be given an incomplete until the beginning of the next term. Arrangements for the incomplete should be made with the practicum instructor early in the semester. The University requires that all students completing practicum off campus (meaning the site has no affiliation with the University or University Hospitals and Clinics) sign an "affiliation agreement," or contract, with the site. The Practicum Coordinator will initiate this process before training begins. Students completing practicum at certain selected sites will be required to have a background check conducted. The cost of the background check must be paid for by the student. 

The procedures are designed to reflect the shared responsibilities and rights of students, sites, and faculty for appropriate practicum placements. Students have choices of sites to which to apply and select. Sites have final determination in selection of students. Faculty approve both sites and specific student applications.

Application Process

1) The Practicum Coordinator posts the practicum application schedule and list of Approved Practicum Sites which indicates the number of openings for the following semester (summer and fall openings are posted jointly).

Students use the following resources in selecting sites appropriate for their goals: Practicum Site Questionnaires; site evaluations (Practicum Coordinator); discussions with advisor and other students. Special attention should be paid to the specific prerequisites of each site (e.g., previous therapy experience; familiarity with MMPI-2).

2) Students should schedule a meeting with their advisor  EARLY in spring semester and come into that meeting with their advisor with 6 prac choices.  The advisor works with the student to narrow the choices down to 3. Following this, advanced students ONLY (4th year and beyond) send the practicum coordinator their 3 choices. The practicum coordinator then provides these numbers(not names just numbers)to second and third year students, (i.e. second and third year students would know the total number of students who had preferred each site)who then submit their choices a week or two later.  This allows second and third year students some extra information re; which sites might be more sought after by  advanced students.

3) Students who wish to apply to a new, unapproved site must submit the following materials to the Practicum Coordinator in addition to the Practicum Choice Form: a) a memorandum detailing the practicum site, planned practicum activities, and means of supervision (including supervisor name and
credentials, amount of supervision each week, and supervision methods) and b) a letter addressed to the Practicum Coordinator from the on-site supervisor outlining the same points and confirming her or his intention to provide individual supervision to the student or a Practicum Site Questionnaire completed by the on-site supervisor. Note that the Practicum Choice Form should list two or three approved sites, in addition to the unapproved site.

Although applying for an unapproved site necessarily involves contacting the site before the faculty convene to approve practicum choices, students must keep in mind that no commitments are to be made before faculty approval is obtained.

4) Students who wish to apply for a previously approved but "specialized" site (i.e., previously approved by faculty for an individual student but not considered a 14 "regular" practicum placement) also must submit documentation to the Practicum Coordinator following the same procedure as outlined for unapproved sites.

5) Counseling psychology faculty meet and determine to which sites students may submit applications, based on: a) student readiness and b) site needs. Although every effort is made to honor students' requests, the faculty reserve the right to suggest and approve alternative sites.

6) Students will be notified of the sites to which they may apply.

7) Students will prepare vitae for those sites and submit to the Practicum Coordinator by the date due. An outline of content areas to be included on a vita is available; adaptations may be made so information relevant to the practicum sites is provided in sufficient detail. Students may also wish to solicit feedback from their advisors regarding vita content and style. Students applying for practicum at the University Counseling Service must also submit an application form, obtainable at the UCS.

8) Vitae will be sent to sites, and students notified of date they can contact sites for interviews. Under no circumstances should interviews be arranged, either informally or formally, prior to this date.

9) Students contact sites and interview. Students are expected to complete interviews at all sites for which they were approved. If a student decides not to interview, both the Practicum Coordinator and the site should be notified immediately.

10) Students inform the Practicum Coordinator when they have accepted a site. Written confirmation of an accepted offer should be sent to the site supervisor.

11) Students contact other site(s) at which they interviewed to inform them of choice.

Practicum Sites

  1. UIHC Department of Psychiatry-Pediatric Neuropsychology
  2. UIHC Adult ID Clinic/Autism Clinic
  3. UIHC Child & Adolescent Psychology
  4. UIHC Child & Adolescent Assessment
  5. UIHC Eating Disorder Services
  6. UIHC Department of Psychiatry Adult Neuropsychology
  7. Women’s Wellness & Counseling Service (WWC) – University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (UISFCH) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  8. UISFCH Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Young Child Clinic
  9. Stead Family Children’s Hospital Pediatric Psychology
  10. LD/ADHD and Neuropsychological Clinic
  11. VA Medical Center
  12. UIHC Spine Center
  13. UnityPoint Health – Robert Young Center
  14. UIHC Outpatient Pain Management Clinic

Hospital/VA Sites

1. UIHC Department of Psychiatry-Pediatric Neuropsychology

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Children & Adolescents

Description: This practicum is designed for advanced students with a strong career interest in neuropsychology. Students will learn to administer, score, and interpret a wide variety of neuropsychological tests. Students will participate in clinical interviews and feedback sessions with the supervising neuropsychologist. Students will work with a wide variety of pediatric patients, including patients with traumatic brain injury (including sports-concussions), epilepsy, learning disorders/ADHD, neuropsychiatric disorders, and medical disorders. Opportunities are also available to gain experience working as part of the interdisciplinary neurocritical care team (comprised of a pediatric neurologist, child psychiatrist, trauma specialist, and pediatric neuropsychologist) and as a consultant to UI Athletics and/or UI Sports Medicine (completing NCAA ADHD evaluations and concussion evaluations). This practicum will provide a combination of outpatient and inpatient consultation experiences. Adolescent group therapy experience is also provided as part of this rotation, as students will have the opportunity to co-facilitate an Adolescent DBT Group during their practicum experience. This is an excellent learning opportunity, as students gain experience working with high risk teens who struggle with mood dysregulation and are motivated to learn more effective coping strategies.     

2: UIHC Adult ID Clinic/Autism Clinic

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Children, Adolescents, Adults, Family

Description: The Adult ID clinic focuses on behavior evaluation and treatments with adults with autism and other intellectual disabilities who engage in challenging behaviors in the form of physical aggression, self-injury, property destruction, and socially inappropriate behaviors. Practicum students will have the opportunity to learn how to conduct function-based assessments and apply empirically supported behavioral treatments. Students will also have an opportunity at the Autism Clinic. This clinic focuses on conducting interdisciplinary evaluations with young children suspected of having an autism spectrum disorder. Practicum students have the opportunity to assist with structured developmental interviews with caregivers, complete standardized observations of autism, and participate in team discussions and wrap-up meeting where information about diagnosis and recommendations are reviewed.

Site: UIHC Child & Adolescent Psychology

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Children, Adolescents & Family

Description: Cognitive and social-emotional assessment, case formulation, treatment planning, parent/team interpretive meetings, and report writing. Client population: ages 3-21 (with a majority between ages 9-15), across a range of presenting concerns: disruptive behavior disorders, autism, learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, and internalizing disorders.  Students will learn to: administer, score, and interpret intellectual and social-emotional assessments and write up results. Students will participate in: clinical interviews with child and parents, interdisciplinary staffing (including education), and interpretive feedback sessions.

Site: UIHC Child & Adolescent Assessment

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Child & Adolescent

Description: This site serves children and adolescents age 3-18 with diverse cultural backgrounds and presenting concerns. Students will participate in multi-disciplinary team evaluation with education consultant, collaborative clinic with psychologist and medical provider from pediatric urology, and/or psychologist-only evaluation. They will learn to administer, score, select and interpret appropriate measures for diagnostic clarification and to address referral question from sources inside and outside the UIHC. Practicum students will collaborate with other specialists and use a variety of assessments including: Wechsler IQ measures, memory measures, parent/teacher/self behavior rating scales, adaptive functioning, self report mood & behavior measures, performance based personality measures, objective personality measures (MMPI-A and Millon), and measures of trauma symptoms, psychosis, executive functioning and ADHD symptoms.

Site: UIHC Eating Disorder Services

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adolescents & Adults

Description: This practicum is designed for advanced graduate who have a well-developed foundation in psychotherapy and strong interest in developing expertise in treating patients with eating disorders across the spectrum of clinical care. The student will be seeing 6-8 individual therapy patients while they are receiving treatment either in the partial hospital program (PHP) or on the adult inpatient unit. In addition to individual therapy, the trainee will gain group facilitation experience in both the partial hospital and the inpatient setting. The Eating Disorder program is mainly a CBT program and the student can expect to get specialty training in advanced CBT skills. However, other therapy modalities are also practiced by providers and the student may have an opportunity to learn about other approaches as well. The student will participate in multidisciplinary rounds meetings both in the PHP and on the inpatient unit.

Site: UIHC Department of Psychiatry Adult Neuropsychology

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: This practicum is designed for students with a strong career interest in neuropsychology.  Students will learn to administer, score, and interpret a wide variety of neuropsychological tests. Students will participate in clinical interviews and feedback sessions with the supervising neuropsychologist and patients. Students will work with a wide variety of adult patients, including patients with dementia, traumatic brain injury, learning disorders/ADHD, neuropsychiatric disorders, medical disorders, and movement disorders (particularly Huntington’s disease).

Site: Women’s Wellness & Counseling Service (WWC)

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults & Families

Description: The UIHC NICU cares for up to 83 infants and their families at any given time. Many of these families have a history of mental health needs but are either not currently receiving services or are away from their local provider while their infant is hospitalized. Often the stress of a NICU stay or an infant’s medical diagnosis will cause or exacerbate mental health symptoms. In an effort to provide quality mental health care to this population, the NICU team has developed this practicum in collaboration with the UIHC Department of Psychiatry’s Women’s Wellness & Counseling Service (WWC). Students will engage in a variety of psychotherapy and diagnostic evaluation interviews. Students will collaborate with a variety of providers. Those applying should possess a strong interest in women’s mental health and psychotherapy. Comfort in addressing issues of grief and chronic illness in children is also important. Successful applicants should have previous experience conducting diagnostic assessments and have completed advanced training in psychotherapy provision.  They should be comfortable working autonomously as well as in collaboration with other mental health care professionals. A strong work ethic is a must. 

Site: UISFCH Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Young Child Clinic 

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Child & Adolescents

Description: The Young Child Clinic is a multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluation clinic for children ages 2-4. Common referral concerns are anxiety, attachment problems, inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity, family separations and losses, history of maltreatment or trauma, irritability, mood problems, and oppositional behavior.  There would be some pre-practicum reading in infant mental health assessment & treatment/clinical application of attachment theory in July and August before starting the practicum.  Trainees have the opportunity to learn about assessment of attachment using the Cassidy and Marvin separation-reunion procedure, along with administering other measures of behavioral, socioemotional, and developmental functioning. 

Site: Stead Family Children’s Hospital Pediatric Psychology Practicum

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Child

Description: The goal of this practicum is for the student to gain knowledge and experience working with children and adolescents with chronic health conditions. The student will have the opportunity to provide evidence-based care to patients and their families, including providing outpatient therapy services and performing inpatient consults as appropriate. The student will participate in two major rotations: pediatric chronic pain (with Dr. Kohl) and pediatric endocrinology/pulmonology/cardiology. The primary experience of the pediatric chronic pain rotation will be within the comprehensive pain team. This is an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, nurse practitioners, psychologist, a social worker, physical therapist, and medical assistants. The patient population covers the life span from young children through early adulthood, however, the predominant age served is adolescents. Patients are from a broad spectrum of socio-economic levels and diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Patients present with difficulties ranging from pain management, coping with medical issues and pain, adjustment to diagnoses, mood and anxiety disorders, and end of life issues. Externs will be providing psychotherapy to patients with a broad range of psychopathology, including depression, anxiety, poor parent-child relationships, bullying, and school avoidance. The primary experience of the pediatric health psychology rotation will include opportunities to provide evidence-based behavioral health consultation and intervention to children, adolescents and their families in a variety of pediatric subspecialty clinics. The majority of patients served in this rotation have at least one chronic medical condition such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, PCOS, cardiac conditions, IBD, etc. Presenting concerns often include adjustment to chronic illness, non-adherence to self-management tasks, disease distress/burnout, family stress/conflict, mood and anxiety disorders, and behavior management. Opportunities for ongoing individual and group therapy are available. Several clinics are multidisciplinary and care coordination between disciplines is expected.

Site: LD/ADHD and Neuropsychological Clinic 

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Child

Description: The Learning/Attention Disorders Clinic and Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic are located in Pediatric Psychology, which is part of Pediatric Specialty Clinics. These clinics evaluate children and adolescents with Learning Disorders and/or Attention Disorders as well as various medical conditions (such as kidney transplant, seizure disorders, and premature birth). Recommendations for treatment options and accommodations at school and home are provided to patients and their families. Physicians often refer to this clinic prior to prescribing medication for ADD to receive an opinion on whether medication is needed or whether a learning disorder may be the reason for inattention. The goal of this practicum is for the student to gain knowledge of diagnostic evaluations from a neuropsychological perspective.

Site: VA Medical Center

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: Iowa City VA (Clinic located in Coralville) practicum students have a variety of options for supervisor; supervisor match mostly determines the veteran population (and presenting concerns) with which any given student will work.  For example, those with a primary interest in women’s health, would work with the mental health director of the Women’s Clinic.  Other choices for specific training include PTSD treatment, Health Psychology, Acute Care/Inpatient, Neuropsychology, and (some years) Substance abuse/Dual diagnosis.  Training experiences, depending on supervisor clinical focus, generally includes doing diagnostic interviews, psychosocial assessments (e.g., for transplant, for cognitive impairments, for transfer to pain management program, for spinal cord stimulator implants, etc.), individual psychotherapy, and group co-facilitation (support, process, psychoeducational).  At least a few of our supervisors involve trainees directly in interdisciplinary teamwork (e.g., ALS Clinic).

Site: UIHC Spine Center

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: Through comprehensive evaluation, treatment and education, the UI Spine Center endeavors to empower individuals with chronic pain to learn and implement self-directed pain management strategies to engage in lifestyles that are meaningful, functional and minimize healthcare dependency. This practicum provides opportunity for students to learn about the integration of psychological practice in medical settings and to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, primarily with physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians (aka physiatrists) and physical therapists. Students participate in patient evaluations for potential participation in a comprehensive 2-week spine rehabilitation program (SRP), participate in facilitating group sessions of the 2-week SRP, and may see individual patients for pain related psychotherapy. All information gathered from patients is incorporated in the electronic medical record, including minimal testing information. Students are given graduated responsibility for clinical and written work with patients over the course of the practicum. Students learn how to work with patients who have a variety of chronic pain conditions. ACT and CBT are the primary therapeutic approaches used in group settings.

Site: UnityPoint Health– Robert Young Center

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: UnityPoint Health-Muscatine is an integrated behavioral health center that services the community of the city of Muscatine and the surrounding area of Muscatine county. The center is considered a satellite outpatient site of the UnityPoint Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health in Moline, IL. UnityPoint Health-Muscatine provides integrated behavioral health and community mental health services to individuals and communities, including medication management, substance use treatment, individual therapy, school-based mental health counseling, community education, and emergency/crisis services. In addition to providing services to rural and low-income populations, UnityPoint Health-Muscatine also provides services to a large immigrant and refugee population within Muscatine county (e.g. Latinx, Liberian, and Burmese).  The practicum site will also consist of 1-hour weekly supervision with a licensed psychologist, and 1-hour weekly consultation/didactic training.

Site: UIHC Outpatient Pain Management Clinic

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: The UIHC Outpatient Pain Management Clinic is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers (physicians, clinical health psychologists, clinical pharmacy, and nursing) devoted to the treatment of adult patients with complex chronic pain conditions. The clinical health psychologists perform 2-hour initial pain psychology assessments for the treatment of chronic pain and pre-stimulator evaluations (i.e., spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulators).  Psychotherapy and biofeedback services are provided.  Pain psychology services are provided within the clinical setting at the main hospital and Iowa River Landing in Coralville. Two clinical health psychologists are available to offer supervision to practicum students. This training opportunity will encourage observation and participation in many aspects of the day-to-day pain clinic experience, including shadowing physicians during procedures, observation of clinical pharmacist during provision of patient care, following nursing staff interacting with patients, and learning about the management of a busy pain clinic. Our pain patient population includes medically complex patients many of whom also experience depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, somatic symptom disorders, substance use disorders, and personality disorders. Practicum students will participate in multidisciplinary team evaluation of patients with complex chronic pain.  Trainees will learn to select, administer, score, and interpret appropriate measures for diagnostic clarification and to best address the referral question from sources inside and outside the UIHC healthcare community. Practicum students will learn skills needed to perform psychological diagnostic interviews, complete thorough chart reviews, integrate data within a comprehensive clinical report, and communicate results of the psychological assessment to patients, family members, pain management team members, and community healthcare providers. Psychotherapy supervisors will provide training in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and mindfulness with persons having chronic pain. Options to learn biofeedback and group psychotherapy may also be available. Each practicum student will follow patients for short-term, brief, targeted psychotherapy. Trainees will be expected to maintain a caseload of at least two psychotherapy patients throughout the year.

 

  1. Anchor Center for Women
  2. Women’s Resource and Action Center
  3. Benton Neuropsychology Clinic
  4. BioBehavioral Day Treatment Clinic, Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic and Pediatric Habit Reversal Clinic
  5. Family Psychology Associates
  6. The Fairweather Lodge
  7. Cross Park Place
  8. Iowa City Community School District
  9. Iowa City Compassion
  10. LGBT Clinic
  11. Community Health Centers of Southeast Iowa
  12. Belin-Blank Center Assessment and Counseling Clinic
Community Mental Health Sites

Site: Anchor Center for Women

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: The Anchor Center for Women is a facility within the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. The District provides pre-trial, probation, and parole supervision for adults with a wide range of criminal justice involvement.  The Anchor Center for Women was created in October, 2018, replacing what was previously an intensive dual diagnosis program for men. The center provides gender responsive, trauma informed care for women who are mandated to reside in the residential program (correctional halfway house) as well as women who reside in the community and come to the building for appointments with their agents. Students can expect to work in an unconventional multi-disciplinary team setting and encounter a wide range of clients. Our clients tend to have multiple complicating factors that historically affect accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, to the extent many have struggled to find any meaningful benefit from past rehabilitative efforts. It is important students have a clear understanding of culturally competent practice, be willing to explore issues of symptom validity, and carefully consider differential diagnostics as part of reaching a well informed diagnostic opinion. Students will gain considerable experience conceptualizing cases and translating theory into concrete, actionable recommendations tailored to the professionals working with the client. 

Site: Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC) 

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: College Students & Adults

Description: WRAC provides a site in which clients have a strong expectation of receiving culturally respectful and responsive therapy. The on-site supervisor engages practicum students engage in conversation about the impact of social context on clients carrying one or more marginalized identities and mentors students in considering implications for their clinical work. WRAC is particularly sought out for mental health services by UI students of color, LGBTQ folks, and survivors of sexual trauma (recent or from childhood). Presenting issues seen at WRAC include mood/depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, self-harm, grief/loss, body/eating concerns, identity-related exploration/concerns, loneliness, FOO issues, and related matters. Personality disorders/features are not common; high-risk (suicidal) issues are not common, but protocols are in place to respond.

Site: Benton Neuropsychology Clinic Practica

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: The Benton practica in neuropsychological assessment is an integrated 12-month sequence covering a very wide range of assessment activities. The information provided in this syllabus applies to both the introductory and advanced practica unless explicitly noted otherwise.

Readings and close 1:1 supervision in case-based learning will promote the learning of all steps involved in formal neuropsychological evaluation of adults, up through writing concise yet informative reports and participating in provision of basic feedback and counseling to patients and family, in coordination with the supervising neuropsychologist. The sequence begins with rigorous training in the proper administration and scoring of a range of commonly used neuropsychological tests, and the trainees moves on to increasingly complex assessment activities as they develop competence in the more fundamental aspects. Case conceptualization is emphasized. Depending on schedule, students will also attend the

Neuroscience/Neuropsychology Seminar once or twice a week, and will present cases once a term. By completion of the practica, the trainee will be well-prepared for a neuropsychology rotation on internship with adults.

Site: BioBehavioral Day Treatment Clinic, Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic, and Pediatric Habit Reversal Clinic

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Children & Adolescents

Description: The BioBehavioral Day Treatment Clinic, the Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic, and the Pediatric Habit Reversal Clinic are dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents who exhibit difficult-to-treat behaviors. Our Day Treatment Clinic is a two-week intensive assessment and treatment clinic for children and adolescents exhibiting severe and challenging problem behaviors.  We use an applied behavior analysis framework (i.e., function-based assessment and treatment).  Students who spend time in this clinic learn behavioral assessment skills, including functional behavioral assessment interviewing, experimental analyses, stimulus preference assessments, and concurrent operants assessment procedures.  Treatment, which averages 40 to 80 percent of a patient’s two-week visit, involves a variety of intervention procedures, including functional communication training, differential reinforcement, extinction-based methods, and choice arrangements, among others.  Students may participate in case preparation and conceptualization, interviewing, data collection, assessment and treatment implementation, report writing, and oral dissemination. The Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic provides brief assessment and treatment for children and adolescents who exhibit severe and challenging behavior.  This clinic includes both assessment and treatment activities, but the priority is on assessment.  Students who participate in this clinic can expect to learn brief assessment and treatment models, including behavioral interviewing, brief experimental analyses and the use of treatment probes.  This clinic offers experiences in case preparation, case conceptualization, assessment and treatment administration, report writing, and oral dissemination. The Habit Reversal Clinic is focused on the assessment and treatment of tics, habits, and stereotypies in children and adolescents.  This clinic has two components: (a) behavioral assessment and (b) habit reversal therapy.  The behavioral assessment component involves a two-hour evaluation that includes behavioral interviewing, antecedent analysis, and treatment probes.  The habit reversal therapy component involves weekly, one-hour visits in-vivo or via telehealth to work on awareness and exercises to block tics.

Site: Family Psychology Associates

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: Clients range from the chronically mentally ill to professionals.  We receive many referrals for psychological assessment from the court and from physicians. The student would have a chance to evaluate people sent for a psychological evaluation to meet a judge’s request or a doctor’s request (i.e. bariatric surgery, ADHD, or spinal cord stimulator).  They could also observe evaluation of veterans who come for a “comp and pen” evaluation or substance abusers who come for a SAP evaluation.  We generally treat non-psychotic clients with depression, anxiety, anger, and relationship issues. The agency is very collaborative, so other staff can also be consulted for supervision.  Play therapy, ACT and cognitive therapy are usual strategies used staff members and could be observed by the student.

Site: The Fairweather Lodge

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: The Fairweather Lodge and Cross Park Place are permanent supported housing programs overseen by Shelter House. The primary mission of the Lodge is to help individuals struggling with mental health concerns and homelessness to reintegrate into the community. Basic goals of the program include providing emotional support, housing, and employment. Participants apply to the program and upon entry, they join other individuals in a training program. The training program involves a variety of required activities and progress monitoring, all with the goal of graduating the training program and living in one of several homes in the community where other program graduates live together interdependently. Graduates typically live in small groups of 4 to 8 people and they share a house and a small janitorial business. Each member holds specific roles within the house and business. There are no live-in staff members at any Lodge. However, staff members are on call 24 hours a day for emergencies (practicum students would not be on call). Generally, members of the Lodge find increased self-confidence in holding responsibility in their house and business, resulting in more independence and stability in the community.

Site: Cross Park Place

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: Cross Park Place is a demonstration project for the state of Iowa formed by the Collaboration Committee of the Johnson County Local Homeless Coordinating Board which incorporates the FUSE and Housing First models, two nationally recognized programs. Housing opportunities are made available through a Housing First approach—a permanent housing intervention proven to save both money and lives—and is targeted for those individuals struggling with chronic homelessness and who have demonstrated high cross-system service utilization. In most communities, including Johnson County, “frequent users” continuously cycle through a variety of emergency interventions of various sorts (legal, medical, psychiatric, detoxification, etc.) This cycle generally comes at great expense to the community with no lasting improvement to the individual. Cross Park Place began accepting occupancy in January 2019. The building is comprised of 24 one-bedroom apartments with on-site offices and an exam room for case managers and partnering health and behavioral health clinicians.

The role of Counseling Psychology practicum students would be varied. Some responsibilities might include: leading group therapy sessions, individual counseling, crisis management as needed, attending staff meetings with Shelter House/Lodge/Cross Park Place employees, interns, and volunteers, keeping case notes, updating a shared document seen by staff, supervising household activities as needed including cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, yard work, etc., initiating recreational activities, and assisting clients in a variety of activities including using a computer, making phone calls, money management, healthy living, etc.

Site: Iowa City Community School District

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Child & Adolescents

Description: The practicum experience with ICCSD includes assessment & individual therapy with select K-12 students, as well as, regular consultation with teaching staff.  During this practicum you will responsible for developing a working relationship with 1-2 schools (elementary, junior high or senior high) and following up on therapy referrals provided to you by the ICCSD Student & Family Advocate at that building(s).  You will carry a caseload of therapy clients who you will see during the course of the school day on-site at the client’s school.  Presenting concerns for clients will vary greatly but most of the clients are being referred because of barriers to accessing therapy in the typical community based, office based setting. Clinical supervision is provided by Megan Foley Nicpon & Coreen Frank from ICCSD is available to provide support related to the overall structure/logistics of the program. Practicum students interested in this experience should be confident in their assessment & individual therapy skills.

Site: Iowa City Compassion

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Children, Adolescents, Adults & Families

Description: This non-profit agency provides services to engage culturally diverse communities together through hope, opportunities and partnerships. They equip people at their point of need to move out of poverty and inspire them to be of service to others. With awareness of the need for low cost legal immigration services in our community, in 2011, IC Compassion became recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to provide legal immigration assistance with clients from Johnson and other surrounding counties. The practicum trainee will have the opportunity to provide clinical services to immigrants and refugees from countries in the Middle East, Asia, Latin and Central America and Africa. Trainee will have access to a confidential office space, a laptop or pc and support services from the receptionist to make phone calls, aid with scheduling and securing interpretation services. The prospective trainee will have the opportunity to deliver individual therapy services to children, adolescents and adults, as well as options to provide group therapy to women’s and or children’s group. There is also the possibility to provide outreach workshops on specific culturally relevant issues. All services will be taking place either at ICC offices or occasions in other community buildings in Iowa City. The trainee could also develop community-based intervention programs, if she or he so desires. Most clients have a good command of English, but those who do not, can be provided interpretation services via ICC, and thus trainee can have the opportunity to experience working with an interpreter in the clinical relationship.  Trainees with language skills other than English are highly desired. Weekly optional didactic clinical seminar, on trauma, psychodynamic psychotherapy and evidence based psychodynamic psychotherapy research.

Site: LGBT Clinic

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: The LGBT clinic is staffed by couple and family therapy and counseling psychology doctoral students. Each student completes training on providing services to LGBTQ individuals, including conducting assessments, writing letters of support, and providing ongoing individual, couple, and family therapy. Each student is supervised by a licensed marriage and family therapist, and all letters of support are approved by the clinical director.

Site: Community Health Centers of Southeast Iowa

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: Adults

Description: The Community Health Centers of South Eastern Iowa (CHCSEIA) are currently developing practicum site opportunities for graduate students in both the psychological and social work areas.  The relevant clinics are based in West Burlington, Keokuk, and Columbus Junction in southeast Iowa. CHCSEIA provides primary healthcare, dental care, and mental health care to a wide variety of patients (e.g. lower SES, veterans, immigrants) in the Southeast Iowa region.  The mental health team consists of a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric ARNP, psychiatric DNPs, Behavioral Health Consultants, and counselors. The primary mental health population consists of a wide variety of mental health diagnoses within a primarily adult population including posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and other serious mental illnesses, substance abuse, major depression, generalized anxiety, and personality disorders.  In addition, and utilizing the behavioral health consultant model (see “Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary care: A Step-by-Step Guidance for Assessment and Intervention, 2nd Ed., 2019, APA) CHCSEIA provides structured behavioral assessment and intervention to health populations including individuals with CADS, smoking, obesity, diabetes, medication non-compliance, and chronic pain issues. Students will learn and utilize assessment and treatment strategies for the above populations using an evidence-based cognitive behavioral model. Students will utilize the behavioral health consultation model to complete assessments and treatment.  In addition, students will utilize a tele-psychology model (with and without translational services as needed) for our rural immigrant population.

Site: Belin-Blank Center Assessment and Counseling Clinic

Years Accepting Students: Beginning & Advanced

Population served: Child

Description: The Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) is a comprehensive center focused on nurturing potential and inspiring excellence through myriad programs and services. The Center houses the Assessment and Counseling Clinic (ACC), which provides comprehensive assessment, therapy, and consultation services to high ability and twice-exceptional students. Comprehensive assessments are available at the Belin-Blank Center’s Assessment and Counseling Clinic (ACC) to determine the ability and achievement profiles of high ability students, to examine career and area-of-study options, to identify the possible presence of a disability and/ or social-emotional concern, and to help parents and educators determine a student’s psychosocial and educational needs. Counseling sessions for high ability students and their families are also available at the ACC. These sessions are designed to assist students and their families with adjustment and emotional difficulties that may be related to their psychological diagnosis (e.g., ADHD, ASD, anxiety or mood disorder), family relationships, or life transitions. Practicum students are primarily supervised by licensed psychologists. Some supervision may also be provided by a postdoctoral scholar in the clinic. At a minimum, practicum students provide assessment services under the direct (live) supervision of a licensed psychologist, and they receive at least 1 hour of individual supervision per week to discuss current cases, plan for future cases, receive feedback about skills and performance, discuss thematic issues related to cases such as ethics or diagnosis, and engage in general professional development. Assessment measures include but are not limited to the following: WISC-V, WAIS-IV, WPPSI-IV, WIAT-III, WJ-IV, BASC-3, CPT-3/KCPT-2, VMI, and the NEPSY-II.

  1. Cornell College Counseling Center
  2. Grinnell College SCHACS
  3. University Counseling Service – Athletics Department
  4. University Counseling Service

College Counseling Sites

Site: Cornell College Counseling Center

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: College Students

Description: Practicum at the Cornell College Counseling Center includes first observing and then taking more and more of a role in co-facilitating/leading initial intake sessions, seeing individual clients, co-facilitating initially and possibly individually facilitating second semester Mental Health Wellness Workshop sessions (3-session, manualized, psychoeducational workshops), developing one or more bulletin board displays each semester, developing and presenting an active outreach program, and likely participating in other passive as well as active outreach programming. Client presenting concerns vary widely; among the most common presenting concerns are low mood/depression, stress, anxiety, relationship problems, academic problems, sleep problems, self-injury, suicidality, financial concerns, health issues, grief/loss, ADHD or LD, sexual assault, other trauma, bipolar disorder, eating concerns, low self-esteem, loneliness, and AOD issues, and personality disorders or features are not uncommon; prac students will of course be assigned clients commensurate with their skills and experience. 

Site: Grinnell College SHACS Practicum

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: College Students

Description: The practicum placement at Grinnell College is housed in their Student Health and Wellness (SHAW). It is an integrated health/mental health center, meaning you will have interaction with a multidisciplinary team, including nurses, LISW and LMHC counselors, and a tele-psychiatry program.  SHAW operates within a brief therapy model, and clients are typically seen for an average of 3-4 sessions, typically not exceeding 12 sessions unless clinically indicated. You would be asked to see individual clients, create and participate in outreach programming, participate in supervision, and attend case conferences, both with other students as well as with the larger staff. You also may have an opportunity to participate in leading/co-leading group therapy, depending on interest and availability.

Site: University Counseling Service (UCS) Athletics Department

Years Accepting Students: Advanced

Population served: College Students

Description: Students working in the practicum at the UCS athletics site would gain experience in providing therapy and consultation services to the UI student-athlete population. Opportunities to work with groups in team settings will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Individual sessions are typically 30-50 minutes and cover a range of topics and issues typically seen in university counseling center settings (e.g., depression, anxiety, relationship issues, adjustment). At times, the trainee will be expected to conduct consultations and case management with members of the UI Athletics staff (e.g., athletic trainers, team physicians, coaches). Practicum trainees will also conduct ADHD/LD clinical interviews for individual student-athletes and participate in the brief group academic screening sessions once per semester. Since we serve the student-athlete population, clients will frequently discuss how these issues are impacting athletic functioning, in addition to functioning in other life domains. Experience as a youth or collegiate athlete is not necessary; however, knowledge of and respect for the culture is crucial to treatment with this population. Education and supervision on working with this culture will be provided throughout the training. Supervision will follow a developmental model and include 1.5 hours of weekly individual supervision with a licensed psychologist.

Site: University Counseling Service (UCS)

Years Accepting Students: Beginning & Advanced

Population served: College Students

Description: Students carry a caseload of 7-8 individual clients, and they receive an hour and a half of individual supervision.  If there are three or more students, we will hold a one-hour weekly case conference. Students typically either process observe or co-facilitate an interpersonal process therapy group, and receive a half-hour of weekly supervision from their group co-therapist.  During Spring Semester, in lieu of group therapy, students could engage in provision of clinical consultations (i.e., COD).  Students are encouraged to identify their hopes for their training experience during the interview process, which occurs during mid-spring.  The UCS strives to provide training that enables the advanced student to deepen their learning, by working under supervisors who carry expertise related to the students’ interests.  Areas of focus include particular theoretical orientations and/or expertise with particular mental health conditions and/or client identities.

Practicum Documentation Forms

Below are the forms required for documenting practicum experiences for the Counseling Psychology Program.

Sample Curriculum Vitas

Sample vitas from students who have successfully applied to a variety of practicum sites.