COURSE SYLLABUS

PSYC 797 SUPERVISED PRACTICUM IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

Dr. Chris Mruk, Professor of Psychology
Bowling Green State University: A/Y 2006-2007

Phone: 419-433-5560, Ext: 20612
E-mail address: cmruk@bgnet.bgsu.edu
Web site through http://www.cmruk.org

Office Hours

REQUIRED READING

Mruk, C. (2006). Self-Esteem research, theory, and practice: Toward a positive psychology of self-esteem (3rd ed.). New York: Springer.

Or,

Mruk, C. (2003). Zen and psychotherapy. Integrating traditional and nontraditional approaches. New York: Springer.

Note: The idea of having an intern read a book by the instructor is to help the student understand the instructor's general approach to clinical theory and practice. However, since there are some ethical issues concerning a professor requiring students to purchase a text written by the instructor, one will be given to the practicum intern without charge. The individual may choose either text, based on their interests, but must read one of them in the first ten weeks of the practicum.

COURSE AIM AND OBJECTIVES

The general goal of an advanced practicum course in psychology is to provide the interns with a structured introduction to various aspects of clinical work. In addition to offering an opportunity to continue the development of one's clinical skills, however, the modern practicum also must introduce the student to other realities of the clinical setting, especially the organizational aspects of providing health care. Therefore, one goal of this year-long practicum involves exposing the intern to both the figure (client-centered) and ground (organization-centered) of clinical practice. The clinical work focuses on developing advanced assessment skills and learning how to use assessment as an interventional or therapeutic tool, as well as diagnostic and data gathering tool though what is known as "individualized assessment." In addition, the intern will further therapeutic skills through the development of a small case load. Exposure to organizational issues includes becoming familiar with the operational structure of a referral-based psychological service. Although this one happens to be within the context of a college setting, there is much similarity between this one and working in a private practice setting as well.

This internship is a joint effort between the Department of Psychology at BGSU's main campus and its regional branch of Firelands College. It is unique among internships because it is designed to provide advanced training in the academic as well as the clinical setting, which is the second goal of the placement. In addition to acting as a health care provider, then, the intern will also work as the instructor of record for at least two undergraduate classes in psychology at the college. This aspect of the position is supervised so that the intern has the opportunity to explore the academic side of psychology, particularly teaching psychology. The primary tasks that characterize this dimension of the internship include learning how to develop a philosophy of teaching, exploring various approaches to grading, and creating a solid foundation for an effective teaching style.

The third and final major goal focuses on the develop of networking skills that may apply to clinical or academic endeavors. This goal is accomplished through offering workshops on various clinical and psychoeducational topics of interest to the intern and to the college. Such work is usually done in conjunction with the Learning Center, which is useful is developing the networking and referral skills mentioned above. Finally, the intern will be involved in reviewing policies and procedures and in helping to modify them when that is appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course sequence, you should be able to have several of the basic skills necessary to offer clinical services in a private practice or small organizational setting. In addition, you should be able to design, as well as deliver, undergraduate courses in psychology at the part-time or adjunct faculty level. These skills should assist you in becoming a competent clinician, in running a successful practice, and/or in handling the challenges of a teaching career.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

In general, you are responsible for all the policies and procedures associated with clinical internships for the Department of Psychology, including those governing confidentiality, records keeping, staying within the scope of one's training, client and intern safety, reporting suspected difficulties immediately to the instructor-supervisor, and so forth. In addition to following state law governing psychological training work, you will also comply with the Ethical Standards of the American Psychological Association and the Ohio Psychological Association, whenever applicable. Finally, you will also abide by the policies and procedures developed over the course of the academic year, especially those that are written into the policies and procedures manual for this practicum at the college.

The actual hours of the practicum depend upon the needs of the individual student. We are generally interested in training students in ways that will make them good psychologists and that provide them with hours that will help students meet licensing requirements in the State of Ohio. Every effort will be made to keep the number of hours fairly steady, although academic settings tend to have "busy periods" such as the beginnings and endings of semesters as well as "down period" such as those between semesters. Supervision will occur at the rate of 1 hour per every 20 hours of practicum work per week.

The writing portion of the course includes taking adequate clinical notes, writing psychological reports that are "individualized" so that they are understandable to the client as well as technical enough to suit the needs of clinicians. Additional writing activities take the form of test construction and design for the classes the student teaches. Public speaking skills will also be practiced through teaching and all-college workshops.

ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING AND GRADING

Student assessment will take pace through regular supervisory sessions as well as through feedback from other areas of the college on related activities, such as review forms for workshops, client satisfaction feedback, administrative feedback, and so forth. This feedback is to be seen as a collaborative effort where issues of professional growth and development, as well as client and organizational safety, is the primary focus. The student and supervisor will work together to identify strengths, weaknesses, and to identify activities that will help the student progress up the scale of clinical services throughout the year.

Grading is done on an S/U basis. Satisfactory performance consists of meeting the requirements of the practicum as stated above, especially in showing growth as a professional. A written evaluation or grade will occur at the end of the Summer, Fall, and Spring semesters. Unsatisfactory performance results from failing to comply with university, department, college, APA, psychology law, or practicum policies. Minor infractions will be met with a verbal warning and major ones with a written reprimand. Certain infractions, such as breaking client confidentiality, failing to inform the supervisor of emergencies, having dual relationships, providing services outside of the scope of one's training, failing to take ordinary precautions to protect client, student, or intern safety, and so forth, may result in immediate dismissal from the course.

Cheating in any form cannot be tolerated and students are referred to the "Academic Honesty" section of the current Student Code/Affairs Handbook for specific information concerning definitions of cheating, plagiarism, other offenses, and their respective penalties beyond the one for violating class policies. All violations will be reported. Students with documented special needs must notify the instructor of them well in advance of when they could present a difficulty if the individual wishes to receive reasonable accommodation. Students are expected to use the computer responsibly and ways that are consistent with general university guidelines concerning email, posting, linking, or sharing files, and so forth. Grades of "Incomplete" must be approved by the instructor, who gives them only under extremely extenuating circumstances occurring near the end of the semester. Requests to extend an incomplete must be made to the Dean's office before the appropriate deadline has passed.

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