At OLLU-Houston, we are particularly proud of our practicum program and the excellent clinical training our students receive.
The practicum program begins with the Pre-Practicum Counseling Lab (PSYC 8352), which is taken in the first year of the program. In this course, students are taught basic clinical skills.
Beginning in the second year of the program, the formal practicum begins. The overall practicum program consists of a set of clinical training experiences for students in which the students take on progressively more clinical responsibility. Throughout the program, an emphasis is placed on providing excellent supervision to help students learn to face even difficult clinical situations with the safety and support of faculty.
PSYC 8190, Practicum I (taken three times)
The course spans the entire second year of the program. In the Houston program, this course meets four hours per week (except for certain national holidays), typically in an evening. Students are placed on Clinical Teams, each consisting of 4-6 students and a faculty supervisor. During this year, the student will work directly with clients. Initially, students are typically placed in a co-therapist role with a member of the faculty. In this setting, students will have the opportunity to observe faculty working as therapists. As the year progresses, students are allowed to take greater control over the counseling session and to work with each other as co-therapists, but always with a faculty supervisor present.
PSYC 8391, PSYC 8392, and PSYC 8393, Practicum II-IV
This sequence of courses spans the third year of the program. Late in the second year, students will be part of a selection process in which their field sites for their second year of practicum (third year in the program) are selected. Several community sites have been selected for student site placements. The student and the site work out a schedule for the student to be at the site working as a therapist-in-training. Hours for field sites vary. At a minimum, the student should expect to schedule approximately 20 hours per week at the site. Occasionally sites may expect students to be on site more. There are usually limited opportunities for students to gain some of their hours on site in the evening. The student will be assigned a site supervisor from the staff of the field site. OLLU requires that supervisors be licensed mental health professionals, and that students get a minimum of one hour per week of individual supervision at the site. In addition, students are placed on clinical teams that meet with OLLU faculty four hours per week (except for certain national holidays), typically in an evening. In clinical team settings, faculty provide additional group supervision to students.
Partial List of Practicum Sites for OLLU students (these sites have frequently accepted OLLU students - the complete list may vary slightly year to year):