Clinical training is an integral part of the curriculum in the doctoral program. Practical experience occurs throughout the program and is designed to enhance academic coursework. Utilizing a developmental framework, students receive basic skills training in establishing therapeutic relationships, diagnostic assessment, and intervention with a wide variety of populations in practicum experiences. These are supplemented with advanced training in one of the concentration specialties (mental health, couples and family counseling, or athletic counseling.) Internship experiences focus on advanced clinical training in professional counseling with such experiences as treatment planning and evaluation, mentoring, supervision, consultation, and program evaluation.
The doctoral practicum and internship training requirements of the Springfield College Psy.D. program are designed to ensure that students are competent in a variety of counseling modalities, including individual, couples, family, and group counseling; as well as in consultation, supervision, psychological assessment, career counseling, and evaluation of intervention efficacy. These skills include sensitivity to cross cultural counseling and diversity issues.
Students are required to complete a minimum of 1500 hours of practicum experience before beginning their pre-doctoral internship. Students must complete 300 face-to-face contact hours within the student’s concentration (i.e., athletic counseling, couples and family counseling, or mental health counseling). There also is the option of a fourth year specialized practicum experience.
For all practicum placements approximately 50 percent of the total hours must be direct client contact. In addition, students must receive a minimum of two hours of supervision per week by licensed psychologist. One of these hours must be individual supervision and the other may be group supervision.
Students typically complete a two semester in house practicum sequence during their first year (PSYC 686 and 687). The doctoral practicum begins in the second year and continues into the third and possibly the fourth year, if the student desires an additional specialization.
Springfield College has developed affiliations with the following agencies in Massachusetts and Connecticut for potential practicum placements.
Additional sites continue to be added to this list:
- Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc.
- Brightside Family Stabilization Program
- Baystate Medical Center
- Carson Center
- Springfield College Counseling Center
- Griswold Behavioral Health, Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers
- Assumption College Counseling Center
- Counseling and Mental Health Services, University of Connecticut
- Dexter Counseling Center, American International College
- Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Hartford
- Counseling and Psychological Services, Wesleyan University
- Community Services Institute
The pre-doctoral internship is the culminating field experience of the Psy.D. program. The internship is designed to provide students with supervised clinical work in a public or private mental health setting that will help form the bridge between training and professional life. Students gain clinical experience, develop professional counseling skills, and begin to establish a professional identity. This internship involves a one-year, full-time (or two-year, half-time) internship at an approved site and a minimum of 2000 hours of direct delivery of services and supervision. Students begin their pre-doctoral internship following satisfactory completion of required program coursework, the comprehensive exam in their concentration area, a written comprehensive examination, a clinical comprehensive examination, and the formal presentation of their doctoral research projects. Students must apply for internships accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or listed in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).