Clinical practicum is a supervised training experience designed to teach clinical skills.
All Psy.D. students begin their training with a pre-practicum course that prepares them for clinical work. In the classroom, they learn how to conduct biopsychosocial interviews, identify crisis intervention situations, and write progress notes and initial intake reports for prospective patients.
The pre-practicum is followed by at least nine semesters of fieldwork experience, beginning at our on-site training facility, the Goodman Center. Through the practicum, which is undertaken in conjunction with the required academic coursework, each Psy.D. student engages in a planned sequence of developmentally graded professional experiences, including intake assessment and evaluation; individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapies; and psychological testing.
Students in clinical practicum work as health service psychologists-in-training at sites approved by the assistant director of clinical training for the Psy.D. program. The program maintains active affiliations with a variety of practicum sites that provide quality clinical experiences for students. Students may choose from over thirty approved sites, including regional and community hospitals, university medical centers, VA medical centers, mental health community centers, community service agencies, correctional centers, and private practice offices. Most practicum sites require a three-semester commitment from students, after which they may apply to different practicum sites to further develop their clinical practice abilities.
The designated practicum sites are committed to training professional psychologists and permit the student to be part of the clinical team. Albizu gives preference to sites that use evidence-based interventions, state-of-the-art psychological assessment techniques, and the biopsychosocial model of case conceptualization and intervention—all within an overarching philosophy informed and guided by respect for individual and cultural diversity.
At each practicum site, clinical work is supervised by a designated, on-site supervisor. The practicum supervisor, who is responsible for the student’s entire practicum experience at the site, must be a psychologist with a doctoral degree, licensed in his or her jurisdiction of practice and an employee of the agency or institution that has agreed to provide supervised experience. The Psy.D. faculty, program director, and assistant director of clinical training maintain free and open communication with practicum supervisors in order to effectively monitor and facilitate student progress. Students receive a minimum of one hour per week of face-to-face supervision. Additional individual and group supervision hours are encouraged.
Please note that student employment cannot be used to fulfill the practicum requirement.
Students are also required to complete a clinical internship during the fifth year of their doctoral programs. Students apply for competitive internships nationwide at medical schools, mental health centers, VA hospitals, university counseling centers, private hospitals, prisons, state hospitals, and other community sites.