Practicum Training

The counseling psychology faculty highly value psychotherapy training and provide collaborative involvement of faculty as instructors, supervisors, and occasionally as co-therapists. The purpose of psychotherapy training is to help students integrate and apply their academic knowledge and to develop the skills necessary to understand and help clients. Students typically follow this progressive structure:

  • First year: The initial work with clients occurs in the department during the first semester of the first year and involves seeing carefully selected clients under close supervision provided by faculty and advanced graduate students.
  • Second Year: In the second year, students to move to the ISU Student Counseling Service (SCS), where they work with clients under the supervision of SCS psychologists and postdocs in a multifaceted campus mental health agency.
  • Third year: Students then move to a comprehensive community mental health agency in Ames (Central Iowa Psychological Services) that provides opportunities for individual therapy for a range of concerns, including substance use disorders, group therapy, and assessment.
  • Fourth and fifth year: By their fourth year, students typically are placed in off-campus practica at a variety of community agencies such as community hospitals, outpatient clinics, and group private practice settings.

Advanced students also have a number of opportunities to gain additional counseling, supervision, and consultation experiences through several graduate assistantship positions on campus including clinical positions at the Student Counseling Services, Dean of Students Office, Student Disability Services, and the Student Wellness Center.

Pre-Doctoral Internship

A 12-month pre-doctoral internship is a required component of our program. The internship typically occurs in the fifth or sixth year of the doctoral program. Internship acquisition is a nationally competitive process, and our students have been highly successful in obtaining select APA-approved internships located in a variety of settings throughout the country. Students from this program have been quite successful in national internship selection and match processes (100% placement rate over the last 10 years). Doctoral students from this program typically receive one of their top internship choices and recent doctoral candidates have been placed in prestigious university counseling centers (Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Utah, Iowa, Oregon, Southern Illinois, and Iowa State), major veterans administration medical centers (LA, Milwaukee, Minnesota), hospitals (Cambridge Health, Harvard; University of Kansas Medical Center) and well-respected regional mental health service centers (Wichita Internship Consortium).