Practicum placements are typically assigned for one full year. Students must accrue approximately 1,000 hours of total practicum experience before applying for internship. You can expect to spend a minimum of about 10 hours a week in practica beginning in the SDSU Psychology Clinic in the second year. That time should include direct service hours, supervision (both group and individual), and any didactic experiences the specific practicum may require. After the first practicum year at SDSU, students are most often placed in the same or similar sites as interns and post-docs in the UC San Diego/VA training program. Thus you can expect to receive high quality practicum training that will be geared to your specific level of skills and experience.
All students must complete their first practicum in the SDSU Psychology Clinic. This experience begins in early July between your first and second year in the program. The experience is an intensive introduction to doing clinical work, with supervision by two different supervisors. Each student receives four hours of supervision a week, typically in 2 two-hour time slots, and an additional hour of didactic training designed to provide basic skills to the beginning therapist. Each time slot is shared with one or two other students. All sessions in the SDSU Psychology Clinic are video-recorded, and sessions are reviewed with supervisors in detail. Students typically see two clients with each supervisor. Each student also will complete two full psychological assessments and prepare two integrated psychological reports during the SDSU Psychology Clinic practicum year.
There is a separate Clinic Manual that describes the specific policies and procedures for the SDSU Psychology Clinic.
Selecting Practicum Sites
The selection of a practicum after the year in the SDSU Psychology Clinic is a two-stage process. First, possible practicum sites must be thoroughly discussed with your Guidance Committee. It is never too early to begin to plan for practica over the course of your time in the JDP, in part because some sites are very popular and you may not be able to get your desired site the first time you request it. You and your Guidance Committee should be planning 2-3 years in the future so that you have a clear idea of what experiences you intend to receive while in the program. While the practica choices may change from time to time, in general you should be able to identify the types of patients, the kinds of problems, and the range of interventions you want to have experience with before you leave the program. Check back in the spring of each year for updated information about what will be available. With the consultation of the Guidance Committee, the student will be asked to provide a rank ordered list of desired practicum sites each year.
The actual assignment of students to practica sites is done by the Practicum Committee. This Committee takes into account information about a student’s progress in prior practica, the rank ordered list of desired sites, and the requirements of various practicum sites. The Practicum Committee makes final decisions about placements in practica each year. Practicum options for the current academic year can be found under the Practicum menu and will be updated annually.