skip to main content

Doctoral Practicum Program

Texas A&M University Health Services offers a year-long advanced practicum training experience in individual counseling, group counseling, and crisis intervention. To participate in a practicum at Mental Health Services, trainees must be currently enrolled in an APA-accredited program. The practicum is an 18 hour per week commitment. The requirements of those 18 hours are outlined in the menus below. Supervision is provided by current doctoral interns (who are themselves supervised by licensed psychologists) as well as by senior staff (psychologists and licensed professional counselors) on occasion. All sessions are video recorded for review by supervisors. Practicum counselors may also have opportunities to participate in additional university counseling center activities including conferences, outreach, and development of psychoeducation materials.

The practicum at University Health Services is considered an Advanced Practicum. This means that students are expected to have completed at least one year of supervised experience at a different practicum site before coming to the University Health Services. Students from counseling and clinical psychology programs are invited to apply.

Exclusive commitment: Students will not be admitted if they are concurrently participating in another practicum/internship that is similar to the one at Mental Health Services.

Training Philosophy

The University Health Services training model places a strong emphasis on developing the personal attributes required of psychologists. As a result, those admitted for our doctoral practicum program are expected to demonstrate a willingness to engage in appropriate self-examination and reflection. Further, in keeping with our training philosophy, the foundation of our approach to training is a practitioner model. The emphasis is upon learning through the practical application of evidence-based practice in psychology. Professional skills training will vary in complexity from basic engagement skills to more complex multi-level interventions depending on the needs of the individual practicum counselor.

Weekly Hour Expectations

Duties Hours
Individual Client Contact 10
Group Therapy/Supervision
Individual Supervision 2
Supervision Preparation 2
Seminar 2
Group Case Supervision 1

*Crisis counseling experience available during 2nd semester

*Practicum counselors are expected to be at Mental Health Services 18 hours each week. This means that if a client does not show for an appointment, you are still expected to be at Mental Health Services. That time may be used to watch tape, read, complete case notes or for other professional development activities. It is expected that all your time be accounted for in our scheduling system and that you are onsite in accordance with that schedule.


Each doctoral-level practicum counselor is required to give a formal case presentation at the conclusion of each semester. Presenting a client case provides an opportunity for interns to articulate to the University Health Services staff their theoretical orientation and to demonstrate their case conceptualization skills. This type of experience should also help prepare the practicum counselor to discuss his or her therapeutic style and will likely be useful preparation for the pre-doctoral internship match.

At the end of the semester, supervisors will provide written feedback to doctoral-level practicum counselors regarding their performance throughout the semester and they will recommend a grade for the practicum to the appropriate academic program. Supervisors and supervisees are encouraged to discuss progress throughout the semester but in particular at an informal evaluation meeting at mid-semester. In addition, practicum trainees will evaluate their individual supervisors and the practicum program as a whole.

This weekly seminar is designed to be a combination of didactic and experiential activities to further skill and case conceptualization development in the art and science of psychotherapy.  In conjunction with topics/activities the training committee brings to these seminars, this is a time for practicum counselors to identify specific areas of training and development in therapy that they wish to address.

Doctoral-level practicum counselors are expected to spend at least two hours per week preparing for supervision. It is expected that the practicum counselor use part of this time to review an entire taped session of their work with a client. Other activities during this time may include completing case notes, reviewing training tapes, or readings. Use of this additional time is determined between the practicum counselor and their supervisor.

Quality supervision is seen as the cornerstone of our training program and is highly valued by the entire staff. For the doctoral-level practicum, senior staff or pre-doctoral interns may serve as the primary supervisors. Supervisor assignments are based on a combination of what the trainee is seeking from supervision and goodness of fit with the supervisor. Primary supervisors meet weekly with the training committee for supervision of supervision and to consult with each other regarding training issues and work on enhancing the supervisory process. Additionally, practicum counselors may expect to receive “live supervision” on occasion.

During this time, doctoral-level practicum counselors and masters-level interns will meet as a group with two senior staff facilitators. Trainees will have the opportunity to bring in tapes of their work and receive feedback from the group about their work with a particular client. This time is specifically designed to address case conceptualization skills and to identify specific interventions that trainees may utilize with their clients.

Mental Health Services Professional Expectations

Doctoral-level practicum counselors will be expected to attend all scheduled meetings, including orientation, meetings with supervisors, group case supervision and practicum seminar. Students who do not meet all program requirements will not receive required evaluations for the internship experience or may have their performance evaluation affected.

Appropriate attire at University Health Services is business casual. Trainees will be expected to maintain this standard while conducting official business here.

There are occasions when former clients of University Health Services are interested in a practicum/internship at University Health Services. If there are any concerns about how being a former client impacts opportunities as a trainee at University Health Services, please refer to Guidelines Regarding Multiple Relationships document.

While the work culture at University Health Services is supportive and collegial, adherence to the above requirements will allow each doctoral-level practicum counselor to have a productive experience as part of our staff. The practicum coordinator, Michelle Morris, and training director, Dr. Danielle Broxon, will maintain ongoing communication with your training program as it relates to your progress at this practicum site.