Practicum Program

The Agency

TWU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides psychological counseling to a diverse student body. TWU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to providing high- quality, culturally responsive mental health services to enrolled students across all three campuses (Denton, Dallas, and Houston). Our services support the development of the whole person by fostering student resiliency, emotional well-being, interpersonal effectiveness and academic success. TWU CAPS works with clients across the lifespan who come from a variety of diverse cultural backgrounds (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion) and have often experienced past trauma (e.g., sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect). It is a unique training site given the large number of women and non-traditionally aged students the center serves.

The Training

As a practicum site, TWU CAPS trains graduate level practicum therapists to apply basic and advanced counseling skills in individual therapy. Practicum therapists may also gain additional skills and training through conducting intake appointments and by learning more about group therapy facilitation. Additionally, practicum therapists have an opportunity to engage in outreach as available. Practicum therapists may also have an opportunity to be a group process observer of a process group or co-facilitate a psychoeducational group during their time as a practicum therapist at TWU. During the spring semester, if previously completed a group process observer rotation, practicum therapists may have an opportunity to co-facilitate a process therapy group with a senior staff member. During training at TWU CAPS, practicum therapists learn to conceptualize from a number of different theoretical orientations and to use a variety of therapeutic techniques within a brief-therapy model of treatment. TWU CAPS accepts three to seven practicum therapists for a practicum placement each semester. Preference is given to Doctoral and Masters level therapists with prior practicum experience. However, applications from first semester practicum therapists are welcomed. Practicum therapists are expected to make a two semester commitment to TWU CAPS for completion of their practicum. Students who have sought or are seeking services at TWU CAPS are not eligible for a practicum placement as they would have a client file on record thus constituting a dual relationship. Enrollment in TWU's Counseling Psychology doctoral program does not guarantee acceptance for practicum placement.

We understand practicum therapists arrive for training with varied levels of experience and expertise in providing psychotherapy. For this reason, we consider each practicum therapist’s developmental level as we plan the training experience. The needs of individual clients as well as the experience level of practicum therapists are considered when making client assignments and acceptance into various training rotations.

We work to provide practicum therapists a wide range of presenting problems and monitor each person's readiness for particular clinical issues. TWU CAPS staff honor individual differences of the therapists we work with, therefore, we provide on-going training to enhance multicultural knowledge, skills, and awareness. Supervisors attend to gender expression and identity, race/ethnicity, SES, age, sexual orientation, ability status, size, spiritual/religious orientation, etc., and how each of these factors may influence client concerns, the therapeutic process and trainee development. As such, we engage in ongoing commitment to foster an environment of cultural humility.

Our training program is based on the conviction that professional and personal development are mutually inclusive processes. There is recognition that practicum experience is a critical aspect of one’s training as a clinician and therapist. Thus the philosophy of the training program is developmental and focuses on learning and skill building through experience and understanding. The training staff is committed to providing an opportunity for trainees to learn and work in an applied setting as a practitioner with a scientific foundation. Furthermore, the training staff works together to accomplish these goals and provides ongoing feedback related to the many roles as a practicum therapist (e.g., clinician, team member, and colleague).

The training program adheres to the belief that supervision is a valuable and indispensable tool for all trainees and staff. Regardless of the specific work activity, we believe that self-awareness is a critical component of ongoing professional growth. Due to our belief that the therapeutic alliance is a central component of any helping relationship, it is our expectation that practicum therapists will recognize, improve, and enact those qualities that will enhance their work with clients, peers, other center staff, and the university community. Opportunities for personal exploration and self-reflection that impact professional development inevitably occur throughout the training year. Training staff provide ongoing feedback to promote the integration of personal and professional development.

The practicum program functions in a manner consistent with the American Psychological Association's 2002 Revised Ethical Standard 7.04 (Student Disclosure of Personal Information). When appropriate, practicum therapists are encouraged, but not required, to explore historical influences, qualities, and unique identities and how these may either help or hinder psychological interventions and professional interactions. Supervisors are committed to creating a safe, trusting, and respectful environment in order to facilitate this exploration. Supervision is never viewed as psychotherapy, but rather promotion of the practicum therapist’s overall professional development. Training staff, however, have the option to recommend, but not require, outside therapy to individuals who they feel could benefit from further exploration of concerns which appear to negatively impact their professional development.

Applicants are required to make at least a two-semester (e.g., Fall and Spring) commitment (see weekly hour breakdown below). Time spent on practicum will be about 20 hours per week, although this will vary during peak times and practicum therapists may require additional time spent on administrative duties. Practicum therapists receive weekly individual supervision from TWU CAPS senior staff and will receive weekly group supervision with the practicum coordinator where practicum therapists are expected to present case presentations. Practicum group supervision will be held on Thursdays 10:00 am – 11:30 am weekly. Practicum therapists will also participate in weekly didactic trainings with the practicum coordinator or senior staff members, which will be held on Thursdays 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm weekly. Practicum therapists can expect to receive training in risk assessment, working with trauma survivors, diagnostic considerations, and will participate in various diversity trainings. During the spring semester, practicum therapists can expect to participate in in-depth learning about various theories and applying theory to case conceptualizations and their work with clients.

Practicum therapists will also have an opportunity to participate in one rotation each semester during their time at CAPS to gain additional training in group therapy observations and facilitation and outreach. These rotations vary based on the semester and staff availability.

Rotations and Weekly Responsibilities

PLEASE NOTE: Participation in all rotations is subject to availability and acceptance into the rotation.

General Training

*Please note that additional time commitment may be required.

  • In addition to conducting individual counseling, practicum therapists will be expected to become involved in conducting client intakes and triaging them to various services at CAPS. Practicum therapists will have an opportunity to gain an understanding of triaging clients, be able to facilitate a 30-minute intake to gather information needed for appropriate referrals, and will be responsible for writing the intake note. The practicum therapist will start by observing their individual supervisor for the first few intakes and will learn how to co-facilitate intakes with their supervisor. Once the practicum therapist feels comfortable and has been approved by their individual supervisor, they will begin to conduct intakes on their own. Practicum therapists who wish to participate in intake training will be responsible for one 30-minute intake slot, but may have the opportunity to conduct up to two intakes per week.
  • Intakes count as direct service hours.

Weekly responsibilities for Fall and Spring practicum are as follows:

  • 10 hours Direct client contact
    • 1 hour intakes
    • 9 hours individual counseling
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Seminar (Thursdays, 10:00 am – 11:30 am)
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Didactic Training (Thursdays, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • 1.5 hours Individual supervision
  • 0.5 hours Practicum support
  • 1 hour Supervision Preparation (video review & note corrections)
  • 4 hours Administrative Time (can be conducted at home or in overflow office space)
  • 20 hours Total each week

*Time spent on administrative tasks will vary each week depending upon direct service delivery. Practicum therapists will be scheduled and are expected to stay in the TWU CAPS office for direct client contact, practicum seminar, didactic training, supervision, practicum support and supervision preparation. Administrative time listed above will not be pre-scheduled on Titanium (unless otherwise requested) to allow for flexibility of practicum therapists working from home or utilizing the overflow office space. Most practicum therapists spend approximately 20 hours each week on TWU CAPS related duties.

For the General Training rotation, practicum therapists will be scheduled in office for 16 hours each week.

Outreach Opportunities

All practicum therapists will have an opportunity to participate in outreaches each semester. Potential outreach opportunities will be discussed in practicum group supervision. If a practicum therapist is interested in participating in an outreach opportunity, they will be responsible to inform the practicum coordinator and appropriate supervisors. In addition, practicum therapists are encouraged to help create social media content such as psychoeducational videos, recording mindfulness exercises, and creating captions and finding quotes for Instagram and Facebook. If interested in helping with creating social media content for direct service hours, practicum therapists are expected to inform the practicum coordinator and the social media organizer.

Group Training Rotation

*Please note that additional time commitment may be required.

As a practicum therapist, you may have an opportunity to become involved in the group therapy program at TWU CAPS. Practicum therapists may have an option to co-facilitate and/or facilitate a psychoeducational group, become a group process observer for one of the process therapy groups, or co-facilitate a process therapy group. Group participation for practicum therapists will depend on group availability each semester and approval from the Training Committee.

Psychoeducation Group Co-Facilitation

  • Practicum therapists who choose to participate in the group training rotation have the option to first co-facilitate a psychoeducational group based on availability each semester. If approved by the Training Committee after co-facilitating a psychoeducational group module with a senior staff member, practicum therapists may be able to facilitate the remaining modules on their own.
  • Practicum therapists will be introduced to CAPS group processes and will be expected to help organize group materials.
  • Group supervisors will be expected to contact clients for group consents and other required paperwork
  • Practicum therapists who co-facilitate a group with the senior staff member will be expected to alternate writing the group notes with the co-facilitator or as negotiated with their supervisor. As a facilitator, the practicum therapist will be expected to write all group notes.
  • Practicum therapists co-facilitating or facilitating a psychoeducational group are expected to attend an additional 30 minute supervision with their group co-facilitator/supervisor weekly. In addition, group facilitation of a psychoeducation group will add an additional 1 hour of direct service to their schedule.
  • Beginning and advanced practicum therapists are eligible for group co-facilitation of a psychoeducational group facilitation during the Fall and Spring semesters depending on group availability.
  • Available groups will vary from each semester.

Weekly responsibilities for Fall and Spring practicum with a Psychoeducational group are as follows:

  • 11 hours Direct client contact
    • 1 hour intakes
    • 9 hours individual counseling
    • 1 hour group counseling
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Seminar (Thursdays, 10:00 am – 11:30 am)
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Didactic Training (Thursdays, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • 1.5 hours Individual supervision
  • 0.5 hours Group therapy supervision
  • 0.5 hours Practicum support
  • 1 hour Supervision Preparation (video review & note corrections)
  • 2.5 hours Administrative Time (can be conducted at home or in overflow office space)
  • 20 hours Total each week

*Time spent on administrative tasks will vary each week depending upon direct service delivery. Practicum therapists will be scheduled and are expected to stay in the TWU CAPS office for direct client contact, practicum seminar, didactic training, supervision, practicum support and supervision preparation. Administrative time listed above will not be pre-scheduled on Titanium (unless otherwise requested) to allow for flexibility of practicum therapists working from home or utilizing the overflow office space. Most practicum therapists spend approximately 20 hours each week on TWU CAPS related duties.

For the Group Psychoeducational Co-Facilitation/Facilitation rotation, practicum therapists will be scheduled in office for 17.5 hours each week.

Group Process Observer

  • Practicum therapists who choose to participate in the group training rotation may have the option to be a process observer for one of the process groups based on rotation availability each semester.
  • Group process observers attune to the unspoken process that occurs in each group session, and observe the working dynamics of a group. Group process observers are expected to attend the group screenings for potential group members (scheduled during the time of the group appointment), attend each group session, and attend a 30 minute supervision after the group.
  • Practicum therapists are expected to observe the group process during the group and make note of process themes and group dynamics that are developing.
  • The group supervisor will responsible for writing the group screening notes and each group session note. Practicum therapists will be expected to write a group process note following each group that includes their observations of the unspoken process and working dynamics of the group. The group process note will be an addendum to the group session note that the supervisor completes. Group therapy termination notes are to be negotiated between the group supervisor and practicum therapist.
  • At the beginning of each group, the process observer will read aloud their process note posing questions and facilitating dialogue amongst members for approximately the first 15 minutes of the group therapy appointment. The sharing of the process notes is intended to help facilitate group cohesion and deepens the group process.
  • A group process observer will have a reduction of 1 individual client hour in exchange for 1.5 hours of direct service of group therapy. Group process observers will have 30 minutes of supervision added to their schedule.
  • Advanced practicum therapists are eligible for group process observer rotation for the Fall and Spring semesters with approval from the Training Committee. Beginning (first semester/first practicum) therapists are eligible for group process observer rotation during the Spring semester based on their skill level and their individual supervisor’s approval.
  • Available groups will vary from each semester.

Weekly responsibilities for Fall and Spring practicum as a process observer are as follows:

  • 10.5 hours Direct client contact
    • 1 hour intakes
    • 8 hours individual counseling
    • 1.5 hours group counseling
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Seminar (Thursdays, 10:00 am – 11:30 am)
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Didactic Training (Thursdays, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • 1.5 hours Individual supervision
  • 0.5 hours Group therapy supervision
  • 0.5 hours Practicum support
  • 1 hour Supervision Preparation (video review & note corrections)
  • 3 hours Administrative Time (can be conducted at home or in overflow office space)
  • 20 hours Total each week

*Time spent on administrative tasks will vary each week depending upon direct service delivery. Practicum therapists will be scheduled and are expected to stay in the TWU CAPS office for direct client contact, practicum seminar, didactic training, supervision, practicum support and supervision preparation. Administrative time listed above will not be pre-scheduled on Titanium (unless otherwise requested) to allow for flexibility of practicum therapists working from home or utilizing the overflow office space. Most practicum therapists spend approximately 20 hours each week on TWU CAPS related duties.

For the Group Process Observer rotation, practicum therapists will be scheduled in office for 17 hours each week.

Group Therapy Co-Facilitator for a Process Group

  • Practicum therapists who choose to participate in the group training rotation may have the option to be a co-facilitator of a process group with a senior staff member after completion of the group process observer rotation and/or with approval from the Training Committee based on rotation availability each semester.
  • Group co-facilitators are expected to attend the group screenings for potential group members (scheduled during the time of the group appointment), attend each group session, attend a weekly 30 minute supervision before the group session, and attend a weekly 30 minute supervision after the group session.
  • The group supervisor and practicum therapist are expected to alternate writing group screening notes as well as alternate writing group session notes. Group termination notes are expected to be split between the two group co-facilitators.
  • A group therapy co-facilitator for a process group will have a reduction of 1 individual client hour in exchange for 1.5 hours of direct service of group therapy. Group co-facilitator will have 1 hour of supervision added to their schedule.
  • Advanced practicum therapists are eligible for the process group co-facilitator rotation for the Fall and Spring semesters with approval from the Training Committee. Advanced practicum therapists who have completed the group process observer rotation are eligible for co-facilitating a process therapy group with a senior staff member.
  • Available groups will vary from each semester.

Weekly responsibilities for Fall and Spring practicum as a process group co-facilitator are as follows:

  • 10.5 hours Direct client contact
    • 1 hour intakes
    • 8 hours individual counseling
    • 1.5 hours group counseling
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Seminar (Thursdays, 10:00 am – 11:30 am)
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Didactic Training (Thursdays, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • 1.5 hours Individual supervision
  • 1 hour Group therapy supervision
  • 0.5 hours Practicum support
  • 1 hour Supervision Preparation (video review & note corrections)
  • 2.5 hours Administrative Time (can be conducted at home or in overflow office space)
  • 20 hours Total each week

*Time spent on administrative tasks will vary each week depending upon direct service delivery. Practicum therapists will be scheduled and are expected to stay in the TWU CAPS office for direct client contact, practicum seminar, didactic training, supervision, practicum support and supervision preparation. Administrative time listed above will not be pre-scheduled on Titanium (unless otherwise requested) to allow for flexibility of practicum therapists working from home or utilizing the overflow office space. Most practicum therapists spend approximately 20 hours each week on TWU CAPS related duties.

For the Group Therapy Co-Facilitation for a Process Group rotation, practicum therapists will be scheduled in office for 17.5 hours each week.

Diversity Training Rotation

*Please note that additional time commitment may be required.

  • As a practicum student, you will have an opportunity to work closely with the Cultural Diversity Liaison to help organize and implement diversity outreach and training.
  • The practicum student will also choose one to two cultural variables to gain a more in-depth personal and professional exploration throughout their rotation experience. They may be expected to complete various readings, activities, and outreach opportunities. Practicum therapists will spend time in individual supervision with their individual supervisor focusing on these specific diversity related variables.
  • Practicum therapists who choose to participate in the diversity rotation will be responsible for individual counseling and outreach opportunities. Outreach opportunities will be in addition to weekly responsibilities. Outreach opportunities will be offered periodically throughout the semester, but will not be weekly. Outreach hours will be in addition to the weekly schedule below, but will not exceed 3 additional direct hours in a week.
  • Practicum students who are completing the diversity rotation will not be eligible to participate in additional training rotations during that semester.

Weekly responsibilities for Fall and Spring practicum Diversity Rotation are as follows:

  • 10 hours Direct client contact
    • 9 hours individual counseling
      • (1-2 of which are specifically focused on during individual supervision)
      • Some weeks may have additional direct service commitment depending on outreach opportunities.
    • 1 hour intakes
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Seminar (Wednesdays, 9:00 am – 10:30 am)
  • 1.5 hours Practicum Didactic Training (Thursdays, 9:00 am – 10:30 am)
  • 1 hour Individual supervision
  • 0.5 hours Practicum support
  • 1 hour Supervision Preparation (video review & note corrections)
  • 4.5 hours Administrative Time (can be conducted at home or in overflow office space)
  • 20 hours Total each week

*Time spent on administrative tasks will vary each week depending upon direct service delivery. Practicum therapists will be scheduled and are expected to stay in the TWU CAPS office for direct client contact, practicum seminar, didactic training, supervision, practicum support and supervision preparation. Administrative time listed above will not be pre-scheduled on Titanium (unless otherwise requested) to allow for flexibility of practicum therapists working from home or utilizing the overflow office space. Most practicum therapists spend approximately 20 hours each week on TWU CAPS related duties.

For the Diversity Training rotation, practicum therapists will be scheduled in office for 16.5 hours each week.

Additional Practicum at TWU CAPS

  • Practicum therapists are eligible for an additional practicums at TWU CAPS with approval from their department and the TWU CAPS Training Committee.
  • After the first year of practicum, therapists are not required to attend practicum didactic training or practicum seminar. They are welcome to attend if they would like.
  • Practicum therapists will be required to see at least 1 hour of intakes and provide at least 9 additional hours of direct service.
  • Practicum therapists are eligible for participation in various rotations being offered each semester at TWU CAPS and as approved by the Training Committee.
  • Practicum therapists will be expected to attend all-staff trainings.
  • Therapists will be required to be on site for their direct services hours, supervision hours, and at least 1 hour of documentation. Additional documentation can be completed off site.
  • Practicum therapists will be required to have at least 1.5 hours of individual supervision. Additional required supervision and direct service hours will be determined based on rotation, or practicum therapist’s request.

Half Time Practicum/Field Study- Not a rotation or part of practicum experience (unpaid)

  • This rotation is for therapists who have requested a placement at TWU CAPS outside of the practicum program where their department has approved only 10 direct service hours.
  • Therapists completing a half time practicum will only be eligible for the co-facilitation of a psychoeducational group (after attending appropriate trainings).
  • Additional administrative time will need to be scheduled to complete session notes and administrative duties.

Weekly responsibilities for Fall and Spring

  • 10 hours Direct client contact
    • 10 hours individual counseling
  • 1.5 hours Individual supervision
    • Administrative time & other professional development
  • 11.5 hours Total each week

Additional Information

Other Requirements

  • Confirmation from the department of the student's readiness for the practicum placement.
  • A completed course in ethics or completion of an ethics course by the end of the first semester.
  • Attend mandatory orientation.
    • For fall start, orientation will take place over July and August beginning the first week of July. Practicum therapists and the practicum coordinator will meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 am – 12 pm and complete the mandatory orientation meetings along with intake training.
  • Commitment to work one evening (Tuesday or Wednesday) until 6:00PM.
  • Commitment to scheduling hours at the center at least 3 days per week.
  • Digital video recording is required for all practicum students for all sessions.
  • Attendance at staff development functions as available.

To Apply

Please email Dr. Victoria Henderson if you are interested in this placement for information regarding when applications are due. A complete application includes a cover letter indicating your interest in and fit with the TWU CAPS practicum program, your curriculum vitae, along with filling out the TWU CAPS Application. In your cover letter, please include a description of your interest in the practicum site specifically at TWU CAPS and your goals for the year. Application materials should be submitted via email to the Practicum Coordinator, Dr. Victoria Henderson. Applications are due by 5 PM on Friday, March 25, 2022. Interviews will take place in the three weeks following the application due date.

If you are being considered for a practicum position, we will contact you to schedule a virtual interview. The selection process will continue until all positions are filled.

Acceptance for training at CAPS will be contingent on a background check that will take place following acceptance of the position. As a mental health services provider, and in accordance with Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code §81.003, CAPS inquiries into the training and employment history of potential employees, interns, and trainees for the five year period prior to appointment to ask about any possible occurrence of sexual exploitation of clients. This may or may not include a background check with HR at TWU.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Victoria Henderson at 940-898-3801. Thank you!

Download TWU CAPS Practicum Program Fall 2022 Application (pdf)

TWU CAPS Training Philosophy

The CAPS Clinical Practicum Training Program is based on the conviction that personal and professional development are mutually inclusive processes. There is recognition that practicum experiences are a critical period of development for psychologists and counselors in training. We therefore adhere to a developmental training philosophy that focuses on facilitating learning and skill building by building upon the trainee’s existing clinical and didactic knowledge base to facilitate the transition from student to professional. Trainee competencies are assessed during the orientation process and in initial supervision meetings. Information and formal evaluations are used throughout the year to accommodate the trainee’s changing developmental needs. There also exists a strong commitment to providing supportive yet appropriately challenging supervision experiences focused on attention to the use of self as it relates to both personal and professional growth. The training staff is further committed to providing an opportunity for trainees to learn and work in an applied setting as a practitioner with a scientific foundation. This translates into a model designed to facilitate trainee development through extensive supervision and mentoring, didactics based on the science and practice of psychology, and multiple experiential activities.

Page last updated 2:34 PM, July 6, 2022