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Practicum Site Preparation

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Psychology

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Homework

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Practicum Site Preparation
Write a 500-750 word paper discussing the following:
1. How and when you would begin to search for your practicum site.
Due to my interest in addiction counseling and my desire to obtain a career in this profession,
it is never too early to begin searching from my practicum site. “The practicum experience is a
requirement in all states for individuals seeking licensure at the independent level” (GCU, n.d.).
In response to how to begin searching for a practicum site I would first need to determine the
type of field of practicum site of which I am interested in; Micro (working directly with people),
Mezzo (working with groups/organizations), or Macro (working with communities). In the state
of Texas, most addiction counseling services are highly privatized and therefore I would be
looking to work in a Micro field practicum site.
To start preparing for my practicum site I will first need to think about viable and attainable
professional goals, my strengths and weaknesses and make a list for the practicum. Once this has
been done I can then investigate the various opportunities and/or agencies that can provide the
type of experiences that I will both need and want to be successful in attaining my previously
listed goals. This can all start as soon as a student, such as myself, enters their first semester of
college and should begin with “networking with professors, alumni and community partners to
build a solid reference base” (BU, 2014).
2. What steps would you take to secure a practicum site?
There are various steps that would need to be taken to secure a practicum site, the first of
which is deciding which organization/agency I want to work with and then registering for the
practicum. Practicum registration can be done through the use of Advisers in the same ways that

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students would register for other classes. “In order to start your practicum, you and your site
supervisor/practicum preceptor need to agree upon the learning objectives that structure the
practicum experience” (TWU, n.d.). These objectives should align with the school’s core
instructional competencies. What’s more, to gain approval to begin the practicum experience I
would need to prepare and submit an application; identify and arrange the location; ensure my
practicum supervisor has at least a Masters degree in Behavioral Health; and interview with the
potential site supervisor (GCU, n.d.).
3. What are the top two questions you would ask a supervisor interviewing you?
Because practicum learning objectives need to align with the school’s core instructional
competencies, I would ask the interviewing supervisor what the core competencies of the site
were and how they are relevant to the comparable school competencies. Secondly, I would ask
the interviewing supervisor how students, such as myself, would function in the organization as a
whole. In other words, my participation in the organization would bring what type of benefits to
the table?
4. List how many total hours, based on the state you live in and GCU requirements
that you will need to complete your practicum. Discuss the difference between direct
and indirect hours and how many you will need of each during pre-practicum and
following practicum course(s).
In the state of Texas, counseling students are required to complete 150 hours of practicum
experience. Additional qualifications that are required for state certification in Texas for
counseling professionals include “a MS in a counseling program and practicum hours, 2 years of
credible full-time equivalent teaching service as defined by the Texas Education Agency (TEA)
and the Texas State Board of Education Certification (SBEC) in order to qualify for the TExES

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certification exam” (TWU, n.d.). There is a requirement of a minimum of 40 direct hours being
achieved during the pre-practicum course (PCN:615: Pre-Practicum Course). Direct client
contact occurs when the student is face-to-face with a client. This can be during individual or
group therapy, providing client education, assessments, etc. Indirect contact hours is time spent
taking notes, engaging in non-therapy types of duties and participating in things not involving
clients such as training and/or staff meetings.
Summarize your goals that you would like to achieve by the time you complete the
practicum.
The goals I hope to achieve at the close of my practicum experience will encompass a
basic proficiency in areas of addiction counseling as well as being able to meritoriously
demonstrate a broader level of involvement in the psychology profession outside the realm of
being a student. I also intend to adopt the necessary code of ethics of which is adopted by the
American Psychological Association and apply them appropriately to the practice of psychology.
Most of all I intend to become efficient in my ability to verbalize newly developed knowledge in
the realm of psychology that shows my mastery of fundamental skills required by the profession.

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Anonymous
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