Neasy, here is the instructions and the grading rubric, as well as the verbatim I did for you to be able to write the paper. PRACTICUM: COUNSELING SESSIONS OVERVIEW AND INSTRUCTIONS
The Practicum Experience involves conducting 2 counseling sessions in a conjoint setting. Preparation for the sessions begins as soon as the class begins. The second week of class is when the first part of the assignment is due. You can choose either a premarital couple (long-term relationship progressing toward marriage and/or engaged) or a married couple for the sessions.
Once the couple is chosen, you will complete the Couple and Informed Consent assignment before the counseling sessions can begin. It is critical that you obtain informed consent from your couple before the first session. It is recommended that you use a consent form to disclose, at a minimum, your status as a student of counseling, the benefits and risks of counseling and the PAIR2 Test, as well as the purpose and limitations of confidentiality. You are welcome to create your own form, or use the sample consent form provided for you in this course. You should use an audio recorder to record your sessions. The recording specifics should be added to the Informed Consent Form to gain permission for recording from the couple. Note that recordings should be kept confidential and be destroyed after you receive your final grade.
Sessions are to be scheduled on a once-per-week basis, and last approximately 1 hour each. You will hold a total of 2 sessions with the couple: session 1: an introductory or intake session and session 2: a discussion of the PAIR2 test result and a termination discussion.
The recordings will be used to do the verbatim assignment which includes a word-for-word transcription (both the counselor’s and clients’ words) of a 5–8 minute segment of the session. You should also include revised responses (what you wished you would have said) and a self-awareness column (indicating what was going on internally during the session).
The initial (intake) session is to be designed to process all the necessary information regarding the couple’s relational situation and presenting problems. The primary purpose of the first session is to review informed consent, gather information, and establish rapport.
The other session is meant to focus on the interpretation of a relational instrument called the PAIR2 Test. Usually there are specific dynamics in the test that apply to the couple’s situation. Make sure to write your understanding of the dynamics revealed by the PAIR2 test report (based on the Interpretive Manual in your own words) so that you may provide the best explanation of each characteristic/couplet as you discuss them with the couple. After discussion of the PAIR2 test results, conclude by projecting the couple into the future. Explore ways to enhance the relationship, and limit problems presented during counseling. This can be accomplished by providing an applicable “tool” or skill building exercise that pertains to their presenting problem(s).
Naturally, a brief termination process will also occur. Talk with the couple about what they will “take away” from the session. Questions such as, “If you could take away 1 item you learned during our time together what would that be?” or, “What was most helpful about our time together?”
You may go beyond the session requirements. However, you will only be graded on the above requirements. Please note that your instructor is serving as your supervisor and is only available to provide oversight for the sessions. Please provide the couple with at least 3 referrals if they would like to continue working on their relationship. See the American Association of Christian Counselor (AACC) website for a listing of available Christian Counselors, ACA for a listing of counselors, and/or Prepare/Enrich as needed to find counselors in your area.
Review the Practicum Report Grading Rubrics prior to each submission.
Practicum Recommendations and Logistics
• Find a couple during the first week of class and have a back-up couple in mind, and let them know this may be an option, just in-case your primary couple is unable to complete the sessions. It is highly recommended to have a back-up couple as we have had couples leave counseling after the first session. Many students enlist the help of their pastor to find willing couples in their church. Others have found willing participants among distant acquaintances or friends of friends. It is highly recommended that you do not ask close friends, coworkers, or relatives to participate as it is not unusual for provocative information to come up during sessions, placing both the student and the clients in an untenable situation.
• Can’t find a couple?
Some students find success when talking with their pastors to find someone who they do not know at the church and who they will not interact with that would be willing to do the activity with them.
Others indicate that when talking to neighbors they are often able to get a friend of a friend of the neighbor to participate. Some students talk to relatives and friends to find friends of those individuals that are willing to participate in the sessions. Starting the search early in the semester is of utmost importance and letting friends, family members, and neighbors know you are looking for someone early on is critical.
Also, the way the opportunity is presented is important. IF students say, “I have to do this assignment for a class will you help me” they may not be as successful as if they present this opportunity by saying, “For my premarital counseling class I have the opportunity to learn about what it would be like to counsel a couple. I can provide you with a free assessment that is worth X amount of dollars and an assessment report. Also, you will have the chance to talk with someone else about your relationship and set goals. This will give me a chance to practice my skills and what I am learning and will give the couple a chance to improve or enhance their relationship. Although it is not real counseling and the main purpose is for me to practice, many couples have reported in the past that the activity was indeed beneficial and that they learned things that benefitted their relationship.”
• Ensure your couple’s ability to participate, and that the counseling appointments are convenient for them. Do the counseling in a positive location (such as: your home or office, their home, a church room or office—where conversations can be kept confidential). Do not meet in public settings like restaurants, libraries, or classrooms where there will be interruptions and other people around. Try to make arrangements for childcare, if that is necessary.
PRACTICUM PART 1: REPORT GRADING RUBRIC
CRITERIA Points Possible Points Earned Instructor Comments
Organization • Clear, logical organizational flow to the paper
• Major points are stated clearly
• Appropriate use of subheadings
• Date, time, and location are included as directed 25
Content • Informed consent discussion is summarized.
• Focus on treatment or ideas to
• Good scholarly research incorporated throughout, along with provoking thoughts (include supportive citations from the course text and relevant resources for interventions used).
• Major points are supported by scholarly sources, such as peer-reviewed journal articles, good personal examples, or thoughtful analyses of themes (considering implications, identifying assumptions, etc.). Identification of key things learned that you did not know prior to completing this paper
• 2–5 resources used, majority published in the last 7 years (related to goals & interventions).
• Biblical integration included as appropriate
• Counselor reactions are addressed 60
Readability and Format • Spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct
• Sentences are complete, clear, and concise
• Paragraphs contain varied sentence structures
• APA format correctly used to cite references 25
Logistics • 2–3 pages of content, turned in on time 15
Client’s Statements Counselor’s Statements Rework Counselor’s Statements Conceptualization, Thoughts, and Comments Grader’s Comments
(H) I enjoy spending time on the weekends with my friends going out having a beer to wind down and this is a big issue in my marriage Why do you think this is an issue in your marriage? You said this is an issue in your marriage. Does it have a negative impact on your marriage? My thought is if this activity is negative, has he thought about stopping it?
(H) My wife says I do not spend any “quality” time with her What is “quality” time to you? Do you know what your wife defines as quality time? Your statement indicates that this is a view your wife has. Is there validity in her feelings? My thought is if he feels that this is an issue or does he think it is a view only his wife has and is it justified.
(H) She says because we both put a lot of work hours in during the week she wants us to spend time away from from work together. Do you understand why your wife wants you to spend time together? How do you feel about your wife’s statement? My thought is if the husband has paid any attention to his wife’s desires.
(W) It is not that I don’t want my husband to spend time with his friends on the weekends. I support my husband wanting to spend time with his friends but I value our time together. So I am hearing you say that you are “ok” with your husband being away on the weekends? So, you want your husband to spend more time with you and less time with his friends drinking? Your statement suggests that you seem more worried about the drinking with this group of friends.
(W) Yes because he does not spend a lot of time with me when we have time off. So, what I am hearing you say is that you feel frustrated because the two of you do not spend a lot of time together?
Asheley is not in agreement with Seth spending his free time with his friends drinking and could possibly be sending mixed messages.
H) I do not think that this is a real big issue because she never said it was so I just went out with my friends drinking..uh… I do not have to do this…I..uh...can spend more time at home...Um...Not a big deal. So what you are saying Seth, is that you spent time with your friends because you were unaware of the way Asheley felt? Your statement Seth indicates that you were not aware that Asheley did not support the time you spent with your friends at the games. I do not think from this one particular conversation that Seth did not spend time away from Asheley intentionally. However, noted I think more needs to be explored.