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Practicum and Fieldwork

Practicum and Fieldwork

Counseling Psychology students are required to complete 150 hours of a combined off-site and on-site Practicum (COUN 609) experiences in addition to 350 off-site Fieldwork hours (COUN 643D & 644D) under the direct supervision of an approved licensed, counseling professional for a total of 500 experience hours.

Clinical Course Sequence

The following courses are designed to provide a student with a sequence of training that will ensure clinical knowledge to conduct Fieldwork with couples, families, and individual cases.  In Practicum or Fieldwork, a trainee will most probably encounter legal and ethical problems (COUN 510), substance abuse (COUN 511), and child abuse situations (COUN 512). Students must also be acquainted with clinical interviewing methods (COUN 513), counseling theories (COUN 515), and counseling methods and techniques (COUN 522).  The psychological assessment, testing, diagnosis, and treatment methods using DSM approaches (COUN 608) and Human Development/family systems (COUN 508A & 508B) are critical courses prior to fieldwork.  All of these courses are necessary to function effectively in the field. The remaining coursework may be taken prior to or concurrent with the above sequence depending on the number of courses a student is able to take each semester.

Practicum and Fieldwork Application

Prior to taking COUN 609, students must complete a Practicum Application by the deadline listed below. The application must be submitted and approved the semester prior to enrollment in the first in the series of the 3-semester Practicum/Field Work courses (COUN 609, COUN 643D, COUN 644D).

Application Deadlines

March 1 for the Fall semester

October 1 for the Spring semester

Hours and Prerequisites

1st semester Counseling Practicum, COUN 609 (150 hours per semester, approximately 15 hours per week. NOTE: CSULB Community Clinic requirements AND Field Site Requirements); Prerequisites- COUN 522 and COUN 608

2nd semester Counseling Field Work, COUN 643D (175 hours per semester, approximately 15 hours per week); Prerequisite- COUN 609

3rd Semester Advanced Counseling Field Work, COUN 644D (175 hours per semester, approximately 15 hours per week); Prerequisite- COUN 643D

Prior Experience

Some applicants have experiences in mental health professions.  However, Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) regulations do not recognize or accept such experience as credit for supervised field experience hours.  The BBS requires a student to be formally admitted in an approved California Counseling Psychology program and to have completed at least 12 semester units after admission in that program to be considered as having formal Counseling Psychology trainee student status as described in the BBS Regulations.  In addition, the CSULB Counseling Psychology program requires that students be enrolled in practicum (COUN 609) or fieldwork (COUN 643D/644D) to be considered a Counseling Psychology trainee and be eligible to collect hours towards their Counseling Psychology license. 

TRAINEE:  A student who is formally admitted into the Counseling Psychology and who has completed at least 12 semester units in the program will possess Counseling Psychology trainee status. A trainee is permitted to perform counseling services in a non-profit agency under the direct supervision of a licensed Counseling Psychology, licensed LCSW, licensed psychologist, or board certified psychiatrist who is employed at the trainee's work site, has a current California license, and has had the license for over two years. Trainees are required to complete a total of 500 Practicum and Fieldwork hours in the Counseling Psychology program (150 Practicum hours and 350 Fieldwork hours which are applicable toward the 3,000 hours for the LMFT)  after completion of the required prerequisites (COUN 510, 511, 512, 513, 515, 522, 608). All trainees in the CSULB Counseling Psychology program begin clinical training (Practicum) on-site at the Community Clinic for Counseling and Educational Services AND begin training off-site in a non-profit setting.  Trainees generally perform Fieldwork experience hours in a non-profit setting.  Few of the non-profit settings have paid positions.

INTERN:  An intern is a Counseling Psychology graduate who has completed all the educational requirements for MFT licensure eligibility, possesses an appropriate master's degree, and has received the BBS intern license number.  An intern may perform fieldwork in a for-profit or not-for-profit agency, and/or work with a private practice person who has had two or more years of appropriate experience.  For additional information about this process, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences website.