Counseling Center
The Counseling, Health & Wellness Center

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Psychology Practicum Experience


The SUNY Oneonta Counseling Center occasionally has openings for practicum placements for students in clinically oriented psychology programs (when staff and resources permit). The practicum provides experiential and didactic training in a college counseling center setting. SUNY Oneonta’s smaller college environment and friendly staff provide a supportive atmosphere with individual attention to the student's experience. The practicum experience helps instill professionals with strong therapeutic skills and multicultural competency.

Practicum Opportunities
In their placement, the trainee will have the opportunity to provide the following services to students of the college:

Counseling: Counselor’s duties include counseling, assessment and intake, diagnosis, goal setting, planning treatment strategies, and maintaining a case record with appropriate documentation and progress notes. Confidentiality is to be maintained at all times including the proper use of release of information forms.

Education and Referral: Trainees also assist students by providing information and referral for support services available on campus (academic, career development, disability services, clubs and organizations) as well as therapeutic resources in the community if a referral off-campus is appropriate. Counselors refer students experiencing a psychiatric emergency to the Fox Crisis Center for evaluation and intervention services. The Counseling Center collaborates with the University Police Dept to arrange transport to the crisis center.

Collaboration and Consultation: Trainees frequently refer and collaborate with each other as well as the medical staff at the Student Health Center, which is located in the same building. Collaboration occurs around issues beyond the realm of student expertise, the use of psychotropic medication, as well as conditions that require medical evaluation or monitoring.

Outreach programs: There is also the opportunity to design and co-present programs on selected psychoeducational topics of interest to the trainee. The type and extent of the programs arranged will depend on the practicum student’s schedule and interest.

Professional Development: Trainees would additionally be involved in a weekly case conference with all staff, trainee case conferences, weekly staff meetings, and a seminar series (assessment, diagnosis, therapy modalities, therapy techniques, professional development etc) in addition to individual supervision with one or more licensed Psychologists. Students are given ample time to adjust to the center while work loads and responsibility is gradually increased.  

Supervision and Clinical Model

In addition to weekly individual supervision provided by the training director (or other licensed Psychologist); supervision is available through individual consultation as needed between staff. Counselors also participate in a weekly staff meeting and bi-weekly case conference meeting.

Therapeutic interventions are often tailored to the needs of individual students; there is no single therapeutic model used in counseling students. Counselors generally offer an integrative approach, which might include multiple theoretical orientations. The Counseling Center staff is comprised of a broad spectrum of theoretical backgrounds which offers a rich environment for exploring theoretical orientations.

SUNY Oneonta is a liberal arts college with a professional focus. Student enrollment is approximately 5,700 and is becoming increasingly diverse. The college draws students from downstate urban and suburban settings as well as rural areas.

The counseling center is responsible for providing psychological services to enrolled students. We address a broad range of presenting problems. Many students present with developmental problems such as adjustment to college, academic stress, relationship, peer, and family issues. A number of students also seek therapy to address anxiety and affective disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders and other serious mental health conditions. During the past several years there has been a notable increase, locally and nationally, in the acuity of mental health problems among college students. We strive to provide a valuable practicum experience with a diverse caseload appropriate for a developing psychology student.

The center follows a brief treatment model (10 sessions) but extended treatment opportunities might be available for educational purposes. The center also develops and delivers psycho-educational programs to various student, faculty and staff groups on campus in addition to outreach programming to the broader university community.

The center is staffed by a Director and Assistant Direction both of whom are licensed Psychologists, a postdoctoral psychologist, two counselors who hold MSW degrees and additional certifications, and is also home to an APPIC-member predoctoral internship program that accepts two pre-doctoral psychology interns annually.