What it is: Practicum is typically the first course in which graduate students encounter clients for the first time. This makes it a pretty scary course. So what does a practicum student need to know before they begin practicum? Everything! But since this is not possible, we wrote this text to be a way for students to increase both their competence and confidence as they meet clients for the first time. The book covers everything from finding a site and signing contracts, to what to do in session and how to do, to preparing to leave practicum and move into internship.
Why I wrote it: First and foremost, I wrote it because I was invited to by my mentor and friend, Marianne Woodside, a highly accomplished scholar and educator. We share a passion for helping students navigate the often-murky waters of practicum. We also share a passion regarding the preparation of counselors-in-training in foundational skills and dispositions. I was onboard immediately because I feel strongly that the person of the counselor is at least as important as the behavior of the counselor. I wanted my students and supervisees to see practical examples and tools for enhancing their ability to be a counselor, not just act like one. I saw it as an opportunity to write about the trends I’ve seen over the past two decades in field. I wanted to offer tips for structuring counseling sessions, getting unstuck in session, and growing right along with supporting the growth of clients.