During their first semester, post-MA students engage in a “first-year clinical” experience in the department training clinic, where they receive supervision to see one client and participate in observation of other trainees and clinic staffing meetings. This initial clinical involvement, which may optionally be continued in the Spring semester, provides the basis for faculty to observe initial skill levels and make a determination of readiness for foundational practicum in Year 2.
The formal practicum training sequence begins in Year 2 with a Foundational Practicum, and includes an additional year of Advanced Practicum where students enhance and diversify their skills, as well as two full semesters of Supervision Practicum (including didactic training and supervision of supervision). Students receive two semesters of training in psychological assessment, and may opt to take additional assessment practica or (for advanced students) clinical externships to seek advanced or specialized clinical training. All students complete a full-year off-site paid predoctoral internship in psychology in a setting such as a hospital, a university counseling center, or a community mental health center (depending on career objectives) prior to graduation.
We are fortunate to have relationships with a number of quality training sites in the Madison area, including a VA Hospital, an inpatient hospital (Mendota Mental Health Center), community agencies, UW’s Counseling and Consultation Services, health psychology placements at UW Hospital, and several training clinics run by the university (by the departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Counseling Psychology) and serving the community.
See the PhD Handbook for more information about practica within the PhD program.