Become a Training Site for the Counseling Department
The Office of Field Education staff is available to work with sites that are interested in being approved for the training of William James College practicum and internship level students within the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. William James College training requirements and documents are program specific and are outlined in detail in the Counseling Department Field Education Handbook. The clinical component (practicum and internship) of our graduate program in counseling provides each student with a sequential, supervised experience as a counselor trainee. This experience, which conforms to all Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards, gives the counseling student the opportunity to gain proficiency with assessment, consultation, therapeutic skills and interventions. To inquire about serving as a field site, please contact the Associate Director of Field Education, Melissa Koen, LMHC at Melissa_Koen@williamjames.edu.
All William James College clinical mental health counseling students complete two years of field education training. Year 1 is designated as practicum and Year 2 is internship. Practicum students have training goals consistent with the curricular goals of Year 1. At this stage, field placements help students learn and begin to master skills essential to helping relationships and the competent practice of counseling and psychotherapy while having the opportunity to observe and practice in a field setting. Students’ progress is assessed on the acquisition of particular knowledge, skills and attitudes. Internship students also have training goals consistent with the curricular goals of Year 2. At this stage, field placements provide exposure to clients in mental health settings where more specific skills working with treatment populations can be practiced.
Field Supervisors must conduct regular evaluations of the Practicum and Internship student’s performance throughout the experience including formal evaluations completed mid-year and upon completion of the field training experience.
General Requirements for Field Site Approval
In order to be approved as a practicum site, an agency or institution must meet the following criteria:
- It must not be a private practice setting (individual or group).
- It must have integrated programs for the delivery of clinical mental health counseling.
- It must have clearly established provisions for supervision by appropriately qualified supervisors, one of whom will be designated as the student’s primary supervisor.
- It must offer trainees opportunities for face-to-face clinical contact with clients along with an appropriate space for the students to meet with clients. Such contacts exclude telephone calls, vocational guidance services, academic school guidance services, industrial or organizational consulting services, teaching, and conducting research.
- It must be able to provide a training experience of at least 12 hours per week for a minimum of 30 weeks.
- It must be able to provide students with at least 90 total hours of direct client contact over the course of the practicum.
- It must be able to provide students with 30 total hours of supervision over the course of the practicum. Of those 30 hours, 10 must be individual, 5 must be group, and 15 additional hours of either individual or group. In order to meet accreditation (CACREP) requirements, weekly individual supervision is required. A Supervisory Contact hour is defined as a minimum of 45 consecutive minutes. The supervision must be distributed as follows:
- Individual Supervision: weekly for the duration of the practicum
- Group Supervision (no more than ten mental health supervisees in the group): 5 hours minimum
- An Approved Field Supervisors must be a mental health professional with an advanced degree in counseling or a related field, have at least 3 years of full-time or the equivalent part-time post-licensure clinical mental health counseling experience and who is also:
- A Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC);
- A Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW);
- A Massachusetts Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT);
- A Massachusetts Licensed Psychologist with Health Services Provider Certification;
- A Massachusetts Physician with a sub-specialization in psychiatry;
- A Massachusetts Licensed Nurse Practitioner with a sub-specialization in psychiatry; or
- Where practice and supervision occur outside of the Commonwealth, an individual who is an independently licensed mental health practitioner with a license or registration equivalent to one listed in (a) through (f); As delineated in chapter CMR 262 of the Rules and Regulations for Licensure of Mental Health Counselors / Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professions.
- Provide an emergency contact onsite that is available to the student for consultation in the event that the primary supervisor is unavailable. This does not take the place of the required clinical supervision by an approved supervisor. Practicum students in a Clinical Field Experience Site may see clients only when there is an Approved Supervisor or Emergency Contact on site.
In order to qualify as an internship site, an agency or institution must meet criteria 1, 2, and 3 above and in addition, must be able to:
- Provide a training experience of at least 20 hours per week for a minimum of 30 weeks.
- Provide interns with a minimum of 240 hours of direct client contact experience.
- Provide interns with a minimum of 45 hours of supervision over the course of the internship. Of those 45 hours, 15 must be individual, 15 must be group, and the remaining 15 may be individual or group. Internship supervisors must meet the same licensure and experience qualifications as practicum supervisors.
- Provide an emergency contact on-site. This does not take the place of the required clinical supervision by an approved supervisor. Internship students in a Clinical Field Experience Site may see clients only when there is an Approved Supervisor or Emergency Contact on site.
Field Supervisor Responsibilities
The Field Supervisor’s responsibilities are:
- To organize the Field Training experience and assure that the student will have an opportunity to work with appropriate clients and meet mutually agreed upon training goals outlined in the Field Training Contract signed by the Field Supervisor, the Faculty Supervisor and the student. Please reference the Field Education Training Handbook for an example of the Field Training Contract.
- To monitor the Field Training placement and provide weekly one-hour individual supervision.
- To communicate on a regular basis with the Faculty Supervisor about the student’s progress and complete an interim and final evaluation on a student’s field experience and performance related to the seven competency areas as well as to the learning goals specified in the Field Training Contract.