M.A. Program Supervised Clinical Experience

Supervised clinical experience, otherwise known as practicum or traineeship, is an essential part of the Counseling program. Its main purpose is to provide an environment for students to apply the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills learned in the classroom to the broad spectrum of human problems that confront professional counselors. Students are expected to develop their clinical skills by working with diverse populations in both pre-master's and post-master's training as they accrue hours towards MFT and/or PCC licensure.

The Wright Institute's legacy of social responsibility and socially relevant, culturally responsive training provides a valuable professional asset for students applying for training positions and/or jobs. Students also benefit from the Wright Institute's outstanding reputation with training directors at practicum sites throughout the region.

Practicum Sites
Each student completes their practicum at one of the many behavioral health agencies within California. Practicum sites are available throughout the Bay Area and other select regions of California, and vary by the populations they serve as well as by the treatment modality and clinical specialty. Available sites include state, county, and community mental health facilities; outpatient clinics; psychiatric hospitals; schools; residential treatment programs; day treatment facilities; chemical dependency treatment programs; rehabilitation programs; forensic programs; and other settings.

The Wright Institute approves and has a written agreement with each site that details each party's responsibilities. The agreement provides for regular progress reports and evaluations of the student's performance at the site. Training sites are selected on the basis of their use of the practitioner model of training graduate level psychology students, i.e., emphasis on the acquisition of clinical skills, relevant treatment population, credentials of staff and site, availability of adequate supervision by experienced clinicians, and a commitment to training.

In their first year of the program, students gain access to our database of practicum sites. The Field Placement Office will be in contact with students throughout the first year of the program to keep students apprised of the requirements for eligibility to attend practicum. The Field Placement Office assists students in preparing a curriculum vitae (CV) and completing practicum applications to multiple sites. Students may also meet with faculty and student mentors for additional guidance and support. Students will ultimately sign a contract with one agency to complete their practicum, usually during the second year of the Counseling program.

Professional Development Seminar
This year-long, small-group seminar is designed to support students during their supervised clinical training. The Professional Development Seminar offers students a place to reflect on both their academic and concurrent practicum experience, and to consolidate their professional identities as culturally responsive mental health clinicians. The Seminar also provides students with opportunities to learn from the clinical experiences of their colleagues and their instructor, who also serves as their Faculty Advisor for the year. The course responds to students' evolving learning needs while providing advanced training in MFT assessment, treatment planning, and intervention. Other topics covered include documentation of services, making use of supervision, preparing for associateship, and developing a career plan. Throughout, students are encouraged to develop a practice that focuses on resiliency, recovery, and social justice.