Counseling Training

Counseling Training Overview

Thank you for your interest in Counseling Training here at the Wellness Center!

The Wellness Center provides comprehensive health and counseling services to a diverse student body of approximately 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students.  Our multidisciplinary staff, comprised of nursing and mental health professionals, work collaboratively on a regular basis in an attempt to promote overall mental and physical wellness to the campus community.  Likewise, counseling trainees are expected to work collaboratively as paraprofessionals in a team environment.

Schedule

  • The training year at the Wellness Center begins mid-August.
  • Practicum students are expected to be on-site for a minimum of 24 hours per week and are required to be here every Wednesday for Group Supervision and Staff Meeting. 
  • Trainees are expected to maintain a consistent schedule during our hours of operation (i.e., M-F 9am-5pm) throughout the year.
  • Evening availability will be necessary on occasion in order to meet the training expectations.
  • The training year concludes in mid-May

Training Overview & Expectations

Each trainee at the Wellness Center has the opportunity to develop as a clinician in a demanding yet supportive environment.  Our trainees play an integral role in the Wellness Center’s aim to provide quality care to Dominican students.  They contribute to the team in two important ways:  (1) by providing clinical services to students and (2) by playing an active role in campus outreach. 

Here is an overview of the requirements through the training year:

  • Maintain a caseload of individual counseling clients.
  • Assist students with referrals for services in the community as needed.
  • Co-facilitate at least one psychotherapy, psychoeducational, or support group
  • Participate in outreach programming throughout the academic year.

Supervision

At the Wellness Center, clinical supervision is a collaborative and dynamic process.  Areas of development include but are not limited to biopsychosocial assessment, therapeutic engagement skills, and multicultural competence.

  • Trainees are supervised individually by a licensed staff therapist for one hour each week throughout the training year.  The trainee and supervisor establish goals at the beginning of training and refine or revise them as needed throughout the year.
  • Audio and video recordings are utilized to help trainees provide quality care to clients and to develop as clinicians. 
  • Trainees along with counseling staff meet weekly for Group Supervision when trainees take turns seeking consultation from the group on a current individual case. 
  • As part of Group Supervision, we share our professional knowledge and expertise. Each trainee will present on a clinical area of interest to them at least once each semester.
  • Group supervision also serves as an opportunity to get support from one another and identify positive ways to work and grow together.

Training Philosophy

The Wellness Center’s philosophy of training hinges on a few core assumptions:

  • Training is developmental.  Building clinical competency comes from the integration of observation, knowledge, and experience with thoughtful supervision and self-reflection. 
  • Development as a mental health professional occurs within a relational context.  We seek to foster an environment of understanding, curiosity, collaboration, positive regard, and authenticity. 
  • Training is a complex, multicultural encounter in which the cultural variables and contexts of supervisors, trainees, and clients impact one another and are considered valuable resources.

Areas of competency for the training year include but are not limited to:

  • Develop a complex understanding of the self as a clinician – an instrument of change, which includes understanding of the self as a cultural being.
  • Therapeutic presence – hone the capacity to be firmly grounded and genuinely available in the moment during clinical encounters. 
  • Develop the capacity to conceptualize, understand, and accept the client – and oneself – from a biopsychosocial perspective.
  • Identify dynamic processes of the therapeutic relationship and recognize ones that either facilitate or hamper the conditions leading to positive change.
  • Learn and implement intentional interventions based on thorough assessment of the client and a complex understanding of cultural contexts.
  • Integrate knowledge, experience and skills toward positive clinical outcomes for clients.

Application Process

Each year, the Wellness Center selects four (4) students from Chicago-area graduate school programs – psychology and social work – for training in psychotherapy.   

  • Doctoral therapy practicum – regular and advanced
  • Master’s therapy practicum
  • Second year social work field placement

Application Requirements

  1. Letter of interest.  Within this letter, please include one paragraph describing your ideal training environment, that is, what will be essential for you to make the most of your upcoming training experience.
  2. CV/Resume
  3. Two letters of recommendation (from those familiar with your clinical or academic work)

Application Timeline

  • Applications can be submitted as early as January 1st to mpurcell@dom.edu
  • Application Deadline is March 1st
  • Brief phone interviews in February and early March (as needed)
  • On-site interviews in early-to-mid March
  • Offers are made by late March
  • For doctoral students, our timeline roughly corresponds with ACEPT.  We will not make an offer to a student from a participating ACEPT site prior to the Match day.

Some desired qualities:

  • Strong commitment to both personal and professional development
  • Willingness to develop cultural competence as a clinician
  • Curiosity, flexibility, and openness in regard to learning about self and others
  • Desire to receive and provide constructive feedback
  • Capacity to accept mistakes and the courage to address them
  • A focused interest in developing skills as an individual therapist and a group facilitator
  • An interest in college health
  • Ability and interest in working collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team
  • Positive self-care strategies
  • Constructive communication skills
  • Effective organizational and time management strategies
  • An interest in health promotion and some ability/comfort with presenting to groups.