At least 600 hours of approved, supervised practicum experience is required before a student leaves for internship, but students typically have twice that amount of practicum exposure. Clinical training program faculty may require additional practicum hours if the need arises for remedial training. The basic 600 hours are typically amassed over a three-year period and encompass a wide variety of activities (we estimate that students accumulate about 200 hours during an academic year and 100 during a summer). It is expected that at least 300 of the 600 hours will be spent under the direct supervision of program faculty members.
Several settings are used for practicum training, the chief of which is our Psychological Services Center (PSC). The PSC is administered by the clinical training program under the general auspices of the Department of Psychology and is located on campus. It serves individuals from the surrounding communities (but not University students, because a Counseling Center on campus serves student mental health needs). In addition to accepting routine assessment and psychotherapy referrals, the PSC has more focused specialty clinics targeting attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and body dysmorphic disorder. The PSC also provides consultation to community agencies, such as the Department of Corrections, Job Corps, and several local school districts. Practicum students participate in PSC activities throughout their stay in the program and assume significant clinical and administrative responsibilities under faculty supervision.
A full range of other practicum training sites are also available to students. These change from time to time depending on different factors, such as student interest and availability, and funding. Efforts are made to develop new practicum experiences to meet particular student and faculty interests.
Off-campus practicum sites available to our students in recent years include:
Edmund N. Ervin Pediatric Center, Maine General Hospital (Waterville)
Mountain View Youth Development Center (Charleston)
A juvenile detention facility.
Kennebec Valley Mental Health Center (Augusta)
A cooperative placement with Adult Mental Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services.
Health Psych Maine (Waterville)
A group practice specializing in chronic pain.
Acadia Hospital (Bangor)
A center focused on both hospital and community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment services.
Kids Peace (Ellsworth)
A residential assessment and treatment center for youth.
Eastern Maine Medical Center, Maine Rehabilitation Neuropsychology Service (Bangor)
Indian Township Health Center (Indian Township)
Offers evaluation and intervention services to Native Americans on reservation.
Penobscot Community Health Center (Bangor)
A community-based integrated healthcare center serving primarily homeless and peri-homeless populations.
A satisfactory grade in practicum reflects progress and competence in (a) basic clinical skills (e.g., the mechanics of testing and of conducting assessment and therapeutic interviews); (b) assessment, interpretation, organization, and presentation of clinical material (e.g., report-writing, case formulation, making presentations in case conference, and assembling a treatment plan); and (c) fulfillment of obligations in a professional, ethical, and timely manner, including appropriate use of clinical supervision as a professional resource and adequate responsiveness to supervision.