Practicum Training in University Mental Health

The practicum training program at Counseling, Alcohol and other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services provides experience with the range of psychological services offered in a large, diverse university counseling center.  Our current practicum training program is limited to doctoral students from the Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology due to office space limitations.

Our training philosophy emphasizes the development and refinement of sound clinical skills, with an individualized approach to meeting the unique training needs of each student. In addition, practicum students have the opportunity to participate in a community-oriented consultation and education program, and possibly other more specialized experiences.

The counseling center staff is comprised of 14 doctoral-level psychologists, 3 licensed clinical social workers, 4 drug and alcohol counselors and 5 psychiatrists who serve the students of Rutgers University in the New Brunswick and Piscataway area. The students are a diverse multicultural group with an equally wide range of presenting problems.

First Year Practicum Program

First-year practicum students from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology will spend a total of 10 hours a week at the Counseling Center in New Brunswick. Their time will involve providing direct service, maintaining clinical records, receiving both individual and group supervision, and attending one didactic seminar.

Clinical Time – 6 Hours

First-year practicum students will each see clients two evenings a week at the Senior Street CAPS site in New Brunswick. They will essentially see clients between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. there will always be at least one licensed psychologist on the premises those evenings for ad hoc or crisis consultations.  They will be responsible for completing all their clinical notes for the evening before they leave.

  • Initially clients will be assigned to the trainees from senior staff that have completed first appointments and screened them for training appropriateness. When possible, practicum trainees will sit in and observe senior staff as they do intakes. After they have completed their training seminars on intake and initial assessment, they will begin to do individual intakes (of clients who have received a triage screening by the senior staff) for their own caseloads.

Training and Supervision Time – 4 hours

  • First-year practicum students will receive an hour of individual supervision from one of our psychology interns or postdoctoral trainees.
  • First year practicum students will also receive an hour and a half of group supervision on Thursday afternoons. Groups will be small, comprising of four students, to facilitate more intensive scrutiny of this early work.
  • All practicum students will attend a two-hour didactic seminar on Thursday afternoons.


All trainees will receive group MediCAPS training on the first Thursday they come in, with follow up help as needed.

  • All trainees will receive written evaluations by their individual supervisor at the end of the fall and spring semesters.
  • Attendance at the supervision groups and training seminar on Thursday is mandatory for all trainees.
  • Individual supervision will most likely take place during the day at a time to be arranged between individual supervisor and the trainee.

To apply for a practicum:
A selection (approximately 10 students) of first year students from the Rutgers GSAPP clinical doctoral program will be “assigned” by their department to the first year practicum at RHS-CAPS.
For the advanced practicum at CAPS, students should contact CAPS directly for opportunities as available.

For further information, please contact:
Steven Sohnle, Psy.D., ABPP.
Associate Director for Clinical Training
Counseling, ADAP & Psychiatric Services
17 Senior Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 932-7884