Fieldwork

Good counselors are made from their knowledge of the profession and specific skills required of the professional, as well as opportunities in their training to put these knowledge and skills to use. All graduate counseling programs have a fieldwork component, taking learning to another level beyond the classroom. These are opportunities for students to practice in their selected work settings, under supervision, performing the functions of professional counselors. Fieldwork gives students hands-on, real-world

Specialization

Description

Populations Served

Primary Mode of Counseling

Typical Activities

Work Settings

Addictions Counseling

Treatment, prevention, recovery, and relapse prevention of addiction

• Individuals and families affected by alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual and other addictive disorders (e.g., food-related)

  • • Individual
  • • Group
  • • Family
  • • Individual counseling
  • • Case management
  • • Group counseling
  • • Family counseling
  • • Prevention and outreach workshops
  • • Inpatient and outpatient clinics
  • • Community agencies focusing on substance abuse treatment
  • • Private practice

Career Counseling

Vocational or Career Counseling. Explore the intersection of education, skills, interests, and personality to determine and plan for possible career paths

  • • Adults making career transitions
  • • Workforce development
  • • Adolescents in public and trade schools

• Individual

  • • Career inventories and other assessments
  • • Maintain resource information on employment and labor market trends
  • • Employee assistance programs
  • • Career resource centers
  • • Organizations and businesses
  • • Private practice

Clinic Mental Health Counseling

Prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and counseling interventions with individuals and families who are facing challenges in developmental and mental health arenas

  • • Adults
  • • Children
  • • Families
  • • Couples
  • • Individual
  • • Couples
  • • Family
  • • Group
  • • Diagnosis
  • • Treatment
  • • Interdisciplinary treatment
  • • Referral
  • • Prevention
  • • Consultation
  • • Private practice
  • • Community-based mental health centers
  • • Hospitals
  • • Treatment centers

Clinical Rehabilitation

Focuses on vocational and

• Adults with disabilities

Counseling

occupational rehabilitation and workforce re-entry for individuals who have encountered sustained disability

  • • Families
  • • Veterans

Marriage, Couple, and

Systems-based approach addressing

• Families and couples

Family Counseling

issues that individual members are challenged by or present challenges to the family system

experiencing relationship or communication issues, or mental and emotional disorders that affect or are affected by the family system

School Counseling

School-based counselors who promote academic, career, and personal/social development of P-12 students

  • • Children and adolescents in P-12 settings
  • • Families

College Counseling and Student Affairs

Variety of college or university positions addressing student development and services

• College-aged young adults

Source-. (CACREP.2016).

  • • Individual
  • • Family
  • • Career
  • • Career counseling
  • • Work placement
  • • Vocational assessment
  • • Prevention
  • • Outreach
  • • Advocacy
  • • Community-based agencies
  • • Hospitals
  • • Veterans Affairs Offices
  • • Families
  • • Couples
  • • Couples counseling
  • • Family counseling
  • • Systems-based prevention and analysis
  • • Genograms
  • • Private practice
  • • Community-based agencies
  • • Hospitals and treatment facilities with family counseling components
  • • Individual
  • • Group
  • • Design and implement comprehensive School Counseling programs
  • • Classroom guidance
  • • Consultation with teachers and families
  • • Elementary middle, and high schools
  • • Public and private schools
  • • Preschools
  • • Individual
  • • Group
  • • Individual counseling
  • • Group counseling
  • • Prevention
  • • Outreach
  • • Administration
  • • Advising
  • • Consultation

• College and university offices: counseling centers, residential life, student affairs, student activities, career services, and orientation

experience in the specialty areas just described to truly get a sense of the counseling profession and its specialty areas. These opportunities also provide a safe place for counseling students to hone their skills and discover who they are becoming as counselors (we will spend more time in chapter 5 on self-reflection, the authentic self, and counselor identity).

Fieldwork typically begins in the second year of study for full-t ime students, or about halfway through the program. Just as counselors are developmental in their approach to working with people, counseling programs are developmental in their approach to counselor training. Thus, counseling students are eased into fieldwork through what is called practi- cum. Practicum requires counseling students, or counselors-in-training, to complete a supervised experience that includes a minimum of 100 clock hours over at least a 10-week academic term in which the student spends a minimum of 40 hours in direct service with actual clients (CACREP, 2016). Some programs have an on-campus clinic or a university counseling center, although not all programs have access to these resources. Other students complete practicum at sites that are off campus. This is another consideration for program decisions as you make notes for this discussion in chapter 6.

Following successful completion of the practicum requirement, students advance to a 600-hour internship for more intensive fieldwork. Internships provide supervised, first-hand opportunities for students to dig into professional practice and experience what it is like to work as a counselor in a specified setting. Programs differ in their transition to internship, in part dependent upon practicum placement. Some students will stay in the same external site where they completed practicum and increase their hours and responsibilities. For others, students will move from the on-campus lab or clinic to their first specialty placement in internship, which is contingent on their chosen specialty area. For example, addictions counseling students might intern at an inpatient substance abuse treatment facility; clinical mental health counseling students could intern at a managed behavioral healthcare organization; and school counseling students will complete their internship at one or more schools to gain experience with students at different grade levels.

CACREP accreditation standards outline specific requirements for internship experiences, including the nature of activities and supervisor qualifications. For now, it is important for you to expect a 600-hour internship experience that includes 240 hours of direct contact with clients/ students/consumers. Interns function as counselors under regular weekly supervision by site supervisors and often faculty supervisors from their graduate program. This means carrying a regular caseload, participating in staff meetings and consultations, completing case notes, and taking part in outreach and prevention efforts of the site. Students often tell us that the internship is the most valuable part of their training, when they can really put their skills to use. We will hear more about what internships entail and how students have experienced them in chapter 8.

 
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