Please Help Me Find A Counselling Practicum

The Mane Intent

I’m currently seeking a counselling student practicum to complete a Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology (MACP) offered by Yorkville University. If you are aware of a private counselling practice or community agency that is accepting students to provide virtual counselling support at this time – I would welcome the referral. You can learn more about my credentials here.

Yorkville University’s practicum-based program prepares you to become a registered counsellor or psychotherapist. The program is also recognized by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and I’ve begun the process to become a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying).

Help Me Achieve My Goal to Provide Counselling Services and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

This summer I completed my course work required to complete Yorkville University’s Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology with an 85% average across two years of course load that included theories of personality, assessment and counselling approaches and methodologies including behavioural and cognitive approaches, group counselling, and trauma and crisis counselling. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this learning journey. My intent is to complement our equine offering with counselling services as well as equine-assisted psychotherapy.

When the Pandemic Hit – Many Agencies Stopped Taking Students

To complete the program, I’m required to secure a 15-week practicum completed over two full 15-week trimesters that includes 200 hours of direct client contact with 120 hours of individual therapy that can be provided virtually during the pandemic and 200 indirect client contact hours including case management, supervision, education and direct observation.

I had a placement secured at a local agency scheduled to begin in September, 2020 and cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.  Efforts to secure another one have proved to be challenging as agencies struggle to meet the resourcing demands of the pandemic.  I’ve also learned that many of the students who were successful in securing a practicum this semester found their placement at a private counselling practice.

What’s Required for an Appropriate Practicum Site?

According to Yorkville U’s criteria  — an appropriate practicum site: “… includes any established venue in which general mental health counselling services are professionally delivered. Organizations specifically identified as providing mental health services are acceptable, whether public, private, culturally or religiously affiliated. Other acceptable settings are mental health services embedded within a larger context, such as the psychology or clinical social work department of a general hospital. Organizations not specifically identified as mental health services, but in which mental health issues figure prominently, such as minimum-security prisons, special schools, and eldercare organizations, may also be judged acceptable by the Associate Dean of Field Training.”

All supervisors and practicum sites must be officially approved by the university’s Department of Field Training prior to students beginning the practicum. The dates for regular practicums are:

  • January Practicum Start — November 1st
  • May Practicum Start — March 1st
  • September Practicum Start — July 1st

During the practicum, students may work with or observe several different people within an agency, but the approved (onsite or external) supervisor is primarily responsible for the professional development of the student, providing clinical supervision, assigning practicum activities and appropriate clients, completing evaluations, and signing off on the student’s Confirmation of Hours Summary.

Student Supervision Requirements

Supervisors must possess a minimum of a master’s degree in a mental health counselling-related field and at least one full year of post-graduate supervised counselling experience in one of the counselling professions. In addition, professional licensure or registration appropriate to the positions they hold at the proposed practicum agency/organization is desirable. If your agency does not have an individual on staff that meets these requirements, I can also arrange for external supervision.

Call to Action — How You Can Help Me

So if you are aware of a private practice or agency that is still taking on students, please send their information to me at jgarland@themaneintent.ca. I would welcome the referral. I’m prepared to commute 60 – 90 minutes around the Peterborough area to make it work and have completed training in virtual counselling provided by the university. Thank you!

About the Author

Jennifer Garland is the founder of The Mane Intent Inc. offering equine-assisted learning programs including Health and Wellness Workshops, Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching and Leadership Development. Jennifer provides coaching, counsel and support to individuals and groups  from all walks of life to create opportunities to build productive relationships, facilitate learning and to embrace change.  Learn more about Jennifer’s professional experience, lectures, awards and publications here.

For more information or to book a private virtual session with Jennifer, please call 705-295-6618 or email jgarland@themaneintent.ca