Supervised Clinical Experiences
Three levels of supervised clinical work in the counseling program at UNG are required of students matriculating towards the M.S. degree: labs, practicum activities, and internship experiences. The following is a brief description of what these components entail.
In conjunction with most core counseling courses, co-requisite lab experiences are offered. These lab activities allow students to directly apply knowledge from a specific course in a supervised clinical experience. For example, students in the Counseling Theories course use several theory-based counseling interventions with a volunteer client; Career Development students administer and interpret a battery of career assessment instruments; and Group Counseling students function as a group facilitator. In other courses, students work with client populations (e.g., children, adolescents, older persons, families, couples) appropriate to course content.
Practicum & Internship
During the Practicum/Internship year, students log hours with actual clients at a counseling agency in the field. Students are involved in all aspects of a counselor's role at a specific site. Internships enable students to integrate professional knowledge and skills through their work with clients, students, and new colleagues. Through these experiences, students become familiar with intake procedures, appropriate case note format, and crisis intervention, and focus on developing conceptualization skills and self-awareness relevant to their clinical work.
There is diversity and range in Practicum/Internship sites within the North Georgia geographic area. Clinical mental health counseling sites include agencies that offer family and children's services. Other sites include community mental health centers, inpatient and outpatient settings for substance abuse and psychiatric clients, hospice, support services for victims of domestic violence and abuse and those with HIV/AIDS, facilities for at-risk youth or delinquents, hospital programs for cancer patients and their families, pastoral care, and private practice settings. Students are encouraged to select one or more sites that fit their professional interests and career goals.
Master's students are required to complete a minimum of 100 hours for practicum; most log 150 hours or more. Internship is a two-semester, 600-hour experience.