Practicum I: Group Supervision in Couple and Family Counseling
Practicum I: This is a weekly three-hour course designed to be taken concurrently with Practicum II: Clinical Experiences in Couple and Family Counseling. Practicum I focuses on group supervision of the clinical experiences as well as on assessment and planning procedures for counselors within the context of legal and ethical guidelines. A review of major theories and Couple/Marriage & Family techniques are applied to case material generated from the field experience of Practicum II. This course contributes to the counseling proficiency component of the program and is required of all students in the couple and family sequence.
Master's degree candidacy in counseling, acceptance into the C/M &F sequence.
Huber, C.H. (1994). Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy. (3rd ed.) New York: Prentice Hall.
Rambo, D., Heath, A.W., and Chenail, R. (1993). Practicing therapy. Norton.
Experiential and didactic
COURSE OBJECTIVES The purposes of all the
clinical courses are:
1. To reacquaint couple/marriage & family counselors-in-training with important laws and ethical guidelines pertaining to their work with clients;
2. To review and apply systemic concepts to case material presented in Practicum II, and to provide and apply adequate systemic supervision to Practicum II cases;
3. To assist them in preparing a professional disclosure statement to be given to the client during the initial interview;
4. To introduce them to the nature and role of the intake interview and systems assessment;
5. To review the purpose and structure of DSM-IV and help them to understand its use within a systemic perspective, with practicum clients;
6. To attend to larger-system constraints and to grasp the nature and importance of on-going dialectic collegial work and utilization, beginning with the initial interview and continuing throughout their sessions with clients;
7. To challenge and be reflective of their own premises and biases, expand their awareness of cultural, gender, spiritual, and sexual diversity, and demonstrate an appreciation for a multiple systems perspective;
8. To introduce a range of integrative couple and family counseling models and strategies to be used with clients (see Practicum II Syllabus);
9. To require couple and family counselors-in-training to conceptualize and present a case study and genogram of a client system seen during the practicum experience.
1. Log of daily activities
Counselor-trainees should maintain a written log of daily activities to be submitted weekly along with counseling case notes and personal thoughts and feelings of each placement day. These logs will be reviewed for the following week.
2. Counseling case notes
The counselor-trainee will counsel individuals, couples and families for a minimum of fifty clock hours during the practicum. These counseling sessions should be summarized on counseling summary sheets. Trainees should develop a system of case note taking that reflects their own personal style and is appropriate to their placement site.
3. Tapes of counseling sessions
Counseling sessions should be taped for review with the university supervisor during supervisory visits. Though the number of tapes will vary with the individual placement, each trainee should present a minimum of four for evaluation.
Note - some of the most common problems associated with either video or audio taped supervision sessions are: blank tape, tape is too slow or too fast, no sound or picture, tape is not cued up to a useable spot where the counselor is actually working with clients, tape is the wrong one, tape is unlabeled so student can not find the right tape. To deal with these problems it is important that you: 1) get a good tape recorder with an external mike so you don't pick up too much machine noise, 2) use fresh batteries, 3) set the equipment up before the session and make sure it is working, 4) label all tapes with session number, date, and client's name, 5) preview the tape prior to the supervision session, 6) cue the tape to the session you want supervision on, and 6) come prepared to discuss what you did well with the client, and what you think you might have done more effectively.
4. Written transcript of a taped counseling session
At least one of the taped sessions submitted for evaluation should be transcribed into a typed script so that the trainee and supervisor can visually analyze the cognitive and affective content of the session, as well as attend to major systemic patterns. Because this tends to be a valuable learning procedure, trainees are encouraged to transcribe one of their earlier tapes. Identification of client and/or counselor problem areas and better responses will also be noted. A format will be provided.
5. Group counseling reports
C/M & F Counselor-trainees should lead at least one counseling group that meets for a total of at least six clock hours. This can be a multi-group family session, a parents group, or other group format mutually acceptable to site and university supervisors. Each group session should be summarized on a group summary sheet, the format can be found in the Student Practicum and Internship Handbook.
6. Family Case study
The most extensive written assignments of the practicum is a comprehensive case study of one family. A format is appended to this syllabus.
7. Professional Disclosure Statement
This is a one page statement clarifying one's professional identify regarding counselor's philosophy, what the counselor expects from the client, and what the counselor can and cannot do for the client. An outline will be provided of the areas to be covered.
Students are expected to
1. Attend all class sessions;
2. Be familiar with required readings;
3. Actively participate in class discussions, supervisory sessions, and activities;
4. Be introspective, open, and receptive to feedback;
5. Be flexible in making appropriate changes in response to feedback;
6. Submit counseling and group session summary sheets weekly with time log;
7. Submit a professional disclosure statement;
8. Submit counseling tapes at scheduled due dates;
9. Submit a summary of group purpose/goals before group is begun;
10. Present in both written and oral form a clinical case study of a client seen during the practicum;
11. Demonstrate development of insight and writing skills in written assignments.
Seminar students will be evaluated on the basis of the professional disclosure statement, group assessment report, and case study. They will also be evaluated on their use of the class time to augment their own professional growth and the growth of their classmates (taking into consideration the above items, also).
Clinical credits toward C/M & F Preparation
Students successfully completing this course will have gained a minimum of 7 hours of individual university supervision, and 48 hours of group supervision. They will have completed four clinical tape presentations, and one family assessment.
Tentative Schedule of Classes
Week Subject matter Reading
Introduction to course,
Handouts Review of Family Models
2. Review of Family Models Handouts Structural
3. Review of Family Models Handouts Strategic - MRI
4. Review of Family Models Handouts Structural- Strategic - Haley
5. Review of Family Models Handouts Experiential/ Communications
6. Review of Family Models Handouts Solution Focused/Narrative
7. Professional Disclosure Statement Handouts
8. Taking and Writing Case Histories Huber, Chs. 1-3
9. Ethics Huber, Chs. 4-6
10. Ethics Huber, Chs. 7-10
Professional Disclosure Statement draft due
11. Case presentations Rambo, Heath, & Chenail, Part 1
12. Case presentations Rambo, Heath, & Chenail, Part 2
13. Case presentations
14. Case presentations
15. Case presentations
All outstanding written material due
I. Identifying Information- Demographics
Name of Family:____________________________
Members name _____________________ B.D:___-___-___ Age:_____
Members name _____________________ B.D:___-___-___ Age:_____
II. Referral Information
A. Who initiated this referral (class assignment)
B. Reason for the referral
III. Description of the interview
How do the clients appear; how are they dressed; what is the setting; any distinguishing marks or mannerisms. Do they seem to have any special or remarkable attitudes, or behaviors. Anything that will attempt to communicate to another reader the sense and feel of the persons being interviewed and how they related during that time and space.
IV. Presenting Problem
A. How do the clients see the problem ? Why are they coming to see you?
B. What attempts have been made to solve the problem, and by who.
C. What does the referral source tell you about the needed reason for service ?
D. Duration and course of presenting problem
-nature of onset
-why is help being sought now?
E. Constraints to change
V. Personal History for each member
Where did they grow up, what do they remember as significant to their childhood, who were their friends, how did they see themselves then, how did they get along with their family, who were they closest to, why, who were they farthest away from, why ? Who were their friends in school ? Are they involved in a relationship at present ?
VI. Family History - Also prepare a Color coded genogram
A. Family of Origin ( F-O )
1. Ethnicity of family - if there are changes due to marriage, how has the new transformation effected the family organization.
2. Mother, ( B-M=biological mother, F-M= foster mother
A-M=adoptive mother )
Age, and a physical description. What does the client know about her childhood and youth? What were her parents like? What was her family like, how many siblings, what order? What was she like during the clients childhood ? How did her parents meet? What is mother like now ? What kind of relationship does the client have with her at present ? Has the relationship changed over the years, and if so how and why ? How does mother relate to those members of the client's nuclear family
3. Father, (same as for mother)
4. Siblings, in their birth order (same as for parents)
5. Significant others in the F-O,
6. How did this family get along, who did their parents like best, did their parents argue, any significant events or deaths. How would the client best describe his/her family ?
VII. Human Systems Variables
Who communicates with whom and when. What is the verbal, body posture, and facial expressions (digital and analog). Is communication clear and congruent and consistent?
2. Behavior Control
How is behavior controlled and maintained (what is static in this family) How is complementarity effected? How does it constrain behavior?
3. Conflict -
To what extent are conflicts overtly vs. covertly expressed? Overall, and within specific sub-systems)? Is it expressed indirectly, avoided, or dealt with directly?
a. What is the frequency and intensity?
b. What is the process for resolution?
2. Organizing Principles
What are the major myths of the family that maintain the system? What are the strengths of the family that contribute to it's resiliency and flexibility? How is autopoices reflected in the children? How is this useful for future generations and how might this be problematic?
VII. Educational History
How well did the client do in school? Were there any years or situations that were different? How far did the client go in school?
VIII. Work History
What type of jobs has the client had? How has his/her performance been? Has the client ever been let go from a job and if so why? What type of job related skills or training has the client had?
IX. Medical History
A. Hospitalizations (physical and emotional/psychological)
B. Outpatient care (physical and emotional/psychological)
C. Drug and Alcohol History/Use (note: It is more useful to ask the question "who in your family uses ...…?)
X. Psycho-Sexual History
A. Onset of puberty
B. Dating history-experiences
C. Level of sexual experience
D. Present situation
XI. Support Systems
B. Church/ Mosque/ Synagogue
your data, then state your impressions of the family's level of functioning
and their ability to deal with their present situation. What are the areas
of concern that they present, what are the areas that you feel are of concern?
What is the interplay of the past history with their present situation
and functioning? What interventions or supports do you feel or think need
to be provided in order for the client to function at his/her maximum potential;
can you help provide that service?
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