Practicum Clinical Training Program

Training for Doctoral Interns and Practicum Students

The Clinical Training Program of the Behavioral Health Division of the Will County Health Department is a proud member of both APPIC (Association of Postdoctoral and Internship Centers) and ACEPT (Association of Chicagoland Externship and Practicum Training). This program trains doctoral interns and practicum students from the numerous universities and professional schools in the Chicagoland area, from all parts of the United States and other countries. The training program serves adults, children, and adolescents with serious emotional illness, and often chronic mental illness.
The system of care is client-centered and family focused, and the types of services provided are dictated by the needs of the consumer and the family. These services are responsive to the cultural, racial, and ethnic differences of the populations served. The primary goal of service delivery is to address the emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs of clients in an attempt to obtain and maintain enhanced levels of functioning at home, in the school, at work, and in the community.

In addition to providing direct mental health service delivery, training staff assist with clinical program administrative functions, conduct outreach services, and participate in community projects and initiatives, such as the Catholic Charities Annual Back to School Fair and the Chicagoland ACEPT Practicum Fair. Additionally, they attend and participate in health department meetings, staffings, and events.
The training for students offers applied practice of clinical psychology in a community mental health setting, a school-based mental health program, the youth, and adult crisis programs. In addition to direct service delivery and case management, students participate in weekly didactic trainings along with group and individual supervision. Doctoral candidates and Bachelors and Masters level students are prepared for clinical practice and to be future leaders in service delivery, teaching and training. The supervisory training staff is comprised of several licensed psychologists who take a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to service delivery, clinical application, teaching and instruction. Follow APPIC guidelines for application, go to https://www.appic.org

Psychodiagnostic Testing Practicum
Training in Psychometrics and Psychodiagnostic Assessment

The psychodiagnostic practicum prepares training participants to ethically, accurately, and effectively select, administer, score, interpret, and communicate findings of appropriate assessment methods informed by approved and accepted psychometric standards sensitive to the diverse characteristics and needs of clients. In addition to administering, analyzing, and interpreting assessment tools, students learn how to integrate findings into accurate diagnoses, formulate appropriate recommendations, and provide feedback to clients and families.

Specific components of training include the examination of the elements of the clinical interview, including the principles and methods of intellectual, objective, and projective clinical adult and child/adolescent assessment. Students gain exposure to the most widely used assessment tools measuring cognitive and socio-emotional functioning and personality. With several licensed psychologists on staff, students benefit from close guidance in clinical practice, individual and group supervision, case consultation, interdisciplinary staffings, and didactic and other trainings. Practicum work in psychodiagnostics is available in Child and Adolescent, and Adult programs.
Interested and qualified persons should follow the ACEPT schedule and guidelines for application. For information go to https://www.aceptchicago.org/

Counseling/Psychotherapy Practicum
Prepares Students for Clinical Practice
The training program serves adults, children, and adolescents with serious emotional illness, and often chronic mental illness. The system of care is client-centered and family focused, and the types of services provided are dictated by the needs of the consumer and the family. These services are responsive to the cultural, racial, and ethnic differences of the populations served. The primary goal of service delivery is to address the emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs of clients in an attempt to obtain and maintain enhanced levels of functioning at home, in the school, at work, and in the community.

The Counseling/Psychotherapy Practicum prepares students for clinical practice by providing hands-on counseling and therapy experiences under the supervision of qualified and licensed professionals. Supervisory staff are committed to providing an atmosphere that facilitates the integration of knowledge, theory and clinical application. A strong emphasis is placed on developing and applying a theoretically based treatment plan with each client. Additionally, the program stresses the importance of student self-exploration and self-awareness as a valuable clinical tool.

Practicum opportunities in counseling/psychotherapy are available in the Child and Adolescent Program, and the Mobile Crisis Response Program for Children and Adolescents.
Interested and qualified persons should follow the ACEPT schedule and guidelines for application. For information, go to https://www.aceptchicago.org/
For students obtaining their Masters degree, send a cover letter, official transcripts, a curriculum vitae or resume, and a writing sample (school report or assignment) to rgray@willcountyhealth.org

Community Service Practicum
Exposure to Concepts of Social Justice and Change
The Community Service Practicum (CSP) is a unique non-clinical experience, meant to expose future practitioners to concepts of social justice and social change, and to instill in them the ethos and skill set necessary to engage in socially responsible practice. Students ordinarily spend six months on this practicum. This placement will take place from January through June OR from July through December each year. The number of hours students spend on-site will vary by project needs, but a minimum of 8 to 10 hours each week for approximately twenty-two weeks (190 to 200 hours) is required for the student to fulfill this requirement. The Will County Health Department Behavioral Health Programs develop specific projects in which the students engage.

For further information regarding the Clinical Training Program contact the Director of Training Rita Gray, Psy,D.,RN, at rgray@willcountyhealth.org or 815.727.5904.

For doctoral internship follow APPIC guidelines for application.

For practicum training follow ACEPT guidelines submit applications to the email above.