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Practicum & Examination Requirements

Clinical Practicums

Students complete four internal practicums at the Family Therapy Clinic at the Brief Therapy Institute. During this practicum sequence students see their own clients and are supervised in teams and individually. Details regarding practicum and the department clinic are available in the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Brief Therapy Institute. Policies and Procedures are required reading and understanding of all policies and are available online. In depth discussions of all policies will be a part of internal practicums.

Background checks and fingerprinting are required of ALL students and must be completed during the first two weeks of enrollment. Students will contact the DFT Internship Coordinator for detailed information on these procedures.

For detailed information regarding the practicum requirement please see the catalog.

Portfolios and Evaluations

As a requirement of completing the doctoral program, a student must submit for faculty evaluation two separate capstone portfolios and must complete an Annual Review.. The Clinical portfolio requirement is designed to help students become better able to present their work in professional contexts, such as seeking employment and academic exchange. Students must pass the entire Clinical Portfolio, the presentation component and written component, prior to commencing their Internship. The Academic/Research Portfolio encompasses a professional presentation and a publication. Both must be completed prior to the dissertation final defense. An Annual Review must be completed each of the first three years of the program.

  • Each portfolio is intended to address major training and academic goals of the program. Successful completion of each successive portfolio indicates that the student is able to plan, undertake, and complete increasingly sophisticated projects, requiring independence of both thought and motivation.
  • For detailed information regarding the practicum requirement please see the CAHSS catalog.

Client Contact Hours

In order to graduate, all students must document that they have a minimum of 1000 hours of appropriately supervised direct client contact hours. At least 500 of the 1000 required hours must be with couples and/or families present in the room.

Doctoral students who can document that their previous supervised clinical practice is comparable to that which would be received in a COAMFTE accredited program may petition the program to waive some of the required 1000 direct client contact hours. However, waiving part of this client contact hour requirement does not release a student from completing all of the practicum or internship requirements of the program. In order for a waiver request to be approved, the student must also provide a copy of their supervisor's vita and credentials. In order for their supervision to count, these credentials must indicate that the previous supervisor is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, is a licensed MFT, received training in MFT supervision, is an AAMFT clinical member, and is recognized by a state regulatory body as being an equivalent MFT supervisor.

If a waiver request is approved, students still are required to document 100 in-the-room client contact hours with individuals, couples, and/or families during their time as a student in the program before beginning clinical internship. At least 50 of these hours must be accrued at the Brief Therapy Institute (BTI) and practicum hours may be included in the total. In order to count, all direct client contact hours must be supervised by AAMFT Approved Supervisor, who will sign and document that the hours submitted are accurate. Students must follow all BTI policies and procedures.

Documentation of client contact and supervision hours must include the date, type of session (i.e., family, couple, or individual), length, and location of each session. Students must have written case notes for all sessions listed. The necessary forms are available online at the CAHSS student resources website. Students must submit their completed forms to the internship Coordinator at the end of each term to ensure progress is recorded and the student file remains updated. Students must submit to the Internship Coordinator the original signed copy of the completed forms with all hours totaled and with all signatures in BLUE. Students must keep a copy of all completed and signed forms during their entire program and for future licensure needs.

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