Practicum Counselor Training

The advanced counseling practicum at the University of Portland is ideal for doctoral trainees that are preparing for internship. We specifically work to create an experience that trainees can expect to find at a college counseling center internship. Our program offers intensive supervision geared toward the unique strengths and interests of each trainee (two hours per week, individual & group). We offer trainees opportunities to begin developing a specialty area in college mental health, and a diverse range of clinical experiences including individual counseling, outreach opportunities, and at times skills based groups.

About Us 

Our center is a fully integrated health and counseling center including wellness promotion services. This means that the practicum also provides opportunities to collaborate with medical providers and our Wellness Educator. We also provide a range of other professional development activities including support for competency exams, and internship applications and interviews.

Requirements for Trainees 

At the present time, we have capacity to work with two trainees each year, from the beginning of the fall semester (August) through the end of the spring semester (May). Requirements for practicum are enrollment in an APA-approved doctoral program in clinical psychology, at least one full year of clinical experience (two or more is preferred), and ability to be on-site at least two full days per week. There is an optional extra half-day to focus on specialty development.

Specialty Development

As internship and full staff positions in college counseling centers become more competitive, it is important for professionals entering the field to have skills that can set them apart. One major way of doing this is to develop a specialty area. Our program works to help our trainees begin (or continue) this process by providing opportunities to create outreach programs geared toward their interests and campus needs.

Trainees are encouraged to bring ideas related to their own interests for this process Some examples of specialty areas are substance use assessment and prevention, career counseling, violence and sexual assault prevention and treatment, identity issues, eating disorders, suicide prevention, mindfulness, LGBTQ, students with disabilities, spirituality, and student athlete issues. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide any specific opportunities, but work with our trainees to develop a program related to area of interest. Expressing your specific interests early on in the process allows greater likelihood that we can help find an opportunity of interest to you and of need in our community.

Selection Process & Applications

Our selection process has several steps and typically takes place in March of each year for the following fall placement. First, students should submit a CV, cover letter, and any supplemental material via email to our Associate Director for Counseling and Training, Clay Hartmann, PhD at All staff members will review the applications. We then collectively decide which applicants to bring to campus for an interview. We will notify everyone by email about the status of their application at that time.

If invited to campus, the interview will last one hour and include a 45 minute group interview. During the group interview, candidates should prepare a 15 minute case presentation that demonstrates their style of work. We make decisions on selection for a placement after all applicants have had the chance to interview for the open positions.

If you are interested in our program, or have any questions, please contact our Associate Director of Counseling and Training, Clay Hartmann, PhD at