William Paterson University – Counseling Center

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Last Update

November 22, 2017

Contact Information

Name of Externship: William Paterson University Counseling, Health, & Wellness Center

Name of Director/Coordinator: Erica Rogers, Ph.D., Coordinator of Training

Street Address:

William Paterson University
Counseling, Health, & Wellness Center
300 Pompton Road, Overlook South
Wayne, NJ 07470

Telephone: 973-720-2257

Fax: 973-720-2632

Email: [1]

Webpage: http://www.wpunj.edu/health-wellness/training-program/

General Information

Start Date: Orientation on August 28, 2018; start day September 4, 2018

End Date: Mid-May (although may work through June if additional hours are needed)

Appropriate for:

Clinical, Counseling, or Social Work graduate students

Scheduling (e.g., required/optional days of week, # hrs per day, total hours per week, flexibility in scheduling):

Monday 10:30AM-2PM required for Staff Meeting, Didactic Seminar, and Group Supervision
Remaining hours scheduled based on trainee and office availability.
The Counseling Center is open M 8:30AM-6PM; T-F 8:30AM-4:30PM

Required level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for applicants):

Training positions will be open to Doctoral level and Masters students who are enrolled in a graduate program in psychology or social work. Current or former clients of the Counseling Center are not eligible to apply for a practicum at the Counseling Center. All trainees are required to complete a criminal background check prior to beginning their placement at William Paterson University.

Preferred level of readiness(any prior experiences preferred for applicants):

Completion of coursework in counseling skills, theories of psychotherapy, and psychopathology/abnormal behavior is also preferred prior to beginning the practicum. Preference will be given to applicants who have prior clinical experience. What we consider most important is an indication that the student communicates a genuine interest in working with a diverse college student population and exhibits an openness and willingness to learn from our setting.

Is there a stipend for externs?


Application Process

Do you permit applications before January 15?


What materials need to be submitted?

  • A cover letter explaining how a practicum at the Counseling Center would fit with your short- and long-term professional goals.
  • A current resume/curriculum vitae.
  • A copy (photocopy or unofficial copy is fine) of your graduate transcript.
  • A letter of recommendation from a clinical supervisor or a faculty member in your academic department.
  • A letter of readiness from your academic department (separate from the letter of recommendation).

How should it be submitted?

Email is preferred for all documents, but Cover Letter & Resume/CV MUST BE SENT VIA EMAIL.
If you must send via US MAIL, please contact Dr. Rogers for an alternate mailing address.

Any details of the application process (e.g., interviewing, time frame, how decisions are made):

Application deadline: February 9, 2018
Interviews will be held on an ongoing basis from 1/29/18 - 2/22/18.
If positions remain following the initial selection period, additional applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Description of Externship

Populations commonly served:

Populations Seen

College Students
Ethnic/Cultural Diversity

Common Experience

Depression/Mood Disorders
Substance Abuse
Eating Disorders
Learning Disability/ADHD
Relationship Issues
Adjustment/Transition Concerns

If any of these populations are only available to students under certain circumstances, please indicate:

Not specified.

Training models offered:

The majority of the staff conceptualize and practice from various psychodynamic models in their own work, but all staff are trained and willing to work with trainees on the theoretical orientation of the trainees choosing. Time is also spent assisting trainees in exploring theoretical orientations if the trainee does not yet feel tied to any particular model(s).

The counseling staff consists of licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, a consulting psychiatrist, and supervised graduate students in counseling, psychology, and social work. We are also a combined Counseling, Health, & Wellness Center staffed with medical doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, and health education professionals. Thus, we value a multidisciplinary approach to training and service delivery and emphasize the development of the trainees capacity to work collaboratively with colleagues and professionals from other disciplines and fields.

Intervention training experiences commonly offered:

Individual Psychotherapy
Triage/Crisis Intervention
Psychiatric Consultation
Academic Consultation
Medical Consultation
The graduate training program at William Paterson University of New Jersey is designed to help trainees obtain the necessary counseling skills to function as competent clinicians. Trainees will begin to explore their identity as professional clinicians and come to understand and participate in providing the full range of services the Center offers. Trainees will also learn how the Center functions within a multidisciplinary counseling, health, and wellness center as well as within the larger university setting. A developmental and competency-based approach is used to assess each trainee’s skill level and readiness to complete the different components of the training program.
Trainees are required to work a minimum of 16 hours per week, including Monday afternoon. Working 16 hours per week offers a 512-hour practicum experience. Depending on academic program requirements, trainees may elect to work up to 24 hours per week for a 750-hour practicum experience. Approximately 50-60% of the time will be devoted to direct service activities, 20-30% to training activities (including individual and group supervision), and 10-20% to related administrative activities such as chart-keeping, scheduling, etc.

Intake Assessments

All students presenting at the Center for the first time or after a long absence from therapy receive a thorough assessment of their presenting concerns, background history, risk status, and therapeutic needs. Trainees will receive training in conducting and writing intake assessments during the orientation period. There will also be opportunities to view senior staff conducting intakes if trainees desire. Following training and observation of the trainee’s intake skills, trainees will begin conducting their own intakes.

Individual Therapy

The majority of the direct counseling services provided at the Center are in the form of individual therapy. However, students are also eligible for couple’s therapy (both client’s must be students at WPU) and group therapy (trainees must co-lead therapy groups with a senior staff member). Trainees are encouraged to discuss any specific interest areas with their supervisors or the Coordinator of Training.

Outreach & Consultation

Outreach & consultation are vital ways the Center communicates our services to other staff, faculty, and the students within the university community. It is also an important way in which we provide education and information about various health and wellness topics. Trainees will receive a year-long didactic series on outreach and consultation in a university setting, and they will be expected to actively participate in the Center’s outreach and consultation efforts and to create their own outreach project Spring semester.

Crisis Intervention

The Center has time available each day for triage/crisis appointments. Trainees will be given an opportunity to gain experience with triage appointments once their immediate supervisors have determined that they are prepared to do so. Trainees who are seeing clients in crisis situations will be required to review the case with their immediate supervisor, or another senior staff member, prior to determining final disposition.

Alcohol & Other Drug Services

Students at William Paterson are mandated to receive an alcohol and drug assessment following an alcohol transport to the hospital or after being found with drugs on campus. These assessments consist of a clinical interview with an in-depth alcohol and drug history, an assessment session, and a follow-up session. The assessment session consists of giving the student the SASSI, AUDIT, SOCRATES, PAI, and SCL-90. There will be an opportunity for trainees to help provide this service by performing the clinical interviews, scoring and interpreting the assessments, and writing a short feedback narrative. This feedback, along with treatment recommendations, will be provided to the student at his/her feedback session, which the intern may also be able to participate.

Expected number of cases seen at any one time: Depends on the individual, but usually 8-10 (doctoral students, due to working 16 hours per week) 12-15 (social work students, due to working 21 hours per week).

Assessment training experiences commonly offered:

Intake Report Writing
Mental Status Exam
Triage Assessments
Substance Abuse Assessments
Students will have the opportunity to use the PAI, SCL-90, and other brief psychological assessments if clinically appropriate.

If any of these assessment experiences are only available to students under certain circumstances, please indicate:

Not specified.


Estimated hours/week of individual supervision: 1 hour a week or more based on need
Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 1.5 hours per week
Estimated hours/week of didactics: 1 hour per week

All trainees also attend a one-hour staff meeting/psychiatric consultation meeting each week. During the spring semester, students will also engage in case presentation/case consultation with senior staff.

Amichaelides 23:12, 7 Jan 2010 (EST)

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