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The Clinical Training Program at The College of New Jersey’s Mental Health Services (TCNJ MHS)

Applications for practicum and internship positions for the academic year 2021-2022 may be submitted on or after December 1, 2020.  Please see further instructions below.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Completion of 24 graduate credit hours in counseling or psychology prior to the start of the practicum or internship
  • Pre-master’s students are expected to be able to provide 21-24 on-site hours per week (approximately 3 days) whereas pre-doctoral students are expected to be able to provide at least 16-18 (with a max of 32) on-site hours per week.
  • Available to attend a mandatory orientation program during the last week of August
  • Available every Thursday from 9:00am to 11:00am to participate in weekly training seminars and group supervision.

Some Additional Items To Consider Before Applying:

  • ALL POSITIONS ARE UNPAID
  • The Training Program only runs through the fall and spring semester.  We are unable to offer internships/practicums that begin in the spring semester.
  • We DO NOT offer summer internship/practicum positions.
  • We DO NOT accept pre-master’s students for their one semester (100 hour) practicum placement. This must be completed prior to beginning the required two semesters of internship.  All internship placements begin in late August and must be completed by the end of May in the following year.
  • We DO accept pre-doctoral students for one year practicum or internship/externship positions
  • We DO NOT accept applications from former TCNJ Undergraduate Students who have graduated from TCNJ within two years of the start date of the training program (e.g. If the TCNJ MHS Training program starts on August 2019, applicants must have graduated on or before August 2017.)  Any student who has graduated less than two years from the TCNJ undergraduate program will not have their application considered.
  • Post-doctoral positions are NOT currently available
  • Normal hours of operation for MHS are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.  No evening hours are available. No weekend hours are available.
  • MHS is closed during a winter break period of approximately 10-12 days from mid-December to early January.  MHS reopens on the first business day that follows New Year’s Day.  TCNJ students, however, do not return to campus until the 4th week of January. As such, client activity is very limited during this time.  Client activity is also very limited during the fall and spring break periods.  This may affect the accumulation of clinical hours required by your academic program.  Trainees are expected to keep track of their required clinical hours.
  • Client well-being is our primary concern.  As such, we ask that you give serious consideration to how your other obligations might impact your ability to manage fatigue and stress; thus your ability to to attend to clients in a consistent and professional manner.
  • If you have another job, and/or you will be taking more than one academic course per semester, it is our experience that these have the potential to impact your experience at MHS and/or your ability to provide good care for clients. Please assess your personal circumstances carefully.
  • For example, students who are taking evening classes should consider their commuting times from TCNJ to their program and consider whether they would need to leave earlier than 4:30 PM on any given weekday.

To Apply:

Submit the following documents together in a single envelope, or attached to a single email:

  • Letter of Interest detailing why you are considering our site/program that also specifies: 
    • Pre-Doctoral Students: Pre-Doctoral students have the opportunity to receive 16-32 hours per week from the TCNJ MHS Training Program for their practicum experience.  Thus, applicants must specify how many hours (16 -32 hours) they are seeking from the TCNJ MHS Training program in their cover letter.  Preference is given to applicants who are seeking more than 16 hours.
    • Pre-Masters Students: Pre-Masters student applicants must be able to commit to 18-21 hours per week at the TCNJ MHS Training Program and be able to attend the weekly training seminar and group supervision meeting on Thursdays from 9:00 – 11:00 AM.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vita
  • Unofficial Graduate Transcript  – An unofficial copy is acceptable; however, any offer for placement will require receipt of, and favorable review of your official transcript.
  • References – Names and contact information for two academic, professional, or job related references. Please include phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Letters of recommendation may be included. Please provide contact information for the writer(s).

 INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED

Forward All Materials To:

Jonathan Murakami, Psy.D., Coordinator of Clinical Training
Mental Health Services
The College of New Jersey
Eickhoff Hall, Suite 107
PO Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

or

murakamj@tcnj.edu

We will notify you via email that we have received your application and that it is under review.

Within 30 days of receipt we will notify you of the outcome of our review.  At such time, you may be requested to attend a personal interview with our staff.

With the exception of applicants participating in the PENDELDOT timeline guidelines, review of applications and scheduling of interviews is conducted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Features of Our Site and Our Training Program

  • One hour of individual supervision provided weekly by licensed psychologists and licensed professional counselors
  • Two additional hours of group supervision and group training per week provided by the Coordinator of Clinical Training
  • A comprehensive orientation program
  • Regular in-service presentations related to current topics, issues and theories
  • Equipment for audio and/or video recording of client sessions
  • Comfortable, modern facilities with private offices, meeting rooms, and kitchen facility
  • Student offices with computers that are equipped with a  secure electronic scheduling and record-keeping system (Medicat)
  • Easy access to campus dining halls, library, bookstore and restaurants
  • Free and convenient parking
  • Beautiful, suburban campus (with easy access to I-95/295). We are also accessible from NYC via mass transit. (Train, to bus, to campus)
  • MHS is fully integrated into the Division of Student Affairs which includes other student services such as Health Services, Campus Ministries, Disability Services, Anti-Violence Initiatives, the Alcohol/Drug Education Program and Residential Education and Housing Program
  • MHS is IACS Accredited (International Association of Counseling Services)

The Mission of Our Training Program

Our mission is to contribute to the development and training of new practitioners entering the fields of professional counseling and psychology and to support and enhance the effectiveness of MHS by providing interns and practicum students with a continuous, multi-faceted learning experience that addresses the knowledge, concepts, and skills needed to function effectively in the performance of their responsibilities at MHS.

The training program seeks to foster the development of interns and practicum students as clinicians and as professionals, while also helping them to function effectively as members of the MHS team. Many of the experiences included in the training program are designed to help prepare students for other types of positions within the broader fields of professional counseling and psychology.

More about Our Training Program

Training has been an integral part of our identity for over 30 years. Our training program continues to enjoy an excellent reputation with administrators and faculty from Counselor Education and Graduate Psychology programs in the tri-state area. It is known for providing a quality training experience for their counseling and psychology interns and practicum students.

Training and supervision are provided by a staff of seasoned professionals that includes four licensed psychologists, three licensed professional counselors and one licensed clinical social worker.  All are experienced supervisors who are knowledgeable about the challenging roles of the mental health professional, particularly within the college setting.   Supervisors are mindful of the developmental needs of students as they progress in their training experience as well as provide guidance and support based on the students’ individual needs.

The training program is planned and implemented by the Coordinator of Clinical Training, Dr. Jonathan Murakami, Psy.D.

Program Philosophy

Within the counseling profession, there are myriad theoretical perspectives and a wide array of counseling interventions that professional practitioners need to be aware of and/or master within the context of their own philosophical and professional orientations. The training program is intended to promote such learning, on a continuous basis, by exposing trainees to various theoretical approaches, by introducing them to related skills and interventions as well as by providing ongoing feedback through supervision.  It is the belief of MHS that the professional therapist must continually seek new knowledge and skills in order to provide the best possible support to the clients being served.

Since therapists themselves are affected by the full range of human emotions and experiences, and insofar as these emotions and experiences are likely to impinge on the therapist’s perceptions and responses in working with clients, it is vital that the individual trainee engage in a continuous process of self-exploration and growth.  The training program attempts to foster this intra-personal development as an integral part of a total professional improvement process by recognizing that therapists provide services through a combination of personal, intellectual, social, and professional attributes that affect the quality of the counseling provided.

Clients served by the MHS come from diverse cultural, ethnic, religious and personal backgrounds.  As such, another integral part of the training program is to help trainees increase their awareness of issues related to diversity and to recognize the importance of these within the counseling relationship. To this end, the training program seeks to facilitate trainees’ exploration of their own backgrounds and experiences as well as systemic and historical factors, such as poverty and racism.  These topics are incorporated as a way to understand how they impact the counseling process for the client and for the therapist as well as to facilitate learning and growth toward multicultural competency.

MHS also recognizes that the effectiveness of services rendered by the therapists and trainees is enhanced and energized by the degree to which individuals in the team are able to interact effectively and supportively.  The social attributes and skills of the trainees are expected to contribute positively to the dynamic between and among staff members; to this end, the training program also is designed to facilitate the social skills of trainees as vital members of the MHS and the College community.

Program Goals

  • To provide a balanced training environment that provides both support and challenge for the trainee
  • To foster trainee growth along a continuum from student to new professional
  • To increase the trainee’s knowledge and understanding of client issues/presentations typical of a college population (depression, anxiety, substance use, sexual assault, eating disorders, identity issues, loss and transition issues)
  • To increase the trainee’s skill and ability to assess clients and provide intervention based on current theoretical models and research
  • To facilitate the trainee’s knowledge of the core components of brief counseling models for use with a college population
  • To promote the trainee’s knowledge of and adherence to ethical standards of the counseling and psychology professions
  • To increase the trainee’s ability to articulate clearly the theoretical foundations for chosen approaches to the care and treatment of clients
  • To facilitate the trainee’s development of a professional identity
  • To develop the trainee’s multicultural awareness and competency
  • To promote the trainee’s understanding of the importance of the therapeutic relationship and of how the trainee’s personal qualities influence the therapeutic process
  • To contribute to the development and training of new practitioners who are entering the fields of professional counseling and psychology

 

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