Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation & Behavioral Health Care
Fall, 2006




PREREQUISITES: A minimum of 30 credits in the M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling including PSRT 5102 and PSRT 5323 or permission of the instructor

INSTRUCTOR: Class Hours: Tuesday: 1:30-4:30 P.M.
Janice Oursler, Ph.D., CRC
Phone: (908) 889-2462
Office Hours: Tuesday: 12:30-1:30 or by appointment

Course Description: The practicum is designed for students to practice rehabilitation counseling skills building on the clinical skills learned in PSRT 5102 and other clinical course work. A minimum of 100 hours of supervised field-based experience in an approved rehabilitation agency or facility is required including at least 40 hours of direct services. Students attend weekly group and individual supervision for case presentations and discussion of issues related to professional development.

Course Goals: The primary goal of the course is to master and be able to demonstrate in practice counseling knowledge and skills used in effective rehabilitation counseling from intake to termination and case closure. Additional goals include promoting knowledge and skill in a variety of approaches to working with clients and their problems, increasing knowledge of specific human service agencies and other community resources, incorporating case management techniques in rehabilitation counseling practice, and identifying strategies to enhance professional growth and development including improving ability to utilize individual and group supervision.

Course Objectives: By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Successfully conduct a series of counseling sessions with individuals with disabilities beginning with the initial interview to successful termination.
2. Set and implement appropriate counseling goals for each session.
3. Consistently demonstrate use of micro counseling skills in counseling with clients.
4. Demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to issues arising from diversity including cultural, gender and sexual orientation considerations.
5. Use principles of human development to understand the impact of disabilities on clients and address needs and preferences of individuals with disabilities.
6. Work with clients to identify counseling goals, unused resources and missed opportunities as well as develop potential solutions to problems including developing acceptable work behavior.
7. Identify and demonstrate specific techniques for effective case management including documentation of services and counseling sessions.
8. Explain the agency’s mission, philosophy, program goals, funding sources, administrative structure, and relationship to other agencies and resources in the rehabilitation system.
9. Assist clients with crisis resolution.
10. Discuss ethical concerns in rehabilitation counseling practice.
11. Use individual and group supervision effectively to promote personal growth.
12. Describe a plan for personal professional growth and development.

Required Texts:

Egan, G. (2006). The skilled helper (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.

Egan, G. (2006). Exercises in helping skills (8th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Co.

At the discretion of the instructor, other articles from other sources may be assigned in addition to the textbook readings.

Note: Books are available on-line from Matthews Bookstore at
You can also order by phone at (973) 643-5440 or (800) 791-2665.

Other Required Materials: It is your responsibility to have a tape recorder for audio taping and to make arrangements for video taping of counseling sessions.

You may be required to travel to campuses at other times than the course meeting time in order to participate in clinical supervision meetings.

Course Requirements:

Clinical practicum performance/weekly counseling reports 50%
Case presentations 15%
(includes written case summary for Case Presentation)
Crisis intervention assignment 5%
Seminar Participation/Skill Development 5%
Internship project research paper and plan 15%
Final evaluation and personal development plan 10%

Grade Interpretation:

A = 92-100
B = 83-91
C = 75-82
D = 69-74
F = 68 or below
I = Incomplete (This grade is given only in extraordinary circumstances.
Typically, failure to complete assignments will result in a failing grade.)

Note: This is a required course for the M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling and for the Professional Counseling track in the M.S. in Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Failure to pass the course will require retaking the course. This is an elective course for the M.S. in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Leadership track. Students from this track who fail the course may retake the course or discuss with their advisor taking another elective. A grade of “C” or better is required to pass this course. Students must pass the clinical practice component of the course in order to have their other work considered for grading. Students who do not pass this portion of the course will not receive a passing grade for the course.

Course Evaluation: This course and the quality of Instruction will be evaluated at the end of the semester using the SHRP student evaluation survey. A peer evaluation system established by the Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health Care is also used to evaluate the quality of both course materials and instructional methods. As part of the peer review process, other faculty from the Department may attend class sessions to observe the course.


Students are encouraged to discuss requests for accommodation with the Instructor.
Information about supported education services is available from Michele Mullen at (908) 889-2513 or e-mail at You can also contact the Disability Compliance Coordinator, Karine Pierre-Pierre, at (973) 972-8594.

Additional Information on Course Requirements: There are two major components to the practicum. One is the practicum clinical performance, and the other is the practicum seminar performance including case presentations and other written assignments.

Practicum Clinical Performance: The following are required for the practicum:

1. Complete a minimum of 100 hours at the practicum site including at least 40 hours of direct service with clients over the course of the practicum. It is recommended spending two full work days per week in practicum work at the site although alternative work schedules may be arranged with the approval of the agency and the practicum course instructor. The 100 hours emphasizes working with clients, and students should document at least 40 hours of direct service with clients over the course of the practicum. Be sure to describe your direct service activities with amount of time spent using the Practicum Log: Weekly Summary.

2. Review the Clinical Practicum Handbook to make sure you are completing all practicum requirements.

3. Keep a Practicum Site Time Sheet and a Practicum Daily Time Log documenting the number of hours that you work in the practicum each week and the specifics of the work you have done during the week. Your on-site supervisor must initial the Practicum Site Time Sheet each week and sign this form at the end of the practicum. Give a copy to the practicum clinical supervisor and submit the original to the practicum instructor as announced in class.

4. Participate in weekly individual supervision with the practicum clinical supervisor for a minimum of one hour per week for individual supervision or a minimum of 1-1/2 hours per week for group supervision. Review audio and videotapes before the meeting. Bring all tapes from the previous week to the meeting. Prepare for the meeting by selecting one tape for discussion in the meeting. Your tape should include examples of the skills that are the current focus of attention in the practicum. Identify about 10 to 15 minutes representative of the session and containing material either of concern or of a particular success you would like to review with the practicum clinical supervisor for discussion or problem solving. Complete the Practicum Log: Weekly Summary and a two to three page session summary per the format discussed in class. The written session summary focuses on the practicum skill(s) demonstrated on the tape including writing out five consecutive counselor responses, your evaluation of each of these responses, and identification of alternative responses per instructions to be given out each week in class. Other information to include in the summary is a description of the client and of the Egan stage you are working on. Your summary should also discuss the agenda and counseling goals for this session as well as your agenda and planned counseling goals for the next session. Use headings listed below in your summary to organize your thinking about the session. Provide the practicum clinical supervisor with a copy of the Log and your write-up each week for discussion in clinical supervision. Note: You must also give a copy of the Tape Summary and the Log to the Practicum course instructor each week. The Practicum course instructor will provide written feedback on your Tape Summary which you should share with your clinical supervisor.

Headings for the weekly Tape Summary:
a. Client Background Information including age, education, past work, disability, medication and treatment, functional implications of the disability, and reason for seeking services.
b. Skill to be practiced in this session
c. Counseling agenda and goals for the client for this session
d. Transcription of five counselor-client interchanges
i. Identification of type of response for each counselor response
ii. Write two alternative responses and identify type of response for each
e. Self-critique of transcribed section
f. Self-critique of use of skill to be practiced in this session
g. Counseling agenda and goals for the next session for the client
h. Egan stage of this client and reason you think client is in this stage
i. Your behavioral plan to improve your use of target counseling skill in the next week
j. Questions for clinical supervision

The weekly Tape Summary will be evaluated on the following factors: 1) timeliness, 2) quality of background information, 3) identification of agenda and counseling goals for the session, 4) inclusion of five transcribed exchanges, 5) identification of name of each counselor response, 6) quality of alternative responses, 7) self-critique of transcribed section, 8) self-critique of use of skill designated for practice in this session, 9) identification of Egan stage with rationale, 10) statement of counseling agenda and goals for next session, 11) your behavioral plan to improve use of target counseling in the next week. Please attach an Evaluation of Weekly Tape Summary form with the heading completed to your written summary before submitting it to the course instructor.

5. It is recommended you identify with the assistance of the practicum clinical supervisor a small caseload of clients you will follow for the practicum experience. Conduct recorded interviews for two to three sessions per week of which at least one is a session subsequent to the first. Keep a written record of each session according to agency policy. As part of clinical supervision, you should be prepared to discuss your thoughts, concerns and feelings as they relate both to your work as a counselor and your participation in clinical supervision. You should be prepared to discuss all aspects of your clinical work in the practicum with your clinical supervisor and should regularly discuss cases that you have not taped as well as the tape you are presenting. Note: You must have signed consent from each client according to agency policy to audio or videotape sessions.

6. Coordinate plans with the practicum clinical supervisor, practicum on-site supervisor and practicum instructor for an agency site visit before the end of the practicum.

7. Written evaluations must be submitted by both you and your practicum supervisor at the end of the semester. Your practicum clinical supervisor will offer you an opportunity for self-evaluation before completing the Evaluation Report for Practicum Experience, the formal evaluation of your practicum work. Your written evaluation, the Student Evaluation of Practicum Agency, is about your experience in the agency. This is a different assignment from your final evaluation of yourself in the practicum experience as part of the Final evaluation and personal development plan assignment. Specific due dates will be identified by the practicum instructor.

Case Presentations/Seminar Participation: The following are required as part of seminar participation:

1. Participate in weekly group supervision seminars. Attending seminars is an essential component of participation. Students are expected to participate in seminar discussions and activities including giving and receiving feedback. In giving and receiving feedback, students are expected to focus on behavior, frame feedback suggestions in positive terms and maintain a professional approach.

2. Read content assignments in the textbook and other readings as assigned by the instructor. Complete assignments in the exercise manual and be prepared to discuss them in the seminar. In reading assignments and completing exercises, consider how you could use these concepts with your clients.

3. Case Presentation: Conduct a clinical case presentation according to the Case Presentation Outline to be distributed by the instructor. Your presentation should include a videotape or audiotape of your work with the client. Your presentation must also include a comprehensive written case summary. Presentations are to be about 45 minutes in length. Case presentations will be evaluated on the following criteria:
a. Clarity and comprehensiveness of case history.
b. Evaluation of psychosocial and family issues.
c. Conceptualization of key rehabilitation issues.
d. Development of rehabilitations goals including relevance to key rehabilitation issues.
e. Demonstration of micro counseling skills in the videotape.
f. Quality of rehabilitation planning including evaluation of your effectiveness.

4. Crisis intervention assignment: Read an article on crisis intervention from the list to be supplied by the instructor. Write a two to three page paper summarizing the article and discussing how the content might be helpful in your practice with clients or in your agency. Be prepared to make a presentation about the article in class. Your presentation should emphasize clinical applications of the information in the article. Include the name of the article in APA format in your written summary. Reviews not in APA format will not be eligible for a grade of “A.”

5. Internship project research paper and plan: The purpose of this assignment is to research the topic that will be the basis of your internship project and to develop an initial plan for the project. This assignment has several steps.
a. Complete the web-based training on Research Protection for Human Subjects at When you have completed the course and passed the examination, print out your certificate of completion. Sign the certificate and keep the original for your records. Include a copy with your paper. Papers will not be accepted without a copy of this certificate.
b. In consultation with faculty, conduct a literature search in the area of interest for your internship project. Summarize and discuss the results of the literature search in your paper.
c. Describe your plans for the internship project including action steps and time frames.
d. Discuss the importance of your project to the field of rehabilitation.
e. Your paper must be in APA format.

6. Final evaluation and personal development plan: As part of counseling clients, counselors ask clients to challenge themselves to make changes in their lives. A basic tenet of counseling is to be willing to do ourselves that which we are asking our clients to do. In planning to promote your own personal change and growth, use the principles from the Egan book to consider and formulate a personal development plan that you could implement as part of the internship experience. Your plan should include what you have learned in the practicum and how the practicum has influenced your personal development and practice as a rehabilitation counselor. Your plan should be expressed in three to five pages.

Note: Completion of the practicum course is a prerequisite to starting the internship.

Fall, 2006

Note: After the practicum starts, sessions will be divided into two parts. One part will focus on content issues to assist in the development of advanced counseling skills and increased counseling effectiveness. Readings from the textbook and exercises from the workbook will be assigned to accompany the content section. Bring the workbook to class each week. The other part will focus on informal and formal case presentations. It is important to read the assignments before each class to be prepared to participate in class discussions.


9/6 Overview of course and practicum requirements
Focus content topics: Overview of the helping model and goals of helping
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 1, 2

9/13 Focus content topic: Basic communication skills
Values in counseling
Ethical challenges
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 3, 4

9/20 Focus content topic: Active listening, communicating and checking understanding
The art of probing and summarizing
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 5, 6, 7

9/27 Focus content topic: Stage I of the Helping Model
Advanced communication skills
Helping clients tell their stories
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 8

10/04 Discussion of internship research plans
Focus content topic: The reluctant client and the nature of challenging
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 9

10/11 Focus content topic: The reluctant client and the nature of challenging
Specific challenging skills
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 10, 11

10/18 Focus content topic: Helping clients work on the right thing
Principles of leverage
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 12, 13

10/25 Focus content topic: Stage II of the Helping Model
Helping clients determine what they need and want
Identifying and choosing goals
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 14, 15

11/1 Focus content topics: Moving from possibilities to choices
Developing commitment
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 16, 17

11/8 Focus content topic: Crisis Intervention
Crisis Intervention presentations
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 18, 19
Crisis intervention assignment due

11/15 Focus content topic: Stage III of the Helping Model
Accomplishing goals: Strategies for action
Case presentations
Reading assignment: Egan, Ch. 20, 21

11/22 Case presentations
Discussion of conflict resolution techniques

11/29 Case presentations
Internship project research paper and plan due

12/6 Case presentations
Final evaluation and personal development plan due

12/13 Case presentations
Summary of practicum experiences
Focus content topic: Planning to integrate skills into ongoing practice.

Note: Dates for specific topics may change at the instructor’s discretion.

Rev. Fall 2006

Suggested Journal Articles for Crisis Intervention Assignment

Ovid Full Text Journals

Cook, J. M., Schnurr, P. P., & Foa, E. B. (2004). Bridging the gap between posttraumatic stress disorder research and clinical practice: The example of exposure therapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. 41, 374-387.

Hepp, U., Wittmann, L., Schnyder, U., & Michel, K. (2004). Psychological and psychosocial interventions after attempted suicide: An overview of treatment studies. Crisis: Journal of Crisis Intervention & Suicide. 25(3),108-117.

Lating, J. M., Sherman, M. F., Everly, G. S. Jr., Lowry, J. L., & Peragine, T. F. (2004). PTSD reactions and functioning of American Airlines flight attendants in the wake of September 11. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease. 192, 435-441.

Palmer, S., Glass, T. A., Palmer, J. B., Loo, S., & Wegener, S. T. (2004). Crisis intervention with individuals and their families following stroke: A model for psychosocial service during inpatient rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Psychology. 49, 338-343.

Prigerson, H. G. & Jacobs, S.C. (2001). Caring for bereaved patients: “All the doctors just suddenly go.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 286, 1369-1376.

Reyes, G., & Elhai, J. D. (2004). Psychosocial interventions in the early phases of disasters. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. 41, 399-411.

Robertson, M. F., Humphreys, L., & Ray, R. (2004). Psychological treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: Recommendations for the clinician based on a review of the literature. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 10, 106-118.

Academic Search Premier

Cook, S. H., Clancy, C., & Sanderson, S. (2004). Self-harm and suicide: Care, interventions and policy. Nursing Standard, 18(43), 43-54.

Dattilio, F.M. (2001). Crisis intervention techniques for panic disorder. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 55, 388-416.

Elliott, D. E., Bjelajac, P., Fallot, R. D., Markoff, L. S., & Reed, B. G. (2005). Trauma-informed or trauma-denied: Principles and implementation of trauma-informed services for women. Journal of Community Psychology, 33, 461-477.

Fucilla, R. (2005). Post-crisis intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 14, 44-52.

Gelman, C. R., & Mirabito, D. M. (2005). Practicing what we teach: Using case studies from 9/11 to teach crisis intervention from a generalist perspective. Journal of Social Work Education, 41, 479-494.

MacDonald, C. M. (2003). Evaluation of stress debriefing interventions with military populations. Military Medicine,168, 961-968.

Myer, R. A., & Moore, H. B. (2006). Crisis in context theory: An ecological model. Journal of Counseling & Development, 84, 139-147.

Vogel, J. M., Cohen, A. J., Habib, M. S., & Massey, B. D. (2004). In the wake of terrorism: Collaboration between a psychiatry department and a center for emergency medical services (EMS) to support EMS workers and their families. Families, Systems & Health: The Journal of Collaborative Family HealthCare, 22, 35-46.

Guidelines for Case Presentations

The case presentation is one of the practicum’s major learning components. The case presentation focuses on your use of counseling skills with a client. You will be preparing both a comprehensive written report and a verbal presentation. Use headings in your written report to identify the content you are presenting. Be sure that confidentiality is preserved in your report and presentation. It is essential to proofread your report. Correct grammar, usage and spelling are expected.

Your presentation should include:
1. Background and Case history: You may wish to use the format from the Rehabilitation Services and Resources course. Include information such as:
a. Presenting issues
b. Information about the client’s disability, treatment, and functional limitations.
c. Educational and vocational background.
d. Family constellation and relevant history.
e. Client’s support system in the community.
f. Cultural and gender issues.
g. Client strengths related to vocational rehabilitation.

2. Case conceptualization: Use Egan’s model to specify the stage(s) of Egan’s model your client is working through in your tape. This is your working model for your recommendations about current interventions with the client and planning for the future. You should refer to client data that supports your identification of stages.

3. Rehabilitation Agenda/Goals/Objectives: What is the agenda including the rehabilitation goals and objectives for the session you are presenting? Remember objectives are stated in behavioral terms and must be observable and measurable. What was your rationale for these goals and objectives? Consult the charts on pages 240 and 293 of the text.

4. Consultation with class members: Identify specific questions and issues for consultation with your peers during your presentation.

5. Specific counseling skills: What specific counseling skills did you use in the tape you are presenting? Give at least one example of skills used effectively and identify what made your use of each skill effective. Give at least one example of specific skill use you would like to improve and your plans to do this. Be specific.

6. Evaluation and Future Plans: What is your overall evaluation of your work with your client in this session? Be sure to include strengths as well as any areas you want to improve. What are your goals and objectives for future work with your client? What will be your agenda for the next session with this client? You may find the charts on pages 161 and 217 of the text helpful in making this assessment and identifying areas for future work with your client.

PSRT 6011: Practicum in Counseling
Evaluation of Weekly Tape Summary

Name: Week/Date:

Agency: Target Skill(s):

Tape Summary Area Possible Points Your Points Comments
Timeliness. 2
Quality of background information including medical info. & functional implications 2
Agenda and counseling goals for client for the session. 2
Five transcribed exchanges. 1
Name of type of each counselor response. 2
Quality of alternative responses. 2
Self-critique of transcribed replies. 3
Self-critique of use in the session of skill(s) designated for practice. 3
Egan stage and substage with rationale. 2
Statement of counseling agenda and goals for client for next session. 2
Your behavioral plan to improve your use of targeted counseling skill(s) in the next week. 3
Questions for clinical supervision 1
Total Points 25


Rev. 7/06

Last modified: Friday, 3 November 2006, 05:17 PM