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Clinical Practicum (Internships)

CLINICAL PRACTICUM (PSYC 313 Clinical Practicum, 3 credits)

The psychology program has made arrangements with a handful of local mental health service providers to offer supervised hands-on experience in the field of mental health.  Hands-on experience can enrich your academic learning and your career in many ways:


Contact Dr. Lovelace for more information:


With guidance from the PSYC 313 instructor, you will find your own practicum site. Here are some sites our students often intern with:

Previous and current practicum sites

Excel Youth  
Children and adolescents
At Excel Youth, students will have lots of client interaction and family contact, sitting in on individual and group therapy, field trips, community activities, and home visits.  There is the opportunity to develop a special interest group or activity, if the student is interested in that.  Excel Youth provides psychosocial rehabilitation services for children and adolescents with a mental health diagnosis.  Located in Frederick and Hagerstown, MD.
Homeless Outreach Program (HOP) of Way Station in Hagerstown  
HOP works with the Washington County homeless population both in the community and in their office. They provide case management type services to help people access their needed documentation (birth certificates, IDs, etc.), connect them with needed resources in the community, and provide onsite services for activities of daily living. Many of these folks also have mental health needs as well.  Located in Hagerstown, MD.
WVU Medicine   
Children, adolescents, and families
At WVU Medicine, students will gain research experience and exposure to clinical work with children, adolescents, and families.  Students will score questionnaires from patients and enter data in a database, conduct literature reviews, and help with data analysis.  Students can also observe therapy sessions with children, adolescents, and families and attend training sessions related to mental health and clinical issues.  If students are interested, they will have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project utilizing the clinical data and present it at a conference.  Located in Martinsburg, WV.
Berkeley Medical Center (WVU Medicine)      
Adults with mental illness and substance use disorders
At Berkeley Medical Center, students can observe and gradually gain experience in working with individuals with substance use disorders and serious mental illness.  Berkeley Medical Center is an inpatient crisis unit.  Students will shadow therapists and will eventually conduct intakes, assessments, and groups. Located in Martinsburg, WV.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County      
Contact with children, adolescents, parents, and adult volunteers
Big Brothers Big Sisters helps to change children’s lives by matching them with caring adults who can guide them on a path to success. Students completing a practicum at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington Co. would serve in the role of an enrollment specialist (ES). You will be carefully trained, and will gain a good deal of skill and experience in interviewing. The ES serves as the first point-of-contact for prospective volunteers, children and their parent/guardian. In this capacity, the ES provides an overview of the mission of the agency, guides them through the enrollment process, then develops a match recommendation for the client. The ES will also have the opportunity to participate in the implementation of the agency’s bimonthly Big-Little group activities. Applicants must have reliable transportation, must successfully complete a criminal background/driving record check, and must be proficient in Microsoft Office, including Word and Outlook. Preference will be given to students who can plan to complete two semesters of practicum at BBBS. Located in Hagerstown, MD.

Sites previously available

Hope Center at the VA       
Veterans with mental illness and substance use disorders
At the Hope Center at the VA, students can observe a wide range of mental health programs, individual and group.  Students will help with research studies and will have the opportunity to take part in staff trainings and case consultations.  Students can request particular kinds of experience – substance use disorders, dialectical behavior therapy, behavioral health, and others.  Located in Martinsburg, WV.
Heeling House    
Children and adolescents
At Heeling House, students will learn to conduct applied behavior analysis (ABA), social skills groups, and animal-assisted therapy (including therapy dog training). Students will be trained to serve as behavior technicians and will be responsible for conducting one-on-one ABA-based therapy sessions based on treatment plans for each child. They also have the opportunity to observe and/or run social skills groups based on the lesson plans for each child.  Located in Sterling, VA.
Berryville facility (Grafton Integrated Health Network)
Children and adolescents
At the Berryville facility, students can assist children and adolescents in the classrooms or in the residence halls, and can sometimes sit in on individual, group, and family therapy.  This is a secure, trauma-informed psychiatric residential treatment program children and adolescents with psychiatric and developmental challenges — autism, oppositional-defiant disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and others.  Located in Berryville, VA.