A Survival Guide to Psychology Practicum

Since I will begin my practicum soon, compiling this “Survival Guide” has been a very good opportunity to review what I have learned so far in my classes at CHS.


As most of my classmates, since the first day of my first class of my fist semester, I have been writing down ideas, concepts and “tips” about how to be become a good therapist; how to deal with the clients, what to do and what not to do.


The list has become very long, full and meaningful (at least to me). Obviously these tips are highly personal; they deal with my issues and with those aspects of practicum that concern me the most. I have tried to be as comprehensive as I could, but again, the focus is in what I need to keep in mind; therefore, many of these suggestions may not make much sense to other practitioners.


A Survival Guide to Psychology Practicum for students

I. The Client

  •  It is all about the client
  • Learn about the client
  • Clients want to heal
  • Follow the client
  • Clients already know the answer

II. The Therapy

  •  Therapy as a Relationship and a Holding Environment
  • Listen
  • Let the affects flow
  • Don’t push the river
  • No right, wrong or simple answers
  • Encourage responsibility
  • Don’t decide for the client
  • Validate the client’s feelings
  • Bcempathic
  • Be nondefensive
  • Do not judge your clients
  • Symptoms arc metaphors
  • Objectionable clients
  • Beware of labels
  • All is present in the session
  • Therapy is a process
  • Cut back on interpretations
  • Appreciate silence
  • Be totally present but don’t turn into a full-time therapist
  • Acknowledge the anxiety in the room
  • Believe your clients’ stories, but with a grain of salt
  • Notcs-taking.
  • Be grateful
  • Intersubjectivity

III. The Therapist

  • Do not confuse your role with you
  • Watch your own feelings & fantasies
  • Work in yourself
  • Your job is not to teach, save or rescue you clients
  • Don’t try to fix, cheer up or fine-tune your clients
  • Don’t try to know it all
  • Neither better, nor worse
  • Personal Modeling
  • You’ll make mistakes
  • Be honest, transparent and candid
  • You are a human being
  • Be yourself
  • Humor

Language: English
Format: PDF
Pages: 11
Size: 1 mb

Copyright 2006 Sergio Rodrigue/ Castillo, San Francisco, Ca. U.S.A.