Practicum & Internship Information

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Practicum Requirements

The practicum requirements of the programme include successful completion of three compulsory courses:

Through the practicum experiences, students are exposed to training of increasing complexity. While emphases differ, each experience provides training in all essential components of the professional practice of psychology including assessment, diagnosis and case conceptualization, treatment planning, psychological service delivery, outcome evaluation, file keeping, report writing, and consultation. Each also addresses issues related to ethics and code of conduct.

Practicum Hours

Students must complete a minimum of 700 hours to satisfy the practicum requirements.

ACTIVITY Cumulative Hours
Direct client contact 300
Supervision 150
Support activities 250

Yearly Practicum Timeline

The Following Timeline describes typical practicum hours and activities.

The First Year

In their first year, students enroll in several courses teaching basic assessment and interviewing skills, i.e., Psyc 615/616, 617/618, and 780. Each course has a didactic, classroom portion though students also practice skills with other students and some clinical cases. They receive their first practical supervision in these courses that prepare them for psychotherapy training in the second year.

The Second Year

In their second year, students enroll in Practicum 1 (Psyc-706) and Practicum 2 (Psyc-620). At present, Practicum 1 and Practicum 2 are taken simultaneously during the second academic year (at one time, Practicum 1 was often undertaken during the summer between years 1 and 2; for various reasons this is no longer practical) two days/week for a total of 512 hours (32 weeks x 2 days/week x 8 hours/day). To give students a strong base in psychotherapy, this intensive practicum is completed in the department’s “in house” clinic operated collaboratively with the McGill University Counseling and Mental Health Service. Training is provided at a level commensurate with each student’s stage of development, which progresses through the year. This is an approximate breakdown of hours (see below for definitions):

ACTIVITY Hours % Total HRS
Direct client contact 200 39
Supervision 103 (including 77 individual) 20 / 15
Support Activities 209 41

The Third Year

In their third year, students enroll in Practicum 3 (Psyc-732) that involves 256 hours of training (32 weeks x 1 day/week x 8 hours/day). To provide breadth of training and initial specialization, this occurs in an external hospital or clinic site. Students discuss their training goals with the practicum/internship coordinator during the fall of their second year and apply for an external placement for the following year. Placement offers are made early in the new year on APPIC match day. Students are expected to display a greater sense of confidence and autonomy in their clinical work in Practicum 3, which may also involve supervision of junior practicum students. This is an approximate breakdown of hours (see below for definitions):

ACTIVITY Hours % Total HRS
Direct client contact 100 39
Supervision 51 (including 38 individual) 20 / 15
Support Activities 105 41

The Fourth Year and Above

In their fourth year, students can enroll in the optional Practicum 4 (Psyc-733) that involves 256 hours of training (32 weeks x 1 day/week x 8 hours/day) similar to Practicum 3.

Alternatively, they can begin their one-year predoctoral internship (Psyc 707 & 708). This can be completed either as a full-time one year experience or two half-time experiences in different years. If the student wants to complete their internship within the McGill Psychology Internship Consortium (MPIC) this must be done as two half-time experiences in different years. If they want to complete their internship locally outside the MPIC network or outside Montreal, they usually apply through the APPIC match program.

Overall, the internship is a minimum 1600 hour experience with at least 400 hours of direct client contact and 200 hours of supervision, 150 of which should be individual supervision.

These terms are defined as:

Direct client contact refers to face-to-face clinical activity (e.g., assessment, intervention, consultation) with a client OR a member of their personal network (e.g., teacher, parent, employer). Other forms client contact such as talking with them on the telephone might count if the activity involves the delivery of psychological services.

Individual supervision refers to one-on-one supervision provided by a licensed psychologist or other licensed health care professional who has the primary legal responsibility for the clinical activity.

Support activities refer to note keeping, report writing, file management, case presentations or consultation that aren’t included as part of supervision, attending rounds, treatment planning, reading and learning about new testing and treatment methods, etc.