Practicum experiences in the program are separated into Basic vs. Advanced based on
several criteria. Basic practicum experiences are suitable for beginning-level (second year in the program) students. Most are internal practicum placements that are supervised by core program faculty, often on an hour-for-hour basis. For off-campus basic practica, supervision is frequent (often more than once a week). In addition, clientele are usually limited to a particular disorder or a narrow range of less severe disorders, and interventions are specific to the clinical population being served.
Advanced practica allow and expect more student autonomy. Students work with a wider
range of both diagnostic classes and disorder severity. For this reason, students are expected to
be able to make competent differential diagnoses. Supervision is structured and systematic;
however, students function with more independence in the more advanced settings.
All students participating in either basic or advanced practica attend a bi-monthly
Integrated Practicum Seminar (6091), which includes case consultation and presentations,
discussions of intervention and assessment methods, and presentations by practicum supervisors.
Assessment Practicum: Students develop clinical assessment skills, using standardized
and evidence-based cognitive, personality, and achievement tests, designed for both
children and adults. Interpretation and integrative report-writing skills are emphasized in
this year-long practicum. Supervisor: Dr. Robert Hampson. SCID Supervisor: Dr. Lorelei
Family Violence Practicum: Students develop child assessment skills and behavioral
interventions for child disruptive behavior disorders among families with a history of
domestic violence. Students learn basic consultation skills in working with staff from a
variety of community agencies (e.g., Child Protective Service, MHMR). Supervisor: Dr.
Advanced Special Topics: Social Anxiety Assessment and Treatment. Students
develop assessment skills for anxiety disorders (e.g., diagnostic, domain-specific, and
global functioning), as well as cognitive-behavioral and exposure treatments of social
phobia and other anxiety disorders. Supervisor: Dr. Jasper Smits.
Panic Disorder and Asthma Assessment and Treatment Practicum: Students conduct
assessments (SCID, structured interviews, disorder-specific questionnaires) and complete
behavioral protocols on asthma patients with and without panic disorder. Some of these
patients will be treated at Baylor University Medical Center. Supervisors: Dr. Thomas
Ritz and Dr. Alicia Meuret.
Sexual Assault Prevention Practicum: Students facilitate assertiveness training groups for adolescent girls to enhance their ability to effectively resist unwanted sexual advances.
Supervisor: Dr. Lorelei Simpson Rowe.
Children’s Medical Center: This site is Dallas County’s public hospital for children and offers several different placements to SMU students, including the Eating Disorders Clinic, outpatient therapy unit (cognitive-behavioral interventions and assessments), the Diabetes Clinic, and general consultation services. Supervisor: Dr. Sunita Stewart.
Federal Medical Center/Carswell: This division of the Federal Bureau of Prisons provides services to female inmates. Students are involved in psychological assessment, crisis intervention, drug education, consultation, and individual therapy. Supervisor: Dr. Diana Del Rio.
Galaxy Counseling Center: This United Way community agency provides psychological testing as well as individual, couples, family, and group therapy for a wide variety of presenting problems. Supervisor: Dr. Nicole Roberts.
Parkland Hospital, Consult Liaison Psychiatry: This consult service, staffed by two psychologists and three psychiatrists, serves the entire medical domain of the hospital. Students provide individual consultation, differential diagnosis, brief psychotherapy, and individual assessments on medical patients from trauma, burn, OB, medicine, and oncology units. Supervisor: Dr. Steven Krebaum.
Presbyterian Hospital Neuropsychology: This facility specializes in Neuropsychological Assessment, primarily for adults and trauma victims. Students conduct the assessments and complete the reports. Supervisor: Julian Osuji, Ph.D.
Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital: The North Texas VA offers the full range of services that are provided nationwide: assessment, intervention, psychoeducational intervention, and residential care. Supervisor Contact: Dr. Jody Rubenstein.
Dallas County Metrocare: This multi-site facility deals with the treatment and medical management of seriously mentally ill patients in Dallas County.
Most students begin their first clinical practicum in the second year of the program with an internal practicum combination (e.g., Assessment Practicum and one other split). More advanced external practica are available to their and fourth-year students.