Internship, Practicum, and Field Placement Handbook: A Guide for the Helping Professions

Internship, Practicum, and Field Placement Handbook: A Guide for the Helping Professions

by Brian N. Baird, Debra Mollen

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Acknowledging, anticipating, and addressing the everyday questions, anxieties, fears, and concerns of interns, this practical handbook bridges the gap between academic coursework and the knowledge, skills, and emotional challenges that are found in the real world of the helping professions. Incorporating the newest version of the APA ethics code, the federal HIPAA regulations, and the applications of technology to treatment and record keeping, this book contains the most recent research and literature pertaining to internship training, ethics and legal issues, supervision, self-care, record keeping, risk management, and more. Professionals and interns involved with internships, practicums, and field placements in Psychology, Social Work, Counseling, and related helping disciplines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781351067232
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/19/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 909,663
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Brian Baird Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and former chair of the Department of Psychology at Pacific Lutheran University.   Dr. Baird has supervised hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students in practicum classes and field placements and has worked in treatment settings ranging from brain injury rehabilitation clinics to adolescent group homes and inpatient psychiatric hospitals.   He brings a wealth of personal clinical experience plus a strong teaching and research background to give students the real world, practical information they need to develop and succeed as people and professionals in the helping professions.    Beyond his clinical education and experience, Dr. Baird also served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.   In Congress Dr. Baird was known for principled stands, reaching across political divides and for strong advocacy for mental health care and science.  He retired in 2011 to return to Washington state where he makes his home with his wife Rachel Nugent, an economist specializing in global health, and their twin 8 year old sons William and Walter.  In addition to the present text Dr. Baird provides courses and training on communication skills and has published books on public policy and on how families can enjoy outdoors experiences together.   In his free time, Dr. Baird enjoys outdoor activities with his family, including skiing, hiking, climbing and camping.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Preparation1
Theory into Practice1
Finding and Selecting a Placement2
Meeting with Your Instructor3
Peers and Campus Resources for Locating Internships3
Community Resources4
Choosing a Placement4
Portfolios, Interviews, and Letters8
The Rights of Applicants10
Internship Agreements10
Making the Most of Your Internship12
Get Help When You Need It13
Using This Book14
Introduction to Journal Work14
Chapter 2Getting Started18
First Impressions18
Enthusiasm Meets Experience19
The Role of the Intern20
The Role of the Professional20
Meeting Clients21
Age and Experience Issues with Clients21
Time Limits22
Fees for Service23
Is Treatment Effective?23
Altruism versus Money24
Clinical and Ethical Issues Pertaining to Fees25
Inoculation: What Not to Learn26
Chapter 3Ethical and Legal Issues29
Ethical Guidelines of the Helping Professions29
Informed Consent33
Exceptions to Confidentiality36
Confidentiality with Minors41
Dual Relationships42
Liability and Insurance48
Technology and Ethics49
Chapter 4Internship Classes and Peer Groups55
Forming Internship Peer Groups55
Models of Peer Group Learning55
Elements of Successful Classes and Groups56
Video or Audio Recordings of Sessions59
Role Plays59
Ethics in Classes and Groups61
Chapter 5Supervision63
Hopes and Fears63
Clarifying Expectations65
Frequency and Timing of Supervision65
Content of Supervision66
Didactic Supervision67
Case Discussions67
Tapes and Role Plays68
Live Supervision69
Observing the Supervisor in Therapy70
Theoretical Orientation70
Supervision and Therapy--Differences and Similarities72
Transference and Countertransference75
Suggested Guidelines for Therapy and Supervision76
Conflict in Supervision77
Planning for Future Supervision80
Chapter 6Working with Diversity84
Reasons for and Resistance to Diversity Training84
Steps toward Working with Differences87
Knowing the Diversity within Us87
Confronting Our Biases and Acknowledging Our Ignorance89
The Historical Context Must Be Acknowledged90
The Current Context Must Be Acknowledged91
Strengths Must Be Recognized along with Problems91
Ethnic Identity Development92
One's Own Prejudices and Biases Must Be Acknowledged93
A Model of "White" Identity Development93
Assumptions, Models, and Techniques of Treatment94
The Culturally Sensitive Counselor95
Culturally Sensitive Intervention Approaches96
Chapter 7Clinical Writing100
Writing Can Be Learned100
Focusing Reading to Learn Writing101
Practice and Feedback101
Common Writing Problems102
Keys to Good Writing103
Chapter 8Records and Progress Notes109
The Function and Maintenance of Records109
What Goes into Records110
What Stays Out of Records111
Progress Notes113
Structured Note Formats114
DART Notes114
SOAP Notes116
Time-Sequenced Notes117
Process or Progress Notes117
Signing Notes117
Progress Notes and Supervision118
Using Your Notes119
Other Guidelines119
Chapter 9Stress and the Helping Professions121
Client after Client, Day after Day122
How Common Is Stress among Helping Professionals?122
Sources of Stress123
The Effects of Stress125
Chapter 10Self-Care134
Time Management134
Closing Sessions136
Cognitive Self-Care136
Physical Self-Care139
Emotional Self-Care141
Multimodal Self-Care142
Personal Therapy143
Positive Effects on Therapists144
Financial Self-Care144
Chapter 11Assault and Other Risks146
The Risks of Assault147
Coping with Aggression147
Strange Behavior and Strange People Are Not Necessarily Dangerous148
Understand Developmental Differences148
Understand and Recognize Motivational Factors148
Situational Factors and Violence149
Recognize Potentially Dangerous Individuals151
Early Prevention of Violence152
Institutional Responses to Threats of Violence153
Prevention of Imminent Violence with Clients153
Responding to Assault154
Assault Response Training155
Chapter 12Closing Cases158
Client and Intern Response to Termination158
Common Problems in Termination160
Toward Successful Termination or Transfer160
Issues to Address in Termination163
Techniques for Termination163
Transferring Clients to Other Therapists164
Chapter 13Finishing the Internship167
Concluding the Supervisory Relationship167
Letters of Recommendation169
Procedures for Those Seeking Letters of Recommendation170
Concluding Relationships with Staff170
Letters of Thanks171
Looking Ahead171
Professional and Political Involvement172
Chapter 14Frustrations, Lessons, Discoveries, and Joy173
Learning from Whatever Happens173
Lessons We Wish Were Not True173
Lessons about the Lessons175
Discoveries and Joy175
Closing Comments176
Appendix AInternship Selection Checklist179
Appendix BPlacement Information Form183
Appendix CInternship Learning Agreement Record Form185
Appendix DIntern Evaluation: Supervisor Form187
Appendix EIntern Evaluation: Intern Form191
Appendix FEmergency Contact and Procedures Information195
Appendix GEthical Guidelines197
Appendix HTreatment Agreement and Informed Consent199
Appendix ISupervisor Evaluation Form201
Appendix JClinical Activities Record Sheet205
Author Index207
Subject Index210


Professionals and students in the helping professions consider internships, practicums, and field placements among the most influential experiences of their careers. At the same time, however, students also report that their normal coursework typically provides only indirect, and in many cases insufficient, preparation for their first "real world" exposure. This book is designed to bridge the gap between academic coursework and the knowledge, skills, and emotional challenges that are found beyond the classroom.

In writing this book, I sought to draw upon the best information available from psychology, psychiatry, social work, counseling, and other helping professions. Toward that end, I conducted extensive literature reviews of the leading journals and texts in each field. I also consulted with numerous faculty and supervisors in each discipline and in various types of academic institutions and internship settings. Drawing upon personal experience in the role of intern, and having supervised hundreds of students and trainees in beginning and advanced placements, I have tried to write a book that will be valuable at many levels. Whether you are an undergraduate student working for the first time in a field placement or a graduate student completing your final internship, I hope this book will help your work and learning be more effective and more rewarding.


A glance at the table of contents reveals that the book is organized along both chronological and thematic lines. The chapters have been organized sequentially to anticipate the stages interns pass through and the understandings or skills that will be required in those stages. Initialchapters deal with such things as selecting placements and supervisors, meeting staff and clients, and key ethical and legal issues. Middle chapters deal with supervision, working with individuals of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and selfcare. Discussions of termination, finishing the internship, and lessons learned conclude the book. Finally, appendixes provide examples of forms useful for establishing learning plans, supervision agreements, ethical guidelines, evaluations, and other procedures.

Because internship training and clinical work involve a constant process of self-exploration and change, the textual material of each chapter is accompanied by self-exploration and experiential learning exercises. I encourage you to use these exercises and be open to the experiences. The more one works in this field the more acutely one realizes the importance of self-examination and understanding.

Since the initial publication of this book, the response from students, instructors, and supervisors has been tremendously gratifying. Students are finding many of their questions answered here, and the practical suggestions help them deal more effectively with both the challenges and the opportunities of internships. Instructors have found that students who have read the chapters are better informed and have a greater awareness of issues and information they need to know. Supervisors have reported to me that the interns who are using this book are much better prepared and more knowledgeable than others. Indeed, a number of onsite supervisors have told me they will not supervise any interns unless the intern has read this book.

This third edition builds on the base established already and incorporates the most recent research and clinical literature in the field. The role of technology in clinical work has increased exponentially. I have expanded the discussion of relevant ethical and clinical issues pertaining to computerized record keeping, electronic communications, and even remote delivery of clinical services. Other topics that have been expanded or added include the influence of managed care on practice and ethics, the concept of vicarious traumatization as a stressor for clinicians, multimodal and research-based approaches to self-care, evolving issues in the ethics of informed consent, and new forms for use in tracking clinical and supervisory experience. As in the second edition, I have also incorporated many of the valuable suggestions offered by students, faculty, and supervisors. Perhaps most significantly, this edition reflects the able help of, and extensive consultation with, Heather Stewart, who was an undergraduate student in one of my internship courses some years ago and who has just completed her own predoctoral internship in clinical psychology. The perspective she brings as a recent intern helped keep the material fresh, relevant, and immediately applicable to the needs of trainees.

One other change has happened in my own life that warrants mention here. Since completion of the second edition, I was honored to have been elected to the United States Congress as the Representative from Washington State's Third District. While my duties in Congress have necessitated at least for now, that I leave the classroom and clinical supervision, I remain as committed as ever to the mission of human service and to the importance and value of training students in field settings. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also more convinced than ever that those who work and teach in the helping professions have a responsibility to also be involved as citizens in the political process. Our professions are uniquely qualified and positioned to offer critical insights into some of the most vexing issues facing our nation today. Juvenile violence, drug abuse, early childhood education, health-care funding, environmental protection, and even conflict resolution in international affairs have all been the topic of both study and direct intervention by human service professionals. Thus, it is my hope that while students, faculty, and supervisors use this book to help enhance the quality of their internship experiences, they will also use their own talents in some way in the public arena to expand their contributions to the public good.

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