The Counseling Center's training program for doctoral practicum students in JMU's Psy.D. program is intended to assist students in their ongoing development as psychologists. The practicum rotation experience at the Counseling Center emphasizes the development of short-term therapy skills in individual and group counseling experiences. The practicum provides an opportunity for students to develop and enhance their counseling skills in a university counseling center setting.


Students wishing to complete a practicum at the Counseling Center must:

  • be currently enrolled in the Psy.D. program at JMU and be in good standing
  • have successfully completed the program's preparatory counseling courses;
  • have permission of the program coordinator; and
  • obtain their own personal professional liability insurance by the beginning of the practicum experience.

The primary focus of the practicum experience is developing and enhancing clinical knowledge and skills within a short-term college counseling center service model.

A typical week may look like:

  • Individual counseling 3-5 hours
  • Specialized workshops 1 hour
  • Supervision of workshops .5 hour
  • Individual supervision 1 hour
  • Practicum class 2 hours
  • Administrative tasks 2 hours

Practicum students are expected to abide by the established policies and procedures of the Counseling Center and the ethical standards of psychologists.

Learning Objectives

Students completing a Psy.D. practicum at the Counseling Center will have the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in a variety of areas:

  • operational/agency factors related to work in a university counseling center
  • individual and group counseling
  • professional/ethical behavior in interactions with colleagues and clients
  • engaging in the supervision process
  • personal qualities relevant to effective psychological practice
Selection Process

Students interested in pursuing a practicum at the Counseling Center should discuss this possibility with their Program Coordinator. Interested students for the Fall 2024 Semester should submit a CV along with a cover letter indicating their interest in our site along with 1-3 goals for their training experience before the end of July 2024. Please submit all application materials via email to Paul Pohto, PsyD, Licensed Clinical Psychologist at Interviews and selection process for the Fall 2024 Semester will be scheduled in early August 2024. The Counseling Center typically takes 2-3 Psy.D. practicum students each semester.


Questions about Psy.D. practicum experiences at the Counseling Center should be directed to:

Paul Pohto, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Coordinator of Psy.D. Training
Counseling Center, MSC 0801
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
phone: 540-568-6552

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