Skip Navigation

Doctoral Practicum Training



Stony Brook University is located 60 miles east of New York City on Long Island’s North Shore, with the LIRR stopping right on campus. The University was built to serve the metropolitan New York City region and provides access to higher education for a richly diverse population of New York as well as international students. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) serves an undergraduate, graduate, and professional student body of over 25,000. In all, the university is an ideal setting for practicum training, offering the opportunity to work with clients of extremely diverse backgrounds and levels of functioning, as well as varied presenting problems. Given recent campus events in national news, it is apparent that clinical care for university populations is of more importance than ever.  

Program Purpose and Description

Training goals for the practicum program at CAPS are two-fold:

  • Improvement of clinical skills for pre-doctoral psychology students working with a diverse population of young adults, providing psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • Development of the training psychologists’ professional knowledge, skills and attitudes, in preparation for their internship year.

The 10-month practicum will begin the week of August 12, 2024 and end the week of June 16, 2025. Practicum students carry a caseload of approximately six to eight clients weekly and will conduct intake assessments for each of their clients. Trainees may have the opportunity to co-lead groups  depending on trainee readiness. Each practicum student will have two supervisors for clinical work, one a senior staff clinician and the other a predoctoral psychology intern from an APA-accredited psychology doctoral program. Up to four practicum students are accepted each year.

Anticipated Weekly Schedule

Individual Psychotherapy: 6-8 hours weekly, on average.

Intake Assessments: 1-2 hours, on average. Number of intakes will be higher at the start of academic semesters as caseloads build.

Skills Based Group Therapy (e.g. Seeking Serenity, RIO, BRIDGE, Anxiety Toolbox):   1-2 hours weekly.

Interpersonal Process Group Therapy: 1.5 hours, depending on trainee readiness.

Other clinical experiences (risk assessment, brief consultation, crisis intervention): hours vary, depending on trainee readiness.

Psychotherapy Seminar:   1 hour (for psychology doctoral trainees)

Team meetings, Staff development  0-2 hours, depending upon days on site

Individual Supervision:  2 hours (1 hour with licensed clinician, 1 hour with supervisor in training)

Program Philosophy

The primary theoretical orientation of the majority of supervising clinicians at SBU’s CAPS is contemporary psychodynamic (relational/intersubjective). Practicum training focuses on developing a strong grounding in this approach; trainees learn contemporary psychodynamic theory and practice as applied to a student population. Beginning doctoral student trainees are welcome; also, many who have previously only had exposure to cognitive behavioral theory and practice have been trained in psychodynamic work with us. In practice and training, we have integrated alternate treatment modalities (CBT, SFBT, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, Mindfulness, etc.), so that we now consider ourselves an integrative psychodynamic program. For practicum students more advanced in psychodynamic theory and practice, techniques from these other modalities may be woven into our essentially psychodynamic philosophy of understanding clinical phenomena.

Our integrative psychodynamic approach to treatment is reflected in practicum training as follows: during the psychotherapy seminar, trainees review Object Relations and Self Psychological theories, leading to a strong foundation in contemporary analytic theory. While understanding personality development and psychopathology from this perspective, training also focuses on principles of change and varieties of therapeutic technique. Through didactics and supervision, trainees may learn how to hold true to a central philosophy of mind while at the same time expanding their technical repertoire, taking into consideration the presenting problems, deficits, and capacities of the individual client.

This approach is especially fruitful in working with a student population, whose developmental trajectories are still unfolding and whose diversity challenges clinical categorizations: some may come in simply needing solution-focused reminders of their strengths; others may need practice at challenging negative cognitions. Some present with complex interplays of history, culture, language and sexual orientation; while others need corrective relational experiences to challenge maladaptive internal representations of self with other. As college students, clients often have the capacities – and the willingness – to change. Thus, trainees have the opportunity to actually witness the impact of their interventions: to see what works, for whom, and why. The use of assessments is woven into a clinician’s understanding, not only of what needs treatment, but how treatment might best be utilized towards optimal change.

Psychological Testing

This practicum does not provide opportunities in the administration of psychological tests/batteries.

Application Procedures

All pre-doctoral psychology students may apply. Early career trainees are welcome, as long as they have had some clinical experience prior to attending. We ask that letters of recommendation be submitted from a supervisor (if possible) who is familiar with your clinical work.

Students from other related disciplines, such as mental health counseling and social work, with a strong foundation in and integration of psychodynamic theory, in addition to previous clinical training experience, may also apply.

* Deadline for application is June 1st

* Qualified applicants will be invited to a tele-interview via Zoom with CAPS staff.

* Accepted trainees will be expected to provide proof of liability insurance through their graduate training program.

Interested applicants should send the following:

  1. Letter of interest
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Statement of readiness from academic program
  4. Clinical writing sample (Intake preferred)
  5. One letter of recommendation (ideally from a previous supervisor)

Applications should be submitted to:

Marissa Clements, Psy.D., Coordinator for Triage and Practicum Training
Stony Brook University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Student Health Services Building
Stadium Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3100
Telephone: (631) 632-6720
Fax: (631) 632-9754

or via the NYNJADOT Externship Portal


Statement of non-discrimination (P102R):

Consistent with federal and state guidelines, Stony Brook University does not discriminate on the basis of any protected class including race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, national origin, age, disability, marital status or status as a veteran or disabled veteran in its educational programs or in employment. Title IX also prohibits other forms of sex discrimination such as harassment or sexual violence.

Complaints of suspected violations of these policies should be made to:

Marjolie Leonard 
Director for Title IX and Risk Management
201 Administration Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794-0251
Fax 631.632.9428

or to one of the Title IX sub-coordinators