Counseling & Disability Services

Clinical Psychology Practicum


Practicum Training:

The Counseling Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn has been a training site for doctoral and masters level externs for more than 15 years.  We serve a very diverse student population in terms of demographics and a wide range of diagnostic groups.  Psychology externs gain experience in both short-term and longer term therapy.  Every year we select 4-5 graduate interns from various graduate programs in clinical psychology.  We have trained students from: UD-Mercy, Madonna, EMU, MiSPP, and the University of Windsor.  A special training highlight is that we sponsor externs to attend the annual Depression on College Campuses Conference sponsored by the Depression Center at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  We participate in the Match Day in February.  

Clinical Duties:


  • Intake Assessments
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Emergency Consultations
  • Consultations
  • Outreach Activities
  • Psychological Testing

Individual Supervision: 1hr/wk.

Clinical supervision will be provided by a doctoral level, licensed psychologist.  Psychology externs develop the skill of providing clinical data based on their process notes of each therapy session.  Through supervision interns develop skills such as: developing a case formulation, learning about session dynamics including the transference and counter-transference, and identifying useful metaphors.

Training Seminars: 2hrs/wk

Weekly didactic Training Seminars use an interactive discussion format based on either scholarly articles or books but also DVD videos that demonstrate various therapeutic approaches.  Practicum externs learn how to apply contemporary theories and concepts to psychotherapy with student clients.  The Practicum Learning Objectives are organized into four units or modules and include:

1. Practicum Externs will acquire skills in Suicide Assessment:

  • Using the CAMS approach and the Suicide Status Form (SSF) developed by Jobes
  • The use of an Alliance-Based Intervention of Suicide (ABIS) of Plakun (Austen Riggs)
  • The clinical contributions on suicide of Maltsberger

2. Practicum Externs will gain knowledge of and skills in contemporary psychotherapy approaches:

  • Control-Mastery Therapy (CMT) of Weiss and Sampson
  • CCRT- focused psychodynamic therapy of Book and Luborsky
  • Self-psychology applied to brief psychotherapy of Gardner and Baker
  • Brief Relational Therapy (BRT) of Safran and Muran

3. Practicum Externs will observe and become familiar with the techniques of master clinicians:

  • APA Video of Nancy McWilliams
  • Symfora Tapes: Kernberg, Akhtar, Linehan Stone, Rockland, Smith-Benjamin, and Freeman
  • Case Consultation video: Kernberg

Case Conference (Group Supervision): 2hrs/wk.

Weekly Case Conference ("group-soup") is based on the contemporary approach described by psychologist Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea and Joan Sarnat.

  • The approach is based on group process and relational theory which results in a freer-flowing associative process, a kind of brainstorming that creates a richer emotional and intellectual understanding of our clinical work.
  • An important goal of Case Conference is to provide Psychology Interns with a feeling of protection as they present their cases, so they do not feel overwhelmed, intruded upon, or wounded by member's comments.


Our Mission:

The Mission of Counseling Services is to advance student success by promoting Psychological wellness, self-awareness and self-acceptance.  Personal counseling is the primary activity used to promote student success and wellness, but other essential activities include: educational outreach programs, providing consultations faculty and staff, training graduate student externs, programs evaluation and assessment of student learning outcome.

Counseling Services: 

We provide Counseling that is free for currently registered UM-Dearborn students.  While most counseling is short-term, counseling that spans the academic year is possible.  All counseling is provided by licensed mental health professional or psychology practicum externs and supervised by a fully licensed clinical psychologist.  Note: we do not prescribe any medications.  


UM-Dearborn's Vision Statement

Counseling and Disability Services support's the four central strategies of the University:


Achieve Metropolitan Impact

We have been a training site for the graduate clinical psychology programs in the metropolitan area for more than 15 years.  Most of the graduates are now practicing in the metropolitan area. 


Deepen Academic Excellence

Our counseling services are a high impact service that contributes to student success, persistence and retention.  In 2012-13, the seniors in counseling graduated an avg. of 4.5 years and with an avg. GPA of 3.47.  Of the students in counseling who were also on academic probation, 70% increased their GPA and 40% returned to good standing.  More than 75% of students in counseling felt that their counseling helped them academically.


Enhance Student Engagement

Mental health screenings are a way to reach many students who have become "disengaged" and reconnect with them.  In 2012-13, we screened more than 1,000 students for depression, eating disorders and substance abuse.  Almost 90% of students in counseling felt that their counseling helped them socially. 


Increased Enrollment

We assist our Admission office by attending many of the recruiting events where prospective students and their parents want to know about our counseling and disabilities services.


Application Materials & Procedure:

  • Cover Letter (providing statement of interest, including training goals)
  • Please denote the training track (Masterís or Doctoral) for which you are applying.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Readiness from academic institution (for Doctoral students only)
  • Letters of Recommendation (1 letter for Masterís students and 2 letters for Doctoral students)
  • Transcript (unofficial is sufficient)
  • Sample Report (assessment, intake) or Case Formulation write-up (redacted)

Please mail the aforementioned application materials (in one packet) to:

Debra G Hutton, Ph.D.  Licensed Psychologist
Interim Director and Training Coordinator
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Counseling & Disability Services
4901 Evergreen Road
2157 University Center
Dearborn, MI 48128-2406
Office phone: 313-593-5430