The Clinical Placement Process: Part 1

The Clinical Placement Process: Part 1

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It’s early November, that exciting time of year when the first-year Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling graduate students begin the Clinical Placement Process. As one of these first-year students, I am getting ready to secure a position for both my practicum and my internship for next year.

Each student in the DMT & C program is required to complete one practicum and one internship.  My cohort will complete our practicum during the twelve-week summer semester.  Practicum is an opportunity for us to observe the clinical process and begin to facilitate groups on our own.  Practicum also prepares us for our internships, which last the duration of our second year.  One of the great things about Columbia’s program is that it requires the completion of a practicum and an internship, so I have two opportunities to work with two entirely different populations.  This is beneficial as I gain exposure to two entirely different situations, preparing me as a future dance/movement therapist.  In practicing in two different situations, I learn the art of adapting my skills based on the needs of my clients.

The process begins with a meeting for all first-year DMT & C students in which we are briefed on different sites at which we can potentially work.  From there, I will then work with our clinical placement advisor, Jessica Young, to choose sites that are most compatible with the populations that I am looking to work with. Another advantage of being at Columbia College Chicago is that there are a wide variety of sites at which we may complete our internships.

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After meeting with my advisor and selecting my internship sites, I will begin the interviewing process in January.  Having the opportunity to interview at these different sites is beneficial for a couple of reasons. One, I will begin to understand how the interviewing process will work after graduate school when I am interviewing for a job.  Two, I will have an opportunity to ask interviewers questions that will guide me in determining which site would be a good fit for me personally.

For now, I am just getting started familiarizing myself with the different internship sites I could potentially be interviewing at.  I am excited to continue sharing this aspect of the program and will continue to do so when I reach the interviewing process!