MFTs In Instanbul

If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Constantinople. -Alphonse de Lamartine, 19th-century French writer and politician  The above quote is one that I frequently stumbled upon during preparation for my trip to Continue reading

A Change of Perspective

It’s only April but I am beginning to think about graduation and what my life will be like after leaving the beautiful USD campus. About a month ago I started thinking a lot about finding a job after graduation and Continue reading

The Dreaded "Comps" for MFTs

I remember last February, hearing all of the “second years” talking about “Comps” which is the Comprehensive Exam that USD MFT students take in their second year as the capstone event before graduation. I remember listening to them talk about Continue reading

MFTs in Ireland

I feel blessed that I was able to travel abroad with my cohort for an international learning experience. During Spring Break of 2012, 20 of my classmates, and 2 professors went to Ireland for 10 days. Over the 10 days, Continue reading

Marital & Family Therapy Practicum: An Insider's View


I am entering my fourth month of being at my practicum site, wow time is flying this school year! I feel as though just yesterday I was showing up for my first day of practicum and wondering, “What the heck am I doing here? I am not ready to be a therapist!” Now that I am entering my fourth month, I actually feel like a therapist; not a great one, but I see my skills growing everyday. During my sessions, I am pleasantly surprised by the information I am able to use from the courses I took last year. I have more knowledge then I gave myself credit for when I began at my site a few months ago.
The day that I scheduled my first session was filled with anxiety and nervous excitement. “What if I do not know what to say?” “What if my client doesn’t like me?” I was shocked that once the session started, I was comfortable and I knew what to say! I have been seeing my first client for months now and have built a strong therapeutic relationship with her. Although there are days that I still feel nervous before a session, most days I am excited to see my clients and feel privileged that they are willing to share their pain, struggles, and triumphs with me.
I started my practicum course at USD two months after I began seeing clients. The practicum course has made me feel so supported and shows me how much more I have to learn. In this class, we discuss some of our difficult cases and ask for help and feedback from our classmates and professor. Every Monday, after leaving the class, I have a whole new perspective on my clients and the issues they are facing. The rest of the week, I am able to try some of the techniques my classmates have suggested and see if it works for my client or not. It is fun to try out new ideas and find which theories and conceptualizations fit with my personality as a therapist.
Something I have learned while at practicum is that I have to leave the perfectionist in me at the door. All of us in grad school have done exceptionally well in school and are used to feeling confident and excelling in the classroom. However, I am a very new therapist and realize that it’s a steep learning curve. At my site, I have allowed myself to make mistakes and not beat myself up about them. I tell myself, “You are still a student, have fun trying things out!”
I see the progress and growth I have made as a therapist (and a person) since my first therapy session a few months ago and I look forward to my growth in the next four months!
– Liz H. ’13
Read more about the practicum experience and view our MFT practicum sites