Advanced Clinical Practice
For developing practitioners, this three-year program offers a unique opportunity to integrate theoretical and practical elements of clinical work, and to achieve a reliable, flexible, and grounded framework for lifelong professional growth. Courses are taught at the doctoral level, which means that participants obtain credit that can be applied to the pursuit of a Ph.D.
The program offers advanced clinical training and education to enhance diagnostic, psychotherapeutic, and consultative skills. The ACP program involves three years of course work, which consists of eighteen core courses and is organized into two sequences, and a clinical practicum. Student advisors are also an integral part of our ACP program.
The Clinical Practice Sequence
The Clinical Practice Sequence seeks to establish within the student a conceptually rigorous and comprehensive, psychodynamically informed clinical practice framework. Course subjects include six semesters of case-based seminars, three semesters of clinical process and technique, and diversity in clinical practice. Two semesters of adulthood disorders address neurotic, personality, and psychotic disorders as well as current theories of trauma, social disorder, and neurobiology.
The Psychodynamic Theory Sequence
The Psychodynamic Theory Sequence instills in the student an informed, self-aware use of theory in clinical practice, consulting, and teaching. Six semesters of psychodynamic psychology provide solid foundations in classical theory, object relations, self-psychology, and contemporary psychoanalytical theories.
The Clinical Practicum
The Clinical Practicum helps students acquire advanced clinical skills and competencies to function as independent practitioners in clinical social work with adults, adolescents, and/or children. Graduates are expected to be competent to evaluate and treat a variety of intrapsychic, interpersonal, and social disorders. Cases for study in the practicum are drawn from each student’s clinical practice and are conducted with individual consultation by experts from the ICSW’s faculty.
The Clinical Practicum allows flexibility in clinical training while encouraging clinical work in depth. As students progress through the program, their portfolios grow and travel with them. The portfolio consists of all case study write-ups and treatment summaries, along with an evolving learning plan. The following guidelines for the clinical practicum constitute a general plan, which may be changed when appropriate.
- Each student is required to complete three sets of three case studies. The case study may consist of a new case the student is working with or a treatment review of a case that has been in treatment for some time.
- Each student is required to carry a total of three cases in individual treatment and a fourth case in a modality other than individual treatment (e.g., couple, family, or group therapy). The student will see at least one client twice a week, and the others not less than once a week. Two clients are seen for a minimum of two years each, and the remaining two for at least 100 total treatment hours.
At ICSW, our advising system is based on our belief that supportive relationships facilitate learning. When entering our program, each student is assigned an academic advisor; the student and advisor meet every class session during the first semester to address the student’s questions and concerns. During the student’s first semester, this advisor also acts as the first clinical consultant, who helps understand the student’s learning needs and orients the student to our clinical perspective. If the student wishes, the advisor can continue on as a consultant on the first set of case studies and a treatment case. The advisor continues to have meetings once a semester, or as needed, as the student progresses in the program. The advisor acts as a mentor, advocates for the student’s learning needs, and monitors academic performance.
A student is eligible for graduation when he or she has:
- Earned a minimum of 18 course credit hours with a grade point average of at least 3.0
- Completed all clinical practicum requirements
- Fulfilled all financial obligations to the Institute