A psychology student's practicum placement experience has the potential to be the most exciting time in his or her graduate training. This comprehensive guide to the practicum is a vital guide for all students beginning their field placement, and for those curious about how the system works.

In conversational and accessible language, the authors equip students with the knowledge they need to anticipate, prevent, and resolve common difficulties that may arise during practicum placement. Readers will find helpful background information on finding one's feet, developing rapport with clients, confidentiality and ethics, symptoms of psychopathology, assessment, psychopharmacology, and working with children or older adults.

This second edition includes new and updated chapters that will appeal to all graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

Table of Contents



  1. What You Get From a Practicum
    Janet R. Matthews and C. Eugene Walker
  2. Characteristics of a Helping Relationship
    B. Max Price
  3. Developing Rapport
    Janet R. Matthews and Lee H. Matthews
  4. Confidentiality and Other Ethical Issues
    Elizabeth Swenson
  5. Psychopathology and Use of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
    Amanda S. Cherry, Noel J. Jacobs, Timothy S. Thornberry Jr., and Stephen R. Gillaspy
  6. Psychological Assessment
    Lee H. Matthews
  7. Interventions: Evidence-Based Treatments
    Peter E. Nathan and Morgan T. Sammons
  8. The Use of Medicine in the Treatment of Mental Disorders
    Bruce K. McCormick
  9. Special Issues in Working With Children
    Jean C. Elbert
  10. Special Issues in Working With Older Persons
    Sara H. Qualls, Daniel L. Segal, and Kimberly E. Hiroto
  11. Mental Health Professions
    Janet R. Matthews and C. Eugene Walker


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Janet R. Matthews, PhD, ABPP, received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Mississippi following an internship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Her postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and neuropsychological assessment was at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

She is a licensed and board-certified psychologist and Professor Emerita at Loyola University New Orleans, where she has been teaching an undergraduate practicum course for 30 years. Prior to coming to Loyola, she was a tenured associate professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she also taught the practicum course.

Her professional activities have included a term on the APA Board of Directors; three terms on the APA Council of Representatives; chair of APA's Board of Professional Affairs, Policy and Planning Board, and Membership Committee; president of APA Divisions 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology) and 33 (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities); president of Southwestern Psychological Association; and 5 years on her state licensing board. She is a Fellow of APA through 9 divisions.

Currently, Dr. Matthews is an associate editor of Professional Psychology: Research & Practice. She has published more than 50 professional articles and more than 25 book chapters and books on professional issues.

She is married to clinical psychologist Lee H. Matthews, with whom she is partner in a private practice.

C. (Clarence) Eugene Walker, PhD, received his PhD in 1965 from Purdue University with a major in clinical psychology and minors in experimental psychology and sociology. His psychology internship was completed at West Tenth Street Veteran's Administration Hospital and Riley Children's Hospital, both in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Walker taught at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, from 1964 to 1968, where he was an assistant professor and chair of the Division of Psychology, Education, and Physical Education as well as athletic director. From 1968 to 1974 he was an assistant professor, then an associate professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. From 1974 to 1995 he was at the University of Oklahoma Medical School in Oklahoma City, where he became director of training in pediatric psychology and cochief of mental health services for Children's Hospital of Oklahoma.

On retirement, Dr. Walker was named Professor Emeritus at the medical school and began teaching on the Arts and Sciences campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

Dr. Walker has published more than 100 articles, reviews, and chapters and more than 20 books on research and clinical practice with children and adults.