Direct Service Activities

Individual Psychotherapy

Externs generally are responsible for 12 individual therapy hours per week, with reductions made to individual therapy if/while participating on a rotation (more details are below). Externs may request assignment of cases according to particular interests and/or in the interest of acquiring a diverse caseload. Decisions about the duration of therapy and frequency of sessions are made by the client and therapist, in consultation with the therapy supervisor, and are based on client needs. The Center maintains an approximate 20-session limit on individual therapy, although extern therapists may carry some cases longer when clinically necessary.

Initial Consultation and Case Management

Externs receive training and guidance on our initial consultation process and conduct 1 Initial Consultation per week during the fall and spring semester, which also includes writing an initial consultation report and presenting the initial consultation in their weekly team Initial Consultation Review and Assignment (ICR) meeting. While we have a case manager who assists in many of these functions, the initial consultation process may also include assisting with referral, linkage, advocacy, and systemic interventions on behalf of intake clients.


Participation in outreach expands the externship and provides an opportunity for involvement in a broader range of services at the Counseling Center and within the UIC community.  All externs are exposed to outreach in the fall semester by attending the first 9 sessions of the Outreach seminar along with the interns and are expected to participate in the provision of outreach programs during their practicum year.

Specialized Rotations

Externs may participate in one of the following (optional) rotations:

  • Interpersonal Process Group Therapy: During the fall semester, externs process observe two psychologists conducting a 90-minute therapy group. In the spring semester, externs then co-facilitate the group with one of the psychologists. If the extern on this rotation has not had a graduate level group therapy course, additional readings will be provided and required for participation in this rotation. Note that this rotation requires additional time commitment to the externship.
  • Mind Body (spring semester): Co-facilitation of 2-3 comprehensive, four-week coping skills based outreach programs. The Self-Compassion Workshop series consists of four 90-minute weekly workshops that focus on how to be mindful when you are struggling and how to treat yourself with kindness. The Koru Mindfulness Workshop series consists of four 75-minute weekly workshops that focus on teaching mindfulness, meditation, and stress management skills
  • PSCH 386 Role Play supervisor: This rotation is focused on supervision/teaching experience and might be a particularly good fit for an extern interested in growing supervisory skills, teaching, or serving in an administrative role in a counseling center in the future. The extern on this rotation serves as a role play supervisor for a Paraprofessional Counseling Skills class taught by a UIC Counseling Center staff member. The extern will oversee a group of students weekly as they role play the skills taught on that particular week. The extern supervisor will be responsible for providing in-person feedback, evaluations and grade for each student in their group, in consultation with the class professor.