Note: A Second Edition of this book was released May 2015.

A psychology student's practicum placement experience has the potential to be the most exciting time in their undergraduate training. Your Practicum in Psychology: A Guide for Maximizing Knowledge and Competence prepares students for field placement in mental health settings by providing a wide range of both practical and theoretical information.

Readers will find helpful background material such as basic psychopathology, introduction to psychotropic medication, and coverage of ethical issues, as well as illustrations of common situations they may face and guidance about how to behave in settings. In conversational, accessible language, Matthews and Walker equip students with the knowledge needed to anticipate, prevent, and resolve common difficulties that may arise in practicum placement. Numerous vignettes and case examples help readers to understand basic concepts.

This book is essential reading for students who want to best prepare for this fundamental and formative educational experience.

Table of Contents



  1. How to Maximize Your Training Experience
    —Theresa A. Wozencraft
  2. Characteristics of a Helping Relationship
    —B. Max Price
  3. Getting Started and Developing Rapport
    —Janet R. Matthews and Lee H. Matthews
  4. Confidentiality and Other Ethical Issues
    —Elizabeth Swenson
  5. History of Treatment of People With Mental Illness
    —Carol Terry
  6. A Review of Psychopathology
    —Leonard S. Milling, Phuong M. Chau, and Mary Alice Mills-Baxter
  7. Psychological Assessment
    —Lee H. Matthews
  8. Interventions: Empirically-Supported Treatments
    —Morgan T. Sammons and Peter E. Nathan
  9. The Use of Medicine in the Treatment of Mental Disorders
    —Bruce K. McCormick
  10. Special Issues in Working With Children
    —Jean C. Elbert
  11. Mental Health Professions
    —Janet R. Matthews and C. Eugene Walker

Medical Abbreviations Glossary


About the Editors