Graduate Counselling and Applied Psychology (GCAP) 681

Counselling Practicum I (Revision 1)


Delivery Mode: Paced Study, online, virtual intensive seminars, and field placement.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Graduate Studies

Prerequisite: GCAP 631, GCAP 632, GCAP 633, GCAP 634, GCAP 635, GCAP 671

Precluded Courses: GCAP 685

Faculty: Faculty of Health Disciplines

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GCAP 681: Counselling Practicum I provides learners with the first semester of an extensive practicum experience (GCAP 682 provides the second semester of the Counselling Practicum experience). GCAP 681 introduces learners to counselling practice, with a specific focus on the application of counselling skills in a supervised applied practice context. As learners move through the practicum course, they will have an opportunity to integrate content (i.e., counselling theories, ethics, cultural diversity) that they have learned in previous GCAP courses into applied practice; increase skills in managing workplace demands in counselling agencies; and build the foundation for lifelong professional development and reflective practice.

The practicum placement includes direct service experience in both individual counselling and group work. The GCAP 681 course work compliments the clinical supervision provided at the practicum site by addressing a range of issues related to counselling practice. Through both field placement and course activities, learners will become familiar with a variety of professional activities (e.g., record keeping, supervision, referral processes, collaboration, and professional development) and variety of professional resources (e.g., assessment and intervention processes, a wide range of professional resources, and research). Ongoing development as a practicum student and as a counselling professional is a primary focus throughout the course. The assignments and learning activities are designed to facilitate development of essential competencies in the counselling profession.

There will be synchronous Virtual Intensive Seminars (VIS) in Weeks 9 through 11 in which learners present their counselling work to their instructor and peers for consultation and evaluation. Participation in the VIS in their entirety is required.


The course is divided into 13 weeks and is structured as follows:

  • Week 1: Framing our Counselling Frameworks
  • Week 2: Organizational Ecology and Orientation to Practicum
  • Week 3: Therapist Factors and Professional Identity
  • Week 4: Common Factors and Client Characteristics
  • Week 5: Utilizing Supervision and Consultation
  • Week 6: Revisiting Professional Ethics; Telehealth/Psychology
  • Week 7: Case Conceptualization and Clinical Record Keeping
  • Week 8: Risk Assessment and Case Conceptualization
  • Week 9: Preparation for Virtual Intensive Seminar
  • Week 10: Virtual Intensive Seminar
  • Week 11: Virtual Intensive Seminar Debrief
  • Week 12: Dilemmas of Practice
  • Week 13: Course Reflections & Summary


Course Evaluation

GCAP 681 Counselling Practicum I will be graded based on the satisfactory completion of all course activities, with the percentage weighting of each activity as indicated. Learners must obtain an average grade of 70% overall on components graded by percentage in order to pass the course.

In addition, in order receive credit for completing GCAP 681 learners must obtain: full completion of a Formative Practicum Evaluation by the Practicum Supervisor in Typhon, as well as having all Practicum hours verified by the Practicum Supervisor in Typhon. A minimum of 200 total hours, including a minimum of 70 hours of direct client contact is recommended to be completed in GCAP 681.

Course Assignments

The assessment structure for GCAP 681: Advanced Counselling Practicum is based on the following course activities.

Course Activity


Participation in Online Discussions


Assignment 1: Reflective Edublog


Assignment 2: Theoretical and Metatheoretical Positioning Paper


Assignment 3: Case Conceptualization and Video Presentation



Formative Practicum Evaluation




Course Materials

All course materials are available online.

Other Course Requirements

Attendance at practicum intensives: Students participating in GCAP 681 Counselling Practicum I are required to attend the Virtual Intensive Seminar (VIS) in Week 10. The VIS is held via synchronous video meetings, with four full days scheduled in that week (for a total of 24 hours of live video conference). Learners are required to attend the VIS in its entirety, and learners who do not attend the entire VIS will be required to withdraw from the course and discontinue their practicum.

Video recording of work with clients: Learners are required to video record client work at their practicum placement. Each learner must present one video recording of their work with a client to present at the VIS. Learners who do not present a video recording of their client work at the VIS will be required to withdraw from the course and practicum.

Other Information

Students with a disability, who require academic accommodation, need to register with the Access to Students with Disabilities Centre at Athabasca University. Notification of the need for academic accommodation must normally be provided to the program office no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the first day of class. It is the student's responsibility to register with the Disability Centre to request academic accommodation if required and to notify the instructor that such accommodation has been requested. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate individual student needs. However, because GCAP courses are paced, all student are required to participate weekly in the online discussion forums. There are also several courses where online exams are required.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice.

Opened in Revision 1, September 2020.