The Counselor Education Program at the University of South Dakota has as one of its primary functions the responsibility of educating and training professional counselors. These counselors will function in a variety of situations: elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, pastoral counselors, mental health counselors, family counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and a host of related helping professions.
An integral part of a counselor's preparation program is participation in Counseling Practicum. This may be likened to a student teaching for those preparing to teach in that the counselors actually conduct counseling interviews with many individuals during the final phase of their preparation. These interviews are videotaped for review by the counselor and his or her supervisor. The purpose of these tape review sessions (called critiques) is to assist the professional counselors-in-training in further development of their operational procedures in counseling.
Any and all material discussed in an interview is strictly confidential. It is the counselor's responsibility to uphold this basic ethical standard. The Code of Ethics or Ethical Standards of the counseling profession guarantee the rights of the individual being counseled over and above any other responsibility.
The USD Counseling & School Psychological Services Center offers a variety of free counseling services. Many topics and concerns that people have beneficially discussed with counselors in the past may include vocational/professional plans and goals, social or personal concerns, or a request for information as assistance in arriving at an appropriate decision. Some previous participants have merely been inquisitive as to what a counseling session really involves. This, too, is a legitimate reason since some of you will undoubtedly consider counseling as a profession.
All of the counseling sessions will take place in the five counseling cubicles located on the second floor of the School of Education building on the north end. You may participate in four (usually 40-50 minutes) or more counseling sessions. On the form on the next page, please write your name and indicate your phone number if you have one or an address where you may be contacted for an appointment which will be mutually convenient for you and the counselor.
Unless you specifically request to be contacted early this semester, you may be contacted at any time during the semester.