TWC’s Counselling Practicum Program

Since 2007, Together We Can is proud to provide an environment for Master of Counselling Students to complete their Practicum requirements for graduation. Our counselling internship provides students the real world learning they need to evolve their counselling skills for future work in the field of mental health & treatment for addiction 

So far, we have been part of facilitating over 10 Practicum students to go on to become Registered Clinical Counsellors in BC and Clinical Counsellors in Canada, with a large proportion going on to provide Counselling in the field of Addiction services throughout BC, Canada, and abroad.  

At TWC our practicum program engages students in the development of counseling-related skills, ethics, and related professionalismMental health counseling internships allow students to work with counseling clients one-on-one or groups, under the supervision of a licensed professional who provides feedback and support. Not only do students learn how to apply their knowledge and professional skills, but they also develop confidence in their workplace abilities.  Courtney Nichols, provides weekly supervision to her Student’s for up to 8 months on site at TWC, facilitating learning and growth in a safe and supportive environment. 

Our Reporting Manager Matt Rands works alongside Courtney Nichols to help schedules the students appointments and addresses any immediate concerns they may have. The students meet with Matt daily to debrief about recent developments with clients, their client’s care plan moving forward, and any concerns or questions. Matt also takes time to cover the principles of recovery and some of the fundamental tenets of 12-step philosophy. 

We find the Internship agreement to be mutually beneficial, as while we provide guidance, support and opportunity for the Student’s to grow their therapeutic skills, TWC benefits from exceptional counselling services to our Client’s in overcoming addiction issues. 

It is an honor to witness the change as the supervisee’s move on to become accredited clinical counsellors in the field of mental health & addiction treatment.” -Courtney Nichols, M.A, R.C.C, C.C.C Clinical Supervisor, Mental Health Clinician  

“Seeing the practicum students growth through the duration of their stay is such a wonderful transition to witness. By the time they complete their practicum they have gained so much confidence in their role as a helper.” – Matt Rands, Reporting Manager C.C.A.C

Testimonials from Students 

Jennifer Lippa (2019) 

“Completing my clinical practicum at TWC was extremely positive and beneficial. The staff embody the words Together We Can by creating a community of support, positivity, collaboration and openness, and welcomed me from day one. I am honored to have been a part of many client’s experiences at TWC and their journeys in recovery, personal growth and mental health. I learned so much about counselling, who I am as a counsellor and the value of having a fantastic supervisor, Courtney, who continuously offered her support and experience while pushing me to be the best counsellor I could be. I will always be grateful to the staff and clients for the opportunity and experiences I had at TWC. Thank you!”  

 

Denise O’Leary, MACP, CCC (2019) 

I did an eight-month counselling practicum at TWC in 2019. I was awed by the courage and tenacity of the clients and the dedication and compassion of the staff. I learned that substances are simply the best solution people have found so far to coping with the overwhelming problems in their lives. TWC helps people find other options to substances and to have hope that their lives can be valuable and worth living. I am truly grateful for this experience. 

 

Hannah Sparkes MSW, RSW 

@SparkYourGrowth  · Mental Health Service  (2018/2019) 

While working towards my Masters of Social Work at UBC in 2018/2019, I completed an 8 month practicum with Together We Can. During this time I provided counselling services to those enrolled in the program, and I could not have asked for a more valuable experience. Learning from my clinical supervisor, reporting manager and other staff at TWC helped me to gain a greater understanding of the recovery model and grow my professional practice overall! The staff I had the pleasure of working with welcomed my knowledge and professional experience, while also sharing their own wisdom and knowledge to assist me with my learning and to ensure clients were receiving quality care.

Over the course of my work with TWC I was humbled by the growth I had the opportunity to witness. The most amazing thing I was able to observe was men gradually separating themselves from toxic masculinity and the societal expectations that cause so much prolonged pain and suffering. I seen clients start to welcome vulnerability and become more comfortable opening up about their internal struggles. I seen men cry who reportedly hadn’t cried in years and watched as they experienced relief that came naturally, not from substances or other methods of emotional avoidance. I was able to witness significant growth in terms of emotional intelligence and self compassion, which reinforced my core belief that growth truly is possible.  

Overall, I had a excellent learning experience with TWC that I draw on often in my professional practice. I am grateful to have learned from, and created relationships with, such knowledgeable people who welcomed me as a part of the team! 

Celia Yeung, MC (2018) 

I began my Master of Counselling practicum placement at Together We Can (TWC) in September 2017. From the first week onwards, I was impressed with the genuine care and understanding that staff consistently demonstrated towards clients. I was also moved and inspired by listening to clients share their personal stories, including what led them to make the courageous decision to enter an addictions residential treatment program to change their lives for the better. Moreover, I had excellent supervised opportunities to develop my skills in counselling clients both individually and in groups.  

In the eight months at TWC, I gained a lot of learnings while working under the exceptional guidance of Courtney Nichols, my practicum supervisor. For instance, Courtney was very supportive in my practicing from a client-centered, strength-based approach in addressing client concerns, which may include clients coping with grief and loss, mental health issues, relationship challenges, and improving self-care. Courtney modeled high ethical practice and provided me with a safe space to explore any area I wanted to improve on in counselling clients. She offered constructive feedback, provided ongoing encouragement, and shared many professional resources to help broaden my knowledge base and enhance my counselling skills. I also learned to effectively integrate interventions from various theoretical orientations (e.g., cognitive behavioural strategies, mindfulness practices), when relevant, to facilitate positive client change. I highly value the collaborative, positive supervisor/supervisee relationship that Courtney and I built over the course of my practicum. 

Furthermore, counsellors and other staff were readily available to assist me when I requested more information or resources related to clients’ treatment programs. Together, we worked effectively to empower and support clients on their paths to recovery that are culturally and personally responsive.  

I am very thankful for the opportunity to complete my graduate counselling practicum at Together We Can. I worked with a dedicated team of professionals and an outstanding supervisor. It has been an enriching and unforgettable learning experience. 

David Penny

David Penny is Together We Can's Marketing and Media coordinator. Learn more about him & read his articles here.

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