Training Activities

Adler Community Health Services

Practicum Training Activities

The ACHS service delivery model involves developing partnerships with community agencies who serve underserved and disadvantaged populations and providing on-site behavioral health services at those partner sites. Therapy externs provide service at partner sites, receive supervision and participate in meetings throughout the practicum. Therapy externs are expected to provide at least 1,000 hours over the course of the training year, for an average of 20 hours per week including two days at a community site and four hours for supervision and meetings.

Therapy practicum activities include:


  • The extern will spend 16 hours per week (2 eight-hour days) performing individual, couple, family, and/or group psychotherapy (300 hours total)
  • Consultation and/or psycho-education services as approved by supervisor
  • Activities will be conducted at one of more of ACHS' community-embedded training partners


  • Individual Supervision with a LMFT-supervisor - 1 hour weekly
  • Group Supervision with site supervisor - 1 hour weekly 

Didactic Training

  • Therapy Didactic  -  1 hour weekly
  • Therapy Case Conference  -  1 hour weekly

Additional Detail on Supervision

The Couple and Family Services Program is committed to relational/systemic-oriented supervision. The CFS therapy externs will receive supervision from an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate each week in which they are seeing clients. Additional supervision may be provided by AAMFT Approved Supervisor equivalents or state approved supervisors. The CFS therapy externs will receive one hour of individual supervision (one supervisor with one or two supervisees) and one hour of group site supervision (one supervisor and eight or fewer therapy externs) with an emphasis on supervision utilizing observable data.

Each therapy extern is assigned to a licensed clinical supervisor. The licensed clinical supervisor of a case is the legal and ethical owner of the case.  Therapy externs may seek consultation with other clinicians, but all clinical decisions are the responsibility of the licensed clinical supervisor of the case. The licensed clinical supervisor is ultimately liable for each case and for decisions rendered about each case. In pressing circumstances, all ACHS staff clinicians are available to provide opinions, advice and recommendations about a case if a therapy extern’s supervisor is not available at that moment, but the ultimate arbiter in decisions relating to a case is the therapy extern’s assigned licensed clinical supervisor.

Therapy externs should make every effort to video/audio record the therapy sessions.  After the case supervisor reviews the recorded session, the therapy extern will erase the session.  Session recordings are only permissible with informed consent from the client and when HIPPA compliant recording technology is used.  Digital audio recorders are provided for therapy externs.

CFT Doctoral students who have completed the AAMFT 30-hour Fundamentals of Supervision course and are under ongoing supervision of supervision by a current AAMFT Approved Supervisor Mentor may be given an opportunity to provide secondary supervision to Master level CFS therapy externs, if available.

Developing a Professional Identity

Therapy externs are expected to approach all aspects of the program with appropriate professional disposition. Examples of appropriate professional dispositions include but are not limited to the following: therapy externs must demonstrate a commitment to personal and professional growth; evidence appropriate attention to self?care (including voluntary personal therapy if indicated); evidence an obvious openness to clinical supervision and feedback; demonstrate respect, integrity, honesty in interactions with clients, peers, and supervisors, and follow strict adherence to ethical and legal codes of practice and behavior.

Therapy externs are expected to be mindful with respect to the differences of others. Supervision and clinical discussions will invite an open airing of thoughtful and responsible expressions of opinion and intellectual position. Philosophical difference and disagreement is not only permissible, it is welcome. However, views of intolerance and/or bigotry are both disrespectful and unprofessional and they will be prohibited. Discrimination with respect to gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, physical ability and religious preference is unethical in our professional roles and unlawful in educational settings.

Each activity of the program is designed to afford an opportunity for therapy externs to work toward the professional identity of a couple and family therapist. Therapy externs are encouraged to see their supervisors as mentors toward this end and to support each other with this identity shift.

Core Clinical Training Team

  • Kevin Osten-Garner, Psy.D., Executive Director
  • Mary Pfeiffer, Ph.D., Director of Training
  • Christine Beecroft, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator of Community Mental Health
  • Joel D. Carnazzo, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator of Primary Care
  • Kelley McKeever, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator of School-Based
  • Melanie Mitchell, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist
  • Maryah Qureshi, LMFT, Coordinator of Child & Family Program
  • Jennifer Schmidt, Psy.D., Staff Psychologist, Coordinator of Forensic