At the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, we are committed to helping students succeed by gaining the necessary practical experience in their respective fields. We work with students in the Counseling and Psychology and Expressive Therapies programs to find field placement sites that are right for them. Field experience is an invaluable component of each student's professional development, and often leads to career opportunities after graduation.
Counseling & Psychology Students
Many people are involved with the training of Counseling and Psychology students, both on and off campus. As a learning team, we work together to provide the best possible field experiences for you. Our learning team consists of site supervisors, clinical practice and supervision instructors, faculty advisors, and Field Training Office staff. Find us at 3 Phillips Place on Brattle Campus.
Our main responsibilities include providing quality field placement sites, ensuring that site supervisors meet licensure and regulatory requirements, and making sure that your clinical instructors make required site visits and monitor your progress.
We’re also responsible for seeing that your experiences meet the competencies and standards articulated by program policies, and the ethical codes of the ACA, ASCA, and AMHCA.
At the Field Training Office, we’ll monitor practicum and internship documentation so that you’ll have the necessary paperwork when you apply for licensure. Upon graduation, our licensure advisor will help you in your application process.
Field Placement Process
Step 1: Faculty advisor approval
You’ll need the approval of your faculty advisor in order to pursue an internship. Major criteria include the completion of seven required courses, as well as the approval of the Clinical Skills and Counseling Process course instructor.
Step 2: Informational meeting
In mid-semester of each year the Field Training Office hosts an informational meeting for students considering an internship.
At our informational meeting, we review necessary prerequisites and provide the information you need to begin your search. You’ll receive an internship packet with a search guide, approved site list, and a copy of our internship contract.
Step 3: Understand your licensure requirements
Review the field training requirements necessary to meet licensure as either a licensed mental health counselor, school guidance counselor, or school adjustment counselor. This information will be provided at your informational meeting, and can also be found in your Student Handbook.
Step 4: Search and apply for internships
Search for approved field-training sites in our web database.
Expressive Therapies Students
Our Field Training Office, located in Sherrill Library on Brattle Campus, works closely with students, placement sites, and instructors to facilitate your learning experience. Placement sites include, but are not limited to, medical and psychiatric hospitals, community mental health centers, day programs, schools and after school programs, community centers, and more.
Support and Guidance
In addition to being supervised by expressive therapists, you’ll generally work with multidisciplinary teams and receive supervision from licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, and other mental health professionals. A small-group seminar accompanies all field-training experiences to provide additional supervision and support.
If you’re a low-residency student, you’ll receive a comprehensive field training orientation at your on-campus summer residency and can request addition advising via email.
Required Field Training Hours
On campus: Our 60-credit master’s degree programs are designed to support both counseling licensure and expressive therapies credentialing. The programs generally require you to complete 1,200 total hours of field experience over the course of two, nine-month internships. In the second year of field training, you’ll accrue a minimum of 700 hours under the supervision of a Massachusetts Licensed Mental Health Counselor Approved Supervisor.
Low-residency: If you’re a low-residency student, you’ll establish your own placements in or near your home community. In the second year of your program, you'll engage in 450 hours of fieldwork experience. In your third year of the program, you’ll complete a second 700-hour placement. A hybrid clinical skills and supervision course will accompany the fieldwork and internship process for the duration of your placement.
Preparing for Counseling Licensure
State boards for professional licensure oversee counseling licensure. After graduation, you’ll have to provide information about both your “pre-masters” experience (i.e., the experience and coursework you complete in your training program), as well as “post-masters” hours under counseling supervision (the work you do after graduation, but before attaining licensure).
No pre-masters training can guarantee counseling licensure in any state. The Expressive Therapies Division’s field training program requirements incorporate current “pre-masters” state requirements for Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
While the Massachusetts pre-masters counseling licensure requirements mirror those of some other states, please be aware that licensure requirements are a matter of individual state legislation and are constantly evolving.
Lesley University makes no representations about counseling requirements in states other than Massachusetts; if you’re seeking counseling licensure outside of Massachusetts, you are responsible for fulfilling your state requirements.
Field Training Application
Download our Expressive Therapies Field Placement Application and Site Guidelines (DOC) document to apply for field training opportunities and to learn more about our site requirements. To submit your site application, email it as an attachment to:
Laura Orshaw, Assistant Director of Field Training, at firstname.lastname@example.org.