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The Daily Events and Emotions of Master’s-level Family Therapy Trainees in Off-campus Practicum Settings

Authors


  • Todd M. Edwards, PhD, Professor and Program Director, Marital and Family Therapy Program, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego; Jo Ellen Patterson, PhD, Professor, Marital and Family Therapy Program, School of Leadership and Education Sciences, University of San Diego.

Address correspondence to Todd M. Edwards, PhD, Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 225F, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA 92110; E-mail: tedwards@sandiego.edu

Abstract

The Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) was used to assess the daily events and emotions of one program’s master’s-level family therapy trainees in off-campus practicum settings. This study examines the DRM reports of 35 family therapy trainees in the second year of their master’s program in marriage and family therapy. Four themes emerged from the results: (i) Personal contact with peers-in-training engenders the most positive emotions during practicum; (ii) Trainees experience more positive emotions during therapy with families and couples in comparison with therapy with individuals; (iii) Positive affect increases over the course of a student’s practicum year; and (iv) Trainees experience less positive affect in individual supervision in comparison with most other training activities. Flow theory offers guidance for supervisors helping trainees face developmental challenges of clinical training.

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