Practicum experiences are an integral element of the Doctoral program and are administered by the Clinical Training Office under the leadership of the Director of Clinical Training. The purpose of practicum is to provide meaningful experiences for students that integrate their knowledge, skills and attitudes in supervised clinical settings. Training experiences occur in both the Robert J. Murney Clinic at Forest Institute (RJM Clinic) and at external practicum sites once certain prerequisites have been met. Students typically begin practicum during the second year of study and are required to complete their first rotation in the RJM Clinic.

A full-time Practicum Coordinator serves as the liaison between students, sites and the program, ensuring a continual system of support and consistency throughout experiences. Students are placed in practica through a match process that takes into account student skill and developmental level of competence with identified needs of the RJM Clinic or a variety of external sites. Specific information and requirements related to practicum experiences are contained in the Clinical Training Manual.

The Robert J. Murney Clinic

The Robert J. Murney Clinic at Forest Institute is an outpatient mental health center offering a wide array of psychological services. The clinic is owned and operated by Forest Institute, which means our practicum students are seeing real world clients from a diverse range of populations. The RJ Murney Clinic is one of the largest mental health training clinics in the nation committed to serving the mental health needs of its community. The Clinic donates roughly $350,000 in free or reduced-fee services to the community each year. 

The dual mission of the Clinic is: To increase the access of mental health services to the under-served populations of Greene County and the surrounding counties in southwest Missouri; while providing doctoral candidates of the School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute with applied service learning experiences.
Forest Institute has been a part of the Springfield community since 1985. The clinic building, which originally housed the program in its entirety, now serves solely as the private clinical training facility for faculty and students. The 15,000-square-foot midtown Clinic has been modernized to provide a comfortable, yet technically advanced training and therapy environment.
The clinic's most consistent source of referrals is by word-of-mouth from friends or family that have benefited from services in the past and from our many community partnerships, delivering over 800 therapy sessions each month on a need-based fee system. The  clinic averages 90 new intakes per month. Over 240 psychological evaluations are performed each year for purposes of diagnostic clarification and treatment planning. The most common problems reported by our clients are mood disorders, relationship difficulties, anger concerns, stress and health problems. Therapy for individuals, couples and families is also provided. Free mental health screenings are offered as well as psychoeducational classes, such as parenting skills training, anger management, substance abuse, the divorcing family and much more.

Other Practicum Site Opportunities



·Community Mental Health Centers

·Correctional Facilities

·Psychiatric Hospitals