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Field Experience

Field Experience
Transitioning From Student to Professional

April 2015 | 400 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

A blueprint for doing clinical work in field experience, this practical book aids students in developing their professional identity on their journey toward becoming a counselor. Authors Naijian Zhang and Richard D. Parsons help students integrate the knowledge they learn across the curriculum by presenting a roadmap of how to start, navigate, and finish a practicum or internship. Throughout the book, coverage of CACREP standards, case illustrations, exercises, and real-life examples create an accessible overview of the entire transitioning process.

Field Experience is part of the SAGE Counseling and Professional Identity Series, which targets specific competencies identified by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs). To learn more about each text in the series, please visit

Chapter 1: Field Experience as Formative to Professional Identity
Field Experience: A Unique Learning Experience

Field Work: Fostering an Emerging Professional Identity

Nurturing Your Professional Identity


Chapter 2: Matching Self to Site
It Starts With Self-Appraisal

Assessing Field Placement Options

Matching Self to Site: Targeting Professional Development

Chapter 3: From the Ideal to the Real
Knowing the Ideal

The Real Is Often Less Than Ideal

Even Interns Can Effect Change and Define Roles

Chapter 4: The Ethics of Practice: More Than Knowing, Being
The Need and Value of Professional Ethics

The What: In Principle

From the Ideal to the Real

Chapter 5: Reflecting on Practice
Reflecting on Practice: Case Conceptualization

Reflecting in Practice: Guiding Moment-to-Moment Decisions

Reflective Practice: Supporting Efficacy and Accountability

Reflection: For Professional Development

Chapter 6: Growing Through Supervision
Counseling Supervision

Expectations of Counseling Supervision

Issues and Dilemmas in Supervision

Chapter 7: Multicultural Counseling in Practice
Multiculturalism in Counseling

Multicultural Counseling Competence

Developing Multicultural Counseling Competence

Multicultural Counseling Competence and Professional Identity

Chapter 8: Crisis Prevention and Intervention: Suicide and Homicide
The Nature of Crisis and Crisis Intervention


When Harm Is Other Directed

Site Policy on Crisis Procedures

Chapter 9: Reducing Risk
The Risk of Physical Harm

Reducing Legal Risks


Chapter 10: Documentation and Record Keeping
Purpose of Documentation and Record Keeping

Ethical and Legal Ramifications

The “What” of Case Documentation

The “How,” or Format, of Case Documentation

Concluding Thoughts

Chapter 11: Termination and Closure
Terminating the Counseling Relationship

Challenges to Effective and Ethical Termination

Steps Toward Effective and Ethical Termination

Terminating Other Relationships at Internship

Chapter 12: Self-Care and Self-Protection—Necessary for All Counselors
Counseling: Challenging the Well-Being of the Counselor


Compassion Fatigue

Chapter 13: Transition from Practice to Career
Connection Between Internship and Career

Preparation for Employment

Placement Resources

Advanced Education


Chapter 14: Transitions: Self as Counselor

Responding to the Calling

With Pride



Instructor Teaching Site

The password-protected instructor resources site includes:

  • Case study discussion questions help students apply chapter principles  
  • Chapter Exercises promote students’ in-depth engagement with course material
  • Lively and stimulating class assignments can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects
Student Study Site

The open-access student study site includes:

  • Learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter
  • Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia links enhance classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • Web resources are included for further research and insights
  • Interesting and relevant additional readings provide a jumping-off point for course assignments, papers, research, group work, and class discussion

“This text goes above and beyond the ‘typical’ skill building approach to field placement experiences. The emphasis on the development of professional identity will support students as they practice applying what they have learned in a classroom to clinical work in the real world—a transition that can be challenging for many students.”

Britney G. Brinkman, Chatham University

Wonderful text! The material assists the intern with understanding how to take theoretical skills learned within the academic setting and apply the actual internship practices to the world of work.”

Ann Leonard, Curry College

Excellent book that will inspire and enlighten evolving professionals.”

Mary Olufunmilayo, St. Bonaventure University

I thought this provided a nice overview of what my students need, although resources are outdated (due to the book being published in 2015) and several of the links were broken. Primarily I LOVE that it is focused on Professional Mental Health Counselors. This is hard to find, and so needed in the field of Counselor Education.

Dr. Amanda Minor

Dr Amanda Minor
Holistic Counseling, Salve Regina University
January 11, 2022

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

Chapter 10

For instructors

Purchasing options

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ISBN: 9781483344539

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