Frequently Asked Questions – Graduate Psychotherapy Training

The Graduate Psychotherapy training program for master’s level graduate students will be on pause for the 2021-2022 academic year. We will continue the residency program for post-master’s graduates working toward licensure. Please check back in the fall of 2022 for updates on the master’s level program.

How Do I Apply?

  • Read the description of our program and the Frequently Asked Questions on this webpage.
  • Decide if this is the right program for you. Our program runs from September through May and we do not accept trainees mid-year.
  • Submit a resume, a list of graduate courses completed, a clinical case summary (real or hypothetical) that demonstrates your approach to practice, and references from someone familiar with your clinical skills (typically a practice class instructor or a practicum supervisor) to Christine Dietz, Ph.D, L.I.S.W.,
  • Applications will not be considered until all the requested materials have been received.

What is the training selection process timeline?

  • January – April: applications received for next training year
  • May – July: participants confirmed
  • September – May: training year

Is the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center a Christian counseling center?            

No. The Center’s mission is to provide hope and healing of mind, body and spirit. Our staff and clients represent many different cultural and spiritual traditions. While our clinicians and spiritual directors are trained to support clients’ religious and spiritual needs, we serve a diverse clientele that includes many different religions, cultures, nationalities and sexual identities.   

When does the Center’s Training Program begin?

The Center’s Training Program runs from September through May. On occasion, trainees may petition for additional time to complete their required clinical hours.

May trainees begin their training year at other times during the year?

No. Because the Center offers an intensive, structured group training experience we do not accept trainees mid-year.

What are the the Center’s expectations of graduate trainees?

  • Trainees will participate in a 10 hour orientation process prior to beginning their placements.
  • Trainees will participate in at least 1 hour of individual supervision and 1 hour of group supervision weekly. They will also be required to participate in 1-2 hours of group case discussions with Center clinical staff weekly and participate in a Professional Formation Group.
  • Trainees are required to present all intakes to supervisory staff, whether in individual or group supervision or in intake staffing groups.
  • Trainees are required to present at least one case conference and one Spiritual Connections presentation.
  • Trainees will participate in three didactic seminars, an assessment seminar and an integrative seminar during the year.
  • Attendance is mandatory at all the above supervisory experiences, seminars and groups for all graduate trainees unless exceptions are approved in consultation with the trainee’s supervisor and the training director.

What training experiences does the Center offer its trainees?

  • Weekly individual and group supervision
  • Weekly case consultations with clinical staff
  • Monthly formal consultation with psychiatric providers
  • Informal consultation with clinicians and psychiatric providers
  • Three didactic seminars during the academic year focused (topics vary)
  • Assessment seminar
  • Integrative seminar focused on integration of spirituality and psychotherapy
  • Professional formation group (meets weekly)
  • Supervised practice in psychotherapy
  • Supervised practice in psychological assessment (where relevant)
  • Opportunities to participate in the Center’s Outreach program at Grace United Methodist Church
  • Opportunities to participate in the Leadership and Spiritual Life programs

What qualities does the Center seek in its trainees?

Master’s level trainees must be in their advanced year of training. Doctoral psychology students must be in their practicum year. The application begins with submission of a resume, a list of courses completed in the graduate program, a clinical case summary and references from someone familiar with the candidate’s clinical skills, typically a practice class instructor or practicum supervisor. Candidates will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of all graduate course work to date
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Open-ness to learning about clinical practice
  • Self-awareness and willingness to learn about themselves as beginning clinicians
  • Ability to articulate their educational and professional goals
  • Ability to articulate their current clinical approach and learning goals
  • Personal and professional maturity
  • Ability to articulate the ways in which their personal values and goals interface with the Center’s mission and address any conflicts among them.

What is the training program selection process?

  • Candidate
    • Reviews information on Center’s website regarding components of the training program and expectations /
    • Submit the following items to Christine Dietz, Ph.D, L.I.S.W at
      • resume
      • List of graduate courses completed
      • clinical case summary (real or hypothetical) that demonstrates your approach to practice
      • references from someone familiar with your clinical skills (typically a practice class instructor or a practicum supervisor)
    • A candidate will be considered for this program once all documentation has been received.
  • Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center Training Director
    • Conducts phone interviews and selects candidates for in person interviews  with training program staff
    • Presents potential candidates to Center’s Leadership Team
    • Notifies candidates regarding selection for training program by April prior to start of training year


For further information or questions

Dr. Christine Dietz

Dr. Christine Dietz

For more information, please contact Christine Dietz, Ph.D., L.I.S.W., Director of Clinical Training, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, email:

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