What Types of Counseling Internships Are Available?

Counseling InternshipsIn order to become a counselor, you need to log several hours in an internship program, but you need to learn about the types of counseling internships available. Your institution of higher education should have resources to help you find an internship that fits your needs and interests. Additionally, you can approach employers as an individual to see if they offer an internship program that complies with your education or certification requirements. Let’s take a closer look at common internship opportunities for those seeking a career in counseling.

On-Campus Internships

Many schools with strong counseling programs have on-campus internship opportunities for their counseling students. These programs provide low-cost counseling for students and community members. Although on-campus programs are convenient and popular with counseling students, positions in these programs are limited.

Off-Campus Internships

Internships located away from a college’s campus are often better suited to an individual student’s needs or career aspirations. These positions can be found with a variety of employers including:

  • K-12 schools
  • Mental health treatment centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Correctional facilities
  • Career counseling centers
  • Substance abuse treatment facilities
  • Medical hospitals

Choosing an Internship

The internship you choose should help to further your education and prepare you for your desired career as a counselor. If you want to work with children and adolescents, an internship at an elementary or junior high school will be better for you than one in a retirement community. If you wish to work in a clinical setting upon completion of your certification requirements, you should look for an internship in a clinical setting. If you are uncertain what path you wish to pursue upon graduation, an internship can be an opportunity for you to learn about different counseling specialties.

As you search for the ideal internship, make the most of every networking opportunity. Your professors should be able to guide you in your search, and local counselors and professional associations will also be able to help you find internships that are available. Online searches may be helpful as well. Internships can also be found on the website Counseling Internships.

When to Apply to Internships

Although there are many counseling internships available to students, searching and applying early will help you get the position best suited to you. Most experts recommend applying at least six months prior to the necessary start date. If you have not yet chosen a specialization for your counseling career, take advantage of multiple internship opportunities in order to gain experience in more than one type of counseling.

Related Resource: School Counselor

Searching for the perfect internship may seem intimidating. However, there are a lot of opportunities available for counseling students. Now that you know a little more about the types of counseling internships available, you can focus your energies on finding the position that fits your needs and your career goals. Keep in mind that internship placements can be competitive, so be sure to apply to more than one program at a time.