This article discusses options for Counseling Internships, particularly for those enrolled in or pursuing an advanced degree in counseling, such as a Masters in Counseling.
Aspiring counselors are required to render a certain amount of time in internship. This course trains them in applying the knowledge and skills they’ve learned in the classroom setting in an actual counseling practice in a supervised environment.
A major goal of an internship is to provide graduate students an opportunity to assess and counsel patients in their area of specialization. The hours rendered will also allow them to be eligible for licensure to practice counseling.
Qualified to undergo an internship program are those who have completed a master’s and doctorate in counseling degree. Those in their second or third year as counseling student may undergo the same training. A master’s degree is a prerequisite together with two years of fieldwork before one can work as a counselor in a specialized area. The doctorate degree, on the other hand, is required for those who would like to become clinical psychologists.
Other than providing a practical experience, specific objectives of a counseling internship program are to develop of the professionalism and communication skills of a student in preparation for their future career. By exposing them to the real workplace, student interns are expected to gain an understanding of what goes on in the actual environment where counselors perform their jobs.
A counseling internship is normally supervised by the director of the organization or a licensed clinical psychologist. Both individual and group supervision may be done and seminars may be conducted on varied topics.
Admission to counseling internship programs is very competitive. As such, students need to show a good academic record, a basic understanding of counseling and prior experience in their field of specialization. Some schools may require a specific grade point average as well as experience in research and volunteer work.
Those applying to be interns may also have to undergo a selection process to determine their competencies, sound judgment and interest in their area of specialization. They are expected to be sensitive as well to a wide variety of issues and to their clients regardless of cultural background.
Counseling interns are normally involved in different activities during their internship. They take part in one-on-one counseling, workshops, career resources library and outreach activities to the community where their campus is situated. They may also be tasked to design programs that fulfill their training program.
States vary in the number of hours they require counseling interns. Often, the internship is done after all the other coursework has been completed to allow students to fully focus on their practical experience. Keep in mind that this phase is already in preparation for the student’s future work hence he or she needs to fully commit to completing the program to develop a deeper understanding of the field.
One of the great benefits of a counseling internship program is the opportunity to work with the real experts in the field. Interns are expected to get a good overview of their chosen area of specialization by working with directors and clinical psychologists. They are also expected to develop their communication and listening skills as they deal with patients facing different issues.