Each year, the Counseling Center serves approximately 20% of the Fort Lewis College population. We can meet this need thanks to the effort and hard work of our clinical training program interns.
This 2-year program is based on a practitioner-mentorship-developmental training model. It aims to prepare interns for work in outpatient counseling centers that require the mature, experienced, and self-aware application of various skills. Our model incorporates knowledge & skills, multicultural awareness, and intra/inter-personal understanding and growth.
The internship is an opportunity to practice their learning in the academic setting. Thus, training is conducted primarily through the provision of clinical services with ongoing supervision & evaluation and is dependent on the intern’s developmental phase of learning.
Please email your cover letter, résumé, and list of 3 references as one document to:
Those interested in a one-year placement may be asked to submit a video of their counseling skills.
We receive applications on a rolling basis so there is no deadline. However, if you are interested in starting in the Fall we encourage you to submit your application by the February prior.
The Counseling Center fosters a sense of openness to life-long learning and the continuous development of skills. Interns are expected to incorporate the attitude of openness to an assortment of clinical problems/issues and collaboration with professional interactions and relationships as part of their maturing professional identity.
Interns should exit the internship with an understanding of ethics that includes legal issues, professional boundaries, and a “professional conscience” that considers the client’s welfare as a primary consideration in treatment.
Understanding oneself regarding history, background, and present-day concerns is crucial in learning to understand, respect, and ethically work with clients and co-workers. The collegial atmosphere and emphasis on relationships at the Counseling Center assist the intern in developing these crucial aspects of themselves during the training year.
Review the tabs below to learn more about the program and the application process.
The aim of the Training Program is to prepare interns for work in an outpatient setting require mature, experienced, and self-aware application of a variety of skills to enhance the lives of the people they contact. Throughout their time with the Counseling Center, the training experience will be conducive to the intern’s phase of learning. Upon successful completion of the 2 year training program interns will:
Each year, the Training Group (a.k.a.T-Group) is comprised of 6-9 graduate and doctoral students in disciplines related to counseling. Ideally, interns commit to a 2-year placement with the Counseling Center, though there are occasional 1-year placements. During their first year, interns are expected to commit to at least 10 hours/week at the Counseling Center and 16 hours/week during their 2nd year, though individual educational institutions may have different requirements. The clinical training program at this time is an unpaid internship.
All interns are expected to attend T-Group weekly on the designated day. Beyond that day, interns are afforded flexibility in scheduling their required hours, taking into consideration the needs of the Counseling Center’s clients and office availability.
T-group members pass background checks and pay for parking per campus policy.
A typical Training Group Day is as follows:
During their internship, training session topics may include, but are not limited to:
Each intern is expected to be regularly recording client sessions and taking the recording for review in individual supervision and T-group. Interns are expected to review their video prior to supervision and come to the review session with the recording cued up and ready to discuss their personal strengths and weakness in that session and with specific questions regarding their counseling in the session.
Training with a practitioner-mentorship-developmental model, interns ideally commit to a 2-year placement with the Counseling Center, though there are occasional 1-year placements. Within the 2 years interns will move through four phases of learning that typically mirror the academic semesters, however are most dependent on each individual’s readiness. The staff provides a developmentally appropriate, graded sequence of experiential learning activities for interns throughout the year. Learning is achieved by observation, performing clinical activities, training sessions, supervision, video review, collegial consultation, and review of case notes. Interns are expected to use this variety of experiences to increase the autonomy and complexity of their work through the training year.
Expected time commitment: minimum 10 hours/week
Stages 3 & 4
Expected time commitment: minimum 16 hours/week, at least 50% in direct service with clients
Interns who have successfully completed the clinical training program may be invited to participate in an Externship with the Counseling Center. Externships are unpaid at this time and designed to support those with their graduate degree in obtaining the necessary clinical hours for licensure. Externs are expected to conduct themselves as a member of the clinical team and spend the majority of their time in direct service to clients. Externs are asked to commit to a minimum of 6 hours/week of service and are compensated with individual supervision accordingly. While externs no longer participate in the Training Group, they are expected to attend monthly all staff meetings.
Supervision is provided in both an individual and group format. Training Group weekly serves as group supervision, however each intern will also be paired with an individual supervisor from the Senior Staff and will be expected to attend individual supervision approximately 1 hour/week, depending on your stage of development.
We believe that interns are in training to develop both their unique professional identities and high positive self-esteem; our staff believes that the supervisory/mentoring relationship is a key element in this development. Through the safety and intimacy of a mentoring relationship, training can be tailored to the intern’s particular strengths and needs to foster optimal professional and personal growth. Supervision can be expected to cover the primacy of development and maintenance of the therapeutic relationship, assessment of clinical issues, various theoretical approaches to working with clients, personal issues that affect the intern’s ability to work with clients, and professional identity development. Supervision will parallel the intern’s phase of development.
Expectations of an intern/extern
A formal evaluation of clinical competency is conducted 1-2 times/academic year and consists of a written review of skills reviewed by intern and individual supervisor. Interns may also have required evaluations from their individual educational institution and each intern is therefore expected to communicate such requirements to his/her individual supervisor and ensure they are being completed appropriately.
Ongoing feedback is provided throughout the year in both individual and group supervision. Should there be concern regarding intern performance there will be a process of communication between intern, individual supervisor, training coordinator, and potential the academic institution.
The Counseling Center also thrives on feedback from the interns regarding their learning in the program. Interns will be expected to formally provided feedback 1-2 times/academic year to the Training Program, though are also encouraged to provide informal feedback throughout the year.
The Counseling Center staff comprises counselors with both doctoral and master’s level training, with a variety of experience and orientation. We all believe in the primacy of the therapeutic relationship, and in living full and balanced lives. As a team, we believe in the value of each “animal in the forest” and we hold dear to our identified Counseling Center values. We appreciate and enjoy laughing with one another, eating and walking together at lunch, knowing each other personally, and supporting each other. With that, this healthy team is proud to boast a commitment and desire to the Counseling Center, demonstrated by years of service ranging from 3 – 15 years in this department!!
Meet the staff >
Thank you for your interest in participating in our clinical training program. In order to participate, you must be enrolled in a graduate level program in a discipline related to counseling (i.e. counseling, social work, psychology). Applicants are expected to have some degree of self-motivation and self-direction, and to have a foundation of basic skills and knowledge upon which she or he hopes to build upon and expand throughout the training program.
Please send a résumé, cover letter, and a list of references (2 from previous two work sites) as a single document to Olive Holmes, email@example.com.
Applications are typically reviewed beginning in February prior to the academic year you want to begin. Those applicants who are qualified and conducive to our program may be invited to campus for an in-person interview with at least 3 of the senior staff. Interviews typically begin in March and will continue until positions are filled. Following the interview, references will be called. Decisions regarding acceptance are typically made by the end of April, though applications will be received and interviews may be conducted on a rolling basis until the program fills. Our training program is highly competitive and often we have more applicants than we have spaces available, therefore qualified applicants are considered on a first come basis. Telephone or video interviews can be arranged if a student lives out of the area.
Please know that while we have a certain structure and timeline of our application process and program, we are most highly invested in ensuring a strong T-group with individuals who embody the attributes of a professional counselor with a desire to learn and grow clinically. That said, if you have questions about the program, or want to talk more about your individual time-frame and learning needs, please feel free to contact Olive Holmes, firstname.lastname@example.org.