The Benefits of Working with a Therapy Intern

Passionate and eager. Highly trained and up to date on the latest techniques. Affordable. Wouldn’t you want these traits in a therapist – that person whom you’ll share your darkest, most innermost thoughts and struggles with? What if I were to tell you that the aforementioned traits are exactly how we describe our therapy interns? As the owner of Deepwater Counseling, I can remember just getting started in the field. I definitely possessed those attributes. In fact, looking back, I believe I did some of my best and most impactful work as an intern!

What is a Therapy Intern?

A therapy intern is a final-year graduate student who is studying counseling, social work, marriage and family counseling, or psychology. In addition to a well-rounded and rigorous education, these students are required to gain clinical experience in the field just prior to graduation. This can include hundreds of hours serving clients in a variety of settings, such as university counseling clinics, drug and alcohol rehabilitation settings, hospitals, or at private practices like Deepwater Counseling.

But Won’t They Eventually Leave?

Our interns are generally expected to spend at least six months at our site, giving clients long enough to establish trusting relationships and do deep work, while the short-term aspect encourages both the counselor and client to make their time together really matter – efficient, effective, and meaningful. At the end of the intern’s time with us, clients have the option to “graduate” from therapy, transfer to a new intern, or work with one of our licensed therapists. Some interns are even hired to stay on permanently with us!

What Does Their Training Look Like?

Because interns are in their final year of their master’s program, they are fully immersed in learning about the latest research, theories, techniques, and evidence-based practices in the field of mental health counseling. Before they sit down with a single client, they have already been studying a wide array of subjects including courses in psychology, counseling, addiction , crisis intervention, couples and family therapy, child development, trauma, mental disorders, and much more.

What are the Benefits of Seeing an Intern?

Closely Supervised. Interns who join the Deepwater Counseling team have been vetted and chosen by our Clinical Director, Jennifer Burger, a highly experienced professional counselor with multiple certifications. Once they begin to see clients, they meet weekly with Jennifer. This on-site clinical supervision provides interns with guidance, suggestions, and feedback to ensure that they are providing the community with the highest quality care. Interns are also supervised by faculty at their university throughout their internship. Affordable. At Deepwater Counseling, we created out internship program with several goals in mind: to provide a very low-cost option for clients who are uninsured or under-insured, have extremely high deductibles, or who choose to forgo insurance due to having jobs where privacy is a priority and they do not wish to have a diagnosis on record, such as law enforcement, military, and other careers that require high security clearances. Giving Back. We also wanted to give back to those just starting off in the field by creating a well-rounded and meaningful internship experience. (I was very fortunate to have an incredible internship, but many of classmates were not so lucky.) We are very proud of how many amazing therapists we have launched into the world! Finally, interns create and facilitate workshops on mental health topics that are completely free to the community. Check out upcoming workshops here. Enthusiasm. Interns are ready to hit the ground running and have a lot of energy and passion. Being close to graduation and just wrapping up their education, they bring a fresh perspective to their clinical work. Because they are new to the field, they tend to be eager to learn and sharpen their skills. Less Burnout. Our interns only carry a small caseload in order for them to provide dedicated attention to their clients, have more time to prepare for sessions, attend additional trainings, read up on relevant topics and research, consult with supervisors, etc. Choosing to work with one of our interns can be a rewarding, win-win relationship. You’ll have the chance to gain high-quality, affordable therapy while helping a new therapist grow. If you’re ready to explore therapy intern options here at Deepwater Counseling, check out our staff page here to learn more about our current interns or reach out to us here or 734-203-0183 ext. 700. -By Jennifer Blough, LPC Note: If you are a final-year master’s student studying counseling, social work, psychology, or marriage and family therapy and interested in an internship with us, learn more here.