Nichole Knott-Craig

About Nichole Knott-Craig

A passionate counselor who wants to see people reach their full potential. Joyful * Positivity * WOO * Empathy * Competition * Ideation (Based on Strength Finders) ENFP (that's Peter in the Bible, I'm told)

WHERE to be an Intern? That is the question

Alliance Graduate School of Counseling’s Internship Program presents:

“To be an Intern or Not to be an Intern.

Actually, WHERE to be an Intern? That is the question.”

Counseling students taking CPCEAs part of the academic requirements for the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling Masters in Mental Health Counseling program in NYC, you must complete 700 hours of an internship. The internship portion of your program does not begin until at least your second year (for Full-Time students) so you will have plenty of time to consider which direction to pursue for your own internship site. There are two theories about the internship. Some people say you should learn what you can in your core classes and through volunteer work, and then you should have a good idea of which client population you want to pursue. Others say you should try something different during your internship that you would never imagine doing so you have more exposure to the counseling opportunities that are available to you. Whichever direction you choose, you are sure to learn a lot from applying the principles you learned in your masters in Counseling classes to the actual clients you serve.

Before qualifying for the internship, you will need to complete 8 core counseling classes including: Theories & Foundations of Counseling, Marriage and Family Counseling Foundations, Research Methods and Analysis, Group Dynamics and Therapy, Psychopathology, Counseling and Human Development, Measurement & Assessments, and Principles and Methods of Counseling. You are also required to attend 15 sessions of personal counseling for yourself – with a licensed therapist. The idea is that receiving counseling yourself will help you work through personal issues that may negatively impact your performance in therapy. The experience as a client also creates greater levels of empathy for those you will counsel if you have had to seek out a therapist yourself.

After you have completed those individual counseling sessions, as well as your 8 core counseling classes, you will be invited to the “NYC AGSC Internship Fair.” The event usually takes place during the Spring semester before your internship, and internships usually begin during the following Summer semester. At the internship fair, you will hear from representatives of various internship sites about their programs, receive a list of internship sites often chosen by Nyack AGSC students, and learn about the rules and regulations of the internship portion of your program. Be sure not to miss this event! It’s a great experience, and you will learn a lot about your required upcoming internship.

When choosing an internship site, it is important to consider:

Location location location– Try finding a site close to your work, school or house, and you want to think about the transportation available at that location (trains, bus, parking).

Clientele/Population – Consider who you want to work with closely for your internship. Do you prefer working with young adults, geriatric clients, substance abuse, those in crisis, those dealing with grief, your own community, those who speak certain languages, and the list goes on and on.

Hours – Make sure you understand what hours of operation your site runs and make sure you can accommodate that schedule.

Counseling Theory – Check with your site about which type of therapy they use such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the Systems Approach, Biblical Counseling, Reality therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, an eclectic approach, etc. You’ll want to be familiar (and comfortable) with that counseling approach before you start working there.

Supervisor – Consider who will be supervising you because that’s one of the most important relationships in your internship. Your supervisor will be going over your case load with you weekly, and they will help you make the most of the time spent at your internship.

Job opportunities – Find out if this site may have positions available after your internship is complete.

In conclusion, your internship will be a great experience. But, you definitely get out what you put into it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn as much as you can while you’re there. Many blessings on your internship! For more information, just ask us here!

Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

 

How to become a Licensed Counselor with Christian Principles

Want to be a professional, licensed counselor? Maybe you have your own practice or are a student looking to have a Christian perspective integrated into your educational curriculum?

Our admissions director (far right) with NYC Counseling students on exam day!

Our admissions director (far right) with NYC Counseling students on exam day!

Well that’s what we’re doing here at the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC). This innovative program was designed to allow Christians to be professional counselors with the option to work in a faith-based environment.  By joining an integrated graduate program, you will be able to work in organizations such as social service agencies, private practices, and hospitals as well as churches, church counseling centers, and Christian non-profits.

Faith and Culture at the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling

Nyack College was founded in 1882, by Dr. A.B. Simpson. He had a vision to rise up cultural leaders that would be influential throughout the world for Jesus so he planted the institution in the heart of New York City.

Exactly 100 years later, Dr. Ellison was a psychologist working in the field and teaching pastors how to counsel at Nyack’s Alliance Theological Seminary.  Our founder, Dr. Craig Ellison had a vision that no one else had at the time, and not many have had since.  He questioned why Christian counselors and professional counselors had to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. His vision was to build up professional Christian counselors that would be doing great work in the field (publishing research, being the best counselors in their specialty, etc.) all for the glory of Christ, and that’s exactly what he did. He developed not only a fantastic program, but also a Psychospiritual Model of Counseling. There are only a handful of these programs in the country that integrate the principles of psychology and theology, and I am so thankful that Nyack College’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling is one of them.

AGSC CTA buttonSo how do you become a licensed counselor here in the tri-state area?

Once you have completed the degree at Alliance Graduate School of Counseling, you can sit for the state licensing exam.AGSC generally hosts the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) and the National Counseling Examination (NCE) exam on campus each year.

The NCE is a state licensing test, used in about 40 states (NJ, PA, CT, OH, VT, TX, GA, NC, etc.) to certify counselors as Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) or Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC).  You will also qualify to take the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) for your NY state license after graduation.  Depending on each state, you also must work in the field for a specific number of supervised hours before your permitted-license becomes your own!

The Mental Health Counseling degree specifically will allow you to work in social service agencies, hospitals, counseling centers, churches, crisis centers, Christian health care centers, residential counseling, hospice counseling, life coaching centers, as career counselors, and as private clinicians. Many times Licensed Mental Health Counselors are promoted to managers, directors, or leaders in their organization as well.

As Christians, we should be the best at what we do, and how great would it be to influence the world for Christ through our excellence as clinicians?

 

 

 

God Gives Revelations

kayaking

Kayaking the Hudson with my hubby

It’s taken 10 years to see what God would do with my innate passion to help people. Three states, many jobs, and about 15 apartments later, I now understand (more) of what He was doing.

 

When I graduated with my undergraduate degree from The University of Texas in 2003 (seems so long ago), I began to pursue the Masters in Psychology program there. However, on graduation night, I decided to pack up my car and drive to California to pursue a job in the entertainment industry instead. In Los Angeles, I worked for a casting agency, my church’s children’s ministry, as a personal assistant, a cafe manager, an actress, a travel agent, a producer, the list goes on. Since many of my friends and my church members went to Fuller Theological Seminary for Christian Counseling, enrolling was on my list of things to do. However, I always found an excuse not to.

Cuba water jump

Celebrating Cuba with AGSC’s Joan Hong

Fast-forward a few years, and I had a one-way ticket to New York for a job in producing. Somehow that fell through, and I ended up at an Advertising Agency. Working in Marketing and Events was exciting. We hosted events with Donald Trump, the Black Eyed Peas, James Cameron, Eli Manning, etc., but I knew that God had something more meaningful in store for my work.

cuba tshirts

AGSC’s study abroad course, taught by Dr. Elaine Eng, Dr. Carol Robles & Dr. Michael Gillern

After having back surgery (on my honeymoon…in South Africa!), I was forced to lay low and get rest before I was able to return to work. Since all I could do was browse the internet, I came across Nyack College in my church’s classified ads. I thought that working with a Christian college would be a great fit for me since I love encouraging people in Christ.

 

A couple of months later, I got the job at Nyack, and I was assigned to recruit for the Alliance Graduate School of Counseling (AGSC). I thought it was a great use of my skill set to assist people in their calling to help other people. I enrolled in classes at AGSC immediately (because why not?), and then a week later… IT HIT ME.

school of counseling

Dr. John “Boundaries” Townsend at AACC conference – an AGSC Elective course in Branson, MI

God gave a revelation. I have been through a lot of suffering, but He always worked things out for the good & I could always encourage people through that. I was the “Psychology student of the year” in my high school, a psychology major in college (for a while), wanted to pursue Counseling in post grad, and here I was…working in a professional Christian Counseling program. I finally found a program that was thoroughly professional and intentionally Christian, and it would qualify me to sit for the licensing exam (and eventually have my own practice)! What a dream come true! And I didn’t even pursue it. God placed it in my lap, and waited for me to acknowledge all He had done to make it possible.

 

He truly does “work all things together for the good of those who love Him” ~Romans 8:28. But He also calls us to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” ~Jeremiah 29:7.

 

Serve the place you’re in, while God has you there, and He will prosper you (even if it takes MORE than 10 years).

 

I tell you what. All of these years, jobs, cities, friends, churches, and changes have all made me better at what I do now. And I needed emotional growth 10 years ago, which I have now, in order to pursue this field of counseling.

 

All I can say is this. God is in control in my life. And He is in control of yours too.

 

May He bless you richly, in ways you NEVER saw coming (and hopefully it won’t take you 10 years to see).

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