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