Counseling Practicum/Internship

The counseling practicum and internship program at UNC Asheville is a comprehensive experience in college counseling. Students will have the opportunity to work one-on-one and in groups with clients experiencing a range of clinical issues typical of a college or community mental health setting. They will carry their own client caseload, develop and conduct groups (e.g., DBT group), provide outreach programming to the university community, conduct intake assessments, and participate in group and individual supervision weekly with our Clinical Director, Sue Lipiec, LPC. They will also gain experience with electronic medical records and knowledge of higher education processes.

Program Overview

The counseling practicum/internship experience runs the full academic year starting in mid-August and running until the end of term in May. In order to provide continuity and consistency for our student-clients throughout the school year, we request counseling/interns commit to the full academic year experience. However, we recognize that this is a time of learning and will work with students who choose to split their practicum and internship at different sites.

 

We consider our interns are an integral part of our treatment team, and we look forward to working with you during your tenure here. We value the strengths, energy, and knowledge that our interns bring to the table and to their work with our student-clients. More important, we recognize that as an intern, your time with us is a vital part of your counseling education, and we want to ensure that you get what you need out of this experience. We strive to create a culture where you can feel safe to find your way – a culture that encourages “not knowing” and the seeking that comes from being in such a place.

 

Eligibility

Students who are completing requirements for a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling. Applicants must submit a completed application form and provide two letters of recommendation with contact information. One reference/letter of recommendation should be a graduate professor who can confirm the student's readiness for an internship experience. The other may be from an employer or supervisor who has knowledge of the student's current counseling skills.

*Please note that students in Social Work and Psychology master's programs are eligible to apply, however we may not have an approved supervisor on staff that meets the requirements for your program or licensing board.

Qualifications

Minimum academic requirements include 1 year of training in a Master’s-level counselor education program. We look for students with strong communication skills, professional demeanor, commitment to counseling in a higher education environment, and a willingness to complete all the requirements of the internship.

Candidates must be able to work within the normal operating hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Every effort will be made to accommodate interns' outside commitments. However, some scheduling flexibility may be required. Occasional evening hours will be necessary for outreach programs.

Responsibilities

  1. Orientation: Interns are encouraged to attend fall student affairs orientation sessions, as well as reviewing the internship manual and Center policies and procedures. They will be trained in electronic medical record keeping.
  2. Screenings:  Initially, interns will observe staff counselors conducting walk-in screening sessions with new clients and learn how screening summaries are written. After observing several screening sessions, interns will conduct screening sessions while a staff counselor observes the session. When both staff counselors and an intern are satisfied with the intern's level of proficiency, the intern will conduct screening sessions without a staff counselor present. 
  3. Individual Counseling: Counseling Services staff meets twice a week to review clients. After the intern has received training on screenings, the office staff will assign clients based on student's schedule and counselor/intern availability. The intern is responsible for monitoring his/her level of comfort with cases and caseload; however, clinical supervision will be available to assist the emerging professional through this process. Every effort is made to provide interns with a variety of clients and presenting issues.
  4. Group Counseling: Counseling Services offers group counseling opportunities based on client interest. Interns are encouraged to develop groups based on their own interests.
  5. Outreach Activities: Interns are encouraged to participate in outreach activities to the University community, which may occur during evening hours. Outreach will not conflict with student coursework requirements.
  6. Liability Insurance: Interns are required to carry professional liability insurance, which is available at a reduced student rate. Proof of insurance must be included in application packet.

Supervision

Weekly group supervision is provided by Counseling Services staff members. Individual supervision will be provided by Sue Lipiec, LPC. Intern counseling sessions will be audiotaped for use in supervision.

Personal issues or difficulties sometimes arise for interns that exceed the limitations of supervision. The supervisor will help the intern monitor emotional reactions to clients, the work and ways in which this may impact the counseling relationship. Whenever stressful life events emerge, interns are expected to seek the help necessary to mitigate these events' impact on client work.

Evaluation

The intern's work is continually monitored both formally and informally. Evaluation guidelines are determined in conjunction with the policies of each intern's academic department and the expectations of the Center. Interns meet with their individual supervisors to discuss their evaluations.

Required for the Application Process

The application deadline for the 2017-2018 year is April 30. Please check back for future opportunities.

  • Cover letter
  • Internship Application
  • Curriculum Vita or resume
  • Proof of liability insurance
  • Transcript from graduate program
  • Two letters of recommendation with contact information (one a graduate professor)

The Application can be found here.

Questions may be directed to Sue at 828.250.2326 or slipiec@unca.edu.