We hope you’ll consider our Mental Health Counselor Internship training with Counseling, Health, & Wellness Services (CHWS) at the University of Puget Sound. Each year we select several graduate students in psychology or counseling to join our team. 

Counselor Interns are pre-licensed students working toward Masters level licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor or Licensed Professional Counselor and must have already completed their initial counseling practicum. The Counseling Internship is not well-designed for students pursuing licensure as a Clinical Social Worker. Counseling Interns gain exposure to a University Counseling Center as they attend meetings, work alongside a multidisciplinary team, and participate in psycho-educational programming. Trainees will have the opportunity to work with a wide array of clinical presentations, including relationship issues, major mood disorders, disordered eating, ADHD, etc.  Thus, counseling interns will develop strong generalist training and learn to work with a variety of presenting concerns and levels of severity.  These are unpaid training positions. 

The Counseling Internship is designed to meet Masters level graduate requirements for a supervised internship that leads to licensure.  To meet these requirements, graduate students are expected to commit 20 hours per week to this training experience.  Some interns elect to work up to 25 hours per week to engage in training opportunities they are interested in (such as specific groups they want to run). Training activities are designed to align with CACREP standards for accreditation. Be sure to confirm with your graduate program that our internship will meet your needs.

Please see the Application Process section for details about how to apply and contact information for any questions you may have about the training. 

Counseling Clients

Internship students complete at least 240 clock hours of direct service. Counselor interns agree to complete 7 - 10 direct clinical hours each week. All sessions at CHWS are recorded (audio, video, or both) for training purposes, so students will have ample opportunity to get constructive feedback on their skills.

Clients consist of primarily undergraduate college students, though there are graduate students who Counselor Interns may see as clients as well.  Counselor Interns build their caseload through conducting clinical assessments (called Recommendation and Referral appointments) with potential clients and selecting clients who are appropriate for their level of training.  

To provide crisis backup, there’s always a Psychology Staff person on-site when Counselor Interns see clients. For this reason, there are no opportunities to schedule appointments outside business hours. Thus, Counselor Interns will need to be available to see clients between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Counseling sessions occur in CHWS, including both in-person and telehealth appointments. Files, notes, and session recordings may not leave our center.

Individual Supervision

Counseling Interns receive two hours each week of individual clinical supervision at CHWS. This supervision is provided in a co-supervision format with a doctoral psychology intern and a licensed psychologist. Thus, Counselor Interns receive input from two supervisors on case conceptualization, diagnosis, treatment planning, documentation, ethical considerations, etc. Doctoral interns will be responsible for reviewing Counselor Intern’s recordings of sessions, though there will be direct observation of clinical skills by both the doctoral intern and the licensed psychologist during the year.  Supervision occurs every week throughout the semester.

You and your supervisors will complete evaluations at the midpoint of each semester, then again at the end of each semester. Your supervisor will provide the end-of-semester written evaluations to your academic department. You will also be asked for your feedback on the quality of the training you’re receiving.

Time Commitment

One academic year’s overall time commitment (August - late May) is required of Counselor Interns. Counseling Interns begin with us in August for an intensive orientation to the program (approximately 30 hours per week, just for the month of August). They begin individual supervision immediately and begin building a caseload in early September.  After successful completion of the internship, students complete at least 600 clock hours of a supervised counseling internship.

The weekly time commitment for Counseling Interns is expected to be 20-25 hours, inclusive of individual and group therapy service, training, administrative time, and meetings. These meetings occur during regular business hours.  Outreach presentations and some therapy or support groups may happen after business hours.

Examples of Weekly Activities

A typical week for Counseling Intern at CHWS includes: 3-6 of providing direct services (most of those hours dedicated to individual therapy); 2 hours of individual supervision; participation in departmental staff meetings; consultation with medical staff on shared cases; time for documentation

Potential Counseling Intern Activities

  • Seeing individual psychotherapy clients each week (required)
  • Co-facilitating a therapy or support group (required)
  • Writing your progress notes for the client files (required)
  • Receiving individual supervision (required)
  • Attending Intern/Practicum Seminar weekly on Tuesdays (required)
  • Attending Diversity Dialogues on Tuesdays once a month (required)
  • Attending our full CHWS staff meetings, Wednesdays 1-2pm (required)
  • Reviewing recordings of therapy sessions in preparation for supervision (recommended)
  • Administrative time related to client care (e.g., exploring the literature for best treatment approaches)
  • Assisting with outreach programs, as arranged with CHWS staff persons (for example, tabling on substance abuse prevention) (required)*

* = Activity may be outside of intern office 

Ongoing or Previous Clients of CHWS

Puget Sound graduate students who are themselves past therapy clients at CHWS shall not be excluded from applying for Counseling Intern positions. Still, they will only be placed if issues related to dual role conflicts, confidentiality, and integrity of files are negotiated to the satisfaction of both the trainee/client and the CHWS Training Director and Director.