Articles by Deanna Richards, EdM

Deanna Richards received her ED.M. in Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. She has worked with the New York City Department of Education, TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups, Urban Assembly Schools, and many other youth-serving organizations across the nation addressing the academic and mental health needs of adolescents. She is a proud member of both the American Counseling Association and American Mental Health Counselors Association. She is interested in exploring the ways counseling is affected by culture and race. She hopes her blog thepathny helps to increase the visibility and development of counseling as a whole. Deanna currently resides in New York City.

Obtaining a Mental Health Counseling Internship or Fieldwork Placement

Obtaining a Mental Health Counseling Internship or Fieldwork Placement

The phone rings and it’s EXACTLY who you want it to be. The director of the local hospital has heard about your stellar first year as a counseling grad student and is offering you an internship! It’s a dream come true…then you wake up.

It WAS a dream. The reality is obtaining a placement is something that all counseling students must go through. While it would be wonderful if your performance in school could speak for you, it turns out you will need to beat the pavement to get a placement. Below are six steps that you can take to make the process less painful.

1. Be Proactive.

This means a little more than sending an email a day. As soon as you find out what your requirements are for the placement, schedule a time to meet with your academic advisor or placement coordinator to discuss potential places for your internship.

Pick the brains of students who have already begun an internship and find out if their agency is looking for additional interns. Be sure to check your email regularly for opportunities gleaned by your placement advisor.

4 Ways to Make the Most of your Counseling Internship Experience

4 Ways to Make the Most of your Counseling Internship Experience

The process of finding an internship can be daunting. Perhaps you had to find one on your own, or maybe you were assigned a site by your school. In my case, I had to find my own internship and I needed it to coordinate with my full-time work hours. Hard? Yes! Impossible? Not at all.

Reflecting back on the internship experience brings me to this series of posts. Check out tips on securing your internship, and once you’ve secured one, here are some ways that you can make the best of your experience.

1. Try It On

Internships are not just a degree requirement; they’re a great way to try on your new role as a Mental Health Counselor.

Convinced you want to work with adolescents? Try it on for size in your internship. Internship sites might have a defined role for you, but there’s no harm done in citing your interests.