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Mental Health Counseling/Art Therapy/Social Work Internships

Welcome from the Assistant Training Director 

Thank you for your interest in a Master’s Internship experience in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University. The internship experience begins mid-August and ends with the conclusion of the spring semester. Applications will be accepted from February 10th until March 10th at 5:00 pm. Interviews for selected applicants will be held in March. Applicants will have the choice of an on-site interview or Skype interview.

The Master’s Internship Training Program endorses a developmental model of supervision and training, reflecting a focus on development of competencies consistent with a master’s intern’s level of experience. To enhance the learning process, the clinicians in the program are committed to providing an experience that integrates development of clinical competence and ethical practice with professional growth and development in a supportive atmosphere.

I hope that the following will provide you with the information you need to determine whether the FSUUCC training program will be a good fit for you. I know that the application and decision-making process can be challenging, and I would like to provide you with as much information as possible.

If you have additional questions about the Master’s Internship Training Program after looking through the information, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail at ylangdon@admin.fsu.edu or by phone at 850-644-TALK(8255).
Thank you again for your interest in the Master’s Internship Training Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University.

Sincerely,
Yvonne Langdon-Maduekwe, Ph.D.
Assistant Training Director
Licensed Psychologist

General Information

The University Counseling Center (UCC) is the primary mental health services provider at Florida State University. The Center’s mission is to enhance the academic experience of students by promoting healthy personal development through brief individual or couples counseling, group counseling, skill enhancement and preventative outreach services. This mission is accomplished within the parameters of a humanistic philosophy that honors and adheres to the individual student’s right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Individual, couples, and group therapies are provided as well as crisis intervention, consultations, presentations and other forms of outreach. Individual and couples counseling are session-limited. Group therapy participation is unlimited. The UCC provides full-time doctoral internships to counseling and clinical psychology students. The UCC also offers part-time training opportunities to Florida State University students including internships for master’s students in mental health counseling, social work and art therapy and practicum placement for students enrolled in the Combined Doctoral Program in Counseling Psychology & School Psychology or the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. The Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) and is a member of the Association for Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). The doctoral psychology internship program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Staff

The staff is multidisciplinary with professionals from several mental health disciplines including clinical and counseling psychology, clinical social work, mental health counseling and art therapy. Staff members hold memberships in a variety of professional organizations including the American Psychological Association, the Florida Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers and the American Art Therapy Association.

Training and Philosophy

The art therapy, mental health counseling and social work internship program at the UCC utilizes a mentor-apprentice model of training, whereby the professional growth and development of interns is facilitated by supervised applied practice, augmented by modeling, consultation and teaching. It is our belief that close, collegial involvement with professional counselor role models provides a phase appropriate learning experience for the interns, allowing for enhancement of their professional identity while further developing their skills and competencies as practitioners. The multi-disciplinary environment of the UCC also provides a diversity of professional involvement and interaction reflective of most post-internship employment settings. The internship year is clearly a time of transition, when interns must bridge and integrate the science of their academic training with the practice necessitated by their developing role as mental health professionals. It is the program’s philosophy that mentoring provides our interns an opportunity to internalize and consolidate that professional role, and makes the transition from graduate student seem both possible and worthwhile.

Developmental considerations are foremost in our training approach. We recognize the need and necessity for our interns to apply, in an intensive manner, the science of art therapy, counseling and social work they have learned in their graduate programs and further develop competencies in assessment, documentation, diagnosis, intervention and consultation. We strive to provide a supportive environment that allows interns to take on increasing levels of responsibility over the course of the internship, thereby building their confidence along with their competence. As part of this process, interns have the opportunity to observe and collaborate with senior clinicians in a variety of activities ranging from individual and group therapy to consultation and outreach. As the interns and their supervisors become comfortable with the intern’s skill level, supervisors function more as consultative mentors.

The Center views interns as professional colleagues and vital staff members whose contributions are encouraged and valued. Through supervision and training, we assist the intern in identifying areas requiring further growth, while exposing them to a broad range of theoretical orientations and specialized expertise of the staff that will enhance their professional development. Interns are thereby afforded the opportunity to pursue somewhat individualized training experiences based on their experiences, interests and goals.

The internship is a vital component of the UCC and, as such, the goals of intern training are necessarily intertwined with the service goals of the UCC. Thus the provision of high quality, informed and ethical treatment to a large and diverse student population is of paramount importance. Recognizing the educational mission of the Florida State University, it is also important for the internship to support this mission through the training of interns, engagement in scientific inquiry and outreach and consultation to the greater university community. Permeating the program, through formal training, procedure and example, is an interest in and respect for diversity in all its forms.

The overall goal of the internship is to prepare art therapy, mental health counseling and social work interns to function ethically, competently and independently as mental health professionals. The training is generalist in nature, aimed at expanding the intern’s experience and awareness of self and other, while refining skills necessary to practice effectively. The internship attempts to foster personal growth and self-confidence, along with a sense of professional identity.

 

Orientation

Clinical orientation of new interns is both a formal and informal process. The formal portion is designed to help new interns begin their training at the UCC and generally occurs prior to the first day of the semester. The purpose of the orientation program is to introduce new interns to the Center’s philosophy, mission, history, organization, staff, and policies and procedures. Included in the formal orientation are mini-seminars outlining crisis counseling, intake procedures, forms and documentation, and supervision requirements. In addition, tours may be conducted of other relevant resources on campus. Informal orientation occurs continuously through interaction with staff members in response to new situations and changing needs.

Seminars

Weekly training seminars throughout the internship will focus on themes related to the counseling needs of the Center’s clientele–a broad spectrum of “traditional” and “non-traditional” college students. Treatment considerations, including a variety of approaches and intervention modes, are highlighted. The training seminars are organized by the Training Director and conducted by UCC staff members and guest specialists from the university and local community. Representative topics include: crisis management, eating disorders, suicide prevention and intervention, addictions, gay and lesbian concerns, couples counseling, ethics, multi-cultural counseling, anxiety and stress management, assessment, sexual assault/rape issues and treatment of depression. The array of topics reflects the many client issues interns face in this setting.

Supervision

All interns are supervised in the provision of individual, couples and group counseling. Supervision is based primarily on case discussions. Critiquing video recordings of sessions, co-counseling, and in-person observation are used in supervision as seems appropriate to individual interns and their supervisors. Interns typically co-lead group therapies with experienced staff members with whom they can discuss group issues. Training in client assessment is strongly centered around interviews. Clients seeking career information or vocational testing are referred to the FSU Career Center; however, career issues may be a focus of counseling with UCC clients.

Master’s interns receive a minimum of one hour of individual supervision and one and one half hours of group supervision (all interns meet together with two supervisors) per week. Frequent informal supervision and/or consultation with other staff members (of whatever discipline seems appropriate for a given situation) is encouraged and expected in response to issues that arise between formal supervision sessions. Supervision of interns is provided by professional staff. Interns negotiate the specifics of supervision such as meeting times, goals, and evaluation criteria with their supervisors. Interns present for multiple semesters generally rotate supervisors each semester and receive an evaluation at the conclusion or each semester. A transition meeting with the intern, previous supervisor and new supervisor may be scheduled at the beginning of each new semester to facilitate the change and determine ongoing supervision needs. Issues which can be discussed at this meeting include the intern’s strengths, goals, and recommendations for further training needs.

Clientele

The University Counseling Center offers services to all students enrolled at FSU. There is a great diversity in the Center’s clientele with an average age of 24 years and an age range of about 17 to 60 years. There is a high proportion of seniors and graduate students and two-thirds of the clients are female. Statistics indicate the following breakdown: 73% Caucasian, 11% Afro-American, 11% Hispanic, and 5% other or unknown.

Diversity

The University Counseling Center staff is strongly committed to addressing the needs of a diverse student population and the Master’s Internship Program strives to incorporate and highlight issues of diversity as a fundamental part of the internship experience. We train interns to be well-rounded professional therapists with the competencies to serve clients representing different forms of diversity. The University Counseling Center is committed to the promotion and affirmation of diversity in its broadest sense, and its mission requires that people of every background be able to use our services with an expectation of respectful treatment.

The professional ethics and standards of the various mental health disciplines represented in the University Counseling Center place a high value on the dignity and worth of individuals regardless of their gender expression and identity, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental abilities, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic class. Therefore, as part of their professional functioning, all staff members are expected to respect the dignity and worth of the individual, and to strive for the preservation and protection of fundamental human rights.

Services

Individual Therapy

Most clients request and receive individual counseling. About 60% of clients return after intake for additional sessions. The current session limit is twelve individual sessions per academic year. Clients who continue past the intake session typically receive between four and eight sessions. When clinically appropriate and with authorization from our Utilization Review Committee, it is possible to see some clients beyond the twelve session limit.

Group Therapy

Groups are offered which may focus on issues such as romantic relationships, family relationships, grief, body image, women’s issues, men’s issues, sexual assault and emotional wellness. Some of the groups are structured with educational objectives; others are unstructured and rely primarily on interpersonal interaction. Any group focus which might attract sufficient client interest and serve client needs may be considered. Master’s interns will primarily focus on mastering individual counseling skills during this placement. Toward the latter part of their internship and as mastery is demonstrated with individual counseling skills, a master’s intern may co-lead a group with a staff person. Participation in group work will require an additional time commitment.

Couples Counseling

Couples counseling is offered when appropriate. Client partners and spouses who are not FSU students are ineligible for individual services; however, they may be treated in conjunction with an eligible student. Interns may provide couples counseling in conjunction with a staff person.

Consultation

Staff and interns regularly provide consultation to the university community. Interns are often involved in providing consultation and/or presentations to University Housing, the Victim Advocate Program, the Student Disability Resource Center, and student organizations. The UCC also has contact with University Health Services and other departments of the Division of Student Affairs, the FSU Police, the Crisis Management Unit, Tallahassee area hospitals, human services agencies, and private practitioners.

Typical Week

  32 Hours/week 25-29 Hours/week
Professional Development 0-1 0-1
Training Seminar 2 2
Group Case Conference/Supervision 1.5 1.5
Individual Supervision 1.5 1.5
     
Individual and Couples Counseling 10-13 6-8
Group Counseling (includes supervision of group work) 0-3 0-3
Intake Sessions 1-3 0-2
On-call Services (walk-ins) 4.5 4.5
Outreach/Consultations 0-1 0-1
     
Administration 0 0
Staff Meeting/Case Conference 1 1
Case Notes, Other Paperwork 4 4
     
Total 32 25-29

Counseling Center activity is “seasonal” by nature. The demand for services tends to steadily increase during fall and spring semesters. Clientele flow tends to be light from late-November until mid-January and from May to August. Interns should expect to carry substantial caseloads during peak periods so that they can maximize their direct client contact during their internship.

The UCC does not have an after hours “on call” system. Emergencies are generally covered by the FSU Crisis Management Unit.

Benefits

Each intern has an office and computer with word processing software, an email and scheduling program, and internet access. The office may be shared with a fellow intern, but generally is not. The UCC observes state holidays (9 days per year) and master’s interns are not expected to work during the breaks between semesters or during Spring Break. Bereavement leave will be granted, as needed.

Application Process and Selection

The University Counseling Center accepts applications from currently enrolled Florida State University graduate students for the master’s internship program. Applications are accepted and interviews scheduled mid-spring semester for students from all three graduate programs for the fall-spring internship placement. Social Work master’s students may also apply and interview in the fall for the 32 hour spring semester internship. Information about application requirements and deadlines will be posted on the website as well as disbursed to departments prior to the acceptance of applications in mid-fall and mid-spring.

Guidelines for Applicants who are former clients of the UCC:

  1. Former clients are eligible to apply for Master’s internship positions.
  2. There must be a minimum of one semester between receiving clinical services at the UCC and starting a training experience at the UCC.
  3. Former client’s file will be sealed upon receipt of application.
Minimum Criteria for Eligibility
  • Fall and Spring semester commitment to the Master’s Internship Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University. (Spring commitment only for social work interns)
  • Available to engage in training related activities for approximately 25 to 32 hours per week throughout the internship experience.
  • Currently enrolled in Florida State University’s Mental Health Counseling, Art Therapy or Social Work Graduate programs.  

If you meet the minimum criteria for eligibility and are interested in applying to the Master’s Internship Program in the University Counseling Center at Florida State University, please submit the following application materials (Please note, the first four documents are available for download below):

Selected candidates with have the opportunity to request an onsite or skype interview.

Fall Application deadline is March 10th at 5pm.

Social Work spring application deadline is October 6th at 5pm.

 *** Please note that if accepted into the Master’s Internship Training Program, students must provide proof of their Student Liability Insurance at the start of the internship. Trainee will also be required to attend a mandatory orientation 1 week prior to the start of the Fall academic semester. ***

Please send all completed application materials to:

Attention: Master’s Internship Selection Committee
Yvonne Langdon-Maduekwe, Ph.D.
Assistant Training Director
University Counseling Center
Reuben O’D Askew Student Life Center
942 Learning Way, Suite 250
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4175
Phone: (850) 644-TALK(8255)
Fax: (850) 644-3150
e-mail: ylangdon@admin.fsu.edu

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