Clinical Mental Health Counseling Internship
The Counseling Center Practicum/Internship is typically for three semesters (Fall, Summer, Spring) and requires a minimum of 20 hours/week. This program of supervised clinical experience is designed to satisfy the clinical requirements of a Master's degree in preparation for licensure in the State of Florida. The Counseling Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS).
Students who are completing requirements for a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling are eligible to apply. Minimum academic requirements include completion of courses in ethics, counseling, and psychopathology. Additional course work in advanced counseling theory/technique and group dynamics is preferred. If your university does not have an affiliation agreement with our center, we will need to obtain one prior to the start of the internship. Currently, our center has affiliation agreements with the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.
Minimum academic requirements include completion of courses in ethics, counseling, and psychopathology. Additional course work in advanced counseling theory/technique and group dynamics is preferred. Effective communication skills and a commitment to personal growth are highly desired.
Candidates must be able to work within the normal operating hours of the Center (Monday- Friday 8 am - 5 pm). Occasional evening or weekend hours will be necessary for outreach programs.
A week-long orientation will be held during the first week of the UNF Fall semester. It is required that trainees attend all orientation sessions. Trainees will receive information about Counseling Center policies and procedures, participate in a staff meet and greet, gain information about the center's services, and will receive brief training on topics such as ethical decision making and suicide assessment.
- Intake Sessions
Initially, trainees observe staff counselors conduct
intake sessions and write clinical reports. After observing several sessions with
different staff counselors, trainees will conduct an intake session while their
supervisor observes them.
- Individual Counseling
Every effort is made to provide trainees with a variety of clients and presenting issues commensurate with their level of counseling abilities and experience. Clients are assigned to trainees depending on the trainee's level of training and experience, client/trainee availability, and the trainee's current caseload.
- Group Counseling
During the Fall and Spring semesters, all trainees co-facilitate an interpersonal process group with a staff member. Trainees will have an option to co-facilitate in the Summer semester. There are often additional opportunities to co-facilitate psychoeducational and art therapy groups with staff members.
- Outreach Activities
Trainees will get the opportunity to develop and present outreach activities to the University community. Student groups, campus departments, and residence hall advisors often request that the Center present programs to students on a variety of topics. Some of these programs are offered during evenings and weekends.
Trainees are required to document all counseling contacts in a timely manner through case notes created in the Center's documentation and scheduling software. Additional documentation may be required regarding supervision, outreach and other clinical activities.
- Liability Insurance
Trainees are required to carry professional liability insurance. Documentation of coverage is required prior to independent client contact.
At our counseling center, interns will receive a number of group counseling training experiences. They are required to facilitate at least one group in the Fall and Spring semesters. It is expected that by the end of the internship, interns will have at least 55 hours of group counseling direct contact hours. Group supervision is conducted before and after each group and interns are required to attend a formal group facilitators meeting.
American Group Psychotherapy Association
Interns are encouraged to attend the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) yearly convention. AGPA is a wonderful place for personal and professional growth. There are a number of scholarships available for the cost of the registration. Discounted lodging is available.
After successfully completing the UNF Counseling Center internship, interns will fulfill a number of criteria to become a Certified Group Psychotherapist:
- Group Psychotherapy Education - interns will likely fulfill this requirement by taking a group counseling course at their graduate school or by attending the AGPA Principles course.
- Group Psychotherapy Experience - interns will likely receive 55 out of 300 required hours.
- Additional hours if elected to facilitate a group during the summer semester.
- Group Psychotherapy Supervision - interns will likely receive 35 out of 75 required hours.
Trainees' Typical Week
- Initial Appointment - 1 hour
- Individual Counseling - 7 hours
- Group Counseling - 2 hours
Total = 10 hours
- Supervision with a Licensed Counselor - 1 hour
- Case Notes and Paperwork - 8 hours
- Supervision of Groups - 1 hour bi-weekly
- Supplemental Supervision - 1 hour bi-weekly
Total = 10 hours
Total Hours Per Week = 20 hours
Trainees will be offered additional opportunities, such as:
- Staff Meetings - 1 hour
- Case Conference - 1 hour
- Group Supervision with Doctoral Interns - 2 hours
- Didactic Training with Doctoral Interns - 2 hours
- Additional Group Counseling - 2 hours
Note: If a trainee exceeds 14 hours of direct client contact, or schedules less than 8 hours of paperwork per week, there will be an increase in total hours at the Counseling Center to accommodate for more paperwork time.
Trainees will receive:
- 1-hour of individual supervision with a licensed mental health counselor every week.
- 1-hour of supplemental supervision from a doctoral intern every other week.
- 1-hour of supervision of group counseling every other week.
Trainees' counseling sessions are videotaped for use in both individual and group supervision. Trainees also have the opportunity to observe and consult with our psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and nutritionist.
Trainees receive formal evaluations from their supervisors midway throughout the semester and at the end of the semester. Evaluation guidelines are determined in conjunction with the policies of each trainee's academic program and the expectations of the Center. Trainees meet with their supervisors to discuss their evaluations.
Trainees also complete evaluations of their supervisors midway throughout the semester and at the end of the semester and discuss these with their supervisors.
Personal issues or difficulties sometimes arise for trainees in the course of their initial experience as counselors that exceed the limitations of supervision. While we encourage all current UNF students to utilize services at the Center, trainees are unable to obtain personal counseling during the term of their practicum or internship. The staff is available to assist trainees in locating community resources when a referral is indicated.
Counseling Center Policy on Former Clients as Trainees
Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume and a cover letter. If your university does not have an affiliation agreement with our center, we will need to obtain one prior to the start of the internship. Currently, our center has affiliation agreements with the University of North Florida and Jacksonville University.
Information on CVs and Examples
Inquiries, applications and letters of recommendation should be addressed to:
Misha Bogomaz, Psy.D., ABPP
Director of Training
University of North Florida Counseling Center
Building 2, Room 2300
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224-7699
Telephone: (904) 620-2602