Clinical Mental Health Internship FAQs

 

 


How do I choose an internship site?

The internship is your chance to get supervised practice in your chosen profession. It is important to consider what you want to get out of this training and find a site that fits those needs and goals. Ideally you would be able to visit clinical mental health settings (outpatient, inpatient, etc.), meet with the mental health counselor(s) and/or clinical director, and discuss the clinical mental health counseling setting. You need to find out how you can be involved in the activities of the clinical mental health setting. Find out what the duties of the clinical mental health counselor at that settingentail. Will you be more of an assistant, or a counselor? Does the clinical mental health counselor conduct individual and group sessions with clients?

 

It is wise to also consider these questions for each potential placement: Can you accrue the required number of direct contact hours? Is it possible to earn the total number of hours? Can you find an onsite supervisor who meets the requirements? Is this person willing and able to supervise you weekly?

 

It is your responsibility to seek out potential internship sites.

 

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How do I get approval for an internship?

You must complete and submit the appropriate internship application forms by the publicized due date.

 

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When and how will I be notified that my internship application has been approved?

There is no set notification date for internship approval. Your application is approved by the counseling university internship committee soon after being submitted. The Education Student Services office will notify you as soon as the site tells them whether your placement has been approved.

 

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Where do I get the internship forms and how do I submit them?

The internship forms can be found on the Education Graduate Student Announcements Canvas site, under the "Counseling" section. The directions for submission of all forms is included on this site. Pay strict attention to the due dates for these forms.

 

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What are the requirements for a potential onsite supervisor?

In addition to your onsite supervisor being willing to meet with you for an hour of supervision each week of your internship, he or she must have:

  • a minimum of a Master's degree, preferably in counseling, or a related profession;
  • relevant certifications and/or licenses (e.g., LPC, LPC-MHSP);
  • a minimum of two years of pertinent professional experience in the specialty area in which the student is enrolled;
  • knowledge of the program's expectations, requirements, and evaluation procedures for students; and
  • relevant training in counseling supervision.

It would be good if he or she is an active member of counseling professional organizations and has experience as a supervisor, though this is not mandatory.

 

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Will there be a Canvas course for internship?

Yes. You should go to the Canvas course immediately when you are enrolled in order to read about the specific requirements for completing your internship.

 

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What assignments do I have to complete in internship?

Internship is your chance to immerse yourself in the job of clinical mental health counselor. Your focus should be on becoming as active as possible at your site, performing the duties of a clinical mental health counselor. The exact duties will be determined by you and your onsite supervisor. For the course, you must: complete your 300 hours onsite and submit a Final Log of those hours, signed by your onsite supervisor; complete a separate evaluation of your onsite supervisor, your site, and your university supervisor; ensure that your onsite supervisor submits both a midterm and final evaluation of you; complete course assignments (discussion boards, etc.), meet with your onsite supervisor for 1 hour a week, and meet with your university supervisor weekly. The instructor of the course may assign additional assignments as needed.

 

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How many hours do I have to complete during internship?

Each internship requires 300 hours at the school. A minimum of 120 hours must be in direct contact with clients. Each week you must meet with your onsite supervisor for an hour of supervision, for a total of 15 hours. The remaining 165 hours can be in indirect contact with students. Additionally, you will be meeting with your university supervisor weekly that will count towards your indirect hours.

 

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What is meant by “direct contact hours”?

Direct contact hours include any activity in which you are meeting face-to-face with clients. This could include, for example, individual counseling, group counseling, intake assessments, or family counseling sessions.

 

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What is meant by “indirect contact hours”?

Indirect hours can include any task required of a clinical mental health counselor that does not include meeting face-to-face with a client. This may include administrative tasks such as keeping records, filing, meetings, planning groups, or consulting with counselors.

 

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Does driving to and from my site count towards my indirect hours?

No.

 

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When can I begin to accrue hours for my internship?

You must be enrolled in the internship course in order to accrue hours for internship. You may begin accruing hours for your internship when the UTM semester starts as long as all of the appropriate paperwork has been submitted and approved.

 

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Can I start my internship if I haven't submitted all of my paperwork?

No.

 

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What if I can't complete all 300 hours for an internship during a semester?

If you find yourself at the end of UTM's semester without having the required hours, you can be given an incomplete for the course. Then you may continue at the site until your hours are completed. Once you have completed all requirements for the course, the incomplete will be removed.

 

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Can I complete my internship during the summer?

Yes, you can complete a summer internship. However, you must be aware of a few things:

  • The summer term is shorter than the regular terms (Fall and Spring), but the required hours are not any shorter. That being said, you are still expected to accumulate 300 hours in the summer term.
  • You must find a clinical mental health placement that allows you to get the required direct contact hours. Again, the same amount of hours each time, but just be mindful that it is a shorter term.
  • You must have someone to supervise you that meets the supervision requirements.

 

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Can I take another course while I am enrolled in internship?

UTM allows students to take one other 3-hour course while enrolled in internship.

 

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Can I take COUN 785 while I am enrolled in internship?

No. The Practicum course, COUN 785, must be taken before you begin internship.

 

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Can I complete both internships at the same time?

Under certain circumstances you may complete both internships during the same semester. You must be able to demonstrate that it is possible for you to work both internships in order to schedule the required number of hours during the semester. Contact the instructor to discuss this option before submitting an application.

 

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