Internship Program

REQUIREMENTS FOR PRACTICUM AND INTERNSHIP

Placement in a practicum usually represents the student's first step out of the role of student and into the role of a mental health professional under supervision. It's an arena for applying theories and concepts of counseling that the student has learned in previous course work. The emphasis of this experience is to develop clinical skills in interviewing, assessment and mental health counseling of individuals, groups and families.

The Counseling Track faculty of the University must bear the responsibility for ensuring that the student is adequately prepared prior to being permitted to take this step. Therefore, the faculty must carefully consider the decision to authorize a student to apply for a practicum position. 

In order to apply for a practicum with Pathways For Change, the student is encouraged to have successfully completed 18 semester hours or 30 quarter-hours of graduate study, which qualify as credit toward the requirements for graduation. These must include the specific courses listed as pre-requisites for practicum. Thus, a student ordinarily will not apply for permission to begin practicum until at least the third semester in the graduate program. In addition, the student's most recent evaluation must clearly indicate a level of performance in all three areas evaluated (academic, professional conduct, clinical skill), that is consistent with that of the average student in the program entering the applied practicum stage of graduate training.

The student is expected to spend a minimum of eight hours per week, but no more than 10 hours per week, at this site, for the 100-hour practicum, and up to 32 hours per week for Florida State University's MSW program (432 hours or 512 hours) or Troy University's Master's Programs (600-900 hour internship), performing counseling duties assigned by the supervisor. These hours will include conducting assessment and counseling sessions with clients individually, with their significant others and/or their family. Interns will participate in one hour of individual and one and a half hours of group supervision per week. Students are expected to complete case notes and/or case management duties in a responsible, professional and timely manner. At least half the practicum hours will be spent in face-to-face contact with clients.

The student is expected to attend the scheduled practicum/internship class on campus each week, as well as regularly scheduled individual supervision sessions with the course instructor. The University instructor is to include peer review of the student's client cases, as well as any tape or video recordings of each practicum student. It should be clearly understood that such evaluations are conducted with the strictest of confidentiality, in compliance with policy and regulations of the law, F.S. 491.

INTERNSHIP

The internship is intended to be an extension of the practicum experience. The intern is expected to expand the amount of time at this site to at least 32 hours per week for two consecutive semesters. Over the course of two semesters, the internship experience will provide the student with a minimum of 850 contact hours of experience. The intern will receive a minimum of 45 minutes of individual and 90 minutes of group supervision per week from the site supervisor. 

In addition, the intern is expected to attend the scheduled internship class on campus each week, as well as meet for regularly scheduled supervision with the University instructor. Before beginning the internship, the student must take a course that covers the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

REGISTERED MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR INTERNS

All participants are to be registered and certified through the Department of Health, Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Mental Health Counseling (491 Board).

The Interns will have completed their master's degree in Psychology, Social Work or related field and must provide a copy of graduate degree certificate. Interns are to provide documented professional liability insurance and must maintain any records required for Licensure through the 491 Board. One hour of supervision will be provided to the intern for every three hours of direct client contact the intern provides at the Center. Each Intern is required to have one hour of individual and one and a half hours of group supervision per week by one of our Certified Supervisors.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL PRACTICUM STUDENTS AND INTERNS

Before seeing clients, each student/intern must be able to:

  • Complete the volunteer application and background check with proper clearance
  • Attend the volunteer orientation provided by PFC Staff
  • Have picture I.D. made at PFC
  • Have documented professional liability insurance
  • Have a current resume/vitae on file with the assigned supervisor
  • Keep own record of number of hours worked, amount of direct client contact and number of supervision hours
  • Keep records in accordance with PFC policy
  • Own personal copy of the most recent Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Have the ability to complete a five-axis diagnosis on each client
  • Complete a mental status exam on each client
  • Develop an initial treatment plan for each client
  • Bring clients to desired conclusion and closure of issues by last session
  • Close out cases by using the desired termination summary form
  • Co-lead in program curriculum
  • Assist in case management duties as assigned

STAFF 

The Pathways For Change program has a staff of master's level therapists, who are registered and licensed in the State of Florida, under F.S. 491 and are Qualified Certified Supervisors by the State of Florida.

From one of our Interns...

Connie,

I could never begin to explain all that I learned and so many different issues I encountered that most interns never see firsthand. What you are doing is such an amazing ministry to those who are hurting and need help. However, what you do to supply such a fostering learning environment for graduate students is just amazing and commendable. I have used so much of my knowledge from working at the family center to help people struggling find resources and skills I attained I often find myself using with my own children to resolve conflict. I don't know which avenue God will open the door for me to walk into but I applied for two different jobs. Both would be something I would love to do just putting it in God's hands to provide the right path for me. Thank you again for all of your wisdom and guidance. Your outlook on ministry and true servant-hood is a mirror for anyone who has the privilege of serving alongside you. Please give my blessings to Chris or any of the staff still working at PFC. Praying none of the guys I knew are still there and are doing great!
Many Blessings,
Bridgett S.
 

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