We invite you to consider an Internship, Practicum, or Externship with the Naropa Student Counseling Center at Naropa University.
Our small liberal arts college serves undergraduate and graduate students with a variety of issues to support their transformational journey at Naropa University. Trainees enjoy working with diverse issues and their work includes providing individual, group, and/ or couples counseling with traditional and non-traditional college and graduate students. Our trainees also provide outreach, education, and advocacy on the campus around mental health issues.
Our training program provides excellent experience with a wide variety of clinical issues ranging from response to severe and ongoing mental health needs and crisis response, to working with insightful growth-based clients, and everything in between. We provide a program that integrates the creative, contemplative, holistic, spiritual and humanistic traditions Naropa trained counselors are familiar with, and help trainees develop the Clinical Skills Development that is critical to work in the field. Trainees enjoy the creative, reflective and seeking nature that many of our clients bring to the therapy process.
Trainees play dual roles as both students and staff of Naropa during their placement year(s) with us. The situation challenges them to pull from the wisdom and compassion they bring to their role as Student-Serving-Students, and to step into their emerging Professional Counselor Identity. We take great care to assure client confidentiality and avoid dual relationships, and trainees who work with us are supported as they navigate the complexity of working in a small community.
Our Training Philosophy
Our approach to training and supervision is based on a developmental model. We view learning as a process that occurs through the practice of professional counseling activities while also giving the trainee the opportunity to observe professional counselors in action, and receive support, training, and feedback. Our training program has been designed to provide opportunities for new counselors to gain mastery with basic skills and move toward increasing complexity in their work over time. We provide the necessary structure, support, guidance, and feedback to facilitate development as the trainee moves toward greater capacity and effectiveness as a new counselor.
Our training program is centered on challenge and support opportunities in the four core realms of Clinical Skill, Professional Identity, Administrative Effectiveness, and Self of the Therapist. We integrate these, as well as ethics, into all our supervision and training processes. We see the training process as one that parallels the client journey of growth, and provide Parallel Process Group support to help folks integrate their experience in their new role.
We begin the year with a 2-3 week long orientation that provides staff and interns ample opportunities to develop strong working relationships. This is followed by a two month period wherein the focus is for the staff to learn about each of the trainees’ experiences, strengths, training, and interests and identify areas of growth.
We strive to support trainees both individually and as a group. Upon the successful completion of our internship interns will be prepared for entry level professional practice, as generalists, within the field of counseling and mental health. Upon successful completion of practicum, trainees will be prepared to offer intakes, assessments, and individual counseling in their internship placement.
Feedback from Our Trainees
“Working alongside supervisors and licensed counselors with clients was one of the most valuable aspects of the training program.”
“Showing a video in weekly video group supervision was so hard, but was also the most illuminating thing.”
“I learned so much watching you work with that (difficult crisis situation)”
“I love working with Naropa students!”
“Being a part of the training team was a reparative experience.”
“Thank you so much for giving me a firm foundation for clinical work now. I know the things I learned here will help me throughout my entire career.”
“You (supervisors) really walk the walk.”
“Thank you for always having my back.”
What We Are Looking For
We are a competitive site that seeks counselors in training who are humble, warm, and emotionally and psychologically mature. Our trainees need to be open to clinical challenges, client and supervisor feedback, organized, warm and empathic, and able to add to the team. We seek trainees who are vested in career development, and who have some experience working in the helping professions. Trainees who wish to expand and deepen their effectiveness by providing one-on-one counseling, outreach, groups, and education within a structured training program are welcome to apply. Trainees who desire integrative supervision and value the support of a comprehensive training program benefit from working with us.
Duration of Commitment
Our Master’s Training Program requires a minimum of 600 hours from our Intern Counselors and 300 hours from our Practicum Counselors. Interns commit to at least 20 hours per week for 9.5 consecutive months. Practicum commit to 10 hours per week for 9.5 consecutive months. These figures are what most state licensing boards require.
Trainees are expected to fully commit to the training experience with us at NSCC. All trainees are expected to anticipate and plan, discuss with supervisors, and resolve any conflicting responsibilities including the start date, commute time, conference attendance, class schedule, other jobs, child and elder care, etc., prior to the placement. Due to the nature and pace of our clinical work and the need to be in regular communication with one another, flex-time is not possible, nor are partial internships or practicums.
The Internship and Practicum commitment extends from Aug 1, 2019-May 15 2020. Practicum trainees who complete their Practicum training year with us successfully will be asked to return as Interns the following year.
Hours of Operation
The traditional business day for the Counseling Staff at Naropa Student Counseling Center is 9:00 am-5:00 pm Monday through Friday with an hour closure from 12 pm to 1 pm for lunch and meetings. All staff, including trainees may schedule their clients, supervision, research, paperwork, etc. as they see fit during the days and times they are scheduled to be at the center. All trainees agree upon their semester schedule after registering for classes and prior to engaging in the clinical placement.
Work Culture and Work Flow
Hard work, motivation, openness, team-ship, and self-care are valued in our team. We believe trainees can challenge themselves without being stretched too thin, and there is not an expectation that trainees take on every opportunity. However, there is an expectation that trainees are motivated and available for client contact hours. We’ve found that past trainees often get too stressed when they take on more client hours than their program and we require. In general, the values of the training team include hard work, humility, interest in contributing and being a part of a healthy and professional team, and dedication to learning and growing as a counselor.
One of the benefits and realities of working at a small university is the ebb and flow of the academic year. We are incredibly busy during the fall semester and it is not uncommon for folks to need to put in extra hours during this period. There is a nice academic break during between semesters, as well as time off during spring break. Practice days each semester give us a chance to take a wider view of the university and participate with the whole university. There are many opportunities, both formally and informally, to learn and contribute to the Naropa community during one’s clinical placement.
Expectations Regarding Balance
Trainees are responsible for maintaining the quality and quantity of their individual caseloads and documentation and engaging in learning through individual, group, and video supervision. Parallel Process group and our Trainings with Outside Presenters provide further opportunities for learning. While these activities comprise is the majority of the work week, trainees also have hours for discretionary activities. Trainees can use these hours to pursue reading, training opportunities, marketing, and other areas of interest to support their emerging counselor identity and practice with clients. Sometimes discretionary hours are dedicated to clinical paperwork and planning. Sometimes balance requires putting a project on hold while focusing on clinical work or administrative duties.
Goal Setting, Feedback and Evaluations
The early phases of our program involve more goal-setting, didactic content, co-facilitated clinical experiences, and structured direction from clinical supervisors. As the year progresses trainees are expected to develop mastery within the basics of administrative and client-care, and grow to respond more skillfully to clinical issues and complexity, take on increasing responsibility, and self-directedness.
Our use of feedback and evaluation tools is an important part of the process. Trainees have the opportunity to receive feedback weekly in individual and group supervision sessions and practice giving and receiving feedback in weekly group video supervision. Trainees elicit feedback from clients formally and informally throughout the therapeutic relationship.
Trainees are provided copies of the forms we use for their formal evaluations when they first join our team. We walk through these together, orienting trainees in the areas they can expect to learn and be evaluated. Goal setting helps supervisors and trainees collaborate to focus on areas competency and skill.
Evaluations are intended to provide trainees and their school program with feedback about the trainee’s progress as it relates to our expectations and observations of their work. We have trainees self-evaluate to help increase ownership and self-awareness, and to support career-long reflective practice. Evaluations offer trainees to observe supervisors model the feedback process. This further contributes to trainees’ development of feedback skills- which we see as critical in the profession, whether in work with clients, colleagues, or hierarchical relationships in the placement or post-graduate practice.
Each trainee formally self-evaluates at three points through the training year, including about two months in, at the half-way point, and in a final evaluation. They submit this self-evaluation to their supervisor, who also evaluates them. The supervisor’s evaluation is then reviewed and shared with the trainees’ graduate program faculty. Finally, evaluation of our program and supervisors by trainees helps us further refine our client services, training program, and contributes to the development of our staff. Evaluation is a two-way process and is intended to be illuminating rather than critical for all involved.
We hope that you will consider working with us during your clinical placement. Our trainees play a critical role in supporting Naropa students, enjoy our population and the length, depth, and breadth of the work, and appreciate the structured and developmental approach we take.
We so appreciate all that our trainees offer to clients on their Naropa Journey.
Please email, in a single email, with all attachments to Jo-Lynn Park, Director of Masters Training Program and Naropa Student Counseling Center at email@example.com. We are unable to review incomplete applications.
Complete Application Includes:
1. Letter of interest including:
- Why are you interested in working in our student counseling center and being a part of our training program?
- What can you contribute to the center?
- What skills, interest, and/or experience do you have working with young adults, college students, and folks around identity development?
- How you might contribute to marketing of our center and representing our services?
- How you might work to avoid problematic dual relationship issues that might arise in the work as an intern therapist in the small Naropa community?
- What challenges do you bring to your internship year and what supports might benefit from?
- How do you manage self-care?
2. 3 letters of recommendation- We would like to get a sense of your work experience, any clinical experience, and academic performance. Please include, if possible, letters from prior employers and supervisors of work and volunteer experience. If possible, please limit references speaking only on behalf of your academic performance to one reference.
Interviews will be offered soon after applications are received and we will offer positions to our best applicants on a rolling basis. Please apply early. We will begin reviewing applications for Interns on 01/02/2020 and Practicum on 02/01/2020.