Finding a mental health internship is sometimes harder than the master’s program you just completed. It’s clear we have more interns coming out of school than we have internship opportunities, which causes much unneeded stress. Here is my list of ways to find an internship.
- Networking – start networking early. Meet people in the community, volunteer for a place that hires interns so you can meet the people that hire, or get on a board of a non-profit agency. It is my guess that most internship opportunities are being filled by someone the agency/hospital already knows.
- Join local chapters of counseling associations and go to the meetings. Pass out cards, invite people to coffee, and be vocal that you are seeking an internship.
- Volunteer to work for free anywhere that you can get hours until a paid internship comes available.
- Ask professors / school career center – Ask your professors if they know people in the community that can help. I have had professors give my name to students to help them. Maybe your professors know the right people.
- Job searches – I know this is daunting since there are so many job search websites out there. Hopefully this site will take off soon so you only have to search here. But until then, I will put job sites on the resources page to help you out.
- Create you own – If your state allows for you to work in a private practice, find a supervisor in private practice that has office space. You’ll have to check your state board for their specific rules on private practice. Market your little heart out to get clients.
- Google supervisors in your area and ask where their interns are working. They might have some good insider information.
We as a mental health profession don’t seem concerned that interns are having a hard time finding internships. I hope that more internships will be created in the future so we can raise the next generation of therapists in the best way possible.
Please comment if you have a difference of opinion, have something to add, or just want something to do.