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Working As A Counselor Internship

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $40,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Counselor Internship Do

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.

Duties

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically do the following:

  • Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression
  • Encourage clients to discuss their emotions and experiences
  • Help clients process their reactions and adjust to difficult changes in their life, such as divorce and layoffs
  • Guide clients through the process of making decisions about their future
  • Help clients develop strategies and skills to change their behavior and to cope with difficult situations
  • Refer clients to other resources or services in the community, such as support groups or inpatient treatment facilities

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques and tools to help their clients. Many apply cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented approach that helps clients understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and teaches how to replace them with positive, life-enhancing ones. Furthermore, mental health counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy to teach clients to eliminate unwanted and damaging behaviors and to replace them with more productive ones.

Although some disorders can be overcome, others need to be managed. With the latter, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help the client develop strategies and skills to minimize the effects of their disorders or illnesses.

Many mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists work in private practice. They must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with insurance companies and clients to get payment for their services.

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems. 

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families. Unlike other types of mental health professionals, they bring a family-centered perspective to treatment, even when treating individuals. They evaluate family roles and development, to understand how clients’ families affect their mental health. They treat the clients’ relationships, not just the clients themselves. They address issues, such as low self-esteem, stress, addiction, and substance abuse.

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists coordinate patient treatment with other professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers.

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How To Become A Counselor Internship

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

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Counselor Internship Career Paths

Counselor Internship
Counselor Therapist Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Counselor Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Counselor Clinician Case Manager
Medical Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Consultant Program Manager
Service Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Supervisor Program Director
Director Of Program Services
8 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Team Leader Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Executive Assistant Assistant Property Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Senior Technician Specialist Nursing Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Substitute Teacher Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Clinical Social Worker Social Work Supervisor
Director Of Social Work
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Utilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Residential Counselor Mental Health Worker Residential Supervisor
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Office Manager House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker Program Supervisor
Residential Program Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Teacher Education Consultant
Student Dean
7 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Professional Service Provider Integrator
Health Unit Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Pastoral Counselor 5.1 years
Clinical Counselor 2.5 years
Primary Counselor 2.5 years
Family Counselor 2.4 years
Personal Counselor 2.3 years
Outreach Counselor 2.2 years
Group Counselor 2.1 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Crisis Counselor 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Counselor Internship
Internship 18.9%
Volunteer 8.5%
Counselor 6.6%
Teacher 4.5%
Cashier 3.1%
Tutor 2.6%
Assistant 2.3%
Top Careers After Counselor Internship
Counselor 14.2%
Internship 10.6%
Therapist 10.4%
Clinician 6.6%
Volunteer 3.9%
Teacher 2.8%

Do you work as a Counselor Internship?

Average Yearly Salary
$40,000
Show Salaries
$29,000
Min 10%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$40,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Chicago, IL
Highest Paying State
Illinois
Avg Experience Level
0.9 years
How much does a Counselor Internship make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Counselor Internship in the United States is $40,876 per year or $20 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $29,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $56,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Counselor Internship Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Marriage and Family Counselor Intern Nogales Psychological Counseling, Inc. Jan 10, 2016 $66,784
Marriage and Family Counselor Intern Nogales Psychological Counseling, Inc. Oct 25, 2013 $58,436
Marriage and Family Counselor Intern Nogales Psychological Counseling, Inc. Oct 01, 2010 $58,436
Licensed Professional Counselor Intern Tangible Difference Learning Center Oct 01, 2010 $54,000
Licensed Professional Counselor Intern Lyle R Cadenhead Oct 01, 2011 $43,827
Licensed Professional Counselor Intern Lutheran Social Service of The South, Inc. Apr 15, 2014 $42,000
Professional Clinical Counselor, Intern The Open Mind Training Institute Aug 17, 2015 $41,740
Professional Clinical Counselor, Intern The Open Mind Training Institute Aug 25, 2014 $41,740
Licensed Professional Counselor Intern Lutheran Social Service of The South, Inc. Apr 15, 2013 $38,500
Rehabilitation Counselor/MFT Intern Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. Aug 28, 2013 $38,500
Licensed Professional Counselor Intern Sharon L. Rogers, PHD PC ABPP Sep 05, 2013 $32,098

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Top Skills for A Counselor Internship

  1. Treatment Plans
  2. Group Therapy Sessions
  3. Intake Assessments
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed individualized treatment plans for men and women that had been diagnosed with chemical dependency and/or co occurring psychiatric disorder.
  • Conducted individual intake and group therapy sessions in Intensive Outpatient Treatment program with adults diagnosed with a variety of addiction disorders.
  • Conducted initial intake assessments, treatment planning, career assessments, test anxiety and academic motivation, psycho-education and support.
  • Experience in cognitive/behavioral/crisis interventions, family system dynamics, educational issues, case management, laws and ethics and clinical presentations.
  • Dedicated psychological interventions with clients who have served long prison sentences with debilitating substance abuse and cognitive mental illness case management.

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Top 10 Best States for Counselor Interns

  1. Maine
  2. Illinois
  3. Alaska
  4. New Mexico
  5. North Dakota
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. Michigan
  9. Arizona
  10. Massachusetts
  • (51 jobs)
  • (350 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (484 jobs)
  • (163 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (778 jobs)

Counselor Internship Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 30,172 Counselor Internship resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Counselor Internship Resume

View Resume Examples

Counselor Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

70.8%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

5.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.2%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.4%

French

8.1%

Mandarin

4.2%

Chinese

3.7%

Russian

2.8%

Arabic

2.0%

Hindi

1.9%

Italian

1.9%

German

1.9%

Korean

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Portuguese

1.6%

Urdu

1.2%

Japanese

1.1%

Polish

1.0%

Hebrew

0.9%

Greek

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Armenian

0.5%

Swahili

0.4%
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Counselor Internship Education

Schools

Liberty University

13.9%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

8.3%

Capella University

7.8%

Grand Canyon University

7.6%

Walden University

6.9%

Webster University

6.6%

New York University

4.4%

Argosy University-Atlanta

4.0%

University of North Texas

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.6%

University of Texas at San Antonio

3.5%

University of Southern California

3.5%

Montclair State University

3.5%

Florida State University

3.3%

Georgia State University

3.2%

University of Central Florida

3.1%

ICDC College

3.0%

Monmouth University

3.0%

University of South Florida

2.9%
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Majors

Counseling Psychology

23.6%

Mental Health Counseling

19.4%

Psychology

13.8%

Social Work

10.9%

School Counseling

6.4%

Human Services

3.9%

Family Therapy

3.2%

Rehabilitation Science

3.0%

Criminal Justice

2.5%

Clinical Psychology

2.4%

Education

2.1%

Sociology

1.8%

Pharmacy

1.2%

Human Development

1.2%

Law

1.1%

Business

1.1%

Chemical Engineering

0.7%

Liberal Arts

0.7%

Pastoral Counseling And Specialized Ministries

0.6%

Elementary Education

0.5%
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Degrees

Masters

60.0%

Bachelors

28.4%

Associate

4.4%

Certificate

2.8%

Doctorate

2.6%

High School Diploma

1.1%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.3%
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Updated May 18, 2020