Counseling Center Provides Sought-After Training Program

Many programs at Minnesota State University, Mankato require students to complete an internship, which allows them to gain practical, hands-on experience before entering the workforce. Many internship sites are right on campus. The Counseling Center, housed in the Centennial Student Union, is a highly sought-after site from professional programs in Mankato as well as the Twin Cities metro area.

Since 1992, when the Counseling Center took on a doctoral candidate from the metro area as an intern, demand for the Center’s services has continued to grow. As the number of staff members has grown since the Counseling Center first opened, the opportunities for interns in the Counseling Center Training Program have also increased. Currently, the Center accepts between six and eight interns from programs such as counseling, psychology and social work each year.

One of the interns during the 2014-2015 academic year sought out an internship in the Counseling Center because this person had heard that the Center offers great supervision and that the supervisors are invested in the supervisees’ professional development.

Not only do the students benefit from the internship opportunity, but the supervisors enjoy participating in the training program as well. Since the field is constantly changing, the training program requires the clinical staff to stay current on new practices and trends within the field. “We very much enjoy supervising and watching our trainees grow,” one supervisor said. “Also, the trainees add enthusiasm and a great energy level to our center.”

When reflecting on the past year, one of the interns shared how enjoyable and educational the experience had been: “I got to work with different supervisory styles and learn from their strengths. I also received a lot of encouragement and had the space to ask questions. Finally, the camaraderie was a significant factor in making the Counseling Center such a comfortable environment. It helped me become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

As a supervisor, it is rewarding to help someone learn how to be a therapist. “Having the privilege to be a part of a trainee’s growth over the course of the year is a humbling and inspiring experience,” a supervisor said.

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