When you’re in school for counseling, you’ll get your experience while dealing with real-life situations in a setting beyond the school’s walls. This is why internships are vital for a counseling student. In fact, most on-the-job training comes in the form of a counseling internships or residency. You can jump-start your experience by finding a summer internship that will help refine your course choices as well as get the experience you need to land a job after graduation.
Nanny for the Summer
While this might not be on the radar of a counseling student, it should be. A summer spent as a nanny will boost your confidence when dealing with children and their families. While some internships are unpaid, with a job like this you’re getting valuable skills, confidence to deal with children and a weekly paycheck. It’s more than babysitting. You can apply the skills you’ve been learning by bringing creative play to the children, and it proves you’re a responsible person when the family gives you a glowing recommendation.
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Summer Camp Counselor
Whether you’re going to be a child development professional, teacher or counselor, working in a summer camp has the benefit of being a paid experience builder. You’ll be working outdoors in the sunshine while practicing and honing your counseling skills, which is an incredible way to spend the summer. As a camp counselor, you’ll be able to instill values in the children like leadership and strong teamwork. It can be very satisfying work.
Mental Health Advocate
You could work in a hospital as a mental health advocate or volunteer at a local mental health center. The summer internship that you take should further your skills. If you make money during the summer with your position, it can be a bonus. It shouldn’t be your first consideration. As a mental health advocate, you’ll be able to apply your skills to step in during a crisis and help diagnose or treat a person with a mental illness.
Nursing Home Aid
The elderly are dealing with illnesses like dementia and Alzheimers. As a nursing home aid, you can help the staff organize social situations for the residents. You might also be able to provide some counseling between the elderly and family members who don’t know how to deal with the illness.
Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
There are centers that will help a person detox, intense outpatient services and residential treatment facilities. They are all in need of qualified staff and caring individuals. When it comes time to consider where you’d like to learn and grow in an internship, you can turn your sights on a treatment center. In some cases, they aren’t able to take on paid interns, but you can volunteer where you’re needed. It’s all about the experience and learning on the job.
Counseling internships should further your education as well as provide a place where you can apply what you’ve already learned in a real-world setting. This is experience you can put on your resume when you’re ready to graduate. Start looking for an internship long before the summer begins. You’re competing with many other counseling students for positions.