Behavioral Healthcare Graduate Student Programs – Internships/Externships
The Behavioral Healthcare Division provides comprehensive, coordinated, recovery-oriented, community-based mental health and substance use services that are of the highest quality and fully accessible and responsive to the individuals served. Students start in the fall for the full academic year (September through May). We do not offer any positions starting in the winter or summer months. The next application period will begin January 1, 2022, and our application portal will re-open at that time.
Students interested in applying for either program should complete the form below and submit:
- a resume/vita,
- a letter of interest and
- 3 letters of recommendation, including at least one letter from a clinical supervisor and one from their program director about readiness for externship.
For the coming school year, applications will be accepted until February 1 for the externship program, and until March 31 for the master’s internship.
For additional information please contact: Nakia Dawkins
Doctoral Externship for Clinical/Counseling Psychology Students
Nine-month program for clinical psychology doctoral students, beginning after Labor Day and continuing until June. Students are exposed to adult clients with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. Students will perform psychological evaluations of mentally ill individuals, maintain a caseload of 5-6 clients, provide both case management services and therapy, and will be able to co-lead and/or conduct therapy groups. As part of the program, students are expected to attend weekly Treatment Team meetings, monthly Testing Seminar, and at least four best practice didactic seminars presented by staff members.
Qualifications of Applicants: Applicant must be a doctoral student in an APA accredited clinical psychology programs in VA/DC/MD. The student should be entering their second or third year of graduate study and should have prior experience with therapy clients.
Master’s Level Internships for Clinical or Counseling Students
The Behavioral Healthcare Division accepts master’s level students studying to become a professional in the behavioral healthcare industry for the nine-months beginning after Labor Day, and continuing until June. Students are exposed to clients with serious mental illness and substance use disorders. The agency offers internships in the follow programs:
Forensic Jail Diversion/Residential and Specialized Clinical Services
Description of Intern duties:
- Complete all required onboarding trainings, including HIPPA, Cerner, Bloodborne Pathogens, Civilian Orientation at ACDF, etc.
- Attend internship at least 3 days per week for approximately 5-7 hours per day. Provide notice to supervisor if unable to attend internship or need specific dates off in the future.
- Attend weekly supervision with the assigned supervisor.
- Document all encounters with clients in Cerner within 24 hours.
- Write thorough progress notes in DAP format for all f2f meetings with clients.
- Observe various assessments conducted by Forensic and TOW Clinicians and identify the difference between the assessments that are completed in the field.
- Carry a case load of approximately 3-5 clients during the end of the first semester/beginning of second semester.
- Provide case management with the oversight of the site supervisor.
- Notify supervisor if client needs to be assessed for a higher level of care as a result of psychiatric instability or substance use.
- Attend court hearings as it relates to client’s diversion from jail and ongoing treatment in the community.
- Attend weekly staffing with the Forensic Jail Diversion and Treatment on Wheels Team.
- Meet with clients at different locations in the community, such as the jail, shelter, hospital, DHS, as needed.
- If appropriate, intern will assist Dr. Guerrero with writing Competency Evaluations that are submitted to the court.
- Assist Forensic/TOW staff with restoration to competency efforts that are completed with ACDF.
- Co-lead psychoeducational groups at the RPC shelter or agency with Forensic/TOW staff.
- Develop an evidence-based psychoeducational group to be co-lead by interns with minimal supervision.
Successful Intern Qualities:
- Knowledge and study of Forensic populations, clinical diagnosis and presentation, substance use, and modalities of treatment.
- Ability to learn and apply training received in internship to assist clients.
- Organizational skills to manage school and internship requirements and deadlines.
- Excellent written and oral skills.
- Ability to voice questions and accept feedback both positive and constructive.
- Ability to commit to a minimum of two full days a week; preferably more, to the internship site.
Description of Art Therapy Intern duties:
This position allows for a unique chance to provide adjunct art therapy services in both individual and group settings for clients ages 18-59 that are open to services at the Behavioral Healthcare Division (BHD). The agency predominately serves clients from underserved and diverse communities that have a serious mental illness or substance use needs causing functional impairments in many of their life domains. The intern also has the opportunity to provide groups at Arlington shelters linked to BHD’s Treatment on Wheels Program for the homeless population. The intern must be a 2nd year student in an accredited art therapy program or a 1st year student with prior work experiences in the mental health field. The position requires that the intern have a foundation in mental health skills and will be able to work independently. Support is available as needed and through weekly 1:1 supervision with Andrea Tree who is an Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. This internship allows flexibility in the what the intern has interest in (e.g. specific disorders or populations). The intern can select how many 1:1 clients and groups they want and in areas of interest. The intern must be available for at least 12-15 hours/week. Specific duties include:
- Complete required County trainings.
- Outreach programs to identify clients that could benefit from art therapy services. Create flyers to promote group services and art therapy curriculums that relate to the clients’ needs.
- Provide adjunct 1:1 art therapy session to clients open to BHD outpatient services.
- Complete progress notes and group notes within 24 hours of the sessions/groups.
- Maintain care coordination by communicating with the clinician or case manager overseeing the client’s case, keep them informed about client’s progress and/or challenges.
- Attend weekly supervision for 1hr with Andrea Tree. Two evaluations will be completed for each semester.
- Opportunities are also available to offer art therapy groups for special populations for programs such as Clarendon House, Edge (for young adults ages 17.5-24), TOW services/shelters/Revive (counseling service provided at Doorways for survivors of domestic violence).
Clarendon House – Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program
Clarendon House is a community-based rehabilitation program working with adults with serious mental illness. The program provides a wide array of services to clients to include psycho-educational classes, advocacy and case management, medication and psychiatric services, and socialization programs. The goal of the program is to prevent psychiatric hospitalizations and promote the highest level of community integration, recovery and independence for each individual.
Clarendon House can fulfill social work and clinical mental health counseling internship requirements of 16+ hours per week. Students must be willing to work with adults with serious mental illness, some with co-occurring disorders and other medical issues. Looking for students with strong communications skills, flexibility, and ability to work with multi-disciplinary team. Previous mental health experience preferred, but not required.
Specific duties include:
- Teaching psychoeducational classes to clients;
- Engaging clients in social and educational skill building activities to assist in the development of daily living skills to help clients function in the community;
- Providing outreach to clients and families
- Developing treatment plans collaboratively with clients and treatment team
- Coordinating with case managers, psychiatrists, and other members of treatment team to ensure quality of care
- Provide ongoing support and monitoring of clients present at the program
- Work collaboratively with treatment team and attend weekly staff meetings
- Assist case managers with tasks which could include but not limited to: attending home visits, assisting with benefits paperwork, research of available resources, contacting transportation companies, assistance with scheduling appointments
- Shadow case managers during their appointments with clients
- Attend civil commitment hearing
- Tour Arlington County facilities and outside hospitals
Healthy Living Program – BHD Residential and Specialized Clinical Services
- Second year MSW students in social policy/change (macro) specialization
Description of Intern duties:
Interns support the development and administration of the Healthy Living Program (HLP).
The MSW social change practicum will provide opportunities for students to be involved with all elements of the administration and ongoing development of a health and wellness program in a public behavioral healthcare setting. This program provides health and wellness services and supports to adults living in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. The program prioritizes the examination of social justice and equity issues as they relate to healthcare and engages in advocacy and education around such.
Students would be tasked with the following:
- All elements of daily program administration to include development and management of all program services, budget supervision, contract management, client-related needs, scheduling, etc.
- All elements of partnership building with community-based services to benefit HLP and BHD clients
- Grant writing research and application
- Data collection around program outcome measures, and all elements of program evaluation and adaptation
- Support HLP client engagement in program activities including weekly groups and services, social media events, community-based recreation and learning opportunities, and more
- Ongoing engagement with community partner agencies to include the development of health and wellness-related projects and events, and the provision of relevant presentations and workshops as needed
- As required by MSW program – typically 20 hours per week for second year student
Qualifications of Applicants: The internship program accepts applications from master’s level students in clinical or counseling psychology programs in VA/DC/MA. The students should be entering their second year of graduate study and should have prior experience with therapy clients.