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Training Program

For the 2024–2025 academic year, CPG will offer a training program for master’s-level internship (2 positions) for MSW students. You will find that our program offers a wealth of training and clinical opportunities, a supportive environment, and the flexibility to tailor the experience to fit your individual training needs. Our staff is enthusiastic about your training and dedicated to helping guide you in your journey to becoming a therapist.

Trainees are an integral part of the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth at Clark University. We encourage them to actively participate in various aspects of CPG’s functioning and to assume a major role in the delivery of services. Our staff places a high premium on creating an environment that is professionally stimulating, open to change, and sufficiently flexible to accommodate individual training needs.

Clark University is a private, liberal arts university located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Our diverse population of 2,300 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students are passionately committed to community and social justice issues. Clark is widely known for being the location of Sigmund Freud’s famous 1909 “Clark Lectures” — his only lectures outside of Europe —which introduced psychoanalysis to the United States.

Training Program Overview

The training program at CPG employs a self-of-the-therapist training model. Training within this model calls for work in which the trainees see and understand their own personal issues, and work with them in all aspects of their training process. Self-of-the-therapist work is the willingness of a therapist or supervisor to participate in a process that requires introspective work on issues in the trainee’s own life, and its impact on the therapeutic process and relationship. Through the presence of humor, collegiality, and an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding, our training program allows an environment for this process to safely and comfortably occur.

The master’s-level internship is available for students who are in the second year of their master’s training in a Social Work program. Interns are expected to complete 700 hours of practice between late August and mid-May. CPG requires interns to work at our site for 24 hours per week, and interns will receive one hour of individual supervision from a mental health counselor or psychologist per week. In addition, interns will be involved in group supervision, didactic seminars, community education (including preparation for programming), and administrative time. Each intern is expected to carry a direct client caseload of approximately 10 clients per week. Applicants from accredited master’s-level programs are encouraged to apply.

Training Program Elements

Master’s-level interns are expected to conduct initial intake appointments of “first-time” clients of the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth. In addition to conducting intake appointments during the academic year, interns and trainees will provide individual counseling services for clients. Sessions generally adhere to a short-term model of mental health services; however, for a well-rounded training experience, trainees might see some clients throughout the course of the academic year. An orientation period at the start of the training program is geared toward preparation for this role as a counselor.

Master’s-level interns will attend one weekly individual meeting with their primary supervisor.  During these scheduled meetings, interns and trainees will review cases/clients, develop case formulations, and discuss treatment options and treatment progress. Based on the intern’s or trainee’s academic program requirements, some may be required to audiotape parts of sessions (with client permission); these can be reviewed in supervision to improve self-awareness, client care, and attention to professional ethics. In addition to these weekly supervision times, interns and trainees are encouraged to consult with other staff members as needed or as appropriate. Consulting with staff, and reading relevant articles/research, will help trainees learn to integrate research and theory with their clinical experiences.

Interns and trainees also take part in weekly group supervision. During group supervision, interns and trainees have the opportunity to exchange a broader range of viewpoints and receive more diverse input. Through a collaborative discussion about clients, group supervision offers interns and trainees a safe and supportive environment in which to ask questions, express common concerns, explore their thoughts and feelings about clients, and discuss positive and negative outcomes.

Interns and trainees participate in a weekly didactic seminar where various counseling staff and members from the community present on clinical topics relating to the college student population. During the spring semester, in order to increase their hands-on understanding of college/university counseling, interns and trainees will each present to the team one topic of personal interest. The goal of these meetings is not only to present specific counseling information but also to provide additional supervision and support.

The university environment offers ample opportunity to work with a variety of students; thus, each intern or trainee is expected to provide one outreach type of service per semester to the university community. Much of CPG’s outreach consists of community education, such as leadership in our Student Support Network series (a six-week class offered to student leaders to build and foster skills in helping others) as well as training for faculty and staff.  Interns and trainees will discuss this and plan with their supervisor on how to meet this expectation during their training experience.

Application Process

Second-year master’s-level students in Social Work programs who are interested in applying should submit a cover letter, curriculum vita, and two letters of reference. For the 2024-2025 training year, application materials are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis with the deadline of 2/28/24. Application materials should be sent to Assistant Director/Training Director, Leah Manzella.

Contact Information

Center for Counseling & Personal Growth

Office Information
  • 114 Woodland Street
    Worcester, MA 01610

  • 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed from 12 – 1 p.m.)

  • 1-508-793-7678
  • counseling[at]clarku[dot]edu