At Whole Connection we accept interns in their final year of their master's program. Because our supervisors are Licensed Clinical Social Workers we accept both MSW and MA (counseling) degree candidates.
Whole Connection's internship program primarily works to serve the needs of individuals, couples, and families accessing mental health care through Medicaid. Your caseload will be primarily with Medicaid clients.
Also our program focuses on providing extensive training and clinical experience for candidates looking to become psychotherapists.
We are a certified agency placement for the following schools:
Simmons School of Social Work
Denver University School of Social Work Online Program
Naropa Graduate School in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Metropolitan State University of Colorado
University of Colorado Denver
Colorado State University
Smith College School for Social Work
If you are not a graduate student at one of the above schools but want to work with us please contact your placement coordinator about your interest.
The application process includes several steps starting with an email containing your letter of interest and resume. Next steps include, an in person interview, reference check, and finally a Whole Connection team interview. If you are interested please feel free to start by emailing your resume and cover letter explaining why you want to intern with Whole Connection to firstname.lastname@example.org
Things you should know
This position involves an 15-20 hour per week schedule with a 9-12 month commitment depending on your program requirements
We accept interns for January and May/August start dates
Application Period for our January start date is September 31st - October 15th
Application Period for our May/August start date is January 3rd - January 10th
Additional Internship Position Information
At Whole Connection interns have the possibility of having a full psychotherapy caseload (depending on needed clinical hours for their program). These hours can be met through individual caseload clients (individual, couple, or families) or through learning group therapy as a co-facilitator in a DBT, MBSR, or Relationship Group led by one of our experienced therapists on staff. Interns will also perform phone screens for prospective clients.
Individual supervision will be given by one of our licensed supervisors, one hour per week. We have Licensed Clinical Social Workers who can supervise MSW or MA (counseling) degree candidates. We also hold a weekly 90-minute group supervision that includes the whole clinical team.
Ongoing Team Focused groups
Community is a core value at Whole Connection and we take it seriously. This means we gather in several different formats throughout the month. Every week there is a logistics meeting with the full Whole Connection Team. Every other week there is a 90-minute Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning Supervision Group. Once a month we hold an Ally meeting where we discuss aspects of culture, identity, and social justice issues. Once a month we spend 90-minutes playing together which could take the form of a walk by the creek, a potluck, or a creative community project.
We partner with Strength in Motion to bring in experts in different fields every month, sometimes twice a month. This is essential to continue our learning and growth as therapists and to make sure we are growing, remaining engaged, and staying up to date with the current research, techniques, and theories. Some examples are below::
Connected - What Attachment and Research Can Tell Us About the Ways Technology May Be Influencing Relationships and Health - Dave Sullivan LCSW LAC
Dealing with your Brain - What our latest understanding of neuroscience means for Therapy - Dan Fox LPC
Gender Identity - Sorin Thomas LPC
Understanding Personality Disorders - Kate Leslie LCSW
Bridging the Four I’s of Oppression with the I’s of Identity and Intersectionality: Counseling Skills for the Multicultural-Minded Counselor - Marcia Warren Edelman MA LPCC
At the beginning of any internship and prior to any clinical work the following trainings are essential:
Assessment 101 and Diagnosis 101
It is essential as psychotherapists that we understand the basics of an initial assessment with clients. In doing this we are better able to address the needs of the client. Through our initial assessment we also start to gather the information we might need to make an accurate diagnosis if it is needed. Since we work with Medicaid clients, they all must meet medical necessity to be seen for psychotherapy, because of this we need to be able to diagnosis them properly. With training on this and constant supervision we hope to provide a diagnosis that is helpful to our clients.
Thorough note taking is essential to this work. Through our training we will go over the importance of accurately tracking progress and the benefits to keeping up to date notes. Note taking helps us as therapists learn about our own process and is a way to reflect on our clinical work. This training will go into the details of how to complete Initial Assessments, Treatment Plans, and Progress Notes. Note taking will be an essential part of your work as an intern and supervision on notes will be provided throughout the internship.
As an important piece of being therapists, we need to be able to address crisis situations appropriately. These situations come up in our individual sessions as well as phone calls. Although Whole Connection is not a crisis or intensive outpatient situation, we still need to be able to work with crisis when it presents. Through this training interns will learn how to assess appropriately for suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, and abuse and neglect.
Phone Screens are an important part of the initial assessment. In these initial 15-20 minute phone conversations we gather information and try to understand what the potential client is going through. With the right information we are able to find the right therapist for the potential client or we might find that we need to refer them to another organization or a higher level of care. This training will help interns learn how to perform phone screens for potential clients so that they are best being served.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) 101
DBT is an important theory that is extremely useful for emotional regulation and working with crisis situations, on top of what it was designed for, holding both the emotional and rational together. Although we might not all practice this way, we find it important to understand it, the terminology and how to use it in session. Because of this we have an initial training on how to use it and the basic concepts.
Basics of Psychopharmacology
Many of our clients will be using or are interested in using psychopharmacology to help their current situation. Because of this it is important that we understand the many different types of medications that our clients might be using or have used in the past. It helps us in the moment while working with them and also to better understand what might be happening for them. In this training we will go over the medications, how to discuss them, and also to share our own thoughts about these medications.
Basics of Addiction Counseling
Many of our clients have addictions of some sort or might struggle with substances. In doing so it is helpful to have a basic idea of one way to work with this population. We make sure to go over basic theories like Motivational Interviewing and engage in role-plays as well to help use them. In this training we also discuss what addictions can look like and give ourselves space to process working with this population and our own process around addictions.
Gender, much like many other identities, is such an important piece of all of us. It is something that will come up with all our clients even if they do not bring it up. Because of this we make sure that all our interns have a basic understanding of gender and how to work with this identity in our work with our clients. Although this is psycho educational training we also have space for us to reflect on our experiences as well.