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Counseling West, a non-profit mental health center, was founded in 1976 to provide quality, affordable counseling and psychotherapy to individuals and families, and to provide a training program for mental health professionals of depth and value. Our program is designed to meet the needs of both those with no prior experience in the field and those who have acquired experience toward licensure.

M.F.T. Internship Training Program

Associates and trainees begin to take on clients as quickly as readiness and previous experience allow and based on the availability of new clients.

The agency's office is staffed by a carefully selected group of pre-licensed trainees and associates from top schools in southern California. Staff members are characterized by their compassion, personal maturity, warmth, degree of self-awareness, and commitment to the rigors of a life lived in the presence of the psyche. Staff members are encouraged to be in therapy and, although it is not mandatory, it is typical. 

The agency believes strongly in facilitating a supportive, nurturing environment for trainees and associates as well as clients. We believe that staff members can benefit greatly from knowing each other and each other's work; therefore, supervision and training are conducted in groups. In this way, staff members have an opportunity to observe a variety of counseling approaches as well as developing deep bonds with others at the agency. 

Counseling West staff members utilize a variety of orienting approaches in working with clients. Many cases involve family issues, and a systems approach is appropriate. For other clients, more in-depth therapeutic interventions utilizing psycho-dynamic, Jungian, and Humanistic-Existential approaches are used. In all cases, therapists use an orienting philosophy, which is tailored to meet the needs of the client. 

In addition to opportunities for additional training offered during the year through guest speakers and clinical presentations.  Some associates/trainees choose to offer groups in areas of specific interest to them, i.e., bereavement, adolescence, children of divorce. 

Because of the diversity of our client population, we are able to provide associates and trainees with a broad base of experience with many kinds of presenting problems. We strongly encourage our associates/trainees to develop various groups such as, parenting groups which we may then offer to the community. 

Many associates who begin their training at Counseling West apply to stay on and complete their entire 3000 hours of experience. We are pleased with the environment we have created at Counseling West and we strive to constantly improve our services to both clients and staff. 

If you would like more information or you are interested in joining Counseling West, please send your resume or contact Debra Sharon,

First Year Associates and Trainees

1. FIRST YEAR ASSOCIATES AND TRAINEES: (Approximately 12-14 hrs/wk.)

  • Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (This includes a 2-hour supervision group, 1-1/2 hour training group, monthly in-service presentations, staff meetings, etc.)

  • Carry a client caseload of 6 sessions /week by the end of the first 6 months.

  • Be present for training on the telephone intake procedures. Be available to answer intake calls for about 2 hours per week during business hours (Mon thru Fri.9-5).

  • All trainees and associates are highly encouraged to be in personal therapy or analysis during their training.

Second and Subsequent Year Associates


  • Thursday: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. weekly, training from 11:15 to 1:00 p.m.

  • Carry a client caseload of at least 8 client sessions/week through the remainder of your internship.

  • Individual supervision provided when the associate has consistently carried a sufficient caseload.

  • All trainees and associates are highly encouraged to be in personal therapy or analysis during their training.

Program Requirements

  • Administration: Upon hiring, you will be required to sign a supervision contract with your designated supervisor.

  • Provide proof of malpractice insurance before beginning to see clients, continually updating your file with current insurance documentation. 

  • Have a designated Counseling West voicemail phone number where your clients may leave messages. Your message to clients must include your position as an associate or trainee at CW. 

  • This is an unpaid internship.

  • Maintain an acceptable level of attendance and participation in the internship program, notifying your supervisor when you are unable to attend supervision/training. 

  • Agree to clear all vacations with your supervisor, and to notify the office and your supervisor of any out of town away time greater than a few days. 

  • Satisfactorily pass bi-annual evaluations with your current supervisor.

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