ACS is a solid non-profit mental health agency where you get pretty good group and individual supervision. Unlike many school-based internship sites, individual supervisors are on campus at each school in Palo Alto with their interns most of the time. Counseling the kids on campus is the most rewarding part, since the kids are great. The supervisors are nice and most of them are competent. My fellow interns were also nice. The company atmosphere is happy and healthy.
Trainees who do a practicum here while in grad school don't get paid, despite working 20 hours a week. If you stay on for a second year as an intern or are bilingual, you get a very small stipend that covers gas money but no benefits. Other local agencies like CHAC offer more opportunities for classes and training on different psychotherapeutic modalities. Better yet, there are paid internships with benefits and better training out there. I also found it weird that my individual supervisor told me to do more self care when I told her I was burnt out, yet also kept trying to load more clients onto my full case load when I said I didn't want more clients.
Advice to Management
Trainees and interns deserve to be paid for their hard work. Also, please provide more opportunities for training like classes and seminars.
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