By Tori Lewis, Clinical Intern at Clear Path Counseling and Wellness, LLC
December 4, 2023
You’re brand new to therapy and you’re working with a clinical intern. Not only may you be feeling trepidation about the therapeutic process, but are a bit skeptical of what an intern has to offer you—rightfully so! Despite being newer to practice, clinical interns often have a unique skill set to offer clients.
They’re relatable: While excited for the first steps of their career, clinical interns experience self-doubt, fear of the unknown, and anxiety just like their clients. Beginning any new journey brings up an array of human emotions—not even your therapist is immune to this. You may find clinical interns to be more relatable, leading your relationship to be comfortable and authentic.
Energetic, passionate, and grateful: For most interns, beginning clinical work marks the beginning of their dream career. This is likely a day they have waited for many years. Clinical interns approach their work with zest and eager eyes. They are flexible, adaptable, and willing to learn from you. Interns are constantly appreciative of your trust, vulnerability, and the role you play in furthering their training.
Cost-effective: As clinical interns are new to practice, session rates tend to reflect this and are more cost-effective. In fact, many even offer sliding-scale options. If cost is a barrier to treatment or you’re on the fence about whether therapy is right for you, working with an intern may be an ideal solution.
Up to date with evidence-based treatment: Most clinical interns are either finishing their academic career or fresh out of graduate school. Their knowledge of evidence-based treatment is as recent as it gets. They have taken in-depth courses related to treatment, psychological theories, diagnostics, and are constantly appraising clinical research. You can expect that they have a fresh perspective on treatment options.
As a potential client, feel empowered to reach out for a consultation, get to know your therapist, and ask questions that are important to you. Whether you’re working with an intern or a seasoned therapist, research consistently points to strong therapeutic relationships leading to the greatest positive outcomes.
The therapeutic journey is yours to own.