Counseling Internship Training Program

Are you master's student looking for a rewarding and challenging opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field of counseling? Do you want to work with diverse clients and learn from experienced and supportive supervisors? Do you want to join a team of passionate and dedicated professionals who are committed to making a difference in the lives of others? If you answered yes to these questions, then we might be a good fit for you.

MaineStay Youth & Family Services has developed a reputation as one of the premier counseling internship training sites in the Chicagoland area. Over our 50 year history, MaineStay has trained nearly 100 master's level counseling students in strength-based brief family therapy. 

Internship Overview

We offer a comprehensive internship training program for master’s level graduate students studying the disciplines of marriage and family therapy or clinical mental health counseling. This 10 1/2-month, 20-hour per week, unpaid position offers you the chance to gain valuable clinical experience as an intern therapist. You will provide individual and family counseling to clients of various ages, backgrounds, and needs. You will also participate in weekly supervision, training, and consultation sessions with our licensed and experienced clinicians. You will gain valuable skills and knowledge in assessment, treatment planning, intervention, documentation, and ethical practice. You will also have the opportunity to network with other professionals and agencies in the field.

We work with children, families, couples, and adults from a systemic perspective. Our goal is to provide clients with practical solutions to their concerns and to increase their ability to respond effectively to life’s challenges. Using a collaborative approach, MaineStay provides a uniquely designed clinical and training setting in which theory and treatment are blended into useful therapeutic application. 

Internship Benefits

Our counseling internship training program will provide you with many benefits, such as:

  • A supportive and collaborative work environment
  • A diverse and multicultural client population
  • A chance to make a positive impact on the community
  • Training in brief strategic, solution-focused, cognitive behavioral, and motivational interviewing approaches
  • Weekly training seminars on various relevant clinical topics
  • Two hours of supervision weekly
  • Weekly case consultation and collaboration with our therapeutic treatment team
  • Digital video recording of sessions
  • Live clinical supervision using a one-way mirror
  • The ability to participate in co-therapy sessions or observe the sessions of other clinicians
  • Documentation training and use of a modern and highly-rated EHR platform, TherapyNotes
  • Opportunities to participate in additional groups and programs we offer to the community
  • Time off for two weeks in winter and one week in spring
Internship Requirements

To be eligible for the counseling internship program, you must:

  • Be pursuing a master's degree in counseling, psychology, marriage and family therapy, social work, or a related field from an accredited institution
  • Complete summer reading assignments prior to starting your internship
  • Be available during the hours of 10 am – 8 pm Tuesdays and Thursdays (preferred)
  • Be able to commit to the internship program from mid-August through the end of June
  • Be willing to complete weekly reading assignments
  • Have a valid driver's license and reliable transportation
  • Be able to pass a criminal background check
  • Be committed to the mission and values of our organization

Selecting an internship site is one of the most crucial decisions you will make during your graduate training to prepare you for working in the therapy field. One of the things that can help with this decision is hearing about experiences from past interns who have worked at a site. To this end, we have included some feedback from our recent Intern Therapists below. We can also provide you with contact information for some of our recent Intern Therapists upon request if you would like to ask them any specific questions.

"My internship experience through MaineStay Youth & Family Services was not only memorable, but life changing. My supervisors went above and beyond to give me a well-rounded experience to gain both personal and professional development and confidence in the field of counseling! I was not just a number within a work setting, but a valued member of a team that was offered opportunities to grow both as an individual and a therapist! MaineStay’s internship program wholeheartedly invests time and effort into their interns. This is shown through intentional supervision time, case consultations to process cases and gain new insights from fellow clinicians, training seminars, and abundant opportunities to shadow sessions and co-facilitate in a variety of therapy groups. I can say with great pride that MaineStay’s internship program was the foundation of my career and something I show my upmost gratitude towards! I would not be the therapist I am today if it wasn’t for the knowledge and support gained through my internship experience at MaineStay Youth & Family Services.”
— Erin
"Embarking on the internship experience is both an exciting and nerve-wracking journey into what feels like the great unknown. From the moment I began my first day as an intern at MaineStay I immediately felt guided and supported in this process. The clinicians and supervisors not only welcomed me with authentic enthusiasm but made me feel like a true member of the team. The level of unwavering support and encouragement I have received throughout my time at MaineStay has allowed me to take on challenges, build my confidence and grow both personally and professionally."
— Jessica
"The thing that made me initially reach out to MaineStay for a potential internship is the breadth and specificity of the information provided about how the internship is structured, theoretical application, what to expect, etc. It left me with the impression that this is a place that cares for their interns and really invests in their development as therapists. My experience has definitely affirmed that impression. If an intern is looking for a site that provides more than sufficient guidance, education, and support to new developing therapists and does not want to feel like they are just being thrown into the mix, they should definitely look into interning with MaineStay."
— Derek

Application Instructions

We typically begin interviewing in January for August placement. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible, as we have only two spots available each year. If you are interested in applying for our internship training program, please email a cover letter and resume to MaineStay Director Richard Lyon at