Internship is the opportunity for students to accrue the remainder of the required 500 direct client contact hours not obtained during practicum courses. Internship activities will take place at departmentally approved internship sites within the community. Approved internship sites must provide interns with the opportunity to provide therapy to individuals, couples, and families. During your internship, students are enrolled in MFT 776 to receive group supervision on clinical issues and professional development. Internship is the culminating clinical experience in student’s training as a marriage and family therapist. In internship, students expand their exposure to clinical situations and settings. Students enroll in internship a minimum of two semesters to fulfill the MFT program’s 500 client contact hour requirement to graduate from the program.

Role of the Internship Site

The internship site plays a crucial role in exposing interns’ to a variety of clients, presenting problems, and other mental health professionals in a community setting. The internship site and particularly the internship supervisor partner with UNLV to further the interns’ clinical experience and training. While in internship, students receive weekly individual supervision from their internship site supervisors, as well as their internship course instructor. The internship supervisor is responsible for the interns’ caseload and evaluation of the intern.

Internship Site Application Process

Clinical experience in a professional setting is critical to the training of marriage and family therapists. MFT students are required to complete 500 client contact hours to earn their master’s degree. While students typically obtain 150 client contact hours during their practice, they continue seeing clients during internship to fulfill the 500 hour requirement. The MFT faculty must approve a site that wants to accept MFT interns. Internship sites must meet the following to qualify for approval:

  • Provide client contact hours with individuals, couples and families (40% should be with couples and families)
  • Be willing to allow audio/video recording of therapy sessions at the site
  • Provide a minimum of six (6) client contact hours per week
  • Supervision provided by a Marriage and Family Therapist or other mental health professional (psychologist, social worker, etc.) who has been fully licensed for at least 3 years
  • Have a licensed mental health professional on site whenever interns are seeing clients
  • Sites must not charge students a fee to use office space or rent
  • Sites must not bill Medicaid for student sessions or groups
  • Students must not establish a business or private practice during their internship experience. Therefore:
    • Sites must not charge students rent or a fee to use office space
    • Clients must not pay students directly for therapy services, though clients can pay the agency for student services
    • Students must not obtain a business license or an LLC as part of their internship
    • Supervisors must not charge students for supervision.

They must complete and submit an Internship Site Application Form and supporting documentation for review and approval by the MFT faculty. The supporting documentation includes a copy of the internship site supervisor’s resume/vita, and license. The materials are received from the internship site, the application materials are reviewed and discussed in the next scheduled faculty meeting. After review, faculty will determine one of the following outcomes:

  1. Meets criteria;
  2. Does not meet criteria; or
  3. Other (noting special considerations or recommendations).

After the Internship site application has been reviewed the site will be informed of the outcome by the Internship Coordinator. Internship sites that are approved will be added to the Department’s Approved Internship Site List and their materials will be included in the Approved Internship Site Book.