Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families
The purpose of this project was to develop an internship training program that offered in-home therapy for young children with significant emotional and behavior problems. The children lived in single-parent, low-income homes in unsafe neighborhoods of a large, urban area. A year-long, training and supervision program was implemented with 10 second-year, graduate students enrolled in 5 different university programs that prepared mental health professionals. Students received specialized instruction in working with diverse families living in poverty and in an evidence-based treatment program. They initially observed veteran counselors implementing the treatment program in homes and gradually assumed responsibility for conducting sessions on their own. Students’ scores on a measure of counseling self-efficacy improved significantly from pre-to post-internship. Students reported high levels of satisfaction with the training program and significantly improved confidence levels in their counseling skills at the conclusion of their internship experience. The limitations of these preliminary outcomes for this pilot program are discussed along with the need for more research in this understudied area.