Internship is the actual work experience gained by those who are interested in pursuing a profession, trade or a vocational job. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between theory and practice thereby giving a good exposure to the chosen profession as it is practiced. The concept of internship has been in existence for quite a while and has been very beneficial in many professions. In fact, it was the preferred mode of learning for many vocations in ancient India too. This system has evolved over the years and is being widely adopted by many industries and professions in India and abroad.
In developed countries, in order to practice as a mental health professional, one has to undergo a supervised internship under a licensed and experienced professional besides having the requisite qualification. Only then they are certified to practice as a mental health professional or a therapist. These guidelines are strictly adhered to. However, in India, the mental health profession is not regulated and there is no such stipulation for practising as a professional therapist / counsellor.
IAPS, an organization committed to the quality of mental health services being offered and the well being of mental health professionals, believes that there is a need to adopt the system prevailing abroad to bring about some standardisation in the mental health profession. This is where internship plays a big part in shaping the careers of aspiring and qualified professionals, giving them the much needed practical experience.
There are a number of experienced counsellors in India who are currently offering internship to such budding professionals. The internships may be purely based on the experience of the individual counsellor and hence to that extent limited besides not following any approved or structured methodology. The certificates / letters issued by such individuals also may not add much value to the aspiring professional.
This is where IPAS offers a structured internship program that would be conducted by not only experienced professionals but also by those who have undergone accredited supervisory training by IAPS and jointly certified by IAPS and Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Hence the curriculum and the approach / methodology to internship would be structured and objective. Perhaps this is the first time that an organisation is offering such a structured program for interns in India adapted from an international Curriculum.
- Persons with the following qualifications may pursue internship:
- Masters Degree (MA or M.Sc) in Psychology, Psychiatry, or Psychiatric social work
- M.Phil in Psychology, Psychiatry or Psychiatric Social work
- Those who have completed I year of their Post Graduation in the above courses may also apply
- The duration of the course would be 20 hours part time.
- Each session should not be less than 2 hours each.
- The entire internship should be completed within 2 months from the commencement of the internship. Timings may be fixed based on the convenience of intern and supervisor.
- The total fee, payable in advance, for the internship is Rs. 5000/= (Rs. Five thousand only)
- Supervisors would be allotted by IAPS based on their availability from a list of certified supervisors.
- The interns would be supervised by a professional certified with a “Certificate of Attainment” in professional Supervision by ACA or jointly by IAPS and ACA.
- All assignments given during the internship should be completed prior to completion of the internship.
- On successful completion of internship, a Certificate / Letter of Completion would be issued by IAPS.
- Those who are interested may apply giving all relevant details to firstname.lastname@example.org.