What would your counseling internship in Cape Town look like? Here are a few example sites that have hosted VACorps interns:
Children’s shelter: Intern at an innovative therapeutic and developmental residential environment for vulnerable young women from the Cape Town who have been seriously traumatized and removed from their families for their own protection and safety, by an order of the local children’s court. It is one of the few residential care facility, offering care for teenage girls (see video below to learn more).
Trauma Counseling Centre: Interns participate in program facilitation for child survivors of family violence and present workshops to South African children to help them cope with anger, aggression, and rejection. The children learn problem-solving skills that will help them use alternatives to violence in future.
Homeless Counseling Centre: Provides Psycho-Social Intervention Services to assist vulnerable members of the homeless population with material assistance such as accommodation, food vouchers, clothes, and blankets, as well as to provide psycho-social support in the form of counseling or referral to appropriate institutions.
HIV/AIDS clinic: Work with HIV/AIDS counselors to conduct HTS pre and post test counseling. Pre-test counseling that is done in a proper and comprehensive way prepares the client and counselor for more effective post-test counseling. Because clients are often too relieved or shocked to take much information in during post-test counseling, the healthcare professional makes use of the educational opportunities offered by pre-test counseling.
Clinical placement: these opportunities are very competitive and are typically for our master’s degree students. Here, you’ll have the chance to increase your observation hours and learn the intricacies of delivering mental health counselling in a clinical environment.
Other advantages of counseling internships in South Africa include considerations such as:
- Knowing you’re helping where it’s needed most – By using your skills to uplift and empower individuals and families that struggle with illness, poverty or debt you’ll be giving invaluable hope and support. As a trainee counselor, you’ll find endless opportunities to assist those in need of guidance.
- Building an impressive practical resume – Theoretical knowledge is vital for a solid foundation and understanding of counseling, but there’s no substitute for real-world learning. When you take an internship, you’ll be placed in authentic situations that will require you to draw on and apply what you’ve learned and use the hours to count towards your professional degrees.
- Exposure to various different scenarios – A counselor needs to be able to adapt to a wide range of situations. The advice you’d give to a physically traumatized teenager is not the same as what a pensioner needs when he’s lost his life savings. Your time in Cape Town will allow you to apply and build your knowledge in diverse circumstances.
Counseling & psychology internship highlights from VACorps Alumni:
“I participated in a psychology internship in Cape Town and the highlight of my internship was being given the ability to shadow the therapy sessions going on in the clinic. In addition, I felt as if I was an equal to the staff – being able to observe everything they did and attending all of their meetings. It was great to receive that type of exposure for someone interested in psychology as a future career.” — Nikita Shah