Internship Program at Destination Hope
Stepping into the field of mental health and substance abuse can be intimidating. Yet the field offers incredible personal and career satisfaction. Classroom training is valuable and provides a solid foundation of clinical fundamentals, but there is no comparison to the hands-on experience gained as an intern.
That is why Destination Hope started their internship program – to allow aspiring addiction counselors to have a hands-on, real-world experience to support their career. We asked our Director of Compliance, Keli Karbowski, who heads the Internship Program, a few questions.
What Is the Program?
The Destination Hope intern experience is unique, challenging, and fulfilling. Students are awarded the opportunity to practice in a clinical setting that offers an array of services that include group and individual therapies, family, crisis intervention and case management services. The students will be exposed to a variety of mental health and addiction issues. They will also be part of many individuals’ progress and success.
By partaking in a clinical internship experience, students can make better decisions about their career in behavioral health and Destination Hope has been fortunate to have some of our prior student interns become outstanding, full-time employees!
The internship at Destination Hope is rewarding to students because they learn how to utilize the concepts and models of therapy they are learning in school in the real world. We have seen amazing strides, with student confidence growing as they move through their practice and learn different interventions.
Who Do We Look For?
Destination Hope’s internship is open to graduate students enrolled in a counseling program at an accredited university looking to expand their skill set. We also consider bachelor’s candidates in Social Work to fill their internship requirement and complete their degree.
Qualities that we look for in our interns include a willingness to work and learn, flexibility, attention to detail, professionalism, and – most importantly – passion, enthusiasm, and integrity.
First Person Experience
A Therapist now at Destination Hope, Rob Norris RMHCI started out as an intern. Here is his recollection of the internship experience:
“As a second-year graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, I was provided a list of approved places I could apply for internship to accrue the 700 hours necessary to graduate. Honestly, I chose Destination Hope because it was closer to my house in Hollywood Florida. I didn’t know that I was about to embark on a journey that would include an immersive experience into mental health and substance abuse.
My apprehension about my lack of hands-on experience quickly faded as I was supported by the entire staff including the therapists, case manager, supervisors, and clinical director. My first few weeks I shadowed a therapist who allowed me to accompany her throughout her day.
I quickly progressed into facilitating groups and conducting individual sessions. My support was supplemented by my internship coordinator, Keli, who always made time for me each week to provide a space to process any issues that arose.
Looking back upon this experience, I feel especially grateful that I was able to complete my internship at a facility that treats both mental health and substance abuse. It is my belief that clinical experience spans one’s entire career, but I could have not found a better place to begin my clinical voyage.”
Internship Program Testimonials
“I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at Destination Hope. My experience has been one of empowerment and advocacy. I have gained an abundance of knowledge, skills, and resources to help individuals who deal with mental health and substance use. My internship experience has supported my long-term goals in becoming a future family therapist. Thank You DH!”
– Keanna Florvil, MSW
“After an entire semester of my practicum at Destination Hope, I want to express my utmost gratitude for the great experience I had. Some experiences were challenging but useful in learning skills and becoming professionally competent for my future career.
Thank you to my great colleagues at the main campus, to my great supervisor, and to all the staff who always supported me and worked alongside me. I learned a lot every day from everyone, which made me feel safe and in a supportive environment. I want to thank the diverse population of clients who inspire us to keep working hard and maintain the hope of a warm and professional place for recovery.”
-Liliana Elera Master in science Clinical Mental Health Counseling Intern. Lynn University- Boca Raton -Florida
“I was very fortune to experience my master’s level internship at Destination Hope almost two years ago. Originally, I chose another agency that was with a different population. Due to COVID, that placement fell through last minute.
Luckily, Destination Hope welcomed me in with open arms. I had previous experience with working in mental health, but the field of addiction was somewhat new to me. I quickly developed a passion for helping those who are suffering with mental health and addiction.
Having had personal experiences growing up with family who struggled with both, I knew that this was something very close to my heart and what I wanted to pursue. After my internship came to an end, I decided to stay on and work per diem until I finished my last year of my MSW program.
That was probably one of the best decisions of my life. I have met truly amazing people, both clients and staff, that have impacted me for the better. There has been a lot of healing through helping those that suffer from the same struggles members in my family have.
Now, that I have my MSW degree, I have been hired as a primary therapist here at the PHP/IOP level of care. The support and encouragement I have received since day one is a huge part of why I feel confident in this position and ready to use the knowledge I learned to make a lasting impact on those who need it the most.”
“My experience at Destination Hope as a Master of social worker intern was the best field experience a student at Florida Atlantic University can ask for. I have learned a lot regarding mental health and substance abuse. At DH, the staff OMG is fantastic, knowledgeable, and enjoys helping the clients.
They welcomed me and made me feel a part of the team from the first day I walked through the door. As an intern, I never thought or felt I had to act like I knew it all because the clinical team allowed me to ask questions and be vulnerable around them. Thank you, Destination Hope!”
“I wanted to let you guys know how grateful I am for the opportunity to intern at Destination Hope. Everyone there went out of their way to make me feel welcome and a part of the team from day one. The experience I had has helped me become a better counselor, and the real-life situations helped me learn how to handle things that are not in our textbooks.
The clinical staff was always available to answer questions or give me feedback. I appreciate that they never made me feel like an intern; they all knew my name from the first day and asked my opinion on things, and used opportunities to teach me. I will forever be indebted to the staff at Destination Hope and, hopefully, be able to use what they have taught me in the future.”