Eldership Academy provides a unique 1-2 year internship program designed to promote a developmental process in which interns and trainees move into the role of existential facilitator and therapist. This internship is an important stage in the process of becoming a professional therapist, healer, and elder. Interns and trainees are encouraged to take an active role in carrying out the program’s research and educational goals.
The Socratic dictum “know thyself” is in many ways the primal motivation to become a clinician in the human services field. Having said that, knowledge of self is inter-related to knowledge of other. Along with developing clinical skills and professional expertise, Eldership Academy draws from the rich tradition of human thought and experience the help we need to struggle with the fundamental questions of being a human being: Why are we here? How are we here? What does life want from us? What do we want from life?
Interns and trainees are trained in the phenomenological-existential and process-work approaches to therapy within which they are encouraged to develop and grow their own style of care and clinical support.
All events and meetings at the facility are based on and designed around communal and individual needs and requirements. Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and Social Work interns and practicum students must be registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Practicum students must comply with their school’s requirements and have completed a number of counseling-related courses.
The internship is open to students in good standing enrolled in a M.A. in counseling psychology graduate programs.
- Psychotherapeutic and assessment activities with a caseload drawn from the Residential Care Community for the Elderly called Elder Ashram.
- Individual supervision for this caseload.
- Training seminars on theory and technique.
- Demonstrations and clinical case conferences.
- Clinical activities that encompass individual encounters and group activities.
- Individual encounters: Each intern works with up to 10 residents over a one-year period. The intern is assigned a caseload and monitors the mental health of these clients.
- Group activities: Each intern creates and leads at least two weekly psycho-spiritual groups and is available for crisis intervention.
- One hour of individual supervision.
- Two hours of group supervision.
- Interns and trainees participate in intake services and become involved in special projects within the Academy.
- Research opportunities to explore non-verbal approaches to clinical interventions, geropsychology issues, feminism and ageism, and other topics.
The Clinical Supervisor manages intern supervision and oversees all resident issues of a clinical nature. He is a licensed professional in the State of California and meets current supervisory requirements. The Clinical Coordinator is the interns’ primary administrative contact. He coordinates all aspects of interns’ presence in the practicum-site facility, including orientation, logistical concerns, and any other issues of a non-clinical nature. The Clinical Coordinator and Clinical Director work closely with the practicum site’s staff (RCFEs, Mental Health Clinic, ICT case managers, and social workers) to ensure the program’s smooth operation and effectiveness.