Internship Program Design

Interns will work in a supportive learning environment alongside staff at Encompass and be exposed to a client population that is ethnically, culturally, socially and religiously diverse.

You will gain knowledge and skills on how to support individuals and families challenged by trauma, mental illness, homelessness, substance use, poverty and co occurring. In addition, we can also help connect our interns with opportunities in early childhood education.

Benefits and skills gained

We are here to help you become exceptional. Our goal is to provide trainees with a solid theoretical and experiential base that will become the foundation for your future professional work in mental health and social services. You can expect to learn some of the following during your time with us:

  • Direct service experience. Includes individual, group therapy and client advocacy with families, children/youth, and adults within Santa Cruz County.
  • Facilitation of therapeutic group topics, including: mindfulness, seeking safety, art, psychoeducation, skill building, and socializing groups.
  • Counseling skills with individuals experiencing chronic and severe mental health issues.
  • Experience with individuals struggling with co-occurring disorders.
  • Crisis Counseling and evaluation skills related to individuals experiencing suicidal ideation, or other mental-health related crises.
  • Psychosocial assessment skills, including interviewing individuals that may potentially be admitted to a clinical program.
  • Case management experience, assisting individuals with access to needed services within Santa Cruz County’s mental health system.
  • Training in evidence-based treatment modalities, including Trauma Informed Care, Motivational Interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.
  • Medi-Cal and Alcohol/Drug Medi-Cal documentation skills, including writing progress notes, treatment plans and assessments within an electronic heath record environment.
  • Experience working within multi-disciplinary teams, including psychologists, psychiatrists, nursing staff, social workers, peer partners, drug and alcohol counselors, community partners, and therapists.
  • How to collaborate with our community partner agencies


Our interns work within a 6-12 month timeframe based on academic requirements and organizational needs. You can expect:

  • On-site supervision and support
  • Weekly individual and group clinical supervision
  • Hours will vary depending upon which site placement is selected within the agency. Clinical interns work between 16-24 hours a week.

Work Environment

Our day to day work environment is client centered. We are continually evolving and making intentional shifts in the way we work to lead and have greater social impact on our community. If you want to work in an environment that will challenge you professionally, allow you to make an impact locally and where your learning never truly ends, see our current opportunities and consider joining our team today.