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The Human Services Internship Experience

The Human Services Internship Experience
Helping Students Find Their Way

First Edition

March 2016 | 392 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
“This text is the ‘bread and butter’ for interns who seek to work in human service fields.” 
-Fred Hall, Mississippi College 

The Human Services Internship Experience: Helping Students Find Their Way aims to help students in field-based courses bridge theory and practice during their internships. The goal is to show students how to apply their academic work in a real-world setting and to confirm and expand their identity as human service professionals.  To meet this goal, Marianne Woodside assists students in developing that identity, learn to work within an agency setting, learn to use supervision effectively, and to be aware of multicultural and ethical perspectives in human service delivery and supervision as well as develop the appropriate knowledge, skills, and values to effectively perform the multiple roles of the human service professional.  Students will learn how to successfully conclude the internship and transition from intern to employee.

Part 1: Introduction to the Internship Experience
Chapter 1: Defining the Internship
Primary Perspectives of the Internship Experience

Defining the Internship Experience

The Human Service Program Documents

Collaboration: A Model of Human Service Practice

Chapter 2: Assessing Your Readiness for Internship
The Core Characteristics of the Human Services Internship Experience

Professional Identity

Chapter 3: Setting Up Your Internship
Integrating Three Worlds: The Human Service Internship

Your Initial Experience with the Placement Site

Deepening Your Understanding: Consulting and Self-Reflection

Chapter 4: Engaging in Internship During the First Week or Two
Entering the Internship Site

The Increasing Responsibility of the Internship Work

Framing the Internship Experience

Keeping a Record of Your Work: Logs, Notes, and Weekly Reflections

Part 2: Involving Yourself in Human Service Work
Chapter 5: Understanding Ethical Perspectives in Internship
Personal Beliefs and the Use of Self

Understanding An Ethical Perspective in Human Services

Chapter 6: Addressing Ethical Issues in Internship
Identifying Important Ethical Considerations in Internship

Chapter 7: Developing a Multicultural Perspective in Internship
An Introduction to A Multicultural Perspective

Developing Multicultural Competence

Multicultural Competency: Understanding Your Cultural Self

Multicultural Competency: Learning About Other Cultures

Chapter 8: Participating in Supervision
Defining Supervision

Evaluation and Gatekeeping

Part 3: Expanding Your Skills
Chapter 9: Working With Clients
Delivering Culture-centered Helping

Providing Strengths-based Helping

Chapter 10: Expanding Your Skills
Developing A Case Conceptualization of the Client

Developing a Case Study

Reviewing Documentation and Report-writing Skills

Problem-Based Learning Approach

Part 4: Concluding the Internship
Chapter 11: Concluding the Internship
Leaving Your Internship Site

Preparing for the Job Search


“This text is the “bread and butter” for interns who seek to work in human service fields”

Fred Hall
Mississippi College

“Finally! A text to prepare counseling and mental health human service students for practicum and internship, and a personalized insider’s guide assist them along the way. Theoretically sound and comprehensive, this text will be enthusiastically welcomed by students, faculty, and supervisors at all levels.”

Terence Patterson
University of San Francisco

“A comprehensive and practical guide for students beginning their professional journey from theory to practice.”

Richard Takacs
Carlow University

“A fantastic developmental approach to supervising interns.”

Wendy Eckenrod-Green
Radford University
Key features


  • The book’s developmental approach to internship addresses how to begin the internship in very practical terms and then develops more sophisticated helping skills to help students evolve from novice to professional.
  • Ethical and multicultural perspectives are covered to expand the student's understanding of these issues and shows how they look different to students when they are in real-life work settings.
  • Writing Your Own Story features in each chapter ask students to write the story of their internship experience to help students enhance their own understanding of their experience.
  • Voices from the Field features include peer voices, a faculty voice, a site supervisor voice, and a human service professional voice to help support the intern and help them see their experiences from other points of view.
  • Vignettes throughout the text allow students to normalize their own experiences.
  • The hybrid nature of the text as both a text and a workbook will keep students actively involved in the text.


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

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