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Clinical Training

Clinical Training with Maria Droste

At Maria Droste Counseling Center in Denver, we see a critical part of our role in the community as helping to train and invest in the next generation of mental health counselors. As such, we have committed to providing the best in clinical training for therapists and therapists-in-training who are looking to advance their skills and education.

Programs designed to advance your education and build professional excellence

Since our foundation in 1989, the center has trained nearly 600 intern therapists and has developed a comprehensive and competitive internship program that attracts interns from all over Colorado. Each year, Maria Droste welcomes 25 master’s- and doctoral-level interns from area counseling, psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, and school psychology programs.

In 2016, we expanded our clinical training program to include a post-graduate fellowship program for individuals working toward licensure in social work, counseling, and marriage and family therapy. Post-graduate fellows fulfill multiple roles in the agency through their clinical and program development contributions. Trainees – both interns and fellows – are central to achieving the Maria Droste mission of serving individuals who would otherwise not be able to obtain counseling services.

Visit our Internship, Fellowship, and Supervisor pages for detailed information regarding each opportunity.

Maria Droste Counseling Center Program Information

Growing as Therapists through Maria Droste Programs

All our interns and fellows gain real-life experience working as therapists and therapists-in-training through the mental health care programs offered by Maria Droste Counseling Center. These programs have been designed to bring affordable mental health services to underserved populations in the Denver-metro area and around Colorado.

Interns and fellows will follow a track that works in one, or a combination of two, programs. As such, interns and fellows can focus their time in their own are of interest. While placement in tracks is limited upon the number of slots available, Maria Droste works to place applicants in the track of their expressed interest.

Learn more about the Maria Droste programs below to help you choose a track for your internship or fellowship at Maria Droste.

Options Program

Residents from anywhere in Colorado, regardless of legal status, can receive counseling through the Options Program at Maria Droste. The Options program is available to adults, children, adolescents, couples and families who meet income guidelines or may not have access to mental health care elsewhere. Services are provided on a sliding-scale basis or via Medicaid at our Center and via telehealth. We serve a diverse group of clients, including monolingual Spanish speakers, and clients experience a variety of presenting concerns. Limited couple, family, or child clients are typically reserved for interns with those concentrations. See track information below for specifics on intake component of the Options track.

Children First Program

Our Children First Program places school-based intern-therapists in about 15 Denver-area schools, including Denver Public Schools and some Catholic and charter schools. They provide therapy services to children from many different backgrounds/ethnicities, work with parents, and have opportunities to lead groups with children on a specific topic, such as social skills or grief. Each intern/fellow is assigned to a particular school, which may be K-5, K-8, or 9-12.

Given our early intervention focus, the overwhelming majority of interns/fellows are placed in elementary schools. The children served have a wide range of presenting concerns including but not limited to: anxiety, depression, grief/loss, immigration/acculturation, refugee status, and divorce. Services are provided by interns/fellows free of charge or via Medicaid. A successful intern in the Children First program is likely a self-starter, has the ability to work independently, understands dynamics working in schools, and understands how cultural backgrounds intersect with delivery of services.

Integrated Care Program

In the Integrated Care Program, children, adults, or geriatric populations receive mental health services at their locations, which include medical settings and residential facilities. Interns/Fellows provide assessment and short-term interventions, with potential to see clients longer term. Our goal in these programs is to help clients experience more satisfaction and peace of mind, improve relationships and self-esteem, and find positive approaches to dealing with life.

Maria Droste Counseling Center Internship & Fellowship Tracks

Offering internship & fellowship programs aligned with your interests

Applicants for our internship and fellowship programs will rank the tracks we offer in according to their interests. Placement will be determined upon the spots available. While working through the mental health programs offered at Maria Droste, you will gain real-life experience both in the therapeutic and administrative requirements of a therapist. This is to say, along with regularly seeing clients, you will also perform administrative duties such as billing and documentation that meets compliance standards.

All of the experience you gain as a Maria Droste fellow or intern will prepare you to thrive as a professional therapist. The following are the tracks available to interns and fellows. Visit the Internship or Fellowship pages for more information specific to each program.

Integrated Care Track – Internship & Fellowship

Interns/fellows work 15 hours in an Integrated Care setting; 5 hours/week receiving training and supervision; and 4 hours/week with support work (i.e. record-keeping, etc.). June or August start. Spots available: 2-3.

Children First Track – Internship & Fellowship

Interns/fellows work solely within their Children First schools. They spend either a full 16 hours/week in 1 school or split their time between 2 schools, and have a caseload of approximately 14 clients; 5 hours/week receiving training and supervision; and 4 hours/week with support work (i.e. record-keeping, etc.). August ONLY start. Spots available: 4-6.

Options Track – Internship only

Interns see Options clients for up to 5 hours/week (caseload of 3-5 clients); spend 10 hours/week in the Access Center (Maria Droste’s intake office) facilitating screenings, assessments, and referrals for incoming callers; 5 hours/week receiving training and supervision; and 4 hours/week with support work (i.e. record-keeping, etc.). June ONLY start. Spots available: 2-3.

Combined Adult/Child Track – Internship only

Interns work up to 5 hours/week in the Options program and see between 3-5 clients; 10 hours/week at their Children First school and see between 8-10 school-based clients; 5 hours/week receiving training and supervision; and 4 hours/week with support work (i.e. record-keeping, etc.). This is the traditional track we have had for many years. If you are interested in this track, we strongly encourage a June start. June or August start. Spots available: 10-12.

Rural Behavioral Health Tracks – Fellowship only

Child/Family Primary Focus or Adult/Geriatric Primary Focus

Recently graduated masters and doctoral candidates, working toward licensure in the state of Colorado, can apply to the Rural Behavioral Track. A 2-year, full-time, commitment, you’ll gain invaluable experience in this clinical position with dynamic training opportunities through a private, non-profit, rural behavioral health program. July start. Spots available: 2