Counseling is a rewarding and challenging field that involves helping people cope with various personal, emotional, and mental health issues. Counselors provide various services, such as assessment, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and education.
Counseling internships can help students who are interested in this field to develop their clinical skills, learn from experienced mentors, and make a positive impact. Moreover, some counseling internships are paid, which can help students earn money and support their education.
In this article, we will present the top 15 paid counseling internships that students can apply for. These internships are offered by reputable organizations and institutions in different sectors and locations around the world.
#1 CoreCivic Treatment Counselor-Substance Abuse Internship
CoreCivic is a company that provides correctional, detention, and residential reentry services to government partners. Interns will assist the Treatment Counselor in conducting screening and assessment, facilitating individual and group treatment interventions, maintaining the confidentiality of clinical files, documenting and tracking treatment plans, and monitoring inmate progress. Interns will receive a pay of $19.50 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Counseling, Social Work or a closely related field; have one (1) year of experience in the mental health or substance use counseling field or additional qualifying experience; have a LCDC Intern license; have a valid driver’s license; and be at least 18 years of age.
#2 Meridian Behavioral Health Addiction Counseling Internship
Meridian Behavioral Health is a leader in behavioral health care and addiction recovery services, with a network of addiction treatment centers throughout Minnesota. Interns will practice the 12 core functions of Alcohol and Drug Counseling in a hands-on experience at a high-intensity MICD residential treatment program. Interns will also have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with experts in the field through mentorship and networking. Interns will receive a wage of $15.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in an approved Alcohol and Drug Counseling program in an education institution preparing students to become Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors; have good listening skills, compassionate, trustworthy, flexible and willing to learn; and complete the internship as a requirement to become an LADC through BBHT.
#3 LSS Summit Oaks Residential Counselor Internship
LSS Summit Oaks is a program that provides residential care to youth ages 10 to 17 that have a variety of mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, and legal issues. Interns will provide residential care to youth ages 10 to 17 that have a variety of mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, and legal issues, work as part of an interdisciplinary team, conduct groups, supervise youth in community settings, and provide a positive and healthy environment through role modeling. Interns will work full-time or part-time positions available and receive a salary of $18 to $20 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college program requiring an internship; have a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral or social science field OR 48 credit hours of post-secondary education and a minimum of 1-year experience working with children; or equivalent combination of education and experience; be at least 21 years old and be able to complete orientation training according to agency program standards.
#4 BVCASA Adult Outpatient Counselor or Counselor Intern Internship
BVCASA is a non-profit organization that provides alcohol and drug education and counseling for qualified clients in individual and group settings. Interns will assist the BVCASA staff in performing screening, intake, intervention, assessment, referral, group, and individual counseling services as well as client information and intake. Interns will also have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with experts in the field through mentorship and networking. Interns will receive $38,000 to $42,000 and a $500 signing bonus.
Eligibility: Applicants must have graduated from an accredited senior high school (or GED Equivalent) or have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and/or two (2) years’ work experience in substance abuse and counseling or related area; be licensed as an LPC, LPC-I, LCSW, LCDC, or CI in the State of Texas or have a current letter of registration as a Counselor Intern with the Department of State Health Services; and complete 4000 hours of a practicum prior to licensure if applicable.
#5 Odyssey House Mental Health Internship
Odyssey House’s Mission is a collective of professionals and volunteers working across various locations, dedicated to empowering people to heal and build better lives through effective substance use treatment, prevention, and mental health services. Interns will work alongside experienced staff and learn how to diagnose, assess, treat, and support clients with mental health and substance-related conditions using the DSM V, the ASAM criteria, and the Therapeutic Community model. Interns will receive $13.00/hourly if they are in their second year.
Eligibility: Applicants must be working toward a Master’s degree in social work, mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy; be in the first or second year of an accredited masters level mental health program; pass a criminal background check if working with children or vulnerable adult populations; have First Aid and CPR Certification (will receive at Odyssey House if accepted); comply with annual TB tests and annual Flu and Covid immunizations; and meet employment eligibility.
#6 Appleton Comprehensive Treatment Center Substance Abuse Counselor Internship
Appleton Comprehensive Treatment Center is a part of Acadia Healthcare’s Comprehensive Treatment Centers, the leading provider of medication-assisted treatment in the nation. Interns will work under the supervision of a licensed professional and learn how to co-facilitate group or family sessions, prepare treatment plans, evaluate patient needs, document patient care, and refer patients to other programs or services if needed. Interns will receive a competitive salary.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a minimum of an Associate’s Degree in the social or health services field from an accredited college or university; preferred Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the social or health services field; have prior experience and knowledge in an addiction recovery and/or MAT (medication-assisted treatment) environment (preferred); have SACIT or eligible certification (required); or have SAC, CSAC, LPC, LMFT, & LCSW certification (considered).
#7 Substance Abuse Counselor/Counselor Intern – Addictions Services Internship
The internship is based in various locations and is part of the Addictions Services program that provides individual, family, and group counseling, assessments, referrals, education, and recovery planning to clients at an IOP and OP level of care based on evidenced-based treatment for the SUD population. Interns will work under the supervision of a licensed professional and learn how to provide effective and compassionate services to clients and their families. Interns will receive a competitive base salary and benefits.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Sociology or related field (preferred); be licensed by the State of New Jersey as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) or CADC-intern status within NJ Consumer Affairs (required); have one year of experience working with behavioral health populations (preferred); have competencies in assessing and interpreting information related to population, understanding of treatment needs and evidenced-based treatment (EBT) for SUD population including Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT), population-specific communication skills, motivational techniques, relapse prevention strategies, and documentation skills.
#8 Management & Training Corporation Substance Abuse Counselor Internship
Management & Training Corporation is a company that provides a safe and secure working environment for staff while helping an at-risk population receive the treatment necessary for success on their road back to a healthy, productive life. Interns will perform moderately complex substance abuse counseling work, such as planning, coordinating, and implementing substance abuse counseling activities; interviewing, screening, and evaluating offenders for potential program participation; providing substance abuse counseling and recovery skills training; and maintaining offender records and other records regarding services provided. Interns will receive a pay of $18.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have graduated from an accredited senior high school or equivalent or GED; have a current letter of registration as a Counselor Intern (LCDC-I) from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or current valid certification as a Certified Criminal Justice Professional Applicant Status (CCJP-A) as approved by the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals; sign a Credential Contingency Agreement that will remain in effect only until the initially established expiration date; and obtain a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) license or a Certified Criminal Justice Professional (CCJP) certification within five (5) years from the date of their registration as a Counselor Intern or CCJP-A.
#9 GEO Reentry Services LLC. Part Time Counselor Internship
GEO Reentry Services LLC is a leading provider of correctional, detention, and community reentry services. The internship is based in various locations and is part of the Mental Health Counseling Services program that provides individual, family and group counseling, assessments, referrals, education, and discharge planning to clients. Interns will receive $14.00/hourly.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a High School diploma or equivalent and be pursuing CADC / LCADC, LAC / LPC, LCSW licensing; have the opportunity to audio and/or video record one or more clients; have individual clinical supervision (face to face) by a licensed psychiatrist, LPC, LCSW, LMFT, or licensed psychologist; have a minimum of 3 years in recovery if the counselor is recovering; be thoroughly familiar with 12 Step Programs.
#10 Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers Case Manager Intern/ QMHP-CS Internship
Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive and integrated mental health and developmental disability services to enhance the quality of life for the individuals, families, and communities in 19 counties in Texas. The internship is based in Kerrville, Texas, and is part of the Children’s Services Team that provides case management and community living supports to children and youth ages 3-18 with significant mental illnesses, their parent/Legal Authorized Representative (LAR), and family members. Interns will work for 9-12 months, and receive a salary of $10.30/hr.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in human services field; have comprehensive knowledge of mental health diagnoses; have ability to work as a member of a team within a fast-paced, treatment setting; experience with facilitating skills training to increase the child’s independence; experience with psychotherapeutic medications, case management functions, substance use treatment, crisis services, community resources, and evidence-based practices in the behavioral health field.
#11 Recovering Hope Treatment Center Inc. Alcohol and Drug Counselor Internship
Recovering Hope Treatment Center Inc is a center that provides comprehensive and individualized treatment for clients with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders. The internship is based in various locations and is part of the Center’s team that provides ongoing assessment and treatment planning, individual and group counseling sessions, education sessions, crisis interventions, referrals, and discharge planning for clients. Interns will work under the direction and guidance of the Clinical Director and learn how to provide effective and compassionate services to clients and their families. Interns will receive $15.00/hourly.
Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited program with an approved faculty supervisor; be working toward Licensure by the State of Minnesota as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor; know and understand the implications of chapter 245G, chapter 245A, and sections 626.556, 626.557 and 626.5572; be free of problematic substance use for at least two years immediately preceding employment and sign a statement attesting to that fact.
#12 Crisis Counselor (LPHA Intern) Internship
CTC is a center that provides 24-hour care for clients with mental health and substance abuse issues. The internship is based in Waco, TX, and is part of the CTC team that provides crisis and substance abuse counseling, developing plans for treatment and discharge, and providing individual and group therapy. Interns will work under the supervision of a licensed professional and learn how to provide effective and compassionate services to clients in crisis situations. Interns will receive $41,866-54,249 annual salary.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a master’s degree in social work, psychology or related field; be able to obtain Qualified Mental Health Professional credentialing; have a license LPC, LCSW, LMFT or LPC-I, LMSW (preferred); have experience providing crisis services per DSHS standards (preferred); have excellent written and verbal communication skills; have time management skills; be able to lift up to 50 lbs; be able to perform CPR and SAMA certification; have a valid driver’s license, liability insurance, and reliable transportation.
#13 The Center for Health Care Services Crisis Counselor (LPHA Intern)
The Center for Health Care Services is a non-profit organization that provides integrated health care services to improve the lives of people with mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse challenges in Bexar County, Texas. The internship is based in San Antonio, Texas, and is part of the Crisis Treatment Center (CTC) Team that works with the crisis team to maintain a therapeutic environment for clients under 24-hour care. Interns will work 12-hour shifts and receive a salary of $41,866-54,249 annually.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a master’s degree in social work, psychology or related field with ability to obtain Qualified Mental Health Professional credentialing; have excellent written and verbal communication skills; have time management skills.
#14 Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) Internship, Alice ISD
Alice Independent School District is a public school district that serves students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The internship is based in various schools within the district and is part of the Special Education Services team that provides psychological work in assessment, behavior management, and counseling for students with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. Interns will work under the supervision of a licensed professional and learn how to assess the psychological and psycho-educational needs of students referred to special education services. Interns will receive $58618.00 annually.
Eligibility: Applicants must be graduate students at an accredited university who are currently enrolled in the Internship course; be approved by the university to act as an LSSP Intern under the guidelines of the TSBEP; have knowledge of procedures for assessing achievement and intellectual, emotional, and behavioral functioning for educational purposes; have knowledge of prevention and intervention strategies, including behavior management interventions; have knowledge of psycho-social development; have excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
#15 Hamilton Unit Substance Abuse Counselor Intern
The internship is based in Bryan, Texas, and is part of the Substance Abuse Treatment Team that plan, coordinates, and implements substance abuse counseling activities; and coordinates with other departments to ensure the maximum utilization of resources available for chemical dependency treatment and rehabilitation. Interns will provide substance abuse counseling and recovery skills training; interview, screen, and evaluate offenders for potential program participation; provide a comprehensive evaluation from a battery of valid measurement tools to assess the recovery needs and the re-offense risk of offenders. Interns will work full-time for 9-12 months and receive a salary of $18.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a high school diploma/GED; have a current letter of registration as a Counselor Intern (LCDC-I) from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or current valid certification as a Certified Criminal Justice Professional Applicant Status (CCJP-A) as approved by the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals.
Counseling internships are a valuable opportunity for students who want to gain hands-on experience, network with colleagues, and discover their career path. There are many paid counseling internships available for students who want to challenge themselves and make a difference.
To find and secure a counseling internship, you need to have a strong resume and a confident interview. You also need to be proactive, flexible, and enthusiastic about the opportunity. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of landing one of the top 15 paid counseling internships and kickstart your career in counseling.