Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Austin Family Institute

Spring 2018

Position: Undergraduate Intern
Student: Psychology Junior

Austin Family Institute is a nonprofit marriage and family therapy center that also functions as a training institute for therapists working towards licensure. As an undergraduate intern, I had the ability to be able to not only gain first-person experience into cases of marriage and family therapy, but also get experience with working within a private practice setting. I mostly work in an administrative capacity in the day-to-day operations of Austin Family Institute. This includes duties such as answering the phones for the main AFI line (as well as lines for each of the directors’ private practices), scheduling returning clients, and pairing potential new clients with therapists and going through the intake process with them. My administrative duties also included various office jobs such as scanning client documents, getting paperwork together for new clients, making copies of various documents for the business, and serving as a point of communication between the fifteen different therapists (and our consulting psychiatrist) and the clients/patients.

These administrative duties taught me a lot about personally dealing with clients, the “business” parts of a private practice, and how to work in a fast-paced, high-anxiety environment where things can change rapidly over the course of the day. However, I also learned a lot about how the therapists view their cases and work with their clients, especially while in different stages of training. Since AFI also functions as a training institute, I got to sit in on group and individual supervision, where the associate therapists (either completing their practicum for graduate school or finishing their supervision hours to gain full licensure) would consult with the directors and each other to work through some of their tougher cases. I also got to watch videotapes of sessions with the associate therapists, which I learned a great deal from.

Summer 2015 

Student: Psychology Senior
Position: Collegiate Intern
A day in the life at Austin Family Institute is very busy, fun, and engaging. AFI is a non-profit organization that provides therapy to a diverse population of clients. All of the therapists at Austin Family Institute are pursuing their Licensed Marriage and Family Degree or they have already been practicing therapy for many years. Working alongside such experienced and helpful people has definitely given me a new perspective on this career path I have chosen.
There are three interns this summer, so we split up the days during the week. I am there for about twenty hours per week, and my shifts are 9-5 p.m. for two days and 2-4 p.m. on Mondays. When I arrive in the mornings, the work starts immediately. I begin preparing paperwork for the day, completing client intakes, checking voicemails, notifying the therapists about schedule changes (if there are any), etc. Office work in the morning is extremely important for smooth operating throughout the day. 
On Mondays, I get to sit in on Learning Group and Group Supervision. Learning Group is wonderful and it is basically a lecture on an important topic of therapy. I learn a good measure from the directors, who rotate each week and bring a different subject each group. Group supervision is also really intriguing, because I get to hear about specific cases that the therapists are working on and watch different models of supervision being enacted.  I also get to observe and participate in Individual Supervision, which is where a director will supervise a specific case that an associate therapist has questions about. It is my responsibility to contact each director and associate therapist to make sure it is acceptable with them if I sit in. AFI really makes myself and the other interns feel a part of the organization. They do what they can to make sure our needs are getting met and that we are expanding our knowledge.


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    University of Texas at Austin
    FAC 18
    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508