Graduate Internship Program
Ponessa Behavioral Health has a formal internship program for graduate students in psychology, marriage and family therapy, and social work. There are also opportunities for postdoctoral students. These internships have rolling admission and are tailored to individual and corporate needs. Currently, the internship program is not APA or APPIC approved. Master’s level interns are not paid and do not receive stipends.
“Theory into Practice”
The focus of the internship program is to transition students into professional therapists by providing a protected educational environment, where they integrate classroom skills with clinical practice. This is facilitated through direct services, observations, and individual and group supervision. Interns are provided one hour of weekly individual supervision and 1.5 hours of group supervision, along with opportunities for departmental supervision and monthly specialized training.
There are internship opportunities in the general outpatient, drug and alcohol, school-based, and partial hospitalization programs. In addition, there are internship sites in Lancaster, Lebanon, York, and Harrisburg. Programs and locations are determined by hiring directors once the intern is accepted into the program. The Ponessa Behavioral Health internship program is not cohort-based. Interns can start at any time in the calendar year.
Interns videotape at least three sessions over the course of the internship and the tapes are reviewed with a supervisor to identify strengths, weaknesses, and adherence to a theoretical model. Interns also develop a caseload of 6-15 clients (depending on the program) and learn documentation skills related to therapy and case management.
Graduate students in psychology, social work, or marriage and family therapy can complete the application found on this website. Postdoctoral students can email Internship Director, Gene Nelson, Psy.D. For additional information please contact:
Jackie Markward, MS, LPC
Graduate Internship Coordinator
Undergraduate Internship Program
Ponessa Behavioral Health has a internship program for undergraduate students in psychology, social work, and other related fields. These internships are tailored to individual and corporate needs. Undergraduate interns are not paid and do not receive stipends.
"From the Classroom to the Human Services Field"
The focus of the Undergraduate Internship Program is for students to gain an understanding of mental health work and gain experience working with client populations. Undergraduate interns shadow professionals within the Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program, which provides in school, home and community services for children/adolescents that have significant behavioral health disorders. The age range of the clients span from age 3 - 21, with most clients between the ages of 5 – 12. The IBHS staff work with clients and their caregivers. There are a variety of experiences that provide interns with a wide range of cultural experiences. Interns are also provided with the opportunity to work with clients professionally once certain training and shadowing requirements are completed within the IBHS program. Undergraduate interns attend supervision groups and trainings that are available at T.W. Ponessa and Associates Counseling Services.
Internships are available at all Ponessa Behvaioral Health locations, which includes Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, York, and Cumberland/Perry counties. The location is determined by the Undergraduate Internship Coordinator once the intern is accepted into the program. Students in psychology, social work and other related fields can complete the application process found on this website.
Undergraduate intern requirements include:
• Must be in their Senior year of undergraduate studies
• GPA of 3.2 or better
• Complete a successful interview
• Current FBI, Childline, and Criminal Background Clearances
• Complete the online training on Recognizing/Reporting Child Abuse and provide the certificate
• Liability Insurance
For more information about the Undergraduate Internship Program, please contact: