The MFT intern training program at Big Minds is an exciting opportunity to work with a special population in a small, nurturing setting while receiving high quality didactic and practical training, case conference and supervision from a variety of seasoned professionals.

We are looking for three open minded, curious, self-directed MFT interns to join our community of students, parents and educators. Our training staff consists of MFTs, psychologists, psychiatrists, and educators. We will not be able to offer scholarships for this upcoming school year. The program requires a time commitment of between 12-17 weekly hours, which include clinical work, supervision and didactic seminars.

Big Minds is a micro school (enrollment 24-28 students) for twice exceptional students (gifted children who also have one or more disabilities) ages 6-14 who have difficulty in one or more areas of their day to day. They may suffer from severe anxiety, difficulty relating to others, executive function problems, sensory issues, or attention challenges. Some of the students come to Big Minds after experiencing anxiety, bullying, and trauma in other school settings and would need our help in adjusting to this new setting.

Big Minds operates on an unschool model. Group activities are offered and students have the choice to attend them or work on their own projects. This model will allow for a variety of therapeutic interactions in one on one play therapy sessions, group therapy, and milieu work.

The Training Program will be accepting three students who will each be asked to commit to at least eight clinical hours and will be offered up to 12 weekly clinical hours.

Responsibilities will include:

  1. Conducting weekly or twice weekly individual therapy sessions
  2. Co-facilitating groups of 3-4 students each
  3. Participating in the milieu: facilitating interactions between students, engaging students in one on one interaction, participating in play and exploration.
  4. Providing parent consultation after school

Time Commitment:

  1. Staff meetings, group supervision and seminars will be held on Wednesdays: 8:30 AM- 1:00 PM all interns will be required to participate in those meetings.
  2. Individual supervision: 1 weekly hour, scheduled individually between the supervisor and intern
  3. 6- 9 weekly clinical hours: each student will be scheduled to be on campus for 6-10 hours during the school day: Monday-Thursday between 8:30-3:30.
  4. 1-3 weekly hours of parent consultation Each student will be required to be on campus for 1-3 hours a week after school hours between 3:30- 5:30 for scheduled parent consultations.

Didactic training and supervision:

  1. Interns will be meeting individually with a supervisor for a weekly supervision session, which will take place at the supervisor’s office in the East Bay.
  2. One weekly hour of group supervision on campus. This will be an interdisciplinary meeting in which cases will be presented and meetings will include teachers who work closely with the students being presented.
  3. Didactic seminar, theory: 75 minute long weekly seminar will be held on campus. The seminar will be held for two 14 weeklong semesters and will focus on educational as well as psychoanalytic theories relevant to work with this age group and population. Topics will include: attachment theory; object relations theory; autistic and primitive states; Winnicott and more. Dobrowski’s theory; Unschooling and theories of giftedness.
  4. Didactic Seminar, practice: 75 minute long weekly seminar will be held for two 14 week long semesters and will focus on the practical side of our work: topics will include: play therapy; co-facilitation; diagnosis; arts therapy; working with parents and issues in parenting as well as ethical and practical issues in starting a private practice, working with insurance and more.

Application process:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Please answer briefly:

What draws you here and what do you expect to learn from this internship?

How do you spend your free time?

We are now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year, starting in September.

For questions about the internship program please contact clinical director Orit Weksler MFT at: 510-356-2783 or email: oweksler@gmail.com

For questions about Big Minds please contact head of school Melanie Hayes at bigmindsunschool@gmail.com

Please send applications to:  Oweksler@gmail.com