Hope Counseling Center (HCC)
Hope Counseling Center is a faith-based outpatient mental health center located in Fairbanks, Alaska providing services for 44,000 people living in Fairbanks and the greater North Star Borough. The North Star Borough includes two military bases. Hope Counseling provides therapeutic and assessment services to the outlying communities of interior Alaska on an “as requested” basis.
Therapeutic services provided by Hope Counseling include individual, family, couples, and group counseling to address a variety of mental health issues. Our dual diagnosis substance abuse program provides entry level as well as level I and level II interventions for adults and adolescents. Hope Counseling Center also provides a complete range of psychological assessments for individuals, other social service agencies, The Alaska Office of Children’s Services, the North Star Borough School District, and the Alaska State Court System.
The Internship Experience
The primary goal of the internship program is to provide a rigorous clinical training opportunity that readies program participants to provide high quality mental health care addressing the wide variety mental health needs experienced in our community. Interns gain specific experience working with families doing individual and family interventions, marriage counseling, trauma and grief therapy, as well as multi-level substance abuse treatment for individuals with Dual Diagnoses. Interns will also gain experience working with individuals who have Axis II disorders. Interns also receive significant training and experience conducting psychological assessments for a variety of mental health and governmental agencies in the Fairbanks area. Hope Counseling Center is strongly invested in training mental health professionals who are interested in continuing to provide services in Alaska.
Interns have the opportunity to participate as co-counselors with other clinical staff to augment their training experience when appropriate. As co-counselors they work with selected clients to learn a variety of intervention styles and techniques practiced by our clinical staff.
Interns are expected to be on site by 9:00 AM on days that the clinic is open. Their work day generally ends about 5:00 PM; however interns may be expected to participate in evening group sessions while working with the dual diagnosis substance abuse program. Depending on the specific area of focus, Interns conduct between 10 and 20 individual therapy sessions each week and complete at least 2 full psychological evaluations each month. While interns are completing their assessment rotation they will complete at least 1 psychological assessment each week in addition to a restricted therapy load.
The clientele served by Hope Counseling Center reflects our extremely diverse community. The rich ethnic diversity represented by those we serve, as well as the significant range of mental health needs addressed by Hope Counseling place significant demands on the time and expertise of our clinical staff. Interns are expected to be full participants in that process.
Interns meet one-on-one with their primary supervisors twice each week for supervision. Individual supervision addresses all aspects of the intern’s clinical work including specific interventions, ethical issues and considerations as well as transference/counter transference concerns. Interns participate in group supervision with other staff counselors once each week. Group supervision is conducted by the Clinical
Director and is generally conducted in a “Grand Rounds” format. Interns are expected to make periodic presentations on topics of interest during weekly staff didactic training.
Special Requirements of Applicant
Hope Counseling Center is a Faith Based mental health center organized as a private, not-for-profit corporation with a 501 (c) (3) designation by the IRS. Intern applicants are not required to hold any specific religious beliefs or affiliations to be considered for this training site or the AK-PIC program as a whole. Hope Counseling Center also does not require that staff hold any specific doctrinal perspective, and does not have formal hiring practices that limit employment based on religious affiliation. However, Hope Counseling Center does give preference in their hiring practices for staff that are willing and comfortable incorporating their spiritual beliefs into their clinical work as requested by clients. Because faith-based counseling is one of the services provided by Hope Counseling, the ability of interns to speak to their own experience of faith and spirituality within their clinical work will serve as a strength if placed at this training site, but again, is not a requirement.
Bill Couthran, Psy.D. – Executive Director, AK-PIC Faculty, Primary Site Supervisor
Valerie Gifford, Ph.D. – Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Bill Couthran, Psy.D.
Hope Counseling Center
P.O. Box 73511
Fairbanks, Alaska 99707