Training for Graduate Students

Our mission is to promote the growth and healthy functioning of individuals and families through professional guidance and direction. We offer a full range of mental health services, with a special emphasis on services for children. Additionally, the Family Attachment and Counseling Center is committed to training and supervising individuals in sound psychological theory and practice. Our objective is to teach our trainees professionalism in the practice of psychology and uphold them to the highest standards of ethical conduct. This is done in an environment that embraces Christian values, principles and guidelines. It is our belief that this perspective enhances the ability of a well-trained psychologist to provide superior mental health services. We continue to strive to demonstrate this philosophy to our trainees and in our outreach to the entire community.


The Family Attachment and Counseling Center attempts to be versatile in the internship and practicum opportunities it offers students. The center has internship/practicum experiences for various educational programs (MA, Psy.D, Ph.D. and LMFT degrees). The training program typically begins in September and lasts for one year. However, some modifications are possible. Occasionally it is also possible to contract for an internship or practicum that begins at a time other than September.

Application Procedure

Applicants to the program must submit:

  • A completed application form
  • Graduate school transcript
  • A sample of an integrated psychological report (if this has been a part of your professional experience)
  • Three professional references (including name, phone number and association to you)

Applications materials should be sent to:

          Todd Nichols
          Director of Training
          Family Attachment and Counseling Center
          18322C Minnetonka Boulevard
          Deephaven, MN 55391
          Phone: 952-475-2818 ext.26
          Fax: 952-475-3356

Applicants will be contacted by the director and either individual or group interviews will be arranged.

Upon acceptance into the program, interns are required to sign an internship/practicum contract indicating their acknowledgement and acceptance of training guidelines and expectations.

Resources and Facilities

The Family Attachment and Counseling Center began treating children and families in the early 1990's. From this starting point the clinic grew into a center that offers a full range of mental health services. The clinical staff consists of a multidisciplinary team of licensed master and doctoral level psychologists as well as licensed marriage and family therapists. The Family Attachment and Counseling Center also serves as a student practicum/internship site for master and doctoral level students and trainees seeking marriage and family degrees. Additionally, the Family Attachment and Counseling Center provides supervision to professionals who are seeking licensure as psychologists or marriage and family therapists.

General Description of Internship

The training program at the Family Attachment and Counseling Center teaches therapeutic skills by providing supervision, group training and clinical experiences with clients.

Supervision and Training

  • Interns who work at least 20 hours weekly receive one hour of individual supervision each week with a licensed supervisor. Doctoral interns working 40 hours weekly receive two hours of individual supervision each week. If required by their school, interns or practicum students will also receive an additional hour weekly.
  • Interns participate in two hours of group supervision each week, which is didactic and interactive in nature.
  • All interns participate in monthly training and discussion on the integration of personal theology and psychology.
  • Interns are scheduled to work with staff members on attachment intensives and home based attachment work. These training opportunities allow each intern to observe staff members' unique therapeutic style within the Family Attachment and Counseling Center's theoretical framework.
  • Interns are assigned a client caseload made up of individuals, couples and/or families seeking therapeutic services for various concerns.
  • In addition, orientation and additional training sessions may be periodically offered.

Clinical Experience—Therapy Services

  • Office Based Therapy — Includes psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, groups, and families. Presenting problems range from mild depression to major psychiatric disorders. The director, based primarily between the client's presenting problem and the intern's therapeutic skills, assigns cases.
  • Attachment Disorder Services — The Family Attachment and Counseling Center provides specialized attachment disorder treatment program for adoptive and foster children. These children have experienced severe abuse and/or neglect and an early age and exhibit a variety of serious behavioral problems. Families are often referred because the adoptive or foster placement is at high risk of dissolution. Families enroll in the attachment disorder program for a thirty-day intensive period and may receive a variety of therapeutic services offered by the center. Follow up services are available to these families after completing the intensive. A Family Attachment Center staff therapist directs interns' work with families in the attachment program.
  • Day Treatment Program — A weekly day treatment program has been created to support the social/group needs of children in the attachment program. The focus of the group is to teach life skills, improve communication and social skills, and reinforce core stands of behavior. This program is staffed by interns and is a good opportunity to develop strong therapeutic skills for group work.

Internship/Practicum Performance Appraisal

Interns and supervisors participate in a formal written performance feedback system from the first day of the internship and throughout the year. Written evaluations are conducted quarterly and are designed to offer feedback on both strengths and weaknesses. Supervision focuses on the intern's progress and process about the training experience related to the services provided by the intern. All staff members maintain an open door policy. Your questions, suggestions and recommendations are welcomed and encouraged. In this way the Family Attachment and Counseling Center continues to grow and improve as interns also develop professional skills.

Internship Application

Download an internship application.