Welcome to the Internship Program at James Madison University's Counseling Center

The following information is intended to give you an overview of the Counseling Center, James Madison University and the surrounding geographical area, and the goals and objectives of the Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology. Please feel free to contact the Associate Director for Training, Leslie Gerrard, Ph.D., by phone (540)568-6552 or at gerrarll@jmu.edu if you have any questions about our program or the application process.

The Counseling Center offers a comprehensive twelve-month Doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology for students working toward their doctoral degrees in counseling or clinical psychology. Emphasis is placed on training interns to perform the primary functions of a university counseling center psychologist, with generalizable skills transferable to a wide variety of settings. Two interns are admitted to the internship program per academic year, and each intern works 40 hours per week. All interns engage in a 3-4 week period of orientation in August designed to assist them in getting to know Counseling Center staff and also to become familiar with the mission and staff of other offices within Student Affairs. During orientation, interns begin to define specific training goals for the internship year. While there are core required components of the internship program, each intern's training experiences are individualized as much as possible to more effectively meet the developmental needs and interests of each intern.

  • Accredited by the American Psychological Association
  • NMS Program Code: 164911
  • An APPIC Member Program
  • To contact the Commission on Accreditation:
    Commission on Accreditation
    c/o Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
    Education Directorate
    American Psychological Association
    750 First Street NE Washington, DC 20002-4242
    (202) 336-5979
Mission and Philosophy

The Counseling Center aims to provide a safe, supportive, trusting, and confidential environment which empowers students to develop the awareness, values and skills they will need to meet future challenges and lead vital, meaningful lives. The Center is committed to collaborating and partnering with other Student Affairs units and University divisions, serving as consultants to our educational colleagues on psychological matters, and playing an integral role in the management of emergencies and crises affecting our students. The Center further enhances the educational mission of the University by integrating the training of new mental health professionals within the provision of counseling services.

The Center's staff is committed to personal, professional, and organizational development, and we continuously assess all aspects of our agency and training program to guarantee the highest quality of service and to ensure that we are responsive to the changing demands of students, faculty, and staff at James Madison University. We are guided by a spirit of acceptance, respect, and trust toward one another and those that we serve. The Center is fully accredited by the International Association of Counseling Centers and resides in Student Affairs. The mission of Student Affairs is to "prepare students to be educated and enlightened citizens," and individual departments strive to provide the best possible programs and services to assist students in realizing success in all areas of life.

Counseling Services

Through individual therapy, group counseling and outreach programming, the Center serves as the primary mental health agency for a student body of over 21,000 students. Each year, the Counseling Center provides personal counseling to approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students at James Madison University, and we serve as an assessment and referral source for students with more serious and chronic psychological difficulties. The Center provides nine major services: 1) individual and group counseling, 2) specialized treatment programs, 3) sexual trauma empowerment services, 4) outreach and psychoeducational programming, 5) consultative services to the University community, 6) training of new professionals, 7) teaching and participation in University educational projects, 8) crisis intervention and 9) evaluation activities to improve the efficacy of services.

Counseling Center Staff

The Center is part of the administrative auspices of the Student Affairs.  The senior clinical staff includes: one full-time psychiatrist, one full-time psychiatric nurse practitioner, twenty-two full-time and part-time professionals with doctoral, specialist or master’s degrees in clinical or counseling psychology, counseling, or counselor education. Senior clinical staff members are licensed or license-eligible in the Commonwealth of Virginia as clinical psychologists or professional counselors. Three full-time support staff members are responsible for assisting with the organization and administrative operations of the Center. In addition to the senior permanent staff, the Center staff includes doctoral interns, post-doctoral residents, masters level externs and residents, graduate assistants, and masters level practicum students, and over twenty undergraduate program assistants and peer mentors per academic year.

The Counseling Center Environment

The environment at the JMU Counseling Center is one of collaboration, warmth, self-awareness, challenge, encouragement, and collegiality - among faculty, staff, and clinicians in training alike. We believe that our best work can be done through clear communication, professionalism, trust, and mutual support.

Facility Information

View the floorplan of the Counseling Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Student Success Center.
Image of the Counseling Center Floorplan

You Might Want To Work Here If...

To give you a better idea if you would be happy here at the Counseling Center, we put together a compilation of characteristics of successful interns at our program:

  • You seek to make integrity, authenticity, and respect the foundation of your relationships.
  • You tend to leave everything and every place at least a little better than you found it.
  • You would like to be appreciated for creativity, hard work, and flexibility.
  • You like to wear the colors purple and gold!
  • You are open to sharing your secret stashes of chocolate and feel comfortable asking for the same in others.
  • You have a heartfelt appreciation of all things Costco.
  • You want to be acknowledged for your strengths and you want to be supportively encouraged to challenge your growth areas.
  • You want to work with people who show true and sincere compassion for you.
  • You want to work with people who enjoy celebrations (and have a celebration committee!).
  • You possess an attitude of openness to personal and professional feedback.
  • You enjoy the occasional staff outing to foster cohesion and collegiality among staff, and to celebrate the ups and downs of our work and personal lives.
  • You appreciate an occasional bark in the hall.
  • You can appreciate diversity in its many forms: ethnicity/race, education, body size, sexual orientation, religion, able-bodiedness, international status, socio-economic status, gender expression, etc.
  • You enjoy a variety of mental health disciplines that effectively collaborate with each other.
  • You enjoy meetings that are effective, irreverent at times, but always get the job done.
  • You value colleagues with a sense of humor (bad puns, email banter, etc.).

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