The Louisville Family Center offers internship and practicum placements for students enrolled in a Clinicial Mental Health Counseling program who are interested in learning and practicing play therapy with children and/or adolescents. This program is designed to help the students complete their requirements for graduation while supporting the community by offering lower fee therapy services that are supervised by a licensed therapist. Most of our students come from programs in Mindfulness Transpersonal Therapy, Somatic Therapy, or Art Therapy from Naropa University, however we are also open to accepting applications from other programs as well.

For both practicum and internship, the Louisville Family Center partners with The Patchwork School to support students in completing their necessary hours in a milieu setting, and offering them the opportunity to learn through varying community experiences. Scroll down for more information on application requirements and The Patchwork School.

Practicum Details

For practicum students, the direct hours are primarily earned through working at The Patchwork School. The direct client hours are gained by working 3-4 hours per week in one of our three programs (toddlers, preschool, or kinder), alongside the teachers as “Support Staff.” In this role, the student is expected to support children with social and emotional challenges as they arise, including conflict resolution with NVC, utilizing play-therapy skills one-on-one with children in the space that seem to need extra help, or jumping in and supporting the staff with whatever activities are occurring. Should there be an appropriate pairing, the student may be paired one-on-one with one or more particular children. The students will be mentored during the day by one of our Directors that are also acting in the “Support Staff” role. The non-direct hours will be spent in team meetings to talk about specific students and curriculum, or by attending professional development days, parent/teacher meetings, trainings and by reading recommended material.

Internship Details

For internship students, the position includes direct hours at both The Patchwork School and Louisville Family Center. Direct client hours are split between milieu work at the school (see description above in Practicum Details) and one-on-one therapy at the Louisville Family Center with their own direct clients (including intake, therapy and termination). Clients are primarily children needing play therapy. Non-direct hours are spent partially at the school (again as described above) and partially at the Family Center in Group Supervision, doing progress notes, and other related training and business-related activities. Internship students are ideally expected to have plans to take Lisa Dion’s Synergetic Play Therapy class and/or Intensive Workshop.

Application Requirements

In order to apply for either Practicum or Internship, students should submit a resume and cover letter explaining your interest in the position to  You can expect to receive an email letting you know if we have availability for an interview.  The interview will be 2 hours, with about one hour consisting of a participatory visit at The Patchwork School.  The participatory visit will allow you to get a sense of the school environment, while also giving us a chance to get to know you better.  You can also expect to meet with one or both of the owners of the Louisville Family Center.

In order to apply for Internship, students should also include at least one reference letter, and answers to the following questions:

  • What is your experience working with children?
  • Explain your interest and experience with play therapy.
  • What are your long term goals as a therapist?

The internship interview may also include an additional short screening interview and/or follow-up visits.

attention • connection • love
The Patchwork School

The Patchwork School is an innovative non-profit organization promoting children’s rights and meaningful educational options for all, at the heart of which is a community-based democratic school for young children, located in Louisville, Colorado.  The school’s emphasis on social-emotional well-being for staff and students is a great match for counseling students working to deepen their understanding of non-violent communication and self-regulation practices that support children in learning these tools, as well.  Besides internship and practicum, Louisville Family Center also partners with The Patchwork school to offer parent & staff workshops, as well as other resources and support for the families and community of the school.