Clinical Externship in Family Therapy

Applications are now open! The deadline to apply is March 1st, 2022.

Clinical Externship in Family Therapy​

Applications are now open! The deadline to apply is March 1st, 2022.

About the Program

Ackerman’s most intensive program, the Clinical Externship, is designed for experienced practitioners. It provides rigorous clinical training in family therapy, with an emphasis on creating a relational understanding and practice that connects the presenting problem to the family members’ current relationships and their relationships over time. Different concepts and approaches to change are taught and used according to the “fit” of each family.

Trainees who complete the Clinical Externship receive a certificate of completion at graduation and are invited to continue their professional and educational relationship with the Institute as Ackeman alumni.

To accommodate the varying schedules of our practicing clinicians, the externship is offered in two ways. Both programs run for 12 months and include ample vacation time and holidays. The Day Program allows students to complete their training within two years. Classes are scheduled during the day, one day per week. An additional four (4) hours per week of clinical work with families is scheduled during evenings or on Saturdays. The Evening Program allows students to spread their training out over three years. Classes are scheduled in the afternoon and evening once a week, with an additional requirement of three (3) hours per week for clinical work with families during evenings or on Saturdays. The Person of the Therapist Seminar must be completed in the first two years.

Program Components:

Clinical Practicum and Supervision:
Intensive supervisory groups meet each week throughout the year in small groups to observe treatment sessions directly, to review each extern’s video recordings, and to discuss cases in detail.

The program supports the belief that individual learning is enhanced when one can observe a colleague being supervised. Group supervision allows the opportunity to receive both supervision of individual cases and to observe the supervision of others. Supervision highlights issues in the family and situates these in the larger social-cultural context. The role of the therapist and her or his development is emphasized.

Treatment Hours:
Working in Ackerman’s treatment clinic, externs treat three to four cases in ongoing family therapy. Externs are expected to complete a minimum of 250 clinical hours during the course of their studies at the Institute.

Professional Skills Training:
Externs will master practical skills required by the family therapy profession, including treatment plans, progress notes, ethical practices, navigating financial conversations with clients, and more. Trainees will be responsible for maintaining clinical documentation required by our state-licensed mental health clinic.

Person of the Therapist Seminar (POTT):
This two-year seminar instructed by Harry J. Aponte, MSW, LCSW, LMFT, helps clinicians make the fullest use of their personal selves in all aspects of the therapeutic process. The model is based on the premise that the conscious, active, and purposeful use of self by the therapist, is essential in establishing an effective therapeutic relationship with the client.

This weekly online seminar prepares first-year externs to make active and purposeful use of who they are, personally and professionally, in all aspects of the therapeutic process—relationship, assessment and intervention—regardless of modality. Through lecture, class presentations and clinical experiences, the first-year seminar will focus on knowledge and awareness of self, including trainees’ signature themes or core issues within their clinical experiences. The clinical experiences will be an opportunity for trainees to view video snippets of their clinical experiences to observe how they used self in those clinical encounters; or to do so through role plays where the trainees will engage the role-play clients in clinical encounters, which will be supervised by the trainer to help them become aware of how they consciously or not used self in the clinical role-play encounter.

Through clinical case presentations, the second-year seminar will focus on demonstrating how to use self in the therapeutic process. This second-year experience will consist of trainees presenting their cases through video in order to receive training about how to use selves therapeutically in the clinical process, or of trainees working with clients role playing their personal issues, which will be supervised so trainees can learn how to purposefully use their personal selves within their professional roles to more effectively engage clients in the therapeutic process.

Our Response to COVID-19:

All Ackerman courses will be held online for the remainder of 2021. Pending the Institute’s reopening due to Covid-19, this program may be offered as a hybrid learning model with both online and in-person classes. Applicants will indicate their preferred learning model: online-only, or hybrid, at the time of application.

Our hybrid learning model will become available when the Institute can safely reopen under the guidance of the New York State Department of Health. While the Institute is eager to return to in-person training, applicants understand that their course may remain online indefinitely. Our standard refund policy applies.

What you Need to Apply:

Clinical Externship Course Dates

Begins the week of September 19, 2022
All meetings are in Eastern Time (ET).

2022-2023 Supervision Sections:

Tuesdays | 10:00 am–2:00 pm (Day Program)
Tuesdays | 5:00 pm–9:00 pm  (Evening Program)
Second and third-year groups meet Thursdays 5:00 pm–9:00 pm

Person of the Therapist Seminar (POTT):

POTT Seminar I:
Mondays | 3:15 pm–4:45 pm

POTT Seminar II:
Wednesdays | 3:15 pm–4:45 pm

Treatment Hours:

Externs will treat three to four family therapy cases in the Ackerman clinic. Externs are expected to complete a minimum of 250 clinical hours during the course of their training.

Clinical Externship Tuition

Evening Program: $5,950 per year (3 Years)
Day Program: $8,800 per year (2 Years)

About Tuition Fees:

The Ackerman Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that relies on donors and earned revenue to work toward our mission. The full expense of training an Ackerman therapist is subsidized by the generosity of our donors. Your tuition fees cover only a small portion of this expense. We thank you for investing in your professional future and for supporting the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

Advertised tuition rates are for the current academic year and are subject to change annually.

View our Financial Policies.

Clinical Externship Eligibility

Prerequisite: Successfully completion of Live Clinical Supervision or the Dual Program. Applicants must submit a recommendation from their Live Clinical supervisor.

Applicants must hold a Master’s Degree in social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology or any other mental health profession.

Externs must hold New York State Licensure in a mental health discipline.

The deadline to apply to this program is March 1st, 2022.

Clinical Externship FAQ