Intern with Sunflower Counseling


Why do you want to be an Intern at Sunflower Counseling?

The most commonly asked question of people who want to enter the counseling or social work field is “why”? “What lead you to decide to enter this field?” The answer given is often: “I want to help people” or “I want to make a difference.” The big picture is somewhat easy and natural to figure out, but the details of where you want to work, what population you enjoy working with, and how exactly you want to “help people” is sometimes still developing. In most master’s programs you learn the big theories and concepts that counselors use. These can be exciting, but also overwhelming. We hear people say sometimes, “How exactly do you incorporate that theory into your work with clients?” At this stage in the grad student’s life they may be experiencing an identity crisis on some level to decide what kind of counselor they want to be. They might also be confused because they originally entered the field to work with kids – and then after some self-discovery realize they have little inkling to help kids or adult veterans with PTSD. They might feel like they are betraying their original identity and population which they felt they would always want to work with. There is also sometimes the “imposter syndrome” which can creep in. The grad student can start questioning if they are making a difference, worrying if they are connecting well enough, listening fully, and saying the right thing. This is normal, but something to take note of as the person is developing into the clinician they want to be.  At Sunflower Counseling we fully support the intern who wants to explore their interests and work with populations they enjoy. We don’t force people into a certain way of being a therapist. Instead, we nurture the natural therapist who is already within the person.

Finding Clients who are the “right fit”.

Have you ever experienced how amazingly wonderful it feels when you hang out with someone who just gets you? You don’t have to guard yourself, or try to be the person they feel comfortable around. You are just “you” and that feels incredible. Well, you can actually have this same experience in your work everyday. The “right fit” client is out there for you just waiting to work with you. At Sunflower Counseling, it is extremely important for our counselors to be matched with clients whom they will work well with. The clients have a much fuller experience and make better progress when this happens. In your internship we will ask you over and over again “who is your ideal client?” Then, as you continue to develop into your work, this may become more clear how you want to be a counselor and whom you want to help. Remember, not everyone can help everyone. There is this unfortunate feeling sometimes that we have to be trained to fit in everywhere and be the “ideal fit” with everyone. That is simply not true. In some agencies the clinician doesn’t have a choice; they work with whomever calls in and needs services. If you have a spot, the agency will fill it. We don’t follow this notion at all. We will work hard to understand you and your personality and the way you interact with others – and this will help us pair you with the right person.

Being matched with a supervisor.

In the world of counseling we are given a “supervisor”. But historically this name has been given another name – and that is one of “mentor”.  Such a deep and intimate relationship is then formed between student and teacher as we learn to help and be helped. This is a connection that is surprisingly rare. It is amazing how few people have a community or a tribe.  And more so, where they can go to partake and learn about everything from how the mind works, to talking about concepts like the soul, identity – and even the cosmos.

Much as a weaver of fine fabrics blends tapestries on a loom, we as counselors learn to spot the things hiding in the shadows. These things are feelings. Feelings of failure, fear, inadequacy, and not being connected or accepted.  And by talking out loud with them, and being Honest, Open and Willing, with this person who acts as a guide, we are suddenly doing the work. These are the first steps in a bold transformation for both student and mentor.

Because we are all broken.


Online Counseling at Sunflower.

Covid 19 has surely changed this industry and how people receive the counseling services they need. Online has become a must and crucial side-offering for counseling. At Sunflower we are thankful to be able to serve clients all over the state of Montana. This is only possible because of online counseling. Thus, this will be an important part of your internship at Sunflower. You will learn to become comfortable with this platform and join the movement of a new way to deliver counseling services. There is also the opportunity to work in-person with clients – you will learn to do both.


Why work with us?

At Sunflower you will find the support and encouragement you need to develop into the counselor you envisioned when you decided to take the first steps into this field. We are extremely passionate about counseling and helping people in our community. You will have the independence and autonomy to develop your counseling approach while having guidance along the way. There is also an opportunity of joining our team when you have completed your internship. We offer a competitive salary and the feeling of being in your own private practice, not a traditional agency. You can focus on your clinical skills while we take care of the rest of the business aspects.


What next?

The first step will be to reach out by email to or by phone 406-214-3810. Ask any questions you have and we will set up an interview. Again, this is competitive. We only have a few spots available for next spring – so start early!

Our Intern Program gives back to the Missoula Community, and across the state of Montana, by offering low-cost, qualified counseling. We are here to help future counselors and therapists reach their goals to gain clinical field experience. We know how hard it is to find a good Internship placement, and so we created this in cooperation with the University of Montana. If you wish to intern and are part of the Counselor Education or Master’s of Social Work program for counseling please feel free to apply. Our internship program gives you first-hand, outpatient clinical experience.

The competition is very intense to become an intern at Sunflower. If this interests you, please do not hold back in your cover letter. It helps to be local and located in Missoula.

Please send applications or any questions to: